mehdi Hasan 3a
Extremism

Mehdi Hasan: "No Reformation in Europe without Muslim theologians"

 

Mehdi Hasan delivered an oratorically brilliant if rather sanctimonious speech at the Oxford Union in May 2013, which now rings in the head like tinnitus in the wake of the jihadi butchery in Paris. The consequences of the Charlie Hebdo massacre are still reverberating throughout the Islamic/Islamist world, while Western civilisation twitches nervously, awaiting the next inevitable “punch” to be promulgated by Mohammed’s self-declared defenders of the faith. ‘This House believes Islam is a religion of peace’ was the motion: Hasan was obviously speaking for the proposition, but he comprehensively wiped the floor with the depthless, stammering tergiversations of his opponents (unfortunately, Douglas Murray had to pull out, for some reason).

Hasan introduced himself proudly as “an ambassador for Islam”, and proceeded to belittle his opponents’ right even to comment on such weighty matters of religion. You see, one was a graduate in law, another in modern history and a third in chemistry, and so Hasan derides their religious illiteracy: “We don’t have anyone who’s actually an expert on Islam; a scholar of Islam; a historian of Islam; a speaker of Arabic; even a terrorism expert or a security expert or a pollster, let alone to talk about what Muslims believe or think.”

The whole sneery speech is worth listening to, but two bold claims bulge from the hyperbolic bilge.

“Atheists see all religions as evil, violent, threatening,” Hasan proclaimed, as he dazzled the assembled intellects with his superior humanist knowledge, mesmerising recruits to the ‘honour brigade‘ of those who seek to subsume all criticism of Islam to the amputations and public floggings of apostasy; and all denigration of ‘The Prophet’ to the ash heaps, severed heads and bloodied rocks of blasphemy. The strategy is “to silence debate on extremist ideology in order to protect the image of Islam”, and the primary proposition is to contend that such ideology is “nothing to do with Islam”.

Curiously, Hasan is unable to see the bigotry of his assertion in the mirror of his own duplicity. Were you to say “Muslims see all other religions as evil”; “Islam says all non-believers are violent”; or “The Qur’an teaches that the mere existence of Jews and Christians is threatening”, he would scoff at your intellectual inadequacy, scorn your lack of qualification and deride (with some justification) your ignorance of theology / philosophy / history / language / national security, etc., etc. You would, in short, be racist, a bigot or an ‘Islamophobe’ – a fatwa decreed by the Political Editor of Huffington Post UK, made all the more authoritative by virtue of his being a darling of Al Jazeera. It can only be nullified or revoked by an unspecified  period of silence and self-censorship.

Despite not being an atheist, and regardless of his lack of qualification in history, theology or even humanism (he did PPE – the most superficial of Oxford’s degrees; no history or theology at all), Hasan is seemingly free to caricature all atheists as being as zealous as the monomaniac Richard Dawkins. Are there not as many non-conceptions of the divine as their are denominational conceptions of God? How many atheists see the Society of Friends as a coercive refuge of savagery and brutality?

That aside, it was his allusion to the inspiration and motivation for the Reformation which merits some historical cytology. He said:

“In fact, Daniel David Levering, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author and of The Golden Crucible points out that there would be no Renaissance; there would be no Reformation in Europe without the role played by Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd and some of the great Muslim theologians, philosophers, scientists in bringing Greek texts to Europe.”

And the crowd marvelled at his learning, entranced by the rhetorical eloquence they suspended all historical knowledge and intellectual discernment, bursting into cheers and spontaneous applause.

But there are glaring errors in Hasan’s arrogance of awe.

By “Daniel David Levering” we must assume that he means  David Levering Lewis. By The Golden Crucible we must assume that he means God’s Crucible. And as for bringing Greek texts to Europe, since when was Greece not part of Europe? Wasn’t the continent named after the Greek goddess Europa? Pedantry, you say? Quite possibly. But so much of the contempt Hasan spits at his opponents is for their “distortions, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, misquotations”. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to expect impeccable accuracy in his own literary references, historical allusions and academic statements. You can’t berate a humanist for referring anachronistically to Saudi Arabia (created AD 1932) as the birthplace of Islam (created AD 610) if you’re not aware that Mount Olympus has always jutted out from a peninsular of southern Europe.

And the claim that the Reformation (and so the Renaissance) would not have happened without “great Muslim theologians, philosophers, scientists” is simply Islamic supremacist revisionist claptrap. The point was pondered on Twitter, and the exchange is reproduced verbatim:

‏Archbishop Cranmer: @mehdirhasan says there would have been no Reformation in Europe without the role played by some of the great Muslim theologians. Right..

Mehdi Hasan: @His_Grace read a book once in a while. You might learn something. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/nov/06/how-muslims-made-europe/

Archbishop Cranmer: @mehdirhasan What a patronising, unintelligent, unnecessarily snide comment. There’s no end to the reading books: the secret is to discern.

Mehdi Hasan: @His_Grace you really need to look in a mirror…

Archbishop Cranmer: @mehdirhasan Archetypal pseudo-academic polemic hypocrisy. It’s you who needs to look in the mirror: you do and say exactly what you condemn

Mehdi Hasan: @His_Grace yawn

You will understand that there was no point pursuing the matter: when Mehdi Hasan is shown a mirror, he doesn’t even see his reflection dimly: all he apprehends is his lofty ambassadorial status as the self-declared mouthpiece of Mohammed. His instinct is to attack with patronising gibes and puerile refutation: it is the jihad of verbal insult and hot air (which is, of course, preferable to the alternatives).

Notwithstanding that Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd were fine scholars, manifestly steeped in the teachings of Aristotle and committed adherents of the school of rationality (contra Islamic unreason); and notwithstanding that they undoubtedly contributed to the philosophical symbiosis of East and West by introducing caliphs to kings and injecting liberal learning into the dogma of theological dominion; and notwithstanding that the theo-political origins of Christendom are undeniably syncretic – from Hebrew cult through Greek temples to Roman roads, architecture, literature and law, it is crudely ahistorical to ascribe the people’s cry for reformation to a couple of Muslim philosophers. They may indeed have helped to plough the early furrows of enlightenment – indeed Aquinas credits their influence. But Hasan goes further, bombastically reserving the entire Reformation and Renaissance to a Muslim-inspired genesis.

There is a reason that the Qur’an is not taught as the foundation of enlightened civilisation, and it isn’t all down to an unfortunate medieval victory in Poitiers or a belief that the Caliphate was more sophisticated and humane than the Empire of Charlemagne. It is to do with theology and the scriptural revelation of the nature of the Judæo-Christian God. It is to do with spiritual truth, the equality of humanity and an aversion to hypocritical piety, institutional corruption and abused authority. Europeans didn’t need Muslim philosophers to tell them that salvation couldn’t be bought, that books shouldn’t be burned, or that Scripture may not be dispensed with by papal decree. They didn’t need Arabic perspectives on Aristotle to teach them that Rome’s doctrine was erroneous, and that true religion should be immanent and internal, not remote and superficial. The causes of the Reformation are diffused, complex and sometimes vague, but the Hussites, Waldensians, Wycliffites and Lollards did not see Islamic scholarship as their inspiration to preach from a Bible in the language of the people.

While the sixteenth-century ecumenical councils gathered in the Lateran church in Rome debating whether bishops should have more power over the monks, the threat to Christian civilisation was coming from the Turks. Their instinct – with appeals to the exemplary life of Mohammed – was to attack, subdue, confiscate and control. Enlightened Muslims like Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd may have exhorted tolerance and respect, but zealous sultans and muftis much preferred to appropriate churches, slaughter Christian men, rape their wives and roast their christian over a slow-burning fire. That same evil drives what we now call extremist Islam or Islamism – with constant appeals to the exemplary life of Mohammed.

The choice we now face is between Canterbury and Constantinople. The weaker we make the former, the more we can expect the latter to fill the vacuum. It is entirely possible to establish friendly relations between patriarchs and ayatollahs, but if we are to stop St Paul’s going the way of St Sophia, it is imperative that we confront head-on the distortions, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and misquotations of the eloquently persuasive but patently unqualified ambassadors of Islam.

  • Anton

    “PPE – the most superficial of Oxford’s degrees; no history or theology”

    Well said Your Grace! Cranmer, like a good deal of the English Reformation, was made in Cambridge and forged in the fire in Oxford.

  • scottspeig

    It’s a pity they didn’t invite one Tanya Walker from RZIM http://www.rzim.org/bio/tanya-walker/ – A fellow PPE graduate with extensive knowledge of Islam and would have destroyed Hasan. It was when I heard her at New Wine that it suddenly brought some respect to PPE!! 🙂

    According to the bio above, “she has a broad understanding of other faiths, has an MA in Islamic
    studies and her PhD research has focused on the political and
    sociological implications of Islamic law in the West.”

  • Anton

    Mehdi Hasan was proposing that Islam is a religion of peace?

    Not surprisingly, he hints that you have to be a Muslim to be able to talk about Islam. The bad news is that Islam encourages distortions of the truth in order to further itself (a practice known as taqqiyya). When Muslims speak of their religion of peace among each other they mean the peace that is meant to prevail among Muslims (ISIS and Sunni-Shia strife notwithstanding). The good news is that it is not difficult to extract the truth from Islamic sacred writings.

    Does jihad mean “holy war” or “spiritual effort”? The politically correct crew (whom Muslims seldom deny are unqualified to discuss the matter) say the latter. But a glance at the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad shows that he lived it as the former; and his interpretation of the Quran is definitive for Muslims. The word jihad is often associated in the Quran with the verb qatala, which means to kill. See especially suras (chapters) 8 &9. Imams may condemn the Hebdo murders but will they condemn jihad?

    Whenever I read the New Testament I am sorry that most Christians are nominal. When I read the Quran I am glad that most Muslims are nominal. Jesus endorsed the “golden rule” (do as you would be done by) but the Quran does not. When Islam takes over a country then the people are divided into three categories: Muslims; People of the Book (meaning Christians and Jews), who are permitted to continue upon payment of a tribute tax (jizya) and acceptance of untermensch status; and the rest (“infidels”), who are to be given the choice of conversion or death.

    What happens when Christians and Jews run out of money to pay jizya? Also, Christians are liable to be told that worshipping Jesus is worshipping something that is created, so really they are infidels; all depends on the mood of the Islamic authorities, which can change…

    It is true – returning to Hasan – that Western Europe picked up the legacy of ancient Greece once again from the Muslims of Spain, but: (1) the legacy had scarcely been developed in the meanwhile; for examples modern science is overwhelmingly a Western creation (no matter how much Jim al-Khalili expounds Islamic science), while in mathematics the Greeks could solve quadratic equations but the Muslims failed to solve cubic equations in nearly 1000 years before they were cracked in the Renaissance; and (2) if Aristotle et al had not re-entered the West from al-Andalus then Greek learning was available to be picked up from Byzantium any time up to 1453.

    • Shadrach Fire

      A profound observation Anton. Whenever I read the New Testament I am sorry that most Christians are nominal. When I read the Quran I am glad that most Muslims are nominal.

      I have argued that moderate Muslims are not followers of Isalam and nominal christians don’t have a clue how the life of Christ and his Holy Spirit can impact one life.

    • Islam is not a religion of peace – as you say, it is a religion of jihad – Islam is a religion of war, and those who deny it are either ignorant fools – or malicious, duplicitous liars. The Koran is unambiguous – jihad means war; and that war is to be waged against the entire world until it ‘submits’ to Islam and then knows ‘peace’ (which any normal person would call hell on earth).

  • William Lewis

    Hassan lies, denigrates and claims victimhood constantly. That he is an ambassador for Islam is the one “take away” that can be relied upon.

  • Shadrach Fire

    A most excellent Post Your Grace.

    This was not the only poorly matched contest at Oxford recently. Jordan managed to get over her boobs and demolish Rachel Johnson. As stated below, there are I am sure plenty that could have shown this arrogant, closed mind individual what debate is about. There has to be proposition and answer and if one side won’t listen, then there is no debate.

    I have observed that where there is such an ingrained belief as Islam where the teaching creates an aversion to discussion, there is this inability to communicate. (Recent case of Christian and Muslim Physiotherapists springs to mind).

    This PPE degree course is blamed for creating a singularity of thought amongst the Government without a radical or indipendant thought within a mile of Westminster.
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9322492/the-politics-of-ppe/

    • IanCad

      An interesting article Shadrach, thanks for the link.

      There is undoubtedly, a narrowness of thought among our leaders.

      I would say that David Davis is an exception.

      Totally off base, but I wonder as to the author’s conformity of mind.

      The article starts:
      “If graduates from an architecture school designed buildings that were unfit for human habitation–“
      Well, they do. Dartington Primary School is now scheduled for demolition three years after its completion.
      Certainly those architects were beyond incompetent – almost criminally so – but the controlling body, the RIBA, awarded them a special commendation for the project.
      So much for higher education.

      • The day that Scameron beat David Davis for the Conservative party leadership was a defining moment in our nation’s downward slide. Read about how this swindle was carried off by a cabal of ‘Conservative’ party liberalisers, political journalists, spin doctors and the BBC in Peter Hitchens’ brilliant, neglected book ‘The Cameron Delusion’.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    if we are to stop St Paul’s going the way of St Sophia, it is imperative that we confront head-on the distortions, misrepresentations, misinterpretations and misquotations

    Whether St Paul’s remains a Christian place of worship will be decided in England’s maternity wards. On present trends, St Paul’s days are numbered.

    • Whether St. Paul’s is a place of Christian worship is open to debate, to put it mildly.

  • Dreadnaught

    MEHDI HASAN: “NO REFORMATION IN EUROPE WITHOUT MUSLIM THEOLOGIANS”

    Turn it right back at him and his brothers – No (more) muslim theologians in Europe without reformation. Get back to us when you think your’e through.

    • Anton

      You have it backwards; there IS a reformation going on today within Islam, assuming that by reformation you mean a back-to-the-scriptures movement. Why do you think jihad is on the up?

      • Dreadnaught

        A resurgence of the gross demands and consequences contained in the Koran IS NOT a reformation you dim-witted moron.

        • Anton

          Your courtesy is greatly appreciated; what do you mean by the term?

  • The Explorer

    The second paragraph suggests one should not express an opinion about a subject unless one’s an expert. Hasan is not an expert on Christianity. And yet I’ve heard him express opinions. He said the Pope was infallible. A Catholic corrected him. Only when the Pope is speaking ‘ex cathedra’.

  • IanCad

    Another great piece YG; although I did have to crack the dictionary a couple of times.

    “Their instinct – with appeals to the exemplary life of Mohammed – was to attack, subdue, confiscate and control

    .”
    And nothing has changed.
    Speak loudly. Speak fast. Intimidate. Shock and Awe. Lie. Accuse. Attack.
    We polite British roll over far too readily. Get on the back foot.
    A posture of defense always weakens the cause.
    Gloves Off Time!!
    Meekness go hang!

  • ‘Islamic supremacist revisionist claptrap.’

    I like it (the phrase that is, not the thing itself).

    The post Charlie Hebdo ‘religionofpeace’ takkiyah on the BBC has got so nauseating I can hardly bear to turn the radio on.

    I continue to reflect on the story of Hophni and Phineas, the wicked sons of Eli, of whom it is written after they were rebuked for their gluttony, blasphemy and fornication ‘But they did not listen, for The LORD had already decided to slay them.’ I don’t have a Bible to hand but I think its in 1 Samuel about 4 chapters in. It bothers me to think that sometimes sin has gone so far that God writes people off and dooms them, but according to Scripture, that apparently happens.

    There must be an explanation as to why Europe is allowing, even encouraging, the ancient nemesis of Christendom to flourish within the gates. Senility? Drunkenness? Hypnotism by junk TV? God’s righteous judgment? I certainly can’t see a rational explanation.

    • Anton

      I am glad that Christians are starting to ponder why Jesus Christ, who has all authority in heaven and on earth, is permitting the rise of Islam although it denies his divine identity.

      The only answer that makes sense is impending judgement.

      But for what?

      Anybody over the age of 55 could tell you. For several centuries up to the 1960s the statistics for divorce, children born outside wedlock, children living with one parent, and unmarried cohabitation were stable at less than 5%. In one lifetime these have gone hockey-stick by a factor of ten. Abortion has since been added to the list.

      Where freedom is abused, God takes it away and punishes…

      • magnolia

        I put it down to free will, not impending judgement!

        I agree with the statistics, These things were actively encouraged. I only realised these things recently. How were they encouraged? Well, what groups infiltrated the great grant-giving tax exempt foundations of the US? How exponentially rich are these non-tax paying foundations? . The Reece report put its fingers on much of the whole thing, and is very well worth reading indeed, including the fascinating history of what happened to its contributors, how the unity of its committee was deliberately destroyed by outside influences, and the works its contributors went on to publish.

        Many of the media stories of how divorce, children born out of wedlock and so on increased are rationalisations after the event, as if all members of society were caught up in a social drift with no one actively pushing any agenda. Far from so.

        • There would be a poetic justice in Britain destroying herself by the implementation of Christless philosophies.

          7 million abortions, 7 million immigrants…just saying……

          • Anton

            And in Europe, 6 million Jews replaced by Muslims.

          • I heard it was 20 million Muslims in Europe. And Angela Merkin is going to outlaw PEGIDA, I hear.

            I absolutely hate having to post about this. As Peter Hitchens (usually reliable for a non stereotyped thoughtful right wing view) points out, most Muslims are not only decent people but have more moral views and practices about sexual behaviour, family values, work and other things that most native Britons. I mean, I like a drink but its hard to know what to say to a teetotal Muslim pointing to all the alcohol related mischief we see, or a modestly veiled woman pointing to the sluttery we celebrate.

            You can see why they believe they have manifest destiny to take over Europe.

            I have seen a lot of anti -Muslim posts which are just incoherent hate, and a lot of drivel about so called ‘British values’. What are these values- the right of tattooed white unemployable thickheads to father children they will never care for on fat tattooed Sharons and Tracys to wheel round to the benefits office? Or the hundreds of thousands of youngsters who were led to expect they could spend 3 years at ‘yooni’ doing film studies, PPE, criminology or graphic design and then walk into a £30k a year office job while manufacturing is outsourced to Asian sweatshops and migrants work all our farms.

            Is Dave Cameron now finally seeing the need to react with Pickles little fart in a hurricane of a letter to mosques because he is afraid that Islamification might impact on our abortion industry, usury and same sex ‘marriage’? Are those his ‘British values’?

            Sorry, time for my medication. I really ought to post anonymously before I not so much get my head cut off but am reported to the thought for the day police. The UK is irrevocably stuffed, but it was so stuffed before the huge immigration surge that began in 1997, and our own fault.

          • Anton

            I agree with your analysis. If, however, there is a financial crash of such magnitude that the Welfare State – which has the effect of subsidising sloth and other immorality – comes to an end, forcing people to take responsibility for themselves, then there is hope. In such a situation Christians must take the lead with charity to the needy.

            If I were an imam then I’d write back to Cameron and Pickles saying Tell me what English values are today and I’ll answer your question.

          • Anton

            Outlaw PEGIDA? I doubt it, but if so then we live in interesting times. What’s your source please?

          • ….I read it on Facebook. Only talk, but she certainly has spoken against it. Yesterday’s Guardian described Pegida as ‘a vampire that we must slay.’

          • Anton

            Pegida might think the same of the Guardian!

          • avi barzel

            The first PEGIDA rally was disallowed on the grounds of “imminent threats.” We’ll see what reasons there will be for the next one.

          • avi barzel

            No need to inhibit your expressions, Mr Hayes. We can handle it and a good read is always welcome.

      • BigMach

        I believe you are right, Anton, on the basis of God’s dealing with nations in the Old Testament. When a nation and its leaders turn against God there are consequence. The examples of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah should serve as a warning. The sceptre has left Westminster for Brussels and we are being invaded by an alien culture. It is all so predictable if you understand the scriptures.

      • You omitted contraception but Jack agrees with the rest.

        As Jack recalls, the Israelites begged God for a King because they didn’t trust His prophets. He granted their request. Man begged for temporal and religious freedom. God has granted us economic, political and religious freedom. Secular, liberal-democracy and religious liberty is now resulting in us abandoning His ways. Freedom is a double-edged sword.

        • Anton

          Mosaic Law contains no prohibition on the primitive forms of contraception available at the time.

          • Christian morality is not restricted by Mosaic Law.

            “Sometimes this lustful cruelty or cruel lust even causes [couples] to procure poisons of sterility and if they are unable to extinguish or destroy the fetus in the womb, preferring that their child die rather than live, if it is already alive in the womb, they choose to kill it before it is born.”
            (Augustine of Hippo)
            Abortion and contraception are connected.

          • Anton

            You want as a Christian to do what Jesus counselled against and add to the law?

            Mosaic Law should be regarded today as precedent, and taken very seriously in view of its Author.

            Augustine is not God and abortion and contraception are not synonymous. The latter suffered from a bad name in ancient times because it was connected with prostitution, but today happily married couples can use it.

          • “You want as a Christian to do what Jesus counselled against and add to the law?”

            So why did all Christian Churches until the Lambeth Conference in 1930 regard artificial contraception as unacceptable and immoral?

            “Mosaic Law should be regarded today as precedent, and taken very seriously in view of its Author.”

            You belief the Ten Commandments represents all the moral law and cannot be added to or interpreted? There are various expressions of moral law; God’s eternal law, natural law, law revealed in the Old Testament, the law of the Gospel and Church law.

            You think if God did not approve of contraception He would have specifically stated: “Thou Shalt Not Use Contraception”?

            Each Commandment is a summary of a whole category of actions. For example, “bearing false witness against your neighbour”. Is it adding to the Law when we include any kind of falsehood: perjury, lying, slander, detraction, bragging, rash judgment, etc.?

          • Anton

            Jack,

            What do you understand by the word “precedent”?

            I already explained why all Christian churches were against contraception until it became unobtrusive and reliable: it was traditionally associated with prostitution, whereas today it is available to happily married couples.

          • “I already explained why all Christian churches were against contraception until it became unobtrusive and reliable: it was traditionally associated with prostitution, whereas today it is available to happily married couples.”

            Nonsense. That was not the moral objection to contraception at all. Prostitutes, indeed. Even when the Lambeth Conference agreed with it, it was considered moral only in limited circumstances. It wasn’t until the 1960’s, with the advent of the pill, a method of aborting fertilised embryos, that more general approval was given.

            Do you understand Christian objections to contraception?

          • Anton

            I’ve read them and I consider that the church didn’t think it through until the 20th century when contraception ceased to be used by mistresses of the rich and prostitutes among the poor and the church had to rethink as its flock started to ask if it was OK. And I consider that barrier methods at least are acceptable as marital contraception. Largely because Mosaic Law is stated in the New Testament to be a comprehensive guide to what is sinful and this is not mentioned.

          • ” … the church didn’t think it through until the 20th century when contraception ceased to be used by mistresses of the rich and prostitutes among the poor and the church had to rethink as its flock started to ask if it was OK.”
            That’s your take on it?

            “Mosaic Law is stated in the New Testament to be a comprehensive guide to what is sinful and this is not mentioned.”

            Really? And by quide”

          • Anton

            No, it was prohibited because the church was overly influenced by Greek asceticism and authoritarianism and wasn’t forced to think it through properly until recent times. Contraception facilitates adultery and fornication in the same way that a gun useful for killing vermin facilitates murder; do you want to ban all farmer’s guns?

            As for “guide” – I suggest you look up the relevant Pauline scriptures yourself. Do you really need me to provide chapter and verse?

            I spent a fair amount of time ploughing through John Paul II’s Theology of the Body on this subject and was unimpressed. He was probably one of the Catholic priests who (unlike an alarming number) had no practical knowledge of the subject.

          • “Contraception facilitates adultery and fornication in the same way that a gun useful for killing vermin facilitates murder; do you want to ban all farmer’s guns?”

            If the gun is looked after properly and used for the purposes for which it has been designed and made, all’s well with the world. It’s the same with the gift of sex. Good in itself if used as God intended.

            ” … it (contraception) was prohibited because the church was overly influenced by Greek asceticism and authoritarianism.”

            You consider Natural Law erroneous? The only objection to, for example, homosexual sex is because God explicitly condemned it? What were His reasons and can the principles, written on all our hearts, be discerned through reason and have broader applicability?

          • Anton

            I am well aware that secular arguments can be found that correspond to God’s commands, and that Thomas Aquinas was in that business. As I have explained above, there is no divine command against marital contraception, certainly when there is no conception involved.

            If sterilisation and vasectomy are a choice of the person involved then I have no objection.

          • “I am well aware that secular arguments can be found that correspond to God’s commands, and that Thomas Aquinas was in that business.”

            You believe Natural Law is a secular argument and that Thomas Aquinas used this? As stated earlier, natural law is based on the understanding that the Ten Commandments are a summary of a whole category of actions and one can deduce binding rules of moral behaviour. Humans are capable of discerning the difference between good and evil because they have a conscience and reason. The natural law is, as Saint Paul writes, written in our hearts, but is hindered by our inclination to sin.

            “If sterilisation and vasectomy are a choice of the person involved then I have no objection.”

            The question is whether these acts would contradict God’s law and whether how you’ve arrived at your moral judgement.

          • Anton

            First, Jack, there is more to the Law of Moses than the Decalogue. Second, Aquinas’ motivation was not to provide secular arguments for the same laws that God ordains, but his work is easily adapted to do so – and it is a worthwhile effort for Christians lobbying for good moral laws in a secular democracy.

            You raised the issues of voluntary sterilisation and vasectomy, and before that (barrier methods of marital) contraception; don’t you think it’s about time you stated your objections to them?

          • Happy Jack is a Roman Catholic so you know his objections. Have a read of Humanae vitae.

          • Anton

            I have done, but I would like to see that you are capable of summarising your objections in your own words. We’d hate to think that you couldn’t.

          • “We’d hate to think that you couldn’t.”

            Anton, an interesting comment. Happy Jack is just not interested in yet another off-topic p*ssing contest with you to satisfy your manifest need for recognition. He has better ways to spend his time.

          • Anton

            The conclusion I reach is that you share a taste for argumentation except when it goes against you.

            I agree with you that “If the gun is looked after properly and used for the purposes for which it has been designed and made, all’s well with the world. It’s the same with the gift of sex. Good in itself if used as God intended. No good if misused.” We disagree over what constitutes misuse. Your church system would take away legitimate marital freedoms.

            I could have summarised JP2’s Theology of the Body after reading it. Not today, some years later; I stored only the conclusion, that it is unimpressive. From memory, it involved far too much Greek-based philosophy and far too little biblical theology.

          • “The conclusion I reach is that you share a taste for argumentation except when it goes against you.”

            Lol …. this may be true but it is not evident in our exchanges, Anton.

            “Your church system would take away legitimate marital freedoms.”

            So you want to continue playing.

            Really? How surprising that a non-conformist protestant might think this. Care to define these “legitimate marital freedoms”? Humanae vitae, which you claim to have read, sets moral boundaries for the expression of human sexuality.

            “I could have summarised JP2’s Theology of the Body after reading it. Not today, some years later; I stored only the conclusion, that it is unimpressive.”,/i>
            What’s the point of keeping the conclusion without retaining an understanding the premises from which these flow?.
            “From memory, it involved far too much Greek-based philosophy and far too little biblical theology.”
            From memory, filtered through your premises. What then is the “biblical theology” concerning sex. Anton.

          • Anton

            Read my lips, Jack: How many times above have I explained that the man who kept Mosaic Law (specified in the Pentateuch) in ancient Israel does not sin according to the New Testament, and that there is no prohibition on contraception in Mosaic Law? (Of course all sex is restricted to marriage.)

            Re Theology of the Body: If you read a book and reach the conclusion that it is not worth it, how much detail do you recall five years later? My congratulations if you have a better memory than me.

          • Anton, you must attempt to enlighten Jack and free him from Rome’s oppression. This assertion does not achieve that:

            “How many times above have I explained that the man who kept Mosaic Law (specified in the Pentateuch) in ancient Israel does not sin according to the New Testament, and that there is no prohibition on contraception in Mosaic Law?”
            You’ve explained nothing. The sin of Onan could be understood as a prohibition on contraception, yet contraception is not expressly condemned. Then there are no actual prohibitions in the Pentateuch against pornography, against lesbianism, even against incest with daughters (although the onus is placed on young males to avoid sex with their older relatives and not with adults). Is sex with children prohibited at all? Are all these behaviours permissible or is this adding to scripture? And just look at the law concerning the rape of a virgin in a city. She is to be stoned to death along with her rapist for not crying out. If the rape takes place in the country, the rapist is to be punished by being obliged to marry her without the option of divorce. And don’t even consider the prohibition against sex during a woman’s menstruation.
            So Anton, please do explain to Jack a Biblically based theology of sex. Jesus taught by going to the heart of the law and illuminating God’s purposes and intentions behind Mosaic Law. Unfortunately, any teachings He may have given on the sex have not been passed down to us.

          • Anton

            I am happy to comment on each of these points provided that you in turn will set out in your own words your objections to barrier methods of contraception within marriage and to vasectomy.

          • Away you go, then. After you.

          • Anton

            That’s a Yes to my proposal? Please be explicit and then I’ll gladly tee off.

          • Yes, Anton. Not very trusting are you? What did you suppose “After you” meant?

          • Anton

            The sin of Onan was to use his sister-in-law’s body (after her husband, his brother, had died) for his own gratification while refusing to give her a child in conformity with Middle Eastern custom of the time (which subsequently entered Mosaic Law, unlike anything about contraception). Imagine what the event described would have been like for her.

            Sex with children is prohibited as constituting sex with someone you are not married to; no need for God to waste words. Some of the things you mention are not prohibited because they were unknown in the ancient Middle East, just as murder was not prohibited in the Garden of Eden. But contraception was known in ancient times, and is not prohibited by Moses in the Pentateuch. Ergo…

            You suggest that some Mosaic commands are ludicrous. Please be careful, because I believe they were given by God, who will not be mocked. I think your church takes this view of Mosaic Law; certainly it did for much of its history, and its claim of teaching inerrancy means that modern liberal Catholic scholars can’t change this position however how much they obfuscate. Where Mosaic laws seem anomalous this is due to the customs of the era being very different from today, and it is up to us to tease out why the laws are moral on that basis. Keep in mind that all law is crisis management, for God never intended to give a law code at all until man fell; Mosaic Law is simply the best possible crisis management in view of its Author.

            I take the prohibition on sexual relations during the wife’s menstruation as still in force in view of the command to gentiles joining the Jew-dominated primitive church to refrain from blood (Acts 15). Liberal theologians suppose that this means don’t commit murder, but not murdering people should be fairly obvious for Christians who are meant to have higher standards than Jews; Jesus has already strengthened this Commandment for his followers by telling them that they must not even think of committing murder (ie, in their hearts). Blood is sacred unto God from start to finish of the Bible. And, frankly, regarding the practice you mention, yuk.

            You refer to Deuteronomy 22. Let me explain the logic in this paraphrase. If a man has sex with a betrothed virgin and she does not cry out for help in a situation in which her cry would be heard, the situation is presumed to be consensual and she must die as an adulterer, together with the man. But if nobody is around to hear, then only the man is to be executed as the girl’s guilt cannot be assumed. As for 22:28 in which the virgin is unpledged, “rape” is too restrictive a translation of the the Hebrew word used; consensual relations are a possible translation and make better sense.

            Whatever reply you make to these comments, please include your explanation of why you believe marital barrier contraception and vasectomy to be wrong. I suggest that the two discussions can run in parallel.

          • Anton, where is the promised biblical theology of sex?

          • Anton

            Theology of sex? You might as well talk about a theology of eating or breathing. There’s a theology of marriage, clear enough from Genesis 2:24 : the acronym is PIPE, ie marriage shall be Permanent, Intimate, Public and Exclusive between man and woman. Marriage was ordained before society, which rests on it. I can say plenty more about marriage. The theology of sex is essentially that it is restricted to marriage and that it is an expression of love. It involves a reunification of that which God separated when he took a rib out of Adam to create Eve. Children are a normal consequence although women beyond childbearing age are free to marry because the purpose of marriage is intimate companionship (Genesis 2:18). It is assumed by many theologians that sin is a sexually transmitted disease down the generations, but the Bible does not say so and there are seldom-acknowledged loopholes in the reasoning; it might be true but is not certain. For what sex should not be, see Mosaic Law.

            Now, will you engage with my earlier response and give your critique of marital barrier contraception and vasectomy?

          • “Theology of sex? You might as well talk about a theology of eating or breathing.”

            Yes a theology of sex i.e. an understanding of the purpose it serves in God’s creation and why it can be moral and immoral. Actually, it is possible to present a similar understanding of eating too. Or is gluttony not specified in the Pentateuch? As for breathing, it is not a willed act so right and wrong do not enter into it.

            “There’s a theology of marriage, clear enough from Genesis 2:24 : the acronym is PIPE, ie marriage shall be Permanent, Intimate, Public and Exclusive between man and woman. Marriage was ordained before society, which rests on it. I can say plenty more about marriage.”

            No, Jack does not want to hear more about marriage other than its purpose. You say its for intimacy. Why does God want a man and a woman to stay together for life?

            “The theology of sex is essentially that it is restricted to marriage and that it is an expression of love. It involves a reunification of that which God separated when he took a rib out of Adam to create Eve.”

            A narrow explanation. That is the regulation of sexual relationships. Are you saying the purpose of marriage is companionship and the expression of love? Why then would God give us sexual desire?

            “Children are a normal consequence although women beyond childbearing age are free to marry because the purpose of marriage is intimate companionship (Genesis 2:18).”

            So, does Jack understand you to be saying that children are a consequence of marriage intimacy and not the reason for marriage?

            “It is assumed by many theologians that sin is a sexually transmitted disease down the generations, but the Bible does not say so and there are seldom-acknowledged loopholes in the reasoning; it might be true but is not certain.”

            Jack has never come across that line of reasoning. Sure, theologians have argued that marital sex can involve sin if the desires are not directed at its legitimate purpose.

            “For what sex should not be, see Mosaic Law.”

            Mosaic Law on one level is the regulation of sex to ensure certainty regarding paternity. hence all the rules about adultery – including rape. On another level, it prohibits sexual encounters between animals and between males. Why would it do so if marriage is really just about intimate relationships? You seem to saying sex is just a side issue.

            “Now, will you engage with my earlier response and give your critique of marital barrier contraception and vasectomy?”

            No,not until you are clearer about the purposes of sex. That was the deal. You are avoiding the issue. Why is that? What’s is the purpose of sex? Pleasure? Did you not notice Genesis 9:7?

            Come on Anton, step up.

          • Anton

            You have broken faith. You may consider my answer inadequate but I answered your question and it is now up to you to keep your part of the bargain. His Grace’s readers will read above what we agreed and form their own conclusions about how trustworthy you are. Personally I think you are ducking.

            Whatever be the purpose of sex, it is more than procreation for God made the human female sexually receptive at times when she is not fertile. No animal with similar anatomy (ie, mammal) is like that.

          • “You have broken faith. You may consider my answer inadequate but I answered your question and it is now up to you to keep your part of the bargain.”

            Anton, you have not addressed the issue at all. This is what Jack asked of you:

            “So Anton, please do explain to Jack a Biblically based theology of sex. Jesus taught by going to the heart of the law and illuminating God’s purposes and intentions behind Mosaic Law. Unfortunately, any teachings He may have given on sex have not been passed down to us.”

            Where is your Biblically based explanation of sex and the purposes and intentions behind Mosaic Law and in Genesis?

            “His Grace’s readers will read above what we agreed and form their own conclusions about how trustworthy you are. Personally I think you are ducking.”

            You are playing to an imaginary audience again, Anton. Jack doubts the Archbishop’s readers are terribly interested as Jack has covered this ground many, many times in the past.

            “Whatever be the purpose of sex, it is more than procreation for God made the human female sexually receptive at times when she is not fertile. No animal with similar anatomy (ie, mammal) is like that.”

            You are begging the question, Anton. Answering the question before objecting to Jack’s position on contraception. First explain God’s purpose in giving us sex and we can then move on. And we are not animals. Is there morality in the animal kingdom? Do animals have consciences?

          • Anton

            I’ve nothing to add to my statement that I answered your earlier questions (whether you agree with my replies is not the point) and you are breaking our explicit agreement not then to respond to mine. I’ve no wish to continue this thread until you fulfil your word. His Grace’s readership may inspect our correspondence above and reach their own decisions over the veracity of these assertions.

    • Martin

      Stephen

      You have it.

      1 Sam 1:3 They are mentioned.

      1 Sam 2:34 Their deaths are foretold.

      1 Sam 3 God warns Eli through Samuel

      1 Sam 4 Hophni & Phineas are killed, & the Ark captured.

      Of course, the Pharaoh of the Exodus had his heart hardened by God so that judgement might fall on him, it is a reoccurring theme. As you say, Europe is allowing itself to wander unheeding down the path of destruction. Who is to say what form that destruction may take.

    • The ruling elite and their allies have now become fervent enemies of the British people. They wish to see what Britain was destroyed and replaced by another nation. Their vision does not include freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, individual responsibility, self-insight or critical analysis – but it does include genocide and all the perils of Nazism.

  • William Lewis

    “The choice we now face is between Canterbury and Constantinople.”

    Unfortunately, I suspect that Constantinople is more aware of this than Canterbury. Though, ++ Justin is, at least, prepared to speak of evil in this regard.

  • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

    Hasan likes to refer to non-believers at “cattle”, and this is from the self-appointed voice of “moderate” Western islam … I wonder how he still has a job.

    • Andy

      More to the point is why is someone like him, who regards the majority of the population on the UK as nothing but animals, asked on BBC Question Time ?

  • sarky

    The guy is a prat. Why give him a voice by printing his words? The phrase ‘wolf in sheeps clothing’ comes to mind.

  • Dreadnaught

    Hassan is slick, very slick, slicker than shit of a tefflon shovel. His idea of debate and most muslim advocates, is to talk faster and louder and interrupt more than anyone else; Hassan and Choudry are great exponents of the art. The second tactic is to divert focus from the issue at hand with endless appeals to whataboutery. This, while not exclusive to the Islamist limits the extent of any meaningful dialogue which inevitably leads to the accusation ‘you can’t debate Islam unless proficient in a particular ancient version of Arabic’.

    Now not for one minute do I trust the current Egyptian ‘president’ he is muslim after all and indeed would like to see global Islam by another route other than extreme violence, I think he is more qualified than any British politician or priest who insists Islam is being hijacked from within when he said recently;

    “We have reached the point that Muslims have antagonized the
    entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] want to kill the
    rest of the world’s population of 7 billion, so that Muslims prosper? This is
    not possible.” Sisi continued, to faint applause from the religious dignitaries
    assembled before him, to call on them to bring about a “religious revolution.”
    Barring that, the Muslim community “is being torn apart, destroyed, and is
    going to hell.”

    National Review online

    • Ivan M

      If he is indeed a slick, fast-talking ass – I have no interest in listening to him – then its likely to be the Indian genes that is at the bottom of it. Lots of Indians and therefore I suppose Pakistanis, have this ability to blow massive amounts of smoke around the fundament.

      • Dreadnaught

        He’s extremely articulate and def not an ass; he dominates debates by always having ability to inject wit and charm. He is however a master deceiver with a track record of saying one thing to western audiences in his sharp suits and another to muslims in trad Pakidress.

        • Ivan M

          Well its true, fellows like him say something else in Arabic. To be honest these guys are more irritating than anything else once you are familiar with their MO.

  • The Explorer

    Anyone see Hasan’s fascinating account of Islam on ‘Question Time’ last week? David Starkey challenged it robustly (“Absolute rubbish!”) but was rapidly suppressed.

  • magnolia

    Oxford Union attendees have been known quite often to be easily swayed by rhetorical drivel. Some people think that energetic insult plus overweening self-confidence makes a great debater.

    G. Edward Griffin gets it about right in his Freedom Force International newsletter with ad hominem remarks; he notifies his readership that ad hominem letters will not be printed. If only all publications chose the same route. Or maybe all but one, where all the ad hominem practitioners can exist in a vituperative hell of the likeminded, cursing and sneering at one another. Actually parts of the internet seem to fulfil that function. Not here clearly.

    I am really ashamed at the low ebb of debate in this country where so few can express the opposite viewpoint (without putting up straw men,) and point out where they think that goes astray.

    I can think of many people that the Oxford Union could have asked to speak for the “no” side who could have wiped the floor- gently-ish- with this man. Maybe they were asked and it seemed wise not to speak, or the person arranging the debate fell short in finding a hard-hitter.

    (I had thought that PPE is a difficult degree, though I speak from the outside as an English graduate, so was a little puzzled at His Grace’s lack of respect for it!)

    • All Oxford degrees are difficult: it is simply that PPE, incorporating three distinct academic disciplines, must, by definition, be more superficial than a degree in each individual subject. Combined awards are not extended over more years. Further, since undergraduates drop one of these disciplines after their first year (ie, with Trinity ‘collections’, after just a couple of full terms of tuition) in order to focus on the other two, it is possible to trumpet your qualification in philosophy (the subject most frequently dropped) when your knowledge may be barely beyond that of a good A-level student.

      • magnolia

        Thanks for the reply and I agree there is a distinction between “deep” and difficult. & that philosophy is indeed difficult, and throws up more and more questions, while some drawn to politics and economics clearly prefer to reach conclusions faster!! I guess it depends on the overlap of the particular chosen foci within the two different subjects as to how deep you go.

  • Jeremy Poynton

    Check him out on YouTube frothing on about us being kaffurs and animals. I wouldn’t waste a fart on this creep.

  • Albert

    MEHDI HASAN: “NO REFORMATION IN EUROPE WITHOUT MUSLIM THEOLOGIANS”

    I wonder how fair it is to blame the Protestant Reformation on Muslims. That aside, there was a similar debate in the US a while back, which included Douglas Murray. Those saying Islam wasn’t a religion of peace won – not only the vote, but also swayed more people.

    Interestingly, in answer to the complaint that Mohammed was immoral, one Muslim speaker in the US debate effectively said Mohammed was a man of his times and it is unfair to blame him by our superior standards. This is interesting, because I thought Mohammed was supposed to be the perfect man.

    • IanCad

      “I wonder how fair it is to blame the Protestant Reformation on Muslims”
      Yes Albert, I caught that.
      Couldn’t resist, could you?

      • Albert

        I tried Ian, really I did! The temptation was too strong.

        • IanCad

          🙂

  • Dominic Stockford

    John Wycliffe, the “Morning Star” of the Reformation, b.1320. The Muslims must have worked mighty fast to influence his thinking…

  • Watchman

    Could someone please ask this gentleman why he is using the oxymoron “Muslim theologian”. To have a theology one must have a theo.

    • Graham Wood

      Watchman. A simple and excellent point generally overlooked. One cannot escape the logic!
      See asso the link I recommended to Len above – a real eye-opener
      I.e Islam’s fatal flaw.

      • Watchman

        Thanks for the link, Graham. If you believe that the Archangel Gabriel gave Mo a copy of the book in heaven then you really ought to be a Muslim. If you do not believe that then you must judge it by its fruit, for the word has shown itself not to be trusted; and its fruit displays it as a politico-military movement intent on the domination of everyone with whom it comes into contact. To call it a religion is a demand that it makes on us and not something we perceive it to be. Because we call it a religion it gives it a respect that it has not proved to have earned- it is merely a self centred, self important perception that has no basis in reality. The violence at its heart elicits in us all not respect, but fear and it is this fear to which politicians are responding.

        • Graham Wood

          Watchman. Yes I agree – but Islam justifies all its deadly acts in terms of religion.
          I have just finished reading Mark Steyn’s ‘America Alone’, and in it he comments that its not what WE think of Islam that is so important as to what THEIR perception of Islam is.

          • Watchman

            Mark Steyn’s book sits in my backlog of reading! If that’s what he says it will be one of the few times I’ll have disagreed with him. We seem to be facing the intractable problem of millions of people who have been indoctrinated into adopting a victim mentality almost at will. They can switch it on at the slightest provocation, seemingly choosing to feel slighted whenever they feel they are not getting the attention and respect they deserve ( rather like my young grandchildren in some respects). Regarding their perception as important can distract us from the reality of seeing it for what it is until we are living our lives on their terms and being subject to their version of reality. This does seem to be happening at the moment and is providing them with the affirmation of the justice of their cause. You will tell a man with a gun at your head anything that you think he wants to hear whilst at the same time trying to look for ways of disarming him; the latter part of this strategy seems to be missing from the current political thinking: they appear to be in a folie a deux situation and going along with the delusion. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

  • len

    It would be a considerable feat for anyone to re package Islam as ‘a religion of peace’ in view of all the atrocities carried out in the name of the Islamic god “Allah”.
    So Mr hassan has done some ducking and diving worthy of ‘Dell boy'(apparently) to sell his dubious wares and has he pulled it off?.
    Well he could only do so by being economical with the truth and some clever conjuring tricks with smoke and mirrors and hey presto………… the religion of peace emerges……….Not.
    There is a game that apologists of Islam play and some play it well but the website below might explain exactly how these Muslims intend to pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting Kuffar.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/games-muslims-play.htm
    ( I wonder how long before this website will disappear like some of the others?)

    • Graham Wood

      Len. Thanks for that useful link. Here is another which is about the most powerful comment on Islam I have read. I keep passing it on, but you may not have seen it?
      It’s a must read:
      http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.gr/

  • Inspector General

    I say, Cranmer, it doesn’t pay to cross you on Twitter, what !

    The Inspector has been sufficiently moved by your annoyance to find out a bit more about this character on Wiki. One is immediately impressed by the way he shoots from the hip, and thinks about it later. This being a trait of the…well, let’s call them the ‘excitable’ races. However, said quality has allowed the man to engage the snarling dogs of baby murdering feminists. You know the ones, them that should be hanged then dropped into a tank of acid…

    Anyway, one feels that far from discarding him, we could well use the fellow in the future. So apologise to him and don’t upset him again.

    That’s it for now. As you were…

  • Sarka

    I was very amused the Christmas before last to watch Mehdi Hassan’s performance as one of the Balliol alumni team in what is always University Challenge’s very enjoyable seasonal tournament for oldies…

    Mehdi was completely hopeless…He answered hardly any questions and those he did answer he got wrong, even the easier sort. He got just one question right…It was an easy spelling one. He’s a journalist with several years experience, and the journos in these contests usually do reasonably well on the modern politics and history questions at least.

    It’s mean to hold performance in a light-hearted show like UC for alumni against a chap, but Mehdi’s journalism nearly always strikes me as very low on evidence of wide knowledge and high on repetition of just a very few cliche “factual” references in the course of his bludgeoning but paper thin polemic.

    On theology, he was really slaughtered in a series of video talks (curiously – organised by the Guardian) some years ago with a Christian theologian academic, a pleasant erudite Anglican lady whose name I forget – soft-spoken but determined…I say “slaughtered”, but not to suggest there was some obvious fight on. The series was billed as just friendly chats about contrasts and similarities of faith between different duos of different faiths. In these circs, though clearly bursting (often latently rudely) with the desire to insist that Islam was totally perfectly right about everything and Christianity completely inferior, Mehdi was deprived of the opportunity to do his bombast and bullying act, and forced into the “mode”of exploratory friendly academic exploration of issues like the authority of scripture, hidtoricity, interpretation and faith etc…Particularly memorable was Mehdi’s confident claim that the Koran was obviously more divinely true and valid than the Bible because it existed in a completely standardised form throughout the Muslim world….The Christian lady raised her eyebrows but smiled very sweetly as she began to tease him a little on the questionable assumptions behind this claim – he started to stutter and prevaricate, and then develop moments of mulish silence…he simply couldn’t cope…

    Mehdi has mastered the histrionic side of polemic, with some success, but wherever genuine thought rather than histrionics is required he just folds. Also, unfortunately, at the Oxford Union and the very recent QT occasion and suchlike, the success of his act is dependent on the manipulability of the audience and their prior uncritical absorbtion of his cliches…

    • Inspector General

      Not mean at all, that man. Some journalists, as they like to refer to themselves, are nothing but professional whiners. The Inspector is himself that way inclined when he can’t find the positive of a situation, but at least he doesn’t get damn well paid for his self indulgent efforts…

  • Phil R

    The Inspector is right to say that the guy has some redeeming features.

    We seem to be worrying about Islam like we worry about being mugged in the next city when our own body and those of our families is full of cancer but we push that fact to one side.

    The fact is that it is highly unlikely that the muggers will come here. However it is very likely that the cancer in our own bodies will kill is first

    Lets be clear in the last 150 years for every one Christian killed by militant Islamists there have been at least 10000 people killed by militant Atheists.

    Only this week a JP has been ordered to undergo”reeducation” because he stated that adopted Children should be best be placed with a mum and a dad. How many Muslims in your town would disagree? How many Atheists?

    I have lived in Muslim countries. I would not insult their religion and they never insulted mine. Time and time again their main concern was with the West’s moral standards (lack of). They were not bothered in the least about a Christian who genuinely believed. Genuine Christians were no threat. Most Atheists were regarded with suspicion at the very least. At the time I thought they were overreacting. But they were right.

    Fact….. the guys were killed for publishing a silly cartoon, that they knew would deeply irritate at best. The Pope was right to say what he did, although I reject the call for a blasphemy law .

    Try living in our village in Wales and publishing a picture say of our naked wives or daughters with insults underneath. One night when you don’t expect it you will get the best kicking you ever had. Hard enough that if you continued living with us you would never even think about doing it again

    If it happened in most English towns you would getaway with it because the cancer of the State is deeper into your souls. Unless you cut it out you will not survive, but I think you will need the Muslims on your side to help you do it. You are too weak, fearful and afraid to do it on your own.

    • Anton

      You say genuine Christians were no threat (for Muslims to respond to, in an Islamic land). Genuine Christians would quietly proselytise, however…

      Muslims see secularism more clearly than most Western Christians do, to be sure. But the debate at Oxford was about whether Islam was a religion of peace.

      • Phil R

        My point is that with Muslims and Christians there is an external moral law.

        For Atheists there are no external standards and that is why they have (and will continue to) committed mass murder and other evil with no regrets

        • Anton

          ISIS?

          • sarky

            The flood?

          • Anton

            Do you believe the flood happened Sarky? Because if not then there’s no point in giving you the biblical explanation for it.

          • sarky

            No I dont!! And I do understand the biblical explanation for this (alleged) act of genocide.

          • Phil R

            OK……….So….

            You you want to judge God who you don’t believe exists for a genocide that you don’t believe happened.

            That proves what exactly?

          • Phil R

            Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Mao

            ISIS do not even come close.

          • Anton

            I’m not very interested in the reverse of a beauty contest, but have you seen the proportion of the population that went down during the early Islamic conquests?

          • Phil R

            OK in recent times. Atheists seem to have been able to kill 10000 times more than every religion combined.

          • DanJ0

            Cult of personality political regimes, and totalitarian regimes following communism of sorts. That’s the primary nature of what you’re referring to, as I’m sure you know very well really. Goodness knows who you’re trying to fool here.

          • Phil R

            Oh really

          • DanJ0

            Be honest with yourself at least.

          • Phil R

            Nothing to do with Atheism then just the cult of personality was responsible for all the deaths

            Right!

          • DanJ0

            Communism is a political system which has an atheistic attribute. The Soviet Union was under a totalitarian regime. Atheism isn’t a political system, and it doesn’t in any way imply totalitarianism. Stalin’s body count followed from his personal paranoia and from the political context in which he operated. C’mon, you know all this really.

          • Phil R

            The evil bastards I mentioned, describe their own regimes as atheist.

          • DanJ0

            Ah yes. Let’s take Mao Zedong. I often refer to his Little Red Book as inspiration for my a-theism. It’s great. Who knew there was so much to say about not having a belief in a god. If only it has a little more on Marxism-Leninism. It’s quite a struggle to find something about that in its chapter headings.

          • Phil R

            There are plenty of other books for to chose from

        • DanJ0

          I like to think I’ve left my mass murdering days behind me now. Well, as long as the police don’t find the bodies anyway. I prefer doing volunteer work and walks in the countryside these days.

          • Phil R

            Good for you.

            But your compatriot Linus seems to think that his freedom to enjoy himself anyway he pleases is far more important that the lives of 200 school girls or 10000 families.

            If that is what he thinks and others agree with him then there is no external standard to judge him. His morals therefore are whatever he wants them to be and others will agree with.

          • DanJ0

            Who’s to say that our reality is not bound by the external standard under Islamic theology? It’s an easy thing to assert something which is intangible and claim that it applies universally based on beliefs which also cannot be substantiated.

            There’s no more danger of me becoming a mass murderer than there is of a Christian. I expect I experience my own moral sense in the same way that most people do theirs, whether religious or not, and people can and do communicate.

          • Phil R

            History indicates otherwise

          • DanJ0

            Quirks, as I’m sure you know if you’re honest with yourself. I certainly wouldn’t be able to do what (say) Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester and extremely devout Christian did. My morals wouldn’t allow me to even consider it. Also, from what you’ve said in the past, I reckon I’m morally better than you by some margin, at least in the normal, non-religious sense anyway.

          • Phil R

            Scraping the barrel a bit aren’t we?

            800 years ago to find a bad Christian (I am not sure that Catholics count mind) as opposed to 80 at most for nasty atheists.

            Whether you personally are more moral than me does not come in to it. I have said before I am quite prepared to agree that your personal morals may be better than mine. That is not at issue.

          • DanJ0

            I can probably fill the page with examples of murderous Christians from the past. Simon de Montfont sprang to mind immediately because of his son, also Simon de Montfort, and his setting up of the first parliament in England. A very topical example, if you know your history beyond the 20th century fascist/communist period, you see. 750 years ago, yesterday. Hope this helps.

          • DanJ0

            Both father and son persecuted Jews too.

    • Inspector General

      You’re not wrong there Phil. Forget Islam for a few seconds, Our own corruption would have seen us disappear as it is. The same corruption that allowed mass alien immigration would have eventually seen Granny being able to marry her cat, to leave the thing her worldly goods. (Think we’ve been spared that, but only by the proverbial whisker).

      Islam, or to be more accurate, holding Islam back, will be our bloody salvation. But only if we build on the back of it. Meanwhile, let’s be clever about things. Is there anything Islam offers that we, as Christians, can use…

      • Shadrach Fire

        A stricter moral society. That’s all I can think of.

        • Inspector General

          Astonishingly, they may well save us from ourselves. One understands that the army is under pressure to have women in the frontline. Our feminine women, who have the most important of all jobs, to raise the young. We can also do without 17 old males being employed as nursery assistants with their prodding fingers…

      • magnolia

        Granny can already leave millions it to a cat via a cat charity with stipulations as to how her own should be looked after…. No need for marriage!

        Not quite so easy to leave ££££ to your children, though the gay millionaires can leave it to their latest bed companion, no probs. It has become divorced from long -term commitment, almost as if there were people trying hard to dissolve long time human bonding.

  • Shadrach Fire

    There must be something wrong with me because I can’t agree with Pickles letter to the Muslims.

    A young man I know of is quoted as saying;
    The thing I hate about politics is the lies, half-lies, deceit, hypocrisy and bullying. The thing I love about politics is that it can be about truth, sincerity, authenticity and humility. It is about life and every aspect of life and the transformation of life. It is all-embracing and unavoidable. Could that be attributed to any politicians today? Not many.

    We are in an age where no one knows who to vote for any more because they are all liars and deceivers and there is not a lot between them. Even Farage claims to support Judeo/Christian values, but what of his team? Not so good by what is reported.

    Whilst a ‘Christian ‘ party is likely to be demolished at the polls, a party that claims all it’s candidates support Judeo/Christian principles and can demonstrate such could benefit from the doubters of the present system.

  • Inspector General

    No Danj0 here tonight, but our tame homosexual perhaps best represents the corruption that secularism has achieved in the UK. Such is his importance to this blog, for what he represents, our host Cranmer treats him like a pet…
    Now, Hasan may have his uses, to both Christendom and Islam’s ends, perversely…

    • DanJ0

      Inspector, all the fashionable people here (with their Holy Spirit I suppose) are clustered around Linus these days. You really ought to get with the times. Also, “corruption” seems overly harsh. I’m actually lovely in real life and I have great taste in soft furnishings.

      • len

        I think Linus might like the attention he receives ? .When one stands on a soapbox and then provokes professing Christians (Linus has admitted this is his intention) then one must expect to get some hostile remarks( even from such a cultured crowd as us) You into ‘Soft furnishings’ Danjo whoever would have thought it?

        • CliveM

          Their is truth in what you say.

          Btw I’m not referring to DanJo’s soft furnishings!

          • len

            LOL….
            Whenever I hear ‘soft furnishings’ I think of John Inman ( I wonder if a programme like ‘are you being served’ would be PC today?.

          • CliveM

            Almost certainly not.

            Frankly the days of sniggering over Mrs Slocombs ‘pussy, are long gone!

            Maybe just as well.

      • Inspector General

        Urrrgh…

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Wonderful! The Palace badly needs a re-vamp and it is time the antimacassars where turfed out.

        • bluedog

          Mrs Proudie, communicant DanJO is sounding threatened and insecure with the emergence of a French rival within His Grace’s cyber palace. Would Mr Slope be available to offer counselling? One imagines Mr Slope has seen off a number of challenges to his own position, with success.

          • Inspector General

            Bluedog, don’t be surprised if DanJ0 is not already well acquainted with ‘French’

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Dear DanJ0 threatened? Dear me we can’t have that…I shall send him some virtual hobnobs and recommend a nice cup of cocoa to wash them down. I never discuss Mr Slope’s position…

          • DanJ0

            Actually, I’m very happy for Linus to be used instead. I expect everyone involved is getting what they need there, psychologically speaking. I used to find it very tedious myself. I really don’t mind the Inspector getting a bit needy every so often.

    • Anton

      Inspector, if you are referring to Linus then he lives in France not the UK. I also consider that he has received on this blog (I don’t mean from you) some improper verbal attacks on his person rather than on his arguments.

      • This would be a valid point if he presented any “arguments”.

        All Linus does is assert homosexuality is a naturally occurring, and therefore normal sexual inclination that should be embraced by individuals and wider society. There is no science to substantiate his assertions. Next, he dismisses Christian faith, indeed, all faiths, as delusional, archaic myths used as tools to control others. Based on these premises, he defends homosexual ‘marriage’ and throws out insults. He has even defended standing aside and letting Nigerian children be raped and murdered – just in case they grow up to be ‘homophobes’.

        Plus …. he’s French.

        You want to engage with ‘arguments’? Feel free. Jack prefers to mock him and his nonsense.

        • Anton

          I do. And have done. But I wish also to respect the image of God in him.

        • CliveM

          Happy Jack

          Having followed last night little spat I think I now understand Linus’s problem. The man has no sense of humour. Yes he knows how to be rude in a clever way, but he has a complete inability to laught at himself. He takes himself much to seriously.
          Hence his temper tantrum with Avi. He thought Avi was trying to make a fool of him, when in actual fact he was being gently humorous (in a kind way) at your expense!
          Actually what really interested me was how completely incapable he was at handling it. He totally lost it and degenerated into making slightly sad and rude comments about Avi’s appearance! Any dignity, simply disappeared.

          • Initially Happy Jack did wonder if Linus was perhaps a fictitious satirical character. He was just too ‘classic’ to be real. Even Shakespeare’s French characters are humourless, pompous, vain, arrogant and on the temperamental side.

            Alas, Linus is real.

          • CliveM

            Is he real? We will never know for certain. At one time I thought someone was playing games as what he sometimes said seemed familiar and derivative.

      • Inspector General

        No Anton. not Linus. He’s not a house trained homosexual, at least not yet. He merely rolls onto his back and opens his legs for all to be impressed…

  • “Europeans didn’t need Muslim philosophers to tell them that salvation couldn’t be bought, that books shouldn’t be burned, or that Scripture may not be dispensed with by papal decree. They didn’t need Arabic perspectives on Aristotle to teach them that Rome’s doctrine was erroneous, and that true religion should be immanent and internal, not remote and superficial.”

    With one or two exceptions, capable of peaceful and reasoned discussion, did Europe actually need the Reformation to learn this?

    • Yes. Bishop Tunstall burning Tyndale’s New Testament was not peaceful and reasoned discussion.
      what we need now, however, is a second reformation. Ecclesia Reformata semper Reformanda.

      • Impatience for change does not justify civil rebellion or treasonous acts.

        • Anton

          Grey area Jack. If the law says it is your duty to report all speech against an oppressive government, is it civil rebellion not to turn in your friend and neighbour? In various places in the 16th and 17th century both the Catholic Mass and protestant practice have been viewed as treasonous. The hard part is to balance Romans 13 about obedience to the authorities with Acts 5:29 about obeying God rather than man.

          • We are referring here to the importation and distribution of a book deemed to be incitement to civil disturbance and treasonous by a rightful, Christian King. You believe scripture justifies this?

          • Anton

            I’ll answer that with another question: Do you think scripture justifies the clandestine importation of Bibles to North Korea?

          • Jack does ….

            “God has more right to be obeyed than men” has applicability. The explicit Commission from Christ is being followed in this case and the ruler is not a Christian King supported by the Christian Church.

            The two situations are not comparable.

          • Anton

            How amusing to see a Roman Catholic describe Henry VIII as a Christian king!

            A genuinely Christian king (and church) would welcome dissemination of the Holy Bible in a language understanded of the people.

          • He was the King and he was Christian. You dispute this?

            “A genuinely Christian king (and church) would welcome dissemination of the Holy Bible in a language understanded of the people.”

            That’s your subjective opinion stated in 2015 without any reference to context, quality of translation, political and economic forces at play and wider implications.

            The King was there to rule and make these decisions – and the Church had authority too.

          • Anton

            Tell me Jack, do you think Henry VIII was Christian? Please read Matthew 7:21 before replying.

            I regard your view that dissemination of the Holy Bible might be unChristian as a reductio ad absurdum demonstration of the bankruptcy of that view; and am accordingly happy to let His Grace’s readership decide for themselves at this point. The gospel, of course, is meant to trump all human “context… [and] political and economic forces at play and wider implications”, while if you have criticisms of Tyndale’s translation then do feel free to be specific.

          • It is not for Jack to judge Henry VIII’s conscience orhis Christian virtue at the time we are discussing. Specifically, the avoidance of the social and economic unrest and consequential deaths and damage to property in Germany. This was fuelled by a bible that challenged the political order. He was the King.
            The specifics of Tynsdale’s translation are neither here nor there in terms of adherence to lawful authority at the time.

          • Anton

            A Bible that challenged church authority, you say? And which, in those circumstances, is right?

          • A translation of a bible deemed at the time to be inaccurate, politically motivated and deliberately seditious by lawful authority.

          • Anton

            If the Bible is deemed to be seditious, who is judging whom?

            As for the translation: feel free to say where you believe it was wrong.

          • Sorry, but Happy Jack is referring to the position of the King and the bishops during the time we are referring to. They were the lawful authorities, not Jack.

            As he said earlier, impatience with reforming church teaching and theological understandings, is not a justification for civil disturbance and rebellion or for Christian schism.

          • Anton

            Allow me to clarify: if the authorities at a particular time and place deem the written word of God to be seditious, who is judging whom?

          • Hypothetically speaking?

            Written word of God according to whom?

            If the translation was considered by some at the time to be true and accurate, as opposed to others who viewed it as inaccurate and intended, or likely, to be used to undermine the existing structures of a Christian State and Church, then there are many factors to be considered. This is where lawful authority, both spiritual and temporal, comes into play.

            Doing what you consider to be the “right thing” in the “wrong way” is not a defence.

            You already have Jack’s opinion on atheist States.

          • bluedog

            HJ, you seem to be leading up to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, once again. If so, this is an event which had a long genesis and was not just a thought bubble emanating from HVIII. The Black Death was a critical factor in English disillusionment with the Church. Paying tithes at a time when the population was both crippled and being reduced by the fifty per cent death rate was politically disastrous for the Church. The injury was compounded in that not only did the Church own 30% of England, but many of the benefices were held by foreign prelates such as Cardinal Talleyrand of Perigord. The subsequence rise of Wycliff within the Church establishment was supported by powerful magnates close to the throne, in particular John of Gaunt, reflecting dissatisfaction at the highest level well over a century before HVIII’s actions.

          • Bluedog, no doubt reform was needed but Cromwell certainly seized the moment and many became rich off the back of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

          • bluedog

            This is taking revisionism too far, even by your standards!

          • One has standards to maintain, Bluedog.

          • Anton

            For why the dissolution of the monasteries was a good thing, please see my exchange with Jack beneath His Grace’s next article.

          • Surely you meant to say: “for a series of misinformed and prejudicial assertions against monasticism”?

          • Anton

            While you defend the indefensible, perhaps? I’m alright Jack.

          • Anton

            The Bible is the word of God according to your church and mine. If the authorities at a particular time and place deem the written word of God to be seditious, who, of God and those human authorities, is judging whom?

            You appear to question Tyndale’s translation but be unable to give any specific example.

          • Anton, you may not like Jack’s answer but he has already given it:

            “If the translation was considered by some at the time to be true and accurate, as opposed to others who viewed it as inaccurate and intended, or likely, to be used to undermine the existing structures of a Christian State and Church, then there are many factors to be considered. This is where lawful authority, both spiritual and temporal, come into play.”

            If people felt compelled by their consciences to break the civil law and ignore their bishops, then God will judge them and not Jack. However, breaking the extant civil law and canon law carries consequences.

            What Jack thinks of Tyndale’s translation – and his notes – is neither here nor there. It is irrelevant to the matters under discussion.

          • Anton

            I don’t dislike your answer at all. I just think it isn’t an answer. As it is in the nature of blogs that nobody decides between us and awards a cup to the winner then the end point is where we are both happy for His Grace’s readers to decide for themselves.

          • It’s not a competition, Anton.

          • Anton

            The winner is the one who is right.

          • Have you not heard of “arguing for the sake of arguing”, Anton?

          • Anton

            I don’t do that. I disengage when I have proven my case to my satisfaction taking into account that others are viewing. I expect you do the same. It is all that we can do given that God is not going to pronounce who is right.

          • “I disengage when I have proven my case to my satisfaction taking into account that others are viewing.”

            Proven your case, Anton? Your showboating, be honest.

          • Anton

            I said proven to my satisfaction. Internet debate is not like wrestling where the loser taps out.

          • Tell me, Jack,
            When the Government, as sooner or later it will, requires all Bibles to be published without the verses which so upset homosexuals, will you be for or against the clandestine distribution of the traditional Bible.
            After all, Britain is a Christian country. The Government tells us so and therefore it must be true.

          • Don’t be so silly, Martin. If that ever came to pass then Jack would happily circulate illegal copies of bibles approved by his Church. It’s hardly an act of treason likely to result in civil unrest or revolution.

          • But such a law would have been ratified by the ‘lawful monarch’ and doubtless approved by the established church.

          • You’re not comparing like with like – and Jack doubts a Catholic Church would ever support such legislation.

            As Jack wrote:

            If that ever came to pass then Jack would happily circulate illegal copies of bibles approved by his Church – and suffer the consequences if caught. It’s hardly an act of treason likely to result in civil unrest or revolution causing death and bringing down otherwise lawful authority.

          • DanJ0

            I’m not at all upset by the handful of verses to which you refer. They most certainly shouldn’t be removed. With my ‘advocate of a secular state’ hat on, those and other verses are actually very useful to me. 🙂

          • I think you will find that Tyndale’s 1526 New Testament, which was the one burned by Bishop Tunstall, contained no footnotes.

        • So printing the New Testament is civil rebellion and treason, is it? I think that view speaks volumes, though you have at least one supporter- the government of Iran.

          • Oh please. Iran is a theocracy. England wasn’t. As you well know, the translation in question was considered inaccurate, heretical and seditious by both the Christian Church and lawful Monarch.

          • Well, I’m amazed. As you well know (or should do), around 90% of Tyndale found its way into the Authorised Version.
            Tyndale’s translation has not been considered inaccurate, heretical and seditious by the Christian Church, but only by the Church of Rome. As for Henry VIII, Tyndale’s dying prayer, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes” was answered within two years and the Great Bible, the N.T. and Pentateuch being almost entirely Tyndale’s work, was placed in every church in the land.
            That momentous event would not have happened if Tyndale had not been able to say with the Apostles, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

          • And as Jack said at the start of all this:

            “Impatience for change does not justify civil rebellion or treasonous acts.”

            As for Henry VIII, one appreciates he had a number of personal reasons for his change of heart.

          • I think it speaks volumes that you think that the translation of the Bible is civil rebellion and treasonous. However, that was indeed the view of the Church of Rome, of which you are so eloquent a mouthpiece, and which, to return to the original issue, firmly establishes the need for the Reformation.

          • domy

            The Church of Rome translated the Bible before and after Tyndale, before and after the Reformation.

          • Not into English before Tyndale it didn’t.
            The Constitutions of Oxford (1408) expressly forbade the translation of the Bible into English. This was the reason that the Lollards were burned.

          • domy

            I bet that even Thomas More could agree with 90% of Tyndale!
            It is the remaining 10% that makes the difference!

          • There would be much in Tyndale’s translation that More would disagree with. That does not make Tyndale wrong however, quite the reverse! Again, read Tyndale’s biography by David Daniell. He analyses the New Testament quite closely. It is, by God’s grace, a masterpiece.

          • domy

            sorry, ‘masterpiece’ is Tyndale’s NT or the biography?

            p.s. on reflection, and having better yesterday revised the books More wrote against Tyndale I think 90% is too little; More could agree with 98% of that translation.

      • domy

        it seems that even Tyndale was not open to peaceful and reasoned discussion even with his own friends…
        https://archive.org/details/anapologymadeby00joyegoog

        • Joye was no friend to Tyndale. Read Tyndale’s biography by David Daniell.

          • domy
          • What I said above. Joye produced an inferior, pirated version of Tyndale’s N.T. and endeavoured to pass it off as Tyndale’s work. Tyndale told him sharply that he could produce whatever writings he wanted but should put his own name to them.

          • domy

            To the Tyndale’s ad hominem Joye replied in his Apology. I do not care which one of them was right .
            My point is that Tyndale accused a fellow Reformer, a fellow translator (maybe a former collaborator), a fellow refugee and persecuted, of the crime of spreading heresy for a different translation of one word. Where is Tyndale’s ‘peaceful and reasoned discussion’ with Joye in an exegetical dispute if Tyndale issued the guilty verdict from the beginning?

  • Athanasius

    One should note that the donkey work of translation and preservation of the Greek and Latin texts was actually done not by Muslims but by Nestorian Christians whom the Muslims employed as librarians

    • Anton

      Yes, but in fairness the Muslims recognised the value of those texts. On the other hand again, those texts were also available in the original from Byzantium right up to the date it was destroyed by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453.

      • Pubcrawler

        Those that survived the arrival of the Fourth Crusade, anyway. Much was destroyed then, though also a fair bit ‘removed’ to Rome by the returning freebooters, including probably our oldest and best MS of Homer.

        • Anton

          I’ve just been reading John Julius Norwich’s Short History of Byzantium. You know you are in for a treat when he opens it like this:

          Of that Byzantine Empire the universal verdict is that it constitutes, without a single exception, the most thoroughly base and despicable from that civilization has yet assumed… There has been no other enduring civilization no absolutely destitute of all the forms and elements of greatness… the history of the Empire is a monotonous story of the intrigues of priests, eunuchs and women, of poisonings of conspiracies, of uniform ingratitude, of perpetual fratricides. This somewhat startling diatribe is taken from WEH Lecky’s History of European morals published in 1869; and although to modern ears it is perhaps not quite so effective as the author meant it to be – his last sentence makes Byzantine history sound not so much monotonous as distinctly entertaining – the fact remains…

          • bluedog

            A wonderful book, enjoy. The Fourth Crusade was the West’s greatest imaginable geo-political mistake for which we are paying an ever-increasing price.

          • Pubcrawler

            I read the first volume of Norwish’s big history when it came out but sort of lost momentum after that. Maybe it’ stime I picked it up again.

            Byzantium has certainly not been held in high esteem in the West for quite a long time. There was someting on Radio 4 Extra a few months ago by Bettany Hughes attempting to redress the babalce. It was quite good, actually (I normally find Hughes’ output irritating), though of course there was a degreee of whitewashing and pussy-footing around some topics so as not to offend a certain group.

          • Anton

            The Short History is condensed from his 3-volume big history, and there’s a bit too much info per page. But I wasn’t interested enough for the 3-volume version. Still a grand read though.

      • domy

        Please, pay attention to this. Nestorians preserved Greek philosophical and scientific texts but humanism and the Renaissance were due to the discovery of classical art and literature that is something in which Muslims were absolutely disinterested. The texts and classical art that inspired humanism in Europe were not at all appreciated by Muslims.

        • domy

          p.s. the philosophers most important for the devolopement of Humanism and the Renaissance were Plato, the Neoplatonists and the Hermetic tradition that is something that the Muslims did not like at all.

    • Pubcrawler

      And in the West Boethius had been hurriedly translating Aristotle into Latin before his premature and unfortunate demise.

    • domy

      No please. Latin txts has nothing to do with the Nestorians. They were preserved in Europe.

  • len

    Even Muslim clerics cannot agree on the Islamic religion (let alone anyone else`s religion )
    Islam has obtained the ingredients for its religion from Jewish Christian and pagan Arab sources it has mixed all these together and come up with’ Islam’.The odd thing is although Islam claims part of its’ authority’ from Judeo/Christian sources it then refused to acknowledge the very truth contained within these scriptures regarding Christ , Isaac ,Ishmael etc.
    No one really understands Islam but Muslims take from it what ever suits their purpose.

    • cacheton

      Er – Christians cannot agree on the Christian religion either. Even in the relatively small village I live in we have 6 different churches. This week is the week of prayer for Christian unity, yet in our combined service this evening only 3 are taking part.

  • dannybhoy

    “And the crowd marvelled at his learning, entranced by the rhetorical
    eloquence they suspended all historical knowledge and intellectual
    discernment, bursting into cheers and spontaneous applause.”

    Sad that so many of our young university students are so ignorant of the basics of Christianity, and those brought up in the faith are too ‘polite’ to embarrass the man by contradicting him.
    Sad too that Douglas Murray wasn’t there. I have a lot of time for him.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Goodness, what an unpleasant fellow with his weasel words, sophistry and snare-weaving. A man with much to say and no time to listen, a man of punchbag arguments and whataboutaries, slicker than spittle and an accomplished taquiya spendthrift. A product of Oxford, eh? Well, Oxford is not what it was. Zuleika Dobson no longer trips down Broad Street and PPE ensures the nation is well-supplied with Milibandroids. ‘By his deeds shall ye know him,’ and by the deeds of Jihadists across the globe we know all we need to know about Islam.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, if, as Abu Mehdi says, Islam was responsible for the European Renaissance and all that followed, what’s gone wrong?
    It’s a pity nobody asks that question.

  • avi barzel

    Bravo, Your Grace!

  • I’m very cross about this.

    TinnitUs

  • DanJ0

    I see the Guardian, or at least Andrew Brown, is saying it as it is!

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/23/king-abdullah-wickedness-saudi-arabia-regime