Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Article excerpt

Given the fault-line between religion and politics in the Muslim world and the priority of Sharia over secular law, what can Muslims do to reassure us that they understand their responsibilities as British citizens? Pliny the Younger and Daniel Stylites may be able to help them.

In the absence of an imperial policy towards Christians, Pliny (governor of Bithynia, northern Turkey, AD 110-13) had them arrested and ordered to invoke pagan gods, make offerings to the emperor's statue and revile the name of Christ. If they did not, they were executed. The emperor Trajan approved, adding three important riders. Christians must not be hunted down; if they repent they must be forgiven, whatever their past conduct; and there were to be no witch hunts.

What might a Trajan today have included on the list for Muslims publicly to renounce: physical jihad?

The early Christian ascetic Daniel from Syria set himself up on his pillar in Constantinople c. AD 450. He attracted so much popular interest that the local clergy complained, but the archbishop vetted him and pronounced him the real thing. From then on, Daniel became almost a talisman, especially for the emperors (Leo, AD 457-74, and Zeno, 474-91). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.