Priest accused of bigotry against Islam

By accusing a priest of bigotry against Islam, one can effectively shut down the entire Christian message of the Church while attempting to defile it. Mosques will not allow Christian content!

Banning a piece of music from Nelson’s cathedral because of its Islamic content is part of the “bigotry” that has sparked religious conflicts, its composer says.

Sir Karl Jenkins, who composed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, has slammed the decision by Christ Church Cathedral dean Reverend Nick Kirk to not host a performance of the piece because it included the Islamic call to prayer.

“The Armed Man has been performed in numerous cathedrals throughout the UK and abroad and to refuse a performance because of the inclusion of the call to prayer is part of the bigotry that has led to such conflicts and wars,” Jenkins told United Kingdom radio station Classic FM.

The composition charts the descent into war, the horrors of conflict and ends with the hope for peace.

The Welsh composer said the piece of music was once banned from a cathedral in Berlin and moved to a concert hall.

“A German journalist wrote, ‘This was the church that 60 years ago was happy to have the swastika draped over the altar’. That says a lot,” Sir Karl said.

Sir Karl’s management released a statement on his behalf, saying he wrote the piece “as a meditation on the destructive nature of divisions between different cultures and nations”.

“The reason for including the Islamic call to prayer, as well as texts and musical quotes from Western Christian sources, Hindu sources and from Hiroshima survivors, is that the composer wishes to explore the possibility that tolerance could heal and prevent such divisions.”

It is his “explicit wish” that any performance of the piece includes the call to prayer.

If it must be omitted, Sir Karl said that a period of silence must replace it with the programme notes stating that the Muslim call to prayer would normally be heard at that point.

Kirk has said he had refused the choir’s request to perform The Armed Man because it did not fit with the cathedral’s “religious beliefs”.

“Christianity does not compromise with other religions,” he said.

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace is a contemporary anti-war composition, dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis, that is based on the Catholic Mass and includes texts from other religious and historical sources, including the call to prayer, the Bible and the ancient Sanskrit Mahabharata, as well as secular writers like Rudyard Kipling.

Sir Karl does allow for the call to prayer to be omitted but stipulates that it a period of silence must be observed in its place.

The performance in Nelson, by a choir of about 100 people and an orchestra of 45, is to commemorate the centenary of World War One and the 100 year anniversary of Anzac.

The Anglican Church has not responded to a request for comment.

Banning concert for Islamic content is religious ‘bigotry’ – composer