From The Gathering Storm Blog

There was no manger? Christ is not the Messiah? The crucifixion never happened? That’s what a forthcoming ITV documentary will portray Jesus as Muslims see him.

The one-hour special, commissioned and narrated by Melvyn Bragg, is thought to be the first time the subject has been dealt with on British television. Lord Bragg said: “I was fascinated by the idea … Jesus was such a prominent figure in Islam but most people don’t know that.”
He denies the programme will divide communities. Raised as an Anglican, he describes the documentary as thoughtful and well researched. “I hope it will provoke among Muslims the feeling they are included in television.”

Really. I thought Muslims were getting quite a bit of airtime lately.

The director and producer, Irshad Ashraf, said the film was an attempt to shift the focus away from extremism to the spiritual side of Islam. “Jesus is loved and respected by Muslims and he’s one of the most important prophets in our religion.” Representatives from mainstream Anglican and Catholic organisations were invited to take part in the film, to be broadcast on Sunday, but nobody was available, Mr Ashraf said.

Gee. I wonder why? Maybe because the program promotes ideas that go against their faith?

However, Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican canon and spokesman for the Barnabas Fund, which works with persecuted Christians, accused broadcasters of double standards. Mr Sookhdeo, who was born a Muslim and converted to Christianity in 1969, said: “How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?”

Does burning down the TV station by rabid Muslims ring a bell? But then there is this bit of odd news coming out from all places – Muslim Malaysia.

Malaysia’s government ordered a Tamil-language daily to immediately halt publication for a month Friday as punishment for printing an image of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette, an official with the newspaper said.
The newspaper had said it published the photo by mistake Tuesday and carried a front-page apology Thursday. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday that the picture was hurtful and an insult to Christians. Kuala Lumpur archbishop, Murphy Pakiam, criticized the picture as a “desecration,” but later accepted the newspaper’s apology.

Malaysia’s newspapers operate under government licenses that bar them from publishing potentially provocative material on religion, race and other topics.

Maybe there’s some hope for Malaysia yet.

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