Birmingham Pastor calls Islam a “religion of hatred"
Categories: Latest News
Wednesday July 15 2015
The Daily Mirror reports that a pastor has been “slammed” for describing Islam as a “religion of hatred” and comparing homosexuals to paedophiles in one of his Sunday sermons.
Pastor Steve Crosthwaite, of Wythall’s Hollywood Christian Life Centre in Birmingham, told his congregation of at least 60 people: “Islam is not a peaceful religion. Islam is a religion of hatred,” the Birmingham Mail reports.
Pastor Crosthwaite continued to condemn Islam in a 30-minute sermon saying:
“Islam teaches there are permissible sins. For a Muslim to tell you ‘I love you, I’m a peaceful guy’ and it be a lie, well, Allah forgives that sin.”
“For a Muslim to go out and kill someone, to commit murder in the name of Allah, well, that’s a permissible sin.”
“Islam is not a peaceful religion, but we’re not allowed to say that are we? In our multicultural society we’re not allowed to say things like that.”
The Daily Mirror reports that Pastor Crosthwaite’s sermon, deemed “highly offensive” by a local minister, was entitled ‘Judging Others’.
Reverend Anthony Howe, minister at the Unitarian Church in the same area said the sermon was “disgusting and selfish”.
“Steve’s comments equating homosexuality with paedophilia are highly offensive,” said Howe.
“To say that Muslims are liars and that Islam is completely based on hatred is a highly insensitive and offensive thing to say.”
“At a time when people of different religions should be working together for peace it is sad to hear of such outrageous comments being made,” Reverend Howe added.
Last month a pastor from Northern Ireland, James McConnell, said he had “no regrets” about describing Islam as “heathen”, “satanic” and a “doctrine spawned in hell”.
McConnell faces a possible six month jail sentence after being charged with “sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive.”
Pastor Crosthwaite apologised for his remarks after being interviewed by Birmingham Mail.
When the 37 year old cleric’s views on Islam were read back to him, he confessed: “Yes, that’s what I said.”
“I think it was in the context of the sermon, it was a throwaway comment. I’m sorry for that. I’ve generalised in a way that I should not have done.”
Pastor Crosthwaite added that he knew many Muslims who are “fine, upstanding and caring” members of communities in Birmingham.
Crosthwaite, having expressed regret, then argued that his comments, if contextualised, would not seem as offensive:
“Perhaps I’ve offended some people unduly. I had no desire to do that.”
“I think some things can be taken out of context and they could become offensive. I’ve learned that lesson.”
“The comments I made were to the congregation of my church. They appear very different when taken out of that context.”
The Birmingham Mail reports that one of the city’s councillors, Waseem Zaffar, chairman of the city council’s corporate resources committee and Labour councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth ward, has offered to meet Pastor Crosthwaite to discuss Islam.
“I find it insensitive and deeply sad that these comments have been made by someone so senior,” said Zaffar.
“I would be more than happy, with a group of other Muslims, to sit down with him and talk about Islam.”