Saturday, October 27, 2012

Muslims Ridiculing Christianity?

Virgin Mary by the Host
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Some readers may recall this protest by an Egyptian Muslim angered by the film critical of Muhammad titled The Innocence of Muslims:
"We never insult any prophet -- not Moses, not Jesus -- so why can't we demand that Muhammad be respected?" (David D. Kirkpatrick, "Cultural Clash Fuels Muslims Angry at Online Video," New York Times, September 16, 2012)
What this really means is that Muslims never ridicule their own Muslim conceptions of Moses and Jesus, but they certainly ridicule Christianity and Christian images of Jesus, as revealed in the words of this Egyptian Cleric, 'Alaa Said, who ridicules Christianity:
Let me ask the reasonable among the Christians: Why do you approach poor people and little children with a cross in one hand and bread in the other? Kids just want a chocolate bar or biscuits . . . The boy wants money . . . [They give him] 200 Egyptian pounds every day . . . [They give money] to girls who have sex, and then the girls say: 'We have become Christians.' The [missionaries] say: 'The whole world is open to us. Where would you like to go? You want to go to Germany, America, or anywhere in Europe? We will take you. Do you want to be pampered? We will pamper you.'

This is your religion, and yet you dare talk about Islam?! You dare say that Islam coerces and harms people?! ("Egyptian Cleric 'Alaa Said Ridicules Christianity And Vows To Instate Islamic Law In Egypt," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5026, October 25, 2012)
This accusation is almost pure fantasy. Possibly, it has some basis in the sex scandals of the Catholic Church, but it certainly does not reflect Christian teaching, nor most Christian practice. But not satisfied with this slur on missionaries, Said turns to the eucharist and Christology:
Let me ask you something. It's not a riddle. The bread in the Last Supper was not actual bread. It was flesh, and the wine was blood. Do you understand any of this? . . . You explain this me. The bread in the Last Supper is not real bread. The bread is flesh, the wine is blood, and three is one. Three is one, get it? . . . They say that Jesus is the only son of Allah. He was born, but not conceived. I'd like their leader -- what's his name? -- to explain this to us. What does 'born but not conceived' mean? Do tell us. No Christian is allowed to ask what this means. ("Egyptian Cleric . . .")
Said is an ignorant man. Contrary to his claim, Christians are certainly allowed to ask what the eucharist and the incarnation mean. Moreover, anyone, even Said, is allowed to ridicule these doctrines without fear of death (but just hint at criticism of Muhammad, and see what happens). Indeed, I researched and wrote an entire doctoral thesis investigating the meaning of food in The Gospel of John!

Said, however, isn't interested in pursuing knowledge, but solely in grinding his ax . . . as he gets ready to use it.

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At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me an old Polish(?) joke. JFK meets Nikita Khrushchev and claims that Americans enjoy genuine freedom as any US citizen can criticize the American president. Khrushchev replies that the Russians also enjoy real freedom as anyone in his country can also criticize the American president.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

We used to tell that joke in the States, too, and it fits Western Civilization and Islamic Civilization rather well!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this one, as well as many other political jokes, so popular in Poland in the old days, must have reached Poland via Pan Am (RIP) or LOT, the old fashioned Internet. I however doubt they circulate in the Islamic world. Maybe in Iran.


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I think that we Americans learned it as a Russian joke.

Jeffery Hodges

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