Catholic Respect for Islam

Past popes combated the errors of Muhammad. Francis praises them.

April 26, 2017
The American Spectator

As the prototypical progressive Jesuit, Pope Francis prides himself on his “ecumenism.” He oozes enthusiasm for every religion except his own. At the top of his list of favorite religions is the Church’s fiercest adversary — Islam.

He often sounds more like a spokesman for CAIR than a Catholic pope. After jihadists cut off the head of a French priest in July 2016 — yelling “Allahu Akbar” over the priest’s slit throat — Pope Francis rushed to the defense of Islam. “I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence, because every day, when I read the newspaper, I see violence,” he said, before ludicrously blaming the rise of terrorism on the “idolatry” of free-market economics: “As long as the god of money is at the center of the global economy and not the human person, man and woman, this is the first terrorism.”

As Europe turns into Eurabia, Pope Francis is picking up honors and awards from progressives, including, hilariously, the 2016 “Charlemagne Prize” for his Islamic apologetics. It is hard to imagine a Christian leader less like Charlemagne. Pope Francis is energized not depressed by the disappearance of Christian Europe.

“States must be secular,” he told La Croix. Christian states, he said, “end badly” and go “against the grain of history.” He added that “when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful.” It also takes on “colonialist overtones,” he complained.

The most liberal pope ever, of course, sees no irony in shilling for the most illiberal religion on Earth. On his anti-colonialist scorecard, Islam wears the white hats and Christian Europe, the black ones. After jihadists gunned down ten journalists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, Pope Francis rushed to Islam’s defense again, in effect rebuking the dead journalists for incitement: “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” Those who do, he continued, should “expect a punch.”

This week Pope Francis takes his pro-Islamic apology tour to Egypt. Previewing the trip, which starts on Friday, he said he seeks to “offer a valid contribution to inter-religious dialogue with the Islamic world.” Francis’s fawning media courtiers are already rolling out the propaganda for it, predicting that it will “build bridges to moderate Islam.”

“A main reason for the trip is to try to strengthen relations with the 1,000-year-old Azhar center that were cut by the Muslim side in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults of Islam by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict,” according to Reuters. “Ties with the center were restored last year after [Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb] visited the Vatican. Tayeb, widely seen as one of the most moderate senior clerics in Egypt, has repeatedly condemned Islamic State and its practice of declaring others as apostates and infidels as a pretext for waging violent jihad.”

Being “one of the most moderate senior clerics in Egypt” is about as meaningful a distinction as being one of the most chaste Kardashian sisters. Useful idiots in the West call Tayeb moderate, but anyone paying attention knows that he is not, unless calling for the killing of apostates now counts as “moderate.”

As Raymond Ibrahim has written, “There’s nothing like knowing Arabic — that is, being privy to the Muslim world’s internal conversations on a daily basis — to disabuse oneself of the supposed differences between so-called ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ Muslims.”

Ibrahim has listened to Tayeb’s speeches and comes away from them with the conclusion that Tayeb is a double-dealing phony. He trots off to the West to tell the gullible what “they want to hear” then returns to his mosque and Egyptian television studios to reaffirm traditional jihadist theology, writes Ibrahim:

[A]ll throughout the month of Ramadan last June, Tayeb appeared on Egyptian TV explaining all things Islamic — often in ways that do not suggest that Islam seeks “peace, encounter.”

… That this is the case was made clear during another of Tayeb’s recent episodes. On the question of apostasy in Islam — whether a Muslim has the right to abandon Islam for another or no religion — the “radical” position is well known: unrepentant apostates are to be punished with death.

Yet Tayeb made the same pronouncement. During another Ramadan episode he said that “Contemporary apostasy presents itself in the guise of crimes, assaults, and grand treason, so we deal with it now as a crime that must be opposed and punished.”

It has never been easier for orthodox Islamic clerics to take liberals for a ride. Salman Rushdie once bitterly remarked that the “face of moderate Islam” in Great Britain had called for his death.

Past popes regarded Islam as a font of poisonous heresies. Dante placed Muhammad in hell. St. Thomas Aquinas said Muhammad peddled “fables and doctrines of the greatest falsity” and sardonically remarked upon the perverse basis for his claim of divine favor: “Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms — which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.”

What has changed? Nothing. Islam remains as violent as it started. But one thing is new: The Catholic Church, under the death-wish progressivism of Francis, has become one of Islam’s loudest boosters.


Pope Francis Tears at History’s Walls against Islam


FEBRUARY 27, 2017

BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM

Pope Francis continues to argue for two interrelated points that, while seemingly humane, compromise Western nations and expose their citizens to danger.


He reiterated his first point earlier this month when he said, “I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges.” Francis has made this appeal frequently, both figuratively (when imploring Western nations not to close their doors against more incoming Muslim migrants) and literally (for instance by characterizing Donald Trump’s proposal to build a U.S.-Mexico wall as “not Christian”).


Francis reiterated his second point a few days ago when he said, “Muslim terrorism does not exist.” His logic is that, because there are Christians who engage in criminal and violent activities—and yet no one blames Christianity for their behavior — so too should Islam not be blamed when Muslims engage in criminal and violent activities.


In this, the Catholic pope appears unable or unwilling to make the pivotal distinction between violence committed in accordance with Islamic teachings, and violence committed in contradiction of Christian teachings.


But there’s another relevant and often overlooked irony: every morning Francis wakes up in the Vatican and looks out his window, he sees a very large and concrete reminder that gives the lie to both his argument against walls and his argument in defense of Islam. I speak of the great walls surrounding Vatican City, more specifically the Leonine Walls.


Context: A couple of years after Islamic prophet Muhammad died in 632, his followers erupted out of Arabia and conquered surrounding non-Muslim lands in the name of Islam. In a few decades, they had annexed two-thirds of what was in the 7th century Christendom. They took all of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, until they were finally stopped at Tours in central France (732). By the late 9thcentury, jihadi incursions had transformed the Mediterranean Sea into a Muslim lake; the major islands — Sicily, Crete, Rhodes, Malta, Cyprus — were conquered, and the European coast was habitually raided for booty and slaves.


According to the most authoritative and contemporary Muslim chroniclers — al-Waqidi, al-Baladhuri, al-Tabari, al-Maqrizi, etc. — all this was done because Islam commands Muslims to subjugate and humiliate non-Muslims.


It was in this context that, in 846, Muslim fleets from North Africa landed near Rome. Unable to breach the walls of the Eternal City, they sacked and despoiled the surrounding countryside, including — to the consternation of Christendom — the venerated and centuries-old basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Muslim invaders desecrated the tombs of the revered apostles and stripped them of all their treasures. Pope Leo IV (847-855) responded by building large walls and fortifications along the right bank of the Tiber to protect the sacred sites from further Muslim raids. Completed by 852, the walls were in places 40 feet high and 12 feet thick.


Further anticipating the crusades against Islam by over two centuries — and thus showing how they were a long time coming — Pope Leo decreed that any Christian who died fighting Muslim invaders would enter heaven. After him and for the same reasons, Pope John VIII offered remission of sins for those who died fighting Islamic invaders. Such was the existential and ongoing danger Muslims caused for Christian Europe — more than two centuries before Pope Urban’s call for the First Crusade in 1095.


Today, many Muslims, not just of the ISIS variety, continue to boast that Islam will conquer Rome, the only of five apostolic sees — the other four being Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople — never to have been subjugated by jihad. Similarly, Muslims all throughout Europe continue exhibiting the same hostility and contempt for all things and persons non-Islamic, whether by going on church vandalizing sprees and breaking crosses, or by raping “infidel” women as theirs by right.


In short, Pope Leo’s walls prove Pope Francis wrong on both counts: yes, walls are sometimes necessary to preserve civilization; and yes, Islam does promote violence and intolerance for the other — far more than any other religion. This fact is easily discerned by examining the past and present words and deeds of Muslims, all of which evince a remarkable and unwavering continuity of hostility against “infidels.”


Perhaps most ironic of all, had it not been for Pope Leo’s walls — and so many other Christian walls, such as Constantinople’s, which kept Islam out of Europe for centuries, and Vienna’s, which stopped a full-blown jihad as recent as 1683 — there might not be a pope today to pontificate about how terrible walls are and how misunderstood Islam is. And when Francis accuses those who build walls of not being Christian, as he did of Trump, he essentially accuses men like Pope Leo IV — who did so much to protect and preserve Christendom at a time when Islam was swallowing up the world — of being no Christians at all.



Pope Francis: ‘Muslim Terrorism Does Not Exist’

by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

17 Feb 2017
Breitbart

In an impassioned address Friday, Pope Francis denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”

“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist,” Francis said in his speech to a world meeting of populist movements.


What he apparently meant is that not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists—a fact evident to all—yet his words also seemed to suggest that no specifically Islamic form of terrorism exists in the world, an assertion that stands in stark contradiction to established fact.


“No people is criminal or drug-trafficking or violent,” Francis said, while also suggesting—as he has on other occasions—that terrorism is primarily a result of economic inequalities rather than religious beliefs. “The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence yet, without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and will eventually explode.”


The Pope also reiterated his conviction that all religions promote peace and that the danger of violent radicalization exists equally in all religions.


“There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia,” he said.


While denying the existence of Islamic terrorism, Francis also seemed to condemn the denial of global warming, asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”


“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system,” he said.


We know “what happens when we deny science and disregard the voice of Nature,” the Pope said. “Let us not fall into denial. Time is running out. Let us act. I ask you again—all of you, people of all backgrounds including native people, pastors, political leaders—to defend Creation.”


While acknowledging that science is not “the only form of knowledge,” and that “science is not necessarily ‘neutral’” and often “conceals ideological views or economic interests,” he still insisted that people of good will should not oppose “scientific consensus” regarding global warming.


Leftist media like the liberal Guardian in the U.K. immediately politicized the speech, predictably claiming that the Pope was backing “anti-Trump protests,” despite the fact that the Pope himself denied such a claim, explicitly declaring that “I am not speaking of anyone in particular.”


“I am not speaking of anyone in particular, I am speaking of a social and political process that flourishes in many parts of the world and poses a grave danger for humanity,” he said.


Moreover, although the Guardian claimed that the Pope was “condemning populism,” in point of fact, he was speaking to populist movements and praised their commitment to democracy.


“The direction taken beyond this historic turning-point,” Francis said, “will depend on people’s involvement and participation and, largely, on yourselves, the popular movements.”


Nevertheless, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Monday that the Holy See is concerned over growing populist and nationalist movements, both in Europe and in the United States.


In an interview for the Italian evening news on the state-owned RAI network, the Cardinal was asked whether the Vatican is worried about what the interviewer called “the spread of nationalism and populism not only in Europe but also in the United States with Donald Trump.”


“I think so, I think so,” Parolin said. “Certainly these closings are not a good sign,” since many of them “are born of fear, which is not a good counselor.”


In his address Friday, the Pope denounced “the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable,” which he described as a “hypocritical attitude,” while urging real solutions to unemployment, corruption, the identity crisis, and “the gutting of democracies.”


“The system’s gangrene cannot be whitewashed forever because sooner or later the stench becomes too strong,” he said.



Pope embraces Al-Azhar imam in sign of renewed relations


May 23, 2016

By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Monday embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.


As Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib arrived for his audience in the Apostolic Palace, Francis said that the fact that they were meeting at all was significant.


“The meeting is the message,” Francis told the imam.


The meeting came five years after the Cairo-based Al-Azhar froze talks with the Vatican to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.


Benedict had demanded greater protection for Christians in Egypt after a New Year’s bombing on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria killed 21 people. Since then, Islamic attacks on Christians in the region have only increased, but the Vatican and Al-Azhar nevertheless sought to rekindle ties, with a Vatican delegation visiting Cairo in February and extending the invitation for el-Tayyib to visit.


Francis and el-Tayyib spoke privately for 25 minutes in the pope’s private library, bidding each other farewell with an embrace. El-Tayyib and his delegation then had talks with the Vatican cardinal in charge of interreligious dialogue.


The Vatican said the meeting held a “great significance” for Catholic-Muslim dialogue. In a statement, spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Francis and el-Tayyib discussed the need for “authorities and the faithful of the world’s great religions to show a common commitment to peace in the world.”


They also discussed the rejection of violence and extremism, and the plight of Christians “in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Mideast and their protection,” the statement said.


After the audience, el-Tayyib travels to Paris to open a Muslim-Catholic conference on East-West relations.


The Vatican’s relations with Islam hit several bumps during Benedict’s papacy. He outraged Muslims with a 2006 speech quoting a Byzantine emperor as saying some of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings were “evil and inhuman.” The subsequent suspension of talks with Al-Azhar institutionalized the bad blood.


El-Tayyib, however, sent a message of congratulations to Francis upon his 2013 election and said he hoped for renewed cooperation. Francis responded, and has made clear over the course of his three-year pontificate that relations with Islam are a top priority.


In a recent interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, Francis took a conciliatory line toward Islam, saying “I sometimes dread the tone” when people refer to Europe’s “Christian” roots.


“It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam,” he said. But he added that Christianity, too, had its “triumphalist” undertones. “It is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”


He added that when looking to the causes of Islamic extremism, it is better to “question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported.”



PRO-JIHAD HATEMONGER ADDRESSES CATHOLIC SCHOOL KIDS


Exclusive: Pamela Geller reports on terror-group-linked Muslim's speech to student body
3-14-16
WND

Despite the continuing Muslim genocide of Christians in the Middle East and Africa, American Catholic leaders continue not only to turn a blind eye to jihad terror and the persecution of their fellow Christians, but are actively aiding and abetting the forces that are persecuting them. Last month, the entire student body of St. Petersburg Catholic High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, was called together to hear a deceptive presentation on “Islamophobia” from the notorious Ahmed Bedier, who openly supports the jihad terror group Hezbollah and has worked for the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Bedier’s address was ostensibly about fighting the supposedly rising level of “Islamophobia”; he also offered what he presented as a primer on Islamic culture. In it, he blamed the U.S. for ISIS, claiming that the bloodthirsty caliphate arose because we bombed innocent civilians in Iraq. He also called out Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, white people, Jews, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Ben Carson – all as examples of Muslim-haters – while proselytizing for Islam.

Bedier compared a Jewish podiatrist with Osama bin Laden, claiming that this podiatrist had weapons in his house and was planning to attack an Islamic center. He didn’t address the disparity between this one alleged attacker and bin Laden’s worldwide terror network. He dismissed the jihad terror group ISIS, which controls a territory larger than Great Britain and has attracted 30,000 foreign jihadis to its ranks, as “a few people.” He blamed the rise of ISIS on Syria’s Assad, claiming that when people demonstrated for freedom, Assad bombed the protesters and insisted that we are overstating the threat of Islamic terror groups, especially ISIS. We are spending too much on security and war, he said, and declared that we should be spending that money on alleviating poverty.

The real problem, said Bedier, is anti-Muslim bigotry. “Islamophobia,” he said, is all over TV, and no one is challenging it. He said that “Islamophobia” is just like anti-Semitism and the same thing will happen: We’ll have a Holocaust. He didn’t mention that FBI statistics show that anti-Semitic attacks are much more common than attacks on innocent Muslims. Nor did he address the Islamic texts and teachings jihadis use to justify violence.

Bedier also falsified history, claiming falsely that “Muslims were here even before America was founded.” He said that “some of Columbus’ navigators were Muslims – because he was from Portugal, and Portugal and Spain were controlled by and were led by Muslims for over 700 years until the Inquisitions happened. You can read more about that.” And if you do, you’ll discover that no Muslims accompanied Columbus. And to be completely accurate, it must be noted that Muslims did in fact play a role in early America – America fought its first and second foreign wars against the Barbary Pirates, who were Muslim jihad raiders, as memorialized in the Marine Hymn, “to the shores of Tripoli.” The first mosque wasn’t established in the U.S. until 1915, and relatively few mosques were founded before the 1960s, when the great hijrah to the West began in earnest.

Bedier’s lies didn’t stop there. He said that when the Muslims ruled Spain from the 700s until the 1490s, they allowed the Jews and Christians to worship freely: “The society could continue to be a Catholic society. Now compare that to what happened when the Europeans came to America.” He said that in contrast to how good the Muslims in Spain were to the Jews and Christians, it took a couple of hundred years for the Europeans to exterminate the Native Americans and eliminate them from their lands. He said: “Now they are limited to casinos.” This is nonsense. In reality, Jews and Christians could only live in peace in Muslim Spain if they submitted to Muslim hegemony, paid the jizya tax, and accepted the humiliating and discriminatory regulations that ensured their second-class status.

Bedier asked the 350 assembled students if they thought it would be fair to be called terrorists because of what Timothy McVeigh did, falsely connecting McVeigh with Catholicism and Christianity, which of course is erroneous since McVeigh was not a Christian at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. And besides, no one is calling all Muslims terrorists anyway. He also showed the students pictures of Ahmed the Clock Boy in handcuffs, telling the kids how the incident of his fake clock/bomb and arrest showed anti-Muslim bigotry. He claimed that three Muslims had been murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by an “Islamophobe,” when actually the killer was a deranged man who was enraged over a parking dispute.

“Islamophobia” is not limited just to Trump and Carson, Bedier said. It also comes from the media. He challenged what he claimed were false media portrayals of Islam: Shariah, he said, is basically a code of ethics. He didn’t mention that it’s a code of ethics that calls for stoning for adultery, amputation of the hand for theft, the denial of equal rights to women and non-Muslims, and restrictions on speech. He claimed that there was no compulsion in Islam and that women were not forced to cover their heads. Tell that to Aqsa Parvez, who was murdered by her father and brother for refusing to wear the hijab – and the innumerable other girls and women who have been similarly victimized. By contrast to this supposed freedom from compulsion in Islam, he claimed that “secularism is a religion in Europe” and that Europe imposes its secularism on people of faith.

When he was asked if Muslim women have to walk a certain distance behind men, Bedier answered: “This is some of the stereotypes. If the women do happen walk behind the man, it’s not a protocol thing, it’s just the men are silly and they walk ahead. I see a lot of white guys walking ahead and their girls way behind. It doesn’t mean that he read that is a protocol somewhere or he’s following his teachings, he’s just being a guy. So it’s their male chauvinism. Yes, it exists worldwide. It’s not because of the faith; it’s because men are not being gentlemen.” This was ridiculous: He was relying on the ignorance of his audience, counting on them not to know how Islam institutionalizes the subjugation of women.

Bedier claimed that the only difference between Muslims and Christians is the status of Jesus. “Jesus is a part of our faith,” he said. “Muslims believe in Jesus, son of Mary” and that Jesus was born of a virgin. “We don’t believe it because it’s popular,” he said, “we believe it because it is written in the Quran.” He said that the Quran was the only sacred book (other than the New Testament) that confirms that Mary is from G-d – that Mary is the mother of Jesus, that there was a virgin birth, and that Jesus is from G-d.

In a dig at Jews and Judaism, Bedier said: “As much as Ted Cruz and others would like to talk about Judeo-Christian values, you realize the Jewish faith did not accept Jesus Christ as the messiah, right? You understand that? If the Jewish people accepted Jesus as the Messiah then they would be Christian, correct? So for us, we accept Jesus and the message of Jesus; the difference is that we don’t view Jesus as divine or part divine, meaning we don’t believe Jesus is one with G-d in the Holy Trinity.”

Bedier said that Muhammad was the founder of Islam, but that in the Quran G-d talks about Jesus five times more than he talks about Muhammad. “We believe that Mary is highly regarded. We have an actual chapter in the Quran called Mary. My daughter is named Miriam after Mary. Mary is very loved in the Quran by Muslims; we just don’t see her as divine or that she somehow delivered G-d’s Son. We highly respect Jesus. We follow his teachings and we believe Jesus will return before the end of times. We don’t believe Muhammad is going to return at the end of times, we believe that Jesus will actually return before the end of times and will unite the believers together.”

This was open proselytizing for Islam, especially in light of the fact that the students had certainly not studied Islam’s critique of Christianity or been given any ways to counter it.

In sum, his presentation (unsurprisingly) was pure propaganda and completely one-sided, and nothing short of a disgrace. No one should be surprised by that. Bedier has a long history of extremely controversial associations. According to Discover the Networks, as far back as 2002, Bedier was the outreach director for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County, “a mosque whose website features material calling for violence against Jews. Moreover, he has cultivated relationships with organizations and individuals connected to anti-Israel terrorist groups overseas, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah. In February 2003, Bedier began working as communications director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). This was subsequent to CAIR’s involvement in the funding of Hamas, which had taken place prior to December 2001, at which time Hamas’ American financing wing, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), was shut down by the U.S. government. Also in February 2003, the Tampa-based terrorist and former University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian was taken into custody by the FBI – indicted for his leadership role within Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Bedier became Al-Arian’s ‘unofficial spokesman,’ holding press conferences where he voiced concern about the government’s treatment of the professor, and allowing his radio program to be used as a propaganda vehicle for al-Arian’s family and his PIJ colleagues.”

On his radio show, Bedier has given considerable airtime to guests who praised the jihad terror group Hezbollah.

Bedier’s association with CAIR is significant. It is a matter of public record that CAIR is “an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case – so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror.

It is disgraceful that a Catholic school would host such an event, but not surprising. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently launched a “National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue,” partnering with pro-Shariah groups linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood: the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The pope insists that the Quran teaches peace. St. Petersburg High School is just following along.

Still, its leaders should have more discernment and moral courage. The principal of St. Petersburg High School is Father Richard Rosen; his phone number is (727) 344-4065. Politely contact him and ask him why he allowed someone with so many ties to terror as Bedier to address the school. I called, but Rosen would not take my call. I was referred to Sister Marie Daniel, the school’s marketing director, who confirmed that Bedier’s presentation did happen and said she would try to have someone get back to me. No one did, of course.

If Rosen had had the courage to take my call, I would have asked him these questions:

1. When you invited Bedier, were you aware of his connections with CAIR, and of CAIR’s connections to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – established by the Department of Justice?

2. When you invited him, were you aware of his work as a spokesman for Sami Al-Arian, an admitted leader of the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

3. When you invited him, were you aware that he has featured supporters of the terror group Hezbollah on his radio show?

4. If you were not aware of those connections when you invited him, would you invite him again now that you know of them?

5. What were your impressions about what Bedier said? Do you endorse his message – particularly his claim that “Islamophobia” is a legitimate problem, rather than a term invented to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror?

6. Do you plan to bring in a spokesman to discuss the reality of the global jihad threat or the Muslim persecution of Christians? If not, why not?

I hope Rosen will answer these questions. His students, and their parents, deserve answers, rather than Islamic proselytizing followed by stonewalling.


ITALIAN ARCHBISHOP CALLING FOR CONSTRUCTION OF MOSQUE


ChurchMilitant.com
March 11, 2016
By Juliana Freitag

The archbishop of Bologna, Italy is calling for the construction of a mosque in the city.
At a conference last week organized by the local Muslim community, Abp. Matteo Maria Zuppi, recently appointed to head the archdiocese, seized the opportunity to express his sympathy towards the Muslim community by calling for a mosque to be built in Bologna.
 
He also asked for the accommodation of Muslim festivities in Italian schools. Quoting Cdl. Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan — a cleric with similar sympathies — Zuppi said, "I really think it's time for a mosque in Bologna. Some people think otherwise but they are wrong."
 
"I also wish Islamic celebrations to be welcomed in schools," he added, "as already requested by archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola."
 
Paraphrasing Pope Francis' controversial remarks regarding Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his stance on immigration, Zuppi added, "Those who say they stand for security usually create more problems. ... To build walls only creates the illusion of security. Walls are not equivalent to security."
 
Using another favorite metaphor among immigration-loving bishops, Zuppi also asked for "the construction of bridges between cultures — to love our communal house means to love it and leave it open to others, to integrate them."
 
He continued, "We shouldn't be carried away by hateful generalizations, like the comparison between Muslims and terrorists." 
 
Zuppi's reflections are far distant from those of his predecessors. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, previous head of the Bologna archdiocese and founder of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, once warned the faithful to be wary of the West's current integration project of Middle-Eastern, largely Muslim migrants. Under his guidance, the Bolognese Curia proposed a dialogue in 2015 with the Muslim community regarding interpretations of the Koran that encourage terrorism.
 
The late Cdl. Giacomo Biffi, archbishop of Bologna before Caffarra, was a respected theologian known for being "extremely politically incorrect," and some note that his prophecies about Europe either returning to Christianity or surrendering to Islam were prescient for Italy today.
Zuppi's comments came in response to the argument that Christian churches are not welcome in the Islamic world. "This should push us to work even harder to allow every believer to pray, and I am convinced that among all believers we can find that unique sense of belonging, that one God, which is named 'peace.'" 
 
In contrast to Zuppi's enthusiasm, Virginio Merola, mayor of Bologna and member of the Italian Democratic Party, is expressing greater reserve. After years of aggressively pushing for a mosque in the city, he backed down after public opposition, admitting he was "wrong about the mosque."
 
So are other members of the party, including vice president of Emilia-Romagna (the region to which Bologna serves as capital), who doesn't regard a mosque as a priority, "especially because the Muslim Community has declared this isn't urgent."
 
The newspaper Corriere della Sera is speculating that the politicians are concerned that starting this discussion might affect local elections in May, considering the public's strong hostility to the idea of a mosque.
 
Conservative politicians reacted with caution to Abp. Zuppi's statements, claiming it's impossible to open new mosques in Italy without first establishing clear rules and a prior agreement between the Muslim community and the State, as well as requiring that all imams register. Several Muslim projects presented for regularization have already been rejected by the Democratic Party in Emilia-Romagna.
 
Alan Fabbri, from the Northern League, said that this is not the right historical moment to open mosques. "Zuppi should worry about the reconstruction of the churches under his Curia affected by the 2012 earthquake, before worrying about the places of worship of other religion," he remarked.
 
The Muslim community itself is responding with reservations. Yassine Lafram, representative for the Bolognese Muslim community, made it clear he isn't interested in discussing the construction of a mosque before the upcoming elections to avoid the public backlash it would engender, and that their community is more preoccupied with proselytizing.
 
"The starting point for us is to form good Bolognese citizens of Muslim faith," Lafram explained. "We could consider the construction of a mosque in the future, if the conditions are right. From our part we make no presumptions."
 
On the other hand, Hassan Samid, representative of Young Muslims of Ferrara, spoke warmly of the "interesting opening" from Zuppi, and used the occasion to ask for a mosque in the town of Ferrara, within the archdiocese of Bologna. When asked about the inclusion of Islamic celebrations in school, he replied, "This could be discussed further, but it might be a bit much. It'd be enough to recognize Muslims' right to be absent from school and work during the two main festivities of the Muslim Calendar."


Bishop challenges Catholics to combat 'ugly tide of anti-Islamic bigotry'
By Denis Grasska Catholic News Service
2.22.2016

SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy is challenging U.S. Catholics to take an active role in combating "the scourge of anti-Islamic prejudice."

"We are witnessing in the United States a new nativism, which the American Catholic community must reject and label for the religious bigotry which it is," he said in a keynote address delivered Feb. 17 in the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.


The evening event took place against the backdrop of the first national Catholic-Muslim dialogue, which was held Feb. 17-18 at the Catholic university.


Last May, after more than 20 years of regional dialogues with representatives of the U.S. Muslim community, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established a national Catholic-Muslim dialogue.


Motivated by the call of "Nostra Aetate," the Second Vatican Council's declaration on the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic faiths, the dialogue seeks to foster understanding and collaboration between Catholics and Muslims. Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has been named its first Catholic co-chairman.


In addition to Bishop McElroy's speech, the evening also featured a keynote speech by Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, who reflected on the state of Catholic-Muslim relations from the Muslim perspective.


A discussion with both men was conducted on stage by Ami Carpenter, an associate professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, with members of the audience invited to ask questions.


In his remarks, Bishop McElroy exhorted Catholics "to recognize and confront the ugly tide of anti-Islamic bigotry" in the United States, to actively seek relationships with Muslims on a personal level, to accompany the Muslim community as it wrestles with religious liberty issues, and to join with them "to witness to and fight for" a Middle East where Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities can coexist peacefully.


Bishop McElroy said U.S. Catholics should view with repugnance the "repeated falsehoods" that Islam is inherently violent, that Muslims seek to supplant the U.S. Constitution with sharia law, and that Muslim immigration threatens "the cultural identity of the American people." Such claims, he said, are strikingly reminiscent of the anti-Catholic bigotry that was once prevalent in the United States.


However, the bishop's denunciation of prejudice does not signify a denial of the reality of terrorism.


"I want to underscore that it is not bigotry to fear or to combat the violence and terror which some Muslims in the world have unleashed in the name of faith," he explained, while acknowledging that some Christians also have attempted to use their faith to justify acts of violence.


Bishop McElroy also challenged U.S. Catholics to overcome the "patterns of social segregation" that lead them to associate almost exclusively with people from similar backgrounds. Because of this trend, he said, many Americans do not have a significant friendship with a single member of the Muslim faith.


"Religious bigotry thrives in an environment of social isolation," he said. "Encounter, which leads to friendship and, thus, deeper understanding, is the most important antidote to prejudice and bigotry."


Through such encounters, he said, Catholics may take inspiration from the rich spirituality of the Muslim people, which includes the centrality of daily prayer, a commitment to asceticism and an understanding of "the immensity and the richness" of divine mercy.


Bishop McElroy reflected on the development of Catholic doctrine on the subject of religious freedom and noted that it was once suggested that, "in a (John F.) Kennedy presidency, it would be the pope who would ultimately govern the United States." He said Catholics must speak out against "distortions of Muslim theology and teaching on society and the state, because these distortions are just as devastating in the present day as the distortions of Catholic teaching ... which were disseminated in American society in the 19th century."


He encouraged Catholics "to walk with the Muslim community" as it reflects upon issues of religious liberty and the relationship between church and state.


Before concluding his presentation, Bishop McElroy issued one last challenge: Catholics and Muslims should work together toward a peaceful future and an end to religious conflict. Praising Islam's respect for "the peoples of the Book" -- its term for adherents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, each of which trace their lineage back to the patriarch Abraham -- the bishop acknowledged the fear and grief that has been caused by religious violence worldwide.


He called it "a terrible wound to the Christian community" that Christians in the Middle East are facing "extinction" in a region that has been there home for more than a millennium, while it is "a great tragedy for the Muslim community" to see Muslim refugees denied safe haven in Europe.


"This final challenge to the Catholic community in the United States," Bishop McElroy said, "is in reality a challenge to both the Catholic and Muslim communities to walk in solidarity, witnessing, strategizing and advancing public policy within the U.S. and within the Muslim world to forge a secure future for all of the 'peoples of the Book' in the Middle East and throughout the world."


In his own keynote presentation, Syeed noted that the first millennium was marked by positive relations between Christianity and Islam, but that changed in the millennium that followed, which included the Crusades.


"The long stretch of endless confrontation between the two faiths divided the world into a 'house of Islam' and a 'house of Christianity,'" he said. "Such a division ... helped to establish mutually destructive attitudes and stereotypes that shaped our respective cultures and formed our individual consciences for centuries."


But "a new era of understanding and recognition" dawned during the latter half of the 20th century, he said. "Nostra Aetate" was instrumental in bringing an end to "the millennium of confrontation between Islam and Christianity." This improved relationship, he said, also has coincided with the emergence of a "vibrant Muslim community" in the West.


Unfortunately, said Syeed, the Islamic State terrorist group has reintroduced "the terminology of (the) Crusades era." It identifies Christians as "crusaders" rather "people of the Book." The "antidote" to the Islamic State philosophy, he said, comes through robust Catholic-Muslim dialogue as well as the lived experience of Muslims in the West.


He specifically cited his own organization, the Islamic Society of North America, whose members have lived peacefully among American Christians for more than 50 years. Living in a pluralistic society has encouraged American Muslims to re-examine the original sources of Islam and to reconsider some conventions that were adopted centuries later.


For instance, while women are prohibited from driving cars in Saudi Arabia, Syeed explained, many American Muslims have taken a different view on the subject, citing Muhammad's own exhortation that parents train their sons and daughters to be good camel-drivers and applying that directive to modern-day modes of transportation.


"'Nostra Aetate' and the Islamic practices of American Muslims have thoroughly identified natural allies between the Abrahamic faiths and other religious communities," he said. "This is the shape of a new millennium of alliance-building for common values of mutual respect and recognition.


"All faiths are striving to promote those divine values enshrined in our sacred texts and scriptures," he continued, "so that those who exploit them for reinforcing hate, extremism, violence and instability are identified as the enemies of all faiths."

- - -
Grasska is assistant editor of The Southern Cross, newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.


US Bishops Launch National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue


Chicago archbishop to be co-chair
FEBRUARY 9, 2016
ZENIT STAFF
ECUMENISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago will serve as the first Catholic co-chair of a new National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, sponsored by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Archbishop Cupich’s tenure as dialogue co-chair will begin January 1, 2017.

The bishops’ ecumenical and interreligious committee has co-sponsored three regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues for over two decades. Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield, Massachusetts, chair of the committee, said the time is right to begin a national dialogue.

“As the national conversation around Islam grows increasingly fraught, coarse and driven by fear and often willful misinformation, the Catholic Church must help to model real dialogue and good will,” said Bishop Rozanski. “Our current dialogues have advanced the goals of greater understanding, mutual esteem and collaboration between Muslims and Catholics, and the members have established lasting ties of friendship and a deep sense of trust. I am grateful to Archbishop Cupich for agreeing to represent our Conference in this crucial conversation.”

The current regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues are the Mid-Atlantic (partnering with the Islamic Circle of North America), Midwest (partnering with the Islamic Society of North America) and West Coast (partnering with the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County). Each is co-chaired by a bishop and a Muslim leader from the corresponding regional organization. These dialogues will continue to meet and will work collaboratively with the members of the new national dialogue.


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO KENYA, UGANDA AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
(25-30 NOVEMBER 2015)

MEETING WITH THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Central Mosque of Koudoukou, Bangui (Central African Republic)
Monday, 30 November 2015

Dear Muslim friends, leaders and followers of Islam,

It is a great joy for me to be with you and I thank you for your warm welcome. In a particular way I thank Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi for his kind words of greeting. My Pastoral Visit to the Central African Republic would not be complete if it did not include this encounter with the Muslim community.

Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. We must therefore consider ourselves and conduct ourselves as such. We are well aware that the recent events and acts of violence which have shaken your country were not grounded in properly religious motives. Those who claim to believe in God must also be men and women of peace. Christians, Muslims and members of the traditional religions have lived together in peace for many years. They ought, therefore, to remain united in working for an end to every act which, from whatever side, disfigures the Face of God and whose ultimate aim is to defend particular interests by any and all means, to the detriment of the common good. Together, we must say no to hatred, no to revenge and no to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself. God is peace, God salam.

In these dramatic times, Christian and Muslim leaders have sought to rise to the challenges of the moment. They have played an important role in re-establishing harmony and fraternity among all. I would like express my gratitude and appreciation for this. We can also call to mind the many acts of solidarity which Christians and Muslims have shown with regard to their fellow citizens of other religious confessions, by welcoming them and defending them during this latest crisis in your country, as well as in other parts of the world.

We cannot fail to express hope that the forthcoming national consultations will provide the country with leaders capable of bringing Central Africans together, thus becoming symbols of national unity rather than merely representatives of one or another faction. I strongly urge you to make your country a welcoming home for all its children, regardless of their ethnic origin, political affiliation or religious confession. The Central African Republic, situated in the heart of Africa, with the cooperation of all her sons and daughters, will then prove a stimulus in this regard to the entire continent. It will prove a positive influence and help extinguish the smouldering tensions which prevent Africans from benefitting from that development which they deserve and to which they have a right.

Dear friends, dear brothers, I invite you to pray and work for reconciliation, fraternity and solidarity among all people, without forgetting those who have suffered the most as a result of recent events.

May God bless you and protect you! Salam alaikum!


Our Muslim brothers and sisters

Angelus
December 3, 2015

This is not a good time to be a Muslim in the Western world. As the violence perpetrated by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram becomes more and more prevalent, huge numbers of people are becoming paranoid about, and even openly hostile towards, the Islam religion, seeing all Muslims as a threat.

Popular opinion more and more blames the Muslim religion itself for that violence, suggesting that there is something inherent in Islam itself that’s responsible for this kind of violence. That equation needs to be challenged, both in the name of truth and in the name of what’s best in us as Christians.

First of all, it’s untrue: Painting all Muslims with the same brush is like painting all Christians with the same brush, akin to looking at the most depraved man who calls himself a Christian and saying: “That’s Christians for you! They’re all the same!”

Second, it’s also unfair: Islamic militants no more speak for Islam than Hitler speaks for Christianity (and that comparison isn’t idly chosen). Finally, such an equation misleads our sympathy: The first victim of Islamic terrorism is Islam itself, namely, authentic God-fearing Muslims are the first victims of this violence.

When we look at the history of any terrorist Islamic group such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda, we see that it first establishes itself by terrorizing and killing thousands of its own people, honest, God-fearing Muslims. And it goes on killing them. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have killed thousands more Muslims than they have killed Christians or persons of any other religion. While their ultimate target may well be the secularized Christian West, more immediately their real war is against true Islam.

Moreover the victims of Islamic terrorists are not just the thousands of moderate Muslims who have been direct victims of their violence and killings, but also all other Muslims who are now painted with the same brush and negatively judged in both their religiosity and their sincerity. Whenever Islamic terrorists perpetrate an act of violence, its victims are not just those who die, are injured, or who lose loved ones, it’s also all true Muslims, particularly those living in the West because they are now viewed through the eyes of suspicion, fear and hatred.

But the Muslim religion is not to blame here. There is nothing inherent in either the Koran or in Islam itself that morally or religiously undergirds this kind of violence.

We would holler “unfair” if someone were to say that what happened during the Inquisition is inherent in the Gospels. We owe Islam the same judgment. One of the great students of world religions, the renowned Houston Smith, submits that we should always judge a religion by its best expressions, by its saints and graced-history, rather than by its psychopaths and aberrations.

I hope that others offer us, Christians, this courtesy. Hitler was somehow a product of the Christian West, as was Mother Teresa. Houston Smith’s point is that the latter, not the former, is a truer basis for judging Christianity. We owe our Islamic brothers and sisters the same courtesy.

And that’s more a recognition of the truth than a courtesy. The word “Islam/Muslim” has its origins in the word “peace,” and that connotation, along with the concept of “surrender to God,” constitutes the essence of what it means to be a Muslim. And for more than 90 percent of Muslims in the world, that is exactly what it means to be a Muslim, namely, to be a man or woman of peace who has surrendered to God and who now tries to live a life that is centered on faith, prayer, responsibility and hospitality.

Any interpretation of Islam by a radicalized group that gives divine sanction to terrorist violence is false and belies Islam. Islamic extremists don’t speak for God, Mohammed, Islam, or for what it means to surrender in faith, but only for a self-serving ideology, and true Muslims are, in the end, the real victims of that.

Terrorist attacks, like the recent ones in Paris and Mali, call for more, not less, sympathy for true Muslims. It’s time to establish a greater solidarity with Islam, notwithstanding extremist terrorism.

We are both part of the same family: We have the same God, suffer the same anxieties, are subject to the same mortality, and will share the same heaven. Muslims more than ever need our understanding, sympathy, support and fellowship in faith.

Christian de Cherge, the Trappist monk who was martyred by Islamic terrorists in Algeria in 1996, wrote a remarkable letter to his family in France shortly before he died. Well aware that he had a good chance of being killed by terrorists, he shared with his family that, should this happen, they should know that he had already forgiven his killers and that he foresaw himself and them, his killers, in the same heaven, playing together under God’s gaze, a gaze that lovingly takes in all of God’s children, Muslims no less than Christians.
 
Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Ronald Rolheiser is a specialist in the field of spirituality and systematic theology.


L’Osservatore Romano accuses Charlie Hebdo of “distorting faith”

The Vatican newspaper speaks out against the cover of the French satirical weekly, which marks the first anniversary of the attacks on its offices in Paris

DOMENICO AGASSO JR
TURIN
Vatican Insider
January 5, 2016

The Holy See has strongly criticised the illustration on the special issue of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which depicts God carrying a machine gun. Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano said the image “illustrates the sad paradox of a world that is becoming so sensitive to political correctness it is verging on the ridiculous”. The special issue marks a year since the attack by Islamist radicals on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. L’Osservatore Romano says the French daily’s gesture dismissed and disrespects “all believers’ faith in God , whatever their credo”.
 
“This episode is nothing new because behind the deceitful flag of an “uncompromising secularism”, the French weekly has once again forgotten what all religious leaders have been repeating for some time now, rejecting violence in the name of religion: using God to justify hatred constitutes real “blasphemy”, as Pope Francis has said on so many occasions.” 
 
The illustration on the newspaper’s front cover ‘is insulting towards faithful of all religions: it is a caricature which is not at all helpful at a time when we need to stand by each other’,” as “Anouar Kbibech, President of the Conseil franšais du culte musulman said, condemning the unfortunate cover published by Charlie Hebdo, a year on from the massacre, using unmistakeably Christian iconography to depict God as a terrorist, covered in blood and running away with a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. Words which echo the statement made by the French Episcopate, which asks whether this ‘is the kind of controversy France needs right now’.”
 
Speaking to news agency AdnKronos, the theologian and secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, Mgr. Bruno Forte, described the French weekly’s choice as “distressing, as well as unfounded” . “The potential for violence can, if anything, become detached from an authentic religious experience, certainly not encouraged or incited by it. As Pope Francis has said, killing in the name of God is to act against God’s will.”
 
“It offends the sensitivity of all people, not only Christians, Jews or Muslims. It also offends those who despite not being believers sense how important it is to respect the religious conscience and dimension in life. Hence this act is strongly condemned,” he added.
 
Forte added that the French newspaper’s insinuations “are far from the truth, because all religions, not just Christianity, but also the Jewish and Muslim faiths, preach non violence in the name of God. If anything, one shows violence by adopting an ideological stance, claiming to possess the truth, judging and excluding others. Religions are faced with the mystery of God and therefore have a strong antidote against such attempts: the supremacy of the Lord whose will we must all obey”.


How could an organization that claims to speak for God and to be led by the Holy Spirit be so indefatigably committed to a lie? For it isn’t only Bruno Forte: the Pope has said the same thing, and it’s the official policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which winks at dissent on any number of actual Church teachings, but moves ruthlessly to suppress voices that dare to suggest that maybe Islam is not a Religion of Peace. It appears as if protecting the image of Islam is more important to Church leaders today than teaching the contents of their own faith.

Here are some salient quotations from the Qur’an:

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”

4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”

8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!’”

8:39: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”

8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”

9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”

9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.”

9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”

9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”

Think these are just a bunch of verses taken “out of context” and that they’re interpreted in a benign manner by Islamic authorities? Think again. The authoritative sources in Sunni Islam, the schools of Sunni jurisprudence (madhahib), all teach warfare against unbelievers:

Shafi’i school: A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates about jihad that “the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians … until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only “provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) … while remaining in their ancestral religions.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).

Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”

However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)

Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”



MAIN INDEX

BIBLE INDEX

HINDU INDEX

MUSLIM INDEX

MORMON INDEX

BUDDHISM INDEX

WORD FAITH INDEX

WATCHTOWER INDEX

MISCELLANEOUS INDEX

CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX