Islam, Immigration and the Importance of Culture

The Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, recently condemned the barbarism of the Islamic State, but for some reason felt compelled to add: “It has nothing to do with real Islam….”

Meanwhile, Amel Shimoun Nona, the exiled Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, warned European and Western Christians that they “will also suffer in the near future” because:

you are welcoming in your countries an ever-growing number of Muslims…. You think all men are created equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are created equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.

Archbishop Nona doesn’t bother to distinguish between real Islam and false Islam. He takes it for granted that when you invite mass immigration from Muslim countries, you are inviting trouble.

The difference between the two bishops, as one columnist put it, is the difference between “innocence” and “experience.” But it’s more than that. It’s not just innocence on the part of the Australian archbishop and other Western prelates who say much the same thing about Islam. It’s also a conscious defense of a certain narrative about Islam that has developed among many Church leaders. According to this narrative, Islam is one of many valid expressions of the religious impulse and is therefore a good thing. Islamic terrorism, on the other hand, is a betrayal of true Islam.

Why does the narrative need to be defended so assiduously? Well, for one thing, if Islam is intrinsically flawed, then the assumption that religion is basically a good thing would have to be revisited. That, in turn, might lead to a more aggressive questioning of Christianity. Accordingly, some Church leaders seem to have adopted a circle-the-wagons mentality—with Islam included as part of the wagon train. In other words, an attack on one religion is considered an attack on all: if they come for the imams, then, before you know it, they’ll be coming for the bishops. Unfortunately, the narrative doesn’t provide for the possibility that the imams will be the ones coming for the bishops.

In addition to fears about the secular world declaring open season on all religions, bishops have other reasons to paint a friendly face on Islam. It’s not just the religion-is-a-good-thing narrative that’s at stake. Other, interconnected narratives could also be called into question.

One of these narratives is that immigration is a good thing that ought to be welcomed by all good Christians. Typically, opposition to immigration is presented as nothing short of sinful. During a homily at the Italian island of Lampedusa—the “Ellis Island of Italy”—Pope Francis reprimanded Christians for their “indifference” to immigrants and for being “insensitive to the cries of others.” In a similar homily at the U.S.-Mexico border, Cardinal Sean O’Malley decried “the xenophobic ranting of a segment of the population” who refused to acknowledge the positive benefits of immigration. And Catholic leaders are not alone in criticizing opponents of immigration. In a 2010 poll, 75 percent of Protestant church leaders in the Netherlands said that a Christian could not vote for Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party, because, as one of them put it, “Wilders’ …views contradict Christianity.”

But liberal immigration policies have had unforeseen consequences that now put (or ought to put) its proponents on the defensive. In Europe, the unintended consequences (some critics contend that they were fully intended) of mass immigration are quite sobering. It looks very much like Islam will become, in the not-so-distant future, the dominant force in many European states and in the UK as well. If this seems unlikely, keep in mind that, historically, Muslims have never needed the advantage of being a majority in order to impose their will on non-Muslim societies. And once Islamization becomes a fact, it is entirely possible that the barbarities being visited on Christians in Iraq could be visited on Christians in Europe. Or, as the archbishop of Mosul puts it, “If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”

If that ever happens, the bishops (not all of them, of course) will bear some of the responsibility for having encouraged the immigration inflow that is making Islamization a growing threat. Thus, when a Western bishop feels compelled to tell us that Islamic violence has “nothing to do with real Islam,” it’s possible that he is hoping to reassure us that the massive immigration he has endorsed is nothing to worry about and will never result in the imposition of sharia law and/or a caliphate. He’s not just defending Islam, he’s defending a policy stance with possibly ruinous consequences for the West.

Of course, presidents and prime ministers say the same sorts of things about Islam. President Obama recently assured the world that “ISIL speaks for no religion,” Prime Minister David Cameron said that the extremists “pervert the Islamic faith,” and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond asserted that the Islamic State “goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam.” They say these things for reasons of strategy and because they also have a narrative or two to protect. In fact, the narratives are essentially the same as those held by the bishops—religion is good, diversity is our strength, and immigration is enriching.

Since they are actually involved in setting policy, the presidents, prime ministers, and party leaders bear a greater responsibility than do the bishops for the consequences when their naïve narratives are enacted into law. Still, one has to wonder why, in so many cases, the bishop’s narratives are little more than an echo of the secular-political ones. It’s more than slightly worrisome when the policy prescriptions of the bishops so often align with the policies of Obama, Cameron, and company.

Many theologians believe that the Church should have a “preferential option for the poor,” but it’s not a good sign when the bishops seem to have a preferential option for whatever narrative stance the elites are currently taking on contested issues (issues of sexual ethics excepted). It’s particularly unnerving when the narratives about Islam and immigration subscribed to by so many bishops match up with those of secular leaders whose main allegiance is to the church of political expediency.

When the formulas you fall back on are indistinguishable from those of leaders who are presiding over the decline and fall of Western civilization, it’s time for a reality check.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is Iraqi Chaldean archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona.

William Kilpatrick

By

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    That modern political Islamists are not representative of Islam, as it has been historically understood and practised, is demonstrated by the fact that Christian and Jewish (and Zoroastrian) communities have survived and reached accommodation with their Muslim rulers for the last 1,500 years.

    If mainstream Islam were what alarmists portray, there would be no Christian communities fleeing the Middle East today. They would have been exterminated by massacre or forced conversion long ago. That is simply not what happened.

    Recall that it was not the Moors who presented the Sephardic Jewish community in Spain with the choice of conversion or expulsion and that the majority of the refugees took shelter in Muslim countries, rather than Christian ones.

    • Doyle

      Even so, they live under discrimination and persecution on a daily basis and often in fear of their lives. They silence the truth and forbid the preaching of the truth in the public square.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        As did every Christian country before the Enlightenment. The very language of the Declaration of Rights of 1789, “No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, even his religious ones [mêmes religieuses]” shows what how astonishing this notion appeared to contemporaries.

        It was not until 26 September 1791 that the National Assembly, in the same spirit, abolished the blasphemy laws, along with those against sodomy and witchcraft. As recently as 1765, Anna Göldi had been executed as a witch in the Catholic Canton of Glarus in Switzerland.

        • JP

          Just come out and say you hate Christians. Enlightenment led to Robespierre and the guillotine and then to Napoleon. Catholics in Revolutionary France were butchered and churches and monasteries burnt to the ground. You obviously have no problem with that.

        • DE-173

          Man, your obsession with 18th century France is annoying, “Citizen”.

          • Objectivetruth

            Seriously…….someone can say that it looks like a cold winter ahead, and he’s refuting and quoting from the Paris atheist think tank of Baron Paul Thierry d’Holbach.

            • DE-173

              He is Beldar, human.

            • Bucky Inky

              I, for one, appreciate how well-read MPS is, and have felt myself in debt to him on several occasions for his drawing upon the vast resources with which he is obviously deeply knowledgeable. I have no doubt that he has the ability to go on with reams and reams of his own thoughts (and I sometimes wish he would) but his deference to other thinkers who have come before him is a testament to his humility and honesty, which no doubt inform him that the counsel of the former is indispensable, perhaps to make sure that one is not throwing gasoline upon the head of the man whose hair is on fire.

              • NasicaCato

                But in this case his ignorance is staggering.

        • DE-173

          “As did every Christian country before the Enlightenment.”
          What truth do you think was silenced and forbidden in those countries?

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Just to take my own country of Scotland, would you really like a comprehensive list, from the Acts of the Reformation parliament of 1560 to the Acts for Preventing the Growth of Popery under Wm III?

            Even the long titles would run to a page of A4.

            English legislation would provide a similar list.

            • DE-173

              No, I’m not much of a defender of the bizarre subordination of religion to the crown that resulted in pseudo-Christianity.

        • ForChristAlone

          Speak to us of the Vendee, oh wise one.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      Recall as well that it was the Moors who conquered Christian Spain early in the 8th century. In the eyes of the subject Christian population, the minority Jewish population was often associated with the Islamic rulers. See especially The Jew as Ally of the Muslim: Medieval Roots of Anti-Semitism, by Allan and Helen Cutler.( NOtre Dame, 1986).

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        “the minority Jewish population was often associated with the Islamic rulers”

        Which suggests that the Islamic rulers were not massacring the Jews, raping their wives and daughters, desecrating their synagogues, trying forcibly to convert them, confiscating their property or behaving in the generally unpleasant manner that we are told is mandatory for Muslims. Otherwise, the Jews would scarcely have been “associated with the Islamic rulers” The Jews may well have considered themselves better off under the rule of Muslims than under Christian Visigoths; having had experience of one, they had every reason to prefer the other.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          I suggest that you consult Cutler and Cutler, as well as Henry Kamen’s more recent The Spanish Inquisition. Christian-Jewish relations were far more harmonious prior to the Islamic conquests. In general, Islamic rule was much less benign for either group than you seem to believe.

          • DE-173

            And it may have been the Islamic invasion which caused the exile of the Jews in Spain.
            One could imagine that in hundreds of years of subjugation, the first reaction would be to excise anybody that disputed Christianity, whether or not they were actually engaged in the historic tyranny.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          Visigoths and other barbarians were aggressors despite Christianity. Muslims were and are aggressors because of it.

        • HA

          Islamic culture was built on a bedrock of the many civilizations it conquered (Egypt, Greece, Persia, India, China…), and it is no wonder that it was for centuries more advanced than European Christendom. And yet, in the space of a millennium, Islam turned that immense cultural wealth into sand and squalor. Conversely, Christianity transformed the barbarians trashing Rome into a civilization far surpassing the one they overran.

          I can certainly understand why newly Christianized and barely civilized nomads might be considered a brutish lot back in the day. But given where we are now, what is the Muslim world’s excuse?

    • Rock St. Elvis

      “That modern political Islamists are not representative of Islam, as it has been historically understood and practised”

      They are the face of Islam now. We live in the here and now.

      And even the so-called benign Muslims of yore were conquerers by trade. Just because they didn’t all behead every non-Muslim as a matter of course, they weren’t exactly something anyone with any sense would want to see riding over the horizon. At worst, they meant death, and at best they meant second class status. The Religion of Peace™ was never a religion of peace.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Oh! You mean rather like the Jews in Christian Europe?

        It was the French Revolution that established freedom of worship and many Christians hated it for that reason.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          Oh, the French Revolution! Freedom of worship for whom? The French drove the Church underground.

          And yes, generally speaking Jews were free to worship in medieval Europe.

          Nice to see your true colors, MPS.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          It also mandated worship of the Cult of Reason for Christians and Jews alike. I can’t imagine Jews were thrilled with that obligation any more than Christians were. They were free to be “citizens,” much less Christians or Jews.

        • DE-173

          Oh yes, the freedom to worship the state.

        • ForChristAlone

          speak to us of the Vendee, oh wise one.

      • DE-173

        “We live in the here and now.”

        We do, but MPS is from France of the 18th Century.

        I thnk his real name is Beldar.

    • GG

      What is mainstream Islam?

      • DE-173

        A fantasy of effete secularists.

    • JP

      The Christian and Jewish communities didn’t reach an accommodation with Islam. They were tolerated and lived as 2nd class subjects to first the Caliphs and then secular Muslim despots. Like Christianity in the 16th Century, Islam in the 20th Century had its reformation. The Wahabbists of Saudi Arabia led the way during the 1920s and 1930s. led the way. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and its offshoots are all offshoots from the same Wahabbists seed. The subjugation of religious minorities, the slavery of religious minorities, not to the mention the frequent pogroms over the centuries are a feature of Islam and not a defect.

      Only self loathing Christians look upon the despotic nature of Islam and are thankful that past Muslim leaders didn’t annihilate them.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Not to forget either the continual rounds of military conquests through which Islam spread so rapidly, from its first appearance in the 7th century, right up to the siege of Vienna in 1683. The routinely denounced Crusades were initiated in response to four centuries of continual attacks and incursions by Muslim armies. That’s not surprising, either since, while Judaism was founded by patriarchs and prophets, and Christianity by apostles and martyrs, Islam was founded by warlords.

        • HA

          “The routinely denounced Crusades were initiated in response to four centuries of continual attacks and incursions by Muslim armies.”

          The Christians were particularly provoked by the Turks’ interference with Christian pilgrimage routes to Jerusalem.

          And yet, if the West were today to cut off access to Mecca and the Muslim world responded by erupting into increased fits of rage, would any of Islam’s apologists fail to fault the West for starting the wars that followed, even as they continue to blame the West for starting the Crusades?

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Yes, I’d say that was the last straw. but the Turks had also made alarming inroads against the Byzantine empire prompting the emperor to send his urgent plea to the Pope in 1096 to assist fellow Christians. I have to say that I felt something similar recently when I learned that the Russian Orthodox Patriarch had asked that President Vladimir Putin make “the protection of Christians” a top priority of Russia’s Middle East policy. I’m not a fan of Putin’s, but he actually assured the Metropolitan that he would. The time is upon us when we must all ask what can be done “for the protection of Christians.”

            • HA

              I am no fan of Putin, but I would agree he has acted far more sensibly in Syria than those in the Obama administration.

              That may be more out of cynical favoritism of Iran over Sunni regimes, but I wouldn’t claim Obama’s motivations are any purer.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                I was especially struck by the Metropolitan’s words, however: “the protection of Christians.” There’s a man who sees things clearly and speaks his mind, as he’s done on same-sex marriage. Not many bishops like him in the West at the moment.

    • DE-173

      “That modern political Islamists are not representative of Islam.”

      No, they are the turbocharged version. Still has four wheels.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      It is as though you are discussing fine points of history with a man WHOSE HAIR IS ON FIRE. Arguments are irrelevant now as a wave of sub-human barbarism sweeps the GLOBE in the name of Allah. You can babble away till your head is lopped off. You are SO late and SO ridiculous.

    • cestusdei

      The Moors were not so great. The Spanish fought for 700 years to kick them out. Christians in the middle east have been in decline for centuries. Try visiting Saudi Arabia and praying the rosary publicly.

      • DE-173

        Or try quoting those 18th century French politicians…

    • HA

      “If mainstream Islam were what alarmists portray, there would be no Christian communities fleeing the Middle East today.”

      If it were the “religion of peace” its apologists clamor about, they wouldn’t have to flee in that case, either.

      Islamic culture was built on a bedrock of the many civilizations it conquered (Egypt, Persia, India, China…), and it is no wonder that it was for centuries more advanced than European Christendom. And yet, in the space of a millennium, Islam turned that immense cultural wealth into sand and squalor. Conversely, Christianity took the barbarians trashing Rome and turned them into a civilization far surpassing the one that preceded it. Yes, the Burgundians and the Visigoths were a brutish lot back in the day. Given the historical context, is that really so relevant?

    • NasicaCato

      Michael P-S,
      So by your reasoning, Russia was a great place for Jews, Mississippi was a great place for blacks, Ireland under Cromwell was great for the Irish, etc. because: “Hey they’re still there right?”
      Just go read the Koran. The hatred jumps off nearly every page. Sometimes it sounds like Muhammad (pigs be upon him) had Turret’s Syndrome. Begin to realize that every Muslim land is a stolen land.

  • TALAL ITANI

    I first read the Quran because I was curious. I eventually believed it and accepted it. I quote something from Quran chapter 2:

    2:62. Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans-any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously-will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    source http://www.clearquran.com/002.html

    • Michael Doyle

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm

      There is one truth and one way: Jesus Christ.

      • TALAL ITANI

        I have no doubt that God send Jesus to the Earth, to guide the people, to reform them, to liberate them. Those who followed Jesus were saved. Those who followed Moses were also saved, through the parted sea, and to heaven. God is Might, Merciful, Wise, Forgiving.

        • Sobieski

          Islam is an anti-Christ ideology.. The only JESUS the muslims respect is the imposter Isa = caricature of real Jesus

          • TALAL ITANI

            Actually. Jesus is one Jesus. He is the Messiah, the son of Mary, the one sent by the Creator, to guide people to faith and righteousness.

            • JP

              Christ is God reincarnate – that is, He is the Son of God. Or as Saint John the Baptist proclaimed, Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World. Christ derives His Humanity from Mary; but his Divinity comes from God the Father. Jesus Christ is fully Human and Fully Divine. Christ was sent by His Father to live a fully perfect and human life in order to be the Perfect Sacrifice in order to atone for our sins. He lived, died, and was resurrected, and today His Holy Spirit guides us all. For us Sinners, our way is the way of His Cross.

              • TALAL ITANI

                I quote two very important quotations:

                John 3:16 For God so loved this world, that he gave his only begotten child, that whoever believes in him shall not die, but shall have eternal life.

                Quran 112: God is One, the Eternal God, he begets not, nor was he begotten, and there is nothing comparable to him.

                • zealot

                  Dear Talal Itani, have you read the book Son of Hamas? As a born and raised Muslim, the author also believes the religion is not a religion of peace, but of war. Islam does not preach forgiveness and mercy, but revenge. Read the book, these are his words….

                  • TALAL ITANI

                    I am always reading. Will probably read it some time. I quote from Quran

                    41:34. Good and evil are not equal. Repel evil with good, and the person who was your enemy becomes like an intimate friend. But none will attain it except those who persevere, and none will attain it except the very fortunate.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Read the Catholic Catechism.

                    • DE-173

                      Check the masthead above. For faithful Catholics, not Muslim trolls.

                    • cestusdei

                      The quran is not from God. If you would be saved come to Christ. He is the only begotten Son of God who died and rose on the 3rd day. Muhammad is dead, but Jesus is alive.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      All human beings die, and God will revive all the dead, and Judge them, on Judgement Day. God can do all things.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Jesus is NOT a HUMAN being. He is divine PERSON, with two natures – one human and the other divine. God took on a human nature because he loved us and wanted to restore us to the divine life of God. As St Anselm said, “What has not been assumed cannot be redeemed.” Jesus live. He is truly risen. On this our faith hinges as we took will rise with Him. Come, join us.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      You are cherry picking the Koran.

                • JP

                  There is no where written that Allah took human form and willingly allowed his creation to crucify him.

                  • TALAL ITANI

                    Surely not. God is always here. He is with you even now, in his fullness. He is God in the heavens, and God on earth. He goes away.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      God is always here. He is were Christ told us to find Him (Himself): in the Eucharist.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      God is everywhere, yet our eyes cannot see him. He is close, yet our fingers cannot touch him. He sees us, and he can touch our soul. God is the Divine, the Supreme One.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Wrong, he gave us His Body and Blood. He is truly present. We eat His body and drink His blood in the Eucharist. He truly made us sharers in the Divine Life.

                  • TALAL ITANI

                    Indeed. God is always here, in the heavens, and on earth, in his fullness. He is with you now, in his fullness. God never goes away.

                    • JP

                      So, Muslims believe that God became Man, and that He died at the hands of men? If so, that is not what the Koran says or what the Imans teach.

                • Objectivetruth

                  So…..

                  Do believe Jesus Christ IS God? That He suffered, died, was buried…..and rose again? Do you believe the Christ is the only way back to the Father, the Truth?

                  Because your quote frm the qu’ran directly conflicts the Gospel of Christ.

                  Also, Islam is a Catholic heresy. That’s a fact.

                  • TALAL ITANI

                    I had the courage to read the books, the important books, and to make up my mind. Today I am Muslim. I pray as Jesus prays, to God directly, and without any intercessors. Jesus said: “worship God, who is my lord and your lord, this is the straight path.”

                    • Objectivetruth

                      What “important books?”

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      The books that claim to have come from the Creator.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Huh????

                      I just wrote a book, and God dictated it directly to me. Will you read it and put it in your pile of “important” books?

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      If the book claims to have come from God, I will read it, and judge it. If it really from God, I will accept it. Otherwise I will reject it. I am a seeker, who rejected blind faith, ,and seeking the truth from God.

                    • DE-173

                      Who are you to judge?

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      God gave us the ability to know right from wrong. Truth from falsehood. We, human beings, should judge with justice. A book from God can and should prove itself to the reader.

                    • DE-173

                      The Koran proves it’s not from God.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      Maybe it is your hope, your wish, your faith. I first read the Quran to prove it wrong, but it proved me wrong.

                    • DE-173

                      It takes no courage to read books, unless the book happens to be a Bible in an country under Muslim tyranny.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      I live in the United States, and I read the Bible before reading the Quran. I still have the Bible, even different versions.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      So you beleive all that the Bible teaches?

                    • DE-173

                      Concentrate on this verse:

                      “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.”

                    • HA

                      I’ve read the Koran more than once. Before I learned about the principle of ‘abrogation’, and what it meant as far as weighing the warlike passages against the peaceful ones, I admit I found nothing too alarming, and a fair amount that was beautiful, though it was admittedly hard to keep my attention focused on something that was by and large so insipid.

                      But even the phrases that I found beautiful couldn’t shake me from the suspicion that some guy walking into a cave and claiming to hear the angel Gabriel is not a story anyone should put much faith in. At least give me a miracle or two, something — anything.

                      Alas, apart from impressive military victories, Islam offers only a few pretty words by way of self-justification — interspersed with some very ugly ones. And of course, later, I found it was a little more difficult to ignore those ugly words than I had been led to believe. But that is what happens when you put too much faith in guys in caves who claim to hear angels — pretty soon, you’ll fall for anything.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      My experience and yours with the Quran are very different. Through it, I heard God’s voice. This is what made me accept the Quran.

                    • HA

                      If you believe what the Koran says about Christians, you never really bothered reading those Bibles you still own. And if you cannot be bothered to find out the truth about that, your endorsement as to what is and isn’t God’s voice is not very convincing.

                    • HA

                      Oh, and by the way, the presence of intercessors do not prevent Christians from praying to God directly — we are required to do so “without ceasing”. So I’m not sure where you picked up that bit of malarkey.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      Good. We should all pray directly to God. God gave us ears, he is capable of hearing us. He gave eyes, he is capable of seeing us. He gave us brains, he is capable of understanding us.

                      Actually, the intercessors only shield people from God.,

                    • HA

                      Perhaps you should stop putting so much faith in a book that implies that Christians believe that Mary is part of the Trinity, aside Jesus and Allah. The man obviously knew very little about what orthodox Christians really believe. Why should anyone take the rest of what he says seriously if he is ignorant about something so basic?

                    • DE-173

                      Actually, the intercessors only shield people from God.,

                      Islam shields people from God.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      Actually, the Quran bought me close to God. God is my Lord, my Guide. My life, my death, my prayers, my mysticism, are for God, the Lord of the Universe. He has no partners. Thus I was commanded.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Jesus said “I and the Father are ONE.”

                  • TALAL ITANI

                    Most people blindly inherit their religion from their society. I believe that blind faith is the enemy of the human being. We should seek the truth. I quote: “Seek and you shall find.”

                    • DE-173

                      Some blindly waive AK-47’s, fly planes into buildings, behead people because of their religion. There is no religion that demands more blindness than Islam.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      This is what they show you on TV.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Because it is true. You have drunk the Kool Aid.

                    • DE-173

                      And? Rabbis and Carmelite Nuns aren’t shown waiving AK’s because they don’t do it.
                      I still remember the celebrations in the Muslim street 13 years ago tomorrow.

                    • TALAL ITANI

                      Sure they do it, through their governments, with much more lethal guns.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      You’re making a lot of assumptions about myself and others, aren’t you.

                      I did seek the Truth, and found it in the Catholic Church.

                      As I said before, Islam is a Catholic heresy. It took the Catholic faith and changed it, distorted it, warped it.

                      So where did Mohammed get the authority from to change Catholic teaching? You might respond, “from God”, but is that not a relativistic answer? Couldn’t I (or everyone else on the planet) make the same claim of divine revelation? That God spoke to me directly, “so it is so”?

                    • HA

                      “Couldn’t I (or everyone else on the planet) make the same claim of divine revelation?”

                      Actually, no. One of the Koranic revelations that Muhammad received was to the effect that he himself the last prophet (i.e. the “seal” of prophecy), so that no one else would ever get to do what he did, or to surpass it.

                      Pretty slick, I have to admit. Kind of like getting 3 wishes from a genie and then saying “my last wish is for any and all of my future wishes to come true.”

                • JP

                  Christ was begotten not made (see Nicene Creed).

                • DE-173

                  “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. “

                • ForChristAlone

                  Islam is a deranged version of Christian theology

              • DE-173

                Minor correction: Incarnate, not “reincarnate”.

            • la catholic state

              And who was His Father?!

              • TALAL ITANI

                Jesus and Adam are two human beings who do not have a father. Adam has no mother. All other humans have one mother and one father.

                • la catholic state

                  Wrong. Jesus had a Father….and that was God. He is the Son of God.

                • ForChristAlone

                  Then you are saying that Jesus is a liar

            • ForChristAlone

              Jesus is God. ” I and the Father are ONE.” So either Jesus is a liar, insane or HE IS WHAT HE SAYS HE IS.

        • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

          As Groucho Marx said: “Who you gonna believe me are your own eyes.”

          • TALAL ITANI

            I read more than that. I read the Apocrypha, and I loved learning good things from it.

            • DE-173

              We don’t have an Apocrypha here, that’s a Protestant invention.

        • DE-173

          And I have no doubt that Mohammed was sent by someone else.

          • TALAL ITANI

            God created every single human being, and every single animal, and every single angel, and every single demon. God is the One Creator.

            • la catholic state

              God created all human beings….and Fathered one.

              • TALAL ITANI

                Where are you getting your information from? The Bible teaches that God fathered Adam, and the Israelites, and the world. There are so many many instances in the Bible of God Fathering.

                In Ancient Hebrew, there was no word “Create”. The word fathered was used for everything.

                • la catholic state

                  God created Adam and from Abraham came the Israelites. God has Fathered in a biological and personal way only One…..and that was His Son, Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ. As St Thomas says….My Lord and my God.

                • ForChristAlone

                  The Son always existed with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Three Persons, One God.

            • ForChristAlone

              God cannot create demons. They are a bastardization of the Good.

        • ForChristAlone

          Jesus is God. People cannot be “liberated” except by the God against who they sinned. There is One God and Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    • DE-173

      I’ve read the Quran, Koran or whatever the current spelling is.
      It’s disordered and chaotic. It reminds me of Mein Kampf. Funny how the result is the same.

  • la catholic state

    Islamic immigration to the West must be halted. Secularists as well as Christians are becoming increasingly frustrated and nervous over it. Should the Church choose to lead in this area….she would get plenty of support. Of course, in return for saving Christendom….Westerners would at very least have to give up legalised abortion. Secular leaders are useless….they believe all religions are equal, and that Islam is the bright new thing to revitalise the West.

    An Italian bishop has asked all Muslims who support ISIS to leave Italy. We don’t need enemies here he said. So true. It is a beginning. But more is needed. Let’s pray to Our Lady for the salvation of Christendom.

  • russell snow

    The notion that all religions are the result of the same religious impulse is rooted in the modernist understanding of reality, which many Catholics have embraced, consciously or unconsciously. The foundation of Catholicism are the result of historical events, recorded in the Gospels, especially the Incarnation and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus. It is based upon eyewitness testimony. The concept of “religious impulse” is a philosophical construct, grounded in the various theories of the origins of religion developed during the 18th century European Enlightenment. Unfortunately, during the 1960’s many in the Church failed to take seriously the teachings of the Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII, which helps to explain the muddleheaded thinking of bishops who should know better.

  • guest

    The problem here is one of culture as well as Religion. Many communities in the U.S. and the rest of the west will complain when a Catholic Church wants to ring the bells at 6 A.M., 12 Noon and 6 P.M. for the Angelus as intrusive, etc. However, if you protest the Islamic Call to Prayer you are a racist, etc. There are now pockets in the U.S. where specific communities want to enact Sharia Law as opposed to our U.S. Constitution; are we OK with this? Since Vatican II the Catholic Church has reached out to the leaders of Islam for inter-religious dialogue. It does not appear to be working. At what point will the Catholic (and Christian) World wake up and realize the fire next door that is threatening to spread? The days where the Catholic Church was viewed as black and white may have seemed out of date, but I prefer that to the shades of gray we have now. At least we knew what and for who we stood!

    • strickerm

      Perhaps when our Catholic Churches are forbidden from ringing bells, we should cry racism too? Use the same game plan!

    • Catholic pilgrim

      Yes. We have mostly spineless, naïve Catholic Church leaders (who pretend that evil & sin do not exist). And we have political leaders (PM Cameron in England, the PM of France, Obama) who have absolutely NO direction for our countries. We are being encouraged (by our leadership) to lose our Christianity, common culture & identity while at the same time letting fervent Muslims come in by the airplane loads. ISIL is chopping heads off Christians, but neither Catholics Bishops in the West nor Prime Ministers want to offend anyone! Madness. The only persecuted people who should be migrating here (USA, Europe, UK) from the Middle East are: Eastern Christians, Yazidis, & other religious minorities, NOT Muslims. Muslims have PLENTY of huge Muslims countries to migrate into (from Saudi Arabia to Iran, Indonesia to Egypt, etc. many of which were previously Christian). Don’t bring the Islamic invasion to this already morally corrupt Post-Christian West (in need of severe healing). Jews only have ONE tiny, little desert country in the Middle East, Eastern Christians have NONE, but Muslims have MANY HUGE Muslim countries (with lots of oil & resources).

      • Shane

        The West should stop all Muslim immigraiton, especially from Muslim countries that are run by sharia law and jihad is very popular – Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc…

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Suicide is a mortal sin. Any less so collectively?

  • Even good Islam is intrinsically flawed. It’s a sola scriptura religion. When you remove power from human beings and from God to give all your religious authority to a book, bad things are bound to happen. I don’t care if you are Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, or Zoroastrian; binding your decisions to “Scripture Alone” is always and forever a bad idea.

    • DE-173

      So you subscribe to my idea that Luther was manipulating the Christian genome with Islamic genetic material?

      • Actually, yes. While I’m not sure if there is any evidence for it- I find no trips to Istanbul/Constantinople yet in my reading on Luther’s biographies- the concept is quite similar, almost too similar to be a coincidence.

        I recently saw a sermon on Youtube by an Imam expanding on the 70 white grapes in paradise package- of course, he was calling them virgins and brown eyed slaves at that. It reminded me of Bible Belt preachers preaching on the 6000 year creationism story. 4004 BC on a Thursday morning, God created the world sort of stuff, only for the Imam, it was all about how for every wife you marry, you will have 70 years with her in paradise, after which she’ll be done with you and start turning you over to each of 70 brown eyed virgins, per wife, each of which you’ll have for 70 years, and each of which come with 70 slave virgins to take care of you for another 70 years each. He seemed a bit confused on the math, so I took out a calculator, and apparently his idea of heaven is 1.3 million years of sex. After which I suppose both your corpse and your soul would be quite worn out. I find such a concept of paradise exhausting, to say the least, but I think that rain is wet, so what do I know?

        • DE-173

          Luther and Mohammed (if he existed as conceptualized by modern Islam, or at all) were both men with titanic egos and indignation.

          That they would intellectually stumble in the same way, requires no common pedigree or conscious effort.

          • Quite possibly, but then why did Mohammed end up writing an apocrypha?

            Of course, in a way, Luther did too- removing the Deuterocanonicals and the “Epistles of Straw” from the first edition of the Lutherbibel. But at least he didn’t make up new myth out of talking to God.

            No, I think your first theory is far more correct; and it may well have been trade from the east that brought tales of the People of the Book to Germany, even if Luther never took the trip himself.

            • DE-173

              I never theorized it was a conscious effort.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Perhaps, they both derive from a common source. Something very like scriptura sola was taught by Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428) and others of the School of Antioch.

          To Nestorians, particularly of the Schools of Edessa and Nisibis, where he became “Theodore the Interpreter”

          We know that Mohammed had contact with Nestorian Christians, including his famous meeting with the monk, Sergius.

          • HA

            Given the Koran’s implicit claim that Mary is a member of the Trinity, the contacts Mohammad had with actual orthodox Christians (or even Nestorians) seem to be very superficial indeed.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              In fact, it was a common gibe of the Nestorians in their popular polemics that the Melkites (King’s men, their term for those who adhered to Constantinople) by using the title of Θεοτόκος or God-bearer insisted on by the Council of Ephesus did make the BVM a member of the Trinity.

              Some of the Nestorian party claimed that the Divine Word was united with the man Jesus at His baptism and departed from Him at the crucifixion. We may have a garbled reflection of this in the Muslim teaching that He escaped crucifixion.

              Of course, one is suggesting an influence by popular or grass-roots Nestorianism; not the more nuanced doctrine of its hierarchs and theologians.

              • HA

                Those are insightful points, as I’ve come to expect from you; nevertheless, the key word you used was ‘garbled’, which ultimately reinforces my point. There may well have been sects and heretics who believed all those things. They are in no way representative of Christianity (which means the Koran’s characterization is misleading, as can be said for much of the rest that it teaches). The same cannot be said of brutal jihadi factions of Islam, which unlike these scattered heretics that may have influenced the Koran, have been a significant elemental force from the start, however uncomfortable that makes some people.

              • HA

                Those are insightful points, as I’ve come to expect from you; nevertheless, the key word you used was ‘garbled’, which ultimately reinforces my point.

                There may well have been heretics who believed all those things. They are in no way representative of Christianity (so that the Koran’s characterization is at best misleading, as can be said for much of the rest of what it teaches). The same cannot be said of brutal jihadi factions of Islam, which unlike these scattered heretics that may have influenced the Koran, have been a significant and recurring presence from the start, however difficult that may be for some people to acknowledge.

          • Thomas J. Hennigan

            It is not clear that Theodore of Mopseutstia taught heresy. There is quite a debate on the matter and an orthodox understanding of his Christology is possible. Yes, he was condemned by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, which also condemned Origin, egged on by the Emperor Justinian who considered himself something of a theologian, besidess being one of the great Cesaropapists.
            He has traditionally been accused of being a Nestorian before Nestorius, as it appears that Nestorius studied under him. In those days there was nothing like dialogue in those theological disputes and Cyril of Alexandria, like his uncle Theodore, who was the mover and shaker in the case against St, John Chrysostom, was an exceedingly political bishop. There is also a discussion as to whether or up to what point Nestorius was actually “Nestorian”, that he held what he was accused of holding. He probably did, but maybe in a more nuanced fashion that what Cryril of Alexandria condemned him for.
            It is hard to know what Christian heresies influenced the Quran, but it does seem that Arrianism did and perhaps Ebonism. Another problem is that it is extremely unlikely that Islam began in Mecca, as recent scholarship has clearly shown that Mecca was a backwater and off the trade routes.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              It is not really a question of Thedore’s orthodoxy. Rather that Theodore embodied the principleof the School of Antioch that laid great stress on the literal sense of scripture, in contrat to the Alexandrian School that emphasised the mystical or allegorical sense.

              He never formally taught “scriptura sola,” of course, but he did stress a minute and painstaking exegesis of the literal meaning of the text over traditional interpretation.

              Nestorianism was a current heresy of the time; Arianism was moreor less dead and buried and there is the old story of Mohammed spending time with the Nestorian monk Sergius..

      • pygmallian

        Can you repeat your theory, I am surmising its a connection between Mohamed and Luther, or link to your original post? I tried but cannot find it and I would truly like to read it please.

        • DE-173

          One of the tenets of Islam, as I understand it is that the Koran is the undefiled word of Allah, so sufficient and complete in its content that it is inarguable when used to direct the individuals in their conduct.

          Luther likewise asserted “Sola Scriptura” that the “Bible alone” should inform the consciences of individuals.

          There are of course practices even among adherents that deny this, Muslims also read the Hadith, pious Lutherans used concordances, and Luther felt compelled to write incessantly.

          Of course the nowhere does the Biblical Canon assert such sufficiency and completeness; it actually assets its incompleteness explicitly.

          As a practical matter, subscribing to the idea that some holy book is the final authority and that all people will approach in understand in the same way shows a certain egomania and lack of understanding about human nature.

          As lawyers say “ALL language is subject to construction”.

          • pygmallian

            Thanks I get it and I agree.

    • mollysdad

      The reason why Islam is flawed is that it is a political religion which prescribes a law which it says ought to be the law of the land and which is irreconcilable with Judaism and Christianity. That makes it tendentially seditious.

      • Yes, but no more so than Christianity itself was at one time:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inebriateme/2014/09/the-best-defense-is-a-good-offense/

        • mollysdad

          This comment is asinine, because Christian law is by definition not irreconcilable with Christianity and Islam. It doesn’t go much further than prohibiting what any ordered legal system prohibits.

          Christianity has never advocated sedition, since it recognizes the constituted civil authorities as legitimate, whatever their confession. Islam advocates the overthrow of infidel governments, for political power is only for the Muslims.

          • Read the link. Christian law was irreconcilable with Roman Pagan Law, and we were no better than these for the first 300 years.

            • mollysdad

              Christianity absorbed and adapted Roman law because it was based on reason. And Christianity can’t be compared to Islam, because Christianity is the one true religion and Islam is false.

              • And yet, Nero would not have said so. I agree Islam is false, but like all human attempts at religion, it is not *entirely* false. It contains some truth as well. Not much, but some. Enough so that this is happening:
                http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/08/muslim-leaders-join-in-condemnation-of-isis/

                and this:

                http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8113.htm

                • DE-173

                  “it is not *entirely* false.”

                  As we know all great lies contain a kernal of truth.

                  • Exactly. And we should attempt to NOT do as the pagans do, and throw out the baby with the bathwater.

                    • DE-173

                      What baby do you see being tossed out?

                    • Those Islamics who are close enough to Catholicism in theology to have a half a chance at conversion.

                      I too look at what the Caliphate has done, the destruction of ancient Catholic and Christian Churches, the mass murders of other Islamics, and I sometimes think a nuclear weapon on his head might be not that bad of an idea.

                      But we shouldn’t demonize all Islamics for the few that take Sola Scriptura and Surah 8 far too literally…..

                    • DE-173

                      Islam had been vexing the efforts of Evangelists since Francis tried to persuade Saladin.

                      To pretend that there is some comity and proximity is pollyannish at best, syncretism at worst.

                    • And yet, the Jihadist who shot St. John Paul II, is today a Catholic.

                    • DE-173

                      They will not all be visited by future Saints and Saladin was unresponsive to St. Francis.

                      Of course you are confusing a judgment of the errors of islam with the potential for grace to act upon an individual Muslim.

                      Where do you see children coarsened and corrupted by holding a severed head aloft like it was a Halloween pumpkin full of candy?

                      That’s right, under the shadow of the Crescent.

                    • True, but they’re not all Jihadists either. Many follow sub theologies that ignore Surah 8 completely. Others see Surah 8 as only being valid in the situation of a legitimate just war declared by a legitimate government and a valid authority. Some look at Surah 5 or 2 and see themselves as being no different from a Catholic than a Lutheran is.

                      It’s a Sola Scriptura religion, what do we expect? We know our own Christian fundamentalists have their 30 or so favorite verses and ignore the rest of the Bible; thus producing 30,000 squabbling denominations that don’t agree on much of anything. Why should Islamic fundamentalists be any different?

                    • DE-173

                      Once again, the issue is Islam, not Muslims.

                      Now tell me who flew planes into buildings 13 years ago.

                    • Jihadi. It is not so easy to separate Islam from Muslims, but belief in the sixth pillar is another matter entirely.

                    • DE-173

                      It is not so easy to separate Islam from Muslims.
                      Are you trying to make my point, or is this just another one of those arguments you don’t know how to end?

                    • I’m trying to figure out if we are making the same point.

                      My point is that Islam is an incredibly diverse religion- almost as diverse as Protestant Christianity- for similar reasons.

                      And because it is so incredibly diverse, we can’t make blanket judgement calls; however there is ONE set of theology, fanatical belief in Sura 8 to the point of making Jihad the sixth pillar, the sixth requirement of any believer, that we can’t get along with. That in fact, other Islamics can’t get along with.

                      I know several American Muslims in real life, and the majority seems to reject the jihadist view.

                    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

                      He was a nut and hired by the Soviet KGB.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “Religions of the Book” seem to be inherently unstable. They tend to collapse into religions of rationalism on the one hand and religions of direct experience or experimental union on the other.

      Luther’s legacy was divided between the rationalism of Calixtus and the pietism of Spener. In addition, there were movements like the Moravians that drew on Lutheran sources.

      More generally, scriptura sola evangelicalism seems to have provoked a reaction in various charismatic movements, from the Irvingites of the Victorian era down to the present day.

      Islam has its sufis; it remains to be seen if it will produce a rationalist side: its Ernesti, its Baur, or its Schleiermacher, who will engage in source criticism. Sunni jurists already apply similar methods to disputed hadiths, but no one, so far as I know, has applied it to the qur’an

      • Every sect that fails to follow Surah 8 into war with its neighbors, applies at least some rational critical thinking to the qur’an. Without interpretation, Islam would be a religion of constant war until it took over the world.

      • HA

        “Islam has its sufis; it remains to be seen if it will produce a rationalist side…”

        Such attempts have been made before, and though they lasted centuries, they met with resounding defeat. Whatever Islamic “reformers” may produce — aside from the ongoing demands for a more stringent application of sola scriptura Sharia, and all the brutality that entails — is a commodity whose demand greatly exceeds its comparatively minuscule supply.

        As of now, the future of Islamic reform belongs to those who don’t take it very seriously to begin with.

  • John Albertson

    Recently Cardinal Dolan visited a mosque in New York and told the Muslims that he and they worship “the same God.” Then he told them, “Keep the faith.” Yikes. Dolan certainly is not the brightest kid in the class, but he is a pure genius at finding news ways to make a fool of himself and the Church.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      I suspect his Muslim audience had a different view as well.

    • guest

      Proof of what I stated above…too much Gray!!!

    • jacobum

      Unfortunately he is a useful tool of Satan disguised as a Cdl/Bishop. He is not alone by any means.

    • TruthWFree

      I wrote the Cardinal and told him why we do not worship the same God. Yet to hear a reply. I also asked my parrish priest what Pope Francis was doing having Muslim prayers in the Vatican. He gave me the same god answer and I told him I totally disagreed with him. He went into a tirade. I finally had to ask him if he believed in Jesus Christ since Jesus said He is the only way to the Father. He went berserk at that question. I believe that the allah god of the Quran is Satan for a number of reasons. Denial of Christ as the Son of God; denial that Christ died on the cross; allah’s statement in the Quran that he has no sons; Jesus’ teachings of love and forgiveness 180 degrees opposite the hate and violence exhorted by the allah god of the Quran; and finally, per Robert Spencer’s The Truth About Muhammad, Muhammad thought he was possessed and his wife Khadija convinced him it was from God; plus the Satanic verses when he admitted Satan fooled him. As far as I am concerned, Satan fooled him on the entire Quran and on the entire religion. ISIS is following what Muhammad did and taught. I may leave the Catholic Church if the leadership is leading us astray for this false Satanic religion.

      • Thomas J. Hennigan

        See my comment above. As for Robert Spencer, he is a devout Catholic who has written a very solid book on Islam for Catholics. He has been persecuted by bishops and not allowed to speak in Catholic venues, as he is considered a hatemonger by several bishops. Surely speaking the truth as Jesus himself did is not hatemongering. Robert Spencer never condemns muslims. He explains what Islam teaches and he is perhaps the foremost expert on the matter not only in the Church, but in the Western World.

        • TruthWFree

          Read your earlier comment and your criticism of Pope Francis is right on. I have had a conversation with the Vicar General in my diocese and he totally disagrees with the Parrish priest but seems to think Pope Francis knows what he is doing. One cannot appease Islam. The truth about Islam must be stated by people like the Pope even if the Muslims go on a Christian killing spree on his words…they will anyway and many more Christians will die under his appeasement policy in the long run. You and I have a similar grasp on this EVIL that is Islam. This Pope appears to be blinded on Islam along with a lot of other Church leaders presumably following his lead.

        • TruthWFree

          I have met Robert Spencer in person twice. I tell him he is my hero as much of what I know about Islam is from his books. I share your opinion on Robert…a good man and an expert on Islam.

  • Here’s a chilling angle: I suspect that what the West really and principally faces is an irrational and very deep cultural movement broadly within its own ranks to repudiate the Judeo-Christian roots of our culture. And that Islam isn’t coddled so much because it’s misunderstood — but rather because it’s instinctively recognized as a force capable of striking against those roots. Note that I call this movement is “irrational” and “very deep”. Meanwhile, on a shallower level, its proponents naturally float various rational and attractive arguments to support this coddling, and for the moment some of our bishops find themselves socially inclined to fall for those arguments.

    • DE-173

      “And that Islam isn’t coddled so much because it’s misunderstood — but rather because it’s instinctively recognized as a force capable of striking against those roots. ”

      The enemy of their enemy…

    • Hugh Lunn

      Agreed, I’ve come to the same conclusion. Nothing else explains the rabid atheistic/secular Left’s alliance with Moslems.

  • Gerjen

    Christians who say that we worship the same God as Muslims are rejecting Christ. We worship the Trinity which includes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But Muslims reject the Trinity. Therefore, if a Christian says we worship the same God as the Muslims they are saying we don’t recognize Jesus as God. They should ponder this.

    As for Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s reference to “the xenophobic ranting of a segment of the population”, I am always suspicious of people who personally attack those whose ideas they disagree with. It’s not what I would expect from a priest. But I’ve heard priests at my own perish say things like people are opposed to immigration (including illegal immigration) because they don’t like the color of these immigrants’ skin. That is so disingenuous.

    • DE-173

      If you can’t dispute the argument, you can always impugn the motives.

      I wonder if O’Malley confessed his rash and uncharitable intemperance.

      That quote sounds a lot more political than pastoral to me.

      • Tamsin

        It was “xenophilic ranting”.

    • Tamsin

      too true: what priests say at a Catholic “perish”…

  • Watosh

    I certainly agree that Islam is an intrinsically flawed religion. Yet Muslims, as many have pointed out, do not suffer from “indifferentism” with regard to other religious beliefs. Moslems believe, erroneously of course, that the Muslim religion is the only true religion, but they wholeheartedly subscribe to this. They therefore, given their belief that Islam is the only true religion, do not permit those in Muslim countries to freely worship other religions. They are not tolerant of other religions for this reason. They are following their beliefs. Now Catholic teaching also, at least prior to Vatican II, was that in a Catholic country, other religions are not to be encouraged. Catholic teaching also states that no one should be converted by force, while evidently the Muslim religion believes in forced conversions to Islam, otherwise the Muslim position and the Catholic position somewhat mirror each other. I hope that stating this rather obvious fact does not lead to being subject to some name calling by the quick to detect error and quick to take offense crowd. Please consider my point, which is why do our religious leaders make statements that encourage “indifferentism” among Catholics, whereas at least you don’t hear Muslims talking that way. I don’t mean that Catholics should be as extreme as Muslims in maintaining that the Catholic Faith is the only true faith, but they don’t appear to have the strength of their convictions that a Muslim has in this regard. I notice in Malaysia or some Muslim country in South East Asia passed a law saying Christians could not refer to their God as Allah, whereas our Popes and bishops have publicly stated that the Muslims believe in the same God as we do. I think this points out how our convictions that the Catholic Faith is the one true Faith has softened. Why is this, I wonder? Any suggestions?

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      The great Persian Sufi mystic, Bayazid Bastami (804-874), known as “one of the six bright stars in the firmament of the Prophet,” was asked, “how does Islam view other religions?”

      “All are vehicles and a path to God’s Divine Presence,” he replied.

      As a Sufi, he taught the unity of God means that He alone is being and the self and the created world are illusions. This he regarded as the root of all religions, so all provide a path to enlightenment.

      His shrine in Chittagong is still an important place of pilgrimage.

      • DE-173

        Ahh yes, Sufiism, the speck of tolerance the apologists point to when directing your eyes away from an ocean of violence.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Sufi was quite influential in Mughal India, perhaps because of its affinity with Hindu metaphysics

          • DE-173

            In other words, Islam’s least objectionable branch is the one influenced by a a polytheistic false religion. Thanks for providing this insight into its nature.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              Hindu metaphysics, as opposed to popular devotion, tends towards monism – the unity of being, regarding all differentiation as ultimately illusory

              • DE-173

                Once again, Islam is only moderated in it’s violent impulses when it comes into contact with pagan mythology.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Sufis are hardly representative of “mainstream” Islam, and have had to endure frequent persecution .at the hands of their coreligionists.

        • DE-173

          I give you Stephen Suleyman Shwartz.

      • Watosh

        Apparently this view has not been the prevailing view over the years. The record has shown Islam to be a very intolerant sect on the whole. And as I said, I accept that if someone truly believes that Islam is the one true religion, I can understand why they might exhibit some intolerance. It is logical after all. I might note that the quote by Bastami, does seem to be in line with current statements by catholic prelates, which I don’t consider logical for them with the claim that the Catholic faith is the one true faith, without which there is no salvation. The thing is I find it odd that we Catholics are not willing to stand by our beliefs, when the Muslims, on the whole, show more firmness to stand by their flawed religion.I mean it seems like we no longer even claim to be the one true religion. This bothers me.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          That it has not been the prevailing view simply shows that Islam is not as monolithic as is sometimes supposed.

          • Watosh

            True enough. There is a great deal of misinformation circulated, and hysteria, and alarmist voices about a number of issues including Islam that prevent a rational discussion, and we know there are sharp divisions among Moslems, like the Sunni Shiite blocks. However, that said, Moslem countries are more monolithic than non-Moslem countries. I don’t believe Saudi
            Arabia allows any Christian church to be established there, and most Moslem countries place some restrictions on non-Moslems. Minorities in Moslem countries more often than not, generally represent different Moslem sects. Actually admittedly secular the regimes of Saddam Hussein and Ghadaffi were more tolerant of non-Moslem minorities than a lot of other Middle Eastern Moslem countries, but we got rid of them. I don’t know enough about Moslem countries in South East Asia, but Indonesia brutally took over the Christian Timorese, after getting the green light from the American government to go ahead. So even though the Moslem countries are not as monolithic as is often supposed, they still are much less tolerant of non-Molsems than western Countries in the present era. So perhaps I should have put it that way in my previous comment, that is to say Moslem countries are very intolerant toward those who subscribe to a different religion when compared to Western countries.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              That is all very true.

              Much of it is owing to religious bigotry, but not all and not entirely. Even secular governments in the Middle East, such as Turkey under Ataturk, and Ba’athist governments in Iraq and Syria recognized that religious groups possessed in their organisation and tradition a power to be reckoned with. Moreover, it is often the case that the State, its organs, and their corporate traditions of action, are so bound up with Islam that it is impossible to effect any general political settlement that neglects it.

              Even in a secular democracy like India, where religion is bound up with communal identity, at least as much a matter of belonging as believing, the government regards it as one of its chief functions to forestall or repress any inter-communal tensions, which can easily erupt into violence. Hence, the laws against proselytising.

              Even in Europe, the introduction of tolerance – the principle that no one should have his opinions enquired into by the state and the abolition of religious tests for public office – was often accompanied by the closest surveillance and strictest regulation of every religious group, association, community and corporation. This continued as long as such groups were seen as politically formidable and was relaxed as their influence over popular opinion waned.

              • Watosh

                Valid points. My main concern was to contrast the way in Moslem countries their Moslem religion (of whatever variety), though regarded as a flawed belief by Catholics has more influence in their laws than the influence exerted by Catholics in particular and Christians in general on the laws of their government. Actually in these Christian countries it is inscribed in the foundations of our government that religious beliefs take second place to secular interests. Now if, as we believe, our Religion is based on laws prescribed by God, I think we should not then regard this as the ideal situation. Now I grant you that since we have so many different religions, by establishing a secular government may have been a pragmatic solution in order to ensure peace between the various communities, but as a Catholic I may have to tolerate this situation, I should never regard it is ideal. And I believe that has been the way the Catholic church, at least before Vatican II, has officially regarded this situation.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  Watosh

                  The Reformation and the Wars of Religion produced a stalemate.

                  For countries with significant religious minorities, the challenge was how they could unite their peoples in a common citizenship, despite confessional differences. That is the significance of the prohibition of religious tests for public office in Article VI of the US Constitution; the implication is that the state does not restrict religious beliefs, but it excluded their intervention in, or impact on, the relations between private individuals and public authorities.

                  In practice, this separation worked well in the era of liberal parliamentary democracy in the 19th century, when a large areas of social, economic and cultural life was regarded as “outside politics.” The state provided a legally codified order, within which social customs, economic competition, religious beliefs, and so on, could be pursued without becoming “political.” This relied on a consensus about the boundary between the state and civil society that broke down with the rise of mass political movements in the 20th century. Outside Europe, it never existed, except in the imaginations of a small Western-educated élite.

              • cestusdei

                In every county with a majority of Muslims, of any kind, Christians are persecuted.

          • DE-173

            It doesn’t need to be monolithic to be virulent and pathogenic.

      • cestusdei

        Sufi’s aren’t popular in Saudi Arabia either.

  • cestusdei

    I expect it feels pretty real to the Christians being killed. It is time to hold Islam accountable.

  • DE-173

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/08/archbishop-of-mosul-i-have-lost-my.html
    August 9, 2014. The young ask for guns. The elderly approve. “Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future,” says Amel Nona, 47, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul exiled in Erbil. The message is unequivocal: the only way to end the Christian exodus from the places that witnessed its origins in the pre-Islamic age is to respond to violence with violence, to force with force. Nona is a wounded, pain-stricken man, but not resigned. “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.” He is very glad to meet Western media. “Please, try to understand us,” he exclaims. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal,” Archbishop Amel Nona continues, “but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”

  • Prolifedem6M

    The proposition that all religions are good is highly questionable. The Bible is full of warnings about bad religions. This is the principle theme particularly of the prophets and the histories.

  • Tamsin

    When George W. Bush told us Islam was a religion of peace, it seemed like a temporary expedient: useful happy talk while chasing terrorists around the world.

    Many years on, the “conscious defense of a certain narrative about Islam” has the feel of a material quid pro quo.

  • mollysdad

    If Islam is intrinsically flawed, then the assumption that freedom of religion is something that Muslims should enjoy would have to be revisited.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      Islam is not any more a religion than was Nazism.

  • Julie

    Instead of getting in the same boat with Islam and promoting Islam as a good religion and we worship the same God, the Church should be setting itself apart from Islam. When those countries with a growing populace of muslims finally wake up and see that they have indeed brought in the lion with the lambs, they will turn on all who have stood with Islam. Secularist are now categorizing all religions together. Now is the time to differentiate ourselves before it is too late.

  • ColdStanding

    People! We have to be reasonable about all this. So much of our money has gone to the middle east that we have to get some of it back into our economies. If this involves bringing in some types that could be unsavory or ruin your traditions, to bad. We have bills to pay. Besides, you are a probably a bigot. And I am not going to let no bigot get in between me and my commission check.

  • jacobum

    Dialogue with the Devil will never work. To think so is delusional and diabolical in and of itself. Islam is one of the major “religions” of Satan (the other is Protestantism). It is a cult and a heresy. It does not believe in Christ, let alone the Trinity. It’s tenants are based on pure evil no matter what nonsense supposedly informed grown men of faith concocted at a “pastoral council” and called it “ecumenism” and “religious liberty”. The empircal “fruits” of that council 50+ years later are clearly putrid. For one to objectively deny it is indicative of one needing professional help. To deny Truth i/n/o Man is in and of itself a diabolical delusion. The truth is that is exactly what V2 did….Created a “New Faith” centered on man rather than on Christ. The wreckage and delusion has and will continue until corrected or ended. Until then it is going to get much worse. God Help Us All.

  • strickerm

    Why is anti-immigration considered anti-Christian? I’m asking this in all seriousness. Are there verses in the Bible (Old or New Testament) that addresses this? I admit to not being able to recall any. I understand that we as Catholics (Christians) are to make every effort to help the poor and needy, but that’s not always the case when immigration is in question. Immigration that is based upon the final destruction of the destination I would call anti-Christian in itself!

    • DE-173

      When it comes time to observe U.S. tax law, the religious left (and since the religious left are mostly parasites at the public trough, they aren’t exactly unbiased)
      tells us how we need to respect legitimate authority. When it comes to immigration laws and borders, the need to respect legitimate authority becomes the need to eviscerate it.

    • HA

      Shutting the door permanently to any and all who are in
      genuine need of refuge would indeed be anti-Christian, just like resolving
      never to give another dime to any charity.

      That being said, just as it is ultimately the Christian’s
      responsibility of determining how much charity is enough, and whether the
      charity one expends causes undue pressure on the other financial
      responsibilities one has for those already in one’s care, there is nothing
      inherently un-Christian in saying the immigration policy in, say, 1950, is far
      more sensible than the ones we have enacted since.

      Likewise, even in the case of refugees fleeing war and
      hardship, one could well argue that finding shelter in and around the areas
      they fled, with cultures close to the ones they are familiar with, is a more
      appropriate long-term response then, say, trying to pack Minnesota with
      Somalis, which has become an increasingly popular idea of late.

  • phillyfanatic

    All of Islamofascism is pure evil; from the Pit of Satan. Any excuses by using Islam as cover or moral equivalency is a lie from that same Pit. Since 600+ AD, Islam has been violent, on the move, the Moors, Spain, Tours, the Ottomans et al. So the baloney about REAL ISLAM being pure, loving , peaceful is just that, baloney. There is not good Islamist but a dead one and the quicker the West agrees on that instead of PC liberal jargon, the safer our world will be.

  • Redigo Gubernatio

    Islam is a religion of death, not life. But for many Christians, while they profess life only have one or two children. In most of Europe, the Christian and native people are not populating and thereby are self-destructing themselves into a minority while Muslim polygamist wives and mistresses are producing dozens of little Muslims that want a caliphate. Many have said and say today that contraception is not a problem. Well look at the population decline of Catholics and Christians all over the world and tell me this is NOT the problem.

  • NasicaCato

    This observation is brilliant: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/moderate-islam-is-multiculturalism-misspelled/
    Basically he is saying that, at some level, liberals/progressives/leftists realize that if there really is no moderate Islam (or at least none of any significance) than their progressive ideals are doomed. The West will either wake up in time and reject them, or Islam will swallow them alive. Hence, they cling desperately to this fantasy against mounting evidence.

    • Trazymarch

      Tatar Sunni minority living in Poland might count as “moderate islam”. So far ( and by far I mean like four centuries) they are behaving. Also on another note: Why did you write islam with capital letter at beggining?

      • DE-173

        They behave until they form a critical mass, then go supercritical.
        I refer you to Dearborn, Michigan.

    • Tamsin

      “Moderate Islam is Multiculturalism misspelled.”

      excerpt: “Without a moderate Islam, the Socialist projects of Europe which depend on heavy immigration collapse…. Without moderate Muslims, nationalism returns, borders close and the right wins. That is what [elites] fear.”

  • ForChristAlone

    I have a sense that, having given up its insularity, Islam is in the process of disintegrating. This does not mean that it poses no threat. In fact, it is now more virulent than ever because it is disintegrating and looks to those outside its precincts as the cause of its very disintegration and one way or another has to create scapegoats in their final gasps for life.

    Islam is no different from other forms of totalitarianism that eschews the human freedom of will that God created us with. No different from all the petty dictators, communists and nazi regimes, the Pol Pots and Idi Amins of this world who, before their own self-destruction, took many millions to their death along with them.

    Look, Satan is at the root of all tyranny of the the will. Satan loathes the fact that God created man less than the angels but then sent his Only Begotten Son who became man in order to redeem him. This, Satan loathes more than anything. No, Islam is the “religion” of Satan. They pose a grave threat in the immediate. But we Christians know one thing for certain: Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! Exaudi, Christe!

    • JP

      “I have a sense that, having given up its insularity, Islam is in the process of disintegrating.”

      I wish it were so. But, I think it is a mistake to believe that a religion that has not only survived 1400 years, but has spread almost to every corner of the globe is disintegrating. Very few scholars actually study why Islam is so appealing to so many. Yes, it is spread primarily by the sword; but, it has a staying power. Just ask the Filipinos, or Nigerians. IMHO, Islam’s own refusal to change is one of its biggest appeals. Islam offers people an unchanging God and a way of life that, if it is anything, is stable.

      Yes, there is a danger here of Jihad. But, I think if Islam does conquer North America, it will do it because of a spiritual vacuum created in the wake of our own apostasy

  • pygmallian

    Here is my theory for what its worth. I believe that Islamic terrorists are representing the true original and intended spirit of Islam. In my opinion, whoever appeared to Mohamed under the guise of a good angel was not from God. However,similar to Mormons, God has worked through the original evil and responded to those who truly do believe there is a God and pray to Him. Such people have received God’s grace so that at this point in history the majority of Muslims are peaceful, not because of the Koran but in spite of it, as someone else already stated. The true original spirit of Islam is manifesting itself for the world to see through the terrorists.

    • TruthWFree

      You are, I believe, pretty much right on as far as my studies have taken me. I also believe the allah god of the Quran is Satan based on the lies in the Quran against Jesus’ divinity and death on the cross.

  • accelerator

    No mention of Vatican II’s magisterial or semi-magisterial affirmation of Islam. Dolan is just being another “loyal son of the Church” along with Pope Francis.

    • Guest_august

      I thought Islam is suppose to be a wonderful religion. Afterall, is that not why Pope John Paul II kissed their “holy book” the Quran? And they now say he is a Catholic saint. Really? Whose saint? Certainly, not of Jesus of Nazareth, only-Begotten Son of the Most High God? Can someone tell us what’s happening in the hierarchy of the RCC?

  • DJ Hesselius

    If Islam is a bad thing, then the Hierarchy is going to have to reconsider CCC and Lumen Gentium, which would seem to indicate otherwise. If the CCC and Lumen Gentium are flawed, then what other documents in the Church are flawed. Gasp, could Vat II be flawed?

  • AlexanderGalt

    Meanwhile the head of the Anglican Church tells a journalist that he has his doubts about the
    existence of God.

    OK. I know priests are only human, but the Archbishop of Canterbury? Is it too much to ask to have the head of a church at least believe in God. Or if he doesn’t, why does he feel the need to share his doubts with the world at large?

    There’s a great theory about the archbishop in: Progressive Faith” at:

    http://john-moloney.blogspot.com/2014/09/basic-qualification.html

  • Sean McDermott

    What would be so helpful on this website would be profiles on each comment listing the writer’s age (probably the most important), where they live currently, and some other information that would help others understand why they have formulated these view points.

    This article, along with many others on this website, receive strong support in the comments despite being flat out intolerant. Other common aspects among a majority of these articles are the belief that it is okay for only you to stand up for your religious beliefs, demeaning literally every other set of beliefs, even inside the same creed, sect, and religion, that are not identical to yours. The beliefs are rarely ever supported by scripture or magisterium implicitly or explicitly, essentially claiming that these close minded views rank over the infallible, and in the past few hundred years, ever-so-loving Papacy’s, the concrete doctrines listed in the Catechism, and the word of God living and breathing in the scriptures simply because they say so. No one cares if you believe your hateful, oppressive views completely void of consideration of the Golden Rule are divine truth, and you are being blasphemous and committing heresy by saying you’re Catholic while preaching hate and intolerance.

    The reason why I say why knowing the age of people who post comments would be great is because at least that would reassure me that is not younger generations of Catholics, who were thankfully not around when prejudice and intolerance of others ran rampant through out America molesting a religion of love from the mouth of Jesus, are not the ones with these Westboro Baptist resembling beliefs. I do not personally blame any of the generations for facing manipulation of their faith by societal norms that practiced hate, prejudice, violation of other’s rights while protecting your own simply because they’re your own, and intolerance of things that simply have no effect on you or our nation’s quality as a whole backed by disproven beliefs originating out of close-mindedness.

    I’m just glad the younger generation of Catholics, especially religious teenagers who identify as practicing Catholics, are so accepting and loving, truly affectionate individuals trying to live in he footsteps of Jesus Christ, preaching love and acceptance.

    • TruthWFree

      Kilpatrick is knowledgeable on Islam and his articles are TRUTHFUL. If TRUTH is hate speech, then the world is upside down. You need to study the hate filled Quran and the Hadiths of Muhammad and his robbing and killing and taking sex slaves and then you might not be so tolerant of EVIL. The allah god of the Quran calls for fighting, killing and subduing you and me assuming you are not Muslim and we see Muslims carrying that out throughout the world every day.

  • Thomas J. Hennigan

    The problem is that Pope Francis has also included an erroneous statement about Islam in Evangelii Gaudium # 253 and 253. He states that muslims adore with us a God who is merciful. This is not correct. They are totally dualistic. Allah is merciful towards muslims and even hates the unbelievers in Islam and order them to he killed. He also states that the “sacred writings” of Islam preserve part of the Christian doctrine, on Jesus and Mary and that he will judge men on the last day. This is also not correct. The quoranic version of Jesus is totally false and twisted. Yes, it accepts that he was born of Mary. Howeve, Islamic doctrine holds that both Jews and Christians twisted their Scripture, and in reality what Moses, the prophets and Jesus revealed was Islam, and that Jesus actually announced the coming of Mahommed as the final prophet. Of course, they have never been able to produce a shred of evidence to support this ridiculous claim. As for the final judgement, according to the Quran, Jesus will return on the last day to judge, but first he will destroy all crosses, that is, destroy Christianity. Of course, Islam, like the Gnostics of the second century, also denies that Jesus died on the cross. They also reject the Trinity, but understand it as being God the Father , Jesus and Mary! As for their dedication to prayer, yes they do it five times a day, but they rattle off words in the arabic of the Quran which they don’t understand. That is in # 252.

    In #252 he goes on to state that episodes of violent fundamentalis should lead us to avoid hateful or odious generralizations and “an adequate interpretation of the Quran is opposed to all violence” (sic). This statement is simply false and untenable, and also dangerous. Pope Francis is not an authorit on the interpretation of the Quran. In fact, all the schools of islamic jurisprudence agree that jihad is an intrinsic part of Islam. So, what the hihadi terrorists are doing is Islam exactly as the Quran, the life of Mahommed and the hadith espress it. That has nothng to do with being “hateful”, as a religion has to be judged by the content of is holy books and the life of its founder. It is beyond all doubt that the official and caonical texts of Islam make it abundantly clear that killling infidels, or submitting Jews and Christians to a humiliating third class citizenship in Islamic stetes and paying a poll tax, a kind of Mafia style protection money, is an essential part of Islam. Also, in Islam Mahommed is the perfect model of human behavior. How did he behave: As a bandit, a blood thirsty thief and criminal, a war lord, pedophile and one who slaughtered hundreds of Jews and also Christians.
    He also states that Christians “can celebrate freely their worship and live integrated in the society”. Where in the Muslim world can Christians do that: In Nigeria where they are killing and kidnapping Catholics? In Pakistan where they are they have the sharia in force? In Saudi Arabia? Probably the only country with a majority of muslims where this is the case is Albania. How is it that he could make these statements which are simply false and mistaken: Surely such documents are vetted in the Vatican and there are people there and in the Roman universities, as well as bishops from Islamic countries who could have informed him about the real situation.

    If these are the winds which are coming from the Vatiican, then it is not surpising that bishops from around the world will repeat these falsehoods. Frankly this is incomprensible. It is a lot easier to avoid making such statements than correcting them later. Besides this, Cardenal Parolin, Secretary of State and Head of the Vatican diplomacy stated that ISIS will be defeated by diplomacy and not by military means. One wonders in what planet this good cardinal is living.

    Jesus stated that the truth would make us free, and the truth about Islam needs to be clearlyy stated at this juncture, when we are in a dictatorship of political correctness and the likes of Obama, Cameron and the mainstream media, academia which is partly being financed by jihadist states like Saudi Arabia, are like a broken record in stating that “Islam is a religion of peace”. It s1400 years of history and its canonical books clearly give the lie to this contention. That politicians go around stating this, is one thing, but should the Church not be stating the truth, albeit not very palatable.

    • TruthWFree

      Very good and knowledgeable statement on Islam. You have the same opinion on Islam as I have. Since the allah god of the Quran says he has no sons and that Jesus did not die on the cross and that Jesus never said He is the Son of God; the last two both lies against the Gospels, the allah god cannot be the Father of Jesus or the God of Abraham. So who is this allah god? Jesus says Satan is the father of all lies. I conclude the allah god of the Quran is Satan….or, Muhammad was a LIAR and made it all up…almost just as bad as option number 1. Islam is a false evil hate filled religion in either case. The lack of discernment about Islam by this Pope is disconcerting and hard to understand that a Christian leader of his importance could be so ignorant on this evil cult religion.

  • Ugh

    Ok so just go ahead and start a second holocaust and kill us all since you all hate us so much i swear, osama bin laden does something stupid and now everyone’s pointing their fingers at us for everything.

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