Saturday, 27 March 2004

Islam lecture reactions

First, if you have trouble reading the full text of George Carey’s lecture on The Times website, here it is courtesy of the Diocese of Bradford.

Now reactions in the British press:
Independent Carey dismisses ‘simplistic’ criticism of controversial speech about Islam
Guardian Muslim dismay at Carey speech by Stephen Bates and
The right answer or the wrong question? by Brian Whitaker
Telegraph Muslims hit back following attack by Carey and
‘Islam has helped civilised world for 1,400 years’
The Times Muslim leaders hit back at Carey ‘bigotry’. Some extracts from this one:

Muslim leaders in Britain accused the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, of “bigotry” and “religious prejudice” after he accused Islamic societies of being authoritarian and committed to power and privilege.
They called on the present Archbishop, Rowan Williams, to condemn his predecessor’s views, expressed in a public lecture at the Gregorian University in Rome.
Lord Carey, seen for more than a decade as a friend and supporter of Muslims, aroused anger and disbelief by his speech, in which he said that Muslim societies were often led by people who rose to power “at the point of a gun”. He also criticised Muslim leaders who failed to unequivocally condemn suicide bombers.
His lecture threatened to cast a shadow over a three-day conference of Christian and Muslim scholars from across the world in Washington next week, which is being convened by Dr Williams. The archbishop declined to comment officially, but a source described the lecture as a “bolt from the blue”. Church of England leaders played down the remarks last night, emphasising that they were purely personal.
…Lord Carey argued that it was not his intention to be critical. Clearly bemused by the reaction that his speech had provoked, he said that some of his closest friends were Muslims, and described how only last Saturday he was in Hebron where he had lunch with a former leader of Hamas.
…Lord Carey, 69, who has been delivering a course of lectures entitled Unity and Mission, made his comments on Islam in a public lecture at the university under the title Christianity and Islam: Collision or convergence? His speech is the culmination of a lifetime’s fascination with Islam. His views on Islam are, in fact, not uncommon in the Church of England, in particular in the evangelical wing from which he himself emerged.
…One of his most significant achievements, towards the end of his term of office, was a commitment from Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders from Israel to the Alexandria declaration, a document which pledges all sides to a non- violent search for peace. The declaration states: “Therefore we, the members of the Alexandria permanent committee condemn all and any derogatory remarks directed to the faith, tenets and/or central figures of any of our faiths. Such remarks undermine our efforts and commitments to advance peace between our communities and, in their very character, do harm both to the faith defamed and the very religion in whose name they are made.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 27 March 2004 at 11:27 AM GMT | TrackBack
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