In January of this year, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland, hosted a guest reader for this Scottish Episcopal Church’s Feast of the Epiphany worship service. The reader was neither clergy nor Christian layman. Indeed, the reader was not a Christian at all. Moreover, the reading was not from the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, or some other Christian text. The guest reader was a Muslim woman, Madinah Javed, an undergraduate law student and self-described activist, who read, in Arabic, from the Quran.
Understandably, this has resulted in a great furor among Anglicans and many other Christians throughout Britain and the world.
In a blog post titled, “Keeping the Faith,” the Cathedral’s Provost, the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, defended the inclusion of Ms. Javed’s reading on the grounds that it had been done before at St. Mary’s and that it was an effective tool for outreach to Muslims in the community. According to Holdsworth, the service created “dialogue and great interest and an enormous amount of good will.”
Perhaps among Muslims, but this does not seem to be the case among many Christians. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester (and a former Latimer House Luncheon speaker), strongly condemned the Cathedral’s decision to include such a reading in its worship service:
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