[Aside: I'm sure some of my more 'librul' friends feel comfortable drawing similarities between B.XVI and M.A]
The full text from Ruth Gledhill:
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful.Upon the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, Son of Mary, the Word of God, the Messenger of mercy, I would like to congratulate the followers of Abrahamic faiths, especially the followers of Jesus Christ, and the people of Britain.Part of me wants to quote James 2:19, but even that's to harsh. I'm not adverse, however, to acknowledging the subtleties of the situation and quote Mr. Stephen Smith the head of Britain's Holocaust Centre, “Many of his political and historical views are very dangerous and do not uphold the views in his message. I think this benign message is deception. People need to be alert to the fact that this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
The Almighty created the universe for human brings and created human beings for Himself. He created every human being with the ability to reach the heights of perfection. He called on man to aim to live a good life in this world and to work to achieve his everlasting life. On this difficult and challenging journey of man from dust to the divine, He did not leave humanity to its own devices. He chose from those He created the most excellent as His Prophets to guide humanity.
All prophets called for the worship of God, for love and brotherhood, for the establishment of justice and for love in human society. Jesus, the Son of Mary is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice.
All the problems that have bedevilled humanity throughout the ages came about because of humanity followed an evil path and disregarded the message of the Prophets.
Now as human society faces a myriad of problems and succession of complex crises, the root causes can be found in humanity's rejection of that message, in particular the indifference of some governments and powers towards the teachings of the divine Prophets, especially those of Jesus Christ.
The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy which have made life hard for humanity and continue to put great pressure on all nations have come about because the Prophets have been forgotten, the Almighty has been forgotten and some leaders are estranged from God.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime. The solution to today's problems can be found in a return to the call of the divine Prophets. The solution to these crises can be found in following the prophets -- they were sent by the Almighty, for the happiness of humanity.
Today, little by little, the general will of nations is calling for fundamental change. This is now taking place. Demands for change, demands for transformation, demands for a return to human values are fast becoming the foremost demands of nations of the world. The response to this demand must be real and true. The prerequisite to this change is a change in goals, intentions and directions. If tyrannical goals are repackaged in an attractive and deceptive package and imposed on nations again, the people, awakened, will stand up against them.
Fortunately, today as crises and despair multiply, a wave of hope is gathering momentum. Hope for a brighter future, hope for the establishment of justice, hope for real peace, hope for finding virtuous and pious rulers who love the people and want to serve them – and this is what the Almighty has promised.
We believe, Jesus Christ will return, together with one of the children of revered
messenger of Islam and would lead the world to a rightful point; to a world of love, brotherhood and justice. The responsibility of all followers of Christ and followers of Abrahamic faiths is to move towards that and to prepare the way for the fulfilment of this divine promise and the arrival of that joyful, shining and wonderful age. I hope that the collective will of nations will unite in the not too distant future and with the grace of the Almighty Lord, that shining age will come to rule the earth.
Once again, I congratulate one and all on the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity peace and
brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success.'
Whether this is really an act of deception is only known to Mahmoud, but his past actions and statements belie the point that as syrupy and sweet as the rhetoric may be there is vinegar behind the gilded flourishes of brotherhood and commonality.
He speaks of righting injustices, of being charitable, of fighting tyranny and discrimination, practically sings the Magnificat of Mary, though he is no Marian supplicant or imitator. To quote the same Jesus that Mahmoud extols:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye (Matthew 7:3-5)