UK: Christian festival to feature Islamic worship chants
How marvelously broad-minded! Pope Francis would be thrilled! But once again we see that this kind of gesture of good will is all one-way. When is the Islamic festival featuring Christian liturgical chant? Why, the very idea would be absurd, of course.
“Christian worshippers at Greenbelt can learn Islamic worship chants,” Christian Today, August 7, 2017:
Christian worshippers at this year’s Greenbelt Festival will have the opportunity to learn Islamic worship chants – thanks to an organisation which says its primary aim is to ‘guide seekers of Allah’.
The Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa – which describes itself as ‘an international non-profit spiritual organization… in service to the Divine’ – will be teaching ‘basic universal Sufi chants’ which it says ‘are rhythmic, healing and a unique form of worship’ according to the Greenbelt website. Festival-goers are invited to ‘come, enter in, learn and participate’. The invitation continues: ‘Here is healing’.
The Ansari UK website says its mission is to promote Sufism which is ‘founded on the Holy Quran, the Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and other Prophets (peace be upon them)’. And on the Greenbelt website the organisation says its ‘primary mission’ is ‘to be available to guide seekers of Allah’.
Other Muslim contributors are also featuring at the festival. One is Ahmad Ikhlas, a British born Jamaican convert to Islam, who according to the Greenbelt website ‘has used his heritage and love for the Prophet (pbuh) to generate an expressive unique style of music and poetry’.
Another is Abdalhamid Evans, a British Muslim convert, who will be participating in a discussion entitled ‘Scriptural Reasoning Remixed’ which is described as a ‘a fun and thoughtful conversation around the music and lyrics that move us as spiritual people’.
The Greenbelt website reveals it has ‘received funding from Amal’ – a project aimed at promoting a diversity of Islamic cultures and arts – ‘to produce a brand new venue and programme at Greenbelt this summer, showcasing Muslim art, culture, thought and spirituality’.
Explaining the vision for the new initiative, Greenbelt’s Creative Director, Paul Northup, told Christian Today: ‘Being able to introduce this new venue and programme feeds into Greenbelt’s commitment to help build better religious literacy, and is a continuation of Greenbelt’s programming about the Muslim faith at previous festivals. We want to play our part in dismantling the extremist stereotyping and narrative the Muslim faith and community have laboured under, and to provide a space of welcome and conversation.
Read full article HERE.