It was a delight too share a platform with Baha Hiro at the Duck Cafe, in Kuala Lumpur to discuss Palestine and how to challenge Israeli Apartheid and achieve a just and lasting peace.
Following last week’s lecture tour in Kuala Lumpur, I have been appointed a Senior Non-Resident Scholar of the Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Malaysia
A presentation given in the Centre for Advanced Islamic Studies, University of Malaysia, at the Second International Conference on Palestine Studies
Download a pdf copy of my presentation.
On 28 August 1963 Martin Luther King, co-led a civil-rights march of 250,000 people in Washington DC against racism and segregation. In what has become probably the most well-known and widely quoted speech in history, King shared his dream of a diverse but united multi-ethnic nation:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their character. When we let freedom ring, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
The origins of institutional racism can be traced back to the European colonization of the Americas and Africa and to the slave trade. With the abolition of slavery, institutional racism evolved into American segregation, German Antisemitism and South African Apartheid.Continue reading
May I begin by thanking Professor Datuk Azizian Baharuddin, the director of Universiti Malaya Centre for Civilisational Dialogue (UMCCD), for the kind invitation to give this lecture. I also wish to thank Norma Hashim and Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail of the Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies for co-hosting this lecture and also for sponsoring my visit.
Over thirty years ago I gave an annual lecture to 16–17-year-old students at Guildford Grammar School, on virtually the same subject as we are considering today. I began by warning the students that there would be homework to motivate them to pay attention. And I say the same to you today – there will be homework.
The title I have been given is “Inevitable Solutions to the Palestinian Plight”. Note the first two words – ‘Inevitable” and “Solutions” because there are many solutions to the Palestinian plight. I will major on three today. These three are in fact mutually exclusive. How then can they be inevitable? That in part depends on you, me and seven billion other people in the world. Let me illustrate. Climate change is inevitable, it is happening, but the solutions (and there are several) depend on us and how seriously we adjust our values, our priorities and life styles. So it is with resolving the Palestinian plight.
You may download a pdf version of this lecture here.Continue reading
Fifty years ago this month, I began to have a sense of God’s call on my life. A few years later, I was humbled to be accepted for training for the Anglican ministry. But there was just one problem. I was terrified at the thought of having to take funerals. But the Lord was gracious. He removed my fears while at theological college in Bristol. Three months after our first daughter was born, my wife Joanna’s father died suddenly. Then, just a month later, my own father died suddenly. At the age of 29 I became the oldest man in either family. In one month, I gained all the personal experience I needed to be able to empathise with others. And a verse from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians took on special significance.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)Continue reading
Africa has a long history of racism and colonialism, so it’s quite surprising to find many Africans who support Zionism – despite its racist roots. We dug into the root cause of this phenomenon by talking to an Anglican minister who is no stranger to the subject: Stephen Sizer. He is the author of “Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?” He explains how foreign funding forces African churches to align their doctrines with Christian Zionist benefactors in the United States. Sizer also calls for a return to the authentic faith initiated by Jesus-that of peacemakers, not widowmakers. A faith that embraces all regardless of race, tribe, social status, or other criteria.
An interview for African Stream
African Stream is a pan-African digital media organization based exclusively on social-media platforms, focused on giving a voice to all Africans both at home and abroad through cutting-edge, African-centered content. African Stream currently has around 300k subscribers.
The meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan explained. A short clip from the film With God on our Side produced by Porter Speakman and shared by permission. This is my shortest and most popular sermon.
I unpack the parable in more detail here On Being a Good Neighbour (Luke 10:25-37)
You may view the entire film on Youtube here.
With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole. Is there a Biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel? A way that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians?
Director: Porter Speakman Jr.
The term “genocide” was formulated by the Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin against the backdrop of the Holocaust. It was codified as a crime under international law in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The definition of genocide, as set out in Article 2 of the Convention, is simple and straightforward, its first three elements clearly reflecting Israeli policies and actions towards the Palestinian people since initiating its process of systematic genocide in 1947:
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction
in whole or in part.
This week I recorded an interview with Faisal Mohammad for Turkish TRT entitled ‘Israel’s Strategic Weapon: America’s Christian Zionists’. It has apparently gone viral with over 300k+ viewings in jless than a week. The programme explores why Netanyahu cited the Hebrew scriptures to justify his genocide in Gaza. You can view the programme on the following channels:
Israel’s war rhetoric is laced with biblical references, a ploy aimed at wooing Christian Evangelicals in the US. Here’s how British theologian Stephen Sizer unpacks this phenomenon.
Read the article by Faisal Mohammad for TRT based on the interview here
For a more comprehensive refutation and deconstruction of Christian Zionism see here:
Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions (an introduction and summary of below)Continue reading
Like me you are probably experiencing very strong emotions – shock, grief, anger, numbness but mostly anger.
Shock at the scenes from Gaza that are truly apocalyptic. Shock at the mounting evidence of genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Shock that the world appears unable, or unwilling, to stop it.
Grief at the unimaginable suffering of the beautiful people of Gaza. Grief at the countless lives lost, families wiped out, those who will never be found, the trauma, the injured and of course, the children.
And anger, anger at the callous barbarity of Israel’s incessant bombing of Gaza. Anger at the complicity of Western leaders still defending Israel, still providing weapons for Israel, sending naval vessels to defend Israel, or vetoing UN resolutions critical of Israel. Anger at our religious leaders, especially in the Church of England, who refuse to condemn Israel’s genocidal ethnic cleansing or call for an immediate ceasefire, as the Roman Catholic Church has done, presumably for fear of upsetting their cosy relationship with the Zionist Lobby.
What can I say today that will make a difference to the shock, grief and anger you may feel too? Let us consider our Psalm for today – Psalm 70. I’ve broken the Psalm into four:Continue reading