Sunday, 19 November 2017

Why Do Britain First Forget About The IRA When Talking To Muslims?

Britain First's Christian Jayda Fransen deputy leader seems to forget about British history and the IRA in a conversation with a Muslim as she tries to minimise the number of non-Muslim terror attacks in the UK.


This video is also uploaded here

A timeline of IRA terror attacks on British soil can be found at Reuters. Here are some examples from that timeless:


February 1974 - Coach carrying soldiers and families in northern England is bombed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Twelve people killed, 14 hurt.


October-November 1974 - Wave of IRA bombs in British pubs kills 28 people and wounds more than 200.


July 1982 - Two IRA bomb attacks on soldiers in London’s royal parks kill 11 people and wound 50.


December 1983 - IRA bomb at Harrods department store kills six.


October 1984 - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet narrowly escapes IRA bomb that kills five people at Brighton hotel during Conservative Party’s annual conference.


May 1990 - One soldier is killed and another wounded by car bomb in Wembley.


June 1990 - Soldier is shot dead at train station in Lichfield.


April 1993 - IRA truck bomb devastates Bishopsgate area of London’s financial district, killing one and wounding 44.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Karen Armstrong: Early Gospel Authors Did Not Believe Jesus Was God


Video also uploaded here

Paul and the Synoptics had never regarded Jesus as God; the very idea would have horrified Paul who, before his conversion, had been an exceptionally punctilious Pharisee. They all used the term ‘Son of God’ in the conventional Jewish sense: Jesus had been an ordinary human being commissioned by God with a special task. Even in his exalted state, there was, for Paul, always a clear distinction between Jesus kyrios Christos and God, his Father. The author of the Fourth Gospel , however, depicted Jesus as a cosmic being, God’s eternal ‘Word’ (logos) who had existed with God before the beginning of time. This high Christology seems to have separated these congregations from other Jewish Christian communities. [Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood, Religion and the History of Violence, The Bodley Head, 2014 p129]


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A Review of Sara Khan's The Battle For British Islam

Thoughts on: The Battle for British Islam - Sara Khan - Saqi Books - 2016

I did not really see what this book offered to the public discourse on Muslims, Islam and Britain which has not already been put out there I felt an element of irony as Sara Khan was championing a unity amongst Muslims but at the same time her book only serves to marginalise Muslims whose views on Islam she has an issue with - I don’t see anything problematic with iERA. Their members have condemned terrorism and they seem to be well-grounded members of British society. Why not try to work with these Muslims?

There is a theme in Sara Khan’s writing which highlights a conservatism amongst Muslim advocacy groups and plays a game of personalities by listing various Muslims in the public eye and their views they hold on issues such as LGBT, Islamic governance and women’s rights. What Sara Khan and her co-author fail to do is point out that these beliefs revolving around Islamic governance (how a state run by Sharia would theoretically be run) have no bearing on public life in Britain. None whatsoever! For instance, the belief that apostates should be killed is not applicable to Britain. Likewise for the punishment related to adultery.

For me it seemed all rather picayune, are we really trying to say these beliefs are affecting the way somebody lives and interacts in Britain negatively? I don’t think so. Is this not subtly playing to the notion of a conveyor belt theory where Muslims with certain beliefs which do not fit the Western liberal paradigm are potentially on the road to radicalisation? It should be “further radicalisation” as this theory would dictate anybody on the conveyor belt is already radicalised to a certain degree. Would this theory not pave the way for a more Islamophobic version from the far right (including the evangelical Christian Right) to go all-out and just label the starting point of the conveyor belt as “Islam”? That would leave Sara Khan and all of us Britain in hot water. I’d urge Sara Khan to rethink her lines of argumentation because consistency is important; giving an inch in order to prop one’s own views and oneself at the dinner table may later result in having to give a mile leaving you and your views being looked at askance by those at the same dining table you strove to be at.

What is the barometer for deciding who is radicalised? A departure from mainstream Western views? Does that not leave conservative Christians, orthodox Jews and mainstream Muslims in the firing line? And is this not really a form of mono-culturalism rather than multiculturalism where everybody is expected to follow the social zeitgeist?

Sara Khan does disappoint the rabid Islamophobes, who think Islam is about terrorism, in mentioning her opposition to extremism is inspired by Islam: "My motivation, first and foremost, in writing this book is a sense of obligation and principle as a Muslim." [p22]

She even criticises sections of the media for stoking up Islamophobc attitudes: “Sections of the media have in effect assisted the far-Right’s anti-refugees and anti-Muslim messaging. Media headlines have included references to a ‘Muslim rape crisis’, or ‘Muslim rape epidemic’, one Polish magazine depicted on its cover a Caucasian women [sic] draped in the European Union flag being torn at by brown-skinned hands, with the headline: ‘The Islamic Rape of Europe’. This is the largest-circulation conservative weekly journal in Poland – it claimed that the crisis had been masked because of ‘tolerance and political correctness’.” [p145-146]

She also talks about “Islamism” being divisive within Muslim communities and causing friction between Muslims and non-Muslims in Britain. For her, Islamism and the far-right have a symbiotic relationship and they feed off each other. What about foreign policy and its divisive role and role in radicalisation? Sara Khan has little to say about this.

The biggest problem here is this word, “Islamism”. It’s used in the media a lot but I doubt many people would be able to define it and those who do would probably not be in uniformed agreement on what Islamism entails. It’s a made up word, it’s helpful for those who want to operate in clouds of smoke.

Sara Khan does define it, I think this definition is hugely problematic for it impugns the vast majority of Muslims, in my opinion, past and present: “Islamism is essentially politicised Islam – but it is not synonymous with Islam. It is a relatively modern movement that seeks to revive an Islamic global political order, a caliphate in other words. Islamists see no distinction between religion and politics.” [p52]

Sara Khan may not know, but the Islamic caliphate only broke up, in name at least, about 100 years ago. Islam and the state have always been interwoven since the nascent Islamic community set up in Medina in the 7th century. This notion of separation of church and state only came about through Martin Luther, prior to that the West did not have such a notion as taught by Karen Armstrong. In fact, even then, beyond Luther, Christian puritans still saw the sate and faith to be linked. Professor Shedinger talks about a religion of value should want to influence the state. Everybody wants their faith or views to influence the state – they are lying if they say otherwise. What is wrong with a bunch of Muslims desiring self-autonomy and wanting to run their country the way they want? Would it not be a form of cultural imperialism to dictate to them that they have to follow the zeitgeist and paradigm in the West? Given how the definition of “religion” is notoriously difficult to agree upon in the Religious Studies departments across the West and considering secularism is now being considered a “religion” in some quarters, are we not living in a state governed by a “religion” too? It seems to me, the big hoo-ha here is all about people with views which challenge the “religion” governing the state. The world has to be governed by one “religion”, secularism...or else!

Christian Right Wing Is Angry With Qasim Rashid's Article on Islam in the Independent

 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Christian Right Wing Is Angry With Qasim Rashid's Article on Islam in the Independent



Here are my thoughts on what an evangelical Christian lady wrote in response to a click-bait piece on the Independent's website by Qasim Rashid entitled “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sex scandals.” As a Muslim I was surprised to see such a title - something which I will address later on in this piece once we touch on some of the polemics directed at Qasim Rashid's piece from a "Christian"evangelical lady called Lizzie Schofield. Lizzie Schofield writes:
 
Now theIndie's [sic] really upped its game with its latest piece by Qasim Rachid [Sic] (a regular contributor) entitled “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sex scandals.” Islam will prevent sex scandals? Sex scandals like the systematic rape and grooming of young girls in Rochdale, Rotherham and Newcastle, right?

This is like a Christian saying Christian teachings will prevent murders and genocides and the critic responding flippantly “what like the genocide of the Native Americans”?

There are two problems with this immature approach:

1. It’s childish and it misuses serious crimes and suffering of human beings for one-upmanship.

2. This one-upmanship is a non-sequitar in any case. The perverts in the grooming gangs (which included non Muslims) were in fact going against the teachings of Islam – unless you think alcohol, drugs, deceit and rape are Islamic (
see Islam forbids rape). You’ve got to have a low view of your fellow man if you think these things are part of the way of life of a  fifth of your cousins on this planet. In fact, Islam teaches men and women against being alone or touching a person of the opposite sex whom you have no relationship with. Lizzie knows this as she has been told about the Jewish teaching of Shomer Negiah and the Muslim equivalent.

She knows how Islam would help against Hollywood director sex scandals. Men have to lower their gaze, so they can’t ogle at the model/actress (in addition Islam’s dress code of modesty would help to lessen the drawing of attention from men of a sensual nature
as witnessed in this social experiment). Is that not what led to the Harvey Weinstein’s alleged crimes – the sin of the eyes inciting further lustful thoughts? Secondly, you can’t be alone with the actress as Islam teaches against two unmarried people of the opposite sex being alone with each other (the third is always the devil). Thirdly, sex cannot be carried out outside a relationship. Surely that’s enough to say the precepts of Islam would help prevent such sex scandals and vicitimization of actresses? 
 
She then goes into full tilt polemical mode with mindless and inconsistent polemics:

“Tell me how a religion founded by a man who married a nine-year-old girl, plus another 10 women (some forcibly) in addition to his regular sex slaves, will help here. Seriously. I’m all ears.”

 
On marrying young

1. The Prophet consummated the marriage with Aisha when she was considered mature and had reached puberty. This is the same marriage custom which the Jews at the time of Jesus observed as highlighted by Geza Vermes. Why is this lady not asking why Jesus did not change this custom if she finds it so reprehensible? Does she think Jesus did not care about women?

2. On that theme, the age of marriage in the Bible is puberty as stated by
a Christian apologist who cited Ezekiel 16 as his proof text for this claim. Why is this lady not asking why the Bible contains such a “proof text” for puberty as the age of marriage and why it does not follow pre-modern age of consent laws? Does she think Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father did not care about women?

3. We both live in Western Europe, pre-modern Western Europe had similar marriage practices to that of the Arabs a the time of Prophet Muhammad and the Jews at the time of Prophet Jesus. Emma Mason writes, "In the Middle Ages, getting married was easy for Christians living in western Europe...Marriage was the only acceptable place for sex and as a result Christians were allowed to marry from puberty onwards, generally seen at the time as age 12 for women and 14 for men. Parental consent was not required. When this law finally changed in England in the 18th century, the old rules still applied in Scotland."
This lady’s ancestors would have been involved in such marriages. Even beyond the Middle Ages, I bet some of Lizzie’s forefathers were involved in such marriages. Just look at the London marriage licenses between 1500 to the 1800s. We’ve got 4 (four) year old George in there, 9 year old Dorthy Panton and 11 year old Anne in there. This lady may want to check up her family tree for any of those names. In reality, there would have been countless marriages like those of Anne and Dorthy during this period across the whole of Britain. Were they all a bunch of women hating paedophiles back then? No of course not...so why the big deal about Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha when the Bible, Jesus and the rest of humanity before pre-modern times would have seen no issue with it?
 
On polygamy

As for polygamy, erm what’s wrong with polygamy? Jesus according to her Trinitarian beliefs allowed polygamy.

If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. [Exodus 21:10]

And Jesus, according to her Trinitarian beliefs not only allowed polygamy but also gave wives [plural] to David:

8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. [2 Samuel 12:8]

This is all elementary stuff that anybody who has thought about and looked into the Bible would know of. Why are we seeing a Trinitarian Christian lady talk about polygamy like it’s a bad thing? She’s indirectly insulting her version of Jesus (the Trinitarian Church version). Did Jesus do something wrong in her eyes? Is she more holy than Jesus?

She also talks about forced marriage. Forced marriage
is not allowed in Islam  Anti-Islam polemicists claim the Prophet’s marriage to Safiya was forced, I’ve covered this here.

On Trinitarian Jesus and Women

In fact it appears, this particular Trinitarian Christian apologist (if consistent), would claim rape/forced marriage took place in Deuteronomy 10 and probably Numbers 31 and this was allowed by Trinitarian  Jesus. Does the Christian lady condemn these actions and condemn Trinitarian Jesus?

This lady may want to consider
2 Samuel 12 where according to her Trinitarian understanding, Jesus threatened to give David’s wives to somebody else who would also sleep with them. Now, will this lady call this a threat to have David’s wives raped? A threat given by Trinitarian Jesus according to her understanding!
 
She also wrote the following to advocate Christianity at the end of her polemical piece:

Jesus never married. Jesus never had sex slaves. He never sexually exploited women. The Cross of Christ is justice for the victims of sexual exploitation and mercy for the perpetrators if they turn to him.

OK, Jesus never married, and is that something that makes him a better person than Moses, Muhammad or Abraham? Nope. Marriage is something necessary for procreation and it’s what societies are founded upon. I believe the lady in question is married herself, let's not go into medieval monk mode where sex is seen as something unholy. Sex is part of life and none of us would be here today if it was not part of life.

She claims Jesus never exploited women but she believes Jesus allowed the severe beating of female slaves as long as they got up after a day or two (Exodus 21:20-21). She believes Jesus ordered the killing of non virgin females in 1 Samuel 15:3

 
Is she not aware of any of this or is this in the back of her mind gnawing away at her so she decides to attack Muslims, Islam and the Prophet of Islam to try and make herself feel a bit better? Is this some sort of self-projection akin to where a gay guy is constantly bashing gays but is found out to be involved in a gay lifestyle! behind closed doors.

She also believes Jesus allowed polygamy (Ex 21:10) and she believes Jesus gave wives to David in 2 Samuel 12:8. Clearly Jesus had no issue with polygamy. If she thinks polygamy is exploitation of women then I’m sure she will criticising the Trinitarian church’s view of Jesus - if she's consistent. In addition, she will be attacking the Bible as the spark for her Protestant church movement, Martin Luther, said there’s nothing in the Bible to forbid polygamy.

As for rape, I’d imagine (if consistent as she is constantly looking for the most negative view of Islamic sources she can find) she would exegete 2 Samuel 12 as Jesus threatening to have David’s wives given to somebody else and slept with as exploitation of women:

 
11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”

She'd also say the claim Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 10 (an order from Jesus according to her) involved rape

Aside from this,
we already know that she believes Jesus is not a pacifist and that Jesus used much more violence than Prophet Muhammad. I guess in her mind, Muhammad is more peaceful and more kinder to women than Trinitarian Jesus and the Islamic Jesus is more peaceful and more loving to women than the Trinitarian church version of Jesus. 
Rape victims and the "cross"
She wrote about the cross being some sort of comfort or justice for victims of rape. She does not believe this at all. In her mind, any non Christians raped and not willing to worship Jesus (a man!) will face the wrath of Jesus who will return with a sword for his enemies.
She’s on video saying so about Jesus returning with a sword for his "enemies" which she believes to be Muslims (including Muslim women presumably unless she believes Jesus is anti-men and only dislikes non-Christian men). Quite how the idea of Jesus dying for sins on a cross is justice for rape victims is beyond me. Really, what of all those non Christian women raped (many by Christians, think Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, and African slaves) who did not believe a man (Jesus) was God? How exactly do you think the church idea of the cross helps them?
 
Furthermore, she believes the rapists will be forgiven due to the beliefs around the cross...but what if the rape victim does not forgive the rapist?
 
Conclusion
 
The online platform for major newspapers, given the competition online, is a click based market so content providers are incentivised to be as sensational and, a times, inflammatory as possible - "attention whoring" for views. This, in turn, corresponds to online ad revenue. For the Independent's website, it's not much different. For me, the ads that show up on Qasim Rashid's online piece are for BNP PARIBAS and SQUARE SPACE.
 
As a reader of the Independent, I am a little disappointed in the editorial decision to run that article as it does not take a great deal of wisdom to expect an online anti-Muslim backlash. It seems like the Independent were trolling the right wing but I think we have to recognise this goes beyond the Far Right despite the Left's willingness to stand up for minorities (as a Muslim, I appreciate much of this sentiment although I have read Nathan Lean's book on Islamophobia and he does mention there is Left-wing Islamophobia too). 
 
Qasim Rashid's article will effectively be used as a recruiting sergeant in pitting the cultural right-wing, anti-Muslim and anti-religion folks against Muslims.  It's only going to fuel this narrative of "creeping sharia" and the propaganda of an exaggerated influence of Muslims in the West that Muslims are on the precipice of power in Britain when in actuality Muslims are the , or at least one of the, least influential minority groups in the West: Christians, LGBTQ groups and Jews have way more influence than Muslims.
 
There would have been less of a firestorm if Qasim Rashid had spoken of  the way in which EVERY major world religion would help alleviate sex scandals in Hollywood or wherever. He could have then have thrown in a paragraph or two of his own religious tradition alongside relevant teachings from other faiths. The title could have been "How Religion Can Prevent More Sex Scandals in Hollywood".
 
I do fear, the Independent have managed to stoke up further anti-Muslim sentiment whilst seeking out internet clicks. Sure, the evangelical lady who riled against Qasim Rashid's article is anti-Islam but we must start asking ourselves why Christians, who are very similar in moral values to Muslims, are taking aim at Muslims, increasingly so. We've got to start dialoguing with their more reasonable types and start working with each other as opposed to butting heads in this anti-religion climate we live in in the West. In Britain, I've always thought on the ground (in real life) serious Muslims and serious Christians get along well - the biggest allies of Muslims in the West are religious Christians in my view (not the liberal left).
 
This anti-Islam rhetoric which is amplified on the net is not doing serious-minded Christians any favours at all. This lady was using babyish terms like "dawahgandist"  and "indimmpendent" - she's an outlier amongst real-on-the-ground Christians in the UK in my view, her behaviour reflects a more American fundamentalist, politically-oriented Christianity.
 
On top of this, through her polemics, the light is well and truly being shone on the Trinitarian view of Jesus who any critic of Prophet Muhammad would criticise with greater vigour and accuse Trinitarian Jesus of all sorts of crimes against men, women and children - if consistent. I wonder if this Christian lady will be consistent.

I'm facing the very real guilt of being partly responsible for a  young Christian lady losing faith in Christianity and apparently having no faith in God any longer. She was allegedly on fire for Christianity and was rubbing shoulders with some big name Christian apologists in North America. She was a rising star in evangelical circles -  a bit of a celebrity. She was doing the "Muhammad can't be a true Prophet  because of polygamy and wars etc." spiel, basically the talking points many Christian polemicists run through, including the Christian lady we are addressed above. I did the, "hey what about the Bible (it allows polygamy) and what about the Bible on violence" response alongside correcting some of her misapprehensions about Islam. Essentially a watered-down version of what I've wrote above. She did email me to expose one of the "Christian" apologists she was rubbing shoulders with who I happened to be refuting and rebuking at the time. I just thought she had gained in maturity, I had no knowledge she left the faith until I was alerted to a social media status from a Christian apologist who had a bit of a crush on her. My advice to Christians is to think about consistency, don't blame people like me for simply pointing out Prophet Muhammad used less violence than Trinitarian Jesus when you try to dishonestly decontextualize his wars and make out the Prophet of Islam was all about violence and don't blame me when I start pointing out what Trinitarians believe about Jesus concerning the treatment of women when you try to engage in negative propaganda against Prophet Muhammad in trying to make him out to be anti-women. Start teaching Christians to be more honest and consistent when talking about Islam, that way you won't be hating me and looking at me with suspicion as a possible reason for your rising young preachers leaving Christianity.



Is Christian Persecution Complex Harming Muslim-Christian Dialogue?

Do Jay Smith's Pfander Centre for Apologetics Really Preach Trinitarian Views on Jesus?

Does Jesus use Violence and Force According to Trinitarian Christianity?

Synoptic Gospels and the Idea of a Pre-Existent Jesus?
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

European Christians Were Allowed to Marry At Puberty During the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, getting married was easy for Christians living in western Europe...Marriage was the only acceptable place for sex and as a result Christians were allowed to marry from puberty onwards, generally seen at the time as age 12 for women and 14 for men. Parental consent was not required. When this law finally changed in England in the 18th century, the old rules still applied in Scotland [Emma Mason]


Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Explaining Hand Shaking and Hugging to Hatun Tash

Dear Hatun Tash, this issue has been explained previously when Daniel and/or Lizzie were asking about Muslims not shaking the hands of the opposite gender. Please do read up and watch the video on that post and you’ll learn this is also a teaching in Orthodox Judiasm called Shomer Negiah.



I must say I’m disappointed in your colleagues as I’d imagine they would have seen my post on this topic, they should ahave shared it with you so you would not fall into the same error. Perhaps they did not see it. Who knows, you can ask them. And you can share this post with them too.

A few thoughts:

1. You can’t equate somebody not hugging you or touching you for religious reasons as them not loving you. Likewise, you can’t associate the act of you willing to hug them or shake their hands as you loving them more than they love you.

2. If you follow through your thought patter you’d say orthodox Jews don’t love Christians, Muslims and anybody else who is not in their circle of family. Would you be willing to say that in public, I hope not. I would advise you not to as it would be deemed anti-Semitic.

3. The act of hugging or shaking hands in other societies (non Jewish and non Muslim) is probably linked to social propriety and custom. These customs and norms change with time. For instance, I think, without expending time to look it up, a lady in Victorian England would not hug a non family member as it would be considered inappropriate. Likewise for other preceding time periods in the UK which

4. CS Lewis talks about the rule of propriety with regards to women's dress sense. I *think* this would apply equally to a woman’s behaviour (as well as a man’s) with respect to members of the opposite sex. I think he *could* have argued for Christian women to wear hijab in Muslim societies where being hijab-less would be seen as immodest (e.g. Saudi Arabia). This is what he writes: The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed...thus while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians the rule of propriety changes.
A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally ‘modest’, proper, or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste).

5. Having a more liberal outlook on life where one’s life is governed by less restrictions doe snot mean one’s world view is better. If that was the case then secularism of the hyper-individualist kind would be the truth. In fact, Theists who believe in a personal God Who has Spoken through Revelation would argue it is logical for God to lay down restrictions and prohibitions on behaviour.

Jay Smith Are You Proud of Your Pfander Ministries Students?

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Is Genesis 22 a Messianic Prophecy?

Advice For Muslims On Dealing With Christian Anti-Muslim Sentiment...

Friday, 6 October 2017

A Reality for Christians on Quran and Bible Preservation

The claim that there are numerous Qurans is a result of a foundational misunderstanding on the Muslim view of the Quran and its preservation. Muslims know what constitutes the Quran as the Readings of the Quran with a Tawatur tradition are all accepted Readings (and thus considered the Quran). Any one of these Readings is sufficient and is considered to be the Quran. The problem here is, many critics don’t understand this point and think Muslims have a load of different Qurans. The take home point here is that the Muslims know for certainty the contents of each Reading of the Quran and these are considered to be the Quran while the Christians have long admitted defeat on this front vis-a-vis the Bible.

Christians actually have variants whilst Muslims have Multiple Readings. Muslims are meant to have multiple Readings of the Quran as per the way the Quran was Revealed. Christians are not meant to have variants. Because they have variants they need Textual Criticism (to speculate which MS reading is the original) and continuous archeology (to continually look for new MSS to help them find new variants or to find evidence which helps them speculate the strength and veracity of various readings already in the NT MS tradition). In addition, the Bible is a text still in flux, in that any verse could be relegated to a the status of a later addition (i.e. forgery) upon a new manuscript find – the historical precedent was set quite spectacularly for this in the 19th Century with Dr Von Tischendorf’s find (or theft :)) of Codex Sinaiticus (relegating the PA and the ending of Mark to the status of later additions). In fact the Christians have given up the keys to the Bible to the academy now.

Qur'an Seminar 2017: Learn about Quranic Preservation

Facts About Birmingham Quranic Manuscript Discovery - Louay Fatoohi
Western Scholars Affirm Quran Textual Integrity
 
Shk Haitham Al Haddad The Qu'ran A Concise History and the Compilation of the Quran
 
Why did the Third Caliph Uthman Burn the Copies of Quran?
 
 
 

Advice For Muslims On Dealing With Christian Anti-Muslim Sentiment...

Part of an email advising somebody who was being run down by evangelical Christians attacking Islam:

These people actively look for people who are all jittery when it comes to their emotional polemics against the Faith. They can sense who lacks confidence and self-esteem especially in person (body language) and even on the net with the way somebody is interacting.

There’s a lot of psychology behind evangelical Christian missionaries who try to rob Muslims of faith in the Revelation of Allah. They actively look for people who struggle with English because they think they are easier targets for various reasons (i.e. the Christian can conflate the West with Christianity and thus misappropriate secular Western achievement to Christianity, it’s easier for them to dominate and manipulate a conversation if the other person has a weaker command of the language and we both know that there is an undercurrent in the West which portrays people not educated in Western institutes as lesser thinkers), their ideal is those with inferiority complexes – inferiority complexes when it comes to the West and folks who have elements of self hate within them. A great way to deal with these missionaries is to go head on and use the premises in their arguments against them.

For instance, they will talk about the Prophet being involved in war and put it alongside the Jesus of the Gospel (A Jesus who was never the head of a state nor of a group large enough to wrestle control of the region away from the oppressive Romans so it’s the fallacy of false comparisons although if that’s what they want to do, be their guest and compare Prophet Muhammad with Trinitarian Jesus!).

The premise here is somebody using violence and warfare cannot be from God. Point at the Prophets in the OT – Moses – who used violence and warfare (e.g vs the Midianites in Numbers). But go further, talk about the Trinity idea teaching Jesus is the 2nd person of the Trinity thus Trinitarians essentially believe Jesus ordered the killing of women and children (1 Samuel 15:3).

Likewise, for the issue of polygamy, tell them Jesus did not forbid it according to Biblical Trinitarians and appears to allow it (Exodus 21:10) and he even says he GAVE David his wives according to Trinitarians (2 Samuel 12:8). In this instance you can also point to one of the sparks for their breakaway church movement, Martin Luther. Luther is on record saying nothing in Christian scripture forbids polygamy. [It will be a really Westernised Christian who brings the issue of polygamy up and he/she may find this very difficult and thus jump at the One Flesh verse (Gen 2:24) – they believe MOSES wrote such yet he had more than one wife so clearly the author’s understanding of the one flesh verse could not have been a proscription of polygyny].

Let’s talk about female slaves, they will bring this up. They may have even been taught to say Muslims are allowed to rape female slaves. Of course this is a prurient lie as part of their propaganda of demonisation (but the Christian you’re speaking to may not know this, so be gentle). To respond,say, “OK clearly you believe in the rights and well treatment of slaves, especially female slaves, I respect that as that is what we as Muslims are taught. But before I show you our teachings I want to share what Trinitarians believe Jesus allowed with respect to slaves, this may sound shocking so do look it up and think about it when you have some time later on, he allowed the severe beating of female slaves as long as they got up after a couple of days (Ex 21:20-21). Female slaves were taken as captives of war and married in the OT. There are some secularists, and perhaps liberal Christians, who say this was rape in the Bible but for me I don’t believe God allows rape as we are taught in the Quran (Quran 4:36) to treat slaves well and the Prophetic teaching (Sahih Muslim) is that one cannot even slap a slave – clearly rape would transgress those teachings thus cannot be allowed.”

Notice, what we’ve done my dear, we’ve started planting seeds and educating the Christian friend.

Don’t say any of this aggressively to them, say it how an educator would. You’re the teacher here. You’ve got to be the guide here. This Christian is in severe spiritual danger and his reckless elders may have effectively nudged him on to the precipice of leaving Biblical Christianity and the Abrahamic tradition.

Remember, if they come to you, your demeanour is key, you MUST be confident. Don’t be all jittery, they will sense it and that’s what they want to see. Speak with clarity and purpose. Be smart and informed, if you’re not, they will pick up on it and they will not be influenced as much by you, in fact they will take it as a cue to start influencing you! Be sophisticated and focussed, don’t bang on about America bombing Iraq like some emotional wreck – that’s not the time or place. The number of Muslims I see rattling on about Iraq, British and American imperialism in these discussions is staggering, to be honest it’s neither helpful nor relevant. It can come across as cringe-worthy and embarrassing. The Christian did not come to you as a representative of America, in many cases the Christian is not even American and is against Trump, Bush etc.. It’s a theological discussion, not political. There’s a time and place for remonstrating against the bombings of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan etc. and the contentious issue of Palestine...this discussion is not that time or place.

Take on the role of the educator in the dialogue. The evangelical missionaries have been set up to try and rob you of your faith using secular arguments – their leaders saw how the secularists decimated Christendom in Western Europe and now they have borrowed that polemical style from them because it was effective against their own faith! The only reason why it was effective was because the Christians had been conditioned to think of Western civilisation and Western laws as the pinnacle thus the Church ended up allowing divorce (their teachings do not allow divorce except in the case of adultery), staying silent on sex before marriage and even inviting Bill and Bob, and Jill and Jean, to come into their churches to get “married”. They did all this to appease their congregations who became Westerners at heart rather than true Bible believers.

They’ve lost confidence in their Book. Don’t allow them to try and do the same to you with respect to Islam.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: These evangelical Christians have been conned, they’ve been conned by “Christian” folks who have given them a load of polemics against Islam which, if applied consistently, would mean the Christian would reject Christianity and Biblical teachings. These Christian missionaries, once they wake up and start thinking about what they’re saying, are in danger of leaving the Abrahamic tradition because their Christian leaders was set them up to stumble. The evangelical Christian NEEDS you in this instance. You can be a light for them and a light for their nations. But you’ve got to be smart, sophisticated, educated, confident and concerned. YOU can do it.

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Jay Smith Are You Proud of Your Pfander Ministries Students?


In this video we see Hatun Tash, formerly of Pfander Ministries, and now of DCCI Ministries, along with her friend Daniel Zelalem, mock the Quran and call a KKK handbook the Quran. They (Daniel in this case) also liken an ex-Christian, who converted to Islam, to a “dog” and liken his faith to “vomit” whilst calling him a fool. Hatun Tash invades a Muslim man’s personal boundaries and hugs him despite him not giving her permission and not wanting contact with a female who is not a family member - all in an effort to cause drama.
 
Orthodox Jewish and many Muslim men and women do not touch a person of the opposite gender if they are not family members. The Jews call this Shomer Negiah. To listen to a great explanation of this practice by a Jewish lady and a couple of Muslim scholars please see here.

Hatun Tash’s unwanted touching would be seen as offensive and disturbing. You just don’t touch people without their permission. You can’t go around making people so uncomfortable, regardless of whether you think it’s harmless fun. Respect people’s boundaries.  I would encourage Hatun to apologise.
Insulting somebody’s holy book and deliberately identifying it with a KKK manual is offensive and childish. Clearly that stunt was designed for mockery; I would call for both Daniel and Hatun to sincere apology.

Play in full screen. This video is also uploaded  here

The man calling the young Muslim gentleman a "fool" and likening him to a dog and his faith to vomit is something Daniel (and Hatun, seen as she was laughing) should apologise. The wider problem here is that this type of abuse of Muslims is not isolated, it appears to be a common theme amongst many Christians (online mainly). As we learnt, Hatun’s teacher calls Muslims “sewage”.
Perhaps Hatun and Lizzie Schofield believe insulting non-Christians is biblical as Jesus was harsh in the NT at times. If I understand correctly, Mr Shamoun, takes the view his insults are not in contravention with Christian behaviour.
Sam Shamoun calls people “sewage”  He uses such de-humanising terms for people he feels threatened by regularly – he’s been doing it for years. Is this something you believe is endorsed by Christianity? IIRC Sam Shamoun justifies his hard-line stance by claiming Jesus was harsh with certain people in the NT. I suspect he believes Jesus agrees with his abuse and it is biblical behaviour. You can verify whether this is the case or not.
In our last email exchange which a Christian radio/TV show presenter as CC’d in he called me all of the following:
A “vile dog”, “slime” “Muhammadan dog” “swine”, “vile rabid dog”. Sam wants to “muzzle” my “rabid mouth”
I’ve forwarded these abusive emails to my friend, reverend Samuel Green.
In this case, although I do encourage a public apology, I won’t ask for it myself as it may be that Lizzie, Daniel and Hatun believe their comments were acceptable or somewhat acceptable according to their Church tradition.
Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21 - Sam Shamoun

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 
 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21 - Sam Shamoun



Now I understand this anti-Islam apologist, Sam Shamoun, has been denounced as having a double-mind by Pulpit and Pen and James White refuses to recommend him whilst considering him as somebody who "has lost it" BUT his views, if consistently applied, seem to indicate he believes Jesus singled out virgins in Numbers 31 to be raped.


Sam Shamoun: Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 21

This video is also uploaded here

Numbers 31:

4 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle. 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 21:

10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
A Difficulty On the Christian Idea of Salvation and Forgiveness

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!

African Children and the Harm of White Jesus Imagery - Umar Johnson

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...

Are Evengalicals Ignoring Sola Scriptura When Talking About Prophecies in the Bible?

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

 
 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Difficulty On the Christian Idea of Salvation and Forgiveness


Asghar Bukhari writes on his FB about his experience with a Nigerian Christian:

I met a Nigerian Christian today. Well somehow [the] conversation turns to Jews backing israel. He starts telling me the Bible says God supports Jews against their enemies.

So i say, hang about. Didnt they kill your God?

He replies yes but that was Prophesy. God ordained it. And if God hadn't died he wouldn't be saved.

So i say, 'So God told them to kill Him? So you think they did God a favour by killing Him?

He actually said "Yes its Good they killed God"

He had no problem with Jews taking and cleansing the Palestinians because 'Jesus gave it to the Jews

African Christians are some of the most brainwashed people on earth. I mean how can you believe in a religion that nuts.



My thoughts


I have actually thought about this before, I don't believe this Nigerian Christian has drifted away from Biblical Christianity in what he said with what he said about Jews killing God.Christians do effectively believe God wanted the Jews and Romans to kill him - it was a prerequisite for salvation. Thus, in some way without these murderers this “gift of salvation” Christians believe in could not happen.

I've always thought why aren't those who are said to kill Jesus not considered saints as they are responsible for the salvation of billions indirectly according to Christianity? How can they be considered to be in Hell when every Christian is indebted to them indirectly for their salvation?

There is the ethical question here, why is God’s forgiveness and gift of salvation in need of Jewish and Roman murderers? If you truly believe a blood sacrifice is really needed and God really needs to die for sins then why believe God provokes people to murder Him as this means salvation and God’s forgiveness is dependent on murderers in some way, shape or form?

In Islam, God can forgive people without having to be killed by murderers. Which concept of God is better, the Christian one or the Islamic one, be honest?

There are some tough questions here, think about them and ask your pastors.




Note: A Christian friend, Denis Giron, did share this from the Catholic tradition: Catholic history has a tradition that the Roman soldier who stabbed Christ with the spear was a man named Longinus, who later converted to Christianity. He was (and in some pockets still is) revered as a saint. Admittedly, he was revered based on the belief that he converted..


Synoptic Gospels and the Idea of a Pre-Existant Jesus?



 
Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?



Saturday, 30 September 2017

Notes Part 1: Cambridge Companion to Jesus Edited by Markus Bockmuehl – Cambridge University Press – 2001

Cambridge Companion to Jesus Edited by Markus Bockmuehl – Cambridge University Press – 2001

“Jesus was an Asian and an infant refugee in Africa” - Bockmuehl


Craig A Evans

Archeological evidence shows people of Galilee were scrupulous in their observance of purity laws. Examples: Non Jewish pottery was limited to non Jewish sectors whilst non Jewish sectors contained Jewish pottery. Also virtually no pig bones were found dating to before AD 70 (after a sizeable growth in the non Jewish population)

Revolts that took place after Herod’s death (4 BCE), after the removal of Archelaus and the Roman census (6CE) and the riot in Jerusalem that instigated the great revolt (66-70) all pointed to deep-seated Jewish resentment of pagan presence in Israel (inc. Galilee).

Dating Jesus' birth

“Conventional to date the birth of Jesus to 4 BC or a bit earlier.This date is based n the Matthean evangelist, whose narrative suggests that Jesus was born shortly before the death of Herod the Great (cf. Matt 2.1,19). However, the evangelist’s association of Jesus ‘ birth with the final days f the reign of Herod may reflect a Moses-Jesus typology. Just as Pharaoh tried to destroy the promised saviour of the Hebrew slaves, so the wicked Herod – infamous for the execution of family members, including his elder so Alexander only days before the king himself would die – tried to destroy the saviour of Israel (Matt 2.1-18; cf. Exod 2.1-10). It has been suggested that Jesus may have been born near the end of the reign of Herod Archelaus (Luke 1.5), at the time of the controversial census ‘when Quirinius was governor of Syria’ (Luke 2.1-2). Given the accuracy of the Lucan evangelist in other matters pertaining to chronology and figures in office, this alternative suggestion should not be dismissed too hastily” 13-14 Evans

Matthean rephrases (lies?) about Jesus’ parentage and occupation.

“During his ministry, Jesus returns to Nazareth, where some of the residents wonder: ‘Is not this the carpenter [ho tekton], the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ (Mark 6.3). To be referred to as the ‘son of Mary’ raises questions about Jesus’ paternity . It hardly comes as a surprise then that Matthew rephrases the insultijng question.: ‘Is not this the carpenter’s son [ho tou tektonos huios]?’ (Matt 13.55). Jesus is here identified as the son of Joseph the carpenter. Not only is the stigma of his doubtful birth removed, Jesus has been distanced from his lowly occupation.” 14 Evans

Jesus family did not endorse his ministry?

“There are signification indications tat Jesus’ family did not endorse his ministry. The open hostility between Jesus and his family is barely masked in the Marcan account (Mark 3.20-35;cf.6.1-6; John 7.5), which the Matthean and Lucan evangelists take pains to mitigate” 14 Evans

[How can he believe they thought Jesus was God? Same with Mark! – Evans believes in all probability the resurrection claims (1 Cor 15.7) altered his family’s opinion]

Could Jesus read?

Deductive reading arguing Jesus could read, “according to Philo and Josephus, approximate contemporaries of Jesus, Jewish parents taught their children Torah and how to read it” 17

Perhaps they were only talking about affluent families? Evans sides with the opinion Jesus could read.

Some of the members of the North American Jesus Seminar do not think Jesus could read (Funk 1998:274). The Seminar also tends to think that quotations of and allusions to Scripture are the work of the early church, not of Jesus. 15

Disciple of John?

“The admission in the gospels that Jesus was baptised by John is one of the most certain data of the tradition (Mark 1.9-11; Matt 3.13-17; Luke 3.21-22; John 1.29-34). It suggests that Jesus was for a time a disciple of John” 21

Peter J Tomson

The phrase not worthy to bow down and unite his sandal is thought to be the kind of task a Jewish disciple did for his teacher.

Secretive about being the Messiah (Mark 9.2-8)

Jesus began his own career accepting the rite of repentance and forgiveness at the hands of John, which later devout Christians found hard to believe (cf. Matt 3.14; John 1.29-36; the Gospel of the Nazarenes as quoted by Jerome, Against Pelagius 3.2) 30

Jesus’ interpretation of the law was notably stricter than that of the Pharisees on the prohibition of divorce.

Predictions of the destruction [of the Temple - mine] were not unique in Jesus’ time, as we know from Josephus; and of course there is the ancient precedent of Jeremiah (Jer 7.14). 37

Pharisees believed in resurrection, Sadducess did not.

Marianne Meye Thompson

“For some scholars who pursue historical reconstructions of Jesus, the goal of this quest is to strip away the creedal accretions and affirmations of faith that have shaped the gospels and subsequent Christian belief in order to discover the ‘genuine’ historical figure of Jesus beneath layers of confession” 41

Adolf Von Harnack, a German scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesasserted that ‘The Gospel , as Jesus proclaimed it, has to do with the Father only and not with the Son’ (Harnack 1957:144). 41

Geza Vermes speaks of Jesus as a ‘lover and worshipper of his Father in heaven’ , whose transformation into an object of worship ‘would have filled this Galilean Hasid with stupefaction, anger and deepest grief’ (Vermes 1983:13) 41

Jesus distinguished between blasphemy of the Son of Man and blasphemy of the Spirit indicating he believed himself and his mission answerable to and driven by the Spirit of God (Matt 12.31-32) ref 44

“Jesus refuses to manipulate God or to ask for demonstrable proofs of God’s protection” when asked to thrown himself off the Temple. He refused signs to those who asked to see them as proofs that God had sent him (Mark 8.11-12; 11.27-33) ref 45

Going beyond creeds

Robert Funk, the founder of the Jesus Seminar, contends that because Christianity is not the religion of Jesus, but the religion about him, if falls upon those who truly seek to follow Jesus to find him behind the creeds and gospels (Funk 1996: 304). 53

Earliest Christian preaching as recorded in Paul’s letters and Peter’s speeches in Acts are proclamations about Jesus rather than simply continuing the proclamation of Jesus. This shift is due to the church’s belief that Jesus had been raised and exalted by God to the right hand of the Father.

Graham Stanton

Miracles were not accepted without question in antiquity. Graeco-Roman writers were often reluctant to ascribe ‘miraculous’ events to the gods, and offered alternative explanations. Some writers were openly sceptical about miracles (e.g. Epicurus, Lucretius, Lucian). So it is a mistake to write off miracles of Jesus as the result of naivety and gullibility of people in the ancient world. In his own lifetime follower and foe accepted that Jesus had unusual healing powers. Ref 66

Some suggest many of the illnesses and disabilities had psychosomatic roots.

Joel B Green

When it came to the act of crucifixion, the Romans were slaves to no standard technique 90


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sam Shamoun and David Wood Cursed by Paul of Tarsus!


Paul of Tarsus cursed all Trinitarians in Galatians 1 as Paul of Tarsus never knew about the Trinity doctrine and never preached or believed in this doctrine. Thus for Paul of Tarsus, the Trinitarians preach a different Gospel to him, meaning they are cursed according to Galatians 1.



Even if folks like Sam Shamoun and David Wood  decide to give up the Trinity doctrine they will still be considered to be cursed by Paul of Tarsus as they are suspected of rejecting Penal Substitution. Here's what Brandon Hines writes about Michael Gungor in this regard:

By denying Penal Substitution, Gungor is rejecting the true Gospel and embracing another gospel, which is no gospel at all. What does the Bible say we are to do with those who bring another Gospel? Galatians 1:8 (ESV) tells us, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” [Brandon Hines]

For the Muslim, Paul of Tarsus has no authority whatsoever. Muslim don't care who he cursed. Can Christians say the same?


How Jay Smith, Nabeel Qureshi, Sam Shamoun and David Wood Contribute to the Apostasy of Christians

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

Is Limited Atonement Doctrine Taught Clearer than the Trinity Doctrine in the New Testament?

For Christians who say Allah is a Deceiver- a Message from James White


 
 
 

The Link Between Anti-Semitism and Islam

John L Esposito: Gallup data revealed a link between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, that contempt for Jews makes a person "about 32 times as likely to report the same level of prejudice toward Muslims"

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?
 
 

Armenian Genocide Was A Secularist Genocide Not an Islamic Genocide - Karen Armstrong


During the First World War, in order to create a purely Turkic state, the Young Turks ordered the deportation and ‘resettlement’ of Armenian Christians from the empire on the pretext that they were conniving with the enemy. This led to the first genocide of the twentieth century, committed not by religious fanatics but by avowed secularists. Over a million Armenians were slaughtered: men and youths were killed where they stood while women, children and the elderly were driven into the desert where they were raped, shot, starved, poisoned, suffocated or burned to death [Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood]

African Children and the Harm of White Jesus Imagery - Umar Johnson

Geza Vermes on How Jesus Would Have Reacted to Trinitarian Christians

Hinduism and Polygamy

Muslim Rule in India: No Evidence of Forced Mass Coversions of Hindus

For Christians Who Call Muslims Rag-Heads...
 
Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk