Thursday, March 12, 2015

Islam can be a violent faith, says Queen's chaplain:

  • Rev Gavin Ashenden said some 100 passages in Koran incite violence
  • Said Bible instead preaches forgiveness and delivering people from sin
  • Asked if Koran was 'evil' he said 'I will let people decide for themselves' 
Reverend Gavin Ashenden said around 100 passages in the Muslim holy book incite followers to violence, including 'striking off heads'
Reverend Gavin Ashenden said around 100 passages in the Muslim holy book incite followers to violence, including 'striking off heads'
There are passages in the Koran which ‘invite people to violence’, one of the Queen’s chaplains said last night.

Reverend Canon Gavin Ashenden, the former chaplain of Sussex University and one of 35 who serve Her Majesty, expressed concern about more than 100 passages in the Muslim holy book.

But the Church of England priest declined to say whether parts of the Koran are ‘evil’, instead advising people to make up their own minds.

He was responding to comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who warned this week about being too quick to brand people with strong religious views ‘extremists’. 

Yesterday, more than 60 imams and leaders of Muslim groups signed an open letter to the Government accusing it of criminalising Islam.

They claimed the ‘terror threat’ was being exploited for political capital ahead of the election, as ‘the big parties inevitably try to outdo each other in their nastiness’.

The signatories, which included journalist Yvonne Ridley and former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, criticised the ‘demonisation of Muslims in Britain ... despite their disavowal of violence and never having supported terrorist acts’.

Rev Ashenden was responding to comments by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has reportedly claimed young people are turning to jihad because mainstream religion is not ‘exciting’.

The Archbishop said Britain’s religious communities needed to do more to provide an alternative to extremism that gives youngsters a ‘purpose in life’.

But Rev Ashenden told LBC radio he was ‘attracted to Christianity because it invites people to the extremity of forgiveness and love’.

He added: ‘Islam has, I think, over 100 verses inviting people to violence in the Koran which Christianity doesn’t have. 

'If you’re going to invite people to be dedicated ... followers of their scriptures, Christians will go around forgiving people and Islamists will do something else.’

Presenter Iain Dale said Muslims would say Islam was ‘entirely peaceful’, but Rev Ashenden said parts of the Koran ‘tell you to kill your enemies’. 

He then quoted verses which he said urged Muslims to ‘strike off the heads’ of ‘those who disbelieve’.

When warned his comments could offend Muslims, he said: ‘If they are offended by my quoting the Koran they are not offended by me, they are offended by the Koran.’

He added: ‘If you’re going to talk about excitement in Christianity it’s about delivering people from evil and transforming people’s lives.’ 

Asked whether he would describe certain parts of the Koran as evil, he said: ‘I notice that they invite people to violence. I’ll let other people decide whether that’s good or evil.’

The Church of England did not respond when contacted last night. Buckingham Palace declined to comment. 


Airlines which fly suspected terrorists out of the country in breach of a Home Office order could face fines of up to £50,000.
The penalties would be applied to carriers which breach a ‘no fly’ instruction and allow a potential jihadi to travel abroad.
Smaller fines of up to £10,000 could be imposed if airlines fail to hand over information about their passengers and crew.
The new powers were rushed through the Commons on Tuesday night and are expected to come into force next month.
Some 600 Britons are thought to have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join Islamic State.
If police or security agencies are aware of someone’s intention to go to the region, an alert can be sent to airlines instructing them to prevent the person from flying.
All airline carriers will be required to use data systems which automatically respond to these alerts.


Schools cannot be expected to detect radicalised pupils if their own families do not spot warning signs, a senior Labour politician said last night.
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt warned that ‘more and more’ responsibility is being placed on schools and teachers.
He branded Islamic extremism a ‘poisonous and cancerous ideology’, which is ‘capturing the minds of many young people’.
But he suggested that other public services, such as social work, had been stripped away, leaving schools to deal with the problem alone.
The former TV historian spoke two weeks after three girls from Bethnal Green Academy in east London fled to Syria to join Islamic State.
He said: ‘If the parents themselves didn’t know what was taking place, the chances of the teachers and the head teachers themselves knowing was more challenging.’

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