Following Islamic extremist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Christmas message yesterday in the UK, Seismic Shock now looks at Christian scholar Anthony McRoy’s message on Islam given in Iran in 2006.
Yesterday, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message. Yet Ahmadinejad is notorious for his regime’s persecution of Muslim converts to Christianity, and many other human rights abuses.
The British government has criticised Channel 4’s decision to broadcast President Ahmadinejad’s message. A Foreign Office spokesperson issued this statement:
“President Ahmadinejad has, during his time in office, made a series of appalling anti-Semitic statements. The British media are rightly free to make their own editorial choices, but this invitation will cause offence and bemusement not just at home but amongst friendly countries abroad.”
In his message, Ahmadinejad congratulated ‘the followers of Jesus Christ’ in Britain, and claimed:
‘If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.’
Ahmadinejad also commented:
‘We believe Jesus Christ will return, together with one of the children of the revered Messenger of Islam and will lead the world to love, brotherhood and justice.’
Ahmadinejad believes that this ‘Messenger of Islam’ is the Mahdi, the messianic figure of Shi’ite Islam. Yet if Ahmadinejad’s interpretation of the Mahdi is anything like Dr Anthony McRoy’s, then we have even more reasons to be fearful.
Dr Anthony McRoy lectures at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology on Islam, contributes to British newspaper Evangelicals Now, and appears on Premier Christian Radio. Elsewhere criticial of Islamic extremism, McRoy has nevertheless spoken out publicly in defence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In an interview with Iran’s IRNA, McRoy criticises UK Prime Minister 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 seem 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.
Upon meeting Ahmadinejad, McRoy encouraged him to meet with Christian leaders in the US:
“I suggested a meeting between him (and Muslim religious leaders) and leading American Evangelicals to discuss ‘difficulties’ both historical and contemporary between America and Iran and between Evangelical Protestants and Muslims. He said he was quite open for dialogue, and said they had nothing against the American people, who were a ‘respectable’ people.”
“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.”
It is deeply disturbing that a prominent British Christian who professes to be an expert on Islamic extremism should praise an Islamic extremist who persecutes Christians. Yet McRoy and Ahmadinejad are seemingly united in their hatred of Israel.
In 2006, McRoy delivered a paper at the second International Conference of Mahdism Doctrine, which took place in Iran, entitled “The solace of the savior and HEZBOLLAH’s victory: belief in the MAHDI and JESUS as an encouragement to resistance.”*
Like Ahmadinejad, who has previously claimed that Israel should be wiped off the map, McRoy virulently rages against the Jewish state:
“Just as the Mahdi will avenge the blood of Hussein with the blood of Oppressors, so the Lebanese avenged the blood of their sons and daughters with the blood of Israeli soldiers.
The example of the Mahdi and his Ziyarat was therefore instrumental in bringing about the victory of both Khomeini’s revolution against the Shah in Iran and the Hezbollah jihad against the Israelis. Against this belief the most powerful arsenal in the Middle East was impotent.”
“Hezbollah also used one of its own special types of resistance against the Zionist enemy that is the suicide attacks. These attacks dealt great losses to the enemy on all thinkable levels such as militarily and mentally. The attacks also raised the moral [i.e. morale] across the whole Islamic nation.”
“Hezbollah’s jihad is both a microsm of the jihad of Hussein, with the Israeli government and its forces playing the role of Yazid, but also a microsm and a model of the future jihad of the Mahdi against the Dajjal and the Sufyani, with the Israelis seen as precursors of that ultimate oppressor. Thus, we can truly say that Hezbollah’s victory over the Israeli bombardment in 2006 was the Triumphant Jihad of the Mahdi. The fact of the Mahdi’s inspiration of Hezbollah’s jihad was hidden from the eyes of the Israelis.”
In this paper, McRoy unites Islamic messianism with the armed fight of Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, claiming that:
“there is no separation between the religious duty of liberating Palestine and the Godly promise of victory. It can be seen that Hezbollah’s jihad proceeded on the dual basis of the example of Imam Hussein and the promise of the Mahdi’s appearance. Moreover, Hezbollah clearly see their jihad as preparing for the coming of the Awaited Saviour: ‘If we are confident that our actions but pave the way for Imam al-Mahdi’s emergence – he who will bring evenhandedness and justice after the reign of tyranny an despotism, then the future is quite promising.”
“…we may term the Iranian Revolution as the Victorious Revolution of the Mahdi. This naturally brings us to Hezbollah. The internal foe in Lebanon – the Israeli occupation – was different than in Iran. Here it was externally-based, but was ‘internal’ in the sense of occupying the land. Hezbollah fused together the example of Imam Hussein in martyrdom with eschatological expectation of the Mahdi”
McRoy not only brings together Islamic terrorism with apocalyptic belief, but furthermore fuses this teaching with Christianity’s teachings about Jesus:
“Belief in the Biblical Saviour led Christians in Britain to successfully campaign against slavery in the nineteenth century, and belief in the Shi‘ite Saviour led Lebanese Shia to resist Israeli occupation and aggression and defeat both. It follows that belief in the eschatological triumph of the Saviour is a spur to activism prior to His Coming, and to understand the victory of Hezbollah, we must first understand the role of belief in the Mahdi in providing solace in both senses.”
“The New Testament understanding of Jesus as the Saviour has a number of interesting parallels with both Imams Hussein and Mahdi. For example, like Hussein, Jesus was cruelly murdered by His religious opponents, suffering scourging (Mark 15:15) and Crucifixion at the hands of the pagan Romans (Mark 15:24), incited by the Jewish priesthood. Just as at Ashura Shia recall the self-sacrifice of Hussein, every time Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper, they remember the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.”
“Perhaps those who proclaim their belief in the present power of the Saviour, whether in Christian or Muslim terms, should consider that in their own minds they limit His power by neglecting the transformation that an encounter with the Saviour can accomplish on the oppressive enemy.”
“Evangelical Protestants do not have a physical equivalent to jihad, but the New Testament reveals a spiritual analogy, whereby their prayers against Satan overcome him, Ephesians 6:10ff.”
“Christians and Muslim alike in Lebanon and Palestine are awaiting their Saviour to return and liberate them. People everywhere who suffer oppression cry out for the Saviour to come and deliver them, just as oppressors should fear His coming. May God hasten His appearance!”
Terming Hezbollah terrorism as ‘resistance to oppression’ and thus ‘defensive jihad’, McRoy terms the jihad fought by the Mahdi as ‘offensive jihad’, joking:
“The only major difference in the jihad waged by the Mahdi is that Offensive Jihad remains his unique prerogative (therefore America need not worry about Iranian nuclear ambitions until his coming!)”
Anthony McRoy is a highly respected evangelical Christian in the UK, and has published several articles in British Christian newspapers. Yet as a Christian scholar speaking in Iran, McRoy condemned and demonised Israel, praised jihadists, claimed that Hezbollah were simply practising ‘defensive jihad’, compared the Christian theology of Jesus liberating the soul from sin with Hezbollah’s suicide bombings against Israel in an effort to ‘liberate Palestine’, joked about the Iranian nuclear threat, labelled terrorists as martyrs, and compared Israel with Yazid I, and Yazid I with the Devil.
Furthermore, McRoy equates being ‘zealous’ with ‘Jewish fundamentalism’, citing ‘the pre-Christian Paul’ and Baruch Goldstein as two examples. McRoy is also critical of the apocalyptic beliefs associated with Christian Zionism, yet here he lends credence to radical Islamist apocalyptic beliefs and defends violent jihad.
Just as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s message to the UK was far softer than many of the speeches he has made in Iran, so too Dr Anthony McRoy has delivered a dangerous and vitriolic message in Iran, far more radical than his usual writings in the UK.
In the light of Islamic extremist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s deceptive Christmas message to the British public, Anthony McRoy’s message on Islam appears all the more disturbing.
*retrieved 26/12/08 from http://www.mahdaviat-conference.com/vdcgry9w4ak9y.j5a.html