Donald Eadie, the widely valued former Chairman of the Birmingham District of the Methodist Church, has circulated a message from Chris Hewer, the Bishop of Birmingham’s former advisor on relations with people of other faiths. Chris Hewer now works in a variety of contexts deepening an understanding of Islam.

“One of the joys of the internet era is that one never knows who is looking at one’s material. Without notice, this morning I received a message from a Muslim student in Azerbaijan, who wanted to share with me his reaction to the killings in Paris, which it is reported that the perpetrators claimed to be “to avenge the honour of the Prophet.”

clearing snow church

“Over the last few days, Muslims worldwide have been celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet (Milad ul-Nabi). This young man and a friend decided to do so in a way that would honour Muhammad’s teaching, in which he listed as a work of charity “to remove a stone from a path so that someone else does not trip on it.” In the course of his message, he cited the well-known saying of Imam Ali that every human being is a brother or sister in humanity. In this spirit, the two young men rose early today and went to clear away the snow from the entrance to their local church, so that the Christians who came to worship would have an easy passage to the doors. This was their parable of how the honour of Muhammad should be defended and his birth celebrated.

“I have no way of verifying this material but it seems to me to be wholly credible. Sufficient information was given to provide basic substantiation. Adverse weather and a sudden snowfall has affected the area. From the photographs sent, I have selected the two attached”.


Ed: This reminds us of other instances of good will:

Muslims help to secure the long-term future of Bradford’s Reform Synagogue,

egypt muslims protect church

and several others, including a peace cordon outside churches in Egypt by Muslims: