Islam

Will the Church Get Hit by the Backlash Against Islam?

In the wake of numerous Islamist terrorist attacks, a reaction against religion is now discernible in many quarters of society. After 9/11, the sales of books by prominent atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens skyrocketed. The gradual slide into secularism that had been underway for decades prior to 9/11 accelerated after that event. [...]

The Vast Majority Myth

We often hear it said that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and reject violence. That proposition is worth examining because if it’s not true there is cause to worry. Of course, you should be worried already. Even if only a small percentage of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are prepared to use violence, [...]

A Muslim President?

Would you support a Muslim for president of the United States? That was the question asked of Dr. Ben Carson on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” He replied, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” The Islamic faith, said Carson in explanation, [...]

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … Winter Holiday

Lord Alfred Douglas, in a poem from the 1890s, euphemistically branded homosexual behavior as “the love that dare not speak its name.” In recent years, homosexual behavior has gotten quite vocal about itself, causing confusion over “love” and even “marriage.” Religion in general, however, and Judaism and especially Christianity in particular, have been muted—gagged might [...]

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil

Remember bell-bottoms, beads, and tie-dyed shirts? Remember encounter groups, Esalen, and trust falls? Remember “self-esteem,” “risk-taking,” “self-awareness” and the other clichés that were born with the human potential movement? Both bell-bottoms and human potential psychology became popular in the mid-sixties. Bell-bottoms, however, eventually went out of style. Human potential psychology never did. If you don’t [...]

The Myth of Islam’s Diversity

One of the big unexamined assumptions of our time is that Islam is a diverse religion which offers as many different flavors of the faith as Baskin-Robbins serves up in ice cream. Just recently, Nicholas Kristof penned a column for the New York Times titled “The Diversity of Islam,” and a week after that, author [...]

Islam Minus Muhammed?

Ever since 9/11 there has been much talk about reforming Islam so that it can be more in step with the modern world. What would a reformed Islam look like? One doesn’t have to look far for an answer. In a sense the Islamic reformation has already come and gone. It began in the colonial [...]

Why Benedict’s Regensburg Lecture Remains Relevant

Tragedies have a way of making time stand still. When threatened, we recede into our most primal selves; dominated by fight and flight impulses geared towards the most basic demands of the situation at hand. Objective analysis, reasoned judgment, and even emotion are swept away for an instant as we are seized by the immediacy [...]

The Mind of the Ideologue

On February 16, 1979, a secular leftist professor of politics, Richard Falk, enjoying in the security of France a sabbatical for international meddling, wrote an editorial for The New York Times, entitled “Trusting Khomeini.” When the history of the collapse of western civilization is written, that editorial should merit more than a footnote. The pro-western [...]

The Arabic Writing on the Wall

It takes courage to speak out against the threatening presence of Islam in today’s world. And it takes courage to defend those who have the courage to speak out. Eight years ago, after Benedict XVI gave his controversial Regensburg address, most European commentators were shamefully timid in their response. Most refused to raise their heads [...]

Islam’s Religious Exemption From Criticism

During the financial crisis of 2008, one of the pressing questions of the day had to do with whether or not various giant corporations—AIG, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, GM, and others—were too big to fail. The consensus among policymakers at the time was that these companies had to be bailed out by the government, or else [...]

Intelligence Failure

U.S. government officials were caught off guard by the recent rapid rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and its plan to establish a sharia-ruled caliphate state. Either they weren’t getting enough intelligence from their agents in the field, or else they lacked the framework for processing the information. Since the American Embassy in Baghdad [...]

When Man is the Measure of All Things

The distinguished political philosopher Leo Strauss was supposed to have said that the only two things in life really worth talking about are God and politics. That’s because at a most fundamental level they are inextricably intertwined. A skewed notion of the very nature of God and whether man acknowledges him—or tries to substitute himself [...]

Christianity and Islam: A Common Heritage?

Recently two prominent American bishops joined two leading Shiite Muslim scholars in Iran in issuing a statement on weapons of mass destruction. According to the statement, “Christianity and Islam cherish a common heritage that emphasizes, above all, love and respect for the life dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community.” It went [...]

When Satan Pulls Wool Over Our Eyes

Distilling some of the ideas in my book on Thomistic angelology, I published a previous column in Crisis on the massive intelligence and powers of angels. The flip-side of these spiritual faculties, as Aquinas points out, is the existence of a dark kingdom, using the same intelligence and power to prevent the spread of God’s [...]

The Shepherd’s Dilemma: Speaking Out Against Islamic Terror

 “Say too little and people will be killed; say too much and people will be killed.” I don’t remember the source of the quotation, but it succinctly captures the dilemma that world leaders face in deciding how to respond to Islamic violence. Catholic leaders face the same dilemma. When Muslims murder in the name of [...]

Are Muslims Our Natural Allies?

Conservative Catholics have been faring badly in the fight against militant secularism, so it’s understandable that they would be looking for allies to stand alongside them in the culture wars. Some Catholic intellectuals seem to think that Muslims are our natural allies in this struggle because they supposedly share similar values and because, like Catholics, [...]

What GLAAD and Muslim Extremists Have in Common

GLAAD is the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation. The OIC is the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, a 56-state organization which constitutes the largest voting bloc in the UN. At first glance, the two groups would not seem to have much in common—particularly when one considers the general antipathy toward homosexuals in the Muslim [...]

Repeating 1939: The Islamization of the West

In his 2005 book, The West’s Last Chance, Tony Blankley noted that there is a “natural human instinct to forget the distant past and to assume that the more or less benign trends of the recent past will continue.”  Nevertheless, observed Blankley, “shocking divergences from the status quo have defined the path of history.”  But [...]

Catholicism, Islam, and the Perils of Arguing from Authority

Like many Americans, I didn’t know much about Islam before the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. And, to tell the truth, even after 9/11 I wasn’t inclined to look too deeply into the matter. The events of 9/11, disturbing as they were, were not quite enough to overcome a certain inertia in me. [...]

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