"There is no equivalence between the two religions. One is the manifestation of the living Christ... The other is a brutal ideology, fixed in aspic and in anger in the 7th century by its inventor, who specialized in barbarity and booty when not busy synthesizing his own new religion with its violent sanctions against all who might oppose it then and in the future."
It is amazing how the leaders of the Anglican Church make no mention of the treatment of Christians around the world ~ but will go out of their way to so-call defend Islam. On the other hand the Catholic Church recently held a meeting of Christian leaders from the Middle East in particular ~ where the top of the agenda was Christian persecution. Yet, while in India at an interfaith conference ~ the UK Anglican Archbishop ~ took the opportunity to rail against EU countries' burqa ban. And had earlier stated that it was inevitable Britain would introduce aspects of Sharia law into the legal system. One problem is that with aspects of Shari'a law ~ comes the loss of aspects of freedom. And they are the same Shari'a laws which keep Christians oppressed in the Islamic world.
It is clear the Catholic Church is showing more authority on the matter of Islam. They don't need to bend. However the leadership at least of the Anglican Church ~ is possibly heading for full limbo.
The leader of the Australian Anglican Communion, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall condemned attacks on Christians and Muslims in Pakistan in the December issue of FOCUS, the newspaper of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, but came under attack from a leading Anglican layman calling his muted remarks about Islamic persecution of Christians "very misleading and mischievous."
"This Advent season, our prayers are with the Christians of Iraq, the Muslims of Pakistan and all those subjected to violence. May the light and peace of the Christ Child shine afresh in the darkness of our world and our hearts," wrote Aspinall. "The light shines in the darkness. Attacks, like those endure recently by both Christians and Muslims, have often strengthened relationships between Christian and Muslim moderates in Iraq and in other parts of the world. It is a sign of hope, a glimpse of the new creation."
Following publication of the editorial, Brendan Theodore wrote a letter to Aspinall blasting the archbishop saying that while Muslims in Pakistan have been attacked is true - it is a sect war by fellow Muslims, "cleverly choosing not to mention this, implies that perhaps it may have been another religion responsible.
"Christians all over the world face persecution for following their faith like Aasia Bibi - the Christian in Pakistan who faces the death penalty for allegedly blaspheming Allah, families of western journalists who have been executed by extremist Muslim groups, clergy who "fall" for the belief that Sharia law can be tolerated by Christians in any way, shape or form. Also our armed forces overseas who are facing a very difficult time as well as their families. (See BBC story at end).
"These are the Muslims in Pakistan which you will be praying for - is it that they may see the light of grace, truth and compassion or your warm fuzzy, I want to be friends with everyone" style of Christianity regardless of their violent and vitriolic message some of them promulgate?" queried Theodore.
"Is this the ultimate act of betrayal by a Christian leader who is willing to ignore the plight of a solitary Christian standing up for her faith while toeing the all too familiar politically correct "niceness" and tolerance of small 'c' Christianity."
On October 31 this year, a violent attack on a Christian church in Baghdad during evening Mass left 58 people dead and 78 people injured. The attack on a Syrian Catholic Church heralded a series of sustained attacks on Christians living in Baghdad which has included targeted bombings of Christian homes and cars, and further loss of life and serious injury.
In Pakistan, synchronized attacks on Muslim mosques on November 7 killed another 68 people and left many others injured. The attack on Muslims at worship was the most recent in another series of targeted attacks against Muslims in that country, including the bombing in September of a Shiite procession which left another 65 people dead.
"The targeting of religious groups and services of worship highlights the challenges which still face the faithful of many religions as we approach the close of the World Council of Churches Decade to Overcome Violence," wrote Aspinall.
The archbishop cited the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where Jesus sets out the Christian vocation of peace-making in clear and confronting terms: love your enemy, treat others as fully human, demanding same humanity for yourselves. Peace between equals replaces relationships of dominance and submission.
Theodore said he found Aspinall's comment about praying for the Muslims in Pakistan "ironic and puzzling, given their aggressive hatred of anything that supposedly offends the Koran. Pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi an Islamic cleric has offered half a million Rupees for Aasia's death."
"No president, no parliament and no government has the right to interfere in the tenets of Islam. Islamic punishment (according to Muslim jurisprudence) will be implemented at all costs," said Maulana Qureshi. "We will strongly resist any attempt to repeal laws which provide protection to the sanctity of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)," Qureshi is reported to have told a rally.
"So who is facing the death penalty, certainly not Muslims? Aspinall would like to "swan" the world stage as a religious tolerance diplomat, sprouting green, sustainable policies - thinking that he has invented "stewardship of God's creation". Sadly he does not display such tolerance towards orthodox, conservative clergy in this country."
"What angers/annoys/frustrates me so much is that so many liberal clergy pander to the other religions and will brush off, ignore or treat lightly those of the Christian faith who are persecuted on a daily basis in many parts of the world," concluded Theodore.
+Another observer noted that this is yet another manifestation of the profoundly disingenuous liberal doctrine of "equivalence" - having heard of the law of physics, that every action has an opposite and equal reaction, they apply this to politics and religion so that for every Christian persecuted or murdered, they must find an example of a Muslim similarly mistreated, and so present a "balanced" view of what has happened.+
Hmm... truth is there is no comparison. The so called balanced view is more ~ hope in vain ~ any science involved might be calculated around appeasement.
"As the article shrewdly notes, however, the persecution and massacres being perpetrated against Muslims in Pakistan are not the work of Christians, but of Muslims, who think nothing of suicide-bombing one another's mosques and murdering their politicians.
"There is no equivalence between the two religions. One is the manifestation of the living Christ and the kingdom which he is building, with every soul he saves. The other is a brutal ideology, fixed in aspic and in anger in the 7th century by its inventor, who specialized in barbarity and booty when not busy synthesizing his own new religion with its violent sanctions against all who might oppose it then and in the future."
See the BBC article "Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi 'has price on her head': http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11930849