“‘Mecca is BELIEVED TO BE the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.’ Good to see the doubts over that breaking through!” tweeted historian Tom Holland, who knows a thing or two about the origins of Islam (which may no longer be uttered for fear of summary decapitation). But note the BBC’s use of the phrase ‘believed to be’, which is applied to Mohammed’s birthplace, not to his definite-article, upper-case prophethood, which is accepted and absolute. They affirm this on their Islam page: it appears to be BBC policy:
Note the title “Prophet” is unquestioned: the use of ‘believe’ here is applied only to the Islamic understanding of revelation (ie the Qur’an). Contrast this with the BBC’s Christianity page:
See what they did there? The title is not ‘The Lord Jesus’, and ‘believe’ is applied to his messiahship, not to what Christians believe about the revelation of the Bible.
If “Jesus is believed by Christians to be the Christ – the Son of God”, why does the BBC not state: ‘Mohammed is believed by Muslims to be the Prophet – the seal or last of the prophets’? Why does their journalistic objectivity not stretch to casting a modicum of doubt on Mohammed’s prophethood, as it evidently does to Jesus’s messiahship? If Mohammed is ‘The Prophet’, why is Jesus not ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God‘ (Mt 16:16)? Is it that the BBC’s mind is already made up, and they can’t be bothered with the fallout of conflicting beliefs? And by ‘fallout’ here, we might again refer to the threats received by Tom Holland and Channel 4.
The problem with the BBC’s approach to Christianity is that it affirms the quranic (and so Mohammed’s) view of Jesus’s messiahship. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but Mohammed says not: ‘God’s curse be on them..!’ (Surah 9:30); ‘How can He have a son when he hath no consort?’ (Surah 6:101). For Mohammed, the Incarnation was idolatry, as it remains for Muslims today. If Mohammed was a prophet inspired by Allah with this revelation, then the God of the Qur’an is not the same as the God of the Bible:
And they say, “The Most Merciful has begotten a son.”
You have come up with something monstrous (Surah 19:88f).
That is Jesus son of Mary — the Word of truth about which they doubt.
It is not for God to have a child—glory be to Him. To have anything done, He says to it, “Be,” and it becomes (Surah 19:35).
Say, “He is God, the One.
God, the Absolute.
He begets not, nor was He begotten.
And there is nothing comparable to Him” (Surah 112).
The Divine Sonship of Jesus is repudiated over and over again in the Qur’an: placing Jesus in the Godhead is shirk (repentable in life but unforgivable in death); those who believe it are mushrikin (polytheists; enemies of Islam). That word appears in the Statement issued by ISIS following the Manchester bombing:
Trinitarian Christians are mushrikin polytheists: the Islamist objective is to terrorise the mushrikin “in revenge for Allah’s religion”, for we are the Crusaders. And the theological justification for slaughtering the mushrikin children of Manchester is found in the Qur’an:
The Jews said, “Ezra is the son of God,” and the Christians said, “The Messiah is the son of God.” These are their statements, out of their mouths. They emulate the statements of those who blasphemed before. May God assail them! How deceived they are!
They have taken their rabbis and their priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah son of Mary. Although they were commanded to worship none but The One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him.
They want to extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God refuses except to complete His light, even though the disbelievers dislike it.
It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, in order to make it prevail over all religions, even though the idolaters dislike it (Surah 9:30-33).
Amazing, isn’t it, that the BBC hasn’t expounded the prophetology behind this ISIS statement to bring a little light, a little understanding in the darkness and mourning. Who bothers to expound shirk and understand mushrikin? Far easier to leave the Prophet Mohammed inviolable. And so we sleepwalk on to the next atrocity, which will surely come, all because Christians call Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and so Allah’s curse is upon us.