Koran coronation: Ex-bishop draws fire

Koran coronation: Ex-bishop draws fire

The Church of England has been accused of ‘losing confidence’ in its own institutions and traditions following a suggestion yesterday by Lord Harries of Pentregarth – a former Bishop of Oxford – that a Koran reading be included in Prince Charles’ coronation.

According to The Royal Fans website, Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute think-tank said:

Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey. People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the C of E’s parliament, the General Synod, and head of the Christian Concern pressure group, added:

At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage. We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.

Douglas Murray, associate editor of the Spectator, said if Muslims were included in the coronation service, there must be room too for Hindus, Sikhs, and atheists.

He added:

If there were to be a reading from the Koran at the coronation, surely as a matter of reciprocity, all mosques in the UK should have prayers for the King and the Armed Forces every week at Friday prayers.

Lord Harries

Lord Harries

The gesture would be a “creative act of accommodation” to make Muslims feel “embraced” by the nation, Lord Harries explained, and said he was sure Charles’s coronation would give scope to leaders of non-Christian religions to give their blessing to the new King.

Harries, who continues to serve as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, made the suggestion about the Koran during a House of Lords debate. He told peers the Church of England should take the lead in “exercising its historic position in a hospitable way”.

He said that at a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year authorities had agreed to a reading of the opening passage of the Koran before the beginning of the Christian ritual. He said:

It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation. That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service.

Lord Harries’ suggestion came more than 20 years after the Prince first said he would prefer to be seen as “Defender of Faith” rather than be known by the monarch’s title of “Defender of the Faith”.

Charles said in 1994 he:

Always felt the Catholic subjects of the sovereign are equally as important as the Anglican ones, as the Protestant ones. Likewise, I think that Islamic subjects, or the Hindu subjects, or the Zoroastrian subjects of the sovereign, are of equal and vital importance.

Hat tip: Marcus Robinson

36 responses to “Koran coronation: Ex-bishop draws fire”

  1. Cali Ron says:

    “We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.” No need to pretend, they are all the same, based on silly superstitions, resulting in all the same ignorant sort of outcomes. So glad we in the states don’t have to deal with “royalty”, are hands are full dealing with the crazy evangelicals! Perhaps he should be seen as the “Defender of Superstition”. That would cover all the faiths.

  2. Lonbo says:

    “Always felt the Catholic subjects of the sovereign are equally as important as the Anglican ones, as the Protestant ones. Likewise, I think that Islamic subjects, or the Hindu subjects, or the Zoroastrian subjects of the sovereign, are of equal and vital importance.”

    Let’s not forget the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Festivarians, Satanists, Vaginarians and the Church of Bacon. They too are of equal and vital importance.

  3. mattincinci says:

    to act as if all religions are the same is not wise

  4. Paul Cook says:

    I think we could accommodate all religions with just two small words:


  5. Cali Ron says:

    @Paul Cook
    I second that and add an exclamation point!

  6. Angela_K says:

    Relgion,benefits? Those near the top of this pyramid marketing scam do very nicely: fine clothes, money – yes, loads of money – access to Governments, and obsequious followers ready to sign up more gullible followers. To paraphrase G. Orwell: some religions are more equal than others, but all are dangerous.

  7. Adam Tjaavk says:

    You are quite right – not “the same”.

    Equal! – all bullshit.


  8. Dave Godfrey says:

    Christ, the man’s mumblings are barely legible in English, never mind Arabic.

  9. barriejohn says:

    I am in complete accord with what Prince Charles has said:

    …Catholic subjects of the sovereign are equally as important as the Anglican ones, as the Protestant ones. Likewise…Islamic subjects, or the Hindu subjects, or the Zoroastrian subjects of the sovereign, are of equal and vital importance…


    (PS I notice that he didn’t mention atheists!)

  10. barriejohn says:

    I was wondering what sort of uplifting texts from the Koran might be included in the new coronation service, but the job has already been done for us:

    “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

    “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority.”

    “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    Lovely thoughts, and much more along the same lines here:

  11. barriejohn says:

    Today’s Jesus and Mo – hahaha:

  12. Rob Andrews says:

    Yes..And our U.S. congress is sometimes opened by a prayer from an Iman. This would have been unheard of 30 years ago. I’ve been on this forum over 3 months now. and I’ve seen other cave ins by the British government.

    ‘Islamic subject are of equal importance…’. That’s because they are a lorge a violent minority. Why were they overlooked in times past; were they somehow less important .In other words the Crown and others are SCARED. I don’t live in Britain, but I hope the press sometimes says what I’ve just said-at least once and a while!

    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything’.

  13. L.Long says:

    The Prince of Woo did not mention atheists, secularists, science, PEOPLE WHO THINK, or anything else important. But he is correct that all those religious are all equally important…meaning NOT AT ALL. With today’s problems do you want people around who think some imaginary Ahole will keep everything OK or intelligent people who base actions on evidence?

  14. Vanity Unfair says:

    What this announcement is really about is hiding the unpalatable fact that the identity of our Head of State is (accidents excepted) now settled to the end of the century and it is a succession of rich old men who have been and will be protected from the realities of everyday life.
    They do not have to win a vote and do not have their knowledge or beliefs, other than those of the Church of England, questioned. They can, heaven forfend, believe in the curative power of distilled water or the efficacy of talking to plants but they must not believe that bread turns into meat when the right spell is spoken.
    In return they get to have the Government listen to their thoughts on legislation and whether any particular law should apply to them. They pay taxes on a voluntary basis and no-one is allowed to look at their, publicly funded, accounts. Even their wills are now secret.

  15. Cali Ron says:

    Thanks for link to Jesus and Mo. Hadn’t seen that one yet-had a great laugh!

  16. Hugh Janus says:

    The ones with beards are saying “Look at this stupid kaffir…he has no idea we are taking the piss…..hahahaha…”

    The one without the beard is saying “Do my ears look big in this hat?”

    What a fuckwit PC really is. Go read Hitchens Prince of Piffle article.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: “Hate the sin; love the sinner” (not!)

    Did others catch the news recently that maybe Charlie doesn’t have the right to “reign over us” after all?

    How strange!

  18. Stephen Mynett says:

    I cannot remember exactly where I read it and it was also featured in a BBC show, in the days before they dumbed down completely, possibly Simon Scharma but there is evidence to show the hump on some of his portraits were added by the Tudors as part of their propaganda.

    On a less serious note, one I enjoyed a while back. There were worries about too much publicity and press involvement when Richard’s bones were eventually moved, therefore they decided on a fairly nondescript Transit van for the transportation. After a mile or so the driver was alerted by a strange and ghostly noise from the back of the van, it was saying: “A hearse, a hearse my Kingdom for a hearse.”

  19. 1859 says:

    If, at Charlie’s coronation, he reads passages from the koran, the hindu books the buddhist books etc., then to be all inclusive, should he not also read a few lines from ‘The God Delusion’ ? After all atheists are becoming an ever-growing proportion of society and I would not like my feeling hurt by being excluded by the deluded.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    We cannot pretend all religions are the same…

    Really? Really? If nothing else proves Andrea Minichiello Williams is off her rocker, that comment does. All religions are precisely the same because they are all based on lies. Because they are all based on Iron-Age superstitions. Because they are all about controlling what people think. Because they are all about subjugating women. Because they are all about power, money and influence. Because none of them have anything whatsoever to do with goodness, honesty, or truth.

    Yes, all religions are the same. They are so, so the same. The fact that this stupid, brainwashed idiot of a woman can’t see it says everything we need to know about just how each and every last brand of religion can rot the brains of otherwise sane human beings.

  21. Daz says:

    I’m all for it. If we must have a coronation and it must have a religious element, then let’s make it representative. Any religion adhered to by, say, more than two percent of the population, as per the latest census, should have five minutes allotted so that its chief representative can spout off their own brand of nonsense.

    Whole thing’s a farce anyway: we may as well make it democratically farcical.

  22. Trevor Blake says:

    A secular restatement:We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same costs and outcomes for the nation.

  23. Robster says:

    Ta Da! Contradiction of the week, this weeks winner: “Christian Institute think-tank”. Christians thinking? Can’t believe that.

  24. Khan357 says:

    We will not be happy until St Paul’s has a minaret on it and Big Ben is converted into one also.

  25. Mr Jones says:

    Time to jettison the monarchy. The house of windsor has clearly shown that after EII is gone there is no one in that line worthy of ruling over us. PC is an intellectual lightweight and the genes of mediocrity are clearly evident in all of them. The introduction of bimbo bloodstock has done nothing for their credibility either, the only benefit being an aesthetic one.

  26. Michael Glass says:

    Let’s not get too worked up about the coming coronation. The mother of the queen lived to 101, so the present monarch may be around for some time to come.

  27. Broga says:

    Shame that white towel covered up Charlie’s medals. I read that at some pointless event or other he turned up wearing 50 medals. I think he likes medals and mummy gives them to him. This smacks of desperation by Charles. However, as he has nothing of merit to claim he needs the medal massage of his ego from mummy.

  28. Brian Jordan says:

    Whenever I hear this story of wanting to be the “defender of faith”. I want to ask him exactly whom he thinks he’ll be defending religion from? I can only imagine that he wants to defend it against me and other non-believers. Surely such an attitude, openly opposing himself to a large proportion of the population, disqualifies him from being head of state.
    As for woolly-minded bishops accommodating Islam – well, not so woolly really, just ganging up against atheists, They regard any religion as better than none. Just like His Nibs.

  29. Rob Andrews says:

    RE: Reading at Charlie’s Coronation.

    Even better exerps from the Humanist Manifesto. This is all inclusive. Just don’t say it’s from the HUMANIST Manifesto.; the theists would object.

  30. Angela_K says:

    Broga. I’ve often wondered if Charlie’s medals are a sign he wants to be a dictator like that other medal decked buffoon, Idi Amin.

    I see we have a troll comment by an intellectually stunted member of the “religion of peace”

  31. Broga says:

    Charlie is such a poseur: that pointing finger accompanied by the forced showing of teeth as a grin is so typical. So easily apparently amused by what would be a routine sight to the rest of us.

    Does this mediocrity really think he is entitled to reign over the rest of us as his subjects. Apparently, in his enclosed world of courtiers i.e. world class arse lickers, he does.

  32. AgentCormac says:

    @ Brian Jordan

    The same thing has crossed my mind. Presumably the title ‘defender of the faith’ meant the monarch was supposed to protect the CofE from other religions and stop them nicking its followers. If Charles intends to defend all faiths, then it becomes utterly pointless. A bit like the monarchy itself, come to think it.

  33. Brummie says:

    I’m a royalist, but for all the wrong reasons.
    The world is fascinated by our royalty. Media across the globe broadcast every move they make. Pictures adorn Paris-Match, all the American magazines etc. UK tourist trade benefits enormously. The worse they behave, the more publicity created. It is one of the main topics that put these tiny islands in the world spotlight.
    So don’t get rid of them, but do strip them of all powers and state finance, leaving only the ceremonial bit, which sells.

  34. John C says:

    Personaly, i would rather see a reading by Karl Marx at that imbeciels trial than hear any reading from religious bullshit at his coronation.

  35. Daz says:

    Re: “Defender of the faith.”

    If only they’d admit their hypocrisy, they’d drop the title, as it has sod all to do with the CofE. Somewhat ironically, it was originally awarded by the Pope to 'Enery the Eighth for his staunch support of the Catholic church and rejection of Protestantism.

  36. barriejohn says:

    Daz: The really ironic thing about the title is that it was conferred upon dear old Sid – sorry, Henry – when he wrote a book “which defended the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope”.

    Yes , you really couldn’t make it up, but from a very young age Henry was a complete religious maniac, as was Catherine of Aragon, who was “Defender of the Faith” in her own right. Henry’s title was later revoked, but he was then made Defender of the (Anglican) Faith by Parliament (“Yah, boo, sucks”), though it is worth pointing out, as confusion often arises, that Henry was never a Protestant – a fact which people like Thomas Cromwell failed to grasp, with often fatal consequences. Har! Har! Har!