Radical Islam

How to Alienate Moderate Muslims

The recent “draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas not only drew fire from two armed jihadists, it also drew fire from Christian leaders and media critics. One of the chief objections was that events of this type will alienate moderate Muslims and possibly drive them into the radical camp. It can just as easily be [...]

Insulting Religion

We often hear it said that it is simply wrong to insult the faith of 1.3 billion Muslims. Why, then, isn’t it wrong to insult the faith of 2.2 billion Christians? It’s done every day, and sometimes the insults are hard to take. Christians are understandably upset when art exhibits feature crucifixes immersed in urine [...]

Infantile Culture Empowers Mujahideen

You’ve probably heard about the cancellation of a showing of the film American Sniper at the University of Michigan. The film was cancelled in response to a student petition protesting that the film was racist and anti-Muslim. The initiator of the petition told the Detroit Free Press that she felt “uncomfortable” watching it. The university [...]

Will Iran Replace ISIS?

If ISIS is defeated in Iraq and Syria, it’s likely that the Western world will breathe a collective sigh of relief. Many will assume that with the defeat of the supposedly un-Islamic Islamic State, things will return to normal—or, at least, to what passes for normal in the Middle East. As long as the beheadings, [...]

No-Go Zones of the Mind

According to a report in the Daily Mail, there are more Muslim than Christian children in Birmingham, England’s second largest city. The same is true in a number of other large and mid-size cities—in Luton, Leicester, Bradford, and Slough. At least three boroughs in London have more Muslim than Christian children, including Tower Hamlets, which [...]

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam [Pt. 3]

In his book America Alone, Mark Steyn observed that “there is no market for a faith that has no faith in itself.” He was referring to Christianity’s loss of faith in itself as exemplified by the decline of Christianity in Europe and the corresponding rise of Islam—a faith that does have faith in itself. A [...]

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 [...]

Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 1]

In a speech to Egypt’s top Islamic authorities, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a “religious revolution.” Why? Because he believes that Islam has problems: “That corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries … is antagonizing the entire world.” He continued: “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want [...]

Have We Got What It Takes to Win?

It was during the great slugfest of 1968, which marked the beginning of a fierce and protracted battle for the soul of America, that I threw my first electoral punch. Doing my bit, you might say, to help Richard Nixon deliver the necessary knockout blow to the Democrats.  Here (I thought) was the Party of [...]

The Unsubtle Mind of Hugh Hewitt

The week after the Islamic murder of twelve Charlie Hebdo employees and several French police officers, the popular American discourse as to what qualifies as "relevant" to the event is becoming increasingly narrow. Notwithstanding the popular insistence upon a singular moral in the sad event, indeed it should be seen as a manifold, or at least [...]

Prelates and Politicians Favor Cultural Suicide in Germany

Question: How would a Catholic bishop respond to tens of thousands of peaceful citizens singing Silent Night in the center of an historic European city? Answer: He would forbid Christians to take part. On December 22, 18,000 demonstrators, many of them families with children, marched against “Islamization” and sang Christmas carols in front of Dresden’s [...]

Three False Narratives

In his 1970 bestseller Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote about the stress and disorientation caused by “too much change in too short a period of time.” According to Toffler, more and more Americans were experiencing a sense of dislocation as a result of increased mobility, frequent career moves, and sudden lifestyle changes. Forty-five years later, [...]

Chesterton’s Islamic England

G.K. Chesterton had a knack for anticipating future trends but when, in his 1914 novel The Flying Inn, he anticipated the Islamization of England, it seemed so far out of the realm of possibility that it was difficult to take it as anything but a flight of fancy. True enough, the book has a whimsical, [...]

Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam

Nine years as chaplain of an 800 bed state mental hospital taught me that one can be mentally ill and highly intelligent. Talking with the patients often was more interesting than talking with their psychiatrists. Mad men are not mindless. They just do not distinguish between delusion and fact. Chesterton summed this up by aphorism:  “The madman [...]

Psychological Warfare and Terrorism

In a recent column, I suggested that one of the best ways to fight terrorism is by undermining the terrorist’s ideology. For example, by undercutting the belief that seventy-two virgins await the young martyr in paradise, you simultaneously undermine the will to fight. That’s not to say that the standard method of fighting terrorists—with guns—can [...]

Bishops, Bigots, and Ben Affleck

An exchange about Islam that took place recently on Real Time with Bill Maher helps to crystallize what’s wrong with many discussions about Islam and terrorism. Maher and fellow atheist Sam Harris took one side of the debate. Actor Ben Affleck, columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele took the other. [...]

Telling the Truth About Islam

Why has it become so maddeningly difficult to make judgments about other people? About the actions especially of people who want to kill us? Indeed, whose stated aim is to bring the Great Satan (i.e., America) to its knees, and then to cut off its collective head? Is it too much of a stretch to [...]

Fool’s Paradise: The Appeal of Jihad

“As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards and high-bosomed maidens for companions.”  ∼ Koran 78: 31-33 According to the principle known as Occam’s razor, the best explanation of an event is usually the one that is simplest. Yet Western analysts persist in using the most convoluted hypotheses to [...]

The Downside of Dialogue

Dialoguers say the darndest things. The conclusion to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Revelation: Catholic and Muslim Perspectives, contains the following: “Both Jesus and Muhammad loved and cared for all whom they met, especially the poor and oppressed.” Would that include the seven hundred men of the Qurayza tribe who were beheaded [...]

An American Christian

In February 2002, Aaron D. Wolf, the associate editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and I spent a full day at the local Islamic school and mosque in Rockford, Illinois. After lunch, we had the opportunity to sit down with a group of students, handpicked by the principal, to discuss their experiences at [...]

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