This story isn’t from Turkey. It didn’t happen in Malaysia, or Bangladesh, or Tunisia, where Christians are a despised minority and have to practice their religion stealthily, if at all.
It happened in Oxford, in the heart of the Country Formerly Known as England.
What is particularly appalling in this case is the immediate, full, complete, knee-jerk capitulation of the Christians involved. They regretted the offense. They meant no harm. Their intention was to “reduce fear of Islam”.
Well, good luck with that idea! The Muslims aren’t going to help you any.
According to The Oxford Mail:
Prayers Prompt Religious Row
A row has broken out after a Christian group organised a day of prayer in Oxford about Muslims during Ramadan.
The Muslim Education Centre of Oxford (Meco) accused Witney-based Open Doors UK of preaching “evangelical propaganda”, after the Christian group held a Call to Prayer day in Oxford yesterday.
But Open Doors UK, which held the event at St Aldate’s Church, insisted it had been taken out of context, although it “regretted” any offence that had been caused.
A spokesman denied the meeting targeted Muslims, and said its aim was to reduce fear of Islam.
Meco chairman Dr Taj Hargey was invited on BBC Radio Oxford yesterday to talk about the month of Ramadan, and was followed on to Phil Mercer’s show by Brother Andrew from Open Doors UK.
Dr Hargey said: “It was only then that I learned they were running a day-long Christian initiative called Call to Prayer.
“I was flabbergasted and straight away looked at their website. The innocent sounding publicity was headlined ‘A Call to Prayer’, but Open Doors goes on to call Islam an ‘ideology’. I was shocked by their theological self-righteousness. They assume the self-appointed task to ‘pray for Muslims’.
Well, Open Doors got one thing right. Islam is an ideology.
The article continues:
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“They also say that each year there are incredible stories about how God answers these prayers, revealing Himself to Muslims around the world, and bringing many to faith in Jesus.”
Dr Hargey also said the event was advertised with an image of a fully veiled woman, but less than one per cent of women in Oxford covered their faces.
He added: “Not only was this evangelical activity ill-conceived and insensitive, it was grossly insulting and inflammatory to Oxford’s Muslim inhabitants.
A joint statement from Open Doors UK and St Aldate’s Church said: “Open Doors and St Aldate’s very much regret that offence has been taken by Meco at an event designed to encourage church-going Christians to engage positively with Muslims.
“Thus we would emphasise that it was not a meeting targeted at Muslims. Before the event we emphasised that we were not denigrating Islam or criticising Muslim beliefs…”
For once, just ONCE, I’d like to see a Christian organization that doesn’t go into full dhimmi lockdown the moment a Muslim says “Boo!” A group that’s willing to say that yes indeed, they are denigrating Islam and criticizing Muslim beliefs because those beliefs are hateful, dangerous, violent, and contrary to everything that the Christian Church stands for.
Actually, there is such a group, but it’s too far away to be much help to the citizens of Oxford. It’s called the Christian Action Network, and it hails out of Lynchburg, Virginia, just down the road from me. The folks at CAN are willing to look Islam in the eye and call it what it is.
But God help England.
Hat tip: Cranmer.