July 10, 2005

The Reverend George Bush Disses Mohammed

No, not our George Bush, but an ancestor of George's, with the same name. The Reverend George Bush was a scholar, divinity student, writer and eventually an avid follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, who had extended conversations with angels and spirits and who, some say, was as daffy as the duck.

Does it run in the family?

Al-Ahram tells the story of how our modern day George Bush's ancestor wrote a biography of Mohammed, published by Harper & Brothers in 1837 (you can actually read the entire book here) in which he refers to the prophet as the "imposter" and to Muslims as "locusts." The Al-Ahram story centers around a debate by censors within the Islamic Research Center as to whether the book should be banned in the Muslim world because of some of its disrespectful and inaccurate nature. The final decision, we learn, is that the book should not be censored because it is "a piece of documentation which portrays a lively picture of Prophet Mohamed's life", and "praises the prophet in almost 80 per cent of its content." I wonder if the Catholic Church would tolerate books about Jesus Christ which were only 80% accurate.

Read the Reverend George Bush's bio is here.

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