Why Aaqil Ahmed shouldn't run the BBC's Religion & Ethics Department

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Offline the leveller

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Here below is the full article regarding the BBC’s changes to Songs of Praise, by BBC's head of religion and ethics, Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC's first Muslim head of religion, appointed  in 2009 by former Director-general Mark Thompson, a Roman Catholic, who claims that religion is important to him and to the corporation.

The write up sounds quite innocuous and reasonably acceptable given the assurances further down- except that – it gives some prominence to a religion which, and was banned from Britain by Henry VIII, is Treason, and is further enshrined in the Constitutional Bill of Rights 1688


I A B doe sweare That I doe from my Heart Abhorr, Detest and Abjure as Impious and Hereticall this damnable Doctrine and Position That Princes Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope or any Authority of the See of Rome may be deposed or murdered by their Subjects or any otherwhatsoever. And I doe declare That noe Forreigne Prince Person Prelate, State or Potentate hathor ought to have any Jurisdiction Power Superiority Preeminence or Authoritie Ecclesiasticallor Spirituall within this Realme Soe helpe me God.

That the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons being the two Houses of Parlyament should continue to sitt and with their Majesties Royall Concurrence make effectuall Provision for the Setlement of the Religion Lawes and Libertiesof this Kingdome soe that the same for the future might not be in danger againe of being subverted, To which the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons did agree andproceede to act accordingly. Now in pursuance of the Premisses the said Lords Spirituall andTemporall and Commons in Parlyament assembled for the ratifying confirming and establishingthe said Declaration and the Articles Clauses Matters and Things therein contained by the Force of a Law made in due Forme by Authority of Parlyament doe pray that it may be declared and enacted That all and singular the Rights and Liberties asserted and claimed in the said Declaration are the true auntient and indubitable Rights and Liberties of the People of this Kingdome and soe shall be esteemed allowed adjudged deemed and taken to be and that alland every the particulars aforesaid shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as they areexpressed in the said Declaration And all Officers and Ministers whatsoever shall serve their Majestyes and their Successors according to the same in all times to come. ,

the Coronation Oath 1953,

Will You to the utmost of Your power Maintaine the Laws of God the true Profession of the Gospell and the Protestant Reformed Religion Established by Law?

And will You Preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of this Realme and to the Churches committed to their Charge all such Rights and Priviledges as by Law doe or shall appertaine unto them or any of them.

King and Queene.

All this I Promise to doe.

After this the King and Queene laying His and Her Hand upon the Holy Gospells,shall say,

King and Queene

The things which I have here before promised I will performe and Keepe Soe help me God.

Then the King and Queene shall kisse the Booke.


Oath to be adminstered to all future Kings and Queens.

And the said Oath shall be in like manner Adminstred to every King or Queene who shall Succeede to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme at their respective Coronations by one of the Archbishops or Bishops of this Realme of England for the time being to be there unto appointed by such King or Queene respectively and in the Presence of all Persons that shall be Attending Assisting or otherwise present at such their respective Coronations Any Law Statute or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

and  the

37th Article of the Church:-

XXXVII. Of the Civil Magistrates.

THE Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England and other her dominions, unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not nor ought to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
     Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief government, by which titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended, we give not to our princes the ministering either of God's word or of sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen doth most plainly testify: but that only prerogative which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself, that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.
    The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences.
     It is lawful for Christian men at the commandment of the Magistrate to wear weapons and serve in the wars.



The main reason for this is because, to give jurisdiction to the Holy See/Vatican under the Pope means we surrender our sovereignty to it, because the Pope is said to be God’s agent on Earth, and all other powers and laws are null and void to him, giving him overall power in the country to rule.


Also the Vatican have made a Codex agreement with Islam, what is to stop this being a mission creep, to force Islam and Sharia onto the population by stealth if fundamentalists get to influence it on behalf of the Saudis?




16 November 2014 Last updated at 01:35
Songs of Praise to change format as part of relaunch
Caroline WyattBy Caroline WyattReligious affairs correspondent, BBC News
The BBC's flagship worship show, Songs of Praise, is updating its programme as part of a relaunch.

From Sunday it will drop its traditional format of an Anglican service recorded in a cathedral, parish, or other church.

Each edition will now feature a range of churches, locations, congregations, and choirs.

The BBC's head of religion and ethics, Aaqil Ahmed, said a "different form of Christianity" had emerged in the UK.

The show will also change to a magazine format that reflects what the programme describes as the reality of Christian faith across the country.
Inclusive programme
This is not the first makeover for Songs of Praise - which was created in 1961.

Over the years, the face of Christianity in Britain has changed significantly, along with the UK's population, and the programme's audience has aged. It is now in its mid-70s.

In contrast, increased immigration - for example from Eastern Europe - has led to the growth of younger congregations, such as those at Catholic churches and at Pentecostal and black majority churches.

Mr Ahmed said: "At the heart of this, really, is the fact that Christianity has changed in Britain.

"Songs of Praise has been going for over 53 years, and no TV show can stay the same for ever."

He added: "We want to appeal to a different Christian audience, who may not necessarily have seen themselves every week on Songs of Praise in the past. Sometimes you have to find a way of reaching out to that audience to say, 'this really is for you.'"

In the new format, rather than going to one church a week, the programme will feature music performances from various different denominations, and different presenters for some of the segments.
Song as prayer
Those who have grown up watching Songs of Praise say they are looking forward to a more inclusive programme each week.

Theology teacher Dr Dulcie Dixon, who is also a religious broadcaster, told the BBC: "I've always watched it, and I've always loved it more when they've had gospel singers and choirs on, and it's nice to know they're going to widen their range of churches and singers. Music to faith is like a hand in a glove - it's a part of it.

"For Songs of Praise to include more choirs and more black majority church congregations is a great move, and that will perhaps enhance their audience.

"When you hear the radio or watch TV it's nice to hear somebody who looks like you and sounds like you."

The programme's first episode in the new format will be presented by Connie Fisher, the Welsh singer who won the BBC One show, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

It will include a segment presented by Paralympian Ade Adepitan, and seven songs broadcast from different venues, including a Catholic cathedral, a Pentecostal church, and a Salvation Army training college.

Lord, You Are Good, a song by Grammy Award-winning US artist Israel Houghton, will also be performed at the Birmingham Christian Centre, an inner-city Pentecostal congregation.

Nicholas McCarthy, a pianist born without a right hand, will perform Ave Maria from the crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Another song will come from the Salvation Army's training college in Denmark Hill, in south London.
Varied performers
Next week's programme will include songs from Ruach City Church, a gospel congregation in Brixton, south London, and Canterbury Cathedral, as well as a performance by Dona Oxford, the American soul singer.

There will also be more segments every week featuring current issues that affect the faithful, such as the persecution of Syrian Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

The change was welcomed by the Church of England's director of communications, the Reverend Arun Arora, who said: "The new format will welcome in something about people living out [their] faith, day to day, week to week, not just on a Sunday - and how their faith informs their approach to life and how their faith transforms lives."

The programme will still feature the more traditional choirs and hymns of worship for its current audience, in the hope that it will be able to celebrate many more years in good voice.

But Mr Ahmed, the BBC's first Muslim head of religion, said the new Songs of Praise would not include other faiths.

"Not in a million years. There are lots of other multi-faith shows on the BBC, but Songs of Praise is a Christian music show. Though if you come to it as not a Christian, you'll also get something out of it."


BBC © 2014

Subject: Why Aaqil Ahmed shouldn't run the BBC's Religion & Ethics Department
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:51:44 +0000


Why Aaqil Ahmed shouldn't run the BBC's Religion & Ethics Department

I’m sure Mr Ahmed is a good and devout man - but he is not up to the job, argues George Pitcher.

George Pitcher

11:36AM BST 12 Apr 2009

We’ll soon know whether the BBC takes religion seriously, when it appoints a new head of commissioning for its re-structured Religion & Ethics Department. Director-general Mark Thompson, a Roman Catholic, claims that religion is important to him and to the corporation, but it’s difficult to guess in what state of mind he left his meeting with Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace last month. Evidently, Dr Williams had expressed concern that the BBC, our state broadcaster, should not downplay or marginalise Christianity, our state religion.

Mr Thompson is a thoughtful man, so one hopes he took the Archbishop’s admonitions to heart. Or he may have taken the view that no prelate was going to dictate the BBC’s religious policy to him and the silly old fool needed to be taught a lesson.

If his state of mind tended towards the latter, then what better way to achieve that objective than to make sure that a Muslim was appointed, in the name of “diversity”, to the new role? The post may not directly be within his gift, but the director-general could surely pull a few strings.

Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim and commissioning editor for religion at Channel 4, is apparently telling friends that the BBC job is his for the taking. He is tipped as a favourite, though whether the tipping is coming from him or other people is unclear. The appointment should have been wrapped up by now, but the interviews have been delayed a couple of weeks, such perhaps are the sensitivities attached to this issue.

I suppose a case can be constructed that the person in charge of our national broadcaster’s religious coverage doesn’t need to be a member of our national faith, or that the 72 per cent of the British population who describe themselves as Christian, most of whom are presumably licence-payers, are best served by someone from a faith of little more than two per cent of the population.

Indeed, we could argue that an agnostic or atheist might bring an interesting objectivity to religious broadcasting. And so might a Muslim to Christianity. You don’t have to be a footballer to be a football commentator. The Guardian has a talented Muslim religious affairs correspondent. Why not?

But I don’t say that Mr Ahmed shouldn’t have the job because he’s a Muslim. I say that he shouldn’t have the job because I doubt he is up to it.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m sure Mr Ahmed is a good and devout man, kind to old ladies and small animals. And I don’t say that he has an aggressive attitude to Christianity, though some do. I’m just saying that his work to date seems lightweight and he should be judged accordingly on it.

Channel 4’s recent series Christianity: A History, for which Mr Ahmed was responsible, was a showcase of dumbed-down religion, a History of Platitudes. We had Howard Jacobson with the scoop that Jesus was a Jew. Michael Portillo reading off an autocue that it was a shame Constantine adopted Christianity. Ann Widdecombe saying it was a pity the Reformation was bloody. And, God help us, Cherie Blair assessing contemporary Christianity. Some see a pattern here, a mild ridicule of Christianity, but the overall theme seems banal.

The BBC has just announced its own six-part History of Christianity with Diarmaid MacCulloch. Mr Ahmed would possibly be punching above his weight if he’d commissioned it.

This brings me to Rod Liddle, writing in the current edition of The Spectator that more Church of England bishops should be “socking it to the Mozzies”. He should know better. It’s precisely “New Right” language like that which could encourage his former employers at the BBC to appoint a Muslim out of spite.

But perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much about the BBC undermining the Church of England. My bet is that the Church will still be here long after the BBC has disappeared.

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