Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from the Gospel Magazine

  The Blasphemy Laws are at present framed to protect the Name of God Almighty. The only reason the Lord Jesus Christ is covered is that His claim to Deity was accepted by the Christian Church, and therefore by the people of this land. The basis is that God is perfect and beyond criticism.

  The proposed changes would include other religions, and thus the Prophet Mohammed, who laid no claim to deity. Men are not beyond criticism. Thus a man, and with other men, are to be included with God, making any proposed new laws a dangerous muzzle on necessary and politely conducted discussion. It is also a contradiction in terms.

  As Muslims believe their whole religion to be an expression of Allah, it will be used by them to stifle any reasonable criticism of their religion, especially of the Shariah law, by which women are given a very subservient place, hands and feet are cut off thieves, all life is regulated, and religious war to conquer the world for Islam is made a sacred duty, amongst other unacceptable matters. To a Muslim that is Divine Law and so beyond human criticism.

  It also opens the way for any Christian who affirms the Gospels, that Jesus is the Son of God, to be said to have blasphemed against the Qur'an of the Prophet of Islam, which specifically denies this. This is the offence of kufr, loosely translated "blasphemy." Muslims are militant, and of the 50 lands which do not grant religious freedom, it is noteworthy that 42 are Muslim countries. This proposed law can and will be used to persecute Christians of all nationalities.

  Proof of these assertions would require a knowledge by the Select Committee members of the Hebrew Old Testament and of the New Testament in Greek, as well as the vast literature and history of Christianity. It would also need a detailed knowledge of Arabic, the Qu'ran, the Traditions, Muslim Jurisprudence and the huge body of Muslim legal interpretations and judgments, together with Muslim history. Also of the growing number of Christians under Muslim rule.

  The best is the enclosed booklet "Test Everything, Hold on to the Good," by a well respected Christian, Iskander Jadeed, from the Lebanon, who was a major in the Arab Legion and a trustworthy witness. I myself lived in Muslim lands for over 15 years, and was also Vicar of two inner-city parishes, in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, the first having a very high ratio of Muslims.

23 July 2002

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