Islam

Religious Liberty Thwarted by Canadian High Court Decision

I should apologize for more bad news from Canada (and more to come with the recent legalization of marijuana), but it comes with a tinge of hope: last Friday, Trinity Western University, a Christian university in Langley, British Columbia, was denied the right to offer law degrees by the Supreme Court of Canada, due to [...]

Do Muslims Need the Gospel?

Should Catholics evangelize Muslims? Currently there doesn’t seem to be much effort in that direction. For example, a recent Pew survey shows that 23 percent of Muslims in America no longer identify with that faith, and, of those, only 9 percent convert to a different faith. The other 91 percent effectively become secular. By the [...]

Are the Vast Majority of People Moderate?

One strong argument for the acceptance of large scale migration is that all people are made in the image of God. One powerful argument against it is that all people are, to some extent, made in the image of their culture. One of the chief complaints about migration to Europe is that the migrants are [...]

What If Muhammad Didn’t Write the Qur’an?

Who wrote the Qur’an? You may think the answer to this is obvious: Muhammad wrote the Qur’an. And the crucial difference between Muslims and non-Muslims is whether they believe he was inspired by God to do it. But if you did give that answer, you’d be completely wrong. For one thing, not even Muslims think [...]

A “Common Word” Versus Common Sense

If you’ve seen the movie version of Porgy and Bess, you might recall Sammy Davis Jr.’s rendition of “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” At a church picnic, Sportin’ Life, a somewhat disreputable character, tries to convince the others that “the things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, It ain’t necessarily so.” He then proceeds [...]

What, Indeed, Is the Quran?

Most people know that the Quran (Qur’an, Koran) is the holy book of the Muslim religion, hence of about a fifth of the world’s population. But knowing this much, we still must grasp the peculiar nature of this famous book, if, indeed, because of its origins, it can be called precisely a “book.” If we [...]

Life Lessons from Christmas Carols

One of the perpetual complaints against Christianity is that it is a life-denying, puritanical system. In the Victorian era, poet Algernon Swinburne referred to Christ as the “pale Galilean” from whose breath “the world has grown grey.” In our own time, films such as The Handmaid’s Tale portray Christians as robotic control freaks. Meanwhile, elite [...]

Jerusalem in the Islamic Imagination

There is no story of salvation in Islam because the climax is not the Incarnation, but the mere example of the “ideal man.” There is no grace to save us from the stain passed on by Adam and Eve because there is no such thing as original sin. If a Christian reads the Bible from [...]

Islam: A Giant Step Backwards for Humanity

One of the big mysteries of our day is how so many supposedly enlightened Catholics have managed to get it so wrong about Islam for so long. It’s understandable that in the 1960s, when the Islamic world was relatively quiescent, Catholics might entertain the high hopes for Islamic-Catholic relations expressed in Nostra Aetate. But this [...]

Islam, Hollywood and Choice

Once in a while there is an article that defends the practice of Muslim women covering her hair. If they really want to be insulting, there is a picture of a nun in a habit right next to a beautiful woman in hijab. “What is the difference?” they ask. “It is the choice,” I answer. [...]

Reflections on the Fatima Centenary

The devotion to Mary within the Christian DNA, could properly be said to derive in the first instance from the high esteem shown to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel, who brings to Mary the announcement of her vocation of mother of the Savior of the world. In his greeting he says that this simple handmaiden [...]

On the Blithe Ignorance about the National Anthem

The current Neo-Puritanical mania for tearing down statues and stifling free speech by cultural ingénues ignorant of history and logic, has reached a stellar absurdity in demands to censure “The Star Spangled Banner” on lame claims that it is racist and advertises bigotry. Given the low level of contemporary culture, and the remarkable fact that [...]

Creation of Man in Islam and Christianity

It has been much harder than I expected to explain to Westerners why Muslims, even the moderate ones, behave the way they do. How does one describe the trees to a kid who only ever saw the desert? Even though it is fading, Christianity has been in the very fabric of the West, making all [...]

Raising Lion Cubs for the Caliphate

There are a number of Muslim reform movements in the West and in the Muslim world which aim to make Islam a more peaceful religion by removing the more offensive parts. Some reformers, for example, want to rebuild Islam around the more peaceful verses of the Koran while discarding the violent verses. But what if [...]

Nostra Aetate and the Catholic Response to Islam

I have encountered serious Catholics who have invoked the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions) as seemingly discouraging or even reproving any kind of searching public examination and criticism of Islam. What exactly does this short statement of the Vatican II Fathers have to say about [...]

A Strategy for Fighting the Cold War with Islam

I’m reading Paul Kengor’s splendid book, A Pope and a President, and it got me to thinking—as everything does these days—about Islam. Kengor’s book tell the story of the partnership between Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and the role the two played in defeating Soviet communism. Without their commitment to fighting communism, the [...]

Our Lady of Victory

In 1952 Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote that Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, was the key to converting Muslims. Bishop Sheen believed that the devotion Muslims already had toward Mary would eventually lead them to her divine Son. Moreover, our Lady of Fatima would have a special appeal to Muslims because she appeared in a town [...]

The Enemy That Won’t Be Named

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, chosen by president-elect Trump to be national security adviser, again finds himself in the crosshairs of liberal ire. This time for calling Islam a political ideology masked behind religion. A registered Democrat, Flynn served in the Obama administration until, in his words, “the stand I took on radical Islam,” led [...]

Why Christians and Muslims Worship Different Gods

On August 30, Cardinal Raymond Burke sparked a debate about the relationship of Islam and Christianity with regard to their worship of God. It is a debate that has been addressed before, and in an interview he stated: “I don’t believe it’s true that we’re all worshipping the same God, because the God of Islam [...]

Must Catholics Believe that Islam Is Peaceful?

The Apostles’ Creed (updated version): I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the peaceful nature of Islam. Amen. Or, anyway, that’s how it ought to read according to Monsignor Stuart Swetland, President of Donnelly College in Kansas City. No, Msgr. Swetland didn’t actually [...]

An Encyclical on Islam?

It was heartening to hear Pope Francis denounce the Armenian genocide even though he knew it would incur the anger of the Turkish government (which denies the genocide charge). Dr. Lawrence Franklin, who was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, took the occasion as an opportunity to pen an article suggesting the [...]

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