Challenging Islam

Today, we face a political/religious challenge, Islam, in which, avoiding hard truths, exposes us to a real and present danger.  

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

 I am not disposed toward the soothingly facile idea embodied in the popular expression, “Let’s agree to disagree.”  That trite phrase, intended to avoid confrontation, generally has the effect of delaying, or defeating entirely, any attempt to uncover the truth or error at the root of the question under disagreement.  Indeed, agreeing to disagree is what allowed slavery to continue in America for three quarters of a century after the Constitution was ratified.  And, it remains a favorite concept of politicians who seek to advance their own agendas behind the screen of an alleged “bipartisanship.”

Such shallow diplomacy is embedded in the contemporary exaltation of tolerance as the primary virtue necessary for life in a civil society.  It is sham wisdom grounded in the hope that acceptance of each other’s perception of reality will produce peaceful co-existence (“Whatever works for you!”).  What it actually produces is the lie of relativism, which holds that all opinions and cultural practices are equally true and good.

Not confronting difficult questions is destructive of civilization.  The American Civil War shows how not dealing with the critical issue of human rights led to national disaster.  In more recent times, agreeing to disagree over the intentions and behavior of the Nazis, during the years before World War II, led to conflict on a global scale.  Only the clear-sightedness and courage of Winston Churchill, who exposed Hitler’s perverted philosophy and ultimate goals when others chose to look away in appeasement, prepared Britain for war, and kept Germany from conquering Europe.

Religion is an area in which agreeing to disagree is the default position.  It’s one of two extremely touchy subjects which social prudence counsels never to discuss (the other being politics).  And I can’t deny that, throughout most of our history, the standard American formula for religious concord—You go to your church, and I’ll go to mine!—has largely succeeded in avoiding the extremes of European-style, sectarian strife which the Founding Fathers were so intent on keeping from our shores.

Today, however, we face a political/religious challenge in which, avoiding hard truths, exposes us to a real and present danger.  That is the challenge of Islam.  We may agree to disagree about what portion of the Muslim population is sympathetic to Islamist extremism.  But, anyone who fails to acknowledge the reality that violence is being carried out daily in the name of Allah and the Qur’an is not in disagreement, but rather in a pathological state of denial.

Such denial is widespread.  Whether out of naïveté, cultural relativism, the hope for co-existence through finding common ground, or simple fear, there are too many individuals in positions of visibility, influence or authority that are patently unwilling to identify the threat we face, name its source—Muslim radicalism—and speak about it clearly.  Unfortunately, that’s even true of some figures within the Church.

For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has insisted flatly that: “We must not fear Islam.”  In his opening address, “Christianity, Islam and Modernity,” to a two-day congress, sponsored by the faculty of theology of Granada, Spain, the Cardinal noted differences between the two faiths regarding theology and human rights. But, he minimized their significance compared to Christian-Muslim agreement on “the oneness of God, the sacredness of life, the conviction that we must transmit moral values to young people, the value of the family for the emotional and moral growth of children and the importance of religion in education” (Tauran, 2010).

The Cardinal’s view accords with the generous treatment of Islam shown in documents promulgated by the Second Vatican Council.  For instance, the dogmatic constitution, Lumen gentium, notes that the plan of salvation includes other peoples who acknowledge the Creator.  “In the first place amongst these,” it reads, “there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.”  Likewise, Nostra aetate, the declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions, compliments Muslims for their devotion to God, noting their willingness to “submit wholeheartedly to even his inscrutable decrees.”

Such statements are largely expressions of hopefulness and Christian charity, not De fide teachings essential to Catholic belief.  And clearly, they suggest a certain wistful longing that Christians might emulate the single-mindedness which Muslims bring to their religious duties and pious practices.  But they don’t reflect a very deep analysis of what Muslims take to be the decrees of God, many of which, from a Christian perspective, are inscrutable indeed.

French scholar Sylvain Gouguenheim challenged Cardinal Tauran’s assertions in a Brussels Journal article (1/15/09).  Far from being entranced by any convictions which the two religions may have in common, Gouguenheim noted that Christian and Muslim values are fundamentally incompatible because, “Their gods do not partake in the same discourse, do not put forward the same values, do not propose for humanity the same destiny, and do not concern themselves with the same manner of political and legal organization in human society” (Schall, 2009).

Pope Benedict XVI, when he served as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was very much in agreement with Gouguenheim’s assessment, and so opposed the entry of Turkey into the European Union (EU).  The then-Cardinal Ratzinger clearly saw a fundamental conflict between the values of Turkish society, which is predominantly Muslim, and the Christian values upon which European civilization is based.

The Pope is one of the few world leaders to spotlight the essential character of Islam on an international stage.  In his famous Regensburg Address (2006), Benedict pointed to the dangers inherent in the religion because of a disconnect between faith and reason.  The Holy Father quoted 15th-Century Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologus II, who in a dialogue with an educated Persian, stated, “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”  The choice of these words was no diplomatic faux pas.  They were intended to warn the world of the eminent danger which Islam presented to freedom, human dignity, and international security five years after 9/11.

The very first of the Ten Commandments reads, “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me.”  From the time of Abraham, resistance to those strange gods has been the ongoing struggle at the heart of the Judeo-Christian religious/moral tradition.  Many of the Old Testament prophets lost their lives fighting the baals (gods) of the Canaanites.  Early Christians were martyred for their refusal to recognize the gods of Rome, which St. Paul had no problem identifying as “not gods at all.”

The Church maintained a no-compromise policy for two millennia, sending missionaries to “preach the truth in love.”  For them, the unveiling of error was central to the Good News they carried throughout the world.  As recently as February 2010, the Holy Father’s prayer intentions focused on this fundamental requisite of evangelization.  He pleaded, “For all scholars and intellectuals, that by means of a sincere search for truth, they may arrive at an understanding of the one true God.”

But as our multi-cultural society has elevated tolerance to the status of a primary virtue, sharpness in delineating truth from error has given way to the belief that all religions are equally valid, all deserve equal respect, and, therefore, none should be challenged.  This idea has taken hold among Christians, so that, today, it is widely assumed that, since Islam preaches one God—known in Arabic as Allah—it is, therefore, a monotheistic faith on par with Christianity.

Yet, the teachings of Allah, as they were allegedly revealed to Mohammed, are at wide variance with the teachings brought to us by Christ.  The turmoil and division that have characterized the history of Islam, have created tremendous confusion and discord among Islam’s own adherents, and brought violence, destruction, poverty, and denial of freedom wherever the religion has gained dominance.

What is called for, at this moment in history, is not some pointless search for common ground.  Christians and Muslims know that common ground exists.  There are principles we share, and issues of moral concern on which we find ourselves allied (the struggle against abortion, for one).  But, religious peace and human safety are not advanced by the willful blindness that goes by the name of tolerance—by agreeing to disagree.  We must, instead, focus on seeking truth.  I suggest we begin our search by considering the following topics.

Mohammed
In a 2008 speech entitled, An Alliance of Patriots, Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, noted how the behavior of Mohammed is given as an example to all Muslims, and cannot be criticized.  Wilders observed that, “if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say, like Ghandi and Mother Teresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem.  But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages—at the same time.  Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered, and even had prisoners of war executed.  Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza.”  Wilders pointed out the implications of this idealization of Mohammed’s very questionable life.  “If it is good for Islam,” he said, “it is good.  If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.”

Writing in the New York Post, Nujood Ali, author of, I am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced, provided a poignant example of how Mohammed’s behavior is used to justify the behavior of Muslim men toward women, especially young girls.  She recalled how her father contracted a marriage for her at age 10.  When her mother objected that she was too young, her father said, “Too young?  When the Prophet wed Aisha, she was only nine years old” (Steward 2010).

 Allah
Muslims believe that Allah dictated the Qur’an to Mohammed.  In it, Allah reveals himself to be the only true god.  He is totally transcendent, and no one can ever know him personally.  The Qur’an describes Allah as able to do anything, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.  He is not limited by nature—even his own nature—or by his word.  He defies reason.

Thus, the Qur’an reveals a capricious god. Nowhere is that more evident than in Allah’s instructions to Muslims about what their attitudes should be toward non-Muslims.  For example, v.99, sura 10 states, “you cannot force people to believe.”  However, v. 29, sura 9 says, “Fight against those who do not believe [in Allah]…”  Throughout history, this contradiction has led to conflicting interpretations by different religious scholars (imams) on the subject of conversion, and relations between religious groups, often with disastrous consequences for the peoples that found themselves in the path of Muslim conquerors.

Beyond inconsistency, there is within Islam an essential fanaticism whose very source is how Muslims understand their god.  This has been highlighted brilliantly by a man who knows Islamist fanaticism from the inside, Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founding member of the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.  In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Yousef told of his conversion to Christianity, and his love for Jesus Christ.  When asked if he considered his father a fanatic, he described him rather as “a very moderate, logical person.”

“What matters is not whether my father is a fanatic or not,” Yousef said.  “He’s doing the will of a fanatic God.  It doesn’t matter if he’s a terrorist or a traditional Muslim.  At the end of the day, a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God.”

Yousef acknowledged that his assessment of Islam sounded harsh, and did not bode well for the prospects of peace between the Muslim world and the Christian West.  “Most governments avoid this subject,” he said.  “They don’t want to admit this is an ideological war.  The problem is not in Muslims.  The problem is with their God.  They need to be liberated from their God.  He is their biggest enemy.  It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to” (Kaminski, 2010).

It is the very concept of a god subject to no rules—neither his own, nor those of the world he created—that has produced the danger which Islam represents to an increasingly insecure world.

The Qur’an
The Qur’an, upon which all Muslims depend for their fundamental dogma, is believed to be descended directly from Allah to Mohammed—known to all Muslims as “The Prophet”—who is simply the transmitter of the message.  Islam does not accept the idea that the Qur’an has been refracted through any human agency, or conditioned by culture or period, unlike what Christians understand about the Bible.  Therefore, it is forbidden to use the tools of modern historical research or critical analysis in studying the Qur’an or in determining the application of its principles to contemporary circumstances.

The authoritative collections of suras (chapters) found in the Qur’an were assembled by Khalif Uthman in the middle of the 7th century, after Mohammed’s death.  The collated result has been accepted as the official version of the revelation from Allah since that time.

However, even though there is an authoritative version of the Qur’an, there is no officially recognized interpreter of its text.  In other words, there is no magisterium, or teaching authority, that is in any way comparable to that within the Catholic Church.  Believers identify with different schools of Qur’anic interpretation, or turn to their own preferred imams (Samir, 2008).

Hence, the fissiparous nature of Islam, with its multiplicity of sects, are a reality which was unintentionally highlighted by Cardinal Tauran in his address.  The Cardinal noted with satisfaction that the “climate of dialogue with Muslims has improved.”  But this begs the question: with which Muslims?  Sunnis?  Shiites?  It is doubtful that the radical Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia are very keen for interreligious dialogue.  This group is one of the major sponsors of international terrorism.  Its most famous son is Osama bin Laden.

The volatility of Allah, and the ambiguity of the Qur’an, have wreaked havoc on civilization since the inception of Islam.  Theocracies and dictatorships have arisen almost everywhere Islam holds sway.  Timothy Ferris, author of The Science of Democracy, points out that “only a quarter of the world’s Muslim-majority nations are electoral democracies, compared to almost three quarters of the non-Muslim nations.”  Suppression of both freedom, and broad civic participation, have caused cultural retardation and economic disaster by encouraging opposition to many aspects of modern commerce and science, as well as resistance to such essential ingredients of civilized life as pragmatic compromise (Ferris, 2010).

Bernard Lewis, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Islamic history and culture, quotes from a letter written in 1556 by a European ambassador summing up the attitude of the Ottoman Turks toward technological innovation:  “(N)o nation has shown less reluctance to adopt the useful inventions of others; for example, they have appropriated to their own use large and small cannons and many other of our discoveries.  They have, however, never been able to bring themselves to print books and set up public clocks.  They hold that their scriptures, that is, their sacred books, would no longer be scriptures if they were printed; and if they established public clocks, they think that the authority of the muezzin and their ancient rites would suffer diminution” (2002).

During the 2008 Easter Vigil, Pope Benedict baptized Madi Allam, the Egyptian-born deputy editor of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.  Confirming Islam’s retrograde nature, Allam celebrated his baptism by pronouncing himself “liberated from the obscurantism as an ideology which legitimizes lies and dissimulation, violent death, which induces both murder and suicide, and blind submission to tyranny” (Fredericks, 2010).

Allam lives under the threat of death, which is the traditional punishment for apostasy from Islam.  Numerous imams have issued fatwas (judicial/religious decisions) calling for his murder.  Such a method of enforcing religious loyalty makes it clear how desperately the autocratic rulers of Muslim communities fear losing their control over the masses.  It throws into question the efficacy of a religion that cannot persuade through its teachings, but must rely on threats of violence and death.

The climate of fear thus created stifles individual thought and creativity, which is what has mired most Islamic countries in massive illiteracy and poverty right up to this day.  Just as observed by that ambassador in the 16th century, the only field in which the Muslim world seeks parity with the West is weaponry to fight the infidel—an ambition most obvious in the current push within Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Islam
The word “Islam” itself means submission or surrender—subjugating oneself entirely to the will of Allah.  The ultimate Muslim goal is to bring about the submission of every human being on earth, whether through voluntary conversion or force.  Violence, and the threat of violence, have played a major role in the rapid rise and expansion of Islam, reflecting the character of its founder, the warlord, Mohammed.  It has been a critical factor in the way non-Muslims live inside Muslim countries.

Even where the “tolerant” approach of v. 99 sura 10 (cited above) is the norm, Christians and Jews are regarded as dhimmis, second-class citizens.  They are acknowledged as “People of the Book” who recognize the God of Abraham, but their rights are less than those of Muslims and they are subject to special restrictions, and special per-capita taxes.

Even this pseudo-tolerance cannot shield them from violence or systematic removal from Muslim countries (Dalrymple, 1997).  The murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the severe limitations placed on the Orthodox Church in Turkey, the persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the Sudan, the attacks on Christians in Malaysia for referring to God by the Arabic name Allah, the decimation of the Chaldean community in Iraq—all of these outrages demonstrate the inexorable need of Islam to crush any resistance to its advance.

In recent years, this aggressive aspect of Islam has impacted the West primarily through terrorism.  While it is obviously true—and repeated often enough to become a cliché—that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is equally true that the vast majority of terrorist acts are carried out by Muslims as part of the international jihad (holy war) aimed at achieving the dominance of Islam.

Whether this violence reflects the essential nature of Islam itself (as maintained by Mosab Hassan Yousef), or is an expression of an aberrant religious fanaticism, is an important question. But in a certain practical sense, it really doesn’t matter.  Estimates are that from five to ten percent of the world’s more than 1.2 billion Muslims are radicalized to an extent that they either engage in, or actively support, jihad against non-Muslims.  Beyond that, there is broad commitment to the ultimate goal of bringing the entire world into the ummah—the community of believers who submit to the will of Allah—even among those who reject violence and identify themselves as moderate.  Surely, this does not bode well for interreligious dialogue or peaceful coexistence.

It has been alleged that the quest for Islamic supremacy is just evangelization by another name—a mirror image of the “Great Commission,” Christ’s charge to take His Word out to all the world.  But we Christians have learned from the blood of our own history that conversion can only take place in the heart, and it is the persuasive power of truth, expressed in love, that changes hearts, not fear or physical coercion.  The ambiguity and fierce rhetoric of the Qur’an obscure truth and encourage self-deception about the reality of violence.   As an American Muslim arrested in Pakistan for attempting to join al Qaida put it, “We are not terrorists.  We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism.” (New York Post. 1/10/10, p.26)

This is the situation that confronts us, and there really is nothing in it over which we can reasonably agree to disagree.  Quite the contrary—we must face what is.  I would maintain that our churches are the most appropriate venues in which to begin grappling with the difficult and disturbing facts of Islam.  Accordingly, I set forth the following proposals:

  • Pastors must speak clearly to the distinction between the God of the Bible and Allah of the Qur’an.  There is no reason why this cannot be done respectfully, and much material is available online to aid pastors in the development of effective homilies.  One excellent source is the apologetics organization, Catholic Answers (www.catholic.com).
  • Study and discussion groups should be established to help parishioners learn the truth about Mohammed and the Qur’an, and to gain an accurate perspective on Islam and Muslim history.  One excellent resource for such learning is the book, 111 Questions on Islam, by Samir K. Samir, S.J. (2008).
  • In preaching and discussions about Islam, we should not shrink from addressing oppressive Muslim attitudes toward human rights and religious freedom—attitudes that commonly impose severe restrictions on the lives of women, and in some parts of the world, still tolerate slavery.
  • Girls should be counseled about the possible consequences of marrying Muslim men, warning them about the traditional expectation that women will be subservient in marriage, and the common presumption that children must always be raised Muslim, regardless of any agreement to the contrary (even if the mother and father divorce).
  •  Those in positions of religious authority should avoid undue signs of reverence for Islam or the Qur’an, even at interfaith events.  While Christian love demands respectfulness and civility, obsequious postures, and overly solicitous speech, confuse believers and encourage the false notion that ecumenism means all faiths are equally right.
  • Catholic schools and colleges must be truthful in teaching about the history of conflict between Islam and Christianity.  In particular, they should address the uncomfortable subject of the Crusades.  Muslims have long been coddled into believing that they were victims of Christian aggression, and the Crusades have become a rallying point against perceived Western injustice.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The Crusades were initiated in response to Muslim attacks on Christian towns, traders and pilgrims, as well as the systematic destruction of monasteries and Christian holy sites in Palestine.  These facts are made plain in numerous sources, including the book, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, by Rodney Stark (2009).
  • Perhaps, most importantly, pastors should declare that inquiries from Muslims about Christianity are encouraged and conversions welcome.  Likewise, mission efforts in Muslim countries must be supported.  Lay people have a key role to play as well.  They should be encouraged to engage individual Muslim acquaintances, offering invitations to learn more about Jesus.  (Mosab Hassan Yousef began his journey to Christ when a taxi driver in Jerusalem gave him a copy of the New Testament, inviting him to take part in a bible study group.)  There is no denying the risks associated with outreach to Muslims.  But, in actuality, large numbers of individuals have succeeded in leaving Islam (particularly in Africa), and many more long to do so.  Pope Benedict, in his intentions, recently asked: “That the Church, aware of its own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and proclaim His Gospel to all peoples.”  It is truly said that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

In short, Christian leaders must drop the polite silence about Islam, marshal all resources to identify the threat we face in Muslim aggressiveness, and make people understand what is at stake.  Pope Benedict has called upon pastors to embrace technology in spreading the Gospel and bringing souls to Christ, encouraging them to use websites, videos, blogs and social networking as tools in pastoral ministry.  His call need not be limited to clergy.  All believers, who possess writing and technological skills, should be enlisted in the cause.  Even the parish photocopying machine should be mobilized; this article might be copied and distributed to parishioners.

Such efforts should not be viewed as sectarian.  In truth, they are a service to the entire world, a blow struck on behalf of peace and human liberty.  The need is immediate.  Recent acts of terrorism, such as the mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas, by Army Major Nidal Hassan, and the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a jet liner over Detroit by the notorious “underwear bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, underscore the corrosive power of Islamic radicalism.  Both of those men come from families and social backgrounds deemed to be moderate, yet they became caught up in fanaticism.

There is no agreeing to disagree about this issue.  To remain silent in the face of Islamic aggressiveness—to champion false tolerance or place vain hope in some artificial religious peace—is to allow an inhuman ideology to proliferate, putting our entire civilization at risk.  All Christians must recognize what simply is, and then stand together against it.

End Notes
(2010, January 10). New York Post , p. 26.

Dalrymple, W. (1997). From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Kaminski, M. (2010, March 6-7). They need to be liberated from their God.  Wall Street Journal, The Weekend Interview. p. A13

Ferres, T. (2010).  The Science of Liberty; Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature. NY: Harper Collins Publishers.

Fredericks, J. L. (2010, January 15 ). No easy answers: the necessary challenge of interreligious dialogue. Commonweal , p. 10.

Lewis, B. (2002). What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Responses. New York: Oxford University Press.

Samir, S. S. (2008). 111 Questions on Islam. San Fransico: Ignatius Press.

Schall, J. V. (2009, November). The ambiguity of Islam. Homiletic & Pastoral Review , CX, No. 2, pp. 8-13.

Stark, R. (2009). God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Steward, S. (2010, February 14). Human Rights: 10 years Old… New York Post, Postscript , 32-33.

Tauran, C. J.-L. (2010, February 18). www.zenit.org/article-28394?l=english. Retrieved February 19, 2010, from Zenit.org: http://www.zenit.org

Wilders, G. (Performer). (2008, September 25). An Alliance of Patriots. The Hudson Institute, New York.

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avatar About Rev. Michael P. Orsi

Reverend Michael P. Orsi, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., is the author of four books and many articles. He has served as assistant chancellor and director of the Family Life Bureau. Father Orsi has a Ph.D. in education from Fordham University. He is presently serving as chaplain and research fellow in law and religion at Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida.

Comments

  1. avatar Margarita Sori says:

    For years I have been reading about Islam. This is truly a fine summary of the realities of Islam and difficult truths that face us. It’s also a call to faith-filled action.

    • avatar Uzoozy says:

      This article is well written in prose only.
      Islam has been bullied for over 1430 yrs.
      Crusaders came and killed everyone on the way to Palistine, the Europeand hated crusaders for plundering everything.
      During that time they also had the Inquisitions killing over 93 million people mainly Moors who were muslims.
      The Koran is the word of GOD with no dispute or contraditions.
      Relealed over 22 yrs and many verses were only for that time.
      I studied in a christain school and I know how the christain feel.
      The Jesuits used to always say that it was impossible to convert a true Muslim, which is true.
      Allah guides those who believe in Him.
      Hundereds of churches in Europe are being given to the pious muslims who use them on a regular basis.
      Christainity along with its doctrice is so retro .
      You will never convince me that Christainity is better than Islam.
      Reasonably agree to disagree
      Allah the most revered being in this world.
      1.5 billion Muslims know His love.

      • avatar aalex says:

        As a Christian who grew up in the Middle East, I can tell you, you are greatly mistaken if you think there is any truth to Islam. It is a perverted religion invented by a very smart unbelieving man who then killed the priest who trained him. How can you claim Islam a religion of peace when every Christian living among Muslims can name relatives killed by muslims at the urging of Islam?

      • avatar Arnold says:

        Uzoozy: Your statistics and claims are idiotic. The Crusades were a delayed reaction to the Muslim invasions of Christian lands stretching from the Middle East across North Africa to Spain and to the frequent slaughters by Muslims of Christian pilgrims traveling to the holy sites. Islam was the aggressor and the bully, not the bullied one. The Crusades did not “kill everyone” on the way and in fact, did not try to force Muslims under their control to convert. Their sole purpose was to expel the Muslim armies from the Holy Land so Christians could visit their shrines, which Muslim rulers had blocked. It was a Muslim ruler in Egypt who had the original church at Jesus’ tomb leveled to the ground and even attempted to destroy the grave site itself. The Spanish Inquisition did not kill 93 million people and was not aimed mostly at Moors. Historians of the Inquisition estimate the total number of deaths at around 5,000 and that was spread over the 300 years the Inquisition existed. If Islam was the bullied one, then why did Muslim armies invade so many christian lands and slaughter their inhabitants all the way from Persia to Spain before they were turned back in central France. Why were they there if they were not the aggressors Do you think the Christians had no right to defend themselves?

      • avatar Pedro Domingo says:

        Christians spread the Gospel (good news) throughout the known world and overcame the Roman Empire and fierce persecution with the price of their own blood. Islam on the other hand spread by the blade of the sword and shed the blood of others. No religion whose main prophet is a murderer and a pedophile can be of God, but only of the devil.

      • avatar Jack Gordon says:

        Uzoozy’s “response” is perfect. No better proof could be offered of the validity of Fr. Orsi’s assertions concerning the fanaticism and irrationality of Mohammedanism. One can only hope politicians this side of the Atlantic will stir themselves out of their toleration trance before it is too late. If they continue to repeat the nonsense about Islam being some “religion of peace,” we will soon find ourselves in the mess Europe presently faces: Millions of Muslims within threatening domestic peace today and tomorrow the nation’s very survival in any recognizable form. Islam is poison, and those who harbor this venom must be seen as personae non gratae everywhere the seek to emmigrate and refused entrance, no exceptions.

  2. avatar David Carlon says:

    Great article! Albeit, Islam is monotheistic… the blind Muslim prays to an earthly pagan god of terror. As a Catholic and by grace, I fear offending God, not because He is a tyrant, but because he Himself is full of mercy, compassion and love for his unworthy servant.

  3. avatar Efrayim Ben-Yaakov says:

    I have seen so many Western clergymen (and women) open their pulpits to Imams in the name of “interfaith communication.” Yet I have seen not one of them been invited to a mosque in reciprocity. And do you know why? Because Islam forbids it. So much for “interfaith dialogue.”

  4. avatar T J Byrnes says:

    This is a very thoughtful and comprehensive article that speaks the truth about Islam and Mohammed. The recommendations are well stated and should become the official policy of the USCCB. It is past time that the Catholic Church, especially in the USA, addressed this issue. It isn’t only the Obama administration that wants to suppress religious freedom and freedom of conscience, Islam has been doing this for centuries. The result is that most of the populations of the countries where the apostles first preached the Gospel have lost their love for and faith in Jesus Christ.

    • avatar Uzoozy says:

      Jesus is not God as he said himself on many ocassions,
      Jesus(pbuh) is the most revered prophet in Islam, Mary is the most beloved lady in Islam..
      The Koran explains everything in details.
      Bible (except the early Gospels) were written by man, on the was to Damascus.Paul etc
      Take care soon there may be Koran read in the church close to you.

      • avatar Lionel Andrades says:

        Tuesday, February 22, 2011
        WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACH ABOUT ISLAM: VATICAN COUNCIL II INDICATES THE PROPHET AND MUSLIMS ARE LOST

        The Church teaches in Magisterial documents that Islam has ‘good and holy ‘things but the religion is not a path to salvation. Muslims need to convert to avoid Hell.

        According to Vatican Council II the Prophet was not saved. This is same the message of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, Dominus Iesus and other Church documents based on the Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium. So according to the official teaching of the Catholic Church the prophet was oriented to Inferno at the time of death.

        According to Vatican Council II, Ad Gentes 7 all people need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation I have mentioned in an earlier post on this blog. This includes the Prophet.

        Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-AG 7
        Ad Gentes 7 and Lumen Gentium 14 also state that those who know about the Church and its necessity for salvation and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell. The Quran shows that the prophet knew about Jesus and the Church.
        Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.”-Ad Gentes 7

        Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.”-Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II.
        The ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus says the same.

        1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

        2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

        3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra – from the website Catholicism.org
        The same message is repeated in Dominus Iesus.

        This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.-Dominus Iesus 20
        If there is an objection with reference to Lumen Gentium 16 it is a straw man. LG 16 does not say that we know any case of invincible ignorance in the present times.
        Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.-Lumen Gentium 16, Vatican Council II.

        So Lumen Gentium 16 does not contradict extra ecclesiam nulla salus or Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II.

        If there is an objection that Fr. Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for affirming extra ecclesiam nulla salus, this is a falsehood. The dogma referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston 1949 indicates that all Jews in Boston need to convert into the Church to avoid Hell.

        Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.

        However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church…-Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston (Emphasis added)
        So the Letter of the Holy Office supported Fr.Leonard Feeney on doctrine.The dogma(above) indicates all Jews in Boston need to convert into the Church to avoid Hell. This was exactly what Fr.Leonard Feeney taught.

        It indicates also that all Muslims are on the path to Hell. According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church the prophet was oriented to Hell at the time of death. It is said that the Church does not say that any one is in Hell, not even Judas. However the Church does teach that there are some sins that orient a person to Hell at the time of death. It is a grave sin for a non Catholic to have had the Gospel preached to him, to know about Jesus and the Church and yet to reject the Holy Spirit guiding him in his heart. The Church also teaches that all of us know what is right and wrong deep within our heart Conscience can be good or bad. We need to follow our good conscience. Someone who follows his good conscience would be led to Jesus and the Church.’

        This is not just a personal view but the official teaching of the Church before and after Vatican Council II.

        The Church is saying that salvation is open to all Muslims and other non Catholics but if they do not respond they have chosen damnation. If there is anyone among them in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

        A Muslim can be saved if he gives his life for Jesus and the Church (baptism of blood) . Similarly a Catholic who dies a martyr, goes straight to Heaven.

        Some theologians say that the Church does not claim anyone is in Hell. They hold this illusion since they do not know or believe in the ex cathedra dogma Cantate Domino, Council of Florence(above). It says Hell has fire. It indicates millions of non-Catholics are there.

        Others say that the Church does not say that Judas is in Hell. We know that the Church also does not say that Judas is in Heaven.

        What about the ‘theology of religions’? The Church has rejected it in the Notification issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican (2001) to Fr. Jacques Dupuis S.j. It indicates that ‘there is no theology’ which can say that Islam is a path to salvation.

        We accept the possibility of non Catholics in invincible ignorance etc, being saved (Lumen Gentium 16) and they are known to God only. However the Lumen Gentium 16 text does not say that we know of specific cases in the present times and so this contradicts the dogma.

        So there is no text from Vatican Council II for supporting a heresy. It is heresy to reject or change an ex cathedra dogma even after being informed.

        The hermeneutic of continuity, is that for centuries popes, Councils and saints taught that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church formally to avoid Hell.

        The hermeneutic of rupture was when the Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing, said that there could be people in invincible ignorance etc who are known to us in the present times and so this contradicted the dogma and Fr. Leonard Feeney. This is irrational. We can never know any such case. The Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing held the heretical belief that there were non Catholics saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire in the present times and they were known to us. So for him this contradicted Fr. Leonard Feeney and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

        The hermeneutic of rupture was when Fr. Hans Kung said that Lumen Gentium 16 indicates that people in invincible ignorance etc can be specifically known to us in the present times and so this contradicts extra ecclesiam nulla salus (and Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council 2).

        We do not know who is joined to the Church in partial communion or invisible bonds. We do not know who has perfect contrition or a conscience Jesus will judge as good on the day of Judgement. No specific case can be known.

        We know for sure that some sins lead to Hell. Some sins orient a person to Hell.

        The Bible tells us that some sins will prevent people from seeing the Kingdom of God. There are also mortal sins of Faith.

        ‘Being oriented to Hell’ does not mean ‘condemned to Hell’. Correct. Neither does it mean not being condemned.

        If you think someone is an exception to the rule then again I would ask you how would you know? How would you know specific cases?

        If you believe the exception makes the rule (as says Fr. Charles Curran etc) then this is not the teaching of the Church.

        Every non-Catholic who achieves salvation it is said is nevertheless saved because of the graces radiating from the Catholic Church as the “sacrament of universal salvation”. True and this does not conflict with the teaching that everyone with no exception in the present times needs to formally enter the Church to be saved.

        Liberal theologians affirm that the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation is absolute. Correct. However they need to mention that it is necessary to be a formal member. Many liberal theologians leave this issue vague.

        Liberal theologians say this union is not confined to the status of actual and explicit visible membership in the Catholic Church. It’s here where they go off the track since they assume that we know cases in the present times who are saved with invincible ignorance etc and so every one does not have to be a formal member of the Church to be saved.

        We cannot name a specific individual person as being in Hell, not with our human abilities. However the Church does tell us that there are some sins whixh orient a person to Hell. If one dies with mortal sin and without absolution in the Confessional, your on the way to Hell. The Catechism indicates all it takes is just one mortal sin for a soul to go to Hell. One mortal sin without Confession. To reject an ex cathedra dogma is a mortal sin according to the Church. Your on the way to Hell.Pope John Paul II excommunicated Fr.Tissa Balasuriya, OMI, the Sri Lankan priest, for rejecting the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.

        If you die without the Sacraments I would assume that you were oriented to Hell, gone to Hell and are there still. If there was an exceptional reason for not being damned it would be known to God only.

        Muslims are lost unless they accept Jesus’ great Sacrifice and respond.

        We love all Muslims in Jesus, who also, in charity asks to tell them about the condition of their soul. In John 3:5 we are reminded of the necessity of the baptism of water for salvation, in John 6 we are told about the importance of the Eucharist for salvation. In Mark 16:16 we know that those who do not believe will be condemned.
        In October this year there will be an inter faith meeting at Assisi,Italy the birth place of St.Francis of Assisi who believed it was necessary for all Muslims and the Sultan to convert for salvation. He taught the rigorist interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus and believed that all Muslims like other non Catholics were damned unless they enter the Church. This was the will of God. God wants all people to be united in the Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC 845), the Church is like the Ark of Noah that saves in the Flood (CCC 845), all people need to enter the Church as entering through a door (CCC 846).

  5. avatar LovesGod says:

    Thank You for your article. As a Catholic married to a Muslim for 20 years, I know Islam well. Indeed there are some ‘good things’ in it. But also some disturbing things. I urge everyone to read the Qu’ran for themselves. There you will find something very different in many respects from the Judeo-Christian tradition. I also urge Muslims, such as Uzoozy, who has commented above in good nature, to read the Gospels. Also read the Early Church Fathers. Find out the difference between Catholics and Protestants. See for yourself, by your own study what Christianity is, not just what you think it is, according to what Islam has declared it to be. God bless everyone on this difficult issue, and thank you Father, for your article.

  6. avatar JohnWalter8577 says:

    As a Christian missionary currently living in a overwhelmingly Muslim country (Bangladesh), I take considerable issue with parts of this article. If we are to reach Muslims in love, we must understand their perspective as well as the tenets of their religion.

    “…since Islam preaches one God—known in Arabic as Allah—it is, therefore, a monotheistic faith on par with Christianity.”

    As reluctant as you might be to admit this, it is a true statement. It is a monotheistic faith. Islam is among the fastest growing monotheistic religions in the world. Did Jesus and Mohammed differ? Yes, absolutely. Is Islam on par with Christianity in the current state of the world? Yes, absolutely.

    “…the fissiparous nature of Islam, with its multiplicity of sects…”

    And what would you consider Christianity to be? Our religion is full of sects, denominations, and offspring cults throughout history. You could apply your above statement to any major world religion.

    While I agree that a refreshing conversation on Islam needs to be had, please do not distort reality or let your personal biases show through. Snarkily saying “Not every Muslim is a terrorist” gets us no further than a Protestant or athiest saying: “Not ever Priest is a pedophile.” See the implications in your logic? I encourage you strongly to try and recognize that there are, in fact, areas of common ground between Christians and Muslims while not resorting to the constant fear-mongering that continues today. You only serve to polarize Christians and Muslims further and make my job as a missionary — along with thousands of others around the world — that much more difficult

    • avatar Pedro Domingo says:

      Not every priest is a pedophile; indeed, in fact hardly any priests are pedphiles, while nearly all terrorism in the world is perpetrated by Muslims. Open your eyes.

      • avatar JohnWalter8577 says:

        Pedro, are you sure about that? “Hardly any priests are pedophiles?” Please, I encourage you to open your eyes and perhaps perform some simple Google searches. I’m ashamed at my Catholic brothers and sisters for the consistent denial.

    • avatar Jack Gordon says:

      Please tell us, John, just how many Muslims have you succeeded in converting?

      • avatar JohnWalter8577 says:

        Jack, if you’d like to know in raw numbers, approximately 45 Muslims have become Christians here in Dhaka. We have a small house church in Gulshan-1 that ministers particularly to the housemaids, servants and street vendors. I certainly appreciate your interest, though ultimately it isn’t about the numbers.

  7. avatar Ken Besig says:

    This was terrific, well thought out, well written, tragically factual, and ultimately worrisome. Everybody talks about the three monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and somehow try to make the argument that we all worship the same God. Well folks, I have news for you, Allah is the god of the Moslems and he has almost nothing in common with the humane, decent, moral, and loving God of the Jews and the Christians, nor does his prophet, Mohammed, have anything in common with either Moses or Jesus.
    I am pleased that a Catholic priest who wrote this commentary seems to understand this; far too many Catholics and Christians, and Jews, do not.

  8. avatar Abu Daoud says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful article. I have written an open letter to the pope on the topic of mission to Islam and I think you will find it interesting. I believe the Catholic Church has a lot to offer when it comes to witness to Muslims:
    http://www.stfrancismagazine.info/ja/images/stories/Abu-Daoud(October-2010).pdf
    –Abu Daoud

    • avatar Lionel Andrades says:

      DID THE LETTER OF THE HOLY OFFICE 1949, THE MAGISTERIUM, MAKE A MISTAKE? NO
      The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 was issued to the Archbishop of Boston during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. It did not make a mistake when it said that every one needs to be incorporated into the church as a member does not exclude those who can be saved with implicit desire.

      It means in principle, only as a concept, as a belief there can be non Catholics saved with implicit desire. The Letter if it is saying only in principle ‘it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member’, it has not made a mistake.However if someone misreads the Letter and assumes those saved with an implicit desire are known to us on earth; they are explicitly known, and so are exceptions, so every one does not need to be incorporated as a member into the Church – this is a mistake.We do not know anyone on earth saved with an implicit desire. Neither do we know anyone in Heaven saved with an implicit desire.

      The Letter of the Holy Office supports Fr.Leonard Feeney since implicit desire can only be accepted as a possibility and is irrelevant to the literal interpretation of the dogma, as interpreted by Fr.Leonard Feeney and St.Benedict Center.

      When the Letter criticizes Fr.Leonard Feeney and the St.Benedict Center it is because they were disobedient to ‘ecclesiastical authority’.So if someone says that the Letter was critical of Fr.Leonard Feeney for denying the baptism of desire, since the baptism of desire is an exception to the literal interpretation of the dogma, then this would be saying that the Magisterium made a mistake. This is not true.

      If Fr.Leonard Feeney said there is no baptism of desire, in principle or fact, it is irrelevant to his literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

      If the media says Fr.Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for denying the baptism of desire, then it would mean the Letter made a mistake, since the baptism of desire cannot be an exception to the dogma.

      The Letter instead refers to ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The text of the thrice defined dogma indicates everyone is required to ‘be incorporated into the Church actually as a member’.The dogma does not mention any known exceptions of the baptism of desire etc.This was the Richard Cushing Error. It was the Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Cushing and the Jesuits of Boston who assumed that invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire were exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, and of course, to Fr.Leonard Feeney.

      Cardinal Cushing and the Jesuits are believed to have tried to include this error in Vatican Council II but were blocked.Invincible ignorance etc in itself is no problem when it is mentioned in the text as long as one does not assume that it is an exception to the dogma.No text in Vatican Council II claims that it is an exception or that we known these cases personally.

      However they did manage to create confusion. It seems, to priests today, that Ad Gentes 7 contradicts itself (if one assumes we know cases in Heaven) and Lumen Gentium 16 contradicts Ad Gentes 7 and the centuries old interpretation of the dogma.

      Fr.Hans Kung repeated the Cushing Error after Vatican Council II.It seems as if Fr.Hans Kung had built his entire theological edifice on the Richard Cushing Error.

      He began writing a series of books on how there is salvation in general for Buddhists, Protestants…and that the infallibilioty of the pope ex cathedra was contradicted with invincible ignorance etc being ‘explicit’ exceptions to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.So he rejected the dogmas on infallibility and salvation.
      Over time Pontifical Universities, cardinals and bishops, even the SSPX seminaries, would be infected with this error which emerged in the 1940′s, years before Vatican Council II, in the Heresy Case not of Fr.Leonard Feeney but the Archbishop and Jesuits in the Archdiocese of Boston.They assumed that there were explicit exceptions to a de fide teaching.They also seemed to misinterpret the Letter as did the secular media in Boston and then the rest of the world.
      -Lionel Andrades

  9. avatar Phillip Turnbull says:

    About a year ago when I was teaching in a state school in Indonesia – where all but one of the teachers were Muslim – and nearly all the students were Muslim – and the only religious intsruction was Islam – one of the teachers would often appraoch me and ask me questions about Catholicism. For Muslims of course, the doctrine of the Trinity is understood as Father, Mother (our Lady/Mother of God), Son – because that’s what is stated in the Koran. For Muslims, the Holy Spirit is the Angel Gabriel. I was explaining to this woman that that was not so and that the Prophet had got this confused by hearsay – and that not even any Christian heretical sect had ever taught that God was Father, Mother, Son. It was incomprehensible to her that the Koran could get anything wrong. She trotted out the usual response – “No, you Christians falsified everything in your book. The Prophet said so.” That this manner of ‘dialogue’ leads no where is sorrowful enough – but what was more disturbing is that, often, while we were talking, she would look around the room or over her shoulder to see if anyone could hear our conversation, and say, “You do realise we are having a very dangerous conversation.”
    Also, a telling comment from the wonderful girl who is our family helper (can’t use the politically incorrect term ‘servant’ – a whole class of ‘pembantu’ here in Indonesia) who, while Verdi, Mozart, Handel and Durufle are playing – say’s “How come our religion can’t come up with music like that.” I answer, “Because in your religion you are not invited to have a conversation with your God.”
    As the good Father says in this helpful article – let’s try and bring on that conversation with Muslims, at least. The trouble is – as Muslims said to the Catholic Archbishop of Ankara (Turkey) when he was frustrated with them after years of one-way dialogue – and he asked them in desperation, “What can you Muslims learn from us?” and they answered, “We can learn nothing from you. You have nothing to teach us. Furthermore, we are going to take Europe. Not by violence or invasion. It will be your liberal, tolerant democracy that will hand Europe to us on plate.”
    This is Holy Week. The Indonesian security forces will make an effort to protect Christian churches this week from violence. Back in my own country, I am not aware that the mosques ever need police protection.
    No, why should that be necessary here, then – if it weren’t?
    Father Orsi has asked a few tough questions. They demand tough answers. Strength to his arm.

  10. avatar Sean says:

    Absolutely brilliant article. It should be reprinted and distributed at Catholic churches worldwide.

  11. avatar Jack Woodward says:

    A brave Muslim journalist presented Fox News with a copy of a Qur’an from a mosque in West Virginia. As she pointed out, this particular Qur’an had radical verses critical of Jews and Christians within its text. This version of Islam is destroying the religion she loves, she stated.

    I wrote this article asking how many versions are there http://mywtfblog.com/2012/03/how-many-quran-versions/

    The significance of this public admission is that if the Qur’an is the word for word revelation between Allah and Mohammed, then someone is doing some editing. Are they adding verses to make one version more radical, or removing verses to sanitize it and protect it from scrutiny?

    If it can be edited, as shown by her public exhibition, then Muslims can keep on editing and remove all of the verses that are used to incite violence, submission and conquest. This is the opening for Muslims throughout the world to edit the words, and start the process of transforming their religion into one of peace. Unfortunately, several million more deaths will have to occur before they are ready for this move.

    In closing, here is a politically incorrect comparison of Christianity and Islam: Followers of one religion are willing to die for their God, while followers of the other are willing to kill for theirs.

  12. avatar Slats Grobnik says:

    This article is simply a re-hash of all the information you can read on the common anti-islam websites and offers absolutely nothing new to those sources. It is a dangerously ill-informed set of biased and incomplete sources that will lead people to form views based on hatred and fear rather than on a balanced and informed understanding of the religion that guides a billion human beings. Fr. Orsi should be ashamed of himself. Christians deserve better.

  13. avatar ecks why says:

    Informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear Islam. The twin fogs of political correctness and ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. Even a brief review of Islamic theology and history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    Mohammed was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

    The evil Koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in history’s worst-ever crimes against humanity, starting 1400 years ago, and still continuing even today.

    Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination, and includes all the usual human rights abuses and suppression of freedoms.

  14. avatar anthonymixan says:

    The article is 1000% correct!

  15. avatar Kinana says:

    Thank you for an excellent essay.
    Enough with the softly softly approach and wishful thinking of well-meaning but ignorant Christians. Ignorance in this case is not bliss but a danger to the security of all non-Muslims and the salvation of Muslims.
    You are right to mention the issue of marriage. From my own experience I confirm that priests are woefully unprepared to understand marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims. They need to at least be clear on what Islam teaches about this and inform (warn?) the non-Muslim what is store for her/him.
    The most charitable/loving thing non-Muslims can do for Muslims is to help them leave the slavery of Islam. Silence is better than the spouting of ignorance or mis-direction.
    ‘Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has insisted flatly that: “We must not fear Islam.”’
    Not exactly sure what the Cardinal means but it sounds like he means that nothing in the teachings of Islam should be of existential concern to non-Muslims.
    What nonsense. It is rational and moral to fear that which seeks to enslave you, your family and nation. Fear has its purpose. It is fear, if properly directed, that will result in the actions you suggest at the end of your fine essay.

  16. avatar Ixthus says:

    I have been praying regularly for the conversion of the Muslim people for a few years now. I began when I read about a Coptic priest who has converted hundreds (if not thousands by now) of Muslims and has for years now had a death threat looming over him and, consequently, is in hiding. I also highly recommend reading the book “The Closing Of The Muslim Mind” by Robert R. Reilly. It expounds on Pope Benedict’s commentary about the separation of faith from reason within the majority thought within Islam.

  17. avatar William says:

    OMISSION
    There is one major omission in this article that needs to be raised.
    In the section on the Qur’an, the author could have stated that the Qur’an is NOT chronological, but is ordered mainly by the length of the chapters (surahs). Surah 2.106 declares that some verses have been abrogated (substitued) for a better one.
    For instance, in Surah 2.256, it says “there is no compulsion in religion”.. This seems kind of a tolerant attitude, which we can all applaud.
    But surah 9.111, which came later, exhorts Muslims that: Paradise is for those who fight in his cause, and who slay and are slain”.
    Bottom line, when someone quotes a Qur’anic verse, you need to find out if that verse has been “substituted” with a better one. Deception of an unbeliever is built into the system.

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