Oxford Rector enters Muslim prayer row

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev Charlie Cleverly, Rector of St Aldate’s Church, said that the call to prayer could drive people away from areas adjacent to the Oxford Central mosque, which hopes to bring in the three-daily azan.

He said: “I feel [the call to prayer] is un-English and very different from a bell.

“It may force people to move out and encourage Muslim families to move in. “I hope and pray the imam will hear the strength of feeling gently and lovingly and change his mind.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

11 Comments
Posted January 31, 2008 at 5:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. naab00 wrote:

There seems to be two different forces at work here: fierce political correctness which cares not about the inexorable islamisation of the UK and honest admission that little steps like a call to pray actually do count ultimately and will have longer term effects. 
The likes of the Bishop of Oxford can endear himself to today’s Muslims in the certain knowledge that he won’t have to live with the consequences in fifty years time.

January 31, 7:23 pm | [comment link]
2. Dale Rye wrote:

The consequences of encouraging the civil authorities to silence a Muslim call to prayer will almost certainly be to silence Christian calls to prayer. England would be a much poorer place without bell-ringing. Read Dorothy Sayer’s The Nine Tailors for what you could be condemning.

January 31, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
3. nwlayman wrote:

The Bishop of Oxford will also have to bone up on his theology to explain just what separates Muslims from Anglicans.  Maybe Anne Redding has a new parish waiting in the UK.

January 31, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
4. RalphM wrote:

“Speaking to The Church of England Newspaper earlier this month, the Bishop said he did not oppose in principle the introduction of the call to prayer, but called for reciprocity to be shown to Christians in Islamic countries”

Don’t hold your breath Bishop…

January 31, 8:39 pm | [comment link]
5. azusa wrote:

# 2: melodious bells at 9 am on Sunday morning are not the same thing as a nasal voice intoning Arabic through a loudspeaker at 5 am, noon, and 6 pm on a Monday. But you may be right in your underlying assumption, that Britain can no longer hold on to its ancient Christian tradition. We can expect an Anglican cleric (o trahison des clercs!) to put paid to that.

February 1, 3:18 am | [comment link]
6. ReinertJ wrote:

#5. melodious bells at 9am!!!! You have obviously never heard the cacophony known as change ringing!  It is unending and unendurable.  When the bells of St. Martin’s were finally installed in the ‘infamous’  bell tower in Perth.  They were muffled due to the complaints, and this is in Australia where wingeing is frowned upon.
Jon R

February 1, 4:46 am | [comment link]
7. Abu Daoud wrote:

Greetings from the Middle East. I write this as I listen right now to a very angry imam (they always sound angry) giving the Friday sermon over loudspeakers here in my city of residence.
Is that coming next? I can gaurantee you that the priest is right in that people will leave the area because hearing thrice-daily, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his meeenger” in Arabic is not really a great experience for Christians. I mean at the heart of this message is that Jesus was not crucified and he is not the Son of God.
Thrice daily hearing the announcement that your whole religion is bunk is not an occasion of generosity or kindness.
And this is only the beginning, later will be the other two calls to prayer, and then the Friday sermons, which last a long time.

February 1, 6:12 am | [comment link]
8. Charley wrote:

Ain’t diversity wonderful.

February 1, 7:47 am | [comment link]
9. azusa wrote:

#6: I did say ‘melodious’ - most bell ringing I find horrible. Abu Daoud has it right - the camel is putting more than its nose into the tent. If Muslims want to summon their co-religionists to prayer, they should use the phone.
Really, things are getting absurd in Englandistan, where school books about the 3 little pigs (& what could be more English than that?) are being banned. You don’t hear Hindus there demanding open air cremations. Why is the English church so supine - or invertebrate?

February 1, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
10. Harvey wrote:

There was one city in Western MI that handled a situation along this blog subject line rather well.  The local Isamic population insisted on voicing its message 5 times a day with hi-power speakers.  The city said no-way.  The Islamics cried “discrimation” and pointed out that local churches bells rang out every Sunday and sometimes on other special days.  The city in question quickly pointed out that the Islamics could pick any one day a week to “ring out’ for only one time of that day, the same conditiions followed by local chruches - take it or leave it.  I believe the matter was dropped.

February 1, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
11. Marion R. wrote:

Culture has consequences.

February 1, 5:11 pm | [comment link]
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