“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Muslims love Jesus, however...

TV airing for Islam's story of Christ

Riazat Butt
Saturday August 18, 2007
The Guardian

There was no manger, Christ is not the Messiah, and the crucifixion never happened. A forthcoming ITV documentary will portray Jesus as Muslims see him.
With the Koran as a main source and drawing on interviews with scholars and historians, the Muslim Jesus explores how Islam honours Christ as a prophet but not as the son of God. According to the Koran the crucifixion was a divine illusion. Instead of dying on the cross, Jesus was rescued by angels and raised to heaven.

The one-hour special, commissioned and narrated by Melvyn Bragg, is thought to be the first time the subject has been dealt with on British television. Lord Bragg said: "I was fascinated by the idea ... Jesus was such a prominent figure in Islam but most people don't know that."

He denies the programme will divide communities. Raised as an Anglican, he describes the documentary as thoughtful and well researched. "I hope it will provoke among Muslims the feeling they are included in television."

The director and producer, Irshad Ashraf, said the film was an attempt to shift the focus away from extremism to the spiritual side of Islam. "Jesus is loved and respected by Muslims and he's one of the most important prophets in our religion." Representatives from mainstream Anglican and Catholic organisations were invited to take part in the film, to be broadcast on Sunday, but nobody was available, Mr Ashraf said.

Philip Lewis, the Bishop of Bradford's aide on inter-faith matters, urged believers on both sides to take advantage of a "worthwhile contribution to understanding a complex issue".

However, Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican canon and spokesman for the Barnabas Fund, which works with persecuted Christians, accused broadcasters of double standards. Mr Sookhdeo, who was born a Muslim and converted to Christianity in 1969, said: "How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?"

The Koran's denial of Jesus's divinity was "unacceptable". "On the last day the Koran says Jesus will destroy all the crosses. How can we praise that?"


  1. Meanwhile, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America continues to Blow Its Own Brains Out

    They will lose members over this vote, I can tell you.

  2. I fear mo may not have had the most perfect grip on the Jewish and Chrisitan scriptures. Not knowing his mind as well as I should, I don't understand how Jesus became a part of the book. He seems a little out of place there. Let's compare and contrast.

    Jesus said you can't take the kingdom of Heaven by force.

    But in islam you can kill your way in. In fact, that's the most noble way.

    Jesus saved the woman taken in adultery from stoning.

    The muslims are stoning women to this day.

    With Jesus, the hints are tantalizing, Heaven is somehow made out of light.

    With mo, well, you know.

    With Jesus, the dissemination of the doctrine is through preaching and parable.

    With mo, by the sword. Or alas perhaps the nuclear weapon.

    Out of concern for the position of women in his time, Jesus forbade divorce.

    With mo, you say 'I divorce thee'--what, three times I think it is.

    And on and on.

    It's odd, isn't it, loving Jesus as they do, that they will cut your head off in Saudi Arabia for possessing a Bible.

    My first thought about documentary like this is, making money. But, maybe the intent is good.

  3. Bob, interesting muse. The sane world will never be safe until the Islamic cult is isolated and eventually burns itself out. There is no issue about us not understanding Islam. The problem is that there are far too many in the West that refuse to accept the consequences of ever having tolerated Islam in our midst. There will be a day in the future when it will be impossible to ignore what to some of us is already obvious.

  4. If she knew, would she care?
    Karen Hughes,
    I mean.
    According to my colleagues at the DMN's Religion blog, the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy is going to be the speaker this weekend at a Texas Muslim Scholarship Fund banquet in the Dallas area.

    The fund, and banquet, are sponsored by the Texas-based Freedom & Justice Foundation , which is run by Mohamed Elibiary, a sometime commenter on the CC blog comboxes (hi, Abu Humaid!).

    So, who cares, right? Who can possibly be against raising money for scholarships for Muslim students. Not me.

    But I do wonder why Hughes is getting mixed up with Elibiary and his organization. Elibiary was one of the speakers at the local event billed as a
    "Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary, the Ayatollah Khomeini"
    a few years back here in town.

    He later explained in a newspaper column that he had no advance knowledge that the conference was going to be framed that way, but even if he had, he would still have participated, to offer what he calls a counter-perspective.

    Elibiary is also the guy who argued that Sayyid Qutb's influential book "Milestones," which the Dallas Central Mosque had teenagers participating in an Islamic quiz contest study several years ago, was ... well, here's what he wrote to me :
    Does Elibiary want to live in a society governed by shariah? Incidentally, Elibiary is also the Dallas Muslim leader who wrote this to me, concerning my criticism of Islamic extremism:

    Treat people as inferiors and you can expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe or something.
    Now, I wonder if the Undersecretary of State understands just what she's lending legitimacy to by her presence at the banquet. Or if she did, given the Bush administration's sorry record of coddling Islamists, I wonder if she'd care.
    Bush and his Crony like Hughes are just as disgusting to me as Jimmy Carter, and have probably already took actions that in the end will put Carter's destructiveness to this country to shame.

    Self-Righteous, self-serving, double-dealing, dishonest...
    I could go on, but more productive would be for the Bar to devote one thread to have all of us leave comments about all the enemies we can remember, foreign and domestic, that GWB has bowed down to and kissed ass for all of us. (WE PAY!)

    The "man" disgusts me,
    what more can I say?

    ...the list could also include all the pathetic crony losers like Gonzo and Hughes, and Miers that we can recall.

    Would make quite a Horror Show.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Rod Dreher debates Elibiary:
    Responding to Mohamed
    Elibiary: Now my question to you is???

    "Where do you expect your Islamophobic strategy is going to end up, because co-existence under the law doesn't seem a legitimate compromise position you'd accept?"

    Rod Dreher
    I reject your definition of my "strategy" as Islamophobic. Insofar as I have a "strategy," I would call it responsible journalism. I welcome co-existence -- why shouldn't I? -- but not at the cost of a see-no-evil mentality that refuses to ask questions that make some Muslims uncomfortable -- and to expect answers, not a shabby p.r. strategy that depends on mau-mau'ing critics into guilty silence. As former FBI counterterrorism chief Buck Revell put it, "If we continue to be deaf, dumb and blind to what's plainly in front of us, we have no one to blame but ourselves."

    Posted 9:16 AM Rod Dreher

  7. Freedom and Justice
    Texas Muslims Scholarship Fund Banquet
    “The Future Lies Within Our Hands”

    Texas Muslims Scholarship Fund Banquet Press Release PDF
    Keynote Speaker: Undersecretary Karen P. Hughes,
    Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

    Appointed by President Bush to help ensure that public diplomacy (engaging, informing, and influencing key international audiences) is practiced in harmony with public affairs
    (outreach to Americans) and traditional diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and security and to provide the moral basis for U.S. leadership in the world.

    Undersecretary Hughes has served as lead spokesperson on diplomacy, public affairs, the Global War on Terror and promoting American values to the Muslim World.
    AND Numerous V.I.P. Elected and Appointed Officials

    Problem: There exists a negative perception of Muslims in America and a shortage of Muslims in public-influencing fields to correct it.

    Facts: According to Pew Forum studies, negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims are on the rise:

    July 2003: 34% of Americans had an unfavorable view of Islam; July 2005: 36% of Americans had an unfavorable view of Islam
    ---> 110 million Americans.

    2003: 24% of Americans viewed American Muslims unfavorably and in 2005, 26% viewed American Muslims unfavorably
    ---> 75 million Americans.


    According to a 2004 Project MAPS study, 57% of Muslims believe the attitude of Americans toward Muslims since 9/11 has been unfavorable.
    Download the Event Flyer PDF

  8. (not enough, and not fast enough, the sooner the cross border attack occurs, the better, in the long run)
    Thanks to Bush and other DC Crooks and lowlifes.

  9. Blaming a generic "The Gummint" is a way of Libertarians, and the 2 Party partisans to just blame it on forces other than their favorite fatcats (Libertarians) or politicians (Dems and Reps).....

    Be that as is, theBushies have squandered money like no other government in US history, if you excuse FDR for having a real existiental global war to fight. And so little of the truckloads of cash borowed from China and dropped off with Bush cronies has accomplished anything.

    1. 90 billion in Homeland Defense pissed away on new fire engines for East Bumholia Tennessee, funding 85 earmarked groups in Districts with the heaviest Congressional clout to "study bioterror" and not talk to the other 45 agencies.

    2. Not only are we unprepared for bioterror, a major city disaster like NOLA...we haven't even tried to start up programs where we train people in Muslim languages, culture so we can fight the information war. First responders tell me that 6 years after 9/11, no one, even in NYC, knows how a dirty bomb attack will be cleaned up. By civil defense recovery methods of quick decon with firefighters major players, or by shutting a big chunk of a city down 8 months to one year while hundreds of billions are spent on private contractors to "take their time and remove every speck."

    1st Responders say they are clueless on what is expected of them after the 1st day and what the Bushies would do. And conclude that is because the Bushies have other priorities and don't care that much and will cross that topic when it comes up, like Katrina.

    Gummint doesn't fail. Leaders and their minions fail.

    Bush is a failed leader.
    Couldn't have said it better, C-4!

  10. Major Bob is back from Afghanistan. You may want to welcome him back.

  11. Do you blog like a girl?
    Take this quick test to find out.

    I pasted in a comment from the latest thread and got:

    "Female Score: 73
    Male Score: 237

    The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!"

    No law against pasting in other people's comments, so have at it!
    (I put in Trish's and the algorithm answered:
    "Could not DeCode")

  12. I tried it on my previous post. here are the results:


    "The NYPD report on Islamic radicals defines the process that produces home grown jihadists. I find no surprises or real insight in this report. In fact, every revelation has been expressed or written about here at the EB or over at Belmont many times. My question is simple. Now what are we going to do about it? How about something simple? Begin by stopping the black Muslim nonsense in US prisons. Quit dignifying the outrageous."


    [the] nypd report on islamic radicals defines [the] process that produces home grown jihadists i find no surprises or real insight in this report in fact every revelation has been expressed or written about here [at] [the] eb or over [at] belmont [many] times my question [is] simple now [what] [are] [we] going [to] do about [it] how about something simple begin by stopping [the] black muslim nonsense in us prisons quit dignifying [the] outrageous
    Words: 75

    (NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

    Female Score: 8
    Male Score: 132
    The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

  13. I got a higher Male Score and total score than you!

    (Male, and can pass when it's to my advantage with the fairer genome)

  14. Here's an interesting interview:

    Thursday Aug 09, 2007
    The Al Qaeda Reader
    Dennis Prager

    Prager H3: Dennis talks to Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of the Middle East and Islam. Ibrahim works for the Near East section of the African and Middle Eastern division of the Library of Congress, where he discovered many of the never-before-translated Arabic texts that make up the bulk of The Al-Qaeda Reader.
    Length: 00:34:07

  15. VDH addresses the Sword Verse and the question that Muslims ask daily "What would Mohammed do?"
    "Today, one wonders, What would Mohammed do? Would he smile upon “moderate” Muslims such as America’s “friends,” the many secular regimes who do not enforce Islamic law (which itself is based on his own commands) and who cooperate fully with the infidel West, or would he find favor in a man like Osama bin Laden, who defies the West? The answer to this question is easily found in the Koran and historical record of the Prophet.

    Allah proclaims: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity [i.e. embrace Islam], then open the way for them: for Allah is oft forgiving, most merciful” (Koran 9:5). This message is repeated continuously in the Koran and Hadith, and most Muslim jurists are agreed that these “Sword Verses” abrogate all earlier verses of tolerance and peaceable co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims. Furthermore, the commandments of the Koran transcend time and are thus as applicable today as they were in the 7th century.

    The historical record of Islam — its rise and spread — is even more illustrative than the words of the Koran. Islam was established by the sword. This is an historical fact, not an accusation. It’s not for nothing that Saudi Arabia, home of the Prophet and Islam, depicts a scimitar with the words “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His Prophet” on its national flag. Both Muslim and non-Muslim histories of Islam agree that the Warrior-Prophet personally waged war after war with the express purpose of spreading Islam.

    These were wars forcing other peoples, first Arabs then non-Arabs, to embrace Islam and submit to the life-guiding Words of Allah (the Sharia), or else to pay tribute and live in humility as subjects of Islam, or else, to die by the sword.

    These jihads prevailed for centuries. Indeed, just a mere century after the Prophet died, jihad had established Islam supreme in much of Asia, all of North Africa, and much of Mediterranean Europe (Spain, Sicily). This was more territory than the Roman Empire ever ruled in its heyday. It took Christianity five times as long to achieve such ubiquity (possibly because methods of diffusion differed). Holy War only ceased when Islam was defeated on the battleground — not because a new Revelation from Allah declared that expansion should cease, or that the three choices — conversion, submission, or death — have been abrogated. (The orthodox view in Sunni Islam is that peace will only exist once Islam reigns supreme over the whole world)."

  16. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Koran 9:29)

  17. Good article from the LATimes,Whit. I wish the Lutherans would read it.

  18. Bob:
    The liberal wing of the Lutherans is going the way of the liberal Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians.

    It's sad to watch but not unexpected...The Apostate Church was predicted long ago.

  19. "What do they want? World Sharia."

    Well, good luck with that project.

  20. Very interesting read:

    Was Jesus Married?
    On the matter of marriage Paul explicitly mentions that Cephas (Peter), the other apostles, as well as the “brothers of the Lord,” are accompanied on their travels by their wives, so that not only their expenses are carried by the community but those of their wives as well (1 Corinthians 9:5). One might assume those who made up Jesus’ council of Twelve, as well as Jesus’ brothers, would likely be married with children, but other than Peter’s unnamed “mother-in-law” being mentioned in Mark 1:30, no wives are ever mentioned much less identified by name. One might conclude, incorrectly, it seems, that the “silence” of the gospels regarding wives for the apostles and brothers of Jesus indicates they were living celibate or single lives. We have to accept that the gospels, as theological treatises, simply do not supply us with such details, particularly when it comes to women or children. They are simply not considered important to the story, but it does not mean they did not exist.

    Earlier in this same letter Paul had mounted a vigorous defense of celibacy or remaining “unmarried.” Although he does not require it of his followers, he asserts that he lives the single non-sexual life and he strongly recommends it as the most practical as well as the most spiritually devoted lifestyle. He writes, in this regard, “I wish that all were as I myself am,” and “To the unmarried and the widows, I say it is well for them to remain single as I do” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).

    In this section of the letter Paul takes up a number of related topics, particularly whether divorce/separation is allowed and under what circumstances, but he is quite careful to explicitly state whether he has specific sanction from “the Lord.” It is quite important to him to bring in the authority and teaching of Jesus when he can to back up and lend weight to what he is saying.

    I think one can conclude that if Paul had known Jesus to have been single or unmarried, living a celibate life, he would have mentioned it prominently. In fact it would have been one of his main points. It would have been irresistible. He mounts every possible defense of celibacy, but in the end is only able to appeal to his own example. Imagine how much more rigorously he could have argued had he been able to say, “follow me here, as I follow Christ.” In this particular case I think his silence is “deafening.” As with Cephas, the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, he knows that having a wife as a companion is the norm and pattern in the group. Paul must have known that Jesus was married, and he, as our earliest witness, would surely have been in a position to know. When he can use the teachings of Jesus or the example of Jesus he does. Here is an obvious example where he can not.

  21. Was Jesus married? In one way it would seem odd if he weren't, as there was a lot of social pressure on young males of the day to be married. Yet, although the gospel writers weren't writing biography, and though there is precious little biography in the gospels, one would think a big fact like that would have come out somehow. Perhaps he had been married, and his wife died young. It's one of those intriging questions that will forever tease.

    After many years of marriage, I have been infrequently tempted to agree with Paul that one might be better off celibate and single. :)

    From the point of view of the gospel message, it's irrelevant whether Jesus was married or not.

  22. Bob,

    We know King Herod didn't hesitate killing every child in Bethlehem he thought might be a potential rival. Concern for the family's safety could have been a reason for the anonymity. Later on, other circumstances and considerations could have come into play to reinforce this anonymity.

  23. Mat, I got no idea where Jesus was born, my quess would be Nazareth. I think the King Herod story is a variant of the old birth of a hero narrative--the hero is born in lowly circumstances, escapes infanticide, etc.--it may hark back to the Jewish scriptures as well. Moses saved from the river etc. I think its hard to untangle fact from the mythy in many of these stories in all cultures. Its like some kind of Chinese puzzle, a lot of it.

    I think King Herod didn't shy away from killing anyone who got in his way--even his own sons. Wasn't it said "It's better to Herod's horse than Herod's son" or something like that?:)

  24. After many years of marriage, I have been infrequently tempted to agree with Paul that one might be better off celibate and single. :)

    Bob, what you need is a new dancing instructor. :D

  25. :) We gotten along pretty well, really. Thankfully she doesn't read blogs.

    I also think Jesus may well have been an illigitimate child. I have good authority to back me up on that--William Blake. It seems Jesus was the oldest one of his group--whereas in the Bible all the heros are normally written up as being the youngest. It would explain the tension between the sibs too. But then, hell if I know. It's interesting,all of it, for sure.

  26. Wasn't his brother James the older?

  27. What about Single and NOT Celibate?

  28. The fox condemns the trap, not himself. :D

  29. Modern middle eastern moslem practices look pretty much like what was standard jewish practice at the time of jesus.

    Instead of discovering new science & inventing new technology--they invented more rules.

  30. Mat, the way I understand it is, the Catholics hold that Jesus had no brothers or sisters, only cousins. The Protestants hold that Jesus was the oldest, then came the others. William Blake holds that Jesus was illigitimate, then came the others. Christologically speaking, it is certain that Jesus was the oldest as he was born of a Virgin, an old theme. Bob holds that he don't know, and that it doesn't really matter, but it seems Jesus was the oldest. :)

  31. I see.

    via wiki:

    James Tabor argues that after the early and childless death of Joseph, Mary marries Clopas, the younger brother of Joseph, according to the Levirate law. According to this view, Clopas fathered James and the later siblings but not Jesus, who whilst legally adopted by Joseph, is presumed to be the product of an earlier pre-marital coupling, possibly with Panthera. James, being the oldest of the other younger siblings, takes over the ministry in Jerusalem after Jesus is crucified.

  32. Although professor Tabor seems to be confused on this issue:

    When Jesus is crucified in 30 CE, James his oldest brother, takes over. But when James is brutally murdered in 62 CE Yose the second brother, who would have rightfully taken charge, is nowhere mentioned in any of our historical records. Rather Simon bar Clophas, takes charge of the group.

  33. The only other thing I can see is that if Joseph was married prior to Mary--but then we're not talking full biological sibs. There may be some support for this view, I just don't know.

  34. Perhaps Clopas was previously married with children (hence older brother James), lost his wife, and then married Mary when she lost her husband (his brother)?