LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - In a historic first, Britain's national broadcaster has begun airing the supremacist Islamic call to prayer as mosques remain shut amid the Wuhan virus pandemic.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), repeatedly censured for its anti-Christian bias, will also relay Muslim sermons and prayers on 14 local radio stations every Friday at 5:50 a.m. in the run-up to Ramadan at the end of April.
"A cultural line has been crossed," world-renowned Islamic scholar Robert Spencer is warning, predicting that the implications "are ominous."
"Is the BBC, the government-funded broadcasting agency of an ostensibly Christian land, really wise to broadcast a declaration of the superiority of another faith, one that directs its adherents to make war against Christians and subjugate them as inferiors under the hegemony of believers (cf. Qur'an 9:29)?" Spencer asks in FrontPage Magazine.
Spencer, author of The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, also wonders if it is wise for the public service broadcaster to relay "the cry 'Allahu akbar,' beloved of jihad terrorists the world over."
In Islamic theology, the Adhan — call to prayer — is a triumphalist declaration of Islamic supremacy over Jews and Christians as well as a call to the sacralization of newly conquered territory.
The Adhan, prayed in Arabic, has the words: "Allah is greater. I testify that there is no God but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is Allah's prophet. Come to prayer. Come to security/salvation. Allah is greater. There is no God but Allah."
License-fee payers, who support the broadcaster financially, are blasting the BBC for a demonstrable pattern of promoting Islam while systemically denigrating Christianity.
"As a lifelong practicing Catholic who worked for almost my whole career as a journalist for BBC News, I would say that there is definitely a strong institutional bias against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, permeating the corporation," Catherine Utley, former senior reporter with the BBC World Service, told Church Militant.
"Stemming from a combination of a sort of post-colonial guilt complex, plus ignorance about the basic tenets of the faith among BBC staff, this bias creeps into the way all stories which have to do with Christianity — especially Catholicism — are reported," Utley observes.
Lamenting "the slaughter and persecution of millions of Christians worldwide," particularly in Islamic countries, as "woefully under-reported," Utley explains, how, in contrast, the Catholic sex abuse scandal "served merely to confirm prejudices which were already deep-rooted, and it fast became the only story about Catholicism deemed worthy of mention."
Harry Farley, a journalist with BBC Radio 4, responded to criticism of the announcement by pointing out that the BBC already broadcasts Christian services every Sunday.
"And to those complaining about/questioning this, just a reminder that a Christian service is broadcast each Sunday at 8 a.m. on all 39 BBC local radio stations," tweeted the former spin-doctor for the archbishop of Canterbury.
Commenters hit back at Farley reminding him that Britain is still a nominally Christian country and asked if Muslim countries would broadcast a Christian service from their radio or television stations. A number of commenters said it is time to "defund the BBC" and stop paying the license-fee.
Former Swedish Imam Tomas Samuel explains how the Adhan is a statement of Islamic supremacy. In Islamic sources, "we discover that the prayer call states that everyone should submit to Islam, and proclaims power over the area of the prayer."
The Adhan is prayed to "remind people of when it is time to pray, and the prayer call will proclaim Islam over a city. "Islam holds to a theology of territory. Central to its mission is the sacralization of new territory, he notes.
Meanwhile, as a gesture of support for Muslims during the pandemic, Germany and the Netherlands have granted an exemption to more than 100 mosques to publicly proclaim the Adhan.
"The Adhan being broadcast by loudspeaker is generally not allowed in Germany, except for special occasions," says Fahrettin Alptekin, a mosque representative in Essen.
In its early years, the BBC "was consciously aligned with traditional Christian morality and conscious also of its obligation to be fair," Aitken writes in The Noble Liar: Why and How the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda.
From 1942–44, he observes, the BBC "saw fit to broadcast a series of talks about Christian apologetics [by C. S. Lewis] as if this was the most natural thing in the world." The talks were turned into the bestselling book Mere Christianity — "an example of the BBC directly abetting evangelism through the medium of its airwaves."
However, in recent years "the BBC has wholeheartedly thrown its lot in with the liberal reformers; there has been no 'impartiality' on any of the big moral issues of the past half-century. In every instance, the socially conservative argument has been depicted as callous, reactionary and dogmatic," writes Aitken, who spent 25 years as a BBC reporter and executive.
Utley concurs. "Among my colleagues at the [BBC] World Service there was an unquestioning acceptance of western 'liberal' values on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage," she says. "This blinded program editors and presenters to the fact that many of our millions of listeners across the world would be offended by the editorial position we were, in effect, adopting."