An invitation to a distinguished Muslim scholar to preach at a eucharist service in an Oxford church on Sunday has triggered complaints from traditionalists.
Monawar Hussain, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honors last year for services to interfaith relations and the community, will deliver a sermon at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, following a request from Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson.
The move has been denounced by Archbishop Cranmer, a conservative Anglican blog authored by Adrian Hilton. He said he failed to understand how an imam delivering a sermon at a eucharist service would respect “a sacred act of divine worship which is supposed to be conducted according to the rites and formularies of the Church of England”.
The diocese of Oxford has received 12 complaints about the sermon as a result of Cranmer’s blogpost, only three of which come from the local area.
In a statement endorsed by the university, the diocese said Hussain was “most welcome” to speak following the eucharist. It added: “Monawar is not the first person from another faith community to be invited to preach the university sermon. His presence on Sunday reflects the strong commitment of the church, university and other faith communities to interfaith engagement.”
Hussain, who is Muslim tutor at Eton College and the founder of the Oxford Foundation, which promotes religious and racial harmony, said: “There are many different voices in all our traditions. Some Muslims might not be happy at my presence at the church.
Source: The Guardian