Preacher at Ian Paisley's former church denounces Islam as a 'wicked religion'
Just two weeks after a scandal was sparked by a preacher slating Islam as "satanic", another preacher has launched a broadside against the faith.
The minister at Lord Bannside's former church, Martyr's Memorial Free Presbyterian in east Belfast, has blasted Islam as a "violent intolerant wicked religion".
The Rev Ian Brown was speaking at a recent Sunday evening service in defence of Pastor James McConnell, whom he described as a "prophet".
The Free Presbyterian minister told his flock last Sunday evening he felt the situation had become "thoroughly ridiculous".
In an sermon posted on the Martyr's Memorial website, Rev Brown is heard saying: "Now the allies and sympathisers of Islam are up on their hind legs; what we can call that secularist Taliban who dominate our medium, they are sharpening their literary sabres and they are swinging for him, their attempt at their own version of a verbal hanging with a couple of blistering attacks which were passed off as interviews on the Nolan radio and television shows."
He blamed "anti-Christian intolerance" for the row.
"This all becoming thoroughly ridiculous.
Bizarre," he added. "I'm thinking of the core of this controversy, at the heart of this firestorm that has erupted over the past week, is intolerance.
"And this intolerance did not come from Mr McConnell... anti-Christian intolerance is alive and kicking in our world today."
He also attacked Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
"Is it not hugely ironic that one of his loudest critics is Martin McGuinness, of IRA/Sinn Fein, who now has the nerve to stand up and present himself... whenever the terrorists organisation, of which he was a part, murdered people in this city, such as the young academic Edgar Graham," he said.
"They were judge, jury and executioner in this country, so this is so sweet coming from a leader of a band of murderous thugs who rode to political power on the back of a campaign of terror which left hundreds murdered and thousands injured."
Rev Brown next turned his attention to the main Protestant churches, accusing them as "hollow love and no truth". However the minister reserved his sternest words for Islam.
"People in the west need to know that the image of Islam as a violent intolerant wicked religion is in fact true and growing more so every day," he told his congregation.
"It is violent, it is religion that was born out of violence".
Two Sundays ago Pastor James McConnell told his congregation at Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in north Belfast that Islam was "satanic" and a "doctrine spawned in hell". The sermon was inspired by an incident in Sudan, during which a young mother was sentenced to 100 lashes and death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
The pastor's words sparked an outcry and demands for an apology from the Muslim community in Belfast. Police are investigating the remarks as possible hate crime. The row intensified after Peter Robinson said the pastor had his backing.
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