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Christians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Read all my posts on this topic

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Singing from the same hymn sheet?

From Melanie Phillips comes this transcript of an interview with Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain, generally regarded as the most moderate of Britain's main Muslim organizations, in which he expresses views on the Israel/Palestine conflict which many would consider anything but moderate.

What struck me on reading this was the similarities between the MCB position and that of Christian Aid...

  • The refusal to condemn Hamas explicitly.

  • The way an invitation to condemn terrorism is deflected by a blandly general statement that 'we always condemned the taking of innocent life anywhere', immediately followed by vehement criticism of the Israeli occupation.

  • Mr Bunglawala's assertion concerning suicide bombings that 'many of our own columnists, even members of parliament, have said that if they were Palestinians, if they were living under those conditions, if they were seeing their children humiliated in the way that Israelis humiliate their children, if they saw their children being blown to pieces, they would consider doing what the Palestinians do'. One (ex-)MP who has indeed spoken in this vein (and was very properly sacked from her party's front bench for doing so) is Jenny Tonge, whose visit with Christian Aid to Gaza was featured in Christian Aid News no. 22.

  • The way Israel is held to the standards of international law, whilst Hamas's flagrant breaches of international law are passed over in silence.

This reinforces the impression I'm increasingly getting of a rather cosy relationship between Christian Aid and Muslims both in Israel/Palestine and in Britain, whilst Jews, unless they belong to the anti-Zionist left, are frozen out. Is this really the way all the 39 church denominations which support Christian Aid want to play it?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I came across your blog a few weeks back.
Here's a few of my thoughts:

Maybe you should read Christian Aid News a little more carefully, or check out the website with a little more vigour. Perhaps you should leave aside your apparent bitterness at the organisation whilst doing that, because I really can't see this 'hate' you say is so obvious in Christian Aid.

Also I find it interesting that the organisation bothers you this much! You're showing quite a lot of committment to 'critiquing' it's publications etc. They really have got up your nose, but why 'Christian Hate' - I winced when I saw it. Hate is such a strong word and has such depth of feeling behind it, I dunno, its a powerful word and shouldn't be used lightly.
Hmmm.

MCB Watch said...

I don't enough about Christian Aid to comment, but I'd agree the MCB are not moderate at all, but merely use that as a front in order to open up access to government and media.

MCB Watch