Mohammed montage9
Freedom of Religion

Prophet, Islamist, cartoon or bear: which Mohammed most offends?

 

Apparently we now know the identity of the Islamist butcher known as ‘Jihadi John’, who has an undoubted penchant for making snuff movies involving the decapitation of charitable and humanitarian non-Muslims. According to numerous media outlets, our intelligence agencies have established that his real name is Mohammed Emwazi, who was brought up in West London and attended a Church of England primary school, where, according to CAGE, he was radicalised by evil Christian teachers who forced him to learn his times tables and attend the daily act of collective worship.

There has been a chorus of condemnation from British Muslims that this vile murderer should so scandalise and smear the name of Mohammed.

Not.

Why is it that millions of Muslims all over the world routinely take to the streets to protest against satirical depictions of the Mohammed of seventh-century Mecca, yet utter not a word when one bearing the name of ‘The Prophet’ today commits the most barbarous acts against his fellow man? Why is it that thousands of Muslims will riot, kill nuns or burn down churches in protest against an historically accurate Arabian description of the Mohammed of antiquity – such as that delivered by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in 2006 – yet lay not a finger on their keyboards or lift a pen to grieve against those multiple latter-day Mohammeds who peddle obsessive theological untruths or rape, torture and sell women into slavery in the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful?

Why is there uproar over a bear called Mohammed, but heedless indifference over murderers, hijackers and bombers who happen to bear the name of ‘The Prophet’?

Remember Mohammed Bear? A British teacher called Gillian Gibbons was sentenced by the courts in Sudan to 40 lashes (ie death) for agreeing that her seven-year-old pupils could name their classroom teddy bear ‘Mohammed’. It was a cross-cultural exercise in democratic education: the name was among eight suggestions offered by the children, and Mohammad was the preferred choice of 20 of the 23 pupils in the class, so Mrs Gibbons gave Mohammed Bear her blessing.

Then all hell broke loose. She was arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, and told that she faced a death sentence for sedition, defaming Islam and insulting ‘The Prophet’. No matter how cuddly, warm and comforting Mohammed Bear might have been (just like the meek and mild Mohammed of hijrah), the naming caused widespread offence and diplomatic turmoil.

Compare that lunatic zeal with the shoulder-shrug response to the cold-hearted, murderous al-Qaeda terrorist named Mohammed Atta, who participated in the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11 2001. As evil and hateful as he was, no prominent Muslims have expressed disgust that he dragged the name of their prophet through the mud. If the naming of a bear is such an insult to Islam that it demands 40 lashes to atone, how many more lashes might atone for the naming of the terrorist? And what of the masked Mohammed brandishing his blade as a prelude to a summary beheading? Why aren’t ten thousand Muslims marching up Whitehall incensed that Mohammed Emwazi should so defile the name of their prophet?

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, it appears to be a greater crime to portray Mohammed in ancient illuminated manuscripts than it is to be named Mohammed and murder someone for smoking, watching football or holding hands in public with a girlfriend.

The West is being conditioned by reflexive Muslim outrage, which is a world apart from the Constitution of Medina. Under the new covenant, we are the dhimmis who live within Islamic territory governed by self-appointed religious authorities whose task it is to regulate society. Charlie Hebdo is free to publish its cartoons of Mohammed, but jihad demands retribution. The two Islamist brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, shot their way into the magazine’s Paris offices and killed 11 employees to cries of ‘Allahu Akbar!’. Their terrorist accomplices then proceeded to kill Jews in a kosher delicatessen.

The Kouachi brothers and all who follow them are the instruments of Islam for defence, survival and dominance, after the pattern and polity of Mohammed in Medina. Indeed, if either of the Kouachi brothers had been named Mohammed, the offence of the hook-nosed cartoon would still outweigh the satirical and disrespectful debasement of ‘The Prophet’ – perhaps because for a man named Mohammed to kill in the name of Allah the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful, is neither historic defamation nor theological corruption. The Caliphate is consolidated territory – then and now. If it may not be realised by consultation and consent, it will be by struggle, bloodshed and war.

Amidst the fatwas of the jurists and theologians are the protests, marches, bombs, bullets and threats of Muslims – extremist or moderate. As they greet our Hellenic assertions of liberty with immutable imperial revelation, we are adopting a de facto and de jure standard of self-censorship which elevates Mohammed to a plane which Jesus long since ceased to occupy. There can be no injection of Westernisation; no freedom of speech or freedom of artistic expression when the Islamists carry AK47s and even ordinary Muslims blast the airwaves with a narrow Sunni-Wahhabi-Salafist interpretation of sharia which shuts down all debate and renders blasphemous even the devout Shia traditions of portraying Mohammed in art. There are two loyalties and two sets of institutions: they cannot stand side by side in a split society. If modernity cannot reform Islamism, it must dislocate and eradicate it. The shahada liberates all Muslims from servitude: there is no fear, exploitation, injustice and oppression.

The name of Mohammed is not sacred: ‘The Prophet’ is not God or even part of Him. Muslims who insist that he may never be depicted need to reflect upon their own history of Qutb – the complete liberation of the human soul to express itself. And then they might consider that the name of Mohammed is not most debased by solitary bears, venerable paintings or half-a-dozen cartoons, but by those thousands of latter-day prophets who have been possessed by the whispers of Shaytan. If creative metaphors of Mohammed may offend, how much more those actual Mohammeds who seek to follow literally the authentic path of the Sunnah?

  • The Explorer

    When I was in Turkey, years ago, I visited a carpet factory. I was told, I think, that the designs on the carpets were abstract because it was forbidden in Islam to represent the things of creation.
    With the voyage of ‘The Beagle’ there was an artist present whose specific task was to record new flora and fauna. Would that sort of thing be forbidden in Islam, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?
    A ban on representations of God I can understand. I wonder how many have a subconscious image of God as an old man with a beard because of the Sistine Chapel and other Renaissance art?

    • Athanasius

      Only Richard Dawkins on his uneducated ilk. Christians do not understand God as an infinite extension of themselves.

      • The Explorer

        Quite. C S Lewis made the point that an early Christian might have taken Christ sitting at the right hand of God literally. But if he’d gone to Alexandria and obtained a philosophical education he’d have recognised that God doesn’t have hands.
        Aad you’re right that many atheists accuse Christians of believing in a FAther Chrsitmas in the sky

        • DanJ0

          “Aad you’re right that many atheists accuse Christians of believing in a FAther Chrsitmas in the sky”

          I’d hope that is just a caricature for the most part rather than a lack of religious education akin to most people’s understanding of (say) Hindu gods. That said, I’ve always found it a bit suspect that people prayer at crosses/crucifixes or at statues of saints or even in churches. Afterall, if the relationship of the Christian god to our reality is one of immanence then it hardly matters where one prays. It’s as though some people need to imagine something physical to target the prayers. Indeed, at my most cynical I’m inclined to think that the emergence and subsequent success of Christianity as a religion might have had something similar to do with its incarnation of its god.

          • The Explorer

            C S Lewis also said that some atheists themselves had a very childish view of God which they then projected onto Christians, and objected to an adult theologically-sophisticated view. (I’m not suggesting for a moment that you fall into that category of atheist.)

          • Linus

            Christians speak of God the Father and then wonder why Atheists have a childish view of who he’s supposed to be?

            Your religion is full of childish references to God. He’s the Big Daddy in the sky who’ll hurt all your enemies and make everything better for you. In fact your own holy book recommends that you should believe like a child.

            It’s hard to build a sophisticated view out of the bible’s portrayal of God because it does everything it can to infantilize humans and portray us as simple and inferior beings.

            If Atheists have a simplistic view of God, it’s because Christianity preaches that view. All we’re doing is repeating what you tell us about him. Only what you seem convinced is so sophisticated and mature sounds utterly childish when someone else repeats it back to you.

          • The Explorer

            I did say “some” atheists, and specifically excluded DanJ0. If you can understand William Lane Craig’s ‘Time and Eternity’ I’d be grateful for the explanation. And I could do with a simple repetition of ‘Romans’.

          • Athanasius

            If atheists have a simplistic view of God it’s because atheists are not noticeably brighter than anyone else. Sorry to shatter your illusions.

          • Linus

            And I’m sorry to shatter your illusions, but try reading Zuckerman, Silberman and Hall’s paper “The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations” in Personality and Social Psychology Review.

            Atheists ARE noticeably brighter than religionists. Which is not to say that every Atheist is brighter than every Christian. But on average, secularists have a higher IQ and a greater likelihood of attaining university level diplomas. Heck, they’re even less likely to divorce than religionists.

            So much for the perfecting influence of God on those who believe in him, eh?

          • Athanasius

            Ah, so you’re admitting that a need to perceive of yourself as being more intelligent is what motivates you to atheism? Because if you are, perhaps the authority you choose to cite (one which is telling you what you want to hear) can actually provide a universally accepted definition of the word “intelligence”.

          • Linus

            I’m merely observing that according to generally accepted measures of intelligence, Atheists score on average higher than Christians. That doesn’t mean I have a “need to perceive myself as more intelligent”, because the average score of people who share my beliefs does not raise (or lower) my own score. My own score is what it is and whether or not I have a “need” to feel more intelligent than others doesn’t change that score. It is what it is.

          • Athanasius

            Translation – you were feeling pretty smug about being in what you thought was good company until a frenetic internet search on foot of my last post showed you there IS no universally accepted definition of intelligence, hence the regression to the somewhat nebulous “generally accepted”.

          • Linus

            The IQ testing system is a well-established and generally accepted measure of intelligence. Granted, Taliban and IS terrorists probably don’t accept it. Nor do fundy Christians, probably because they score so badly on it. But universal agreement is impossible to find, and on scales where there are winners and losers, the losers tend to dispute the validity of the scale. That’s human nature: none of us like to admit weakness or inferiority, so the scale must be at fault, not us.

          • Athanasius

            Ah, I understand now. So what you’re saying is that the definition which tells you that YOU’RE more intelligent (ie, the one that validates atheism) is correct, whereas any questioning of this definition is, we need hardly say, proof of inferior intelligence. Ok, glad we cleared that up, because we wouldn’t want to be accused of circular reasoning.

          • Linus

            Offer a reasoned critique of the IQ scale rather than an emotive rejection of it based on the fact that people who believe like you score relatively poorly on it and then I’ll be perfectly willing to listen to you.

            So far I’m not seeing much proof of this superior but misunderstood intelligence you claim to possess.

          • The Explorer

            They’re probably less likely to divorce because they’re probably less likely to get married in the first place.
            Monogamous marriage presented an interesting evolutionary problem to the likes of Darwin and Haeckel. If inferior people should be prevented from breeding (as one might dispose of the runts in the litter to improve the potential quality of the remainder) then an alpha male should not be confined to one wife: just as one would not confine one’s prize stallion to one mare.
            Darwin and Haeckel (and their wives) got uptight about following through the implications, but their intellectual descendants have acted on the principles they established. Polygamy, adultery. or don’t get married at all. Just co-habit for a bit and spread your seed as widely as possible. So any atheists who stay married and faithful really haven’t caught on to the evolutionary message. Even worse are those who don’t breed at all.

          • The Explorer

            “It hardly matters where one prays.” Ezekiel, removed to Babylon, wondered how he could worship without the Temple in Jerusalem. He then had the vision of the chariot with wheels within wheels that could go anywhere, and the four strange beasts that between them represented creation. He then realised that God was not restricted to the Temple and could be worshipped anywhere.
            Christ made a similar point about tearing down the temple made with hands and he would raise up another one. (ie, Himself, who could indwell believers through the Holy Spirit.)

          • Danjo, are you confusing private prayer with communal worship?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Public and communal worship in your denomination, HappyJ, includes ‘Veneration of the Cross’.

          • We venerate an image or representation of Christ’s cross, yes. We don’t actually adore the material image but what it represents.

            On Good Friday, Catholics kneel before the crucifix and kiss it. In doing so, we are paying honour to our Lord’s cross as the instrument of our salvation. The Cross is inseparable from His sacrifice. In paying it reverence, in effect, we are adoring Christ.

            Here’s what Catholic’s pray:

            “We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.”

          • Dominic Stockford

            I am sure that’s what the chap said to his wife – ‘I was only kissing that woman as a representative image of you, I didn’t really mean it, except in honour of you.’

          • … if he carried and kissed a photo of his wife? This would be a more honest analogy.

          • The Explorer

            I have problems with representations of God the Father, but not with representations of Christ because Chrsit was incarnate.

          • CliveM

            I’m with you on this. Images of Christ or other Biblical imagery doesn’t really bother me at all. Personally I don’t need it, but don’t see a problem for those that do.

            Images of God are different. It doesn’t matter how good they are the diminish him and humanise him. Which I see as a danger.

          • Dominic Stockford

            No it isn’t, because we have no idea what Jesus looked like.

          • No idea? He was a Jewish man – that’s a start. And it’s a more accurate an analogy than your suggestion. Besides, it’s not the image that’s significant; it’s what it represents.

          • Mungling

            Speaking as a Catholic, for whom statues, cross/crucifixes and Churches are a part of every day life, I can say that having tangible signs of intangible realities is a major blessing in my spiritually life. Intellectually I know that God is everywhere, and I frequently pray (silently) while on the bus or walking the street. With that said, the physical reminders do help. Being reminded of how much Jesus loves us while looking at a crucifix helps us to remember how good our God is. Looking at a statue of a saint both reminds me of the virtues that I need to grow and reminds me that cultivating those virtues remains possible while on Earth. Like it or not, we interact with the world using our senses and so I don’t think it’s wrong to bring a physical dimension to the spiritual life.

          • Well said, Mungling.
            And welcome to this happy little community.

          • Mungling

            Thank you! A pleasure to join all of you.

          • The Explorer

            Greetings, Mungling, from a Protestant to a fellow Christian.

    • Coniston

      God the Father should not be represented in art – though often has been in Western art. In the Eastern Church it has been forbidden, though there are some examples, due to Western influences. Jesus Christ, because he lived as a man on earth, can be represented. When a young relative was about 6 I bought her some pop-up books depicting Bible stories – Noah, Moses, etc. One I saw was of Adam & Eve (partially clothed), with a beaming old grandfather figure up in the sky. I did not buy it.

      • The Explorer

        Thank you. Any response you have made to any of my posts has always been helpful.

  • Anton

    If Your Grace wants the answers to the question in his 4th and 5th paragraphs, he should read the Hadith.

    NB if only schools did teach the times tables properly…)

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace wrote; ‘Barbourus acts against his fellow man’.
    I do not believe that Muslims see others as their fellow man. We are infidels, lesser people, they are superior. Christians however may believe that they know the one way to god and that is through Jesus Christ with proof through the power of the Holy Spirit. But that should make them humble towards their fellow man as servants of the Lord God.

    The use of the word Mohamed as a first name seems to be a cultural one. Our brethren from Africa and other places are likely to use the name Jesus without it being considered blasphemous. I do not think it is the name that is the issue but the application and associations that pertain.

    Until Muslims realise that Islam is a false religion we are going to be faced with on a growing scale, confrontation with those who take Islam to be true in every respect. For those who follow it as a cultural religion and way of life, their may be a pacifity but never an aceptance of Christianity.

    • Linus

      Barbourus acts fall under the category of crimes against fashion and are never religiously motivated.

      • The Explorer

        Too profound for me, Linus: unless you’re drawing a distinction between barbourus and barbarous.

        • Linus

          If the Taliban killed anyone who committed a Barbourus act, the English countryside would be emptied and membership of the Conservative Party would fall precipitously.

          Reason enough to give them free rein, some would say. I don’t agree, of course. Conservatives don’t deserve the death penalty for their ill-conceived fashion choices. Wearing a foul-smelling waxed raincoat shouldn’t incur capital punishment…

          • The Explorer

            I was thinking tonsorial fashion, and some sort of pun on ‘barber’, and missed the obvious. Quite so.

          • bluedog

            Should have read further before posting, apologies, Linus.

        • bluedog

          Isn’t Barbour a type of jacket frequently worn by Nigel Farage?
          Babarous sounds right.

          • The Explorer

            Just so long as the future isn’t berberous

  • David Roseberry

    This is the issue, as Your Grace so powerfully writes: “If modernity cannot reform Islamism, it must dislocate and eradicate it.” How to do either?

    Reformation? We must hope for the Islamic equivalent of a Martin Luther, Francis of Assisi, or a Martin Luther King. It will take generations to change…if it ever can.

    Eradication? We must pray for a Christian revival to answer the longing for the holy found in these lost people.

    Lord have mercy.

  • preacher

    Jesus said “I have come to set the captives free” Anyone who has so far rejected His offer is still a prisoner, whether of religion, or any other system.
    A cage is still a cage, if it’s made of Gold, steel, or religious inspired hatred that demands the murder of innocents.

  • DanJ0

    Powerful stuff. And courageous!

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Why is it that thousands of Muslims will riot in protest against an historically accurate Arabian description of the Mohammed of antiquity yet lay not a finger on their keyboards to grieve against those multiple latter-day Mohammeds who peddle obsessive theological untruths or rape, torture and sell women into slavery

    Because Muslims reflexively condemn any criticism of their religion by non-Muslims and Islam allows the taking of non-Muslim sex slaves:

    [23:1] Blessed are the believers, [23:2] who are humble in their prayers; [23:3] who avoid profane talk, [23:4] and give alms to the destitute; [23:5] who restrain their carnal desires [23:6] (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)

  • The Explorer

    Muslims objected to the western term ‘Mohammadan’ because they worshipped Allah, not Muhammad. They did not wish to make the Christian error of turning their prophet into God.
    There are though, I suspect, grey areas within Islam, especially for uneducated Muslims. If they know Allah must not be represented, but are unclear about the exact status of the Prophet, then any representation of Muhammad smacks of blasphemy and must be punished . That aside from the ban (if I’m right about this) about representing the created world as an attempt to copy Allah.

  • IanCad

    Good Stuff YG! Good Stuff!

    When Islam oversteps the boundaries of tolerance things will change.

    They will realize that they are weak and in no way as nasty as Whitey when he gets his dander up.

    We are far more ferocious. We supply the weapons.

    I would suggest that the cowardly way in which we fear a few bandits merely gives the whole tribe a false sense of empowerment.

    There are good Muslims out there.

    Always have been.

    Now, let’s give the BBC credit when it is due:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31640643
    This cartoon nonsense is nothing new.

  • The Explorer

    Would the destruction of statues at the Reformation be our own sort of equivalent?

    • Dominic Stockford

      The RC church has something called the ‘Veneration of the Cross’ on Good Friday – yet they never use a cross, always a crucifix. Interesting thought.

      • carl jacobs

        The Mass is the constant “re-presentation” of the Crucifixion. The Cross can never be empty in RCism.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Dear Carl, as an ex-Roman priest I well understand the strange presentations they have of various matters. Six years of training/indoctrination made sure of that!

          However, they choose to call it ‘veneration of the cross’, not veneration of the crucifix (which is a different thing to a cross). And then they produce a crucifix, and then everyone kisses the feet of the idol (man-made figure) on it. Thus they don’t actually venerate the cross at all anyway (whatever one might think of that whole idea in the first place).

          • carl jacobs

            Dominic

            I had no idea you were an ex-RC priest. You should instruct me then. 🙂 I don’t ever remember hearing a RC use the phrase “crucifix.” It’s a distinction that I commonly make, but I am not sure if it is RC vocabulary.

          • Dominic Stockford

            We did frequently use it – however, you have a bit of a point. The ‘Taize’ thing has a new agey thing called ‘Prayer round the Cross’, which uses a painted cross – with a painted figure on it. That isn’t called a crucifix – but on the whole when it has a ‘formed image’ on it the clergy would tend to call it a crucifix. Thus, a rosary has a crucifix on the end of it. The people would tend to use whatever word was the word they used, though more than you think would say crucifix for a wooden cross with the man-imagined image on it.

          • For the record, no matter what Popes have said about its founder and concessions made to him, ‘Taize’ isn’t a Roman Catholic movement.

          • carl jacobs

            Ooh! Now, isn’t this an interesting development. Jack is more Catholic than the Pope. And Jack suddenly speaks with authority. How very Protestant of him. 🙂

          • No Pope has ever described ‘Taize’ as Roman Catholic.
            And Jack is at perfect liberty to disagree with personal opinions of Popes (after due reflection, of course). Attitudes to ‘Brother Roger’ are interesting and none are binding on a Catholic.

          • carl jacobs

            A little investigation reveals the Veneration of the Cross began as veneration of a piece of “the True Cross.” Men love the idea of the Brass Serpent, and are so quick to make an idol out of it. “Here is a direct tangible connection to a great and miraculous event!” Pretty soon, the event and the object are inseparable.

            I see the Shroud of Turin is on display, and the Bishop of the area is allowing special dispensation for women who have aborted to be absolved. I don’t suppose it should matter that the Shroud has no provenance, is a fake constructed for the “relic trade” and might have been constructed by brutally murdering someone. I won’t even ask why the grave clothes would have been allowed to survive given man’s innate tendency to make an idol of such things.

            I also won’t even ask why a penitent should need dispensation from a bishop to be absolved for sin. That’s a different subject altogether. And a significantly more serious one.

          • Carl, are you having one of your anti-Catholicism, anti-Trent days? So many questions you have no wish to ask.

            “I don’t suppose it should matter that the Shroud has no provenance, is a fake constructed for the “relic trade” and might have been constructed by brutally murdering someone.”,/i>

            There’s no evidence for any of that, is there? No adequate scientific explanation exists for the Shroud’s image. As disturbing as that might be, it leaves one wondering.

            “I won’t even ask why the grave clothes would have been allowed to survive given man’s innate tendency to make an idol of such things.”

            Perhaps, if this is the burial shroud of Christ, wrapped as it is in enigma, God has a higher opinion than you of man and his ability to overcome such innate tendencies.

            “I also won’t even ask why a penitent should need dispensation from a bishop to be absolved for sin. That’s a different subject altogether. And a significantly more serious one.”
            Actually, absolution is given; the bishop’s role is to lift the penalty of excommunication. And you do know the answers to these questions as they are all plainly laid out in discussions elsewhere. Go back and study the early history of the Church – forgiveness of serious sin by a bishop has been in place since Pentecost.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            No adequate scientific explanation exists for the Shroud’s image.

            You are simply wrong with that assertion. People have managed to duplicate the 3D image effect on the Shroud. Once the specter of “miracle” falls away from the image, the Shroud quickly unravels. For there are two incontrovertable facts:

            1. The Shroud has no provenance at all. You have no way to put it in the tomb of Christ.

            2. There was a malignant trade in faked relics, and what more impressive relic could possibly be imagined than the burial shroud of Christ – the first witness to the resurrection?

            Why do I think someone was murdered? Because the Shroud reveals accurate details of crucifixion. The nails are in the correct place. The blood trails show the distinction between two positions on the cross – pushing up to breathe, and slumped to reduce the pain. But I admit that is speculation.

            You are the one however who has to show some proof. There is no Scriptural record of the Shroud recording the miracle, or even that anyone removed it from the tomb. I have already pointed out the lack of provenance. The real argument is that “miraculous” image. Except it isn’t miraculous. So what then should I make of it?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            It’s certainly true that the Shroud appears to make its first appearance in the medieval period. Wonder where it had been?

            It’s a pity as personally I would like it to be real. But that’s why despite the weight of evidence against it, people still believe.

          • carl jacobs

            Clive

            People don’t want to stand on just the greater testimony of Scripture. They prefer the lesser testimony of a relic because the relic is possessed by sight. That’s why the relic becomes the object of worship. It becomes fused with their faith.

            That’s also why there are no legitimate relics. It was not an accident that Christ came when He did. Can you imagine what would happen to a photo of Christ preaching the Sermon on the Mount?

          • CliveM

            Which is why putting your faith in what is not core to Christianity (like relics or certain human beings) is dangerous. They can only disappoint.

          • “People don’t want to stand on just the greater testimony of Scripture. They prefer the lesser testimony of a relic because the relic is possessed by sight. That’s why the relic becomes the object of worship. It becomes fused with their faith.”

            Either/or again, Carl. And the relic, even if genuine, is not an object of “worship” and is not “fused” with faith at all.

          • The weight of evidence?

            http://shroudstory.com/

            “The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus. The carbon dating, once seemingly proving it was a medieval fake, is now widely thought of as suspect and meaningless. Even the famous Atheist Richard Dawkins admits it is controversial. Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, thinks more testing is needed. So do many other scientists and archeologists. This is because there are significant scientific and non-religious reasons to doubt the validity of the tests. Chemical analysis, all nicely peer-reviewed in scientific journals and subsequently confirmed by numerous chemists, shows that samples tested are chemically unlike the whole cloth. It was probably a mixture of older threads and newer threads woven into the cloth as part of a medieval repair. Recent robust statistical studies add weight to this theory. Philip Ball, the former physical science editor for Nature when the carbon dating results were published, recently wrote: “It’s fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever.” If we wish to be scientific we must admit we do not know how old the cloth is. But if the newer thread is about half of what was tested – and some evidence suggests that – it is possible that the cloth is from the time of Christ.

            No one has a good idea how front and back images of a crucified man came to be on the cloth. Yes, it is possible to create images that look similar. But no one has created images that match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and
            profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images on the Shroud. Again, this is all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

            We simply do not have enough reliable information to arrive at a scientifically rigorous conclusion. Years ago, as a skeptic of the Shroud, I came to realize that while I might believe it was a fake, I could not know so from the facts. Now, as someone who believes it is the real burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, I similarly realize that a leap of faith over unanswered questions is essential.”

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            The history of the Shroud starts 1350. There is no conclusive evidence of its existence prior to that date. Interestingly this is also the date given by the carbon dating that is the subject of controversy. Just because it has question marks doesn’t mean its wrong. Simply that the tests should be re-done. As you know the Church won’t allow this.
            There are tales of the Shroud pre – dating 1350 but none of them are conclusive and none of them can be tied in with any certainty to the Shroud of Turin.
            Most historians believe the Shroud is a medieval fake.

          • “Most historians believe the Shroud is a medieval fake.”

            Setting aside the problems with creating the image in the 14 century, that’s no linger the case and scientists are increasingly looking to the first century too. It’s a complicated matter.

          • CliveM

            Whatever the truth of the Shroud, there is no doubt it is a fascinating object.

          • Clive, if you are motivated to seriously consider the Shroud, read this.
            http://www.shroudofturin.com/Resources/CRTSUM.pdf

          • “You are simply wrong with that assertion. People have managed to duplicate the 3D image effect on the Shroud. Once the specter of “miracle” falls away from the image, the Shroud quickly unravels.”

            Actually, you’re wrong in asserting my assertion is wrong. Here’s a good website Jack has been dipping in and out of for some years.

            http://shroudstory.com/

            It regularly reports on new findings and theories about the Shroud. Some of it is too technical for Jack to follow. Here’s a summary of its position:

            “Scientifically, we don’t know the age of the Shroud of Turin. But we do know it is at least twice as old as the now discredited carbon 14 date. As for the images, we have no idea how they are formed. But we do know that they were not made by any known artistic method.

            The Atheist, the skeptic, the rationalist must accept the scientific facts just as a Christian should. To deny that the shroud is authentic requires a leap of faith. So does affirmation. But the Christian who thinks it is the real thing may be at an advantage because a preponderance of evidence points that way.”

            As for your two incontrovertible facts, so what? Because the Shroud’s origins cannot be proven and because there was a trade in relics, proves nothing.

            “Why do I think someone was murdered? Because the Shroud reveals accurate details of crucifixion. The nails are in the correct place. The blood trails show the distinction between two positions on the cross – pushing up to breathe, and slumped to reduce the pain. But I admit that is speculation.”

            And your conclusion, given the current position of empirical research, is interesting: “The real argument for the authenticity of the Shroud is that “miraculous” image. Except it isn’t miraculous.”

            Bear in mind the formulation of the image cannot at this time be explained or verified. The best theory appears to be a sudden burst of light and energy and there is persuasive evidence it originates from the first century AD.

            “So what then should I make of it?”

            Well, that’s for you to answer, isn’t it?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            If a man can create a 3D image on a cloth through natural means, then there is no reason to presume it had to be formed by a miracle. And such an image has been created.

            http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2005/marapr/3.22.html?paging=off

            There is no recorded Scriptural evidence of a “sudden burst of light” at the moment of Resurrection – a pointless miracle since Jesus was in a sealed tomb. Who would see it? It’s not like resurrection requires a sudden burst of light. The cloth might originate from the first century. So what? Forgers work with old materials all the time.

            If it was just an old cloth with an image, then people wouldn’t think twice about it. No, it’s that mysterious 3D image that people focus on. The image is the ‘miracle’ that ties the cloth to the miracle in the moment. Without that 3D image, there is no relic. The lack of provenance becomes dispositive at that point. You are beginning with nothing more than an image on a piece of cloth and working backwards from that image to a relic of a miracle. You are doing so without any evidence at all that any such relic ever existed.

            So what do we have? A piece of cloth which appears out of nowhere in the middle ages during a time when relics were being faked left and right. The cloth bears a mysterious image that can be produced through natural processes. The cloth cannot be validated in any way as the burial shroud of Christ; a shroud possessing no Scriptural verification whatsoever. And what happens to it? It gets put on display so people can “contemplate” it – this relic the mere presence of which might induce God to perform miracles. It’s no different from that cadaverous heart that was paraded around Boston a decade ago for the purpose of increasing vocations.

            Stop for a moment. Ask yourself “What if carl is right?” What would that say about all this veneration? Or perhaps that is why you don’t want to ask the question.

          • “If a man can create a 3D image on a cloth through natural means, then there is no reason to presume it had to be formed by a miracle. And such an image has been created.”

            You haven’t read the website Jack referred you to, have you? According to those in the know, no image has been recreated with the unique features of the Shroud.

            “There is no recorded Scriptural evidence of a “sudden burst of light” at the moment of Resurrection – a pointless miracle since Jesus was in a sealed tomb. Who would see it? It’s not like resurrection requires a sudden burst of light.”

            Well, no one witnessed the actual resurrection, so it’s hardly likely to have been recorded.

            “The cloth might originate from the first century. So what? Forgers work with old materials all the time.”

            Oils and pollen from that time are also supposedly ingrained in the Shroud. The cloth first surfaced in the early 14th century, although there is a school who argue it’s existence was known of in the 6th century. Pretty sophisticated forgers. The special features of the cloth were not realised until the early 20th century.

            And there is biblical evidence for the existence of a burial cloth and face covering:

            “Simon Peter, coming up after him, went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and also the veil which had been put over Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths, but still wrapped round and round in a place by itself.”
            (John 20: 6-7)

            Would the Apostle leave it there?

            “If it was just an old cloth with an image, then people wouldn’t think twice about it. No, it’s that mysterious 3D image that people focus on. The image is the ‘miracle’ that ties the cloth to the miracle in the moment. Without that 3D image, there is no relic.”

            People considered it a relic at least 700 years before the 3D image was revealed.

            “The lack of provenance becomes dispositive at that point. You are beginning with nothing more than an image on a piece of cloth and working backwards from that image to a relic of a miracle. You are doing so without any evidence at all that any such relic ever existed.”

            That’s not so. People believed it was the burial shroud before modern science and the search for empirical evidence.

            .
            “So what do we have? …..”

            A very poor summary from you, Jack would say.

            “Stop for a moment. Ask yourself “What if carl is right?” What would that say about all this veneration? Or perhaps that is why you don’t want to ask the question.”

            The Church IS neutral as to the Shroud’s authenticity, though does commend it as an article of devotion. And what if Carl is wrong?
            This article refutes the one you linked to:

            http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/10/29/scientist-dismisses-new-turin-shroud-claims/

            And this gives a summary of findings/historical theories:

            http://shroudencounter.com/worddocuments/Fact_Sheet.pdf

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            The Church is neutral as to the Shroud’s authenticity

            That’s just disingenuous. It wouldn’t be displayed in the way it is currently being displayed if that was the case. Nor would it be the reason for special absolution being granted. It is being treated like an actual relic. The RCC should not be neutral on the subject. It should deny authenticity until authenticity has beyond established beyond reasonable doubt. Since that criteria could never be met, it should remove the Shroud to a museum somewhere and ignore it.

            does commend it as an article of devotion.

            It commends as an “article of devotion” that which is cannot say is authentic. So they church could be commending as an article of devotion that which is a fake and a fraud. That which was created by crucifying a man so that a model corpse could be obtained for creating the forgery. Because that’s what I think actually happened.

            And what if Carl is wrong?

            I don’t bear the burden of proof. I am simply saying “Show me the money.” Your problem is that you can’t.

            This article refutes the one you linked to:

            That article has nothing to do with what I linked. What I linked is a long description of how a man created a 3D image on a piece of cloth using technology well within the reach of the 14th century.

            no image has been recreated with the unique features of the Shroud.

            Once I know it can be done, then I know that the Shroud effect can be duplicated once the right process is discovered. There can no longer be an assertion of divine creation. Without the miraculous image, there is nothing to drive one to the conclusion that it is real.

            so it’s hardly likely to have been recorded. … Would the Apostle leave it there?

            Arguments from silence. Lack of evidence is not evidence.

            People considered it a relic at least 700 years before the 3D image was revealed.

            People TODAY would not give it a second thought. The only argument you have made to resist the idea of forgery is that “the image cannot at this time be explained or verified.” That’s it. That’s the whole of your case. Once that image becomes non-mysterious, then you could have nothing but the authority of the Church – which you say will not be formally granted. So I point out to you that people have reproduced the same 3D effect, and you say “Well, it’s not exactly identical.”

            There isn’t any case for the Shroud, Jack. No provenance. No mystery. No magisterial declaration. Just a lot of wishful thinking tied to the idea that men want visual confirmation of something that happened 2000 years ago. Don’t tell me that isn’t at the root of this, because it is. It’s the desire for faith to be come sight, and so faith is invested in the authenticity of the object to make that happen. That’s dangerous.

          • You seem very animated by all this, Carl.

            Read the website Jack linked you to way back. There are numerous papers addressing all the points you make. There is no known way the Shroud could have been constructed centuries ago.

            And who are you to say the Roman Catholic Church should not remain neutral? The Church is neutral on whether it’s Christ’s actual shroud.

            “So the RCC could be commending as an article of devotion that which it admits could be a fake and a fraud.”

            Not at all. It’s admitted no such thing. And it’s an article of devotion.

            “That which it admits could have been created by crucifying a man so that a model corpse could be obtained for creating the forgery. Because that’s what I think actually happened.”

            Wooha there cowboy!!!

            Who’s admitted any such thing? That’s simple wild speculation to try to explain something which cannot be explained.

          • Linus

            Personally I think the shroud probably has something to do with the lizard people.

            There are loads of websites out there that tell us all about the Global Elite comprised of shape-shifting alien lizards. Your queen is one of them, apparently. Obama too. Even David Cameron is supposed to be all green and scaly under that pale and puffy English exterior.

            What probably happened was that way back some time in the Byzantine era, there was a palace coup and the experienced lizard emperor was knocked off by a younger rebel. As everyone knows, these lizards are quite fond of their human slaves, so maybe the new lizard emperor got a bit upset when the Church crucified one of his Muslim or Jewish pets, so he snaffled the body complete with its linen shroud and zapped it in his cellular rejuvenation machine to bring it back to life.

            This is clearly the origin of the image we see today: alien technology interacting with terrestrial materials leaving an imprint that our own science just can’t explain.

            Now of course normally the lizards wouldn’t have let evidence of their existence leak to the outside world, but things were pretty unstable in the Byzantine empire, so I guess the shroud just got overlooked in the chaos and by the time the lizards realized it was out there, it was too late to do much about it. That fire that almost burned it to ash in the 19th century may have been a last ditch attempt to get rid of evidence that could uncover their presence among us.

            What other explanation fits the known facts?

            😉

          • The Explorer

            Love it!

          • carl jacobs

            Wait. That was supposed to be funny, wasn’t it?

          • The Explorer

            Funny? I’ve been waiting for someone to blow the cover of the lizard people. The trouble is, they take such horrible reprisals against anyone who exposes them.

          • carl jacobs

            Perhaps this is just impenetrable “British humor” reacting to a French vision of humor. I keep forgetting that Monty Python is the exception that proves the rule.

            Carry on, then. I will observe with curious if amused detachment (not to mention a quiet sense of superiority tempered by natural American humility) this strange and incomprehensible phenomenon known as “the British sense of humor.’

          • The Explorer

            The French have the most marvellous sense of humour. They elected Hollande. One must indulge their zaniness. (Actually , the next lizard emperor isn’t Linus or me. It’s Happy Jack.)

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I don’t think Linus is impenetrable…just difficult to understand

          • Linus

            Maybe I’m one of them and revealing our existence is a novel tactic designed to destabilize and overthrow a rival lizard clan…

            The next lizard emperor could well be me. I think I’ll base my empire at Versailles and amuse myself by visiting retribution on all those uptight Manif pour tous troublemakers who live there. There’s plenty of persecution fodder right on the château’s doorstep, so it’ll take me years to get round to dealing with you lot in the UK. Breathe easy, it looks like you’re safe … for the time being!

          • The Explorer

            You aren’t the next lizard emperor. There can’t be two of us!

          • Linus

            I’ll back my bid for the imperial lizard throne against yours any day. I have everything going for me. White, gay, male, atheist … if your Christian propaganda is to be believed, my kind already rules the world, so of course we’ll choose our next emperor from among our own kind.

          • The Explorer

            Our propaganda says your boss rules the world: although our sacred book refers to him as a serpent or dragon, rather than as a lizard.
            Anyway, I’ll let you into a secret I’ve already told Carl: the real pretender to the lizard throne is Happy Jack. My own claim was just to put you on a false trail. But don’t let on to Happy Jack I’ve told you. The repercussions would be too awful. NO JACK, NO! AAARGH!!!

          • Linus just wants attention from Happy Jack, Carl.
            [One point, the fire he refers to was in the 16th century and not the 19th century.]

          • Linus

            Sad Jack may be right about the date of the fire. The lizards must have realized their artefact was missing much earlier than the 19th century. As their network permeates all human social and political structures, they have unparalleled sources of information and must have known very early on that evidence of their superior technology had fallen into human hands. So it makes sense they’d make an early attempt to destroy that evidence.

            They’re clearly behind the reluctance of the Church to let scientists chop the thing up and carry out further tests on it. If we find out the image is actually composed of kryptonite particles and those random looking stains are really lizard fingerprints, their mask will slip and the Global Elite conspiracy will be revealed for all to see!!! 😮

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I don’t have any interest in spending the time required to learn how to navigate through that site. If you have specific points to make, then you should make them. You don’t need to fall back on a website to make your arguments for you.

            There is no known way the Shroud could have been constructed centuries ago.

            You don’t know how it was made, but you know it couldn’t have been made centuries ago? Do you not see the inherent contradiction? I’ll agree to this. The forger didn’t intentionally create the 3D image. But he certainly could have unintentionally created the 3D image.

            Who’s admitted any such thing?

            The Shroud is either authentic or a forgery. There isn’t any middle ground. If the RCC won’t assert that it’s authentic, then it tacitly admits that the Shroud could be a forgery. Well, the forgers knew a lot about crucifixion that wasn’t commonly known in the 14th century. How did they learn it?

            That has implications.

          • Happy Jack isn’t motivated enough to present complicated scientific arguments about the Shroud and all the intricacies of the debate.

            Here’s A PDF from 2014 summarising current knowledge and theories.

            http://www.shroudofturin.com/Resources/CRTSUM.pdf

            “The Shroud is either authentic or a forgery. There isn’t any middle ground. If the RCC won’t assert that it’s authentic, then it tacitly admits that the Shroud could be a forgery. Well, the forgers knew a lot about crucifixion that wasn’t commonly known in the 14th century. How did they learn it?”

            Until it’s accurately dated and forensically established how it was formed, the Church is wise to remain neutral. You’ve simply assumed it’s a 14th century forgery made by murdering a man. Why does it have to be a man made forgery? It could be the shroud of another crucified man in the 1st century Judea. How can we know it’s Christ’s shroud?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            You’ve simply assumed it’s a 14th century forgery made by murdering a man.

            I reject the Shroud as authentic because I deny the existence of relics for the theological reasons I have already stated. I don’t think it is real because I don’t think it can be real. There are in fact no actual confirmed relics in the world. There are many things that are called relics. They aren’t. Having said that ….

            Let me suspend disbelief. Would would it take to convince me if I changed my mind about the possibility of relics.

            1. Evidence from Scripture that the item actually existed in the time of Christ – both that Scripture refers to the item and the item is as described in Scripture. That second part is important. You can’t just say “I have a Roman coin, and it is the coin shown to Christ containing Caesar’s image.” There are many Roman coins. It is not possible to identify that specific coin from Scripture even though that coin did exist.

            2. An unbroken provenance to establish that the item in my hand was in fact the actual item mentioned in Scripture.

            So how would I ever meet those conditions? Assume someone came up to me today and said “Behold! The Holy Grail!” Should I take him seriously? Should I assume he is a fraud and a fake? In the absence of 1 and 2 above, I am going to assume he is a fake. I am not going to be neutral. There is no reason to be neutral on his word alone. It’s more likely that the e-mail I received about a Nigerian inheritance is in fact true.

            Now, as to the Shroud. You have already admitted to the absence of condition 2. So you have already lost the argument. But let’s go on to condition 1 anyways.. Scripture does describe grave clothes. Does it describe them sufficient to identify the Shroud as the grave clothes mentioned in John? It does not. Does it mention an image on the cloth? It does not. Does it mention that anyone kept the grave clothes as a relic? It does not. So how do I connect the cloth to the Gospel account? I cannot. Both conditions fail.

            I see a cloth that contains an image. Based upon what I know, how should I presume the image got on the cloth? Should I assume some miraculous transfer applied by a mechanism that is nowhere mentioned in Scripture? Should I assume it was put there by a man? Those are my options. Which is more reasonable given what I know? In the absence of any convincing evidence to the contrary, I will assume it is a fake. You have presented no convincing evidence to the contrary. Until you do, I will stay where I am – the same place I would be if someone tried to sell me the Holy Grail.

            You will say (because you can say nothing else) “But we don’t know how the image got on the cloth!” By which you mean “It must have been placed there miraculously.” In the first place, the absence of a known mechanism is not necessarily evidence that a mechanism does not exist. Therefore the conclusion of “Miracle” is not demanded. In the second place, we have shown in this day and age that such a mechanism does exist. So I don’t know what is left to defend the authenticity of this Shroud.

            You have to make a positive case, Jack. “We don’t know so … Miracle!” is not a positive case.

          • Carl, do read at least the last linked PDF Jack sent you. Many of your points are reviewed there. Who knows, you might actually decide to drop the prejudice and be a tad more open minded.

            “I reject the Shroud as authentic because I deny the existence of relics for the theological reasons I have already stated.”

            What theological reasons have you advanced for the denial of relics?

            “I don’t think it is real because I don’t think it can be real. There are in fact no actual confirmed relics in the world. There are many things that are called relics. They aren’t. Having said that …. “

            Well, that’s not true is it? For example, the body of Saint Teresa is a relic, it has provenance and it exists. There are artefacts and clothing from quite a few Saints. Or do you mean relics from the time of Christ?

            “Let me suspend disbelief. Would would it take to convince me if I changed my mind about the possibility of relics.”

            Hmmm … and you’re about to set up an impossible set of conditions.

            Yep, thought so:

            ” 1. Evidence from Scripture that the item actually existed in the time of Christ – both that Scripture refers to the item in my hand and the item in my hand is as described in Scripture. That second part is important. You can’t just say “I have a Roman coin, and it is the coin shown to Christ containing Caesar’s image.” There are many Roman coins. It is not possible to identify that specific coin from Scripture even though that coin did exist.”

            Scripture isn’t a detailed record of events, times, places and certainly isn’t an inventory of artefacts. There’s not even a description of Jesus or the Apostles.

            ” 2. An unbroken provenance to establish that the item in my hand was in fact the actual item mentioned in Scripture.”

            Oh yeah, as if. That’s going to exist from 1st century Judea. There were ‘agents’ on the High Street offering certificates of authenticity.

            “So how would I ever meet those conditions? Assume someone came up to me today and said “Behold! The Holy Grail!” Should I take him seriously”

            Not out of the blue ……. and the relic we’re talking about does have an arguably credible line back to the time of Christ.

            “Should I assume he is a fraud and a fake? In the absence of 1 and 2 above, I am going to assume he is a fake. I am not going to be neutral. There is no reason to be neutral on his word alone. It’s more likely that the e-mail I received about a Nigerian inheritance is in fact true. For if he doesn’t meet conditions 1 and 2, then how can he tell me with authority that he possesses the relic?”

            The Shroud is however, not quite the same as someone knocking on your door with the ‘Holy Grail’, so your comparison falls.

            “Now, as to the Shroud. You have already admitted to the absence of condition 2. So you have already lost the argument.”

            Rubbish. Jack doesn’t accept the validity of this condition for an item associated with a small religious cult in 1st century Jerusalem and all the disruption that followed the destruction of the city and the dispersal of its people, not to mention the persecution it faced.

            “But let’s go on to condition 1 anyways.. Scripture does describe grave clothes. Does it describe them sufficient to identify the Shroud as the grave clothes mentioned in John? It does not. Does it mention an image on the cloth? It does not. Does it mention that anyone kept the grave clothes as a relic? It does not. So how do I connect the cloth to the Gospel account? I cannot. Both conditions fail.”

            As stated above, that is not the purpose of scripture and it wasn’t written to give provenance to a sceptical 21st century audience about a shroud.

            “I see a cloth that contains an image. Based upon what I know, how should I presume the image got on the cloth? Should I assume some miraculous transfer applied by a mechanism (i.e. “bright light”) that is nowhere mentioned in Scripture? Should I assume it was put there by a man? Those are my options. Which is more reasonable given what I know?”

            The most reasonable response is to keep your mind open.

            “In the absence of any convincing evidence to the contrary, I will assume it is a fake. You have presented no convincing evidence to the contrary. Until you do, I will stay where I am – the same place I would be if someone tried to sell me the Holy Grail.”

            Fine by Jack.

            “You will say (because you can say nothing else) “But we don’t know how the image got on the cloth!” By which you mean “It must have been placed there miraculously.” In the first place, the absence of a known mechanism is not necessarily evidence that a mechanism does not exist. Therefore the conclusion of “Miracle” is not demanded.”

            And ……. ?

            “In the second place, we have shown in this day and age that such a mechanism does exist.”

            No, no, Carl. That is not so. With the technologies available at the time it can definitely be identified, there was no way of producing this image. Even your ‘hypothesis’ of a murdered man is without scientific credibility.

            “So I don’t know what is left to defend the authenticity of this Shroud.”

            Based on what you’re looking for, Jack’s not surprised.

            “You have to make a positive case, Jack. “We don’t know so … Miracle!” is not a positive case.”

            Well, after many years of occasional research, with some times of more intense reading, and many hours of meditation on the Image, Jack does have a theory. Now, if you’re seriously interested, do your own work …. or not.

            Jack isn’t offering an apologetic for the Shroud.

          • carl jacobs

            Or do you mean relics from the time of Christ?

            Well, yes. The Shroud is allegedly from First Century Palestine. It’s allegedly mentioned in the Bible. That’s where you would have to start to authenticate it. I’m not much interested in relics from Catholic saints. Those I dismiss a priori.

            you’re about to set up an impossible set of conditions.

            No, I offered a reasonable set of conditions that you cannot meet. Those concepts are different. The test for authentication does not depend upon the ability of the item to meet the test. If you have some other reasonable way of authenticating the Shroud, then I suggest you mention it.

            Scripture isn’t a detailed record of events, times, places and certainly isn’t an inventory of artefacts.

            Correct. Draw the appropriate conclusion, Jack.

            Oh yeah, as if. That’s going to exist from 1st century Judea.

            Correct again. Draw the appropriate conclusion, Jack.

            There is no way to associate an item mentioned in the NT with an item in existence today. It cannot be done. Nothing is described with sufficient detail to be identified. So any claim for a relic from the NT must fail. You might be able to connect an artifact to the proper time. You could never put that artifact in the hands of Christ. Ever. But it can’t be considered an artifact unless and until you make that final connection.

            arguably credible line back to the time of Christ.

            That’s a description of the situation. I could think of others. Wait, didn’t you just assert that provenance was impossible to first Century Judea? Something about “There were ‘agents’ on the High Street offering certificates of authenticity.”

            not quite the same as someone knocking on your door with the ‘Holy Grail’, so your comparison falls.

            It is the same. I am just applying the conditions. Those conditions must be satisfied. They aren’t arbitrary. They are both necessary and sufficient.

            there was no way of producing this image.

            You don’t know that. That is an assertion, and not a fact. I know men can produce 3D images on cloth because they have done so. Once I can prove I can make steel, then its only a matter of time before I can make different types of steel. It’s the same thing. But you can’t admit it because then your entire case would fall apart.

            Even your ‘hypothesis’ of a murdered man is without scientific credibility.

            It’s not science at all, so scientific credibility doesn’t apply. How would you scientifically investigate the death of a man who was murdered 700 years ago so forgers could use his body as a model for their work?

            Jack isn’t offering an apologetic for the Shroud.

            Yes, actually, that’s exactly what you are doing. You have already admitted you think it’s real.

          • Carl, so what we come down to is an agreement there is no way, and will never be one, to authenticate the Shroud as being the actual burial shroud of Jesus showing visible signs of His death and possible evidence of His resurrection.

            Really, we’re just back where we started. There is a credible trail tracing the Shroud back to the time of Christ and some physical evidence supporting this. As Jack posted from the Shroud website:

            “Scientifically, we don’t know the age of the Shroud of Turin. But we do know it is at least twice as old as the now discredited carbon 14 date.

            As for the images, we still have no idea how they are formed. But we do know that they were not made by any known artistic.

            The Atheist, the skeptic, the rationalist must accept the scientific facts just as a Christian should. To deny that the shroud is authentic requires a leap of faith. So does affirmation. But the Christian who thinks it is the real thing may be at an advantage because a preponderance of evidence points that way.”

            And later to Clive:

            No one has a good idea how front and back images of a crucified man came to be on the cloth. Yes, it is possible to create images that look similar. But no one has created images that match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images on the Shroud. Again, this is all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.”

            Your contention that you “know men can produce 3D images on cloth because they have done so” and “its only a matter of time before I can make different types of steel” is simply an assertion, much like the materialist scientists searching for the chemical processes that generated life or their suppositions about what might lie behind the ‘Big Bang’. Eventually we’ll be able to do it …..

            You posed an alternative and rather nasty hypothesis and have now dismissed ever being able to give it credibility: “How would you scientifically investigate the death of a man who was murdered 700 years ago so forgers could use his body as a model for their work?”. Well quite. The age of the Shroud is now considered to be at least double that 700 years. Further, once you’ve ‘solved’ the riddle of how these ‘forgers’ manufactured their ‘product’, you have to then explain the fact that the image shows details of crucifixion practices that have only recently been discovered.

            Jack is not aware of having “admitted” he thinks its real. However, he does believe this to be the case – always has. He finds it personally deeply moving. Whether the Shroud is authentic or not has no impact on Jack’s faith.

            http://httpwwwmreman.blogspot.co.uk/

          • CliveM

            Carl

            Apologies if you have already answered this, but I am curious why you have rejected the Shroud on theological grounds. I can understand rejecting it as an object for veneration on theological grounds, but the Shroud is a material entity. It exists. I reject its possible authenticity on historical grounds. But let’s suppose it is tested and ‘proven to be 1st Century AD. What does this prove? At most a man we can’t identify died and this was his shroud. Let’s take it further, through proofs not yet envisaged, it was shown to be the Shroud of Christ, what changes? Nothing theologically, it doesn’t provide proof that relics should be venerated. It doesn’t in itself proof Christ rose again. It proved, possible that Christ lived and died horribly, but for most people that isn’t an issue. It doesn’t show or prove (or disprove) a Risen Christ.

            So in itself the Shroud is a theological non issue (for me at least), but disbelieving its authenticity is a ‘material issue’ it’s either real or it isn’t, I don’t see how theology comes into that?

          • carl jacobs

            Clive

            Consider for a moment the implications of the Shroud being authentic. There is blood n that Shroud. That would be the actual atoning blood of the Lord Jesus shed for the redemption of men. It would be a direct physical connection to the center of time – to the most important event in the entire History of man. In short, it would be the most important artifact that could ever be possessed by man whether past, present of future. So what do you suppose men would do with an artifact like that? Just look at what the RCC does with relics – preserved cadavers and teeth and bones and body parts and whatnot. Those things are trivial compared to the authentic Shroud. Something of that pre-eminent spiritual significance would be put in a case, and brought forth on special occasions for “veneration.” And even if there is a difference between veneration and worship (a contention I do not accept) , it wouldn’t stay veneration very long. It would very quickly morph into idolatry. That’s my basic contention. Certain things are providentially withheld because of how men would misuse them.

            Could I be wrong? Absolutely.

          • “Certain things are providentially withheld because of how men would misuse them.”

            Is that opinion based on scripture, Carl. Catholics believe in the Real Presence, why would we have need to idolise the Holy Shroud?

            “There is blood on that Shroud. That would be the actual atoning blood of the Lord Jesus shed for the redemption of men. It would be a direct physical connection to the center of time – to the most important event in the entire History of man. In short, it would be the most important artifact that could ever be possessed by man whether past, present of future.”

            As Jack said, the Body and Blood of Our Lord is physically made present at Mass. If genuine, the Shroud is a wonderful, material witness to the death and resurrection of Our Lord, containing a sacred image of love, suffering and hope and is capable of touching and stirring men’s souls.

            “So what do you suppose men would do with an artifact like that? Something of that pre-eminent spiritual significance would be put in a case, and brought forth on special occasions for “veneration.”

            What else would you have the Church do with such a precious object?

            “And even if there is a difference between veneration and worship (a contention I do not accept), it wouldn’t stay veneration very long. It would very quickly morph into idolatry.”

            Agreed, there is a tendency in man towards superstition and ‘magical’ thinking and unfortunately it is prevalent in Catholicism. However, man’s reaction to the Shroud is not a valid basis on which to dismiss it.

            Assume it is genuine, would you rather have the Church destroy it because it might provoke a sinful response?

            “Could I be wrong? Absolutely.”

            Hang on to that thought and spend some time viewing the image and see where it leads. It will not lead to idolatry, anymore than exposure to some of the great musical masterpieces or great works of art do. Your real issue is that you ‘think’ it a Medieval forgery involving the brutal murder of a man. If Jack thought that, he would not be able to look at it.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Is that opinion based on scripture, Carl.

            No, it isn’t. I wouldn’t know how to make a case if it could be made. It’s more of an extrapolation. Which is why I would hold it lightly.

            There are three separate issues here.

            1. The existence of relics. See above.
            2. The association of relics with present-day miracles which I reject on Scriptural grounds.
            3. The authenticity of the shroud which I reject for historical and scientific reasons.

            Catholics believe in the Real Presence

            Yes, I know. I have told you before that I consider the RCC shot through with idolatry from one end to the other. That is yet one more example.

            What else would you have the Church do with such a precious object?

            That’s a hard question. It’s like asking if the ring bearer should throw the ring into the fires of Mt Doom. I can tell you what I should do. If men worship it, then I should destroy it. For that I would have clear and explicit Scriptural warrant. But would I? Do you see now why I think certain things are withheld?

          • “It’s more of an extrapolation.”

            “1. The existence of relics.”

            But what are drawing inferences from, is the real question?

            ” 2. The association of relics with present-day miracles which I reject on Scriptural grounds.”

            What scriptural grounds? The Church doesn’t say there is magical power invested in relics. The relic itself has no ability to cause a miracle. All the Church maintains is that relics may be the occasion of God’s grace and miracles. And this is a scriptural position.

            The use of Elisha bones to bring a dead man to life is a biblical example of a miracle being performed by God through contact with the relics of a saint. The cases of a woman cured by touching the hem of Christ’s cloak and the sick who were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them, are other examples. Then there’s references to “extraordinary miracles” by means of handkerchiefs or aprons carried from Paul to the sick.

            “3. The authenticity of the shroud which I reject.”

            An a priori rejection based on your rejection of Catholicism and also how such an artefact would be misused by man?

            “I have told you before that I consider the RCC shot through with idolatry from one end to the other. That (The Real Presence) “is yet one more example.”

            Umm …. and yet it is based on scripture.

            “It’s like asking if the ring bearer should throw the ring into the fires of Mt Doom.”

            The Shroud, in and of itself, is a means of possible grace, not a magic artefact invested with power.

            “I can tell you what I should do. If men worship it, then I should destroy it. For that I would have clear and explicit Scriptural warrant.”

            Back to the differences between worship and veneration, then. Jack suspects God Himself would destroy the Shroud if this came about.

            “But would I? Do you see now why I think certain things are withheld?”

            Jack can understand how your deductions and inferences have led you to this conclusion, yes. Any ‘power’ assigned it would be a psychological and spiritual abuse by man, a distortion and perversion – and with man there is always this possibility.
            Jack sees the Shroud as a wonderful gift with the potential to move men spiritually. A physical object that touched the body of the dead and risen Christ, even with His blood on it, is venerated and seen as a means of potential grace. Catholic’s worship the actual Risen Christ, His Real Presence, in the Eucharist and the Mass. Then, you see this as idolatry too.

            The Shroud if ever proven authentic which it can never be, could never legitimately be hailed as a means of providing actual grace. It is accepted as a ‘sacramental’, which may lead people to receive or respond to grace – note, not the actual provision of grace as with the ‘sacraments’.

          • CliveM

            Carl

            Thanks for the response. Understand better where you are coming from.

            Whilst I agree totally with regards your comment on venerating relics, I sort of view that if Jesus was material, with a real physical presence, God made flesh, then part of that is he leaves his physical things behind on death.

            But I agree, the blood of Christ would be particularly problematical. Must think further on this. I don’t believe either of us will be cast into the firey pit if wrong however!

          • carl jacobs

            There is no known way the Shroud could have been constructed centuries ago.

            Oh, you are right. I forgot. Just like the pyramids. The Egyptians couldn’t have made the pyramids either.

            Except they did.

          • *scratches head*

          • carl jacobs

            Irony, Jack.

          • Sarcasm, Carl. There’s a difference.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I’m just the messenger here,Jack.

            With the aim of ensuring that the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing, the archbishop of Turin has given priests throughout the archdiocese special permission to offer absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion.

            http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/02/26/during-shroud-display-turin-will-forgive-women-who-have-had-abortions/

            The disturbing part is this however.

            …the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing …

            The Shroud promotes “conversion and healing'” Hrmmmm. See my previous comments about relics being turned into idols.

            And, no, I’m not in a particularly anti-Catholic mood. RC treatment of relics is something that gets under my skin.

          • You are correct Carl. Absolution for abortion is reserved.

            “Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.”
            (CCC 1463)

            Now, the Shroud of Turin.

            First, no matter what Crux and others have reported, the Archbishop actually said displaying the Shroud would be “a time of grace that translates into attitudes of conversion, the fruit of repentance and newness of life.” In this way, the public display would promote conversion and healing. It’s not to be seen as an act of magic. The predisposition of the viewer counts.

            “RC treatment of relics is something that gets under my skin.”

            The history or the theology? There is a biblical basis for the miraculous effect of relics.

          • HJ, I’ve always considered that to be one of the most outrageous things in the Catechism – and I’m not alone in that opinion. An elderly Bishop (family friend) said once that he invariably gave that authorization to every priest in the diocese because (I quote) “a law that puts a vulnerable woman, who has already made the worst decision of her life, in a position where the priest she has sought out in great distress cannot even give her comfort, penance and absolution, is a man made law that is the most evil of injustices” – and I believe from what he said that he was paraphrasing Cardinal Hume, who was a personal friend of his for many years.

          • Jack wouldn’t disagree and understands many bishops do likewise.

          • Also meant to add that Canon Law does permit a priest to give absolution when it is evident the person would suffer distress by any delay in waiting for the bishop’s approval. How many priests know this is however, uncertain.

          • And let’s face it, Jack, in what world would a woman who sought out a priest in that situation *not* be greatly distressed by the delay?

          • But the accompanying Triduum is about the Cross, not Him who hung on it.

            “This is the Wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of
            the World, Come let us Worship!”

          • Dominic Stockford

            Which brings into even more focus the bizarre use of a crucifix during that service doesn’t it. If you really mean cross then use a cross, not a crucifix.

        • The Explorer

          It’s why the Mass and Protestant communion are different in their priorities. They aren’t – like ‘communion’ and eucharist’ – simply two different words for the same thing. A Catholic friend once took me to a Catholic Mass. He told me it would be fine, but the Priest, who knew I was a Protestant, refused to serve me. (The Priest was upset about it, and made a public comment about most regrettable divisions.) I did not understand the problem at the time (and I subsequently became an atheist for a very long spell and didn’t care) , but now I do.

        • Yes, Catholics have a correct understanding of the atonement of the Cross and salvation.

  • magnolia
  • AncientBriton

    “Why is it that millions of Muslims all over the world routinely take to the streets to protest against satirical depictions of the Mohammed of seventh-century Mecca, yet utter not a word when one bearing the name of ‘The Prophet’ today commits the most barbarous acts against his fellow man? ”

    Answer from Memri TV here:
    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4582.htm

  • dannybhoy

    The Western media is giving far too much attention to the Islamic cause, whether home or away.
    If the MSM keeps on giving these various groups media time and platforms for debate and explanations, they will be further emboldened. Our people will become more afraid and ready to bow the knee to Islam, thinking it will bring peace.
    Until our leaders accept that our whole way of life is under threat Islam will continue to make gains in the UK..

    • The Explorer

      I’ve heard advice given to bullied kids that is very like the attitude of the Western media to Islam.
      1. You must have done something to offend the bully.
      2. Ensure you are polite to the bully, and you will be left alone.
      Actually, the bullied kid might have done nothing other than exist, and the politeness is taken for fear: which is like oxygen to feed the bully’s fire.

  • Dominic Stockford

    The most offensive Mohammed is none of those you have listed above.

    It is the one who invented a religion, cobbled together from bits and pieces of Judaism and Christianity, and then mixed in a pot with (a majority of) ideas of his own just for good measure. One who then wrote down his ideas in a book that has done nothing for peace in the world ever since, commanding his followers to do some terrible things to those who are not, and which many have then done.

  • carl jacobs

    Back in October 1993, Al Qaida planned an ambush on American soldiers in Mogadishu. They would shoot down a helicopter, and fix the Americans in place. Then they could use numbers to overwhelm their firepower. The result was the Battle of the Black Sea, pictures of American corpses being desecrated on CNN, and Clinton’s ignominious retreat. Al Qaida drew the appropriate lesson from that battle. “If you hit the Americans in the face, they will run away.” There followed all the terror attacks through the 90s culminating in 911. Clinton should have sent 50,000 soldiers to Somalia to hunt down and kill every guerrilla in that city. Then Al Qaida would have derived a completely different lesson. It is an interesting counter-factual to speculate how history would have changed if Clinton had acted like a President instead of the pot-smoking, draft-dodging, yellow-striped [son of privilege*] that he was.

    Why is there no Islamic protest over ISIS? Two reason: 1) Because ISIS is Islam, and 2) because ISIS is vicariously redressing centuries of perceived Islamic humiliation at the hands of the West. Muslims like seeing Islam strong and advancing. They have seen it weak for so long. There are no metaphysical tools in Islam to explain defeat and weakness, so Muslims tend to blame dark conspiracies – for what else could explain the humble position of the Islamic world? But now they think they are winning, and they like it. ISIS represents the impotence of the Western world to halt the advance of Islam.

    If you wish to face down Islam, then remember the lesson of Mogadishu. Don’t offer an olive branch. Islam responds to strength and force. Put your (metaphorical) boot on its face and keep it there.

    * not the phrase I wanted to use

    • The Explorer

      Islam is a religion for warriors. It is a fighting faith in the most literal sense.

    • Phil R

      Everybody knows about the retreat from Kabul in January 1842

      Not everyone knows that the British sent in an army of retribution later the same year.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kabul_%281842%29

      We seem to forget our History. This is not the main lesson we have lost however.

      The main lesson was that the British before 1850 tended only to invade a country to make money.

      I never understood why, having taken Iraq, we simply handed it back complete with oil revenues.

  • Inspector General

    Good grief!! Have you taken leave of your senses Cranmer? Stop portraying the damned prophet as an image. You could get yourself killed doing that. The one on the far right is particularly chilling. It has the stench of death and decay about
    it. It’s brought misery to all who were associated with its inception. It is an accursed thing, you know. Think about what you are doing man!

    Why are you trying to bring muslims to the negotiating table? Is that what your rashness is about. Showing them that their master can be seen and its not the sin they think it is? Suggesting to them that it’s high time Islam changed and for the better?

    If Islam is to change, it must change from the inside, and there is absolutely no evidence that there is anything like the will for that to happen. Where are their clerics issuing statements to that effect. All the Inspector can find is 1400 years of solid continuity, filled with wars and battles and incredible cruelty these people have engaged on to spread their ways. There’s a few going on right now. And they seem to be winning. Time for ‘change’ would it be, when you’re doing so well…

    • Dominic Stockford

      I am wondering where they are going to publish all the fatwas this article is about to bring down on many of us who are taking part!

      • Inspector General

        Good point Dominic. Not knowing (…or caring for that matter…) whether the communicants here “are Charlie too”, the Inspector wishes it to be known that he is on record for saying that he most definitely isn’t…

        • The Explorer

          I’m not Charlie either, but because I take exception to its depiction of Christianity. (Actually, I don’t like its depiction of Islam for that matter, because I don’t believe in mocking the beliefs of others even when I don’t share them.)

          • Inspector General

            Indeed Explorer, criticise where criticism is justified, but do not mock the deeply held faith of others, no matter how odious it is.

        • James60498 .

          Je ne suis pas Charlie.

    • vscoles

      President Sisi is attempting to change things – but how long will it be before he has a nasty accident on the way to the office?

  • The Explorer

    I’ve tracked down Anconism, which is the proscription in the Hadith against the creation of images of sentient living beings. In order of wrongness:
    1. Allah
    2. Muhammad
    3. Islamic prophets, M’s relatives.
    4. All humans and animals.
    Followed more rigorously by Sunni than Shiah, but it’s why Islamic art has focused on calligraphy and geometric patterns. (Both often exquisite, it has to be said.) Medieval Islamic art circumvented the problem of representing Muhammad by giving him a halo, or veiling his face. But I somehow don’t see Western cartoonists adopting either of those solutions.
    Anyway, if Islam does take over sometime, the National Portrait Gallery and its staff face something of a lean future.

  • len

    Mohammed Emwazi is following in the footsteps of ‘Mohammed’ the creator of Islam how can any Muslim criticise a follower of his master?.
    Hence the silence……..

  • Inspector General

    To understand the animal that is Islam, you must understand the animal that adheres to it. We are talking here of the characteristics of the various races involved. Do not confuse this with racial hate or colour prejudice or any other self opinionated indulgence, but that truth with which these people are born with. The inheritance we arrive with, if you will, because it is inherent. For example, the western European is born with the spirit of cooperation. Consequently, that one won’t be running around aged ten knifing people who gets in his way.

    Those who dismiss our inherent nature and believe we are born with clean sheets need to reconsider. Think of it as the ‘gift’ of original sin if it helps.

    Once you can do that, the futility of negotiating with certain races who are either at your feet or at your throat becomes all too obvious.

  • CliveM

    If one is being fair, perhaps on an individual basis many are simply to frightened to speak out. These are tight knit communities. It could simply be to dangerous.

    • Keith

      If they are too frightened to speak out about abuses, beatings and murders in the name of their religion and Mohammed doesn’t that tell you something about their society and Islam?

    • vscoles

      It certainly is too dangerous. Everyone knows what might happen to them if they are seen in any way to dissent from the ummah.

  • The Explorer

    Thinking about this teddy bear story (which I’d forgotten about until HG reminded us) I’m not sure I’d be too chuffed if a group of kids voted to call a teddy bear Jesus. I’d probably feel that something sacred was being trivialised. Not that I’d wish to kill the teacher in consequence..
    On the other hand, Muslim parents don’t have a problem with calling a son Muhammad. We tend to keep to names of the Apostles; although, before Christ, Jesus was a common-enough name for a boy. So it’s not quite an equivalence. I can’t believe, however, that a Muslim teacher would have given the kids the option. (I’m not sure, actually, that a Muslim teacher would have given the kids the vote.)

    • sarky

      ‘I’m not sure I’d be too chuffed if a group of kids voted to call a teddy bear jesus’

      Unless of course it was a mexican teddy bear!

      • The Explorer

        Fair enough. I’m not too clued up on Mexican/South American nomenclature; although I do remember a Hornblower story where some rebel leader from one of the Spanish colonies had some variant of ‘Jesus’ as one of his many names.
        Let me rephrase. “I’m not sure Protestants would be too chuffed…”

    • Kieron Russell

      In South America Jesus is a Common Christian name. Nobody takes offence or thinks it’s trivialising the son of God. Religion is a celebration of stupidity.

      • The Explorer

        Your statement is a wonderful example of ambiguity. Are they stupid for not taking offence; or are we for doing so?

    • dannybhoy

      Yes, I thought it was stoopid thing to do, no matter how politically correct..

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      IIRC, the teddy bear was named after one of the children, a boy called Muhammad.

      • The Explorer

        Thank you. I remember the incident, and the diplomatic flurry it caused, but I’m hazy about the details. If the bear had been named after a boy named, say, Ahmed presumably there would have been no problem. But Muhammad was more than just the name of one of the kids in the class. I think the implications of that would have occurred to me had I been the teacher: that they didn’t calls into question her suitability to be teaching in a Muslim country.

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          “that they didn’t calls into question her suitability to be teaching in a Muslim country”.
          Indeed, that was my thought at the time.

  • Mark

    This is how it works:
    Someone phones a radio station and says that this is all down to 1. Western foreign olicy 2. Social disenfranchisement. Depending on who the radio call-in host is, they might challenge that a bit, or not challenge at all and even agree.
    If you phoned in with the views in the article, just about each and every radio call-in host would immediately get wobbly and get rid of you as quickly as they can. Probably before doing that, they would do their best to draw some sort of violent equivalence in other religions, even if that was 500 years ago.
    People are scared to face up to the fact that we have a religion that has gone fanatical in certain areas and with certain people, and the danger is that this fanaticism can spread to those who previously wouldn’t consider it.

    • Johnnydub

      But this has been done on purpose – the increasing lawlessness/insanity from certain sections of the Muslim community will give the Powers that be all the excuses they need to curtail / remove our freedoms.

      As you say, “every radio call-in host would immediately get wobbly” – because supposed “racism” has been escalated to the point where careers and lives can be destroyed if we step out of line and question what is being done to us.

      Look at the ridiculous profile of the incident with the Chelsea fans. I’m not defending them in the slightest, but I did pick up the subtext – commit an act of racism, whether real (Chelsea morons) or implied (UKIP foster parents) and the state will destroy you, your career and your family.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Pegida had their first UK march yesterday. It didn’t get any media coverage of course, mainly because it all went peacefully and was a civilised protest. The usual left-wing agitators were there of course, hoping for a bit of confrontation no doubt. I understand the next march will be in London. This is at least an exercise in free speech and helps to give a bit of confidence to those who are frightened to say what is really on their mind. Let’s hope the next one goes peacefully too.

    • Inspector General

      Made BBC on line news, P_I. They were most keen to point out a counter demonstration was 5 times greater. They even quoted the scallywag for Bradford, Galloway, who has as much connection to Newcastle as some straw sucking Gloucestershire yokel one would think.

      BBC News Service is bloody hopeless. It can only be a matter of time now…

      • CliveM

        I’ve said this before, if you want to know what’s right, find out Galloways position and take the opposite.

        • The Explorer

          Actually, he’s so slippery that finding out his position is not that easy.

          • CliveM

            Galloway is justification enough for relaxing our libel laws.

          • Inspector General

            Galloway is laughing at us all…

          • DanJ0

            You know he’s suing a bunch of people on Twitter, including a Guardian journalist, unless they pay him £5000 apiece? It’s for calling him an anti-semite. He’s drawing a distinction between Jew and Israeli, and between Judaism and Israel, if I understand it correctly.

          • CliveM

            DanJo

            ‘Gorgeous’ George ( as he likes to be referred) has used the libel courts to great effect over the years. It would be interesting to tot up the totals.

  • Doctor Crackles

    You make an excellent point your Grace, which exposes the utter falseness of the of Muslim claim, parroted by Cameron and others, that Muslims who commit horrific acts of violence misrepresent Islam.

    However, how can Cameron and Johnson entertain CAGE at number 10 following the disgusting excuses we have had to endure? I suspect the Washington Post caught out the establishment and the name of Emwazi was already widely known and suppressed. Suppressed to our danger and against the interests of the British people.

    • Inspector General

      I say, Crackles, meet “Common Sense’s” brother, “Self Evident”. Common Sense has hade a rough ride over the years, but he’s coming back, as the electorate swings away from the Left. Self Evident is really looking forward to that, so the Inspector understands…

    • Dominic Stockford

      Some of the comments about his naming making the lives of hostages ‘less safe’ rather highlights the query you pose – they probably have known for some lengthy time who he really is.

  • Well said YG but on the wrong page. The simple fact is that Muhammed was the most powerful manifestation yet of the spirit of Antichrist. The Apostle John made this clear enough in his letters and Revelation. Islam is coming on the West because of our sins.

    There is no solution. Our civilisation is going down and we chose it. Its time to hear Peter’s words in Acts 2:40 ‘ Save yourselves from this wicked generation.’

    • Doctor Crackles

      You are correct Stephen. Islam is here because we have become a wicked nation.

      As attributed to Genghis Khan:

      I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.

      • Hopefully we will learn something and hopefully many of them will respond to the Gospel, which they might never have heard where they came from.

        God have mercy on all us sinners.

        • Doctor Crackles

          Yes, the answer to the sword is grace.

          • Inspector General

            Not quite, We must survive. And we will do whatever it takes to achieve that.

          • Doctor Crackles

            Fight in the will of Almighty Inspector! If he calls you to arms, who can resist you?

      • The Explorer

        Likewise, wasn’t Attila the Hun described as ‘the scourge of God’? I was never clear whether it meant he was attacking God, or being God’s instrument. GIven your quotation about Genghis, I think it must have been the latter.
        Tamburlaine was another of these nightmarish figures from the East, except he attacked the Muslims. You don’t suppose there’s any chance of reincarnating him?

        • Doctor Crackles

          Timur the Lame was responsible for the destruction of much of the Eastern church so I have read. This Nestorian church was heretical, so maybe Timur was God’s judgment in action?

    • Linus

      Islam has been around since the 7th century and it’s only now that it’s “coming on the West because of our sins”?

      I wonder what the inhabitants of Vienna would have said about that in the 17th century when the Ottoman armies were besieging their city?

      Or what the Spanish might have said up until the 15th century?

      If Islam was a punishment for the sins of the Austrians and the Spanish, they did pretty well out of it. Both countries ended up with huge empires that prospered for hundreds of years and even in post-imperial times they’re both still developed nations with high standards of living.

      If you look at the historical record, nations that have been attacked by Islam have done pretty well in the decades and centuries that follow. So perhaps the current spate of attacks bodes well for the future.

      It certainly shouldn’t lead us to believe that we’re in terminal decline. Quite the reverse.

      • Phil R

        In the past the Muslims were only outside the walls.

        • Johnnydub

          Now they have the Human Rights Act to hide behind..

          Jihadi John’s friend cannot be deported from Britain:

          http://t.co/qcfwsg6ZUP

          • Inspector General

            Ah, you must read UKIP’s manifesto pledge on the whatever rights business…

      • Doctor Crackles

        Again Linus, if it gives you comfort, you just carry on as you are.

        • Linus

          We will carry on just as we are because that’s what gets the best results. When nations give in to politically motivated panic we get knee-jerk reactions like McCarthyism in the US, which do more harm than good.

          A measured, thoughtful response to terrorism is the only long term solution. Christians rushing about screaming about how the sky is falling and only Jesus can save us are nothing more than panic-mongers.

          Jesus didn’t save us from two World Wars or any number of earlier regional conflicts. He didn’t save the Spanish from centuries of Muslim occupation. He didn’t save the pious Russian Orthodox empire from Communism. Even if he exists, he clearly doesn’t intervene to protect nations or even individuals from threats and harm.

          We can place our trust in Jesus, but it won’t change anything. Radical Muslims will still want to destroy the West and we’ll still have to deal with them. Jesus won’t disarm jihadists or destroy the Islamic State. I mean, what was God thinking when he decided to stash most of the world’s oil in Islamic bedrock? If you pray hard enough do you think he’ll somehow make it migrate through the earth’s crust so that it all ends up under the Vatican or Canterbury Cathedral?

          The problem we’re having with Islam at the moment is the latest problem in a long series of problems the West has had to deal with ever since the dawn of the modern era. It will be dealt with and we’ll move on to the next problem. And the Christians who yesterdays prophesied doom and disaster because of Communism, and who today prophesy doom and disaster because of Islam, will tomorrow prophesy doom and disaster because of some other bogeyman. Who the bogeyman happens to be isn’t really all that important. It’s just important that there IS a bogeyman. We have to be frightened of someone, otherwise how can you panic us into converting to your religion as our perceived last resort?

          • Doctor Crackles

            Linus, Islam is here with us, it is determined and has power, our media and politicians fear it and it is growing. If you think there is nothing to worry you then carry on.

            Panic conversion? Not in my bible.

          • Linus

            I live in Paris. How could I be blind to the problems that radical Islam poses?

            Only current policies offer long term containment of those problems. There is no complete solution. How could there be where religion is involved? However hard you try to stamp it out, it will always survive in one form or another. All you can do is try to limit the damage it does to a level that society can live with.

          • The Explorer

            LInus, I enjoy your posts As entertainingly and provocatively expressed as usual. Rome survived Hannibal and the threat of Carthage, and moved on. But that didn’t mean that Rome would survive the threat of the Visigoths and move on. Not to put too fine a point on it, Rome fell.

          • Linus

            Rome fell, and rose again. Italy’s doing alright at the moment, isn’t it?

            Of course the British will make disparaging noises about the euro and Italian corruption and all that sort of thing, but the fact remains that Italy functions and Italians live very well indeed.

          • The Explorer

            Rome = Italy? Tell that to the Venetians.

          • Linus

            Whatever the Venetians might think, Rome is the capital and an integral part of modern Italy. Economic power lies elsewhere in the country, but political power is still concentrated in Rome. As is the Church.

            Sniffy regional prejudices are just a distraction. The Rome of today does not rule an empire, but neither does Vienna or Madrid. That doesn’t change that fact that they’re still the most important cities in their own countries.

          • The Explorer

            I didn’t say Rome wasn’t the most important Italian city; simply that Rome wasn’t Italy. And being the centre of a country isn’t the same as being the centre of an empire.

          • Linus

            What’s important is that Rome still exists. It fell and then rose again to occupy a new central role. Less central than before because it’s only the capital of a smallish country now rather than the centre of a vast empire, but central nonetheless. Prophecies of doom and destruction didn’t come to fruition. Rome is still here, it’s still an important centre and Romans are still going about their daily business and living prosperous lives despite the temporary ructions that bothered their ancestors a few thousand or hundred years ago.

            Rome didn’t fall so much as stumble. Carthage fell and is now just a field of ruins. But Rome lives on.

          • The Explorer

            Carthage, on the other hand, rose again to become modern Tunisia. Oh dear.

          • Linus

            The revival of Rome is a great deal more than axiomatic. It’s real.

            And before you dismiss our civilisation as doomed, perhaps looking at history might help you gain a more balanced view. Events that have made Christians shriek and throw their hands up in the air and rush about in a panic jabbering about the end of the world and Judgment Day have turned out to be mere blips. The Black Death didn’t destroy us. Neither did two World Wars. Nor did the last foray of Islam into Europe.

            So why the prognostications of doom and gloom now?

            Because doom and gloom create panic, and panic is the only thing that can persuade the public to buy your substandard product?

          • The Explorer

            The revival of Rome as a city I do not dispute; the problem is the revival of Carthage. Revival/survival there fore of a civilisation is not automatic.
            Looking at, say, the Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Aztec and Inca empires, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that empires/civilisations/ways of life come to an end. The question, indeed, as example piles on example is not if, but when.
            It’s a bit like the individual human life. One might survive a serious traffic accident, or a serious illness: either or both of which could have been lethal. It would be rash to assume that having survived those one will therefore survive indefinitely.
            Christians, of course, believe that history is going somewhere: towards an apocalyptic climax. What we are unclear about is what will trigger it. Sure, we get things wrong, and will continue to do so until we don’t.
            “Live each day as if it’s your last. One day you’re sure to be right,” is not a call to gloom, but to realism. Because if the Muslims don’t get us, the lizards will.

          • Linus

            Sorry, but I think you’ve been watching too many apocalyptic American TV series. We’re not living in an episode of The Walking Dead. Nobody’s going to “get us”. Radical Islam is not a zombie plague threatening to overrun us.

            It’s this kind of laager mentality that increasingly defines Christians in the public consciousness. Paranoia in the face of fear and loss of control. It diminishes you.

          • The Explorer

            Given laager mentality or lager mentality, I know which I’d choose. And who said anything about zombies? I was talking about the lizards. I agree that radical Islam is not a zombie plague. A good suicide bomber blows himself up too thoroughly to come back as a zombie. Besides, why would he want to, with all those virgins?
            Never seen ‘The Walking Dead’, You’re right about my interest in the apocalyptic, But that’s derived from ‘Revelation’. And ‘Revelation’ was around before film was invented. And I certainly don’t need Americans to interpret it for me.

          • Linus

            Christians have been predicting the Apocalypse for 2000 years. The apostles apparently expected it in their lifetimes. And we’re still waiting…

          • The Explorer

            In Mark’s Gospel, the destruction of the Temple and the end of the world are telescoped together: the one event a microcosm of the other. The existing generation did live to see it all: the macrocosm is still to come.
            And of course we’re still waiting for the Apocalypse. If it had happened, we wouldn’t be.

      • The Explorer

        Greece didn’t do too well out of it in the decades after the loss of Constantinople. The Armenians took a bit of a pasting as well.

        • Linus

          The Greeks and Armenians were collateral damage. Too close to the Muslim world to stand much of a chance.

          Western nations that come up against Islam tend to do rather well out of it in the end.

          • The Explorer

            That’s the point: the Muslims were far away. Now they’ve got a whole lot closer since our leaders imported them.

          • Linus

            Imported them, sure. But not in the numbers needed to overrun Western civilization and impose a Muslim caliphate.

            They can cause trouble just like any determined minority. But they can never rule us. And fevered fantasies about them breeding their way to domination are not borne out by the facts.

            All the data points to birth rates in the Muslim community falling to normal Western levels within one or two generations. The grandchildren of Muslim immigrants don’t have 10 children, they have 2 or 3 at most. Their children will have even fewer. A tiny minority of radicals might try and breed their way to power, but there just aren’t enough of them to make a difference.

          • The Explorer

            Actually. a sober book like Ed West’s ‘The Diversity Illusion’ suggests otherwise. Yes, the birth-rate drops with westernised Muslim women, but new brides from Pakistan breed at much higher levels.

          • Linus

            I haven’t read the work in question and am unlikely to considering that when a half Irish Catholic journalist living in a still nominally Protestant Britain starts criticizing immigration, you know you’ve reached the limits of hypocrisy.

          • The Explorer

            West notes a 74% Muslim increase in Britain in a decade. He discounts as alarmist the 2009 YouTube video claiming 8.1 children per French Muslim woman. He cites a figure of 4.7 children per Pakistan-born woman in Britain against a British-born Muslim average of 1.6.
            He predicts 5.5 million Muslims in Britain by 2030: or 8.2% of the population. “Hardly Eurabia,” as he puts it, but he does cite the problem of uneven distribution across the country. Some areas will be almost exclusively Muslim, and they will resist integration with the host culture (culture in a social sense, as one might speak of yob culture) and be the source of the most troublesome radicalisation.

  • Inspector General

    It is there to note that Labour continues its radio silence on Islamic excesses. And
    why not? The immigrant vote is dear to them, and having invested a lot of effort into bringing Mohamed’s followers into this country to begin with, it’s far too soon to abandon all hope. Of course, the Respect party are making tremendous ground as we breath, but to give up all hope is not what the soft Marxists are about. Sure you’ll all agree on that one.

    • CliveM

      It would be enlightening to identify how any of their seats are dependent on the Muslims.

      • Inspector General

        Not sure, old fellow, but considering the imminent loss of the Labour seats in Scotland to the SNP, losing the inner city immigrant vote couldn’t have come at a worst time, although one is sure the handsome Milliband will retain the Islamic ladies preference even though he is Jewish. Assuming they manage to hide the postal vote documents from their ever loving Mohameds, that is…

        • CliveM

          Respect or Labour, what a choice!

          “Gorgeous” George has always seen himself as a bit of a ladies man as well!

      • Inspector General

        Er, you did mean ‘how many’?

        • CliveM

          Yes……………!

    • Johnnydub

      Well they’re willing to ignore the mass rape of white underage girls, so there’s no price they wont consider paying…

      • Inspector General

        But the blind eye they turned, is there no beauty in that deceit. A style very much of its own, and one that will be repeated for the sake of the muslim vote.

  • Miles Christianus

    At times I feared that we were witnessing something akin to JRRT’s “slow defeat”. However, the horrific excesses of late have led me to believe that they have lost, and that the increasingly limp apologists like CAGE (and even justification by out-and-out loons like Anjem Choudary) shows that they have lost. It will take time, but the whole rotten structure is beginning to collapse in on itself. The slow defeat will turn out to be theirs.

    • carl jacobs

      No, it’s far worse than that. It’s not slow defeat. The non-Muslim population will become increasingly fearful. It will become radicalized and install a radical gov’t. That gov’t will be given a mandate to solve the “Muslim Question” with some very old and trusted methods. And then you will have a race war on your hands. The Muslims will lose that war, but at a fearsome price.

      • Inspector General

        Carl. There is a race war going on. The indigenous here are the targets. 40 terror threats defeated in 10 years. Our luck will not keep forever.

        • carl jacobs

          No, there isn’t. If there was a race war going on, you would know it. I am talking about the Gov’t actively seeking to suppress Islam with violence by shooting people, and burning them out. When your Gov’t carries the war to their neighborhoods with intent to kill and burn, then you will have the war to which I refer. That is the specter of what is coming. And once you give the Gov’t that power, the Gov’t won’t lay it down again.

          • Inspector General

            Fusilier Rigby was killed because he wasn’t black and didn’t have a beard. There’s a race war here. It just hasn’t been declared, and don’t hold your breath on it being so. Isn’t that enough…

            Besides, you have your own lawless inner city blacks to deal with. Off you go and show us how it’s to be done…

          • carl jacobs

            Inspector

            you have your own lawless inner city blacks to deal with

            Your capacity to create a seemingly plausible non sequitur is … well, it borders on genius.

          • The Explorer

            For insight into the current American problem, may I recommend Colin Flaherty’s ‘White Girl Bleed a Lot.’

          • bluedog

            Is ‘race war’ the right description for the likelihood of civil unrest between adherents of a religion and a largely secularised society? This war will be the extension of the competition of ideas by other means.
            It also seems very unlikely that any war against the Muslim population would be countenanced by the current ruling parties, being the three major groupings. They have drunk so deeply of multiculturalism and equality etc that any shift to a new paradigm is inconceivable in the absence of a catalytic event. Apart from which any form of militarism is totally alien to the British political class of the current generation. For example, they don’t begin to understand V Putin.
            A more probable outcome is a privatised response to Islamic encroachment in the form of native British vigilante groups, perhaps tacitly supported by the police. Without question the dynamics of the situation are changing to an increasingly sharply delineated hostility against the Muslims. The prospect of a reconciliation seems to be the least likely possibility.

      • Miles Christianus

        That’s what the likes of Andy Choudary want to bring about – And that’s why I think he’s failed. The cartoon villainy he created in Al Mahajiroun in its various incarnations has bitten him in the ass. He’s a clown whose only danger is that idiots listen to him and do vile things (tactical gains) . But his overall eschatological mission is doomed (strategic failure), because we as a people are smarter than that.

        • Are we?
          Not with that nice Mr Cameron in charge!

          • Miles Christianus

            When it comes down to it, yes. Our elected representatives can get away with only so much foolishness before the grumblings of the great unwashed become too loud for comfort. That’s when we hear “I get it”.

      • IanCad

        Carl,
        You have it absolutely right.
        A fearful populace always looks for a leader who will lead them in the defeat of an imagined bogeyman.
        This fear of Muslims is irrational, disproportionate, and clear evidence that we are a gutless, sheeplike people who flinch at even a hint of conflict.

        • dav phi

          9/11 just a bad dream; 7/7 just a piece of undigested potato; murder of Lee Rigby just a sordid rumour; sexual abuse of thousands of young girls just tittle tattle.

          • IanCad

            dav phi,
            Horrible as these acts were, there was no need to change our way of life to counter the Islamic threat.
            911 led to terrible changes in the USA. The complete over-reaction resulted in a free and easy society descending into one that is a step away from a police state. The same is happening over here.
            Fear leads to the loss of liberty.
            All liberty.

          • bluedog

            IanCad your confidence is commendable but at the practical level the government and other responsible agencies have no alternative but to take precautions. Remember the plot to blow up scores of aircraft over the Atlantic using undetectable liquid explosives? These and other inventive ways of killing the kuffar failed. But a mass casualty spectacular by an Islamic group could see a Western government fall. And you know how the political class hates to be surprised and outflanked.

          • IanCad

            bluedog,

            We have it pretty much right over here. Reasonable and targeted security. A little more focus on Middle-Easterners and those of known Muslim sympathies. A little less on Mr. & Mrs. Boggs flying off to Magaluf.

            Above all, a collective understanding that in this Btitain, our liberties, so hard won, will not be undermined by the fearful, the craven and those who honour not the sacrifices made in the past.

            A mass casualty event – God Forbid! Would have to be dealt with promptly, targeting the perpetrators. Not a country may or may not having a connection to the event.

          • CliveM

            IanCad

            I agree, if we do become a Police State, what is it then we are left defending? In a sense IS or some other group will have already won.

            All the atrocities experienced to date are dreadful, but if we could live through the Nationalist bombing campaigns of the ’70’s and ’80’s without becoming a Police State, why should we surrender our liberties to this lot?

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        I think most of us would welcome an honest dictator who would throw all our enemies into the sea.

  • Too many white Christian faces in Britain says David Camoron
    More Muslims he recommends for us. How nice of him.

  • Martin

    It’s simple, Mohammed was a warlord who slaughtered the innocent, they are just like him.

  • “The name of Mohammed is not sacred: ‘The Prophet’ is not God or even
    part of Him. Muslims who insist that he may never be depicted need to
    reflect upon their own history of Qutb – the complete liberation of
    the human soul to express itself. And then they might consider that
    the name of Mohammed is not most debased by solitary bears, venerable
    paintings or half-a-dozen cartoons, but by those thousands of
    latter-day prophets who have been possessed by the whispers of
    Shaytan. If creative metaphors of Mohammed may offend, how much more
    those actual Mohammeds who seek to follow literally the authentic
    path of the Sunnah?”

    Well said YG.

  • len

    Much is being said in the press as people try to make sense of what turns an ‘ordinary Muslim'(or indeed any person )into a cold blooded killer. And its almost always someone else`s fault?.
    The concept of man having ‘a fallen nature’ is alien to anyone who has not read the Bible so assumptions are made about’ the basic goodness of man’.
    I find it quite chilling to look into the eyes of someone like Mohammed Emwazi and to see a demon looking back at me.
    We open ourselves up to the demonic with the very things described in the Bible such as being involved in the occult , being consumed with hate,unforgiveness, lust etc any extreme negative emotion.
    Mohammed Emwazi said he felt’ like a dead man walking’ and I believe a spirit of death has posessed the man.
    Of course the secular man will have nothing of this and will continue to be completely ignorant of the war he is in………

    • Miles Christianus

      Len. I’m afraid I fully agree. When I first read Lewis’s description of our world being enemy territory I found it an uncomfortable concept – indeed I still do. And yet…