Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Analysing Jay Smith's Student's Debate At Speakers Corner On Atonement

This is a review and commentary on a Muslim –Christian dialogue video which I saw online. The Muslim is Hashim (a popular speaker for Islam at Speakers Corner) and the Christian, Elizabeth Schofield of St Nicholas Church, Tooting.

Dusters and uneven scales

Lizzie Schofield begins by throwing dust in the air. She makes a big deal about nothing. In her view it’s a contradiction if one believes in works/good deeds alongside the belief that you’ll only go into Paradise through Allah’s (God’s) mercy.

This is one of the traits I don’t like about Lizzie. She goes into simplistic and shallow thinking when talking about Islam just to make room for a polemic to attack Islam

Good deeds are the product of sincere faith. Sincere faith and good deeds are due to the mercy of God. It is due to God’s mercy that He rewards good deeds. Ultimately, every blessing is due to the mercy of God; the decision to forgive somebody and permit them in heaven is due to God’s mercy when all things are said and done.

There is no contradiction.

Lizzie will jump through hoops to support ideas such as the god-man dying or the trinity in an effort to justify these church beliefs as non-contradictory yet she will not even go beyond surface level thought when talking about Islam. There’s a reason for this, she will not have any polemics left (and will ultimately have to consider Islam seriously).

A Catholic would understand this so perhaps Lizzie’s limitation in this regard is just simply born out of her denomination and the crowd she’s involved with.
Paul (not Williams, of Tarsus) talks about God giving eternal life as a reward in some sense in Romans 2:

6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
Would Lizzie says this contradicts Romans 3:24 which talks about justification by grace

24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Catholics would say our good works are a product of God’s grace and mercy. Catholics would argue the “reward” for the good works in Romans 2 is ultimately due to God’s grace.

Is this a contradiction the Bible? I don’t think so.

You’ve heard of James the Just, meet Hashim the Just

Hashim then argues against the Christian view of blood atonement. Is this not unjust?

This is a good argument: a moral issue of an innocent person suffering for somebody else.

Hashim mentions the wrath of God being poured out on Jesus in the Church’s beliefs.

God’s anger toward sin has been satisfied in Christ because His wrath was poured out on Him, at Calvary.[Robert L Deffinbaugh]

24 eHe himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we fmight die to sin and glive to righteousness. hBy his wounds you have been healed. [1 Peter 2:24]

Lizzie does try to address this point by appealing to John 10:18, discussed later in this commentary.

Penal Substitutionary Atonement

We’re talking about a penal substitutionary atonement. If Lizzie and her church believe their sins were put on/in Jesus on the tree then are they saying Jesus suffered for every sin they do/did?

Are they saying the sin of a Christian bloke viewing porn was put on Jesus? How about the sin of lying? Every time Lizzie Schofield (or any Christian lie) or behave rudely, does that mean this sin was put on Jesus for him to suffer more pain?

If you truly believe this, the idea that every one of your sins (including being intellectually dishonest, lying about Islam, lying about Muslims, heckling Muslims, being rude and abusive towards Muslims, misrepresenting Islam etc.) means/meant Jesus felt more pain then; then why do we continually see so much sin in the church and amongst Christians?

How about the sin of a rapist? Are you saying the sin of rape was put on Jesus and he suffered for it? The sin of every rapist who became Christian and/or was a Christian?

Is that fair? Why should Jesus be punished for rape, bestiality, murder, racism, hypocrisy and other sins he did not commit?

This is a splinter of what Hashim is driving at here. Is this just?


Hashim also mentioned a verse in Ezekiel which seems to contradict the idea of somebody else suffering for your sins

I think he was referring to Ezekiel 18:20

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

Lizzie was willing to consider Islam and doubted Christianity? [#3.40]
Lizzie, now goes on to talk about how she had some doubts in faith after her last debate with Hashim. Apparently, if she’s not bending truth for effect (and having made Jesus feel even more pain according to her beliefs?), Lizzie was moved to think about what Hashim said in the last debate and began to think she could be wrong about her beliefs and Islam may be right. If the plain meaning of what she said is taken as true, then I applaud Lizzie for thinking about what the Muslim said. That is very, very encouraging.

However, I don’t agree with Lizzie Schofield’s thinking here. She says Hashim said to her if she comes to Islam she will be saved (this is of course is true - saved from being cut off from the presence of God, saved from the wrath of God, saved from Hell). What I don’t agree with is Lizzie being moved by a promise of salvation. A bloke could turn up at the park next week and make up a religion, Selfianity, and promise everybody Heaven as long as they believed and done what they wanted.

Would you consider that faith?

We should not be moved like this based on fluffy promises, regardless of how satisfied and good they could potentially make us feel. This is emotionalism. I always get the feeling, when listening to Lizzie, and to be honest, many Christians, that they are involved in the church because of this type of emotionalism, and/or support network that the church offers.

It’s clear that every faith offers salvation and promises salvation. But we must look into the theology of that faith rather than being moved by promises which may make us feel good.

Is the Bible clear on Faith/Works Salvation?

At 5 mins Lizzie says the Bible teaches, “clearly”, our works will not lead us to salvation and it’s the grace of God which will save us.

This statement is not true for Lizzie (if Lizzie is consistent).The Bible is not clear on this issue, why else are evangelicals arguing with the biggest and the older church (Catholics) on this very topic? There’s a grey area here which should give us pause. The verse I showed above mentions a reward for works (Romans 2)

IF Lizzie is consistent, she would say the Bible is contradictory. But of course, she’s adopted a hermeneutic of friendship for her church tradition but for Islam it’s a polemical hermeneutical approach; if she’s doing it knowingly, that is intellectual dishonesty (which is a sin, something which Jesus suffers further pain for on her behalf according to her faith?)

Would Martin Luther agree with Lizzie Schofield?

I’d like to quickly show that even for Martin Luther, this idea was not terribly clear. Bart Erhman summarises this:

Since the Reformation, but especially since the 19th century, scholars of the Bible have noted that there are theological differences, sometimes big differences, among the books that made it into the New Testament. Martin Luther himself recognized this. When he made his famous German translation of the New Testament – which in German Protestantism carried the same kind of reverential awe and respect as the King James Version did in English-speaking Protestantism – he, as is well known, did indeed (of course) translate all 27 books. But rather than following their traditional, canonical order, he put four of the books in an “appendix” at the end: Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

The reason: he wasn’t really sure about the revelatory character of these books. His best known complaints were about James. The letter of James is quite explicit that a person is NOT “justified” (that is, put into a restored relationship with God) “by faith alone” but “by works.” For James, “faith without works is dead. Indeed, Scripture itself teaches that a person is justified by works through the example of Abraham. James quotes Genesis 15:6 to prove it. “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” For James, this faith in God justified Abraham because of what he did: he willingly offered up his son Isaac on the altar to God as a sacrifice. And so it was not simply by believing God that he was justified, it was by doing something about it. (See James 2:14-26)

Luther considered this view to stand in flat contradiction to the gospel proclaimed by Paul, who was equally explicit. For Paul, a person is “justified by faith, not by the works of the law, for by works of the law will no one be justified” (See Romans 3 and Galatians 2). Paul backs up this view by appealing to Scripture – specifically to Abraham, precisely also the person named by James! What is more striking, he quotes exactly the same verse, Genesis 15:6, to prove it. For Paul, Abraham was justified (in Gen. 15) BEFORE he “did” anything (e.g., before he circumcised his son Isaac in Gen.17). And so justification comes before, not because of, works.


Personally, I don’t really care for this topic right now, it’s drifting away from the debate but it’s certainly something which I’d encourage Christians to think about – including Lizzie Schofield.

Hashim: Christians are not certain of their salvation

Hashim goes on to tackle this idea amongst certain Christians that they will certainly go to Heaven. The bulk of this is captured in this video. I would recommend you watch this short video and learn that in reality,Christians who have imbibed emotionalism, and strut about claiming they will certainly go to paradise. are not consistent with their texts. Hashim does a good job in bringing up important and relevant verses which are overlooked by this type of Christian in their dopamine fuelled proclamations.

Lizzie was deceived by an anti-Islam missionary website/missionary about a Hadith?

Lizzie tries to nullifies Hashim’s philosophical criticism of vicarious atonement as being unjust with a tu quoque fallacy. The idea that you have this concept as well...

She tries to build this on old refuted internet polemics from the usual websites by misrespresenting a Hadith and stating that in Islam, Muslims will go to Paradise and be saved from Hell because a Jew/Christian will suffer in their place.

No. No. No. This Hadith has already been explained. I don’t understand why nobody in the anti-Islam Christian camp is relaying this response to other Christians so they don’t end up further propagating distortions of somebody’ else’s faith (which would be a sin, if done knowingly - meaning Jesus suffered more pain on the cross according to the church?).

The Hadith in question does not teach penal substititutionary atonement. Muslims don’t view it literally. It’s explained here.

You’ve got to represent our beliefs accurately, folks. Even if it means you have drop the polemics some older missionary/polemicist handed to you.

So, will somebody get the message across to those polemicists because I’ve seen this misleading polemic bandied about before.

The idea that God dies by his own creation...

The Muslim speaker, Hashim brought up the issue around the blood atonement: God dying by his own creation. Lizzie did not pick up on this point and expand this talking point. That may just be because she was pushed for time or forgot. This is a very important discussion as the set Christian response based on orthodox Christian theology leads Christians, in my view, into a few different theological conundrums which I would like to see explored – this topic is of paramount importance. I think a properly conducted dialogue on this topic will help a Christian to see Christian beliefs to be contradictory and unravelled upon deeper thought.

Lizzie’s admission on hell implicates her in double standards (sin?)

Hashim got Lizzie Schofield to admit she believes the Bible teaches that non Christians (unbelievers) will be put in Hell forever. This was an notable admission because, previously, Lizzie (and Hatun Tash) had been attacking Islam for the belief that unbelievers go to Hell.

This video highlights this inconsistency on their part:


Like I say, if this was deliberate, it means Lizzie and Hatun were sinning (and having caused Jesus to suffer more pain according to their faith?) when attacking Islam because they were being intellectually dishonest. If it was not deliberate, then it begs the question, why are they preaching “Christianity” and what did Jay Smith, CJ Davis and Beth Grove teach them if they did not know this about their own faith a few months ago?

It’s a valid point for consideration.

Lizzie partially quotes John 10:18

Lizie (~13 mins) did try and address the issue of injustice (an innocent person suffering for somebody else) by arguing Jesus laid down his life willingly. Lizzie appealed to John 10:18 selectively. Crucially she did not cite the full verse, she omitted the last sentence of the verse – a sentence which could conflict with her interpretation. This issue was addressed here in more detail alongside Matthew 26:39 where Jesus is said to be praying to the Father to save him (Jesus) from death (Lizzie, if consistent, would claim this verse contradicts her interpretation of John 10:18)

She quickly moved on in an effort to use this verse to support the idea that he was God. Unconvincing.

Two points of consideration on this:

1. I’d imagine Unitarians would simply argue that Jesus was given power by the Father thus the ability to raise yourself from death is not a proof of divinity – think about the proclamation in Acts 2:22 where it says miracles were worked by God through Jesus. I *think* this is how Hashim would have responded if he had had time to pick this up.

2. For me, folks should be awfully wary when somebody quotes anything from John purported to be from the mouth of Jesus. We know scholars believe John changes things for theological reasons (for instance the day of the crucifixion) and we know scholars believe the sayings such as the I AM sayings are untrustworthy. Let’s be mindful of these things so we can have a healthier approach to John’s gospel. Remember, it’s John who introduced the spear thrust into the narrative. Let’s be wary, if one or more of the authors of John lie (or introduce spurious material into the story about Jesus unknowingly), then what’s there to say other parts of this gospel are not of the same spurious nature?

For more on John see here for the following two videos Craig Evans: Some Sayings in John Weren’t Said By Jesus and the video Is John’s Gospel Reliable;

Lizzie’s mistake on 1 John 2 Corrected by Hashim

Lizzie was teaching the idea that Jews and anybody else who does not believe Jesus is the messiah (christ) is an antichrist. I think this verse would not fit in with today’s society I point this out as many anti-Islam Christians use today’s societal norms as judge, jury and executioner on what is true and what is not true religion.

Lizzie’s mistake was to assert this verse refers to Prophet Muhammad. She was unaware that the Quran teaches Muslims that Jesus is indeed the messiah. Hashim, did a splendid job in recalling this and bringing it to the attention of the audience – Lizzie included. A very important intervention by Hashim, a much needed one. The last thing we need is more misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. This debate was well worth the listen just for this part.

You catch this bit here


Final thoughts

Overall, this was one of the more coherent and cordial Muslim-Christian dialogues at Speakers Corner. To give Lizzie Schofield her due, her behaviour has improved markedly since a concerted effort online to highlight unbecoming and unloving behaviour from Christians at SC. Hashim praised her for more controlled behaviour in this dialogue at the end of the debate; opening up the possibility for further dialogue. I’ve always believed this, even back when Lizzie was behaving erratic in videos, she’s the more reasonable out of the Jay Smith/DCCI Ministries crew. This is actually one of the reasons why she receives more opprobrium than the others – deep down she knows and is better than many of the things she’s said/done.

I would personally advise her to ditch the young guys who flank her and heckle for her. You’re a grown-up person, you really don’t need immature cheerleaders or supporters yelling and heckling for you from the margins whilst serious discussion is trying to take place – those young guys look uncontrolled and unsophisticated. There’s a bit of that in this discussion with Hashim – thankfully Hashim was experienced enough to not allow it to detract from the dialogue.

The fact remains, the paranoia and the “us vs them” mentality that Beth Grove and Smith injected into Speakers Corner is being overcome, slowly but surely. I also applaud Lizzie for thinking about what Hashim said, if she indeed did think Islam may be the truth. Hashim should try to engage with her more at the park, perhaps off camera as pride and cheerleaders should not influence important discussions and decisions concerning God.

Christian Polemicists on Love, Quran 3:32, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8

Grooming Crimes Which Tommy Robinson and Britain First Will Not Publicise As Much

Queen James Bible and the Islamophobes

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

Friday, 22 December 2017

Christian Uses 1 John 2:22 To Attack Prophet Muhammad (p)

In this video, a Christian is claiming Prophet Muhammad is the Anti Christ based on 1 John 2:22. She shortly learns that Muslims believe Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). See Quran 3:45 and 4:171.

This video is also uploaded here and here

1 John 2: 22
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.


Missionaries Misusing the Hadith: Sins On Jews and Christians

This hadeeth is to be found in Saheeh Muslim (2767), narrated from Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “On the Day of Resurrection, some of the Muslims will come with sins like mountains, but Allaah will forgive them and will put them (the sins) onto the Jews and Christians.” So this hadeeth is saheeh

For explanations of this hadith:


This video has also been uploaded here and here

Did Jay Smith Not Teach Hatun Tash About Hell in Christianity?

Did Jay Smith Not Teach Hatun Tash About Hell in Christianity?

Jay Smiths former colleague, Lizzie Schofield, admits she believes the Bible teaches that non Christians (unbelievers) will be put in Hell forever. This was a notable admission because, previously, Lizzie (and Hatun Tash) had been attacking Islam for the belief that unbelievers go to Hell.

This video highlights this inconsistency on their part. Like I say, if this was deliberate, it means Lizzie and Hatun were sinning when attacking Islam as they were being intellectually dishonest.

If it was not deliberate, then it begs the question, why are they preaching Christianity and what did Jay Smith, St Nicholas Church, CJ Davis and Beth Grove teach them if they did not know this about their own faith a few months ago?

St Nicholas Church Hypocrisy On Hell

This video has also been uploaded here

Jay Smith Is Confident He's Going to Paradise!

Jay Smith Is Confident He's Going to Paradise!

Christians like Jay Smith make claims that they are confident they will go to heaven. This slogan is not even true according to their own religious traditions.

Hashim goes on to tackle this idea amongst certain Christians that they will certainly go to Heaven. The bulk of this is captured in this video. I would recommend you watch this short video and learn that in reality,  Christians who have imbibed emotionalism, and strut about claiming they will certainly go to paradise. are not consistent with their texts. Hashim does a good job in bringing up important and relevant verses which are overlooked by this type of Christian in their dopamine fuelled proclamations.

This video is also uploaded here

Verses discussed:

Matthew 7
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

1 John 3
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

Matt 25
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Mark 3
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

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

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

Jay Smith, Did John Write Down What Jesus Said?

Christian missionary Jay Smith claims John wrote down what Jesus said. I think the admission by Prof. Craig Evans in this video will help Jay to understand that scholars do not believe John's I AM sayings are historical.

This video can also be viewed here

Response To A Christian Blog on Muslim Girls School in Stoke

Christian Polemicists on Love, Quran 3:32, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8

Grooming Crimes Which Tommy Robinson and Britain First Will Not Publicise As Much

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

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Response To A Christian Blog on Muslim Girls School in Stoke

Archbishop Cranmer (blog) got my goat with the following comments in his piece entitled ‘A school for Muslim girls that forbids them the use of toilet paper ‘for cultural reasons’?’:

I understand Stoke-on-Trent is shortlisted to be named a ‘City of Culture’. Ah, but which culture? It is disconcerting to hear of a school for Muslim girls that forbids them the use of toilet paper ‘for cultural reasons’. Soap, too, is off the menu, so the poor dears have to ablute the Karachi way. One wonders if the school provides proper toilets, or simply issues the girls with a trowel and points them towards the shrubbery? So much for all cultures being equal, for indeed some are more equal than others. At least inspectors have deemed the school to be ‘inadequate’, which should send leftists spinning and surely counts as a ‘hate-crime’.

I wonder if Archbishop Cranmer wrote this whilst on the toilet. I understand he’s using a bit of hyperbole, what is it with irate Christians and hyperbole?

Likewise with one of the rabble-rousers in evangelicalism in the West, not many can do ‘hyperbole’ like Jay Smith.

One man’s hyperbole is another man’s bowel movement, right Archbishop Cranmer?

1. The school in question did not “forbid” the girls from using loo roll. Toilet roll was available, but apparently not put out.

I suspect it’s just a massive oversight and/or a bit of a blunder by the school. I mean, so what if your culture is to wash rather than wipe. Folks who wash rather than wipe also use toilet paper in that process too. It’s a bit foolish to leave toilets without toilet paper even if you have washing facilities. I’ve noticed this in some mosques too — I’ve always suspected, here comes the cynic in me, it was an effort to save money or a subtle way of saying do your business at home rather than here.

2. Calm yourself down Archbishop Cranmer, it’s a school of 34 pupils. It’s hardly representing the overall culture of Stoke on Trent never mind supplanting the current culture. Why are traditionalists at the CofE so bitter? Christianity and “Christian culture” (whatever that is, surely not toilet paper only!) is not being ring fenced any longer thus Archbishop Cranmer, Christian Concern, Gavin Ashenden are all in a bit of a tiff.
This seems to be a regular theme amongst this type of CofE-er. Zoning in on some odd story about Muslims or some other minority culture and making a big hoo-ha about it. Why can’t they shake off that chip on their shoulders?

3. Archbishop talks about soap being off the menu. Hmmm, I don’t think the head teacher said that was due to cultural reasons. Again, I’d imagine it’s just a case of lack of thought if the school had no saop dispensers in the toilets — either that or it was a cost-saving tactic.

In fact, Muslims played a vital role in the development of soap and shampoo was introduced to Britain by….a Muslim!

Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders’ most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed’s Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV. [Source]

The absent-mindedness or the scrimping of the school is hardly to be attributed to their culture. That would be like attributing gay marriage, divorce, sex before marriage or Atheism to Church of Englan culture. Archbishop Cranmer, what say ye?

4. On a personal note, Archbishop Cranmer may want to hit up the head teacher and have a look at his notes on toilet etiquette — it could help him to avoid a fissure or two. As a CofE-er, I’m certain he’s an expert on fissures of a different kind given the CofE are in constant disunity (the mind boggles further if they seriously consider themselves to be the “body of Christ”). Get some lessons on cleaning your derriere as your chosen cultural method is a mover but not exactly a shaker:

“Toilet paper moves s***, but it doesn’t remove it.”

“Aggressive wiping can cause painful anal fissures which can take eight to 12 weeks to heal and even haemorrhoids.” [Source]

5. Archbishop Cranmer asks which culture when talking about Stoke on Trent’s now failed bid for City of Culture status. I guess as a CofE-er he’s used to asking such a question given that the Church worships an Asian man (Jesus), believes in a doctrine from Greek philosophy (Trinity) and relies on manuscripts found in rubbish heaps amongst other places in North Africa to help reconstruct its book (the Bible) by the academy which is largely a Western enterprise. Indeed, Archbishop Cranmer, which culture?

Dr Adrian Hilton, do us a favour mate, edit some of this into Mrs Proudie’s article. Consider my thoughts the water to wash away the hyperbole. Don’t forget to wipe!

Christian Polemicists on Love, Quran 3:32, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8

Grooming Crimes Which Tommy Robinson and Britain First Will Not Publicise As Much

Queen James Bible and the Islamophobes

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

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christian Polemicists on Love, Quran 3:32, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8

It’s commonplace for Christians to exaggerate the Christian view of love. For the most part this is probably just due to an ignorance on their part and a Westernised liberal mindset rather than the product of some sort of wilful effort to misinform. This is why you get Westernised “Christian” evangelical organisations making such comments on social media:

Thank God for christianity. For a God that loves us even while we were yet sinners, For a God that loves us enough to come down to earth, for a God that just doesn't just create but wants relationship with his Children. It sometimes takes learning about a religion such as Islam to appreciate what we have in Christ. Allah HATES DISBELIEVERS #Surah 3:32 # John3:16#Romans 5:8 [DCCI Ministries via FB]

RC Sproul says: I think there are few things more dangerous than preachers out there preaching that God loves everyone unconditionally

Do Christians really believe God loves everyone unconditionally? No.

Here are three points to think about in this regard.

1. The Bible teaches that God HATES sinners/wrongdoers (sinners would include unbelievers, right?)

4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence.You hate all who do wrong
Psalm 5:4-6

Pslam 11:5 is in a similar vein. Additionally, Christians believe God is angry with the wicked (I assume this includes unbelievers)

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
[Psalm 7:11]

2. Common sense. Christians believe those who do not accept Jesus will be in eternal damnation (Hell) for eternity. Can you seriously tell me you believe God and Jesus love these people?

3. Paul of Tarsus curses anybody who does not preach his version of Jesus. Paul seems to hate these people. If you believe Paul in Galatians is inspired by God then how can you believe God curses those who he loves? Here’s Paul of Tarsus in his own words Galatians 1:

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you,let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Love of God in Christian and Muslim views

God, according to Muslim and Christian beliefs, has a beneficient, providential and benevolent love for everyone regardless of belief/disbelief. The rain falls on the just as well as the unjust. Both the wicked and the righteous have oxygen to breath and both groups receive wealth, health etc..

Likewise, both groups believe God loves the world so much so that He gives a salvific message and thus humans have the potential to be saved.

The love God has for the redeemed (Love of complacency) is not extended to the unbelievers according to Christian tradition. Likewise, love of complacency (or love conditional love) is not extended to disbelievers according to the Islamic tradition either.

God abhors the wicked according to the Bible. In Christianity God sends the sinner to Hell, not the sin. Clearly, for the Christian preacher, it would be contradictory to the Bible to say God loves unbelievers the same way he loves the “saved” – Christians will believe God abhors those who he sends to Hell. Christians believe TCVO Jesus will send Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists and Unitarian Christians to Hell. To say TCVO Jesus loves all these “unbelieving” groups would be difficult to reconcile with the aforementioned.

Christian groups who are more into simplistic slogans like the one we are responding to are being a hindrance to a deeper and more healthy understanding of religious traditions.

Quran 3:32, Romans 1:18 and sound reasoning

The Christian group cite this Verse in their social media post (above) yet they have not applied thought to the context, The Verse is talking about those who reject God’s message and do not obey God. Obviously these people ultimately reject God’s love, Quran 3:31-32:

 Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.

Christians believe the same thing with respect to their tradition. Those who reject the message of God, effectively reject God and are ultimately cut off from the love of God. This has been outlined in the Bible verses we have presented previously. To re-emphasise this we can additionally cite Romans 1:18 which is essentially teaching the same thing as Quran 3:32 with respect to the Christian tradition

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness [Romans 1:18]

Again, even if you did not have access to the Bible, the fair-minded Christian would conclude the same thing as Quran 3:32 with respect to Christianity by thinking about the doctrine of hell. Why else do Christians believe disbelievers go to hell if it is not for the rejection of God and ultimately the rejection of God’s love?

Christians who peddle simplistic and shallow polemics dishonour their Church traditions.

RC Sproul in his criticism of Christians who preach unconditional love explains the motivation behind their thinking: “We want to so much win people to Christ that we’ll do everything we can to hide from them the wrath of God”

Mark Driscoll says the Bible says, on multiple occasions, that God hates those who are sinners. He says, all the ways the Bible speaks about the wrath of God are greater than the number of times the Bible speaks of the love of God.

Driscoll’s candid admission explains why folks at small Westernised evangelical outfits preach the way they do. It’s because their churches are afraid of speaking about the wrath of God for the fear of losing congregants, potential new members and donations. They are essentially being told what they want to hear. Driscoll sums this attitude up by mentioning the Old Testament:

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jeremiah 5:31

Theologian John McArthur says “preaching that God loves you unconditionally is the wrong message. The sinner needs to be terrified about his condition”.

Jesus and the Sword

Tooting’s St Nicholas Church’s Elizabeth Schofield has taken to telling Muslims that Jesus will come for them with a sword if they don’t worship him (a man!). How can you truly believes Jesus loves everyone when you believe he will come back with a sword for those who do not want to worship Jesus ( man!) and then ultimately put them in Hell for eternity?

In addition, CJ Davis and St Nicholas Church in Tooting, on paper, accept the Thirty Nine articles derived from Thomas Cranmer’s Forty Two Articles which not only talk about hell but also teach that God chose the believers (saved ones) before time (predestination). For academic honesty, this does not necessarily mean Calvinism’s Unconditional Election but it does seem to leave the door open for that theology to be a valid theological view within the CoE paradigm. How do St Nicholas Church folks who endorse or are part of DCCI Ministries parse this part of their teaching as well as the belief that Jesus will come back in condemnatory judgement for the unbelievers - do they think these views are consistent with the idea expressed in the social media post that Jesus loves unbelievers?

John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 and Islam’s equivalent

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.[John 3:16]

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:8]

These verses are not about universal salvation, they simply express the idea that God offered mankind a way for salvation. Christians do not believe everyone will have eternal life, Christians (with a focus o Arminianism) believe God has offered mankind a route to salvation and it is ultimately down to people to decide to accept this offer of salvation (i.e. via the killing of Jesus for their sins).

Islam has the same general teaching in that God (Allah) offers a route to salvation to mankind. He sent messengers to every nation so people can know God personally, worship Him and obey Him in a relation of love with Allah. In Islam as well as Judaism, God is perfectly forgiving so does not need to have somebody or Himself killed in order to forgive us. The final message and route for salvation God (Allah) gives to humankind is Islam – those who accept the message to submit their will to God will be those who are saved. Interestingly, this message of submitting to God’s will seems to be presented in a purported quote of Jesus in Mark 3:35 too

35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Once we scrape away the emotional harrumphs and fluff certain, unhelpful, Christians add to proceedings we see very much that in Islam, God loves the world enough to offer mankind a way to Him. Likewise, the same is taught with respect to the Christian tradition in John 3:16.

Let’s call for obscurantist Christians to be more fair-minded and stop clouding matters with unhelpful emotional accretions (fluff).

Now you know all this, you (the truth-seeker) can start to look deeply into both religions and decide which one carries more truth.

I think it’s counterproductive for anybody who believes in Heaven and Hell to state God loves everyone (unconditionally) and condemn teachings of other faiths which teach the view that is compatible with common reasoning, that God does not love unbelievers (why else would He put them in hell for eternity?).

Do you really think TCVO Jesus loved those he ordered to be killed in 1 Samuel 15:3?

Come on DCCI and Tooting’s St Nicholas Church folks, you’re looking contradictory. My advice to DCCI Ministries, move beyond shallow and inconsistent polemics – you do not honour Paul of Tarsus, your churches or even sound reason. You simply serve to get people’s backs up and ultimately become an obstacle to sound dialogue between Christians and Muslims

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

A Difficulty On the Christian Idea of Salvation and Forgiveness

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


Monday, 27 November 2017

Queen James Bible and the Islamophobes

The "Queen James Bible". The evangelical Christian right are a puzzling bunch. I was reading one of their articles and the Christian guy was overplaying the "influence of Islam" in the UK. One of his examples was Debenhams selling Muslim clothes or whatever (guess he's never heard of niche economics). These folks are bleating on about Muslims because in reality it's easy. Everybody knows these evangelical girls and guys aren't taken seriously by the vast majority of the population so they focus on bullying Muslims. They don't seem to have the confidence to even talk to (never mind talk down to/bully/harass) anybody else in the wider population - especially the LGBT and secularist movement. I wonder if any of those hounding Muslims in the UK have ever raised their voice about the Queen James Bible. LGBTQ peeps must be laughing behind the scenes whilst evangelical "Christians" are talking about kicking Muslims out of Europe, yelling at them in parks, harassing them online and preaching outside their mosques. Truly embarrassing. But hey, they have some Muslims to bash to make themselves feel important and powerful.

The Queen James Bible (QJV), also called the “Gay Bible,” is an edit of the biblical text done in the name of preventing “homophobic interpretations.” To accomplish this goal, the publishers printed a Bible in which all negative references to homosexuality have been removed. The Queen James Bible was published in 2012 and is based on the 1769 edition of the King James Bible.

The publishers of the Queen James Bible chose the name “Queen James” as an obvious take-off on the “King James” Version, as the Authorized Version of 1611 is commonly called. The publishers of the Gay Bible also claim that King James was bisexual, so their choice of title capitalizes on the slang meaning of the term queen.

The editors of the Queen James Bible, who chose to be anonymous, claim that there was no reference to homosexuality in any Bible translation prior to the 1946 Revised Standard Version. Then, they assert, “anti-LGBT Bible interpretations” arose, based on a faulty translation in the RSV of eight verses.

The unidentified “scholars”—their scholastic credentials are unknown—who produced the Queen James Bible suggest that all Bible translations of these eight verses are wrong and that they are the only ones who have got it right. Below are the eight verses.

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

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

Grooming Crimes Which Tommy Robinson and Britain First Will Not Publicise As Much

Three men from the West Midlands have been convicted after they held a schoolgirl captive and forced her in to prostitution.

Jake Cairns, Brandon Sharples and Jack McInally plied the 14-year-old with drugs and held her at an address for five days.


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


We have been taught from the beginning that it is because of the original sin of Adam and Eve that human beings have been sent to the Earth from the Paradise as a punishment. Prior to this epic fall, we were taught to believe that God, as the initial plan, made man and woman to dwell in Paradise forever. But there are some serious, and I mean serious problems with this notion! And these problems arise from many text of the bible itself.

Now, these problems seems to be exclusively problems for the Christian, since it is this community that advocates and has enshrined their doctrine of salvation around this original sin and fall of Adam and Eve. If one removes the doctrine of original sin and the redemption of a God/Man self sacrifice, or nicely put, vicarious atonement for salvation and re-entry back into Paradise, then the fall of Adam does not have the same significance and the dwelling on the earth would not be seen as such a punishment. Rather another more important meaning comes from the lesson of Adam and Eve and their experience in the Paradise, as we will see, and the fact of their temporary stay there becomes evident that it was from the Divine intent from the beginning.

Let us now look at some of these textual proofs that crushes the later concocted doctrine of the Christians in relation to the earliest scriptures. It, should be noted here also, that the initial recipients of the scriptures under discussion, respectively, the Jewish community, does not at all share in the same doctrine or view about this event as the Christians. Thus, for thousands of years, there existed a Jewish community, reading and studying their respective scriptures with a completely foreign understanding than what was then introduced by a new group thousands of years later. This is very odd, especially given the fact that the Christians adopted wholesale the belief previous scriptures, while at the same time, introducing a completely unrelated and foreign doctrine while using the same scriptures to do so? Something to truly consider.

Was Adam and Eve meant to live forever in the paradise? This question is twofold, on the one hand, we have to examine, was it the intent for Adam and Eve to live forever? After that, were they meant to live forever in the Paradise? I believe the bible is clear, I don’t mean Christian doctrine, but the bible, it is clear that the answer to both of these questions are a surprisingly, but an emphatic NO!

Let us see. We read in Genesis 2:7-9 (7 Then the Lord God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.) And also we read just a chapter later, Genesis 3:22-24 (22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[a] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.)

So, from these verses, it is quite clear that man was never endowed with eternal life from the beginning! The temporal reality of Man, was and is part and parcel of who he is, as is the case with this current world. The idea that Man was to live forever in the beginning is just not supported by any biblical proof!

So, where does such an idea come from to justify the Christian doctrine? As, so often is the case, it is taken from misconstrued and misunderstood verses from the bible, then fostered into a theology and doctrine to suit the Christian author of it. We read, Genesis 3:3-5 (3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”)

Here we see that, the idea of death is directly connected to eating of the forbidden tree. But, was this implying a physical death? Clearly not! For even the devil realized this and stated what the real case was. Furthermore, Adam and Eve did eat from the tree and live a long time after before dying. So, it’s obvious that death here was not implying anything physical. This is again supported by the verses about the tree of life. What purpose would a tree of life serve if they were endowed with eternal life from the beginning? The tree of good and evil existed showing that they were ignorant. Thus, eating from it revealed what they formerly had no knowledge of. But what possibly could a tree of life do to people who were already eternal? Hence, we must conclude that the meaning of death here is not physical, but spiritual. This is made wonderfully clear elsewhere in the bible, as we read in Ezekiel 18:20-2

20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. 21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Does this help us understand this matter in full now? Certainly in these verses, the death and life referred to is not physical, just as the death referred to in Genesis when describing the event of the garden was not physical

Now, let’s complete this point by examining the second part of this question, which is was Adam and Eve meant to live in Paradise forever (in the beginning)?

 Given that we have proven the fact that Adam and Eve were never meant to live forever, as asked in the first part of this question, the second part is obvious. It’s no! But, to leave no room any further misunderstanding on this matter, let us, bring some verses from the bible to make this ever so clear. We read in Genesis 1:26 (26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.)

Now, who will argue that this verse is not crystal clear in declaring that Man was given authority of the EARTH? But, wait… how could that be if Man was in Paradise? Supposingly to live forever there. One might retort, well this was after the fall that he was given authority. WRONG!!! This verse is irrefutable in declaring that from the beginning Man was to be the ruler and authority of the Earth. This verse states Man’s authority on Earth, long before his fall. Moreover, what would be the purpose of the Earth and all of these species and delights on it if Man, initially was never intended to be there? For certainly God knew that Man would need these things on Earth for his livelihood and gains. So, this also means that, of course God knew that Man would dwell on the Earth. Which means, that God knew that Man was never intended to be in that Paradise in the beginning, forever!

On this note before we conclude, can we also highlight the point in the midst of all of this, about the fact of God providing physical and sensual accommodations to Man from the very beginning, even in the Paradise? The Christians love to insult and verbally assault the Muslims and their beliefs about sensuality in Paradise. But yet, from the beginning, even in Paradise, we see that God had readily provided Adam with all amenities that one would have on the Earth, from food to drink to woman companionship. If the temporary Paradise is worthy enough to afford such amenities and delights to Man, then would it not be even more so for the everlasting, eternal Paradise? For the bible says Genesis 2:20-21 (20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh.)

 See how Man is provided with everything, and then one thing is missing… a “suitable helper”. What is a suitable helper, and a helper in what? If you ask any man to pick a suitable helper for himself in the field to toil in the earth and maintain it, I don’t think he will choose a woman. Honestly and practically speaking. I think he would choose a strong young man as a suitable helper. Did not God, according to Christian theology choose a Son, for Himself? Why did God not choose a wife or daughter to be part of the trinity instead of a son? But, if this suitable helper has other implications… then of course, a woman would be chosen. For a man can never replace a woman! The point here that shall not be lost is the fact that, all of this is provided in the Heaven, in the company of God! Yet, somehow, for it to be granted again, with unlimited restriction for eternity now becomes a problem for the Christians. Why such hypocrisy?

In closing, so, if Adam and Eve was never meant to live in Paradise in the beginning for eternity, then why did God put them there in the first place? Why not just put them on Earth from the start and let it all began there? What an awesome question! I wish I could get a Christian to answer that before this. And I myself, don’t have the answer to that from a Christian world view, but I certainly do from the Islamic world view. And here is where, Christianity dreadfully fails humanity. Instead of offering any lesson of hope in the story of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden, it compounds this fall with the stigma of original sin cast upon all of Adam’s descendants and further compounds this idea with a sadistic drama of God, now needing to take on human form to perform a vicarious atonement for the sins of humanity through a self sacrifice in the scene of a crucifixion, in which God becomes a curse, that He Himself needs to slaughter, all for the purpose of being able to forgive man for his sins, due to the original sin of Adam and Eve, thousands of years prior. This, can not be from the ways of a Just and Loving and Forgiving God!

The lesson to be learned in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden, is a beautiful lesson indeed. A lesson in which man learns of his status with God while in obedience to Him and in disobedience to Him. Man learns about his arch enemy and his cunning ways to ever bring man down. Man, learns of his earthly role and the responsibility he has been given therein and he is given hope, and a longing to once again return to that beautiful place of bliss and enjoy the delights that awaits him and most importantly, the eternal pleasure and company of God Almighty

We learn from the story of Adam and Eve, that when you are in obedience to God, then you enjoy the Divine pleasure and closeness, as we seen was the case before their mistake. But we also learn that when one disobeys God, then they lose such Divine pleasure and grow and become distant from God, as we seen after their mistake. Obedience brings life to the soul, joy, contentment and bliss, while disobedience brings spiritual death, anguish, emptiness and void of the soul and depression. However, the greatest lesson to be gained is to know, that even in such a state, one can reach out and return to God, and His pleasure and His closeness by sincerely repenting and seeking His Providential Forgiveness and Mercy. As we find the amazing passage in the Qur’an, 2:3

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful

So, God, in His Ever Compassing ability to Forgive and bestow Mercy, exhibited such with Adam. But, what was these words, that Adam learned and used to implore his Gracious Lord for Pardon? We further read in the Qur’an 7:23

They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers."

What beauty and encouragement to hope, to know that in a plight of struggle we fall, but know we can always turn back to our Lord who is waiting for us and ready to turn to us for Forgiveness. Unlike, the idea of being the bearer for the entire humanity being cursed with the stigma of sin because of you. And whatever did happen to Adam and Eve, according to the bible? Did God ever forgive them? Is there any clear verse, that God forgave them of their mistake? Or is it as legend has it? In truth, my friends, what way is better? The path and lessons learned from Islam, concluding in the guarantee of knowing that God is always there to turn to you and forgive you. Or the path and gloom offered by Christianity in that, we are all cursed and can only be redeemed by our Almighty God needing to become man, and curse and die for us, just to be able to say I forgive you? I think the way is clear. I offer you a passage from Psalms that all Christians should pay close heed to. 

Psalm 51:16-17

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is[a] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

And I will close with two beautiful verses of the Qur’an 2:186

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

And to sufficiently close, 39:53

Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.


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?
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?