4 Anglican bishops in the Middle East and Africa call for ban after US film row

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The appeal for legislation to ban the publication of material that causes religious offence was con­tained in a letter sent last weekend to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, by the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusa­lem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Mouneer Anis. The other sig­natories were: the Bishop in Cyprus & the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis; the Area Bishop for North Africa, Dr Bill Musk; and the Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, Dr Grant Le­-Marquand.

The Bishops proposed that an "international declaration be nego­tiated that outlaws the intentional and deliberate insulting or defama­tion of persons (such as prophets), symbols, texts, and constructs of belief deemed holy by people of faith".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

6 Comments
Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. drummie wrote:

No matter how well intentioned these men are, they are misguided. If a ban is put in place such as they suggest, what will be next? This is how rights are eroded until there are none left. Remember this:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. ?

It is the same way with rights. Yes, people SHOULD use self restraint and moderation in all matters. That is a utopian dream however. Doing as these Bishops suggest would be the start of a dangerous slippery slope to tyranny.  It is bad enough as it is now, Christianity seems to be the new whipping boy here in the US. Our current administration sends officers after the suspected producer of this film alledgedly on a parole violation after trying to bully him. This is dangerous to us all.  Our religious rights are already being taken away in the guise of health care. What is next?

God can take questions, slurs, questionable art or anything else and not be diminished and not bring Christians to arms. Why is it that Allah or the Prophet are not able to do the same and their followers not result to violence? What are they afraid of?

September 21, 7:56 am | [comment link]
2. Cennydd13 wrote:

If they do indeed want a ban on such material, then let’s make sure that such a ban includes ALL materials, including those produced or published by Muslims which would be deemed inflammatory towards Christians and Jews.  It should, for instance, be declared illegal to refer to Christians as “Crusaders” and “Infidels,” and Jews as “Zionists.”

September 21, 1:43 pm | [comment link]
3. Milton Finch wrote:

Very good point Cennydd13.  That would undercut mohammadianity worse than cartoons about their god.

September 21, 4:44 pm | [comment link]
4. Cennydd13 wrote:

The problem is, though, the UN can pass legislation designed to discourage provocative action against religions who do not accept Islam’s views, but how can there be any enforcement?  Islamist extremists will ignore it, and in fact, they’ll see it as a sign of weakness.  Unless and until Muslim moderate leaders rise up and put an end to Islamist terrorism, nothing will ever be done to stop it, and the terrorist acts will continue.  And so far, the moderates have a lousy track record.

September 21, 5:33 pm | [comment link]
5. DTerwilliger wrote:

While the letter is well intentioned, I am afraid it could have the opposite effect from its goal.  A great push-back will likely ensue if it is perceived that rioting behaviors are being rewarded.

September 21, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
6. Milton Finch wrote:

They say that 30,000 peaceful protesters took over an armed camp and burned it near Beghazi.  If only they would rise throughout the region, there would be a true Arab Spring.

September 21, 9:07 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): (NYRB) Max Rodenbeck—The Agony of Syria

Previous entry (below): (WSJ) In Brooklyn, A Church Seeks a Rescue

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)