Catholic Enablers of Islam

I recently wrote a piece about the civilizational struggle with Islam. In response, a reader asked for some specific practical ways that Catholics could resist Islam. I replied with a short list of steps Church leaders could take:

  1. Break off dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as ISNA and ICNA. Stop lending them legitimacy.
  2. Stop backing the phony “Islamophobia”/hate crimes campaign manufactured by Islamist groups. The “Islamophobia” campaign is aimed at shutting down all legitimate examination and criticism of Islam.
  3. Develop apologetics and educational materials that will provide Catholics with a fuller understanding of Islam.
  4. Develop programs in Catholic schools, colleges, and seminaries that will better inform Catholics about Islam. Currently, most Catholic schools are acting as apologists for Islam—simply echoing the Islamic apologists.
  5. Catholic refugee resettlement programs should concentrate on resettling Christian refugees from Muslim countries. Catholic encouragement of Muslim migration to Europe has already had disastrous results and may eventually lead to the extinction of Catholicism in Europe.
  6. Catholic media need to present a more balanced picture of Islam. For the most part, the Catholic fourth estate simply seconds the Islam-positive view of the USCCB.

At that point I realized that these suggestions would not even be considered by the great majority of the Catholic leadership. They would be dismissed out of hand as both unnecessary and discriminatory. In short, Catholic leaders won’t take steps to resist Islam because they see no reason to resist it.

Historically, Islam has been an enemy of the Church. It conquered large parts of the Christian world and, on several occasions, it advanced far into Christian Europe. Moreover, these conquests and attempted conquests were motivated not only by expansionist ambitions but also and primarily for religious motives. Christians were infidels and Allah and his prophet commanded that unbelievers must be subdued.

Islam still wants to conquer the Christian world and, in particular, Christian Europe. This time, however, the battle plan is different. Instead of an army of soldiers, Islam has deployed an army of migrants. This army has encountered very little resistance on its march through Europe. Indeed, for the most part, it has been welcomed by the authorities and subsidized by them.

In addition to this Trojan horse tactic, Muslims have another strategy of conquest. For a long time, the Muslim birth rate in Europe has far exceeded the native European birth rate. In this “war of the wombs,” Islam is the clear winner. “Mohammed” is the most popular name for baby boys in numerous European cities, and in some places—such as Birmingham and Vienna—there are already more Muslim than Christian children. When the recent influx of millions of Muslim refugees is added to the tens of millions of Muslims already living in Europe, it makes for a combustible critical mass. It means that Islam has been able to establish a fifth column of immense proportions inside Europe’s borders.

The success of this invasion is due in large part to the fact that European leaders, like Catholic leaders, have forgotten that Islam is an enemy ideology. And, like Catholic leaders, European leaders have foolishly assumed that whatever differences exist between the two cultures can be overcome by large doses of sensitivity and acceptance.

When did Catholic leaders abandon their realistic assessment of Islam? The turning point was the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, Nostra Aetate—the declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions. Nostra Aetate speaks of the Church’s “esteem” for the “Moslems.” It also urges both parties to forget the “quarrels and hostilities” of the past and “to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.”

In light of subsequent events, such sentiments seem rather Pollyannaish, yet, if anything, the Catholic leadership today is more committed to sensitivity, acceptance, and welcoming than it was in the sixties. Not only have Church leaders failed to resist the Islamic cultural invasion, they seem to have embraced it. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Catholic Church has become one of Islam’s chief enablers. By encouraging mass Muslim migration, by pedaling a rose-colored view of Islam, and by supporting Islam at every turn, Catholic leaders are aiding and abetting the spread of an aggressively anti-Christian belief system.

In many parts of the world, Christianity is in a fight for its life, yet many Catholic leaders seem to think it is more important to expend their time and energy in defending Islam against its critics than in defending fellow Christians against persecution. Catholic leaders are forever assuring us that violence has nothing to do with Islam, that terrorists pervert their faith, and that, to paraphrase Pope Francis, “If we speak of Muslim violence we must speak of Catholic violence also.” Catholic authorities tell us that “jihad” is an interior spiritual struggle and then, when the bloody variety of jihad can’t be ignored, they tell us that jihad is rooted in poverty and ignorance, not in Islamic beliefs. Catholic priests tell us that we must declare our solidarity with Islam, but never explain why Catholics should want to profess solidarity with a religion that executes apostates, stones adulterers, and cuts off the hands of thieves.

Catholic universities such as Georgetown pipe the tune the Saudis pay them to play, while other Catholic colleges give their students the impression that the Arabs created civilization, and still others celebrate International Hijab Day in order to—all together now—show their solidarity with Islam. Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Student Associations have begun to spread onto Catholic campuses, and one Catholic college boasts that 24 percent of its student population is Muslim. Will they still boast when it’s 60 percent? In England, some Catholic schools are nearly 100 percent Muslim. If you’re an optimist, you may consider that to be a great opportunity for making converts. If you’re a pessimist, you assume it’s the remaining Catholics who will be converted.

Meanwhile, on the geopolitical front, Catholic leaders have consistently rushed into areas where angels fear to tread. Take the dishonest and disastrous Iran deal. The Vatican, as well as the USCCB, heartily endorsed it. Yet the deal ensures that the apocalyptically-minded Iranian government will soon have the capacity to precipitate the end days it longs for. At this point it’s a toss-up whether the Iranians will usher in the last days or whether that honor will go to the Vatican-approved Islamic invaders of Europe.

It’s difficult to find any Catholic sources of resistance to Islam’s takeover of the world. The Catholic media, which might be expected to act as a watchdog against the leadership’s lemming-like impulses, is acting more like a lapdog. The Catholic press seems to think that its chief duty is to echo whatever the bishops say about Islam. That’s when they can find time to deal with the topic at all. In view of all the space devoted to articles about healthy diets, exercise programs, and Lenten recipes, one might conclude that the greater threat is not the expansion of Islam, but the expansion of the Catholic waistline.

In a thousand different ways, Catholic institutions have been running interference for Islam. It’s not difficult to see where this is leading. Islamists will continue to leverage the Church’s influence for its own advantage. And—just as disturbing—Catholics will lose confidence in their leaders. Europeans are already having serious second thoughts about their Muslim guests. According to a Chatham House poll, a majority of Europeans now want a total and permanent halt to Muslim immigration. They are beginning to understand what their ancestors knew too well. No matter how innocent individual Muslims may be, Islam is a mortal threat.

The Vatican fails to understand this. As it continues to welcome the “other,” it will almost certainly lose the trust of millions of Europeans, both Catholics and non-Catholics. An invasion of Europe is underway and, to all appearances, the Church has chosen the side of the invaders. Many Catholics will perceive this as a betrayal. And many, unfortunately, will turn away from the Church.

However well-intentioned, the Church’s enabling of Islamic expansion puts Europeans in danger. And as the USCCB pushes for more Muslim refugee resettlement, American lives are also increasingly at risk. In response to these concerns, Church authorities have cautioned Christians not to give in to fear. They seem to have convinced themselves that the danger is only imaginary, and they want to convince the rest of us as well.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? It’s a good prescription for not succumbing to the paralyzing effects of excessive fear. But Roosevelt never meant it to mean that there was no real danger. There was then, and there is now. There are tens of thousands of dead Nigerian, Syrian, and Iraqi Christians who, if they could speak, would warn us that fear of Islam is thoroughly warranted. By failing to tell the full story about Islam, Catholic leaders are failing in their responsibility to their own flock. The Church’s ill-considered embrace of Islam has not furthered the cause of peace and harmony. Instead, it has made the world a more dangerous place.

Editor’s note: In the photo above, Iran President Hassan Rouhani walks with Pope Francis at the Vatican on January 26, 2016. (Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Andrew Medichini/Pool.)

William Kilpatrick

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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

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