Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 2]

In my last column, I promised to propose an alternative to the Church’s current policy toward Islam. The main question I raised then can be put this way: If there is something in Islam itself that is conducive to violence, should Church leaders say so, or should they, for prudential reasons, keep echoing the secular mantra that Islamic violence has nothing to do with Islam?

Three Part Series 2The prudential consideration actually cuts both ways. By taking a more forthright stand, you risk offending moderate Muslims and possibly endangering Christians who live in Muslim lands. On the other hand, by rushing to the defense of the Islamic faith, you risk confusing Christians and lulling them into complacency at a time when they need to be on their toes.

The pope’s recent comments about the Muhammad-mocking Charlie Hebdo cartoons illustrate the dilemma. After insisting that “you cannot kill in the name of God,” he added, “You cannot provoke, you cannot insult the faith of others, you cannot make fun of the faith.” “We have an obligation to speak freely,” said Francis, “but without offending.”

There’s the rub. What if the ideology or religion you wish to talk freely about has an infinite capacity for being offended? What if all discussion is out-of-bounds? Not just ribald and deliberately offensive cartoons, but calm and reasoned analysis of religious texts and teachings? As Pope Francis says, it’s not a good idea to gratuitously provoke others, but what’s missing from his observation is an understanding of the current context surrounding discussions of free speech.

The larger context is that Islam wants to shut down any speech critical of Islam in any way. By “Islam,” I don’t mean every Muslim in the world. But how about the OIC—the Organization of Islamic Cooperation? Comprised of fifty-seven Muslim-majority nations and the Palestinian Authority, it’s the largest Islamic body in the world and also the largest bloc at the UN. What’s the chief project of the OIC? According to one observer, “For more than a decade, ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ has spread the belief that any insult directed against the Muslim faith or its prophet demands absolute suppression.” The OIC has relentlessly pushed its agenda in the UN by lobbying and by passing resolutions to prohibit the defamation of religion. Unfortunately, the OIC’s idea of what constitutes an insult is considerably broader than the pope’s. So is the penalty for insult. Whereas the pope will merely reproach you, the OIC wants to put you in jail. Its goal is to criminalize criticism of Islam and to punish Islamophobia with prison.

Not only is this a convenient way to silence people, it’s also an effective way of squelching any investigation of radical Muslim activities. Fear of being thought offensive has already put a crimp on national security measures to combat terrorism. As just one example, the NYPD’s very effective surveillance program of Islamist gathering sites was attacked as Islamophobic and was subsequently shut down. The brave new world envisioned by the OIC is not conducive either to free speech or security. It’s not just that you won’t be able to say that the emperor has no clothes, you won’t be able to point out that he’s carrying an AK-47 and a rocket launcher and has plans for an imminent attack on unbelievers.

Church leaders have to consider that saying the wrong thing might endanger Christians living in Muslim-controlled territories. They also need to consider that not saying anything carries the risk that the whole world will become a Muslim-controlled territory. It’s a risk that some bishops seem willing to take. On a number of occasions, Catholic experts on the Islamist threat have been blocked from speaking to Catholic audiences. In Europe, a Catholic archbishop has forbidden Catholics to participate in anti-Islamization groups. According to some intelligence analysts, terrorist sleeper cells in the West are now under orders to activate themselves. Catholics, it seems, are under orders to stay asleep.

This tamping down of any critical views of Islam might still be the prudent thing to do, but only if you make the assumption that Islam has no interest in expanding its power. If, as Father James Schall recently observed, one of the main thrusts of the Islamic faith is to bring the House of War (non-Muslims) under the control of the House of Islam, then the prudent thing would be to acknowledge as much and act accordingly.

Once again, it’s a matter of grasping the larger context. What kind of situation are we in? Is it still a business-as-usual world—the kind of world in which we can afford to give priority to concerns about sensitivity and inclusivity? Or have we entered a new age—a new age not unlike those old ages of long ago when Christianity had to fight for its life? If we are seeing the beginning of a worldwide attack on Christianity, then the first duty of bishops is not to preserve Muslims from offense, but to preserve Christianity.

So let’s consider an alternative and, hopefully, more realistic strategy. The strategy is based on the assumption that Islam, not just radical Islam, is a threat to Christianity. The Muslim world can go through periods of quiescence in which Islam itself recedes into the background, but radicalism is part of the genetic structure of Islam. Any true “reform” of Islam is going to be of the “operation-was-successful-but-the-patient-died” variety. That is, if you were to eliminate all the violent, supremacist, and misogynist elements in Islam’s basic texts you wouldn’t have much left.

In a sense, the reformation of Islam has come and gone. During much of the last century, Islam was honored more in the breach than in the observance. Partly because of Westernization and partly because secular leaders kept a lid on Islam’s aggressive side, Muslims were able to develop a more moderate practice of Islam. But, as many observers have noted, this more moderate Islam really amounted to a loss of faith in Islam. Muslims began to think of themselves primarily in terms of their national or ethnic identity rather than as Muslims. Egyptians, for example, typically took more pride in the pyramids than in Muhammad’s conquests. As a former Iraqi cabinet minister put it, “It appeared to be only a matter of time before Islam would lose whatever hold it still had on the Muslim world.”

To put it bluntly (although for prudential reasons you might want to blunt your bluntness) Church policy should be aimed at weakening faith in Islam. This is the reverse of the current policy, which is built on the assumption that there is a good (authentic) Islam and a bad (inauthentic) Islam and we should therefore reinforce Muslims’ faith in “true” Islam and encourage them to go deeper into it. This, as I’ve argued before, is an impossible project. “Good” Islam and “bad” Islam are as intimately related as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Hyde always predominates in the end.

Put another way, we should work at discrediting Islam just as Western leaders, clergy, and intellectuals once worked to discredit other totalitarian ideologies such as Nazism and communism. Jihad for the sake of Allah is not some unfortunate deviation from the true faith, it’s an integral part of that faith. As long as the faith is taken seriously, jihad will be taken seriously. The jihad won’t stop until the belief system that inspires it is undermined and dismantled. It is greatly in our interest that Muslims begin to take their faith less seriously. Thus, it is necessary to undertake the difficult and subtle work of discrediting Islam. Among other things, this discrediting process would involve questioning the authenticity of Muhammad’s revelation, questioning his character and reliability, and even questioning his existence.

Naturally, such an approach would provoke anger among many Muslims, so before adopting it it’s important to think about ways to implement it that would minimize the fallout. One thing to consider is the question of who should bell the cat. As I’ve said elsewhere, the pope and prominent bishops are probably not the best ones to deliver the message. Were the pope to publicly question the moral authority of Muhammad, the result would likely be mass rioting and murder. On the other hand, if some Catholic layman were to do it via some satellite program beamed to the Arab world, the blasphemy charge couldn’t be pinned on Catholics in general.

In fact, someone has been doing just what I describe, and he has been highly successful in converting Muslims to Christianity. However, he’s not Catholic and he’s not a layman. Father Zakaria Botros is an elderly Coptic priest whose Arabic-language TV show is broadcast from the U.S. to the Middle East. Fr. Botros says he wants to help reasonable Muslims who are searching for the truth to wake up to the truth about Islam. He does it by referring mainly to Islamic sources because, as he puts it, “Muslims have no greater enemy than their own scriptures…which constantly scandalize and embarrass Muslims.” It also helps that he’s able to make his points in a very engaging manner. According to Islam cleric Ahmed al-Qatani, six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Fr. Botros’ public ministry.

A hundred Fr. Botroses could do a lot to change Muslim minds without providing mobs an excuse to burn down the nearest church. A thousand would be even better. Not that every one of them needs to be an Arabic-speaking televangelist. David Wood is a Christian whose website, Answering Muslims, features short fireside chat-type videos aimed at English speaking Muslims. Wood is thoroughly versed in Islamic theology, and he has a low-key “inquiring-minds-want-to-know” style which is hard to resist. His many informative and often entertaining videos are readily available on his site or on YouTube. Catholic apologists are matchless when it comes to discussing what’s wrong with secularism, but they might want to check out Answering Muslims for some pointers on discussing what’s wrong with Islam.

The point is, the task of truth-telling should be outsourced so that the Vatican doesn’t become the focus of manufactured mob rage. The Vatican can still work behind the scenes to encourage Catholics to cast a more critical eye on Islam. In addition, Rome should give tacit permission for theologians and laymen to move beyond the limited horizons of “together-with-us-they-worship-the-same-God” thinking. Of course there will be risks, but one of the advantages of a widely dispersed critique of Islam is that the risks are spread out. Moreover, theological and historical discussions, whether in print or on video, are not as eye-catching to Muslim mobs as intentionally offensive cartoons.

What I am recommending is not an in-your-face Charlie Hebdo frontal assault on everything Muslims hold dear, but rather a slow process of desensitization by which Muslims get used to the idea of Islam being subject to criticism. Some of Fr. Botros’ effectiveness lies in his ability to cite Islamic sources to which his Muslim audiences cannot very well object. But much of it resides in his ability to condition them to accept criticism of Muhammad. The first time a Muslim hears the flaws of Muhammad discussed, he might well be angry. But how about the third time? The twentieth time?

The desensitization approach can be very effective—as Catholics should know. Every year around Christmas and Easter, we are treated to subtle and not-so-subtle media attempts to undermine faith in Christianity. I can’t recall the actual titles of all those Time and Newsweek cover stories or all those holiday special TV reports, but they go something like this: “The Hidden Gospels,” “The Real Jesus,” “The Secret Life of Mary Magdalene.” These “exposés” are meant to instill doubts, and they do. It might strike Christians as unfair to employ the same techniques against Islam. And it would be if Christians had to resort to using the same dishonest tactics. But whereas the tissue-thin evidence presented by the media relies on dubious sources, the case against Islam is, as Fr. Botros points out, embedded in mainstream Islamic sources. An article about the many wives (and concubines) of Muhammad might be offensive, but it would have the advantage of being factual. Or, for a somewhat less sensitive subject, how about a piece on the growing archaeological evidence that the story of Islam’s “Golden Age” is considerably exaggerated?

Fortunately, some in the mainstream media have begun to question the established narrative about Islam. Coincidentally, many of them happen to be Catholic—Michael Coren of the Sun News TV network, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, and Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. They have begun to ask the essential questions: Are Muslim apologists telling the truth? Is Islam really a peaceful religion? Does the problem lie only with a handful of radicals or is there something wrong with Islam itself? The drip-drip-drip effect of raising these questions night after night should not be underestimated. If enough people in the West were to engage in low-confrontational (“I’m only raising the question”) examination of Islamic tenets and do it often enough, the doubt level could be raised considerably.

And that is what we should aim at doing. The objective is not to make Muslims angry, but to make them uncomfortable with their faith. If enough questions are raised, some, at least, will begin to ask the same questions. To reiterate the main point, our aim should not be to separate Muslims from radical manifestations of their faith, but to separate them from their faith—albeit gradually. The former is an impossible task because Islam is essentially a radical religion. For proof, look at Saudi Arabia, the quintessential Islamic state. It’s the most Islamic nation in the Muslim world and also the most radical. Although the Saudi government knows enough to publicly condemn the attack on Charlie Hebdo, it does not hesitate to imprison its own blasphemers. While the Saudi Ambassador was marching in the “Je Suis Charlie” rally in Paris, back in the home country a young blogger, Raif Badawi, was receiving the first 50-lash installment of his 1000-lash sentence for “insulting Islam.” Saudi Arabia also conducts amputations (for thieves) and beheadings (for apostates) on a weekly basis in public squares. Moreover, bibles, rosaries, and churches are strictly forbidden. When you encourage Muslims to go deeper into their faith, what you get is places like Saudi Arabia. Or, in the Shia Muslim world, places like the Islamic Republic of Iran.

If all of the above still seems too confrontational toward Muslims to suit ecclesiastical tastes, then Church policy should at least be redirected toward telling the truth to fellow Catholics. Right now, Catholics are being seriously misled about the nature of Islam. Popes and prelates don’t have to go around poking holes in the Islamic narrative, but neither should they be reinforcing it. The bishops don’t necessarily have to censure Islam, but they also don’t have to talk about their esteem for it, or to dwell on its (supposed) similarities to Christianity. You can express your respect for Muslims, but do you really want to express your respect for Islam?

Christians can be put in danger if Muslims are overly antagonized, but they can also be endangered by being fed sleep-inducing bromides. Many Catholics are just now waking up to the fact that there really is such a thing as sharia law and that it’s spreading fast. Other Catholics are discovering that, contrary to what they learned in Catholic schools and colleges, jihad is not an interior spiritual struggle but something far more ominous. Other Catholics are still asleep. When the Caliph comes knocking at the door to collect the jizya, will they even know what a caliph is or what jizya means?

The untenable situation that so many Christians now find themselves in is due in part to the Church’s failure to give them a fuller account of Islam. If bishops had been more attuned to the dangers, Christians might have been better prepared for them. But precisely because the Church did take an “official” position on Islam, and because that position was one-sided and simplistic, Catholics were left much further behind the curve than they might otherwise have been.

I don’t pretend to know the climate that prevailed in the Nigerian Church prior to Boko Haram, or in the Church in Iraq prior to the advent of ISIS, but my guess is that, because the Church is universal, the local bishops would have conveyed to their people more or less the same message that was conveyed to them from Rome. In other words, “Don’t worry, Muslims worship the same God that we do; the tiny minority of extremists that make trouble for us don’t represent the true Islam.” This reassuring narrative (“Islam means peace”) is not the only problem. The general lack of preparedness has been compounded by another one-size-fits-all explanation of events. Many in the Church have been overly concentrated on another narrative—the one that says that the Arab-Israeli conflict is at the root of Muslim discontent. Since this was the same explanation being offered by many secular experts, it seemed a reasonable supposition. The result, however, was that many Church leaders failed to take note of the dynamics within Islam itself that lead to violence.

The time has come to consider a new policy—one that alerts Christians to the dangers while at the same time sowing the seeds of doubt about Islam in the minds of Muslims. The policy calls for the dangerous work of discrediting Islam, but it is nevertheless the safer alternative. A continuation of the current policy is likely to prove much more dangerous. The proposed approach is based on the simple principle that honesty—even though it should be tempered with tactfulness—is still the best policy. In the next and last installment of this series, I’ll suggest some concrete ways for the Church to implement a more sensible strategy in regard to Islam.

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

    I believe that many young Catholics, particularly in France, have adopted a narrative in which the world is divided into two camps; on one side, the “cosmopolitan Satan” – the United States/Israel/the West, on the other the “dominated and the oppressed.” For them, the Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses have replaced “the proletariat,” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism.

    For them, Islamophilia is part of an anti-capitalist, anti-globalization. Pro-Third World narrative, largely shared by the younger clergy.

    • William Murphy

      I agree that this black/white view of human affairs is very appealing to simple minds. Best not to draw attention to places like Saudi Arabia, which is both ferociously Islamic and swimming in oil money. This tension between the old religious world and the inevitable corruptions of Western decadence will hopefully be another source of weakening Islam, though probably not in a way favourable to Catholic interests. You can see one significant chink in the Saudi armour in the way the corrupt elite interacts with the West, happy to gather lavish kickbacks from western military companies and indulge in alcohol and the most expensive prostitutes in the most expensive London hotels.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Not the least of its appeal to French Catholics is that it enables them to recycle their inveterate anti-Semitism under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order.

    • St JD George

      And our government too who feels there is really no difference in sentiment than with the Ferguson protestors. I read yesterday about how St Louis Univ (Jesuit) has plans to build some type of monument on campus to commemorate the occupy movement. I about threw up.

      http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/st-louis-university-building-monument-anti-cop-occupy-protest

      • Speaking of something that needs eradication.. the society.
        Unfortunately, I don’t have any reasonable expectation of the recognition of the need to remove this vector during this Papacy.

    • St JD George

      To be sure we are seeing that more and more, and it’s what’s filling our news. I think though that there’s a false narrative lost in all this and that is the fact that more muslims have been killed at the hands of other muslims in the name of their faith throughout time including still today. Those stories don’t make our headlines so you have to go dig for the information. There is something very fundamentally flawed in this legacy that was born in the desert some 1400 years ago.

  • Christians used to know and say that the author of false religions was the Devil. However you package it, that’s the message. Islam does not “worship the same God”, they are worshipping the Devil. It’s so bloody obvious no one will say it. If he didn’t make it up whole-cloth (a distinct possibility) then the “angel of light” Mohammad encountered in that cave was the Devil or some other demon. Mohammad is an anti-Christ (He who denies God in the flesh).

    • AnneM040359

      You got it right. Let’s not kid ourselves, we are dealing with a demonic false religion (Islam) and a false prophet Mohammed.

    • Martha

      Well said. Why all the confusion? If someone of authority would just come out and say it, we’d all be better off.

      • Joe

        That may very well be the truth, but what would happen if the pope came out and said that? Look at the reaction to the comments Benedict made a few years back. The Church is in no position to wage a war itself, but must rather rely on the armies of states in which the baptized reside. And if the POTUS claims to have the authority to come out and say that, than what would stop an other future POTUS from saying the same thing about the Catholic Church? This POTUS has already set out to destroy the Church in this country. GWB began a decade long war against Al Qaeda and other Islamic militants, and what has that gotten us?
        Perhaps this would have been easier 500 years ago when the Pope and loyal kings and queens had armies to deploy.

    • In the enthusiasm of the 60’s the Church did indeed declare that they worship the same God. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” Lumen Gentium 16

      • I’m aware. Glad I’m not Catholic and don’t have to choke that one down…. what absolute nonsense. The statement is blasphemous against the Holy Spirit.

        • It is embarrassing. But not a reason to abandon the Church founded by Christ Himself.

        • craig

          Moslems do profess to hold the faith of Abraham, but because they substitute the diabolical Koran in place of the Scriptures, they don’t actually hold the same faith.

  • Objectivetruth

    When Catholic James Foley was decapitated on camera by Islamic terrorists ISIS, Foley’s devout mother responded with love and peace, prayers for not only her son but the terrorists that cut his head off.

    Yesterday, the world saw on video the same Muslims terrorists burning alive a Muslim Jordanian pilot. The Muslim Jordanian king’s response was to within hours seek revenge by hanging two Islamic terrorists, with more to come.

    Compare the two responses. The Catholic mother seeks forgiveness and love. The Muslim country seeks immediate revenge and blood.

    I wonder what a Muslim watching these events and responses closely, finds deep in their heart the more attractive and appropriate response? Could the loving response of a Catholic mother to the incredible horror of her son being decapitated touch the Muslim deep in their soul questioning their own faith and being pulled towards the Word that became flesh, Jesus Christ? Does that Muslim, seeking peace in their soul, can’t help but make natural movement towards Christ?

    They will know we are Christians by our love……

    • Bill Guentner

      Forgiveness is one thing, however, there is justice that must also be served. I will forgive the Islamic murderers for the sake of my own soul, but that does not mean I will not seek justice. Let’s not conflate justice with revenge.

      • Objectivetruth

        Agree. Justice must be served. I’m not saying we need to be lambs led to slaughter.

      • Objectivetruth

        Then we agree.

    • JP

      The average, moderate Muslim would only see weakness. You really don’t understand Islam.

      • St JD George

        Agree, we aren’t going to make many converts by clubbing them over the head, but we aren’t going to make ANY converts if we are slaughtered and are dead. We are not called to be pacifists contrary to all the gooey social doctrine that abounds, and Islam fundamentally abhors pacifists. That is one area that may be shared in common with Christ, he loves those who are hot with passion and vomits out the lukewarm.

        • Objectivetruth

          Where do I say we must be pacifists? If you have a hard heart and seek an “eye for an eye”, then you are under the old law, and Christ is not “hot with passion” for revenge. ISIS mat be defeated and brought to justice. But what if Foley were your son? As a Catholic, how would you personally respond? With forgiveness or a foaming rage of revenge? Conversion of Muslims starts with the love of Christ by example.

          • St JD George

            You didn’t, I wasn’t being disagreeable. Often my replies are more like reinforcement or acknowledgment that I’m of a like mind and expanding. I am definitely not of the mind eye-for-an-eye, just to be wise, wary and prepared spiritually most of all. Diane Foley was the model of a saint in her response, and God bless her for that act of grace. No, sadly few noticed, including in our own secular culture.

            • Objectivetruth

              My Catholic response to Islamic terrorists is that of the Catholic navies and Don Juan of Austria at Lepanto. The rosary, a good confession, receive the Eucharist……and then give them hell.

      • Objectivetruth

        I’m speaking of our response as Catholics. You really don’t understand Catholicism.

    • What do you think they’ll do if they obtain radioactive or fissile materials?

      • Objectivetruth

        They’ll make a bomb, and try and use it. Which is why it is completely within in the Just War principles to destroy ISIS now. No argument there, DE.

      • St JD George

        Sit on it like everyone else does. No sane person (ok, I see the flaw) will use them en masse lest the world burns and them in it. Now it’s mostly like a club with varsity sweaters and bragging rights. Instead, bad state actors will try and release small amounts thinking they are getting away with something to rogue unconnected agents who will do their dirty work in small tactical strikes, in cities where they can get the most bang for their neutron bucks. They’ll think they are in the clear and feign plausible deniability, until it unravels which it ultimately always does. Then what to do once elevated to DEFCOM 2, who knows what cool heads will prevail.

  • Keith Cameron

    Perhaps I’m just not a good Christian, but I’m weary of turning the other cheek whilst barbarians slaughter people in a manner that would be unlawful to do to rabid Dogs.

    While the Church should not seek outright confrontation, we must demand that the Church demands protection for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ rather than consign them to wholesale slaughter in the name of not making offense.

    There is a right and wrong side to this argument: Appeasement and coddling could not be more clearly ‘wrong’. Weakness ad fear carry a scent. Right now, we reek of weakness.

    • The individual Christian is bound to forgive his enemies, the Christian leader must use the sword to defend his people from evil. Christianity is not pacifism or a suicide pact.

    • Objectivetruth

      Agreed. Forgiveness is tough, a conscious act of the will. But until we forgive, our own souls won’t heal. I believe it’s a Chinese proverb that says “the man seeking revenge needs to dig two graves.”

      I imagine many hardened hearts that must have started to soften at the foot of the cross when the Annoited One, being tortured to death in the most horrible way, called out “Father, forgive them! For they know not what they’ve done!”

      • AnneM040359

        But also do not forget two things, first the Christian faith is not a sucide pack, second there must be forgiveness, but also justice for without justice, mercy is impossible.

        • Objectivetruth

          Agree. ISIS must be destroyed at this point. But how many times did Christ tell us to forgive? Would you not as a Catholic publicly forgive the ISIS murderers if you were the JordanIan pilot’s mother, yet still calling for These murderers of your son to be brought to justice? Or would you respond by hanging Al Queda prisoners like Jordan did?

          • I would eradicate them by vitrefying the sands they stand upon. Teach them the dangers of pyromania.

            • Objectivetruth

              I hear there are Marines and US special ops forces itching to get in to the fight. They feel there is no more of a clear moral mission ever than the destruction of ISIS. I believe they’re right. This meets all of the Just War principles. ISIS must be destroyed to protect innocents. My buddy has called for dusting off the old Vietnam era 18,000 pound “Daisy Cutter” bombs to be used. The psychological effect of a couple of them being dropped might do the trick.

              • I suppose I have become jaded, and llttle shocks me, but ISIS makes sure to cause pain in their victims and horror in the rest of us.
                Beyond that, they attempt to depersonalize their victims-beheading separates the body from the head- the head is the central locus of identity; throwing someone off a building is treating them like something being disposed of or discarded, and incineration is designed to disfigure the person.
                Yet for all their barbarism, they are only new in ferocity. It’s unfortunate because they remove the death toll from Al Quaeda, Hamas, Hezbolla and other groups fom the front page. Each iteration of this is treated as unique and it prevents us from taking off the rose-colored glasses that seem to obscure the vision of secular and religious offices. The central question is why does the Islamic petri dish seem to spawn so much sociopathic behavior?

                • Objectivetruth

                  I tend to agree with another person posting on this site that it was satan that gave Mohammed the Quran in that cave, not God. Islam denies the divinity of Christ. Think about how incredibly heretical that belief is. Only the Evil One could preach that gospel.

                  Also, I wish American and foreign journalists would stop wandering in to Syria. Looks like ISIS is lining up more of them to be beheaded in living color.

          • mollysdad

            I for one wouldn’t forgive the ISIS murderers.

            The first reason is that they are forgiven when they become Christians and are baptized, and not before.

            The second reason is that “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” doesn’t apply. In this case, they do know what they are doing: murder, idolatry and blasphemy.

            • Objectivetruth

              Forgiving others is for our benefit. And it is commanded by Christ, Whom will be as merciful to us as we are to others.

              “The second reason is that “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” doesn’t apply. In this case, they do know what they are doing: murder, idolatry, blasphemy.”

              Huh? Hmmmm…..

              Christ was also probably addressing the pagan Roman guards who had tortured, flogged and nailed him for kicks. They probably mocked him blasphemously about his divine claims.

              And yet….he forgave these “murderers, idolators, and blasphemers” while hanging from a cross.

              • mollysdad

                Christ was addressing the Roman execution party who assumed that Pilate had declared Him guilty of crime (he had, in fact, found no case against Jesus, but the executioners weren’t there to hear it).

                • Objectivetruth

                  You’re incorrect, but even if you weren’t …..

                  Christ would not have forgiven His executuioners? He would have held a grudge against them?

                  • This sort of reminds me of a story of a couple where one of them was unfaithful. After the fact, there are numerous arguments and in one of them the adulterous partner tells the other one, you are supposed to be forgiving and the response was I can forgive you, but that doesn’t mean I can trust you or forget your indiscretion.
                    Among the legitimate purposes of the state are the provision of a military. One does not have to hold a grudge to recognize the existence and identity of an enemy, or the need to mitigate or eradicate the threat.

            • Objectivetruth

              Understand you HAVE TO FORGIVE the way our Heavenly Father forgives us.

              It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or isn’t painful. It doesn’t mean the ISIS murderers will all of a sudden repent and be sorrowful.

              And forgiving is our first step towards healing and getting past incredible pain. Have you ever held a grudge against someone that has slighted you? The only one that really suffers is the offended and not the offender. And forgiving brings us closer to Christ.

              • AnneM040359

                ….And there are times when there are those who WAIT to forgive long after the wrong has been commited, when the time is right.

                • Objectivetruth

                  Sure…..we’re human. Trust me, I find forgiveness difficult. But I have certainly sinned heavily against others, it was humbling how they forgave me with great love. And Christ literally forgave those that nailed spikes into his hands and feet just moments before. The next time someone cuts me off aggressively in traffic I try to keep this in mind!

              • mollysdad

                You don’t have to forgive unrepentant infidels. He who is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned.

                ISIS are, moreover, under the curse of destruction which God has fixed upon Amalek (Exodus 17:16), because their aim is to blot out all remembrance of the name of Israel under heaven.

                • Objectivetruth

                  “You don’t have to forgive unrepentant infidels. He who is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned.”

                  Incorrect. Where are you getting this from? It’s certainly not Catholic.

                  • mollysdad

                    It comes from the Bible itself, at the place where Jesus gives the Great Commission. You can’t be expected to forgive those whose sins God retains on account of their unbelief.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      This makes no sense. You never answered my question that is along the same lines: did Christ forgive his executioners? The answer is yes, “seven times seventy.”

                    • mollysdad

                      Jesus forgave His executioners numerically once. That’s because they were properly disposed to receive God’s mercy. The men of the Islamic State aren’t.

                  • TruthWFree

                    Christ says in the Gospels that who ever does not believe in Him is already condemned. The Muslims claim to believe in Jesus as a prophet and not the Son of God, but I do not believe their belief will give them eternal life with Christ in Heaven. Muhammad had to downgrade Jesus Christ to prophet status to make the claim he was the final prophet. He could not do that if he followed the Son of God, could he? This is another reason i believe Islam is Satan inspired.
                    I pray daily for Muslims to come to Christ and leave their evil, false hate filled religion, 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings.

                    • Only one religion is truly 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings. “The J-ws, Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men.”

                    • TruthWFree

                      Christ said he did not come to change one letter of the Law God gave to the israelites. He came to bring a New Covenant for all men who believed in Him. Christianity is Judaism extended through faith in Jesus Christ. Islam is a made up religion by one man inspired by Satan. Muhammad did not do one miracle and his evil hate filled religion is a recipe for eternal hate and killing in the name of his allah god.

                • Shalom mollysdad. Hasbarat much? HaShem commandment to destroy nebulous entity Amalek has actually been loosely applied to: Germans, Russians, Poles, Palestinians, Egyptians, Romans, and many others. Very versatile really.

                  • Nicholas I

                    Andorra is Amalek!

            • AnneM040359

              The sacrament of baptism does what it does, forgives sin and brings mercy.

          • AnneM040359

            Was not that Jordanian pilot that was burned to death a Muslim? Also I am not surprised that the Al Qaida prisoners were hung. Got to remember that what took place was considered an act of war against that country, Jordan. Right now, we are dealing with a 21st century reality of nazism.

            • Objectivetruth

              Agreed…..but my point is how we respond as Catholics. ISIS needs to be destroyed, saving innocents. But these murderers need to be defended against but also prayed for, we should wish no one goes to hell. Pope Pius XII prayed everyday for Hitler’s conversion during WW II.

    • richado

      Christians have every right to defend themselves – their children and their families, their communities, their nation. The Crusades were essentially about this. So was the Battle of Lepanto and the Battle at the Gates of Vienna (1683). I make no apologies to anyone about Christians fighting Islam on the battlefield in the past, as none is needed. Islam started this, and Islam understands ONLY the language of force and strength. Sadly, thanks to liberals, atheists, and multiculturalists who have deliberately eviscerated and emasculated our culture, so that it will not withstand the Muslim onslaught- whether Muslims do it by stealth or direct force. Islam has no use for dialogue and mutual respect of others. They even slaughter each other for essentially tribal reasons. So I agree right now we reek. Time to stop being doormats to the left lib agenda and how it has aided and abetted the Islamic threat in our communities and nation.

      • TruthWFree

        Are you aware that the Muslim Ottoman Empire was defeated at the Gates of Vienna Austria on 9/11/1683? Also, the Ground Zero Mosque was to be named the Cordoba Initiative. Again, Cordoba was the capital of Muslim Spain from the early 700’s AD to about the time of Columbus, 1492 AD, when the Muslims were finally driven from Spain. They appear to know their history better than we do.

        • richado

          Yes, I’m very well aware as my “ancestors” ,perhaps, were with Jan Sobieski at Vienna. We also studied this in Polish school history class. As for the Cordoba Intiative – yes to that. 9/11/20001 was in reference to Vienna 1683. I have studied and read up on Islamic history. As for Muslims knowing their history better, I disagree. Islam and Muslims have no use for history- read the Quran. The only “history” they know is a twisted version that is is far from the truth of events, where they always portray themselves as victims eg.the Crusades. Also, they consider Spain as theirs from the beginning- forgetting the inconvenient truth that they were the conquerors and enslaved the Spanish. But, in sense you are right as well; as many who are products of the Western educational system do not know the true history of Islam, thanks to political correctness. They are taught how “bad” the West was and still is.

          • TruthWFree

            Interesting about your ancestors. My great grandfather immigrated to the US in 1876 from the area near the Bohemia/Moravia border about 100 miles north of Vienna, Austria. John Sobieski must have come through the area on his way to defeat the Muslims. Not sure where he gathered his army before marching to Vienna. In my blogging, i met a man from Lodz who is also a very knowledgeable man on Islam and he offered to guide me if I ever wished to visit my ancestral homeland.
            The general american public is ignorant on Islamic teachings and much of this history. So was i before 9/11. Now i consider myself a very well informed student. i was not talking about you. It appears that you, like myself, do not think these points on 9/11/1683 and Cordoba are coincidence.

            • richado

              No apology necessary. I know you were not talking about me- I just added a personal note. John Sobieski was someone I knew about since I was a child.But, even in high school the Muslim invasions of Europe were not taught! And that was even before political correctness took hold! So keep up the good work! Glad to hear from you.

          • Actually their victim stance is a fairly new wrinkle. It’s made for Western consumption. Using Christian beliefs about care for the powerless and the weak against us.
            It also enables them to legally wage “defensive” jihad in the absence of a legitimate Caliph.
            Islam is no different than all other pagan systems – the strong rule the weak and brag about it.

  • Tom

    You have made many good points, but you fail to consider the many injustices committed by coalition forces since 2003 and the effect this has had in creating a sense of aggrieved nationalism. Guantanamo bay alone is a recruiting magnet. We must have the courage to afford natural justice to these people. I believe, as happened in Ireland, many of the violent acts are not based on purported faith but instead an aggrieved nationalism.

    • St JD George

      Tell that to the millions more who have died at the hands of their fellow followers of the faith. I read an account last year that claimed over 270 million have died in the 1400 years since this fellow walked the earth, just among the practitioners. I’m not sure how one goes about proving our disproving that claim, but it tells me that there is something more deeply flawed as it continues today. Also, to date there has been no sense of nationalism among the “true followers” – except ironically now they want to form a state in what was formerly Northern Iraq and Syria. That’s a temporal state though, their honest objective is to fulfill the edict to eradicate straight from the pages of the book.

      • Tom

        So why are we funding them to fight Assad. Tell me, who was more reasonable to the local Christians, Assad or the rebels.

        • Keith Cameron

          The Assad regime was orders of magnitude better for the indigenous Christian population of Syria than are the ISIS types. But they aren’t the indigenous rebels. They’re a Jihadi group that smelled the the carcass and moved in for the meal.

          What we should be asking is why do we in the USA have a national Policy that promotes radical Islam? When have we ever had an administration that was even clandestinely as hostile towards Israel and this one is openly?

          • St JD George

            I read last week about how our government hosted a delegation of the terrorist organization “the brotherhood” to discuss their expanded roll in the ME (courtesy of Georgetown Univ sponsorship). I didn’t know before, but I also read recently how our government reserved the first several rows at his famous Cairo speech exclusively for “the brotherhood”. The same ones aligned with Iran and are sworn enemies of Israel and less vocally (lest their funds be cut) the US. What we are doing is a total embarrassment.

            • It’s hard to complete with all the K street evil in DC, but Georgetown certainly is competitive.

              • St JD George

                They should have left their crucifixes covered after the anointed one was through using them.

          • Tom

            A carcass that was created by the US. I would say the same for Iraq but I suspect I’ll just set you off on one.

            • Keith Cameron

              No, you’re wrong Tom. The Syrian uprising was a purely home grown effort. As for Iraq, would lay that failure (regardless weather we should have gone in or not) squarely at the feet of President Obama.

              • Tom

                As to Syria I think you’re being naive.
                On Iraq, if relatives or just countrymen of yours were treated like the prisoners in Abhugraib (which was pre Obama) how would you have responded.

                • Keith Cameron

                  Were any of them beheaded? Did we set them alight? Really Tom, you’re not naive, you’re childish. And I might add blinded by partisan bigotry.

                  • Tom

                    You haven’t answered.What would you do?
                    Partisan with whom.
                    I’m European prolife Catholic who wishes they had listened to the warnings of St John Paul

                    • St JD George

                      I tend to agree with you that we should have never re-engaged Iraq the second time – even though there were in fact WMD even if over stated. Our involvement, and now especially once there our rapid and irresponsible departure has caused havoc in the region. I’ll admit I supported at first, questioned later, and now wish we hadn’t, but am totally disgusted by our actions today.
                      I don’t know why I let you drag me into that, again. Stepping back out, there is something deeply flawed at work in this faith of so called peace and it rises to a level well beyond nationalism.

                    • Tom

                      Yes I agree with you but it is the Pandoras box which we opened.

                    • JP

                      True. And the next time a bleeding heart tells us that we “must do something” to end the violence and massacres, we should politely tell them to bugger-off.

                    • Tom

                      Inclined to agree with you but perhaps not re the Syria Christians. A bit prejudiced of me I know but….

                    • “We” nothing.

                    • JP

                      Before 2003, Shiites were brutally oppressed by Saddam’s Baathists – and many of those Baathists were Chaldean Catholics and Nestorians. Yes, all we did was remove the one “stabilizing” political figure in the Middle East and opened up the entire region to unbelievable suffering and destruction. But, let’s not look at Iraq with rose colored glasses.

                    • Tom

                      The thing is before 2003 Bush didn’t even know there was a difference between Shiite and Sunni.

                    • 22

                      You are an expert on what he knew and when are you?

                    • You would be a lampshade had the Unites States not sent Nebraska farmboys to die to fight in the two World Wars you started-the arrogance of Europeans is breathtaking.

                    • Tom

                      With an outlook like yours no wonder the Middle East is in the mess it is. They didn’t send any senators sons but they sure enough sent enough trigger happy poorly trained farm boys to guarantee the chaos would last for generations.

                    • JP

                      “Trigger Happy Farm Boys?” And you accuse others of holding prejudices.

                    • Tom

                      I didn’t accuse anybody of being prejudiced. Wrong but not prejudiced…and the chaos speeks to it.

                    • JP

                      When you learn anything about what happened in Iraq other than your propaganda and leftist fantasies, let me know.

                    • 22

                      What a load.

                    • I carry no water for the Kennedys, but he was an ambassador and his kid was killed. Many prominent men and sons of prominent men served.

                      My uncles served in that war and they never pulled a trigger after they received honorable discharges. They were real Catholics, real men, men of honor, decency and authenticity-not cheap thespians parading visceral indignity and continental chauvinism as counterfeit Catholicism. They were what you are not and could never be.

                      In other words, they were the men that cleaned up YOUR mess, and wanted nothing but to return to their lives.

                      The real trigger-happy people in that were were Germans firing on unarmed civilians so they fell in mass graves-Europeans.

                      You aren’t fit to be withing a 1000 miless of their graves or the company of the living.

                    • I agree. Europe’s sacred and lofty monuments in stone, marble, wood, and iron might as well be turned to mosques. They sure as hell don’t care for the meaning of that history.

                • St JD George

                  The bigger fear that they had which was justified as evidenced by the recent narcissist appeaser is that we would leave before stability was established creating a vacuum of chaos. Read the stories, they fear IS much more than they ever did our presence. Yes, there are always bad stories that come out of war. I read the other day that American Sniper is doing quite well in its limited release in Iraq. Many were indifferent because of the numbing effect of the carnage of war, but many cheered as well recognizing pure evil and barbarism for what it actually is – evil and barbarism.

                • GG

                  Are you serious? That was nothing at all compared to what the savages are doing. To put that in the same breath as the monsters who murder is unjust.

                  • Tom

                    Revenge is usually ten times worse than the original provocation.
                    A significant minority of US soldiers behaved with complete indifference to human life over there. Backed up by legal immunity. There are numerous Iraqi civilian corpses that speak to this. The US philosophy amongst this minority was if in doubt kill it.

                    • 22

                      You mentioned Abhugraib. How many innocents were killed there?

                    • Tom

                      Unjustly imprisoned and tortured is usually enough to provoke a response. Don’t expect the response to be as restrained and disciplined as Miss England in her cruelty.
                      It’s not right but to not expect it is a bit dangerous.

                    • 22

                      What was the torture?

                    • Tom

                      You must be the only person in the West who hasn’t seen the photographs of Captain England and the other guards with their dogs. Or perhaps you don’t view that as torture, which might explain the chaos.
                      Also indefinite detention without trial is torture.

                    • 22

                      The dogs did what? And being a prisoner of war is not unjust.

                    • Tom

                      They weren’t prisoners of war.They were civilian fathers dragged out their homes in the dark with no charges and no lawyers.
                      You seriously haven’t seen the photos? You do have google don’t you.

                    • 22

                      I saw them and nothing there was as bad, or even close, to authentic torture. We were at war. One guy had underwear on his head.

                    • ” One guy had underwear on his head.”

                      Well now you have to understand that’s really just as bad as incinerated alive.

                      We have to accept our European guest’s ideas on torture, after all from the Europeans nvented the rack, until the fall of the USSR, they were the Bell Labs of torture.

                    • The horror of wearing briefs on one’s head! Make Genghis Khan look like Mary Poppins.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      The guillotine…….

                    • Oh yes, industrial mechanized beheading.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “Downtown Abbey”……torture…..

                    • JP

                      Captain England? She was a Specialist (E3).

                    • Never let facts get in the way of a good rant.

                    • Also indefinite detention without trial is torture.

                      Reading your posts is torture.

                • 22

                  We would not respond like savages.

                  • Tom

                    That’s exactly what a significant minority of you did in 2003.

                    • 22

                      Uh huh.

                    • Now you know why Eisenhower made the Germans go through the concentration camps.

                • Glenn M. Ricketts

                  In the US, the perpetrators were prosecuted and given long prison terms. I haven’t found the equivalent action in Syria or in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or in Afghanistan, etc.

        • St JD George
      • Tom

        The carcass that was instigated and created by the US. I would say the same for Iraq but I suspect I’ll just set you off on one.

        • Yeah, the middle East was all milk and honey before 2003.

          • St JD George

            Well the first thing you know ol Ahab’s a millionaire,
            His nomadic friends said “Ahab move away from there”
            Said “Saudi is the place you ought to be”
            So they loaded up the camels and moved to Mecca-ly.
            Sand, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars in burqas.
            Well now its time to say good by to Ahab and all his kin.
            And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
            You’re all invited back again to this locality
            To have a heapin helpin of their sharia hospitality
            Sandbilly that is. Set a spell, Take your sandals off.
            Y’all come back now, y’hear?.

          • 22

            Yes, apparently to the biased and effete we must blame America first. I mean of course it is America’s fault degenerates set people on fire.

    • craig

      Take off your secular Western media blinders.

      There are areas the size of continents where Islam is being spread by the sword and nobody that is doing it says jack about Israel, Bush, Gitmo, or the war in Iraq. Boko Haram, the MILF, and Laskar Jihad are not reacting to ‘coalition forces’ halfway around the world; they’re just doing what the Koran and hadith tells them to do.

      • Tom

        The world’s not as big as you Americans think it is. Do you not think these guys watch Sky and read the western rags online? Half of them wear Premiership football tops. You cannot excuse the injustices committed to them in your name and sadly their aggrieved nationalism or regionalism or tribalism has come back to bite you. Fight it yes but stop making it a holy war which it’s not.

        • I so tire of being lectured by people from other countries who would be enslaved to the Nazis or the Soviets without us.

          • 22

            It is not even a lecture but propaganda. It is the usual old blame America first. They minimize the evil done to innocents and blame America.

        • craig

          They say it’s a holy war, that Islam commands them to war against all who do not submit to Islam. The groups I cited are not waging their attacks against Americans or Westerners, but against their own neighbors at home.

          I do them the respect of taking them at their word. When someone tells you exactly why he wants you dead, odds are he’s being honest about it.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      Then what about all of the bombings, murders and innumerable acts of terror and violence perpetrated by Jihadists prior to 2003? The 1972 Olympic murders? The 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland? The embassy bombings and the USS Cole in the late ’90s? The first attack on the twin towers in NYC in 1993? Were these also the result legitimate grievances against western injustices? If not, then what?

  • Miketom

    This is a very important article and one that Catholics need to listen to. Up to this point, the Vatican’s position on Islam is pathetic and embarrassing. Does anyone remember Lepanto? Nothing has changed since then when it comes to Islam. The feminized approach to Islam by most of the leaders in the church is disappointing and naive.

  • Bob Boehm

    The false ecumenism brought about by the Masonically inspired revolution of Vatican II renders NewChurch defenseless against Islam. The correct policy against Islam is the Peace Plan brought by Our Lady of Fatima. When a pope finally does correctly the consecration of Russia, Russia will convert, along with whole world. Until then, Russia’s errors will continue to spread, to the satisfaction of Satan and his ever growing legion of dupes.

    • AnneM040359

      Did not St. John Paul II did just that way back in the 1980’s when he consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

  • St JD George

    Here is a quiz everyone needs to take to confront the reality that is this primal brutality:
    http://www.truthrevolt.org/commentary/quiz-why-did-isis-burn-jordanian-pilot-alive

  • Craig Roberts

    That’s all very sweet but what will immediatly happen is that the secular culture will turn around and use the same techniques to instill doubts in Catholics and other Christians. It will go like, “Yes yes, the Quaran shows that Islam is irrational. But let’s not descriminate! Let’s check out the Bible and all of it’s quirky contradictions and conclude that all religion is of dubious rationality.”

    • It’s already doing that. As long as we treat ISlam as a religion, rather than a cult, there will be those that can dismiss all religion, ignoring the fact that radically committed Christians build hospitals, while radical Islam fills them.

  • Richard Smith

    I consider myself a devout Catholic and I don’t think it’s helpful that the Pope and many in the West refuse to stand in truth when it comes to Islam.
    By all means, in the context of Christianity, Islam is a heresy.
    You don’t need to be a genius to put things together here – a basic understanding of current events, history, Muhammad and the Koran are all that is needed to see the devilry we are dealing with.
    Islam since day one has been the ideology of the sword. Also if you are not a Muslim Islam is not a religion it is a political system. This is the fundamental misunderstanding of the West. Islam for the non-Muslim is not a religion it is a totalitarian political system.
    Again we all want peace, but I think it is more dangerous to lie about what we are dealing with than to stand in truth and take things head on. It will only string out the violence and do more damage in the long run.

    • mollysdad

      Islam isn’t a heresy, since a heretic can remain a Christian.

      A Christian who becomes a Muslim is an apostate. Islam is blasphemy, since it calls God to witness against His own revelation.

  • I think the Vatican should abrogate and/or curb the language found in V2 and the CCC regarding Islam. It’s founded on a faulty, schmaltzy ecumenism anyhow. I don’t see how the whole “they adore with us” language can be pushed as de fide anyway – certainly not an infallible observation.

    • St JD George

      If you raise it, I’ll raise my hand and second it.

  • NickD

    Forgiveness requires repentance

  • St JD George

    Again, I really enjoy your columns Bill. I know it’s easy to write in the quasi anonymity and safety of the digital universe, but quite another to be the one who has to make decisions knowing that many lives are at stake. Still, out right lying calling something it isn’t is never productive (not to mention deceitful) and so one must chose their words carefully, including sometimes saying nothing at all.

  • Ruth Rocker

    What most people do not understand is the vital differences between what Jesus taught and what muhammed taught. The message of Jesus and therefore of Christianity, is one of love. Love of your neighbor and love of God. Peace and love are diametrically opposed to violence. The message of muhammed, contained in the fairy tale he wrote, is one of unceasing, relentless violence, lies and deceit. The two commandments for muslims is kill unbelievers wherever and whenever you find them and wherever and whenever you find unbelievers kill them. I can’t think of two messages that are as far removed from each other as this.

    Until people in positions of power, both secular and religious get the courage to tell the truth, both about the lies of islam and the real truth about Jesus Christ, the world will continue to slip closer to a global caliphate. Lord protect your people.

    • Caitlin

      Ruth- you are so right. My husband was raised in a Muslim country and he always points out something that everyone misses. It doesn’t matter how you define “jihad.” People who say that it’s not related to violence are wrong, but that also doesn’t matter. Muslims care about the Quran, and they also care about what Muhammad did. Muhammad killed people in the name of Islam. So, Muslims really can’t say that is wrong, because it is what their prophet did (proudly) and they see him as the “ideal Muslim.” So if the ideal Muslim killed people in the name of religion how can you really tell extremists that what they are doing is wrong?

  • Tamsin

    Pretty crazy. At the exact moment in history we need to question Islam intensively, the secular Left joins with Muslims to declare there must be no questions! and sets about promulgating hate-speech laws, starting on college campuses and moving though government out into our everyday lives.

    Residual Christians, feeling both sentimental about faith and indifferent to their own, rush to join Muslims and Leftists in this endeavor. How embarrassing.

  • St JD George

    Amusing when King Abdullah quotes Clint Eastwood in a meeting with members of the House Armed Services Committee expressing anger over IS, the lack of effective response by the US and hollow rhetoric, and never once mentioning the anointed one. Maybe the Speaker should invite him to speak to Congress too after Prime Minister Netanyahu so America can hear it straight up what’s going on and not glossed over. Before you attack, I’m fully aware of the irony representing the house of Saud and Sunni Wahhabism here. Still, I wish there was a video clip of the King impersonating Clint.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/after-isis-execution-angry-king-abdullah-quotes-clint-eastwood-to-u.s.-lawmakers/article/2559770

  • elbo43

    Good article. Looking forward to the last one.

  • TERRY

    The Pope says “We have an obligation to speak freely …… but without offending.”

    When dealing with Islam, that is just not possible,. If you say something about Islam that offends a Muslim, you run the risk of being killed for doing so. It has always been that way – a recent example being the cartoon riots of 2006, it is that way now – Charlie Hebdo, it will remain that way.

    For the Pope not to realize that is absurd.

    • We (should) have a RIGHT to speak freely. Our OBLIGATION is to speak truthfully.
      This might explain some stuff.

  • TERRY

    I am sure many of you have heard of the prominent atheist Sam Harris. I think if you were to google ‘Sam Harris Los Angeles Times September 18, 2006 and read what he wrote it would be enlightening.

  • cestusdei

    A Nigerian priest told me that things were terrible until the Christians in his area fought back against the Muslims. Suddenly the Muslims were willing to talk and cease the attacks. Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

    • St JD George

      And cancer spreads indiscriminately when left untreated until it kills the host.

  • St JD George

    Just like at home watching an old Disney movie with the family and a tub of popcorn. Except in Raqqa they do it even better with a large projector in the town square so everyone can watch and cheer the spectacle of burning a man alive. How thoroughly peaceful.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-set-giant-screens-raqqa-showing-jordanian-pilot-burning-death-cheered-by-crowds-1486614

  • The question only how much radical Islam threatens Christianity. Thge typical Muslim in most of the world goes to the mosque as much the lapsed Christian: http://www.pewforum.org/?p=7062 The question is who is a radical Muslim? Some might simplify the answer to Boko Haram or ISIS, but they do not exist in a vacuum. Certainly not in a political, financial or military vacuum. As a matter of fact, radical Islam is supported chiefly by Saudi Arabia. But, since SA bases its power on its oil revenue and its alliance with the US in the petrodollar regime, which in return protects it militarily (v. http://bit.ly/16C64XB ), America is the major accomplice enabling radical Islam. Not only indirectly, but also directly, out of sheer incompetence or sordid ambition, when training and arming in Syria the opposition to Assad, better known as ISIS or whatever it calls itself this week.

  • ferdinandgajewski
  • Joseph

    If the author’s goal is to weaken the faith of Muslims, then Vatican II has much to teach them. Some suggestions
    1) Translate prayers into the vernacular dialects. Make them seem less special and more conversational.
    2) Loosen some onerous restrictions (e.g. does the Ramadan fast really have to be all day and every day? Try the communion fast of 1 hour, with numerous exceptions. Pray 5 times a day – are you serious? )
    3) Get rid of kneeling when praying. Try standing. And holding hands.
    4) Be silent (no spoken criticism) on homosexuality, masturbation, extra-marital sex, divorce.
    5) Be more vocal on environmental issues (e.g. global warming, evils of oil, etc.)
    6) Design places of worship to look like hotel lobbies.
    7) No dress code (or modesty) at worship. That’s too restrictive.

    These innovations can do wonders in weakening the faith and creating a new generation of Westernized secular “I was raised Muslim but now I consider myself spiritual” folks. It may take ~40 years, but it will work.

  • Howard Kainz

    Documents from Vatican II make your commendable suggestions impossible to implement. Lumen Gentium insists “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day”; and Nostra aetate emphasizes “mutual understanding,” since “The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own.” This doesn’t leave much room for criticism of this “Abrahamic” religion.

    • TruthWFree

      The allah god of Islam denies Jesus Christ as his son, says that Jesus Christ never said He is the Son of God and that Jesus did not die on the cross, the latter two are lies against the Gospels and the first “allah has no sons” indicates that the allah god is not the Father of Jesus or the God of Abraham. Add to this that the teachings in the Quran, (supposedly the allah god’s revelation to Muhammad through Gabriel), are 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness and are a recipe for eternal killing and subjugating of not only Jesus Christ’s followers, but the rest of mankind and even Muslims who are not Muslim enough. Jesus says in the gospels that Satan is the father of all lies. I conclude logically that the revealer of the Quran to Muhammad was SATAN. Add to this the “Satanic Verses” where Muhammad or the allah god says that Satan fooled him in allowing other gods besides the allah god and also add to the belief of Muhammad that he was possessed by a demon after his first revelation and tried to kill himself several times, you have a demonically inspired cult religion. The Catholic Church leadership is blind on Islam. The claim that Islam is an Abrahamic religion is just a claim that cannot be substantiated. From Abraham to Ishmael to Muhammad is some 2600 years and there is NO genealogy to support any ancestral connection as there is from Abraham to Isaac to David and Solomon all the way to Jesus as there is in the Bible. This Abrahamic claim is another Islamic Satan inspired lie to gain credibility.

  • veritasetgratia

    I support the insights in this article. When we know convincingly that God is Love because He is Trinity, then how can people worship God whom they can never know as a God of love and understand they are called to love as a result of that! I always struggled with the notion that we worshipped the same God.

  • ED FITZPATRICK

    Another excellent article by William Kilpatrick. However, I think it is wrong to say that the same message was pedalled in Iraq, that Islam is nothing to worry about. Speak to any non-Muslim
    brought up in an Islamic country and you hear the same tale time and again: a
    tale of discrimination, albeit in greater or lesser degrees. These people are
    not fooled by the present Orwellian claptrap.

  • ED FITZPATRICK

    IS THIS COUNTRY AN ALLY OF THE WEST?
    “SAUDI ARABIA’S MAIN EXPORT IS FEAR AND HATRED, NOT OIL.” An article with this headline appeared in the Financial Times of London last August.

  • Thomas J. Hennigan

    Fr.Boutros is Egyptan and obvously speaks Arabic. Evengelicas other than David Wood have some converts from Islam beaming programs via satellite in arabic. Surely there are Catholics who are good communicators and also arabic speakers who could engage in the kind of approach which you propose. Obviously, it is far better that lay Catholics do it, whilst the pope and bishops quit the present mistaken approach.
    Anyone who criticizes Islam is dubbed as islamophobic,and a bigot. People like Robert Spencer, a devout Catholic and one of the foremost experts on Islamic doctrine in the West, have been persectuted by bishops who have not been willing to allow them to speak at Catholic venues. As we know, phobia is an irrational fear and name calling is a way of throwing mud at people and mud sticks.

    • TruthWFree

      I had a very heated exchange with the priest in my parrish over “We all worship the same God”. I also documented that exchange in an email to my bishop and asked if he believed the same and got no response. I then managed to review the letter with the Vicar General and although he was critical of the priest, he said they (Islam) just do not have the whole truth. I came back at him and said that if they are an acceptable way to God, despite the Quran stating that Christ was not crucified and that He never said He is the Son of God and agree with Muhammad that the Gospels and the Bible is corrupted, then why don’t we all just become Muslims? Of course that is a facetious question, but some Christian weak in their faith might not. I know of at least a couple of people who were born and raised Catholic, who converted to Islam.

      Because of the above lies against the Gospels in the Quran and Jesus statement in the Gospels that Satan is the father of all lies, I believe the being that gave the revelations to Muhammad was Satan, if there was supernatural revelations and not just Muhammad making the stuff up (again lies).

      • Joseph

        Your exchange is not just with your parish priest. It is with Vatican II Rome. (See Howard Kainz’s post below.)

        • TruthWFree

          See my post below to Mr. Kainz. Islam is not just another “Abrahamic” religion. That is a lie.
          ****************************************
          The allah god of Islam denies Jesus Christ as his son, says that Jesus Christ never said He is the Son of God and that Jesus did not die on the cross, the latter two are lies against the Gospels and the first “allah has no sons” indicates that the allah god is not the Father of Jesus or the God of Abraham. Add to this that the teachings in the Quran, (supposedly the allah god’s revelation to Muhammad through Gabriel), are 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness and are a recipe for eternal killing and subjugating of not only Jesus Christ’s followers, but the rest of mankind and even Muslims who are not Muslim enough. Jesus says in the Gospels that Satan is the father of all lies. I conclude logically that the revealer of the Quran to Muhammad was SATAN. Add to this the “Satanic Verses” where Muhammad or the allah god says that Satan fooled him in allowing other gods besides the allah god and also add to the belief of Muhammad that he was possessed by a demon after his first revelation and tried to kill himself several times, you have a demonically inspired cult religion. The Catholic Church leadership is blind on Islam. The claim that Islam is an Abrahamic religion is just a claim that cannot be substantiated. From Abraham to Ishmael to Muhammad is some 2600 years and there is NO genealogy to support any ancestral connection as there is from Abraham to Isaac to David and Solomon all the way to Jesus as there is in the Bible. This Abrahamic claim is another Islamic Satan inspired lie to gain credibility.

        • TruthWFree

          Yeah…I know…and the Pope has eyes but cannot see, and ears but cannot hear. Pope Urban of the Crusades knew Islam. So which one was infallible? I go with Urban.

  • Marcelus

    Again , poorly researched,

    The pope’s recent comments about the Muhammad-mocking Charlie Hebdo cartoons illustrate the dilemma. After insisting that “you cannot kill in the name of God,” he added, “You cannot provoke, you cannot insult the faith of others, you cannot make fun of the faith.” “We have an obligation to speak freely,” said Francis, “but without offending.”

    Take a minute and check out what hebdo has published , their covers, in the past about the Lord and our Lady, but do look at it and then tell me what you think of PF’s comment.

    You will not even dare mention it

    He is not just talking about islam

  • TruthWFree

    Mr. Kilpatrick has nailed the Islamic thing again. The Pope and Catholic Church leaders, by defending Islam or stating we all worship the same God, are doing the followers of Christ a disservice and very likely giving Muslims who have doubts about their religion, more reason to stay in Islam. They should be preaching the Gospel that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Very good article.
    Just finished reading Nabeel Qureshi’s “Seeking allah, Finding Jesus”. His debates with David Wood in defense of Islam versus Christianity led him to the TRUTH that is Jesus Christ. Apparently Wood’s questions to Nabeel caused Nabeel to research his birth religion more thoroughly and he found many things that seriously troubled him, which eventually led to his faith in Christ. Nabeel was VERY resistant to questioning Islam, as it appears all Muslims are, and many hafve the concern of losing family because of the affront to the family’s honor. Mark Gabriel’s story about his conversion was more personal as he himself starting questioning his religion after delving into it more thoroughly. Gabriel’s story has some miraculous happenings in his search for God. I highly recommend reading both men’s stories. Gabriel wrote Jesus and Muhammad and has his coming to Christ story on the internet..

  • But the new Church policy toward Jews has been a disaster; perhaps will prove even fatal. I recommend tried-and-true orthodoxy in these matters. Changing policy toward Islam would only be itself a result of change-in-policy-toward-Jews and this could get out of hand really fast.

    • Nicholas I

      Next thing you know, the pope will be praying with witch doctors! (Oh, right…)

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