If you ask the organization Mypeace in Australia, Jesus wasn't God, but he was a good prophet of Islam. That's just one of the messages the group is set to debut on Australian buses in September. And it's just one of the messages already plastered on billboards around Sydney.
As CNS News reports, "roadside billboards in the metropolitan Sydney area carry one of four simple slogans: 'Jesus: A Prophet of Islam,' 'Holy Qur’an: The Final Testament,' 'Muhammad: Mercy to Mankind' and 'Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers.'
Now, those posters have now been adapted, and will appear on the outside of Sydney buses this fall:
"Mypeace.com.au a Muslim Organisation based in Sydney is launching a bold venture and the first of its kind in its public awareness campaign by placing ads about Islam on Sydney buses," the group's site explains. "Starting on September 27th of May 2011, for four weeks, several buses in Sydney will start carrying messages on the religion of Islam. Each ad will invite interested individuals to call MyPeace’s toll free number ... and converse live with a Muslims to ask questions about Islam; request a free copy of the Quran and Islamic literature."
The group adds that the bus ads will appear on the backs and sides of 40 buses traveling throughout Sydney.
But the ads are causing quite a stir. One billboard claiming Jesus is a prophet of Islam has already been vandalized, and now an Australian bishop is speaking out.
CNS News reports:
“In Australia with its Christian heritage a billboard carrying the statement ‘Jesus A prophet of Islam’ is provocative and offensive to Christians,” Julian Porteous, auxiliary bishop at the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, responded in an article.
“Central to Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ is more than a prophet,” he said. “He is the Son of God. He is acclaimed Lord and Savior of humanity. This statement is a direct assault on Christian beliefs.”
Porteous said religions should not “set out to antagonize those with differing beliefs.”
“Dialogue between the religions can only take place when it is founded in mutual respect. It is not fostered by provocative statements.”
Porteous urged Mypeace to withdraw the ads.
Considering the tenants of the Christian faith, and what Islam believes about Jesus, the group's claims are not in line with Christianity's understanding of Jesus. For example, as CNS points out, Islam denies Christ's "divinity, crucifixion, and resurrection."
Still, in a video posted on Mypeace's website, it claims that Islam is the "religion of Jesus and Moses:"