Couldn’t Sky Arts find a Muslim?

“Three films on the three great Abrahamic faiths; three speeches by experts on those faiths. It sounds like the making of an admirably inclusive season of programming on Sky Arts, arranged by the channel’s chairman, Lord St John of Fawsley. A problem, however, looms. For while the lecture on Judaism is to be delivered by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, and the talk on Christianity is to be given by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the contribution on Islam is to be provided by Hans Küng, who isn’t a Muslim, but another Catholic. Questions are being asked why nobody who actually practises Islam is deemed suitable….

“The Muslim Council of Britain, while saying it wants to see the lecture before criticising it, comments: ‘Hans Küng is a respected advocate of interfaith dialogue and it may well be that he will do a splendid job of explaining about Islam and Islamic architecture. It is somewhat regrettable that, unlike for the other faiths … the programme makers seem to have been unable to procure the services of someone who was actually a believer in the religion to present the programme’.”

Oliver Marre in the Observer, 25 May 2008