Controversial Life of Jesus Manga Distributed Worldwide


In June, the Modesto Bee ran a piece on Manga adaptations of the Bible, including a book called Manga Messiah. The article quoted a disturbing assessment from Deborah Shamoon, specialist in Japanese popular culture at Notre Dame:

As for the artwork, “Manga Messiah” has the most recognizable manga traits, but Shamoon said: “While there is no one way to draw manga, and there are many styles and genres in Japan, it’s a lot more than just characters with big eyes and pointy hair — a lot of what makes manga distinctive has to do with pacing and transitions between the panels.” While Jesus and his disciples have that cute manga-character look, the Pharisees — members of a fundamentalist Jewish sect with whom Jesus, a fellow Jew, was often at odds — are depicted in “Manga Messiah” with bigger noses, jowly jaws, squinty eyes and spotty complexions. “I think the representation of Jews is appalling,” Shamoon said.

On the other hand, a Manga expert named Jason Thompson was of the view that:

“I don’t think this is anti-Semitism, it’s just the standard manga stereotype that minor evil characters look ugly (or in the case of Judas, they look like androgynous bishonen with feminine features and earrings). It reflects a lack of originality and skill by the artist, not an ethnic or religious prejudice.”

Of course, Thompson’s perspective may tell us something about the artist’s intent, but that still leaves the context of the images – and the way readers are likely to understand them.

Either way, despite the controversy the Manga Messiah has been adopted enthusiastically by evangelical groups, as Bruce Wilson notes on Talk to Action (where the above images are reproduced, along with others):

Japanese readers first encountered the product when volunteers for Operation Mobilisation, dressed as elves and santas, handed out free copies of the 300-page Bible comic tract in a shopping district.

When Manga Messiah proved less popular among Japanese than anticipated, the product was re-conceived as a tool for global evangelizing and now is being translated, reportedly, into as many as 20 world languages. The Manga comic was introduced to the United Kingdom and the Philippines in 2006 and to the United States in 2007 and North Americans can purchase subsidized carton-sized lots of the anti-Jewish New Testament tracts from the Bible League of Canada.

One million copies of Manga Messiah are also being distributed with the official sanction of the Government of Uganda, with the express consent of Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni, a born again Christian and friend to Rick and Kay Warren. Under another of Warren’s Ugandan allies, Archbishop Henry Orombi, the Church of Uganda plans to give out ten million abbreviated versions of the comic…

There are translations in Tagalog, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish and French.

In 1988 the US Roman Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs issued a “Criteria for the Evaluation of Dramatizations of the Passion” which warns against “Caricatures and False Oppositions” in re-telling the story of Jesus. One wonders how the Manga Messiah measures up against its sensible recommendations.

Israeli Religious Right Spreads Tale of Rachel at Gaza

From right-wing Israeli news source Arutz Sheva:

Former [Shepardi] Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, recovering from a life-threatening disease, prayed several times at the Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel before the recent war in Gaza. Informed that an “old woman” saved IDF soldiers’ lives in Gaza, he said, “Did she mention that I sent her?”

The story was first told by Rabbi Lazer Brody, a rabbi in Ashdod who “devotes his time to spreading faith around the globe via Breslov Israel and the Emuna Outreach organization” that he founded.

…on Monday night of this week, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat and son of former Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu, was teaching students in Machon Meir in Jerusalem about the sublime level of soldiers fighting on behalf of Israel.  In this connection, he said: 

“There are soldiers who have been telling that in some places where they went in, there was a woman who told them not to enter certain buildings because they were booby-trapped, and that she said her name was Rachel… I asked a certain Yeshiva dean about this story, and he told me that it wasn’t a ‘made-up story,’ but that he actually knew one of the soldiers involved, and he told me his name…”

This is the tale as it appears on Brody’s website, from 11 January:

Just now, right after midnight on Saturday night, an emotional father from Jerusalem called me and said that he had something important to tell me. His son is an NCO is a special forces unit operating in Gaza. He and his squad were about to storm a house with suspected Hamas terrorists inside. A woman in long black local attire came out and pleaded with them not to storm the house. During the fierce house-to-house fighting, the same woman appeared to the NCO and his unit in three other houses. It turned out that all four houses were booby-trapped.

Who was that woman? Sounds to me like Rachel Imenu…

According to Arutz Sheva, the mysterious old woman supposedly spoke in – erm – Arabic. Two weeks after Brody’s version, the legend has now expanded; as well as Eliyahu’s insertion of himself into the narrative, there are further details and variations, such as these:

…the soldier’s name is Yoel S… Yoel S. had the great merit to witness a miracle like those one only reads about in the weekly Parsha! (Torah portion) And, not only did he see Rachel; he spoke with her!

Drawing near a building, a woman dressed in a white Jalabiya (the traditional clothing of North African Jews from places such as Morocco and Tunisia) came out. She told them in fluent Hebrew to leave immediately, as the building was booby trapped. The third time this occurred, Yoel queried, “Who are you?” Then she revealed herself as Rachel.

Mordechai Eliyahu, it should be noted, is notorious for his sanguinary views; in 2007 he advocated the carpet bombing of Gaza on the grounds that all Palestinians were guilty for the rocket attacks and it would be wrong to risk Jewish lives in a ground offensive, and he has also offered the view that “one yeshiva boy is worth more than the lives of 1,000 Arabs.” He had this to say about the 2004 Asian Tsunami:

Former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was quoted Monday as describing the tsunami disaster as God’s punishment for world support of the disengagement plan.

“When the Holy One, Blessed Be He is angry with the world’s nations who fail to help Israel, who want to evacuate and to disengage and who interfere in our affairs and harm us, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, claps his hands in sadness- and all this causes the quake.”

FCS Redux?

Last week, Tory blogger Donal Blaney gave us the following supposed background to the unhappy TV debut of a new website connected to the Labour Party:

Guido links to Derek Draper’s appearance on Channel 4 News last night, debating with Tim Montgomerie, on the launch of LabourList. When Channel 4 tried to link to LabourList, the site crashed. For once Chris Paul’s paranoia was correct.

What Guido didn’t reveal is that that was down to a coordinated effort of Conservative Future activists!

The posting was decried by a number of commentators, some of whom, preposterously, alleged a “criminal conspiracy” when all that Blaney had hinted at was something akin to jamming a switchboard.  But in fact it apparently turns out that the claim was just a joke to bait political opponents:

What is wrong with you people? LOL. The very notion that I personally coordinated CF activists on this is laughable. I never said I did. I didn’t. If LabourList crashed it is because it is run by amateurs…But I DO love your conspiracy theories, keep ’em coming…


…According to paranoid leftist bloggers, the police are also investigating whether CF or its predecessor, the Young Conservatives, sabotaged The Titanic, Sam Fox’s appearance at The Brits 20 years ago, the Millennium Dome and the Terminal 5 baggage system.

In fact, though, the idea of Young Tory activists crashing a website is quite believable if we think back to the 1980s, when groups like the Federation of Conservative Students and the Young Conservatives undertook all manner of disruptive counter-measures against political opponents, such as CND or left-wing groups in the National Union of Students. The FCS is even rumoured to have had a guide to making life difficult for opponents, named after none other than G. Gordon Liddy.  However, it’s not a story that’s as well-known as it should be; Tory lawyers such as Blaney now make libel threats on behalf of those not keen for old newspaper reports about their alleged 1980s exploits to be discussed in public.

1980s Young Tories also liked to shock with transgressive antics, and we can perceive a shade of that in this recent report:

A YOUNG Conservative activist who dressed up as Madeleine McCann apologised to the missing child’s parents last night after his actions triggered widespread condemnation and caused humiliation for the party. Kate and Gerry McCann had demanded a public apology from Matthew Lewis – who has appeared alongside the Tory leader, David Cameron – after he donned a blonde wig and pink pyjamas and carried a teddy bear and a vial of fake blood at a party, in an apparent attempt to mimic the child.

As others have noted, this silly stunt would have gone unnoticed had not Lewis posted details to Facebook. Now, thanks to the internet, it is unlikely that Lewis will ever be able to shake off the association in the decades ahead, and any political hopes are now permanently beached.

(More on the FCS here. Hat tip to Chris Paul and Lib Dem Voice)

Prasch on Shoebat

My recent posting on fundamentalist apocalyptic debates sparked by the “Muslim anti-Christ” ideas of Walid Shoebat strangely got thousands of hits, so here’s a bit more – this time from James Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries:

Moriel and Jacob Prasch endorse the important ministry of brother Walid Shoebat (a co-labourer in Christ and personal friend and associate of Jacob Prasch). Moriel has hosted Walid as a featured keynote speaker at Moriel conferences in both the USA and UK. Walid and Jacob have also shared platforms at various other events.

…Concerning Walid’s view of the mark of the beast, it is not something we dismiss as having no potential merit. But it is in our estimation speculative and deficient in that it relies on Arabic, while the book of Revelation is written in Greek (Arabic did not yet exist in the 1st Century) and any gemmatrial hermeneutics of “666” would depend on Hebrew characters. Walid does appear mistaken concerning his rejective position on Gemmatria being used in witchcraft. Gemmatria is used by Matthew in chapter 1 in the Matthean genealogy of Jesus…Having said this, Walid highlights an Oriental perspective of New Testament eschatology too often ignored by most of the Western Church and his views in our estimation do merit serious prayerful and scholarly consideration. His thesis should not be dismissed. Most of what he proposes is biblically true.

I blogged all this here. Shoebat claims that he discerned an “Arabic” meaning to “666” when looking at ancient manuscipts of the Bible; from his presentation on the subject, though, it is obvious that he hasn’t done any such thing, and his risible hand-drawn reproduction of what he supposedly saw bears no resemblance to any manuscript.

Prasch, an American who lives in the UK, is a Messianic Jew, and his Moriel Ministries offers withering and abusive assessments of a range of opponents: evolutionary biologists (“Darwinism is not merely at odds with Judeo-Christian beliefs or creation science, it is at odds with the cause of human rights and of saving the environment”), Roman Catholicism (“Radzinger [sic] chose to wear the swastika and the uniform of a nazi and fight for Hitler”), Charismatic revivals (“carnal and demonically-influenced counterfeits of biblical charismata”), Rick Warren (“the very magazines whose editorial ownership is liberal, pro-Obama, and globalist are trumpeting Rick Warren’s ‘plan’,”), and a host of others. Unsurprisingly, Moriel’s views on Islam are worthy of the Swanksta:

Claiming to be Christian Bush put a Koran, a book teaching that God has no Son, in The White House…Putting a Koran in the White House after September 11th is like Churchill putting a copy of Mein Kampf in Number 10 Downing Street during the Blitz…

Prasch and Moriel express particular animus against Stephen Sizer, an evangelical pro-Palestinian Anglican vicar who wrote Prasch an “open letter” in November – Prasch begins his response with a sniffy “It has been brought to our attention that Stephen Sizer addressed an open letter to myself…on his website…”, as if he never looks at Sizer’s website himself!

Interestingly, back in October Prasch was a special guest at the Mount Carmel Revival Centre in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. The pastor there is none other than Nigel Owens, who featured on this blog back in 2006 when I noted that he ran the Northern Ireland branch of Alan Harvey’s Springbok Club (more on Harvey, who longs for the return of “European rule” over Africa, here). The Northern Ireland Springbok Club is now apparently defunct.

How Journalism Works, Part 94

8 January: Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads presents evidence that Glen Jenvey, who was the source for a report in the Sun about a plan by Islamists to target British Jews for harrassment, may in fact have written the very postings to a Muslim forum under an assumed name which were then presented by the Sun as evidence for the plot (I blogged this here).

20 January: A news magazine reports exactly the same story, although the words “Bloggerheads“, “blog”, and “Tim Ireland” are noticeably absent. The name of the periodical? Step forward Private Eye magazine, which has an article on page 4 of its latest issue (1228) under the heading “How Extremism Works”.

But there is something new – the detail that “the PCC is investigating a number of complaints” about the Sun‘s scare-mongering article.


Iranian Holocaust “Satire” Now in Arabic and English

Haaretz reports:

A student-linked Iranian publisher plans to launch English- and Arabic-language versions of a book of caricatures and satirical writings about the Holocaust, a semi-official news agency reported yesterday.

 …”The presentation ceremony will be held on January 27 … with the attendance of a number of government officials,” said Mohammad-Mehdi Hemmati, who is involved in the project.

…Iran’s IRNA news agency said in September the book had 52 caricatures plus satirical writings over 108 pages. It was published by Martyr Shahbazi Publications and the Islamic student movement of the Science and Industry University.

27 January, of course, is Holocaust Memorial Day in a number of countries, including the UK.

IRNA reported the following about the book in September:

Book on ‘Holocaust’ to be unveiled

A book ‘Holocaust’ featuring caricatures and texts will be unveiled here in Qods Square in a ceremony attended by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi on the occasion of International Qods Day (Friday September 26). 

 Announcing this, Afshin Parvinkar, a founding member of Martyr Shahbazi Cultural Institute told IRNA that the book deals with the paradoxes as well as distortions before, after and concurrent with holocaust in a satirical manner.

Stating that the caricature and satire sections have been compiled by Maziar Bijani and Omid Mehdinejad respectively, he further said that the book has been arranged in one-page caricature and one-page satire format.

…The book, which has 100 pages, will be published in 7,000 copies by Martyr Shahbazi Cultural Institute affiliated to Elm-o-San’at (science and technology) University’s Students Basij.

“Basij” are volunteer military reserves that are directed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. According to an AFP report:

Education Minister Alireza Ali-Ahmadi was present in the capital’s Palestine Square for the book’s presentation during the annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day parade.

…The cover shows a Jew with a crooked nose and dressed in traditional garb drawing outlines of dead bodies on the ground.

Inside, bearded Jews are shown leaving and re-entering a gas chamber with a counter that reads the number 5,999,999. 

Another depicts Jewish prisoners entering a furnace in a Nazi extermination camp and leaving as gun-wielding terrorists from the other side.

Yet another shows a patient covered in an Israeli flag and on life support breathing Zyklon-B, the poisonous gas used in the extermination chambers.

One comment in a question-and-answer format reads:  “How did the Germans emit gas into chambers while there were no holes on the ceiling?”

Answer: “Shut up, you criminal anti-Semite. How dare you ask this question?”

There isn’t anything in English on-line about the “Martyr Shahbazi Cultural Institute” (or “Shahid Shahbazi Cultural Institute”) besides reports about the book.

It should be noted that not all Science and Industry University students deserve to be tainted by Parvinkar’s antics; last month Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cancelled a visit to the campus in fear of anti-government student protesters.

I blogged on Iranian Holocaust denial here, and on the regime’s attacks on academia here.

Sharia Police Ban Protest in Nigeria – Brings Protestors to Global Notice

The Nigeria Daily Trust reports from the predominently Muslim area of Kano:

Hisbah, the Shari’a security outfit established by the Kano State government to enforce Shari’a in the state, has ordered the Association of Divorcees, Widows and Orphans to shelve its mass rally scheduled to hold on 29th of this month in Kano city.

…In an exclusive interview with Sunday Trust, hisbah deputy commander-general operations, Malam Aliyu Abubakar said the planned protest was not only against the injunctions of the religion, but would ridicule the esteem of the state in the eyes of the world.

He told our reporter that the decision to invite the leadership of the association for talks was to educate it on the ills of the planned rally as well as its implications on the morality and wellbeing of the people.

Doubtless the rally would have passed with a bit of attention in the local media. Instead, by banning the event the hapless Abubakar has now brilliantly ensured that the “esteem of the state” is “ridiculed” all over the world! The BBC has more.

The Hisbah has featured on this blog before; in  2006 the outfit launched a campaign against women riding taxi mopeds. Kano Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, meanwhile, is infamous for spreading hysteria against the polio vaccine, with the result that a number of children in Nigeria and elsewhere have been affected by the disease. In October he stated that he would be willing to spend the “whole treasury” of the state on implementing Shariah, and he declared himself to be a “religious hero.”

Some background to the reason for the divorced women’s protest is provided in a long Daily Trust article that appeared in December:

The Commissioner for Women Affairs in the state, Hajiya Maimuna Khalil, told our correspondent that the menace [of divorce] had reached such an alarming rate that government had now introduced drastic measures aimed attacking the growing cases and reducing them to the barest minimum.

“We found out that the increase in rate of divorce in the state is aided by the growing ignorance of Islamic rules concerning marriages; we found out that most of the people did not know what the religion says about marriage”, she said.

The commissioner also disclosed that some harmful cultural practices had, unfortunately, infiltrated into marriages so much so that people forgot their religious and moral obligations. She said as a result, the abuse of women’s rights had been on the increase and government was worried about the trend and determined to address it through collaboration with all stakeholders in the state.

The rising cases of divorce in the state has led to increase in drug consumption among women…The commissioner said among the factors responsible for the increasing instability in marriages is over dependence on men by women: “One of the factors, according to the findings of the recent study conducted by the committee set up to investigate the reason behind the increase in rate of divorce, has been the issue of over dependence on men. And if we are to critically tackle the root of the instability, then we have to find a way of empowering the women” she said.

The article mentions an organisation called “The Voice of Divorcees, Widows and Orphans of Nigeria”; perhaps this is the same as the Association.

On the Buses


Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle on Friday added his voice to the vocal — albeit small — chorus demanding the county strip controversial advertisements promoting Islam from Broward County buses.

..At issue — 50 Broward County buses, which for weeks have been driving with the following message plastered to their exterior: “ISLAM: The Way of Life of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.”

…Jewish activist Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate…said it implies Abraham, Moses and Jesus were Muslim.

You think so? Kaufman also objects that the adverts are paid for by CAIR, which he claims has links with Hamas. Naugle, meanwhile, has featured on this blog before – his efforts as mayor have famously included unveiling an anti-gay public toilet and inviting members of a particular church to patrol the streets in military uniform.


Adverts reading ‘The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need him’ were due to appear on vehicles on the streets of Genoa…

Cardinal [Angelo] Bagnasco was said to be ‘furious’ about the proposal and told his officials write to the bus company..He is said to have been ‘delighted’ when he was then given the news that at the last minute the campaign had been cancelled.

Apparently Genoa was chosen especially to annoy Bagnasco, who has compared homosexuality with pedophilia.


The posting of atheist advertising on Barcelona’s buses has been branded “an attack on all religions”.

Again we ask – you think so?

The campaign has provoked a reaction from the Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona. “Faith in God is not a source of worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life,” it said in a statement.

“It is an attack on all religions,” said Javier Maria Perez-Roldan of the church’s Tomas Moro centre, blaming the socialist government for the privately funded campaign. “The government has created an atmosphere of belligerence.”

Perez-Roldán previously hit the headlines in 2007 with a call for some anti-religious pictures to be banned; I blogged him and the Centro Jurídico Tomás Moro here.

London, from Parliament:

Offensive advertisements on public transport
That this House notes that posters with the slogan ‘There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life’, appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground; notes that this causes concern to Christian and Muslim people, many of whom feel embarrassed and uncomfortable travelling on public transport displaying such advertisements and would not wish to endorse the advertisements by using that public transport; regrets that the British Humanist Association backs the campaign; and calls on Ministers responsible for public transport and advertising media to investigate this matter and to seek to remove these religiously offensive and morally unhelpful advertisements.

The British “atheist bus” campaign – actually a “strong agnostic” campaign – has brought worldwide fame for a certain Ron Heather of Southampton. A sample:

Ron Heather, natural de Southampton (al sur de Inglaterra), declaró a la BBC que se llevó un gran “susto” y sintió “horror” al ver este mensaje impreso en la parte exterior del vehículo debido a sus creencias cristianas,…Chauffeur Ron Heather hervatte maandag zijn werk, en kwam overeen met het busbedrijf dat hij zo veel mogelijk kan rijden in de bussen zonder de boodschap…Ma Ron Heather, 62 anni, conducente e fervente cristiano, colto da un dilemma religioso, si è rifiutato di guidare durante il suo turno un bus con tale scritta…Ron Heather fra Southampton reagerte med vantro og gikk fra jobben i protest da han oppdaget beskjeden som var klistret utenpå bussen han skulle kjøre…Január 10-én, aznapi munkájának megkezdésekor Ron Heather, meglátván a busz oldalán olvasható szavakat: „Valószín?leg nincs Isten. Ne aggódj, inkább élvezd az életet”, megtagadta a szolgálatot…Wie die britische BBC am Freitag meldete, sah Ron Heather bei Dienstantritt die Aufschrift “Es gibt vermutlich keinen Gott. Mach dir keine Sorgen und genieß dein Leben” auf seinem Bus…??? ????? (Ron Heather), ?? ???????????? (Southampton), ??????? “????????? ????” ??? ??????? ?? ??????????? ? ??????? ??????? ? ???? ????????…

(Florida link hat tip to Bulldada Newsblog)


Apocalyptic Christians Argue over Anti-Christ

An apocalyptically-minded “prophecy expert” casts a sceptical eye over Walid Shoebat’s claims that the Bible predicts a Muslim anti-Christ. Over to David Reagan, of “Lion and Lamb Ministries“:

God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible…is a very expensive book ($29.95) and a very long one (512 pages). The writing is very tedious and difficult to follow. Even worse, the organizational format is chaotic and confusing…incredibly sloppy proof-texting can be found throughout Shoebat’s book. Whenever he wants to make a point, he goes fishing for a verse. When he finds it, he reels it in and applies it to the passage under consideration, whether it is related to that passage or not.

Indeed – and I’ve got more on Shoebat’s bizarre interpretations of the Bible here.

But don’t get your hopes up that Reagan has a more rational  appropach to Biblical interpretation; instead, he matches Shoebat’s pseudo-scholarship with an equally untenable, albeit more stale, “Hal Lindsey” scenario:

…The Middle Eastern Muslim nations will suffer overwhelming defeats in the Psalm 83 War and the Ezekiel 38 War before the Tribulation begins and before the Antichrist comes on the scene. The Antichrist, who will arise out of the revived Roman Empire will then launch a world war to conquer all nations, and during that war, he will be used of God to annihilate the remaining Muslim nations outside the Middle East.

Still, Shoebat can console himself with an enthusiastic notice from Ray Gano, who runs a website named Prophezine. Gano – who claims Jack Chick as his religious inspiration – tells us that

Walid has presented overwhelming proof that the Antichrist is not from the EU, and that he could come from the Middle East.

He has given overwhelming proof that the Catholic Church is not the one world religion, but the worship of Baal through Islam.

…Folks, all these years we have been chasing after some “decoy” called the EU and some false European Antichrist. Satan pulled the wool over our eyes really good on this one. While all of us have been looking to the west, Islam is here now, staring us in the face from the east…they await Satan’s anointed the Mahdi, they will return the world to the worship of Baal. He is named clearly in scripture as the Assyrian, The King of Babylon, The Prince of Tyre, The King Pharoh of Egypt. He hails from the Middle East and he is the Antichrist.

John Hagee, meanwhile, famously favours the idea that the anti-Christ will be a gay Jew.

Incidentally, the idea that Muslims worship “Baal” is a rehash of old Christian polemics, and is based on identifying “Baal” with a pre-Islamic “Hubal”, whose idol is said to have existed in Mecca inside the Ka’ba. Scholars suggest it was same as the “Abraham the Ancient” image that was removed by Muhammad (1). The 1996 Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible has the following for Hubal (I’ve Romanized the Hebrew script used for “Baal”):

…The comparison with Baalim is not convincing because Baal can also function as a generic term…Connections with the pre-Islamic deity Hubal are uncertain. There is too great a distance in time. The gap of nearly a millennium cannot be filled with the single reference to a deity hblw in a Nabataen inscription from the first century CE.

Muslims as “Baal”-worshippers is also nonsensical on phenomenological grounds. Members of a faith may reinterpret teachings and practices over the centuries, and we can see how a religion emerges from a context but comes to be seen by adherents having somehow dropped from the sky. However, the idea that a person can be deceived into thinking they are worshipping one deity when in fact they are worshipping another makes no sense. How is “Baal” worshipped if none of his supposed worshippers know anything about him or if they think they are doing something else? Some Christians object to Christmas because of its pagan origins, but it cannot seriously be held that therefore those who go to church on Christmas Day are somehow accidentally venerating a pagan deity. Once again we see paranoid conspiracy-mongering, this time raised to a cosmic level.

(1)  Francis E. Peters, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 109-110.

UPDATE: Shoebat has responded to his fundamentalist critics, explaining that he gets “challenges daily, not only by Muslims that want me dead but also from Christians who are dogmatic about their views.” As a rebuttal, he gives a list of prominent Christians from the past who believed that the Bible predicts an eschatological and Satanic role for Islam in the “Last Days”. Of course, this is simply an argument from authority using sources that either pre-date or ignore serious historical-critical Biblical scholarship. His list weirdly includes the observation that “Hilaire Belloc foresaw Islam’s rise”. Belloc, of course, was also notorious for his anti-semitism [UPDATE: although see here].

Glen Jenvey’s Friend Lionheart on “Paki Muslims”

Anti-Muslim blogger Lionheart (who claims to be a “good friend” of Glen Jenvey) explains the meaning of “Paki” to some right-wing American radio hosts:

Prince Harry used a term recently in the news, you know, it’s not a big deal. He just called someone like what they call themselves, you know, like people call us as English “Pommies” or Australians as “Aussies”. He called a Pakistani a “Paki”, you know. It was on video, and there’s been uproar about that because he said that that, you know, because once the Muslims are aggrieved about something the whole race industry arises to condemn and to exert its influence over our nation…I’ve got Paki Muslims, from Luton, wanting to, you know, stick a knife in me, shoot me, do whatever to me…All because I’ve stood up to speak out against what these Paki Muslims are doing in my community and in our country.

As ever, Lionheart insists that he is not a racist, just opposed to the “ideology” of Islam.

Of course, everyone in the UK knows that here “Paki” is an offensive term of abuse used against Asians, just as “Yid” is an offensive term of abuse used against Jews. Yes, such words are sometimes used ironically between friends of different races, and in some cases they are appropriated by those who were originally labelled as such by bigots. But Lionheart is not using the word in either of these contexts, so that just leaves either colossal ignorance (cf Debbie Schlussel) or a deliberate – and opportunistic – decision to provoke. Given that on his blog he has been careful to use the adjective “Pakistani” before now, the latter seems more likely.

I suspect the idea is that if white people can be persuaded that “Paki” as a racist term is a Muslim fiction concocted to tar whites as racists, that’ll whip up some white resentment and encourage the word to be used more often. That in turn will anger Asians, leading to inter-communal strife.


UK Asians: Any problem with being called a “Paki” by this man?

(I covered the Lionheart “free speech” issue here)