From Auntie (HT: Aisha's Lost Doll):
The Church in Wales has recalled 500 copies of its magazine featuring a cartoon caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.Up until about a hundred years ago, one could not receive a degree from Britain's leading universities (Oxford, Cambridge) unless one swore allegiance to the articles of the Church of England. That was arguably unfair to nonconformists and the law was thrown to the liberal winds. Now, however, it increasingly seems one cannot hold many professional positions in the UK unless you are willing to bend to the articles of Dhimmitude.
The editor has resigned after the image was published in the Church's Welsh-language magazine Y Llan.
The Church in Wales printed the cartoon to illustrate an article in the February edition of Y Llan - or Church in English - about the shared ancestry of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The drawing - which was from the French magazine France Soir - shows the Prophet Muhammad sitting on a heavenly cloud with Buddha, and Christian and Jewish deities.
He is being told "don't complain... we've all been caricatured here".
The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan told the BBC: "The article was perfectly OK, but for some reason, the editor decided to print one of these cartoons which was a gross error of judgement. [Ed. note: Maybe the editor was tired of working for a church that is effectively no longer Christian, or maybe no one told him that, or maybe he's one of those bald-headed testosterone junkies...]
"We recalled all the papers, I personally picked up some from some churches and they have all been pulped.
"I've unreservedly apologised to my Muslim colleagues and they've been very gracious and I've said to them this in no way reflects the policy or attitude in the Church in Wales."
Dr Morgan also personally contacted Saleem Kidwai, the Muslim Council of Wales' general secretary, to apologise and to assure him that no offence had been intended.
Mr Kidwai said he regarded the latest publication as simply an "unfortunate mistake" and said inter-faith relations were very good in Wales and need not be jeopardised by the incident.
But, you might cry, you are talking about a Church publication and the Church has a particular responsibility to uphold respect for all religion. Well, I say, I guess that's what happens when the Church aspires to become the church, defender of the new ecumenicalism, which is a perennial temptation within the universalizing sibship of (ex)Christians. Prince Charles, rumoured convert to Islam,has even raised the question of whether he might swear to defend faith (not the faith) when (or if, hope hope) he accedes to the thrown.
True respect for all our particular differences requires that we be able to freely speak our minds about these differences, from our different perspectives, in respect of historical (institutional) differences, and yes even poke a little fun at the other as a sign of honesty in respect. Free speech is not the dastardly cry of some hegemonic western order secretly wishing to dis non-western faiths. It is itself a form of sacrality (that can itself be blasphemed) without which there is no hope for inter-faith dialogue or workable government of a multifaith society. As Prospero argues, government rests ultimately not on force, but on opinion, and the freer the latter is exchanged, the better for all being governed:
the violation of the sacrality of opinion, ultimately, cumulatively, has consequences every bit as devastating as any transgression against any Holy of Holies.Once we give up free speech it will soon become clear that we (non-Muslims) are now in a struggle whose end can only be either our Dhimmitude (whether in traditional form or in some new, perverse hybrid of Islam and western statism) or the submission of Islam to our western will and dictates (say hello to your Lesbian Imam, Ibrahim). The only alternative is the defense of freedom, including the freedom to convert and leave one's faith.
UPDATE: On a related note, Muslims are challenging Britain's ban on polygamy