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Report: Protests at Taverner’s Allah in cathedral

June 17, 2007

From the Telegraph (tip to Hallowed Ground):

The premiere of a work by the leading composer Sir John Taverner in Westminster Cathedral next week has provoked discord because it glorifies the Muslim deity Allah.

Traditionalist Roman Catholics are planning to converge on the cathedral on Tuesday evening to protest over the work, which includes the singing of the 99 names of Allah.

A number have written to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, expressing concern that the Church will be seen to be endorsing the Islamic idea of God.

But having failed to halt the concert, dozens are now threatening to picket the cathedral with placards and banners quoting Biblical passages that affirm the divinity of Christ.

Sir John’s music featured in the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and his new work, The Beautiful Names, was commissioned by his friend the Prince of Wales.

Mgr Mark Langham, the administrator of the cathedral, defended the concert.

He said that it was a musical performance rather than a “liturgical act of worship”.

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