Westminster Abbey has been accused of “denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ” after the prophet Muhammad was described as “the chosen one” in a prayer at a First World War service. The Abbey, which is a Royal Peculiar under the personal jurisdiction of the Queen and outside the Church of England’s diocesan structures, included a Turkish prayer in the recent service of commemoration and thanksgiving marking the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign. The Archbishop Cranmer noted that God was thanked in the Abbey, and referred to as Allah, and there was no problem with that because Allah is simply Arabic for ‘The God’.

“We may quibble over conflicting doctrines and cavil over contradictory revelations, but if St Paul can address a meeting of the Areopagus and exhort the incipient virtue in the ignorance of Athenian religiosity, whether you call the Creator of the universe ‘God’, ‘Jehovah’, ‘YHWH’, ‘I Am’ or ‘Allah’, you are acknowledging (in mirrors darkly) the One who does not live in temples built by human hands, and the One who gives everyone life and breath and everything else,” he wrote. But Cranmer said there was a problem with the prayer the congregation heard, which began “Bizleri yaratan” and included the phrase: “Muhammed Mustafa”. He wrote: “It’s hard to be offended by something one cannot understand. And there can be no offence at all caused by any exhortation of God in Turkish, for God is not an Englishman.” FULL REPORT