Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 214: Muslim author Reza Azlan's anti-Christian apologetic against the historic, C1 rooted Christian understanding of Jesus is being improperly presented in major US media as if it were objective history . . .

By their biases and suppressed material contexts shall ye know them, it seems.

Per a Fox News report that just caught my eye, Azlan's anti-Christian Muslim apologetic seems to be riding a tide of favourable media coverage in the US to no 2 on Amazon. However, there are troubling aspects -- the "Liberal" media seem to be consistently suppressing that context, and the writing by Azlan is being portrayed as if it were objective history rather than attractively packaged Muslim apologetics.

I think it appropriate to quickly highlight the just linked as a heads-up, as we are sure to see the claims presented as if they were cold hard fact based on scholarly research. 

We must not be caught off guard.

Fox's John S Dickerson comments:
Reza Aslan, author of the new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been interviewed on a host of media outlets in the last week. Riding a publicity wave, the book has surged to #2 on Amazon's list.

Media reports have introduced Aslan as a “religion scholar” but have failed to mention that he is a devout Muslim.

His book is not a historian’s report on Jesus. It is an educated Muslim’s opinion about Jesus -- yet the book is being peddled as objective history on national TV and radio . . . .

“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years. Its conclusions are long-held Islamic claims—namely, that Jesus was a zealous prophet type who didn’t claim to be God, that Christians have misunderstood him, and that the Christian Gospels are not the actual words or life of Jesus but “myth.”
These claims are not new or unique. They are hundreds of years old among Muslims. Sadly, readers who have listened to interviews on NPR, "The Daily Show," Huffington Post or MSNBC may pick up the book expecting an unbiased and historic report on Jesus and first century Jewish culture. (I will let my Jewish friends address Aslan’s statement on MSNBC that, “there were certainly a lot of Jewish terrorists in first century Palestine.”) . . . . 

Aslan informs us that we cannot trust the Gospel of Mark--because it was written 40 years after Jesus’ death. He then chides us to trust his new book, written almost 2,000 years later.
  Dickerson then observes:

I believe in Aslan’s right to hold and propagate any opinion. It’s a right that, ironically, Christians do not have in many Muslim countries. 

My concern is that national media coverage be smart and forthright about this conflict of interest, just as it would be if I—a Christian author and pastor—wrote a book about Muhammad.

Pouring praise onto “Zealot” as new information about Jesus, without explaining its author’s devotion to a combatting religion, is blatant bias. This same bias would be unthinkable if the Christian and Muslim roles were reversed.
Sobering words.

Before parting, I again draw attention to Lee Strobel's video presentation on Jesus, which is based on interviews with leading scholars in response to commonly held skeptical and dismissive views:

  The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.

(For more, cf. the 101 discussion here on in context.)

"Whose report will we believe . . . ?" And, why? END