A Chaplain to Royalty Does This after Attempts to Silence Him on Islamic Prayer
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One of the Queen of England's chaplains has resigned just one week after he criticized an Islamic prayer reading at a Scottish church.
Rev. Gavin Ashenden said he left his position after being confronted by officials for speaking against prayers sung from the Koran during an Epiphany service at St. Mary's Cathedral, Independent UK reported.
Ashenden has spoken against the dangers of Islam for some time, but after years of "attempts to silence or defenestrate" him, he announced his resignation.
"After a conversation instigated by officials at Buckingham Palace, I decided the most honourable course of action was to resign," he wrote on his personal blog Sunday.
The reading was part of an effort to improve interfaith relations in the city of Glasgow. However, Ashenden called the reading "blasphemy" and a "serious offence" because it denied the deity of Jesus Christ.
"The problem with what happened in Glasgow was that, although it was presented as a way of building bridges and a way of educating people, it was done badly, in the wrong way, in the wrong place, in the wrong context," Ashenden told BBC's Radio 4.
"There are a number of members of the congregation who have written open letters complaining of the profound upset they experienced as people who are part of the Eucharistic community who had come to worship Christ," he added.
Ashenden believes the cathedral should apologize for permitting Allah to be worshiped during the service, especially as persecution against Christians is at an all time high.
"Quite apart from the wide distress (some would say blasphemy) caused by denigrating Jesus in Christian worship, apologies may be due to the Christians suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere," he wrote in a letter in The Times.
"To have the core of a faith for which they have suffered deeply treated so casually by senior Western clergy such as the Provost of Glasgow is unlikely to have a positive outcome," he wrote.
Ashenden served as one of the Queen's 34 chaplains for nine years.
During the course of his service, Ashenden has made remarks on Islam. In 2015, he wrote that Islam "incited people to violence" and that passages in the Koran "tell you to kill your enemies," The Independent reported.
In a recent blog post titled "The Choice is Between Jesus and Mohammad" he called the decision to read the Koran at the Feast of the Epiphany a "glowing cherry of offence to the iced cake of incompetence."
He announced his resignation three days later.
"Because I think it a higher and more compelling duty to speak out on behalf of the faith, than to retain a public honour which precludes me doing so at this time, I resigned my post," he wrote in his blog.
He cites that part of the reason for the announcement was that BBC's Radio 4 would air a broadcasted segment on him and the Koran controversy. He anticipated the Sunday morning program would mention his resignation despite his requests for the contrary.
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