This Christmas, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will give the alternative Christmas message on Channel 4. Damian Thompson writes:
“The president of Iran is a Holocaust sceptic who, a couple of years ago, organised an academic conference on the subject at which a neo-Nazi produced models of a concentration camp (complete with toy train set) designed to show that Hitler’s gas ovens did not exist.”
Channel 4’s invitation to Ahmadinejad is by far the most shocking evidence of the pandering of many so-called Leftists to fascism. Thompson describes this as ‘further evidence of the Left’s schoolgirl infatuation with Islamic bigots.’
Christian blogger Ruth Gledhill has also expressed her alarm at Ahmadinejad’s Christmas message, reminding readers of the Iranian leader’s denial of the Holocaust and threats against Israel.
It will, of course, be interesting to hear how the Church of England and the Evangelical Alliance respond to this news, and hopefully they will condemn Channel 4’s decision to give Ahmadinejad a voice (unlike the World Council of Churches, who gave him dinner).
There are, however, Christians in the UK sympathetic to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
His tour was ‘arranged and facilitated by Dr Javad Sharbaf of the NEDA Institute for Scientific Research in Iran.’ Religious blogger Richard Bartholomew notes Sharbaf and NEDA’s links with Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and indeed Faurisson’s praising of Ahmadinejad.
Reverend Sizer himself has publicly defended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Speaking on a radio show in Florida, Sizer said:
“So we can talk about Ahmedinejad trying to drive the Jews into the sea which we would abhor, but the reality is that Israel is driving the Palestinians into the desert.”
Another prominent evangelical scholar who has defended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Dr Anthony McRoy, a lecturer at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology, who often writes for British newspaper Evangelicals Now.
Speaking to Iran’s IRNA, McRoy criticises Gordon Brown, claiming that:
“It has been mentioned in the press so often that the ‘wipe off the map’ statement about Israel by Ahmadinejad was a mistranslation, yet Gordon Brown repeated the same mistranslation in his speech to the Israeli parliament.”
McRoy, who wrote From Rushdie to 7/7: The Radicalisation of Islam in Britain, does not appear to be particularly concerned himself about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s radical Islamic extremism.
McRoy describes how he met President Ahmadinejad in Iran in 2006 during his time at the Iranian conference on Islamic messianism. Here McRoy moves beyond merely defending Ahmadinejad, fawning praise upon the Iranian President.
“Those meeting Ahmadinejad commented how intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming he was”
“Ahmadinejad gives quick, extensive and intelligent answers to any question, mixed with genial humour.”
You can read Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his own words here.
British Christians who seek to defend Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must not forget that Jesus himself was Jewish, and so pandering to antisemites who deny the Holocaust whilst advocating the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state is most certainly an offence to their own beliefs.
It would also be wise for British Christians to consider Iran’s current attitudes towards its own Christian citizens, and consider whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really is the best person to deliver a Christmas message (albeit “alternative”).
Last month, Seismic Shock exposed those who use Christmas to propagate the new theological antisemitism. Let’s hope that British Christians speak out against the hijacking of Christmas.