Christian extremists have vowed not to turn the other cheek following the publication of a new novel on the life of Christ by Moslem writer Achmed Al-Abi.
In his book, which the author claims is based on scrolls exposed by peaceful US bombing in west Iraq, Al-Abi astonishingly claims that Jesus did not die on the cross.
The Syrian writer claims that after Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the entire matter, a court of Pharisees found the Christ guilt of heresy against Judaism, fined him 15 shekels and ordered him to undertake 40 days and 40 nights of community service.
Some credence is given to this from the historical archives in Jerusalem which show a Mr J. Christ assisting in the cafeteria and with janitorial duties in a local boys' club for nearly two months around Easter.
Christian stalwarts have reacted furiously to the book, with public burnings in most Christian countries and a vow that Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons will track down and doorstep Al-Abi for hours on end.
Al-Abi has responded by claiming that it made perfect sense to fictionalise the Son of God as a martyr to achieve maximum global impact.
"The Christian brotherhood has always been image conscious and knew that the whole Messiah story needed to be built up if it was going to work," he said.
"To say ‘Christ did community service for our sins' doesn't really do it; the cross as a religious symbol also works a lot better than a receipt for 15 shekels.
"It all makes perfect sense."
Christian leaders have described the book as ‘blasphemy' and an attempt by the Islamic world to undermine the very foundations of Christendom.
A statement from the Western Ecumenical Council said: "This mocks the Son of God and, in doing so, belittles the gentle, calming influences of such epic milestones in our history as the Crusades, the 100 years' war, the Reformation, the Counter Reformation - events which have spread the message of peace and harmony to the four corners of God's earth."
God Himself was unavailable for comment however US President George W. Bush reacted immediately by endorsing the philosophy of Intelligent Design and supporting its introduction into the national curriculum.