Jesus Mohammed
Islam

We need to talk more about Jesus and Mohammed and less about Christianity and Islam

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden.

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The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham claimed in public that Salman Abedi, the man who slaughtered children in the Manchester bombing, was not a real Muslim:

“The message that I would want to get over – and this is how the vast majority of people feel – this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim.”

But how does Mr Burnham know that? It appeared that it simply was not true. Salman Abedi’s friends, who obviously knew him well, say that the truth was different. They describe him as a devout Muslim who had even memorised the Koran.

At the memorial service held after Khalid Masood had killed bystanders on Westminster Bridge, the Dean of Westminster Abbey Dr John Hall offered this reflection in his sermon:

“What happened a fortnight ago leaves us bewildered. What could possibly motivate a man to hire a car and take it from Birmingham to Brighton to London, and then drive it fast at people he had never met, couldn’t possibly know, against whom he had no personal grudge, no reason to hate them and then run at the gates of the Palace of Westminster to cause another death? It seems likely that we shall never know.”

But that wasn’t true. We did come to know – only days later. In fact, in his last WhatsApp message, sent just before he died, he had declared that he was waging jihad:

“..in revenge against Western military action in Muslim countries in the Middle East.”

Dr Hall never put the record straight.

The Prime Minister Theresa May spoke outside No.10 the day following the slaughter of bystanders on London Bridge on 4th June. She talked about the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism “that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism”.

“It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam… It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.”

What is Mrs May’s authority for making this far-reaching theological statement?

If one consults the manuals of a variety of different schools of Islam – the Shafi’i school, the Hanafi school, the Maliki school, the Hanbali school – they all urge violence against non-Muslims. There is the Koran, too, of course:

“And kill them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is worse than slaughter. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers” (2:191-193).

Perhaps Mr Burnham, Dr Hall and Mrs May claim to know more than the infamous Ayatollah Khomeini, who insisted:

“Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of (other) countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world… But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.

“..Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those (who say this) are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by (the unbelievers)? Islam says: Kill them (the non-Muslims), put them to the sword and scatter (their armies).

“Does this mean sitting back until (non-Muslims) overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender (to the enemy)? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword!

“The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other (Qur’anic) psalms and Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war?

“I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

How is it possible that we can continue to keep up this pretence of patronising, intolerant duplicity where we pretend we know Islam better than those who live and practise it?

Why won’t Andy Burnham, the Dean of Westminster and the Prime Minster tell us the truth?

The answer is probably that if they did, they would be required to face a problem to which there is either no solution, or one that tests what is politically possible to the utmost limits.

The question they should really ask is the more interesting one which relates to those Muslims in Western society who have not turned to violence.

Why have so many Muslims who live amongst us not turned to violent Jihad? The answer may be that they simply don’t want to, or are not very observant Muslims, or at least not as observant and pious as those who do turn to violence.

Or it may be that they are kind and generous people who see much good in the first half of the Koran where Mohammed says generous things about Jews, Muslims and Christians being cousinly ‘People of the Book’.

Perhaps they prefer to commit a lesser sin against the principle of abrogation, which requires them to preference the violent and inhospitable passages mainly near the end of the Koran over the benign ones near the front.

It may also have something to do with expediency. When Muslims are a small minority of a population they accommodate themselves quietly and pragmatically to their host environment. To do anything else would be to risk their expulsion. But when their numbers reach a kind of critical mass, expulsion becomes unfeasible. The pragmatic accommodationism begins to give way to the ambitions that the Koran dictates all good Muslims should have, to pursue the conversion of their host society, by persuasion or by terror:

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (8:12).

If our politicians and religious leaders were to find the courage and integrity to do their primary duty by us and tell the truth about Islam, Islamists, Muslims, Jihad and accommodation, what would follow?

That is the very debate we have to have now in public.

It might involve a variety of draconian measures, proportionate to the public slaughtering of citizens that Islam has perpetrated across Europe.

The political authoritarians might incline toward internment, expulsion, the public monitoring or closing down of mosques, the abolition of Islamic faith schools and other measures the outcome of which would be the restoration of the rule of law and the control of our public spaces.

The drastic measures might be considered proportionate to the civil disaster Islam is wreaking upon us. The pragmatic measures will be for experienced politicians to wrestle with. But before the pragmatism comes the demands of theory and the integrity of ideas.

First of all, we have to be able to tell the truth in public.

The new Government must abolish the notorious and noxious crime of ‘hate speech’. It must break any link between the sane and sensible reaction of Islamophobia and the criminal law. Islamophobia is a sane and justified fear of those people and ideas that threaten murderous violence on our citizens.

We must be free to tell and test the truth by speaking it in the public space, and our politicians must commit themselves to becoming theologically and philosophically literate so they can tell the truth in public.

What might the Church contribute to this sudden need for theological literacy and courage?

It might find the intellectual muscle and integrity wholly to repudiate the heresy of relativism, and help the faithful and atheist public learn to make comparisons between the good, the anodyne and the evil.

Without imposing absolutes upon people reluctant to adopt them, it might nonetheless, within the broader context of universally-recognised absolute categories of good and evil, make comparisons.

Let there be comparisons be between Jesus and Mohammed rather than between Christianity and Islam. Let the facts and values that separate these two representatives of worldviews, whose legacies and followers define the struggle for sanity and sanctity in society, be compared contrasted and chosen between.

We might begin with Mohammed’s doctrine of Taqiyya, (un)holy deception. The Qur’an in a variety of verses (eg 2:225, 3:28, 3:54, 9:3, 16:106, 40:28, 66:2) establishes the religious legitimacy of breaking oaths, lying, unilaterally violating treaties, and generally scheming against non-Muslims. Set this against Jesus claiming that he was the Truth, and the Truth will set us free (Jn 8.32). It might begin there, but it can’t end there.

Only misery, murder and mayhem will wake us out of our numb and illusory escapism. How much more of this escapism are we going to hide in? How many more lives are we going to sacrifice to our sedated, over-comfortable secularism, before we decide we can and we must start dignifying our democracy with telling the truth?

And after we have re-learnt to tell the truth, we must face the challenging consequences which the truth confronts us with, and upon which both our integrity and, for some of us, our lives depend.

  • Martin

    It could be that the peaceable merely want to live quiet lives, taking advantage of Western prosperity for the benefit of their families. It seems that all those who have resorted to violence have had problems, the society didn’t live up to their expectations.

    The Qur’an is, without a doubt, a flawed human book. Unlike the Bible it is not consistent, preaching peace on one page and violence on the next. There are those who will happily debate with Christians and form good, friendly relationships. There are those whose only response to the rejection of what they say is violence. Islam is at least as widely varied as Christianity, you cannot make one rule for the whole. Our politicians need to understand it, although seeing how little they understand Christianity I don’t hold much hope.

    • Merchantman

      Surely Rev Ashenden has just shown us, albeit briefly, that the major strands of Islam preach death to unbelievers? Granted it is sometimes hidden by Taqiyya or by being a ‘bad’ Muslim.
      I don’t see what is causing a reluctance to accept that Islam preaches violence and terror as a means to world subjugation?

      • Martin

        Certainly the most vocal of the followers of Mohamed preach death, there are however others who do not.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Although I generally agree, I’m hesitant about the implication that those who resorted to violence had social problems. At least one of the Glasgow Airport jihadis was an NHS doctor; one of the 7/7 jihadis was a teaching assistant. So neither exactly at the bottom of the pile socially. At the end of the day it seems to be a particular interpretation of the Koran that ignites these ticking time bombs. And as Littlejohn says in today’s Mail Online, it isn’t up to us to decide which interpretation of the Koran is correct, and which is not.

      Contrary to the impression they like to give, politicians aren’t theologians or Koranic exegetes. It’s up to Muslim theologians to give authoritative rulings on interpretation of their texts and as Rev Ashenden points out, they have chosen the violent ones.

      • Little Black Censored

        Isn’t this one reason why we don’t hear much support from all those Islamic “scholars”? They can’t deny that the murderers are obeying Mohammed,

      • Martin

        Damaris

        I didn’t say at the bottom of the pile. I don’t know the details of the two you mention but I’d be surprised if all was going hunky dory.

        It’s quite clear that the Qur’an allows for a peaceful or violent interpretation.

        • How far is the peaceful interpretation like that of the liberals in Christianity; that is, based more on wishful thinking than the holy text?

          • Martin

            John

            From the little I know of the Qur’an, it is inconsistent in what it teaches.

  • David

    Thank you Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden for giving us this truly excellent call to truth telling. You challenge the nation to have a debate. So debate needs to take place, but based on the truths that we know about the life of Mohammed and Jesus. We can avoid deeper matters revolving around theology and just examine their day to day patterns of living – that’s all !

    To do that we need to be released from the fetters of this artificial, so called “hate speech” which frustrates rational debate based on known facts. Those who have nothing to hide need not attempt to suppress truth telling and open discussion. The future course of western civilisation depends upon this.

    How leaders lived their lives matters, as they are the role models, emulated by devout followers. Peaceful leaders who do good things encourage peaceful followers, who also strive to do good. Conversely violent leaders who encourage deception and grabbing whatever they want, encourage their followers to do similar. This is not complicated. Let the truth be explored for as Jesus said, “the truth will set you free”.

  • Albert

    Let there be comparisons be between Jesus and Mohammed rather than between Christianity and Islam.

    Absolutely. In fact, speaking about Jesus rather than Christianity is important anyway. Not that the two can be separated, but Christianity includes our human failings. Jesus is all grace:

    For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you, Silva’nus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes.
    For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.

    Dr Ashenden continues, citing My Burnham:

    “The message that I would want to get over – and this is how the vast majority of people feel – this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim.”

    But how does Mr Burnham know that? It appeared that it simply was not true.

    Quite. The IRA were Catholics. They were bad Catholics, but it’s silly to pretend that they were not Catholics. Paedophiles priests were been bad priests, but you can’t say “They were paedophiles, so they weren’t priests.”

    People are unconvinced by this “Islamists aren’t Muslims” line. They may be bad Muslims, but they are clearly Muslims. In my opinion, and from my reading, they are bad Muslims, but then I am not an authority on Islam. What constitutes faithful Islam is for Muslims to determine.

    • B flat

      This is true so far as it goes, but there IS a difference here. The RC Church under its own law did punish and expel “paedophiles” from the clergy. That it was inefficient in applying its own law is a different question, explicable by organisational and human weaknesses.
      The RC Church in Ireland as elsewhere did declare what is required of a Catholic, which did not allow murder, or any other violence or terorrism by the IRA. However, if culturally or nationally, a person considered themselves oppressed by a foreign enemy…. they might convince themselves that these requirements do not apply to them, even as a Catholic.
      The principles themselves were never in doubt.

      • Albert

        I completely agree, but the fact that paedophlia and terrorism are so completely and explicitly opposed to Catholicism, does not mean it is wrong to say that X was a priest or Y was a Catholic. Mutatis mutandis Muslim terrorists.

        In a sense, the point you make only strengthens my own: Catholics who do wicked things are still Catholics, even though, in their wickedness they gravely and explicitly violate explicit Catholic teaching. But Muslims who do wicked things, do not have such a clear and explicit framework to measure themselves against. If we ask whether terrorism is opposed to Islam, it seems to be a matter of opinion, with the majority saying it definitely is and a minority saying it is not. And there seems no authority to judge who is right. Thus it is even harder to say that the killers on Saturday night, or in Manchester, were not Muslims.

        • Little Black Censored

          From an Islamic point of view these “Muslims who do wicked things” are actually good Muslims.

          • Albert

            Or at least, there are Muslims who might see it that way. And that is enough to prevent these statements of X is not a Muslim because he does Y.

        • Anna

          “Catholics who do wicked things are still Catholics, even though, in their wickedness they gravely and explicitly violate explicit Catholic teaching…”

          What if the ‘Catholics who do wicked things’ were simply carrying out the instructions of the Pope? Serious question.

          • Albert

            The issue here is whether they are Catholics. Obviously, since they would still be Catholics, even if they are acting contrary to the instructions of the pope, they would certainly be Catholics if they were carrying out the instructions of the pope. Does that answer your question?

          • Anna

            Not quite. If the ‘Catholics who do wicked things’ are actually carrying out the pope’s instructions, would that make them good Catholics or bad Catholics?

          • Albert

            It would make them bad Catholics obviously – assuming the pope’s instructions were contrary to Catholic teaching (i.e. were bad).

        • The damning evidence to me is how Muslim countries treat Christians and other non Muslims. This tells me that Islam is rotten at the core. Largesse is fine when Islam is a minority faith but how does it act when it has political control?

          • Albert

            This is an important point, although my impression is that the picture varies somewhat. I’d rather live in say Jordan than in Saudi.

    • David

      “What constitutes faithful Islam is for Muslims to determine”
      But therein lies the problem. For with no central authority, no orthodoxy and, unlike the Bible, scriptures that are internally contradictory, Muslims can claim that either peace or violence are Allah’s will.

      • Albert

        Exactly. So a terrorist who claims to be a Muslim cannot, by non-Muslims be said not to be a Muslim.

    • Anton

      “What constitutes faithful Islam is for Muslims to determine.”

      Given that Islam encourages lying to non-Muslims to further its cause, this is utmost folly.

      • Albert

        Why is it folly? It is surely simple fact. My point is that it isn’t up to Burnham or anyone else to say “Islam is a religion of peace, terrorists are not peaceful, therefore terrorists are not Muslims.” A Muslim might make that claim, but, given the lack of central authority to decide (quite apart from the issue of lying) the whole matter is entirely resolvable.

        • Anton

          What you seem to forget its that it is possible to understand a text while disagreeing with it. You seem to think that to understand the Muslim scriptures you have to be a Muslim. But you show the falsity of this position yourself every time you, a Christian, explain the evils of secularism and trace its rise to the writings of certain Enlightenment thinkers – which you clearly understand but disagree with. A secularist could perfectly well use your own logic against you. You are a closet experientialist, you know.

          • Albert

            I’m not sure quite why you’re disagreeing with me. I am saying that we cannot say Muslim terrorists are not Muslims.

            Nor am I making the error you think I am. It’s perfectly obvious to me that Islam permits violence against unbelievers. It’s also clear to me that suicide terrorism is not permitted in Islam. It’s also clear to me that some Muslims would say I have gone too far in saying Islam permits violence, and not gone far enough in saying it does not permit suicide terrorism.

            Now who’s right? I’m not prepared to go much further because I am not a Muslim scholar, and I would also point out that as there is no single authority in Islam to answer these questions, they probably don’t admit of an answer, thus, (as I meant to say), the whole matter is entirely unresolvable. It is up to Muslims to determine the matter, but they can’t, so you can say what you like, provided you don’t say terrorists are not Muslims.

          • Anton

            It is possible to analyse Islam’s scriptures without being a Muslim. It is possible to say that a certain person’s actions are consistent with certain verses in their context.

          • Albert

            Of course you are interpreting Islam as if it is Protestant Christianity. If you said to me “It is possible to analyse Catholic scriptures without being a Catholic. It is possible to say that a certain person’s actions are consistent with certain verses in their context.” You would miss the point, because of the role of tradition. Now what is the role of tradition in Islam? It all depends…

          • Anton

            I am not interpreting Islam at all. I am reading its scriptures and because Muslims are in the image of God and so am I, I have what it takes to imagine being a follower. Do you deny that you could do the same thing?

          • CliveM

            Anton

            Don’t Muslims say the Quran can only be read in its original Arabic and that it is untranslatable (if you want to keep the original meaning and nuance).

          • Anton

            They do, but so what? Do you reckon you are not a proper Christian for not being familiar with the Bible in Greek or Hebrew?

          • CliveM

            No, but i do recognise that i am reliant on anothers translation and interpretation of what it says. Also that some verses can be translated more then one way.

          • Anton

            Yes of course, but I reckon the claims that it can be read only in Arabic are part of early Islam’s “Arab supremacy” facet. That facet was in tension with the “universal religion” claim. The early Muslim conquerors disagreed amongst themselves about whether or not to convert conquered peoples; the religious ones said Yes, the opportunist warriors said No because as soon as their subjects became Muslims they could no longer be raped and plundered. The compromise was to get people to convert but force an oath of fealty to an Arab overlord.

            Here are four (in some places five) English translations of the Quran side by side:

            http://prophetofdoom.net/Qurans.Islam

            From this you can get a good idea of how flexible Arabic is and isn’t.

          • CliveM

            Of course if the Quran can’t be understood in any language but ‘Quranic Arabic’ how does anyone understand it? Everyone will have to (mentally) translate it into their own language (English, Persian or whatever).

            Or am I missing something!

          • Albert

            No – I’m just denying that that would get you to Islam. It would at most get you to one perspective on Islam and even then, your interpretation might not be the correct one. For example, someone could look at the Bible and think they know what Evangelicals think, but then ask Evangelicals and find they think something else. That’s just the way texts works, especially when, in order to understand something, you need to see one text in the light of others.

          • Anton

            Would you apply the same logic to communism, based on Das Kapital, and to communists?

          • Albert

            I would not think that my own reading of a particular text on any matter meant I had definitely understood the matter so that I knew every conceivable position on it. Besides, most texts needs to be read in the context of the community that wrote them.

          • Anton

            Yes, you have to know something of how they came to be written. But that is possible to by study without being a believer.

          • Albert

            True, but it probably means you need to be more of a scholar of Islam than I guess you are. Secondly, even if you were such a scholar, that does not mean that you can speak for all Islam. Consider this example: supposing a Muslim wants to know about justification. Taking your lead he reads the Bible and finds that the only time the expression “faith alone” is used is here:

            Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? …You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            Then he hears that Evangelicals follow the principle of sola scriptura. So he draws the conclusion that evangelicals will deny sola fide, and accept what is in fact the Catholic view. Now at this point, you intervene and tell him that he’s wrong because of this or that passage which he may or may not find relevant. But in the end he just says, as you said of Islam earlier: I am not interpreting Christianity at all. I am reading its scriptures. You scream til you’re blue in the face that Christian doctrine is sola fide and that is what the Bible teaches, and he says “No, I’m reading the Bible, I can see the doctrine there for myself: not faith alone, but faith and works.”

            Do you see the problem?

          • Anton

            Let me try again.

            You have posted, above: “What constitutes faithful Islam is for Muslims to determine.”

            The trouble with this claim is that it merely alters the problem from “what is faithful Islam?” to “who is a Muslim?” Suppose you meet a man who says that he is a committed Muslim but insists that Allah is incarnated as his cat. According to the logic of your position you have to accept what he says. You can watch him dispute with other self-proclaimed Muslims, but you cannot take sides because you are insisting that the debate is for Muslims only. You might observe his argumentation get torn to pieces, but because he continues to insist to you that he is a faithful Muslim, you cannot do anything other than accept his word. Your only way out is to accept that you, a non-Muslim, may pronounce about the contents of the Quran. But that is exactly what you are not prepared to do.

          • Albert

            No. I think a community can self-identify. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be Christians, but they are not since they do not believe in the Trinity. We get to do that, and that means precisely the opposite of what you say: the JWs don’t get to do that. It doesn’t matter how well a JW denies the divinity of Christ from scripture, he is not a Christian.

            The incoherence for Islam is that it is not a sufficiently structured community to be able to do that with religious violence.

            Your only way out is to accept that you, a non-Muslim, may pronounce about the contents of the Quran.

            That’s not what I’ve said (I hope!). After all, if you look at my posts, I have made such pronouncements about the Qur’an. I have said that what is Islam cannot be determined by my interpretation of the Qur’an, and I note your complete failure to answer my argument on that point. What constitutes Islam is for the Muslim community to determine, not an isolated individual. The problem is that, who or what constitutes a Muslim is impossible to determine, precisely because what constitutes Islam is unclear, and so it is not possible for non-Muslims to decide for them.

          • Anton

            Now you have merely shifted the problem from “what is faithful Islam?” to “who is a Muslim?” to “who is a member of the Muslim community?” Now you face the problem that entire communities self-identify as Muslims yet others deny it and call them heretics, eg Sunnis call the Ahmadiyyas and the Nation of Islam in the USA heretics. you are going to have to go to the Islamic scriptures yourself at some point to break the logjam. When you do, you will understand why it is fatuous to talk as if interpretation as all we can have of any text.

          • Albert

            Now you have merely shifted the problem from “what is faithful Islam?” to “who is a Muslim?” to “who is a member of the Muslim community?”

            I don’t see a huge difference in those questions – as your previous post showed. I think it’s all a bit circular. Obviously, that is unsatisfactory, but the fact that that is unsatisfactory does not mean your position is right. It could be the case that one or both positions are wrong. Thus in order to maintain your defence, you need to defend your position which is (as I understand it) that by your own interpretation of the Qur’an you can determine exclusively what a Muslim is and what faithful Islam is. And I cannot see where or how you have done that against my arguments.

            Islam is a mess, and your scientific desire to make is all tidy is not going to make it less of a mess. Indeed, that Islam is a mess is precisely my point from the beginning. Hence, my first response to this issue said:

            A Muslim might make that claim, but, given the lack of central authority to decide (quite apart from the issue of lying) the whole matter is entirely resolvable.

            And I immediately clarified below that there was a typo – I mean “unresolvable”.

          • Anton

            The reason Islam is a mess is not that it doesn’t have a Pope but that its scriptures contradict themselves.

          • Albert

            I think this Qur’an contradicts itself argument is dodgy. Firstly, you could argue that the Bible contradicts itself. Luther clearly thought James contradicted Paul – at least in one period of his life. Secondly, you can argue the Qur’an does not contradict itself on the grounds of abrogation. Thirdly, I don’t think it really works anyway, because, although Islam focuses around the Qur’an, one still has to take the other elements such as the hadith. Fourthly, the reality is any text is open to interpretation.

            Now all this means is that Islam is very much open to interpretation. But none of this means you aren’t able to have opinions about Islam – I’ve stated several myself. It just means that we are not in a position to decide what is Islamic and what not. For myself, I don’t think anyone is, and that’s the problem.

          • Anton

            Muslims themselves believe that the Quran contradicts itself. That’s why they evolved the doctrine of abrogation (however unconvincing it be, given that Allah is omnsicient!) On this occasion you might accept the word of Muslims about the Quran. You don’t accept anybody else’s!

          • Albert

            That’s quibbling about the meaning of the doctrine. What I meant was that the message of the Qur’an is not contradictory (if you accept the doctrine of course).

            Of course, what this does is push Islam in the direction of violence, since the more pacific verses tend to be earlier.

          • Anton

            It is the Islamic doctrine of Naskh that pushes Islam in the direction of violence.

          • Albert

            Precisely.

          • Anton

            What you call bewildering I call the energy of doctrinal discussion. It’s a lot better than a monolithic hierarchy that hubristically and wrongly claims to have the same attribute of inerrancy as God himself. Sometimes, unhappily, doctrinal disputees forget what they have in common. When that happens in a hierarchy – something you don’t find in the NT – then you get schism into denominations.

            Islam is non-hierarchical. That is one of its strengths as we see today.

          • Albert

            Islam is non-hierarchical. That is one of its strengths as we see today.

            Really? Isn’t that one of the problems of Islam and one of the reasons no one can say violence is unIslamic? It seems you’ve decided to defend that position because it turns out to be closest to Protestantism. So Islam’s inability to condemn Islamic terrorism makes it like Protestantism. Quite…

          • Anton

            It makes it quite like the burgeoning Chinese house church movement. That’s what was in my mind; it’s unwise to try to guess what someone else is thinking.

          • Albert

            Given the conversation is about Islam, why on earth should I assume you are not talking about Islam? If you’re going to have a simultaneous conversation with yourself, which affects what you say to others without indication, how can you expect to have a proper conversation. The topic is Islam. Islam cannot condemn Islamist terrorism. That’s a bad thing, no matter what good is apparently going on in China.

          • Anton

            You, Albert, are the one who kept dangling analogies with the Reformation into this exchange.

          • Albert

            Yes, but when I did so, I did so explicitly so the reader could follow.

          • Anton

            It is not necessary to know the analogy with the Chinese house church movement in order to follow my argument about Islam. I diverted into that to clarify a point to you. Why did I bother?

          • Albert

            I really don’t know why you bothered. You were praising Islam for lacking the authority to be able to condemn terrorism (at least, that was the corollary of what you said). The fact that there is a similarity with the house churches seems to be a point against them.

          • Anton

            I was saying that Islam spreads easily and is hard to stop because of its decentralised structure, just like the house church movement in China.

          • Albert

            So in other words you changed the topic of conversation without indicating it, and then criticised me for not reading your mind. The conversation has been how a lack of centralised authority has permitted violence and then you say:

            Islam is non-hierarchical. That is one of its strengths as we see today.

            If you think being unable to tell your followers to stop blowing themselves up in crowded places, yes, it’s a strength.

          • I understand what you are saying and it has some cogency. However, if you press it to far, as I think you are doing, you end up in a post modern camp where everything is relative and where real communication and understanding is impossible.

            There are dangers that our interpretations of what others say may be misguided or superficial or biased but with effort real understanding (if not exhaustive understanding) is possible. It is what dialogue is all about. We make points on this thread because we believe true communication is possible.

            Where a faith is book based and so has an objective basis it is possible for an outsider to say with certainty its big truths if the book is studied.

          • Albert

            I think there are two points where I disagree. Firstly, I am arguing that no one, let alone an outsider, can make a definitive statement about Islam and violence. That does not push me in the direction of post-modernism and relativism. Secondly, although Islam is a religion of the book, it is not only such a religion, it also has the hadiths and the tradition of jurisprudence. Put these two things together and it is evident that it is naive for someone like Anton to say, on his reading of the Qur’an that he knows what Islam stands for. As I’ve pointed out, a Muslim reading James 2 would assume Evangelicals deny sola fide and he would be wrong in that.

          • Anton

            But I’ve slogged through more than just one sura of the quran and have taken the trouble to put its parts in their historical context by familiarising myself with the Sirat Rasul Allah (ancient Islamic biography of Muhammad) and parts of the Hadith.

            You contradict yourself. You say that “no one… can make a definitive statement about Islam and violence” yet you have also asserted on this thread that “Islam permits violence against unbelievers”. It’s when you stop being the philosopher and start being the Christian that you make the best sense.

          • Albert

            The first paragraph is moot given the conversation. As for the second, well, this is what I actually said:

            It’s perfectly obvious to me that Islam permits violence against unbelievers.

            Thus it is my reading, not a definitive account and so not contradictory to the other line you quoted.

          • Anton

            You clearly believe that your reading is correct, or you would shift to another point of view. What would convince you to?

          • Albert

            More evidence or greater understanding. But the point is that I only make a judgement for myself. I cannot pronounce on Islam and neither can you. No one can. That’s the problem.

        • The Snail

          The most prestigious Islamic university in the world today is Cairo’s al-Azhar. While the university is very quick to condemn secular Muslims who critique
          the religion, it has never condemned ISIS as a group of infidels despite horrific carnage in the name of Allah. When asked why, the university’s
          Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb explained:
          ” Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity.”

    • John

      You can see the difference even in the Qu’ran. Jesus is there described as “righteous” whereas Mohammed never is. Jesus is recognised in the Qu-ran as a worker of miracles, whereas Mohammed never once is described that way.

      • Albert

        That’s an interesting observation – I’d wondered about that, as well.

      • Busy Mum

        I think it was C19th Archbishop Trench who pointed out that Mohammed was well aware that his initial – peaceful – campaign to be accepted by the Jews as the Messiah was hindered mainly by his inability to emulate the miraculous works of Jesus of Nazareth.

        • Anton

          Have you a reference for that assertion, please? I suspect it is true but unprovable from the extant documentation.

          • Busy Mum

            My memory had served me correctly! Though I had in effect combined two references into one.

            “It was the fatal weakness of Mahomet, and from many utterances of his it is plain that he constantly felt it to be such, that he could show no miracles with which to attest his mission as divine. It is true that in a measure he won acceptance for himself and for his teaching without them; but he did this by throwing the sword, where Christ had thrown the cross, into the scale.”
            p.101 of my 1902 republication of ‘Notes on the Miracles’ by Archbishop Richard Trench

            “Finding but little acceptance among his own countrymen, Mohammed turned to the Jews, who denying Christ to have been the Messiah, were yet looking for Him. Mohammed flattered himself he would ingratiate himself with them, as their longed-for Messiah….The Jews’ rejection of Mohammed is the reason for Islam’s inveterate hatred of them…..”
            Condensed extract from ‘Faiths of the World’ – two large C19th volumes by James Gardiner, compiled from numerous sources and published by A. Fullarton&Co., Edinburgh. These books are not in my possession but the owner has put together a very brief leaflet of pertinent extracts for personal distribution among his relatives and acquaintances.

          • Anton

            I meant references in Islamic sources; sorry for not making that clear. What you’ve posted so far, I am familiar with.

          • Busy Mum

            Oh, I see!
            Considering how well foot-noted and referenced Trench’s work is, I take the view that he felt it unnecessary to reference what he must have perceived – and what he took his audience to perceive – as common knowledge.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Interestingly, if you read biographies about conversions from Islam to Christianity, they all say they experienced a direct revelation of Jesus Christ.

    • The Snail

      You say: “People are unconvinced by this “Islamists aren’t Muslims” line. They may be bad Muslims, but they are clearly Muslims. In my opinion, and from my reading, they are bad Muslims, but then I am not an authority on Islam. What constitutes faithful Islam is for Muslims to determine.”

      So let a Muslim tell us:

      The most prestigious Islamic university in the world today is Cairo’s al-Azhar. While the university is very quick to condemn secular Muslims who critique the religion, it has never condemned ISIS as a group of infidels despite horrific carnage in the name of Allah. When asked why, the university’s Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb explained:

      ” Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity.”

      • Albert

        Quite.

  • Dreadnaught

    You say that the murders were not Muslims yet by your definition, neither are the thousands of Al Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram etc etc. Nor for that matter the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who throughout history, have driven Christians and Jews from Palestine, Egypt, Syria,Turkey; and everywhere is that now described as ‘Muslim Lands’.
    The methodology is a tried and tested one and it starts with one or more persons attacking another who does not subscribe to their vision of religious mythology until they submit, run or die.
    Today’s situation is being repeated all over the world as it has done for 1500 years. This is far greater than our own domestic scene.

  • Anton

    Muslims have never come to grips with the fact that the Quran, supposedly the words of an omniscient deity, contradict each other. They need to be pressed on the issue even if it evokes violence. Doing nothing is not an option, for if the leaders of Britain do not protect its people then they will protect themselves and anarchy of the worst sort will ensue. That is what the minority of craven do-nothings among the commenters on this blog fail to realise.

    In the best line in an excellent essay above, Dr Ashenden invites us to contrast Christ and Muhammad. The only sources about Christ written within a generation of his life are the four gospels in the New Testament. The Quran is not about Muhammad and even the Hadith are his sayings out of context. One should read the Sirat Rasul Allah (“Life of the Messenger of Allah”), the ancient biography of Muhammad which Muslims accept as authoritative. A. Guillaume has compiled an English translation from the two or three major Arabic sources of it. It is revealing and deeply shocking.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The contradictions might trouble devout Muslims but the majority of British people with only a minor interest in religion would regard them as irrelevant. After all, as I am sure many journalists and “opinion formers” would point out, there are contradictions in the Bible too, e.g. between the two accounts of Noah’s flood, or the contradiction between the God who ordered the genocide of the Canaanites and the God who “so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son …”

      • Anton

        What are the supposed contradictions regarding the Flood, please? As for the Canaanites, they were uniquely degenerate according to Leviticus 18:24-25 and the Ugaritic manuscripts discovered between the wars. And Jesus himself is going to massacre millions at the Battle of Armageddon.

        • Royinsouthwest

          I think the Book of Revelation depicts the (almost) eternal struggle between good and evil in symbolic terms. Armageddon symbolises the final triumph of good through God’s intervention. There has been enough slaughter over the centuries (e.g. the Somme, Verdun, and Stalingrad in the 20th century) without looking forward to a literal Battle of Armageddon. Your comment about Jesus makes him sound far worse than even the most blood thirsty terrorist.

          As for there being two flood stories, how many animals of each kind went into the Ark?

          The Two Flood Stories
          https://failingtheinsidertest.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/two-flood-stories.html

          • Anton

            I reject Wellhausen’s “documentary hypothesis”, especially now there is a far more compelling alternative (PJ Wiseman’s explanation). It seems to me that the author of the course you cite does a good job of reconciling the two apparently conflicting accounts.

  • andrew

    I’m currently reading the quran, something I’ve never wanted to do but now feel I must, and I can assure any doubter (or hope not hater), that the quran and hadith are littered with advocation to violence against the non believers. Denigration, suspicion, contradiction and a mentality your average communist dictator would be proud of, permeates through this abhorrent fake scripture. The platitudes, the appeasement and political correctness must end. Now.

    • andrew

      I would also like to add that having lived in Bradford I’ve known many a western hating Muslim. They may not always wish to engage in slaughter, but they regularly retain an appetite to promote islamism, back stab the indigenous, perpetuate their self inflected sense of victimhood, organise islamist rallies, demand special privileges… The list goes on. I believe it is true that Muslims behave like meek sheep when outnumbered. But only when they’re outnumbered.

      • orthodoxgirl

        Reading all these comments are really interesting, more particularly because I have privately long held these views but thought I was wrong to think them, despite the fact that what I have read and instinctively feel has screamed the opposite. I lived and worked in a country where Islam was well represented and they too, were used to operating along the principle of the harmless, peaceful Moslem…..I never believed that either. More like beware “the iron fist in the velvet glove”. We are just sleepwalking into the pockets of Islam and they are laughing at us big time behind their hands.

    • David

      You are experiencing a “Damascene” moment as did I, a decade ago, simply by reading the Koran. Suddenly the PC indoctrination and the scales fell off my eyes and much became clear. Well done as most people are too lazy to read the Koran, and instead operate on a fingers crossed behind their back approach.

      • andrew

        Take for example the battle of badr. The Muslims claim that Quranic calls to violence are taken out of context, eg battle of badr. But that’s intellectually dishonest. Firstly, Muhammad claims the Muslims were persecuted by the quairsh (probably wrong spelling), but according to whom? We know Muhammad behaved immorally throughout his ministry, and we know Muhammad often advocated the raiding of pagan caravans without any justification. So how can we believe the Muslims were persecuted, and in fact the quairsh were not acting out of justification for perceived Muslim incursion? Secondly, we know that Muslims are Encouraged to extricate Quranic doctrine and Quranic instruction out of context! To say they are prohibited is a lie. Ever since the days of Muhammad himself, Muslims have utilised Quranic instruction to justify invasion and aggression against the kuffar. Thirdly, and I suppose this is linked to my first point – Islamic jurisdiction. In short, it seems to me the concept of ‘innocence’ in Islam is primarily focused on whether or not their neighbours are willing to appease them,their growth and augmenting hostility. In other words – islamization. Therefore, and I’m sure there are contributors here who can do a better job at explaining this than myself, innocent, as Muslims understand it, is not the same when translated or understood in the eyed of Christianity.

  • Royinsouthwest

    One of the BBC’s news bulletins last night showed a small group of Muslim women (no men) in London holding placards condemning the terrorist atrocity. Good for them. I was glad to see that demonstration, but even so I had certain misgivings. There only seemed to about 8 people in the demonstration. If a group of British yobs had held a public burning of copies of the Quran somewhere in central London or if the Israelis had bombed Gaza in response to a terrorist attack by Hamas then how many Muslims would have taken to the streets to demonstrate against those actions?

    Another misgiving was that the BBC reporter seemed to be almost too enthusiastic about the demonstration, so much so that I could not help wondering if the women were BBC employees who had notified their bosses about the demonstration. That was probably a very unfair thought and I probably did the women and the BBC an injustice by thinking it. However, the BBC’s bias on many topics over the years does tend to encourage cynicism.

    In that same bulletin the BBC enthusiastically criticised Donald Trump for tweeting that the London terror attacks showed the need for tighter controls of immigration from predominantly Muslim countries and also attacked Trump for criticising the Mayor of London for earlier comments he had made about terror. It was almost as if the BBC was longing to get back to business as usual, i.e. blaming Trump for everything, rather than daring to talk about what inspires the terrorists.

    Speaking about the Mayor of London, the BBC, and all the politicians and commentators who talk about carrying on as normal and not letting hate divide us, I wonder if they would still sing from the same hymn sheet if any of their family members were among the victims, or if the country were to experience atrocities committed by a terrorist counter-terror group along the lines of the UDF in Northern Ireland or the OAS in Algeria during the Algerian War of Independence?

    The Jihadists would probably welcome such a backlash since they want Muslims to feel that they are victims and do not want them to integrate, but although a right wing backlash is one thing that the government has always seemed to fear, its policy of continual appeasement combined with increasing threats to the freedoms of the majority do make the risk of such a backlash higher.

    • Damaris Tighe

      These women could have been the same group who demonstrated after the Westminster atrocity last month – Ahmadis whose motto is ‘love for all, hatred for none’, considered to be heretics and non-muslim by mainstream Islam. This is rarely if ever pointed out by the breathless MSM hacks who cover their demos.

    • orthodoxgirl

      I cease to listen to anything that comes out of the BBC now. They are so biased it is positively nauseating. If you want to read real news, other places to look would be RT News, Al Jazeera, to name a couple. I call the BBC the ABC – Apostate Broadcasting Crew.

    • Pubcrawler

      “One of the BBC’s news bulletins last night showed a small group of
      Muslim women (no men) in London holding placards condemning the
      terrorist atrocity.”

      You mean this?

      http://rickwells.us/fake-news-cnn-busted-staging-memorial-london-positioning-actors-live-news/

    • The Snail

      The trouble is, that the BBC and media in general do not distinguish between Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi ‘Muslims’. Many of those who are holding vigils have been Ahmadis(who have renounced Jihad), and who are regarded as heretics by the Shias and Sunnis.It is a bit like equating Mormons with Christians. The media is religiously illiterate.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    An excellent article. Thank you….

  • The primary problem is that we, as a nation, no longer have any foundational values – other than that sexual behaviour outside marriage is healthy, that males and females can be males or females, and that it is not wrong to have our own children killed.

    Given that these lies have been foisted upon us by our masters, is it any wonder that the state is struggling to come up with a good reason suddenly to protect its citizens? Nature abhors a vacuum, and we have a value vacuum. The culture of death is the problem; the threat of Islam is a symptom.

    If the horror of abortion is not factored in, we cannot expect political efforts to succeed. As I have said elsewhere: what do we want? For the bad Muslims to go away so we can kill children in peace? If the fight is not founded on the sanctity of life, the fight can only be half-hearted and unsuccessful. This is God’s moral architecture at work.

    • Anton

      Exactly.

    • David

      Agreed !

    • orthodoxgirl

      Well put and yes, our culture must indeed appear abhorrent to Moslems from this point of view as it does to many Christians. However, given that the Christian voice and values are wholeheartedly squashed by the progressive left and the cultural Marxist brigade, we are indeed in trouble. We need to put our own house in order before we can boot out Islam. Dear God, give us St Michael,Our Lady AND the Holy Spirit to help us fix our broken society and then sweep out Mohammed and his crew!

      • Yes, that’s it. I’m not saying there are no good people in this country. But institutionally – at the level of law, education, medicine/the NHS and the media – we are that contradiction called ‘post-Christian.’

  • IanCad

    If I understand correctly in that the wise and robust Dr Ashendent is suggesting the “good” Muslims in this country are in fact, biding their time, troublous times are ahead.

    The rule of law, liberty, civility and prosperity are all under threat.

    Permit me to add another to the rogues’s gallery of appeasers, in the person of Nazir Afzal, Chief Prosecutor for the NW, who couldn’t resist muting the outrage for the Manchester bombing by invoking the murderer of Jo Cox and the KKK.

    • Anton

      I can’t speak for Dr Ashenden but I can say that not all of the peaceable Muslims are just “biding their time”. While it is true that the doctrine of NASKH (Abrogation) gives the bellicose verses priority over the peaceful ones, that doctrine tends to get invoked selectively and many Muslims genuinely prefer to live by the genuinely peaceable verses. The real problem is that the quran is a two-minded book so that any Muslim might flip from peaceable to bellicose at any time. What does the Bible say about a two-minded man?

      • IanCad

        Anton, I edited my post to read “Many” of the “good” Muslims; It could have been understood to mean “All.”

        • Anton

          Got it. (You might edit Dr Ashenden’s surname for accuracy too!)

          • IanCad

            Shame on me!! I shall leave it as a lesson to all men and myself to show that even I am not perfect.

      • Arden Forester

        A very good point. “The real problem is that the Quran is a two-minded book so that any Muslim might flip from peaceable to bellicose at any time”. I’ve experienced this. My belief is that deep down the vast majority of Muslims could flip to the bellicose side as this is ingrained in them.

  • Notforinfants

    Thank-you YG for inviting Dr G to comment and he has given a superb plea for theological and philosophical fresh thinking which is so urgently needed both within the church and more widely in our society.

    It is good too that he exposes the hollow hypocrisy of the Islamist doctrine of “taqiyya” which justifies all manner of lies and deception in the minds of gullible Moslems.

    I would add a very minor criticism of Dr. G’s excellent analysis which is that we cannot afford to wait for such an open debate to take place within our country without government immediately taking more urgent action now to confront immediate threats from jihadists within Moslem communities .

    Dr G says “The political authoritarians might incline toward internment, expulsion, the public monitoring or closing down of mosques, the abolition of Islamic faith schools and other measures …….”
    My own view is that three basic measures must indeed be considered and I suggested (in my previous post still being moderated in your earlier article “Seven are dead….’) these need to be linked directly to further acts of violence and murder by Islamist jihadists which are predictably inevitable – viz:
    1. a requirement for all imams to publicly renounce all Koranic incitement to violence and killing.
    2. The closure of mosques (possibly the central mosques in our major towns and cities) selected by government for every single future act of violence and jihadism on our streets resulting in injury or death on our streets.
    3. No new mosque buildings to be permitted in the UK.
    I believe these three steps are minimum practical steps to confront existing threats and which would be seen as fair and reasonable by the British public. By these means the majority of passive, if not complacent Moslems would be challenged to face down the jihadists in their midst, in mosques, in networks and in their communities. By these means the wider moslem communities will be compelled to assume ownership or responsibility for the men of violence who act in their name.

    • Mark

      I think it was 2006 when Christopher Hitchens said of Wahabbi mosques, “Poisoning the minds of children in their mosques and madrassas”. 2006, eleven years ago. Imagine an 8 year-old in those madrassas back then. They would be 18 now.
      But it wasn’t until around 2013 when I first heard the “Wahabbi” Saudi mosque building thing mentioned by a radio presenter (who are usually clueless).

      The mosque-building has been a scandal, as has the inaction after investigate journalists have smuggled cameras in, and nothing has been done. These mosques are effectively closed, secretive buildings, apart from their “open days” which are really, proselytising days.

      • Notforinfants

        “These mosques are effectively closed, secretive buildings”, Indeed they are and centres of indoctrination of children, disaffected Moslem youths and where Islamic dogma is weekly reinforced inciting violence via the imams and Koran.
        Which is precisely why I advocate the steps I suggest above. Imams in all mosques should now be required by law to renounce the repeated incitements to ‘kill the infidels’ which their ‘holy’ book repeats ad nauseam as Dr. G has shown. Refusal should automatically result in deportation
        Think of the massive impact such a renunciation would have on the Moslem world if only a few imams took this step.
        Also I can only repeat, if a number of mosques were closed down by government for every single act of Islamist terrorism, together with other steps suggested, then these together would prove to be powerful deterrents, and complacent “passive” Moslems would understand the need to act against the men of violence in their midst or lose their mosques.

    • orthodoxgirl

      Some interesting proposals which I think hold merit. However, I don’t see our PC politicians having the gumption or the courage to actually DO any them. They are all very good at sounding outraged and making all sorts of compassionate statements and noises, but this violence has been going on in this country and elsewhere for a long time now….has there been any change to the status quo? No. Nada. Nothing. Society in this country is too poop-scared to appear anything but ‘nice’ which in itself is dangerous and leaves the door wide open for maniacs such as these murderous lackeys of Satan to manipulate, brainwash and take advantage of our Western tolerance and they know that. Our ridiculous PC culture is now ensuring that ‘tolerance is killing the tolerant’. This misguided idea that is peddled by both secular and religious figure heads that we should all sit down and discuss our differences and then get along nicely and live together peaceably is naïve at best, utterly foolish and misguided at worst. Some of the conversations I hear going on around me illustrate this ideology only too clearly. Unless Government and religious leaders stand up and take a stand against these murderous dolts we might as well ‘shut up shop’ and all start shuffling off to the Mosque because Moslems are not going to stop until we all do.

  • pchurcher87

    @Rev’d Dr Ashenden, thank you for your article. There are many things I believe you are correct on, however I fear you fall, in places, in the same trap you acuse other of: speaking in ignorance. I am no Islamic scholar, but I did study early Islam (rather than modern) as part of my first degree. The Qu’ran is not collated in date order, but in length order. There are debates within scholarship over which bits abrogate others. There are also documents around Jihad of the sword, who can do it and when, which make the way modern terrorism is done haram. I also think we need to be careful interpreting the Qu’ran in isolation. When people speak of the Bible outside of the Christian community or scholarship they often make glaring interpretation errors. E.g. ‘judge not’.
    I think we are spot on however comparing Jesus and Muhammad.
    Thanks again,
    Rev Peter Churcher

    • Anna

      “There are also documents around Jihad of the sword, who can do it and when, which make the way modern terrorism is done haram…”

      Islam, as taught in western universities to westerners, is hardly relevant for Muslim people. Such scholarship exists, judging by its results, to blind the eyes of the infidels. Modern terrorism is very consistent both with the teaching of Islam (as Muslims are taught it in their madrassas and universities), and 1400 years of Islamic history. From the time of Muhammed and his immediate successors, until the collapse of the Ottoman empire, Islam was not spread to the ends of the world by gentle persuasion. The long period of ‘detente’ with Islamic nations, following the end of the Ottoman empire, shortly after it perpetrated the Armenian genocide, has lulled Western nations into a state of dangerous complacency so that the governments find themselves totally unprepared – and in complete denial – at the recent turn of events.

      • Manfarang

        My teacher at university was a Muslim (Saudi mother), a great scholar.

        • Merchantman

          Scholar of what if one may ask?

        • Anna

          Are you also a Muslim?

    • The Snail

      The Surahs in the Koran are, as you say, arranged in length order -the longest first. However they are all marked with Mecca or Medina. Those from Mecca, in general, predate those from Medina Since Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina those from Medina abrogate those from Mecca.

      The Surahs from Medina are the most violent in the Koran and therefore abrogate the more conciliatory verses (ayahs) from Mecca

      • pchurcher87

        Hi Snail. The markings of Medina or Mecca are later interpretive additions, and not original. In principle I agree with you about the order, and I also agree that the more violent ones are later. However, my point really is that we are not Qu’ranic scholars, nor practicing Muslims (we’ll I am not, and assume that you are not either from your comment), and therefore we need to be extremely careful in how we interpret the Qu’ran. Much like Christian scripture, the Qu’ran is not interpreted in a vacuum but in community and tradition. It is like Richard Dawkings using the book of Joshua to call God sadistic and vile. He doesn’t understand how to read the book, or how it has been read throughout history. Don’t get me wrong, I desite to see all Muslims come to know Jesus and convert, but trying to out-whit them on Qu’ranic interpretation is not the way. Introducing them to Jesus is!

        • The Snail

          Indeed what you say is right. The Koran originally had no vowels – just like the Hebrew Bible t. The pointing came later and thus different readings are possible – just because of this -let alone interpretation.

          For example my interpretation of the Bible is that it is progressive in its development. The understanding of God is revealed progressively. Just like any other human understanding of any subject. Many of the people in the Hebrew Bible had a much greater experience of God than I do. Just as say Abraham had a greater experience of the Sun than I do, but Abraham did not know academically about nuclear fusion in the Sun like I do.

          Jesus supported this progressive revelation when he said “You have heard it said in old time … but I say to you”

  • we must face the challenging consequences which the truth confronts us with

    One challenging consequence for anyone planning to vote Labour or Conservative on Thursday is that they will be supporting the parties responsible for bringing Islam to Britain and nurturing it every step of the way to its present murderous incarnation. Those two parties (and the Liberals are no better) have comprehensively betrayed us by implementing an immigration policy they knew would destroy a Christian nation and they have blood on their hands.

    In order to keep my conscience clear I shall not be voting. UKIP lost my potential vote when it said in its manifesto: ‘We believe firmly that a multi-ethnic society can be a harmonious and successful one’. Wishful thinking is a poor foundation on which to rebuild this shattered country.

    Another superb article, Dr Ashenden. Many thanks.

  • Richard B

    At last someone with more clout has picked up on what I called for in my occasional blogs on islam over recent years. I drew attention to the great necessity of making distinct, objective comparisons between Jesus and the later arab, their teachings, first followers lives and demonstrations of the holy or ungodly nature of both persons as abundantly evident in those movements’ first century.

    As I called for last week (https://richards-watch.org/2017/06/02/on-the-prime-political-purposes-of-this-historically-decisive-time-2/ refers) Dr Ashenden, his Grace Cranmer, and doubtless many others, are demanding the public be told the truth and properly educated about the spiritual source of this unending hatred. As H/Secretary Mrs May deliberately closed the door to a couple of ‘truth-tellers’ (Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller) – altho’ Gert Wilders was allowed to address parliamentarians – yet she and every one of her predecessors willingly opened the nation to muslim murder-mongers.
    Thus, ALL politicians are personally culpable for permitting the fruit of political correctness to ripen in our day. (At least ‘The Donald’ talks sense on this matter!)

    A couple of years ago I blogged on events and satan being the source of anti-Semitism and Christian disunity. There’s a devious, demonic ‘rationale’ to its strategy. Politicians et al, try brainwashing us into ignoring the historical facts of over a millenium ago that lie behind Christianity’s EVENTUAL reaction to PREVIOUS 460 YEARS OF CONTINUAL JIHAD of widespread muslim strategic attacks and invasions. That is, Islam started wars 1,380 years ago – and the ‘god’ of ISIS/ISIL demands the world regress, not improve! SO, it is blasphemous to equate that entity with our heavenly father and God of Jesus Christ.

    Also, militant Muslims, backed by mendacious academics in Western universities, use that twisting of history to pretend they’re victims of the Crusades and of this, that and the other etc, etc, etc, etc:

    I blogged, ‘What’s deeply disturbing is the fact that presidents Clinton and Obama were duped, or else wallowed in self-imposed ignorance, about the Crusades – and displayed this in public! My readers in the States were well aware of the outcry following remarks by the President at National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on 5th February (2015) when Mr Obama said….’

  • Royinsouthwest

    Did Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, really believe what he was saying when he made the remark below?

    “The message that I would want to get over – and this is how the vast majority of people feel – this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim.”

    I think it was a dishonest statement made with a good intention. The good intention was to discourage hatred of innocent Muslims, but, unless he is exceptionally stupid (always a possibility when you look at the calibre of our leaders) he knew he was dishonest when he said the terrorist was not a Muslim without any qualification such as “good.”

    Andy Burnham may have been dishonest too when he said that “this is how the vast majority of people feel” but perhaps he is not dishonest and is merely as out of touch as most politicians. I suspect, however, that deep down he knows that most people do not share his opinion but he belongs to that arrogant PC class who think that the only opinions that count are their own.

    • Anton

      Despicable statement by Burnham. I don’t care whether he’s a fool or lying; it’s what he says that matters.

  • Chris Bell

    34 Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
    ‘A man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
    36 A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household

    For a thousand years Christ’s real message has been smothered. But it is very simple:
    YOU ARE NOT YOUR BODY. YOU ARE INFINITE SPIRIT. You are not the individual you think yourself to be. Your task is know yourself and knowing yourself you will know Me. For I am you.
    This is a gift beyond the mind………but we are called to renounce everything for it. In the infinite mystery however it is never our ego who renounces…….it is God who takes our icons away…all we have to do is love Christ’ Nature as our own………the rest will take care of itself:
    37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me;
    38 and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.
    39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

    In these great times it is absolutely clear to those that have ears to hear and eyes to see that what is now known as Islam is in the fact The Ego’s Religion. The ego’s God. So how familiar is it to see that it is a frightened little tract of blame, censure, violence, insanity that even wraps its own women in black shrouds of death. Why is any Christian surprised? Christ entered this realm in order to destroy any false identity with this Ego.
    This body is the cross.
    The ego – the identification ‘I am the body’.
    The killing of the ego through Self-enquiry is the crucifixion of Jesus.
    The survival of Soul from the death of the ego, and its Shining forth as the Supreme Thing is His Resurrection.

    The avowed enemy of Christ is none other than our whingeing egos. The ‘I’ that we use everyday is not our own!! Failing to recognise His Truth of our True Nature there is no doubt that we will become very weak. Our ‘Church’ needs to proclaim the real message. Dr Ashenden is doing just so. He knows. But he has had to leave which tells us all we need to know about our ‘Church’. Time to grow up and take on the solid food.

    • Anna

      “Your task is know yourself and knowing yourself you will know Me…”

      It is actually the other way round. Our task is to seek God, to know Him, and by knowing Him we find out more about ourselves. We need His light to see ourselves as we are, and as He sees us.

      • Chris Bell

        And here is the ego in all its ignorance. Only the ego denies the Light of Knowledge not to be already present. Ask and ask again do you exist prior to God that you may seek Him?? Or is it that only God exists and is your own very existence which even now supports the idea that you are somehow separate!! That what must be ‘done’ is to allow yourself to fall. What arrogance is it that purports Reality is in need of your ideas of yourself? Know thyself and His Grace will come bounding to destroy everything that tries to imagine being separate from His Love. True Knowledge knows nothing apart.

        • len

          We are all gods right?

          • betteroffoutofit

            No.

          • len

            Thought not 😉

        • Anna

          “And here is the ego in all its ignorance.” We all start from a point of ignorance, and until we are prepared to admit our sin and ignorance, we cannot receive His light and truth.

          “Ask and ask again…” We could ask ourselves all sorts of questions but everything necessary for salvation is sufficiently taught in the Bible, and we have the Holy Spirit to open our understanding. It would be wrong for us to look outside the scriptures for guidance on these matters, and the things you write are not compatible with its teaching.

          “What arrogance is it that purports Reality is in need of your ideas of yourself?”
          Assuming that by ‘Reality’, you mean God, where did I suggest that He needs my ideas on anything? What I said is the exact opposite – that only God can show us who and what we are.

        • Chefofsinners

          Get help, Chris.

    • len

      This all sounds a bit…..esoteric….or just plain weird?.

  • len

    The [mostly] secularist West stands helpless against Islamic terrorists, because every potential Islamic terrorist cannot be watched 24/7.And if it were possible to keep a vigilant watch over all potential terrorist suspects it would probably infringe their human rights, it would also not be politically correct.Political Correctness is ‘a double edged sword’ which is doing more harm to the bearer than anyone else.

    The other dimension to Islamic terrorism of which the west is seemingly totally ignorant is the driving force behind radical Islam is spiritual.
    Can one master spirit fill countless others?. The answer can only be yes.
    The Spirit of Jesus Christ can fill anyone of His True believers.
    Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

    The downside of this is that the master spirit that threw Mohammed violently to the ground and gave him his revelations is the same spirit that filled Mohammed and now fills Islamic Jihadists. The fruit of this spirit is being evidenced through the actions of Jihadists worldwide.

    We Mohammed violent?.Undoubtedly yes.

    Was Mohammed peaceful?. Only to those who showed total submission to him and his aims.

    The West is its own worst enemy because radical Islam is treating the West as useful idiots and furthering their aims using the West’s gullibility as a cloak for their actions.

    • Chefofsinners

      Friends who know tell me that it takes seven security officers to monitor one person 24/7.

      • bluedog

        …enough rope?

        • Chefofsinners

          Sounds like a plan for deficit reduction. I’ll tell Phil the good news.

          • bluedog

            Proper shoes have laces too…

          • Chefofsinners

            … a way to stop the public finances buckling. I’ll tell Phil.

      • len

        An impossible task given the resources and the PC and human rights acts.

  • Mark

    My favourite comment from a news forum this week “He couldn’t possibly have been a real Muslim, because he had a tattoo”. What does that even mean?
    I have also seen the “They were not Muslims” here and there. Again, why? Have non-Muslims decided that all Muslims are perfect? Or is it some sort of perceived respect and deference to religion by default, no matter what is in the texts?

    May’s (and many others) assertion that it’s all a “perversion” of Islam can only mean that she has decided what “Islam” is. Even Muslims haven’t decided that! But if she wants to play the same game as ISIS in denying other Muslims, that is up to her. If anything, she should say nothing. No “religion of peace” or anything like that, but only a request to Muslim communities, mosques, representatives etc, to get with modern society.
    I fear though, that she would only be listened to by secular modern Muslims, you know, like the ladies who wear no hair coverings, ie the “not proper” Muslims.

    • Anton

      May is a perversion of conservatism!

      • David

        May doesn’t have a conservative bone in her body – she is, at best, a soft left social democrat. She supports Sharia Courts and wants to expand the state.

  • Ravenscar

    Stuck record?

    In the subconscious it echoes, sometimes I get ever such a faint inkling
    of what it was like to enter the great amphitheatre in Rome, the lions
    are roaring and me? my only sin is to be a
    Christian.

    As long as the charlatans who purport to call themselves “representatives” of this island nation perpetuate a political mirage, a delusion that by some stretch they are not only ‘our’ moral arbiters but are in possession of greater powers of perception, when certainly, the reality is to the contrary.

    Mrs. Theresa May, maybe lays claim but really, where does the real power reside?

    Some might accord the EU, whose to blame………..Maastricht and John Major, the New Labourites and Tony Blair, but surely David Cameron carried on Tony’s good works – didn’t he? Some might think that the shadowy panjandrums preening themselves in the FCO, Treasury and BoE are the bosses and some may point at the aristocracy, landed elite and billionaires who parade about and buy up London. Then some might point out the enormous power of the metropolitan councils, who act almost contrary to the wishes of the nation but are to all intents, inviolable.
    These ‘Town hall talibans’ as some indeed call them. with, their socially reengineering departments and those who run them, act like Gods, probably think that they are just that untouchable as they go about their works.

    Who runs the country, what do they really think, why all the thousand veils and that’s before they started murdering us?

    Mother, l might just be able to albeit very darkly to understand an iota of vindication in these atrocities if, we [Britain] acted as a nation, got all nasty with the new creed and came down hard, very hard on them.
    However…………….did our authorities not invite them here and then proceeded to shower upon them, all manner of benefits that western society could bestrew and gratis, we even changed our laws to suit but even then it’s not enough and when is enough not enough, probably, only JC knows.

  • Manfarang

    The Ayatollah Khomeini had his war. It was with Iraq, one million Iranians died and up to half a million Iraqis.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I think it was Henry Kissinger who said, with typical cynicism, that it was a pity that both sides could not lose. In a way they both countries did lose, as the casualty figures you mentioned and the lack of a decisive outcome suggest, but that did not help the rest of the world.

      • Manfarang

        Both sides fought the war using WW1 tactics, hence the casualties. I suppose the rest of the world can be grateful that the armies in the Middle East are so backward.

  • magnolia

    Those parts of our society which have failed to value the sword of the spirit and the breastplate of righteousness are unarmed and helpless against those parts of Islam that are inspired by violence, for the war is spiritual. And yet successive governments have got in the way of the very evangelism and spirituality which is our only real defense, and just spout hackneyed phrases of useless untruisms.

    Worse still for those who rely upon materialism and are mechanistically minded, the law largely prevents them from most self-defense of the merely natural order against a man with a knife through its definition of what may be considered a weapon. You have to prove that something you were carrying for another purpose was lawfully used in self-defense without pre-planning. Criminals carry weapons without worrying so much; the ordinary citizen is not effectively protected by the law of the land unless an armed policeman happens to be standing nearby.

    • Manfarang

      The RUC was armed. It didn’t stop terrorism.

      • Anton

        Which proves the point in her last sentence.

        • Manfarang

          One of the reasons there were/are? paramilitaries is that people felt they were not effectively protected.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Do you really think it would have been better if the RUC had not had guns? How many policemen’s lives do you think it would have been acceptable to sacrifice?

        • Manfarang

          The RUC was seen as made up of nearly all Protestants and as such a partisan force.

          • Royinsouthwest

            You have avoided answering both questions.

          • Manfarang

            In routing out terrorism it is necessary to have the trust of everyone in the community. The question is not of arming the police but reforming the police force.
            Something that was undertaken.

    • David

      The state is far more concerned with controlling us law abiding people than protecting us. In that respect we live in a sort of tyranny in which the state fails in its most basic duty, which is to keep us all safe. Indeed it makes it almost impossible for us to protect ourselves. We have neither effective, fast and responsive police and militia protection nor may we protect ourselves. This country has become a shooting gallery for criminals and jihadists with innocent members of the public as the targets.

      As in the Charlie Hebdo massacre so in London on Saturday, if a small percentage, say 5%, of the civilians had concealed handguns, after being given a rigorous psychological sifting and training, then this scale of massacre simply would not have happened. But the voice of reason is hardly heard.

      • Dreadnaught

        How would you feel if say a UK born, ‘clean skin’ Muslim applied for and received a permit to carry a concealed firearm?

        • bluedog

          Well said. Arming the population is pure folly of the highest order. Given the current fashion for equality, it would not be long before a hostile minority became legitimately armed. Next step would be random executions of police and other kuffars.

          The important step is to fully arm all police. Despite the death of an unarmed copper at Westminster, and he would have survived if armed, there still seems to be an inhibition about carrying arms. Thanks to our immigration policy, society has changed. It’s time for the police and politicians to adjust to the consequences of an insecure and violently inclined society.

          • Dreadnaught

            Having seen how the gun-happy police perform in the US, I dont’ want to see guns on the street as part of the uniform. Bullets are liable to stray indiscriminately. Bad as things are , we are not the Wild West.

          • CliveM

            Agreed. We may need more armed and trained officers, but not every policeman.

  • mollysdad

    The Quran doesn’t contain what I would expect the word of God to contain.

    It mentions Muhammad only four times and says nothing about what he was like and what he did.

    Only ten per cent of its content is legal in nature. There is little or no guidance in the Qur’an about how to be a Muslim, how to worship and serve God.

    64 per cent of the content of the Qur’an is about kuffar and how to deal with them. The Arabic word “kaffir” is the most abusive, hateful and derogatory term in any language, and it refers to non-Muslims as concealers of the known truth.

    In other words, 64 per cent of the Qur’an is seditious material. For anyone to put words like that into the mouth of God is rank blasphemy.

    I can say with full confidence, because any different judgement would be unreasonable on the facts, that everyone who ever dies as a Muslim is burning in hell.

    Our terms to them must be that they convert to Christianity or face eternal damnation.

    • Manfarang

      Jesus is believed to be a prophet who neither married nor had any children and is reflected as a significant figure, being found in the Quran in 93 ayaat (Arabic for verses) with various titles attached such as “Son of Mary”, “Spirit of God”, and the “Word of God” among other relational terms, mentioned directly and indirectly, over 187 times. Jesus is the most mentioned person in the Quran; 25 times by the name Isa, 3rd-person 48 times, 1st-person 35 times, the rest as titles and attributes.

      • The Snail

        But the Jesus of the Koran is not the same as the Jesus of the NT. Muslims believe that he was not crucified – another person was crucified in his place – various characters are said to be the candidate (e.g. Simon of Cyrene, a Roman Centurion etc.) Jesus was however taken up to heaven before anyone could kill him.and will return as a Muslim, get married (number of wives not specified) will destroy all crosses and pigs and he will help Mohammed judge the world. At least that is what a local Imam told a meeting of our local civic society.
        The Koran was written down 600 years after Jesus was born – although Muslims believe it is a perfect copy of the real one which has existed for all eternity in Paradise. It is therefore, as far as Muslims are concerned, The Word of God which has existed for all eternity. The Koran is therefore in some of its attributes similar those that Christians give to Jesus – the Word of God. The attitude of the devout Muslim to the Koran is even more fundamentalist therefore than any Christian fundamentalist since Mohammed acted as a ‘typewriter’ for the angel Gabriel who dictated it to him – letter for letter in Arabic – that is why most Muslims do not regard a translation of the Koran, as the Koran and why Arabic speakers are regarded as special in Islamic society. It is thus not so much the principles which are important but the actual Arabic text.

        • Manfarang

          Who was Jesus? It seems it is was necessary for the authorities to pay someone to point him out.

  • James60498 .

    Excellent article.

    Can I just throw this one in for discussion as I see it as very much related to the issue. Rather than make me angry it made me scratch my head and wonder quite what kind of lunatic asylum we are living in.

    My mother was told (by someone who is not particularly thick) that as a Christian, she (my mum) could not oppose “gay marriage” because Mohammed married a 9 year old.

    The woman who said this to her gets a vote on Thursday just like you do.

    We have a long way to go to explain the difference between Jesus and Mohammed.

  • Badger

    The muslim population of the UK has been doubling every ten years since the 1960s. It now stands at 3.5 million. I bought a place in Whitechapel in 1984 when it was a white working class area just beginning to show signs of progress with the spillover from Canary Wharf. I have seen what this doubling every decade has done to my neighbourhood, with 90,000 muslims now in Tower Hamlets. It is an islamic monoculture and I hate it and I hate them.

    Imagine what England will look like in 2017 when the number has risen to 7 million. It will look like Paris does today. And those of us still here who are fortunate enough to live in a gated community are completely defenceless since the disarming of the population in 1997.

    I wish there was a way to punish those Labour politicians who deliberately opened the doors to unlimited immigration and the Tories who have done nothing to stop it. But there isn’t. They will retire to the Cotswolds or Devon and read about how the rest of us survive in places like Birmingham or Blackburn.

    For the first time in my life in the UK I am now seriously concerned about my future safety. I lived in Johannesburg in the seventies and I felt safer there than I do in Whitechapel today. But then, I had a firearm for personal protection (which fortunately I never used in anger) but it guaranteed my safety.

    If I need the police today I don’t even know if they will bother to come.

    • Merchantman

      I agree the labourites have seemingly deliberately brought in Islam to the UK as a means to destroy the old Britain. Most Muslims inherited the culture they now live within, some are doubtless trying to escape. It’s easy to say this, but we have to show them a better way which can only be the way Christ teaches.
      Seek out a church in London that believes in a living faith in Christ Jesus and Standfast, we all have to standfast.

      • len

        Political Correctness and the destruction of our Judeo Christian culture is starting to backfire on those who encouraged this as a way of changing our society(for the worst) because it is now beyond their control.

        • Merchantman

          You are right Len, but Labour are still way too well supported. It’s almost as important to de-Labourize people as to bring them to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some would say easier too. The problem is that there is such a dearth of realistic political thought in the UK its a hard ask. Certainly the BBC/ Guardian complex is a major obstacle to progress. Together with the advocates of PC thinking of which they are chief, they have neutered and softened up the populus to be almost completely ripe for a takeover.
          The BBC should be doing what its founding charter says or closing itself down.

  • IanCad

    As I stated earlier in the thread; Dr. Ashenden is a wise and robust Christian. Wise in recognizing the heart of the problem, robust in his remedy.

    What a contrast to another senior churchman, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Very Rev. Andrew Nunn who graced today’s BBCs World At One with his wisdom. Quite possibly the most feeble and disgusting evasion, pussyfooting and cowardice I have ever heard within the space of a few minutes.

    Asked whether more should be done within the Muslim community to prevent such outrages he opined that such a responsibility is incumbent upon all faiths. He then ventured to state that in his reading of the Koran nothing can be interpreted so as to incite violence and the recent horrors are an aberration of what Muslims stand for. He wound the sorry interview up with a statement to the effect that Imans should be encouraged to spread the truth of the Muslim faith within their communities.

    The wretched, grovelling, abject performance is linked below @ 57 minutes in. Caution!! Remove all throwable objects that may be to hand.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08sks18

  • Royinsouthwest

    In a comment I made about 6 hours ago I mentioned a small but apparently encouraging demonstration against ISIS and terrorism by a small group of Muslim women that was shown in a BBC news bulletin last night. Since then Pubcrawler, in a reply to my original comment, has posted a link suggesting that the demonstration might have been staged.

    Fake News CNN BUSTED STAGING Memorial In London – POSITIONING ACTORS For “Live News”
    http://rickwells.us/fake-news-cnn-busted-staging-memorial-london-positioning-actors-live-news/

    The deception was uncovered by a Londoner who videoed the CNN film crew directing the demonstrators. It seems that the same group of “demonstrators” were filmed in more than one location and they were also the people who the BBC showed in its news report. Katie Hopkins has also drawn attention to the deception.

    CNN Denies Staging Muslim Anti-ISIS Demonstration in London
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/06/cnn-denies-staging-muslim-anti-isis-demonstration-london/

    • Merchantman

      We should nowadays call CNN part of the problem and ignore.

    • len

      I never had a very high opinion of some journalists, but this really beats everything.
      The public are being treated as idiots by these fake news creators .

    • Manfarang

      I walked past a few people on the footpath in London once and noticed a camera man. Later, on the TV news I saw the news item. It was an anti-fur protest. In that respect many news reports are staged.

      • Anton

        You can get mink coats for nothing on eBay nowadays, life aint so bad!

    • David

      CNN is as trustworthy as the BBC. Both prop up the failing anti-western, anti-Christian liberal establishment.

  • Anna

    In the oft-stated view of Muslim spokesmen and Western observers in the media, the fact that most people who die in Islamic terrorists attacks are Muslims, somehow absolves Islam of responsibility for the violence. They forget that a violent man poses more danger to members of his own family than to outsiders, and this fact actually proves that violence is inherent to Islam.

    • Manfarang

      Maybe the absence of violence in modern Christianity is evidence of its decline.

      • len

        Jesus never advocated violence.
        Christianity grew under persecution, as it is growing today in Islamic and communist Countries.

        • Manfarang

          In China lighting a few joss sticks could result in real trouble forty years ago. Today the Chinese government has relaxed its position.

          • len

            The Chinese might have tolerated Christians when they were but few, but as their faith spreads China is cracking down on them.

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-08/chinese-communist-partys-crackdown-on-religion/7912140

          • Manfarang

            Not so much because of the religion but western links. Christianity is fine provided it has Chinese characteristics.

          • Anton

            Ill-informed nonsense. The house church movement that is growing like wildfire is indigenous and was forged around the Bible during the era in which Mao kicked out all missionaries and cracked down on all foreign links. Today they regard themselves neither as Catholic or protestant (or Orthodox) but simply as Christians; those terms, they regard as part of European church history. I regard it as no coincidence that it spread once it adopted a nonhierarchical structure that meant denominations were impossible even in principle and unity meant in Christ rather than in Rome or Canterbury or Constantinople or whatever. Read Brother Yun if you doubt what i am saying.

          • Manfarang

            I can just pick up the phone and talk to my relatives there.

          • Anton

            What you can’t do, it seems, is refute what I said.

          • Manfarang

            The Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council are the two Protestant organisations. There are church buildings but some have had to remove the big roof crosses.

          • Anton

            I know. But what you said was “Christianity is fine provided it has Chinese characteristics” and I explained that this is not true: the house churches are entirely indigenous and often experience persecution.

          • Manfarang

            I am sure they talk to each other in Chinese and read bibles written in Chinese.
            Actually I know because I have met Chinese pastors when travelling.

          • Anton

            I know. Where the house church movement is not persecuted it is generally because local government officials are either clandestine believers or have come to see that these are people who do good for society and do not wish to start a material-type revolution. Where it is persecuted it is where officials assume that all Christianity is a political movement because they know of European history and the papacy.

          • Albert

            Really? You think the reason secularists don’t like Christianity is because they think it is political? Surely, it is because they do not love Jesus? “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too.”

          • Anton

            I am talking specifically about the situation in China. I accept that the church has been persecuted for other reasons in other times and places.

          • Albert

            Apologies, I missed the thread. However, it is worth noting that some churches are tolerated in China.

          • Manfarang

            The Taiping Rebellion is not forgotten, of course being understood as a proletarian uprising by the Maoists
            The most severe persecution in present day China is of the Falun Gong movement.
            There is also an increased interest in traditional religion but the practice of religion generally is restricted in many ways so don’t try preaching on the street corner in Shanghai or elsewhere in China for that matter.

          • Christianity in China was proceeding fine under the Catholic Church until protestant missionaries arrived on the scene and triggered rebellions resulting in the deaths of millions. There is an affinity between Taoism and Christianity.

          • len

            But now its Christianity not Catholicism.

          • There’s only one true Christian Church.

          • len

            One Body .With Christ the Head.

          • Manfarang

            The Nestorians got there first

          • Yes, in the 7th to the10th century, and then in the 13th and 14th centuries. However, Nestorianism isn’t Christianity. The Jesuits in the 16th century brought the Gospel.

          • Manfarang

            In China, it has been noted that none of the various sources for the local Nestorian church refer to Christ as having two natures.

          • Anton

            The Nestorians believed Christ was divine like the Creator and fully man at the same time. That’s Christianity. You have swallowed Cyril’s lies.

          • Nestorianism is a doctrine that emphasizes a distinction between the human and divine persons of Jesus, based on a literalist interpretation of the Bible. There’s a difference between the writings of Nestorius and the heresy as it developed in the Church of the East.

            This arose because of Nestorius’ rejection of the title Theotokos (Bringer forth of God) for Mary. He claimed that the title denied Christ’s full humanity and argued that Jesus had two persons, a duality, the divine Logos and the human Jesus. Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, was quite right in arguing that Nestorius undermined the unity of Christ’s divine and human natures at the Incarnation. Other critics of argued that he put too much emphasis on the human nature of Christ, and others claimed that the difference that Nestorius implied between the human nature and the divine nature created a fracture in the singularity of Christ, thus creating two Christ figures.

          • Anton

            No; Christology is a mystery, and Cyril exploited that mystery using improper rhetoric to make it look like Nestorius was an heretic. It is all because the church at the time was seeking unwisely to go beyond scripture and consider HOW Jesus was both God and man.

          • Yeah, sure. Christians aren’t supposed to use reason to seek to understand the Gospel.

          • Anton

            Of course we are. But human reason is entirely inadequate to penetrate the mysteries of the Holy Trinity. What God hasn’t told us on that subject, we cannot know.

            Look, I’ll show you a trick like (but simpler than) the one Cyril used.

            Catholic: Jesus is God.
            Protestant: Yes.
            Catholic: Mary is the mother of Jesus.
            Protestant: Agreed.
            Catholic: Therefore Mary is the mother of God.
            Protestant: I prefer to call her what scripture does, the mother of Jesus. Calling her the mother of God makes it look like God himself has a mother.
            Catholic: You are denying either the simplest tenets of logic or Holy scripture!
            Protestant: I’m denying neither; Scripture has a reason for calling her the mother of Jesus rather than the mother of God even though Jesus is divine.
            Catholic: Heretic!

          • An inane response.

          • Anton

            One whose point is clearly beyond you.

          • Beneath Jack.

          • Anton

            I’ll repeat it in simpler language then. Human reason isn’t up to grasping the mysteries of the Holy Trinity. What God hasn’t told us on that subject, we cannot know. Do you agree?

            Propositional logic is pretty simple too. It is the binary logic used in computers like the one you use to access this blog. I gave an example of its abuse. Cyril used dirty tricks of the same sort, but a bit more complicated, to have Trinitarians who accepted that Jesus was both fully god and fully man declared non-Christian. If my reasoning is beyond you then you may confirm what I am saying in church histories.

            The Nestorians were Christian.

          • “What God hasn’t told us on that subject, we cannot know. Do you agree?”

            God reveals truth to us through scripture, reason and the Church. Your position contradicts scripture:

            “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

            Scripture has to be interpreted and its revelation fully understood.

          • Anton

            God reveals many things to us along the way but I am talking specifically about the interrelations among the persons of the Holy Trinity. We have some information in scripture. Reason is wholly inadequate to take us further on such a subject. As for the church, any such purported revelation would begin with a believer saying so, at which point one should ask: How can you know? It’s never too late to do so…

          • Anna

            The Nestorians were unfairly libelled for centuries. They were opposed to most of the pagan and idolatrous practices that had crept into the Christian church.

          • len

            Christianity has Jewish roots. In fact without the Jewish roots of Christianity it becomes extremely difficult to understand.

          • Manfarang

            “In the beginning was the Tao and the Tao was with God and the Tao was God.”

          • Anton

            Fascinating if controversial translation!

          • len

            How about 耶稣

          • Manfarang

            The Jews? Yes at Kaifeng, but the government have told them not to display Israeli flags.

      • Anna

        Could you please explain what you mean?

        • Manfarang

          The French Wars of Religion for example.

          • len

            What did Jesus have to do with that?

          • Manfarang

            Ask the Catholics and Huguenots.

          • len

            But we are discussing Jesus and Mohammed?.
            Jesus never advocated violence.The Popes might have started wars but Jesus never did.

          • Manfarang

            Two swords just enough.

          • len

            But don’t use them.

          • Where did Jesus ever preach pacifism? He taught that those who live by the sword, die by the sword. He chastised Peter for resisting and raising the sword against lawful authority.

          • len

            Where did Jesus advocate his followers using violence?.

          • He advised His disciples to carry two swords. Why?

          • len

            See my answer above.

          • Jesus never said that His disciples should never use their swords.

          • bluedog

            The nuclear deterrent fulfils its task every day by not being used. If it was to be used, its purpose has failed.

          • Anton

            It works fine at national level when both leaders are sane. If one has the suicide bomber mentality, however…

          • Albert

            For once, I am going to have to agree with Len. The purpose of the two swords is surely ironic – to show precisely that Jesus and his disciples are not a band of revolutionaries. They only have two swords, which they aren’t allowed to use. The issue can hardly be about lawful authority, since (i) Jesus is the highest lawful authority and (ii) he makes the statement about calling legions of angels to come his defence, and says Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me.

            This does not mean that Jesus necessarily require pacificism, but it does mean that appealing to Jesus asking for two swords fails as an argument for violence.

          • Royinsouthwest

            You know which group were the persecutors and which were the victims, don’t you?

          • Or, alternatively, the French state took the action necessary it deemed necessary to maintain law and order.

          • Anton

            Es muss Ordnung sein!

          • There must indeed be order – within the legitimate law.

          • Anton

            Jawohl!

          • Anna

            Do you find any justification for violence in the NT?

          • Manfarang

            Myself no but that doesn’t mean there have not been centuries of persecution and violence.

          • Anna

            Then, you must admit that those acts ‘of persecution and violence’ were acts of rebellion against Christian teaching.

          • Manfarang

            No they weren’t. They were claiming only theirs was true Christianity.

          • Anna

            You just admitted that their claims have no basis in the NT.

          • Manfarang

            No I didn’t I said I didn’t believe in violence. Various doctrines such as salvation by grace alone, the elect, the end of the world maybe justified by verses in the NT but these remain distinct views.

          • Anna

            Now you are contradicting yourself.

          • Manfarang

            The fact that I don’t believe violence is justified doesn’t mean others don’t.

          • len

            Many people claim many things.But this doesn`t make them all true.

          • Manfarang

            But who has exclusive truth?

          • len

            The God of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob.

          • Manfarang

            There were other gods, Baal and all the rest but I reject polytheism.

          • Why not just say: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ?

          • len

            Same thing.

          • Exactly.

          • Anton

            And what do YOU think having read the gospels, Man?

          • Manfarang

            They have to be understood in their context.

          • Anton

            Meaning what in the context of this discussion?

          • The Snail

            If you wish to test whether they were “being Christian” you should consult the rule book. Just as when you see a bad football match you should consult the FA rules to see if the players are within the rule or outside them.

          • Manfarang

            all things to all men,

      • Anton

        What then of the church in its first 200 years, when it grew like wildfire while gladly accepting persecution without retaliation?

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    Perhaps we need to start with common ground. It is Jesus or Mohammed who is The Prophet – it cant be both. Both the Bible and Koran agree.
    One faith is true and the other apostate.
    Jesus said I am the way nobody comes to the Father – but by me.

  • vsscoles

    The history of Christianity in England offers some clues as to how to deal with the problem. The security forces can and will deal with many of the symptoms. What is needed is to defeat the ideology itself. The government should set up a genuinely independent and well protected state institute to examine and expose islamist ideology, which has never been subjected to the kind of critical analysis experienced by Christianity since the Enlightenment. Make public its findings, let the world see exactly how it was composed, how it was transmitted, how it is not worth killing for or dying for. It is a collection of legends, a palimpsest, a pastiche of other people’s stories. Defeat islamism as an idea, and terrorism will fade away.

    • Manfarang

      Maybe the police could respond to the hotline telephone calls.

      • vsscoles

        Maybe we might get a new government on Thursday which is willing to protect us rather than those who wish to harm us.

        • Manfarang

          Not one that will increase the number of police.

        • James60498 .

          I didn’t realise that there was anyone standing for election who is even slightly likely to do it.

          • vsscoles

            I was trying rather weakly to be ironical…

          • James60498 .

            Fair enough. I was hoping that you had heard something that I hadn’t.

  • Chefofsinners

    Our white British majority has no desire to speak of Christ. It cannot compare Jesus with Mohammed because it has rejected Jesus. Nor can it speak the truth for it has rejected the Truth. It understands and desires only self.
    The emptiness and moral bankruptcy of secularism has come home to roost. Muslims in the U.K. can see that the alternative which the West offers is not spiritually satisfying, so they turn back, deeper into Islam. They can very justifiably say: “Look where your religion of self leads: pornography, drunkenness, crime, drug addiction, family breakdown.” And this they take to be Christianity, because this is what once-Christian Britain has become.
    Our society is spiralling into an abyss of its own making: the consequences of the choices made in the post-war years. The solution is under our noses and in the church in every parish, but we will not have this Man to reign over us.

    • David

      Greetings Inspector !
      When you find a genuinely conservative party do let me know so that I can vote for it.

      • Inspector General

        There’s plenty of genuine conservative whatever, but only at constituency level, David. Last time one looked, around half the PPCs or at least half the successful PPCs were imposed on constituency associations by Central Office. Being metropolitan types, they don’t really do conservatism. They want a government job, you see, and they won’t let a little thing like that get in their way. Bastards.

    • “Look where your religion of self leads: pornography, drunkenness, crime, drug addiction, family breakdown.”
      To which one should also add an aging, increasingly dependent population and self extinction through the failure to procreate.

      • len

        We are prolonging life at one end of the spectrum and terminating it at the other, which is one problem with our society .There are many other problems.

        • Not just abortion, Len. We are failing to reproduce and abortion is the “back-up plan”.

          • Chefofsinners

            Go forth and multiply.

          • A sterile comment.

      • orthodoxgirl

        Meanwhile I would guess (because I don’t know for sure) that the Moslem population are busy building large families with plenty more souls for the future to carry their banner 🙁

        • Indeed; it’s there greatest means of advancement.

  • Inspector General

    Time to tell the truth, you rotters!

    Politicians tend to lie through their teeth, and an increasingly savvy electorate is irked by this dishonest habit. They vote accordingly, or should do, and will do in time. Damn well serves you scoundrels right when it comes!

    Your Inspector will take this Friday as leave, as he is wont to do after any General Election.

    His particular interest this year will be how far the electorate has shifted even more to the right. When it comes to law, order and security, you really can’t beat the right wing approach. The right wing grasps the nettle, and doesn’t make apologies for it. Everybody knows that…

    By the way, Ashenden old fellow, you and Cranmer make an unbeatable pair! Good show, chaps!!

    • Royinsouthwest

      I hope that you will have reason to celebrate Inspector in the early hours of Friday morning!

      • Inspector General

        Be it three days away, Roy, one is already in a state of arousal…

        • Been visiting PN (again), Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            What happened to Hannah yesterday. She’s deleted everything. Women, eh!

          • Anton

            I was writing a reply to one comment of hers and when I came to post it I was informed automatically that a blog administrator had deleted it.

          • Inspector General

            Shouldn’t think Cranmer had anything to do with it. More of a case of the hissy fits on her side. Though those with long memories will recall that Cranmer could smite in the same as the OT God.

          • bluedog

            Nothing more than divine intervention, IG.

          • Hi Inspector

            I decided to delete them as I’m wasting time engaging here. Have fun and bye bye.

          • bluedog

            An wanton self-destruction of your intellectual property, Hannah. The thing is not to waste energy in futile dialogues that demand instant response.

          • Typhoon Tina

            You’re not wrong, Hannah.

          • len

            Be a shame if you left Hannah.
            Engaging with others can be tedious and frustrating sometimes but your posts are valued.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Were it Tina I’d agree, but you have always engaged with humour and courtesy.

          • Anton

            There must be a tale behind Hannah. What does her Orthodox Jewish rabbi make of her open lesbianism?

            I am in no doubt how she can find peace; may she do so.

          • Royinsouthwest

            The Inspector probably has the same feelings when visiting PN as I do when unblocking the drains around my house; someone has to do it and if I don’t it won’t get done and the stink will be even greater. I assume that the Inspector is looking forward to a glass or two of single malt whisky.

      • Chefofsinners

        Last time he ‘celebrated’ he ended up banning himself for a month. A month unlike any other before or since, for it was three days long.

        • Royinsouthwest

          In recent years lots of planets have been detected in orbits around other stars. I would not be too surprised if there wasn’t one with a three day month. One of our former prime ministers, Ted Heath, found a planet (or part of one) with a three day week!

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Greens have apparently spotted a planet with a four day week, where all is nirvana……

    • Martin

      IG

      Do we have a Right?

      • Inspector General

        Martin. your Inspector visited the BNP site today. Just to inspect, you understand. These are hay making days for them. Politicians, take note…

        • gunnerbear

          I’ve never really thought of the BNP as right wing – socially authoritarian, economically statist..

          • Anton

            Quite. Nazi was short for National SOCIALIST.

          • gunnerbear

            Umm….the whole concept of ‘National Socialism’ isn’t left or right wing – it can’t be, Nazism, like Communism is totalitarian. The leaders of totalitarian states e.g Pinochet, Mao, Franco, Pol Pot et. al. aren’t Left or Right – the concept of Left and Right can’t exist in a totalitarian state…all that matters is how the state is organised….some totalitarian states have the govt. in direct charge of industry, other states perferred to have huge corporations exert control and as the govt. found it culturally much easier to control a few individuals rather than exert direct control. The defining relationship in a totalitarian state is between Party, State and then Society as a whole (Bullock is very interesting on that point). That key relationship was something Orwell examined in 1984 – I’m sure you recall O’Brien stating quite starkly, “Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was “Thou shalt not”. The command of the totalitarians was “Thou shalt”. Our command is “Thou art”. “

          • Anton

            Well yes, but it remains the case that those thought of as fascists are often a type of socialist, as the etymology of ‘Nazi’ confirms.

          • gunnerbear

            There is no such thing as a ‘type of fascist’ – a fascist is a totalitarian….just as a Communist (not a Socialist) is a totalitarian. Calling a Socialist a totalitarian is a daft as calling a Republican or British Conservative a fascist.

  • Peter Bolton

    Andy Burnham is the mayor of Greater Manchester, not of Birmingham.

    • Chefofsinners

      Ah yes. Our apologies to Andy Manchester, mayor of Burningham.

  • Inspector General

    Two of the latest murderers are featured on BBC on-line. Of alien stock, as if we hadn’t already realised that. Perhaps they came in under Tony Blair’s encouragement. He who ‘rubbed our noses in it’ for those who recall his lackey’s words…

    He’s gone, but in ones opinion, and that means it cannot be ignored, a vote for Labour is a vote for more Islam, and better things to come for those who are here.

    • Royinsouthwest

      No British government, and probably very few governments in any European country, has ever had an electoral mandate for a policy of mass immigration but Labour hit a new low under Tony Blair when its policy was based on a desire to “rubbing the Right’s noses in diversity.” That cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as a legitimate objective of government policy.

      Politicians may not always act in accordance with the national interest but you do expect them to act in good faith. The man who revealed the motive of Tony Blair’s immigration policy shows that the Blair regime was not simply misguided; instead of acting in what they rightly or wrongly thought was in the interests of the British people they tried instead to change the make up of the electorate and they made sure that the electorate was not aware of their intentions or their motives. That is a form of treason.

      • Anton

        And it should be punished as such.

      • bluedog

        Quite right, Neathergate was pure treason. The problem is that no government will prosecute its predecessor for fear of subsequent retribution in an endless cycle revenge lawfare.

      • orthodoxgirl

        And the man was a Catholic???!! Disgraceful. I hope he is suitably repentant now because he and his cronies opened this can of worms and now we are having to suffer the consequences…..plus Blair was the one to ban any kind of public objections to Islam and their ghastly practices under the label ‘hate crime’. So for years we have all been gagged from speaking the truth. Beggars belief.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They have been forced to drop their boring and meaningless mantra ‘home grown terrorists’ on this occasion.

  • gunnerbear

    Top Notch article…..

  • Chefofsinners

    Nice picture of Mohammed with his pants on fire.

    • John

      And here I was wondering why His Grace posted a picture of an eskimo standing in front of a barbecue.

    • Anton

      You can see another in Bologna’s main church, San Petronio, in a fresco inspired by Dante’s description of him in the afterlife.

  • bluedog

    An excellent article and one that canvasses a range of policy options for dealing with the largely Sunni phenomenon of Islamist terror at its roots. We may need to start an uncomfortable conversation about Islamic faith schools. Banning them is of course discriminatory, culturally insensitive and an offence against the all important tenets of inclusion, social justice and equality. But it should and must be done, they are clearly incubators of malignancy. The British government also needs to point out that there is in fact a state church, the CofE, which has Christian foundations. Mrs May attests to her own Christian faith, perhaps she should also proclaim that of the state, much to the discomfort of many CofE clergy.

  • John

    thereligionofpeace.com documents that there were 183 Islamic attacks in 27 countries, in which 1,425 people were killed and 1,671 injured in the last 30 days. Since 911 there have been 30,959 deadly terror attacks by Muslims. Those are just the ones they know about.
    The count for Ramadan so far is 55 attacks and 592 killed. All other religions combined it’s 0 attacks, 0 killed. Islamophobe incidents against Muslims also amount 0 attacks and 0 killed.
    Clearly we need an OFSTED programme to deradicalise our Sunday schools.

    • Mike Stallard

      And we never had the Civil War and the Continent never had the Thirty Years’ War?

      • bluedog

        All the result of latent Islamophobia.

      • The Snail

        We did indeed have these wars but they were not sanctioned by the teaching of Christianity – they took place despite the Christian teachings.

      • Paul Greenwood

        You don’t think the English Civil War had anything to do with Taxation then ? Nor the fact that the King ruled without Parliament 1629-1640 ? Do you know any English history ?

        • Mike Stallard

          My thoughts were more with Archbishop Laud and Oliver Cromwell who came from Huntingdon.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes but Laud tried to force a Prayer Book on Scotland and brought forth The Covenanters……not exactly a clever strategy to strip away national identity

    • Richard B

      If I may add John/Mike, further to my earlier comment on the war against infidels starting about 1,400 yrs ago, Dr Bill Warner has listed of hundreds of attacks/battles (average 1 every 5 yrs) in the subsequent 460 years ’til the patience of Europeans eventually decided enough was enough and launched the Crusades. In addition to TROP, Bill’s ‘Political Islam’ and listing are worth consulting > https://www.politicalislam.com/jihad-lead-crusades/

      • Anton

        It wasn’t a running-out of patience but an emergence of Europe’s western half from the Dark Ages. But I completely agree with your main point, that the Crusades were a response to centuries Islamic violence against Europe.

        • Richard B

          Thanks Anton and noted

  • myrnaJO

    I agree all muslims are not terrorists So … why are all the terrorists muslim ?..

    • David

      Read the Koran then the answer to your question becomes exceedingly clear.

      • Mike Stallard

        Read the Old Testament. Read Jesus’ remark about coming to bring the sword. John the Baptist did not condemn the soldier who asked what he should do; he just recommended decent behaviour.
        Christians have never really been pacifist since the first martyrs.

        • Anton

          Christians must never use violence in attempted furtherance of the Christian faith. They have the right of self-defence in secular causes, eg 1940.

          • Mike Stallard

            What about Christian morality – say, anti slavery? Thomas Clarkson was a very sincere Christian. His triumph in anti slavery formed one of the major motivators for the British Empire which is celebrated in many Church windows.

          • Anton

            Your question is too general for me to be able to respond to. Please ask me a more specific one!

          • Mike Stallard

            My question was meant to point out that, in world history, we have been very aggressive indeed. It is no good pretending that Sir Francis Drake, Robert Clive and Sir William Goldie were acting in self defence. They were out to get what they could – maurauders. the First World War was dressed up as self defence, but a very martial country eagerly went to war with another European one.
            In a tough world, we were the toughest. I am proud of that.

          • Anton

            Yes indeed, but they were not acting in furtherance of the Christian faith.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Indeed, the Honorable East India Company, so as not to upset trading relations, forbade Christian missionary activity around Calcutta, so William Carey had to work from the Danish concession of Serampore.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serampore#Danish_rule

          • The Snail

            What about William Wilberforce who was a Christian who fought for 50 years for the abolishment of slavery? and heard that it had been abolished on his death bed

          • Mike Stallard

            What about him indeed.
            I have just written a booklet for the local library on Thomas Clarkson whose genius was unite all the people – Quakers, printers, parliamentarians, Prime Ministers, ex slaves, ex slavers together into one huge force which swept the abominable evil away at enormous cost to the country.
            William Wilberforce spoke well in parliament and he had the ear of Pitt. He also had to keep Thomas Clarkson well away from London Society! But the co-ordinating force behind the anti slavery movement was in fact Thomas Clarkson.
            Wilberforce’s sons got in a super biography of their dad and, since one of them was a Bishop, he got all the limelight.

        • John

          The New Testament makes it very, very clear Mike that the Christian warfare is not with weapons of steel against flesh and blood people but with ‘weapons’ of righteousness against spiritually dark principalities and powers. That Jesus’ remark about coming with a sword was purely metaphorical is confirmed by his absolute refusal to retaliate when attacked and by his order to his minders to put down their sword on the one occasion it was actually used (as it happens in self defence).

          • Richard B

            Interesting point that I hope to blog about asap in view of prayer-vision.

          • Pete Walker

            And also it would be relevant to suggest that Jesus, in his frequently enigmatic and subtle way, was prophetically referencing Ephesians 6:17.

          • orthodoxgirl

            Yes, exactly. Jesus spoke often in metaphors and in a language that was subtle and sometimes hidden, which is why the more you practice Lectio Divina, the more is revealed to you through the workings of the Holy Spirit.

          • Mike Stallard

            Hooray – lectio divina! Yup – all four bits of it. Natural sense – allegory – transcendence and moral.
            I think Jesus was actually lamenting the fate of his followers. I think he said the words resignedly and take the literal (as well as the allegorical) view.

          • Mike Stallard

            I am afraid that Jesus’ tone of voice is not recorded in the Gospels. If it was, we could perhaps be more definite.

          • uppitynorth

            If you read it all instead of cherry picking you will clearly understand the meaning of the passage.

          • Mike Stallard

            I find this rather offensive. Was it meant to be?

        • The Snail

          Jesus said if his kingdom was of this world then his disciples would fight.

          The quote about bringing the sword is taken out of context. If you read on.

          Not Peace, but a Sword Matthew 10
          34 ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

          35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
          and a daughter against her mother,
          and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
          36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

          37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

          It is about divisions in families which will occur because some people want to follow Jesus and others do not – this will cause divisions.

          The death sentence is passed on a Muslim even by their own family if they leave islam to follow Jesus Christ. The whole opassage is about loving Jesus even more than those close to you!!!

        • Paul Greenwood

          Old Testament has nothing to do with ISLAM. You really have no idea of the Koran or Muslim history. You have a singular ignorance and it is typical of Western superficiality

          • Mike Stallard

            11.24 – 11.50
            20.8 – 20.100

        • orthodoxgirl

          The sword Jesus refers to also means the sword of Truth – His Truth. He declared “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life….” It is not a weapon as you indicate. His Word will cut like a sword and pierce the Lies of the Deceiver.

          • len

            Well said.

    • Paul Greenwood

      They aren’t. There used to be lots of Jewish terrorists in 1940s. There were Tamil terrorists too. We even had ETA, IRA, RAF, Brigatte Rosse, ……..but they need Sponsors to stay in business and today ONLY Islam has sponsors from Qatar, Saudi, London, Washington

      • Anton

        To take Myrna as meaning all terrorists over all time and space, rather than in Britain today, is to say more about you than about her, I suspect.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Yes. There were some rather nasty Hindus who murdered a whole load of people somewhere or another last week. However, it is inbuilt into Islam to provide such death.

      • Royinsouthwest

        You could probably add Pakistan to the list, and Iran too but fourtunately for us the ones the Iranians support don’t seem to be interested in targets outside the Middle East (as far as I know) or at least not yet.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Actually Iran is vehemently anti-Taliban and anti-Al Qaeda/ISIS/Al-Nusra……..it is USAF that is bombing to protect terrorists in Syria

  • michaelkx

    “we must start dignifying our democracy with telling the truth” if you expect any of this lot (all party’s) to tell the truth you are in for a long wait.

  • Mike Stallard

    Prisons – internet – madrasa and Mosques: check them all out.
    It is so easy to go through the Holy Bible and pick out bloody bits. Jesus himself made a couple of warlike remarks too. Then there were the crusades encouraged and set up by the Pope. Gott mit uns…
    The huge difference between Jesus and Mohammed is that when the time came, Jesus calmly walked into danger, torture and death. He then came back again.
    Mohammed, when the time came, put a substitute called Ali in his bed (cloak actually) and excaped to Yathrib. After that he fought battles, killed prisoners and started off one of the most successful Empires the world has ever seen. Caliph Omar makes Alexander the Great and Napoleon look like failures. Then came the Turkish Sultans…

    • Paul Greenwood

      Crusades were to recover Christian Territories in the Middle East overrun by Islam. You might compare it to D-Day in 1944 when the Allies obliterated the City of Caen to free it from German Occupation

      • Royinsouthwest

        Actually it was in the weeks following D-Day that Caen was heavily bombed and shelled, as I’m sure you know, but I agree completely with the point you made.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Yes, I have family that suffered the bombing having landed on 6 June

    • Dominic Stockford

      a. Neither Jesus, nor the Bible, ever, ever, ever instructed all Christians to go out and kill in His name.

      b. The Pope is not a Christian, none of them ever have been.

      • Mike Stallard

        b. Allow me to rise to this one.
        I once was present at a gathering of born agains. Some silly women sat listening to a young man with a beard saying whatever came into his head. Some of it was the usual tosh. The rest incited one of the women to have a divorce, another to leave her Chapel where she was worshipping. His heart was actually full of hatred. But who was in control of him?
        In the Anglican and Catholic churches, the Bishops are in control and most Protestant Churches have Ministers and Superintendents. This man had nobody to control his big gob.
        I think a lot of the trouble in Islam at the moment is that there are no Bishops to control the ignorant anger of their young men.
        And that is the point of the Church. Islam has no Church. So no Reformation is possible.

        • Anton

          You miss the point. If the Reformation of a religion means going back to its scriptures then that is PRECISELY what Islam is now doing, rediscovering its true identity following its release from Western colonialism. To our detriment!

          • Mike Stallard

            What I meant was that the Muslims have no church or organisation to rebel against. The ulama (scribes and Pharisees) aren’t really a Church and the Imams in the Sunni Faith are in no way either priests or bishops. So rebelling against the Pope and the Church teachings is quite impossible.
            So how do you reform the faith? That is what Muslims are facing up to. And there are various different answers. One of which is Salafism.

    • Terry Mushroom

      Jesus didn’t “come back again”. He rose to a new life.

      • Mike Stallard

        Erm…And there he was, standing in the midst of them…
        The whole point of the Resurrection – as opposed to the Ascension – is that Jesus actually reappeared, so ordinary as to be unrecognisable (Emmaus, Mary at the tomb) as a normal human being (Thomas and John’s Gospel) eating, speaking and walking around. Presumably he had clothes on too! (Where did they come from?)
        It is not a “conjuring trick with bones” (Bishop of Durham). Jesus was not seen as a Heavenly being like Jibril in the Haddith of al Bukhari. He was just an ordinary fellow.

        Staggering!

  • Anton

    The popular press are giving the police and security services a hard time for knowing of the leader of Saturday’s attack in London yet taking no prior action.

    Although I believe that political correctness is wrecking the police, I don’t condemn them for this at all. There are now 23,000 persons in the same category, it is said. They cannot possibly all be tracked rigorously and simultaneously. Time for internment?

    Those who let 23,000 jihadis into this country could join them.

    We also need to combine whatever our security services do with the knowledge gained by Israel and India about how to contain Islamic minorities.

    • Paul Greenwood

      You really want to follow Israel ? Then rebuild the Forces Research Unit used in N Ireland and employ the same tactics.

      • Anton

        If the alternative is having me or my loved ones being blown up then Yes. You’d rather be blown up or driven at or knifed while going about your peaceful daily business?

        • Paul Greenwood

          No, but I did not disband Forces Research Unit

          • Anton

            Nor did I; what is your point?

          • Paul Greenwood

            That FRU served a good purpose but if British Soldiers are going to be hounded by Phil Shiner or other lawyers 40 years later, why bother at all ?

    • 1650again

      23,000 is just the ones they know. Two of the three London killers were on no UK list. Some of the ‘experts’ I’ve heard interviewed this week sounded panicky and a couple admitted it was out of the control due to the numbers involved.

      • DP111

        The figure is more likely in the vicinity of 250,000.

        We are at war.

  • S.Shuvah

    The A B of C Welby could resort to telling the Truth, alas he is part of the problem. The battle we face cannot be won by Police powers /legislation/incarceration nor any other of mans devices, The ABofC seems to believe that Islam is a path to salvation! Truth is they are in effect dead devoid of Spirit as are its apologists The Gospel as been abandoned

    • 1650again

      If that’s the truth then he is not a Trinitarian Christian.

  • Mark Phillips

    Much is said about moderate Muslims, why don’t they denounce the attacks? The truth is (although most Muslims will deny this) the extremists are seen as more devout Muslims and criticism of them is seen as an offence against the faith. Moderate Muslims are seen as “lesser” Muslims. There is a hierarchy which needs to be broken. Also the importation of Imams from abroad needs to be stopped, so that no Salafist or Wahabi preachers can come into the country preaching against Western Values. Their words are taken by the extremists and enacted verbatim. The funding (and control) of UK Mosques from outside the UK also needs to be ended.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “Whoever kills a person [innocent person]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

    But even such apparently ‘positive’ statements, which are used to support the nonsense spoken by so many about Islam, have in fact a declaration of hate in them. Why? Because no-one who is not a muslim can possibly, according to the Koran, be innocent. What is more, those who are the ‘wrong kind of muslim’ are not innocent in the eyes of those who consider themselves the ‘right kind of muslim’.

    Until people in government are prepared to literally fight, and practically oppose, the spread of Islam in this country this will continue. At some points it will be muslim on muslim (ammadiyya tend to be the first to ‘get it’), but most of it will be muslim on anyone who happens to be around. It is the nature of Islam.

    • DP111

      This is what the Qur’an really says:

      Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel (Jews) that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption in the land — it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one — it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (5:32)

      First, note that this is not a general moral principle applying to everyone, as Obama implied, but one only for the Children of Israel. Nor is it is not a general prohibition of killing: there are big exceptions for those who kill “for a soul or for corruption in the land.” And it concludes that even after this command was given, “many of them, after that … were transgressors” — so all it is really saying is that Allah gave a command to the Children of Israel and they transgressed against it. It isn’t anything more than yet another Qur’anic castigation of the Jews.

      Also, it is followed in the Qur’an by 5:33, which specifies the punishment for the corruption and transgressions of the Children of Israel: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”

      Thus this passage is explaining what must be done with Jews who reject Muhammad, not dictating lofty moral principles. Ibn Warraq sums it up: “The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. ‘Behave, or else’ is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished!”

      https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/02/obama-islam-prohibits-terrorism-for-the-quran-says-whoever-kills-an-innocent-it-is-as-if-he-has-killed-all-mankind

      More here

      http://www.faithfreedom.org/the-most-peaceful-verse/

  • 1650again

    Excellent article indeed. And courageous, but the truth needs to be told.

  • len

    ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’. (John 10:10)

    ‘So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit’. (1 Corinthians 15:45) The Last Adam of course is Jesus Christ.

    The last Adam.The last. This makes Mohammed a false Prophet.

    Jesus gives Life.

    All Mohammed can offer is death, to all who opposes him, and to all his followers.

    Choose Life, Choose Christ.

    • James M

      Mohammed the thief, false prophet, killer and destroyer in a nutshell. He is indeed mentioned in the Bible LOL

  • Vincent

    Islam is a supremacist political ideology with a religious coating.

    It’s a superb deception- there is just enough religious piety to make the naive admire it , to cover over the evils that it permits – slavery
    oppression of non Muslims
    death penalties for leaving Islam, blasphemy (saying anything Muslims don’t like) homosexuality etc.
    Murder of non-Muslims.

    But there are just enough pleasant and peaceful Muslims who we like , to make the ‘religion of peace’ banner believable.

    Thankfully Our Lord is converting Muslims himself through dreams and visions, all over the Muslim world.
    These conversions are occurring during Ramadan in particular- which is now.
    Therefore we need to pray that the Lord continues this amazing work of mercy.

  • Ron McCracken

    Thank you, sir. God bless you.

  • Maxine Schell

    Here in the US I understand that one of Elizabeth’s titles is “Defender of the Faith”, so I don’t understand her silence about the Islamization of her country.