Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Muslims are not the enemy!

The recent London bombings by Al Qaida-esque terrorists has engendered strong feelings across St. Blogs. Unfortunately, this passion has clouded the teachings of our Faith, at least for some of us. Witness the firestorm that still burns over at Open Book:
Islam - traditional Islam - is militant. Should it be any surprise to anyone who is familiar with the history of the Islamic invasion of Western Civilization?

I understand the desire for diplomacy here, but the attack of militant Islam on Western civ. is a sustained attack on the Christian West. It is a war that never really ended.

...It [Islam] was remarkable among the powers which have ruled these lands throughout history for what has wrongly been called its "tolerance." The Mohammedan temper was not tolerant. It was, on the contrary, fanatical and bloodthirsty. It felt no respect for, nor even curiosity about, those from whom it differed. It was absurdly vain of itself, regarding with contempt the high Christian culture about it. It still so regards it even today.

-Hillaire Belloc, The Great Heresies
I only know that, from my having read the entire Koran, that the Osama brand of Islam is entirely consistent with that particular book. The Koran says again and again that it is the perfect word of Allah, that it is unchangeable and not subject to interpretation, that to interpret it is to change it, which is a form of blasphemy, and that anyone who is not Muslim must be placed suppressed -- especially the Christians, who promote the outrageous and offensive and blamsphemous heresy that God is not One, but three, that He became a human, and that God had a mother, who was divine (yes, that's what the "perfect" Koran says, in addition to stating that Jesus' mother was the sister of Moses), and so on.
Islam is an INHERELY violent religion. It commands violent, bloody war. This is obvious to people who have studied the religion's history for more than 5 minutes. It does not command significant cranial resources to accomplish such understanding.
Consider these comments of other readers at For Lack of a Better Term:
Islam is a heresy. It is a false religion. Therefore it will have within it false teachings. And one of those false teachings is that the "infidel" must convert or die.

My point is that Islam is inherently wrong and evil. I know, it sounds harsh and un-PC to today's ears, but I believe it's the truth.
If Islam is not heresy, then nothing is. And then there is no true Church, no true faith and no need for salvation through Jesus Christ.

There may be half-truths in Islam, but the Enemy uses half-truths to lead people away from the One Truth.
Meanwhile, the teaching of the Church on other religions, with Judaism and Islam specifically in mind, remains forgotten:
"The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)

The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.

3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom."
ON OCTOBER 28, 1965
We ignore this at our peril.

The terrorists that murdered innocents in New York, London, Madrid and the rest of the world are islamofascists. They have a specific political ideology and ambition. This is not shared by a vast majority of the Muslim world. The proof is in the numbers.

Recently, the Sunday Times of London reported that Al Qaeda attempts to recruit the middle class muslims that live in the UK (hat tip to Dan Darling):
Drawing on information from MI5, it concludes: “Intelligence indicates that the number of British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity, whether at home or abroad or supporting such activity, is extremely small and estimated at less than 1%.”

This equates to fewer than 16,000 potential terrorists and supporters out of a Muslim population of almost 1.6m.
Think about that for a minute. In the UK, less than 1% of the Muslim population actively engages in terrorism. This means that 99% of the Muslims living in the UK do not participate in terrorism.

An extreme minority of the world's muslims commit heinous atrocities upon civilization. A vast majority do not. To paint all muslims with the broadstroke of terrorism commited by few denies 1 billion people justice, and demonstrates a tragic intellectual dishonesty. Much has been made of the "violence" of the Qa'ran. Evidently, those verses have little bearing on how a vast majority of Muslims practice their religion. Otherwise, a majority of the world's billion muslims would flood Al Queda's ranks.

Some have complained about the silence of many Muslim's attacks. Thomas Friedman of the NY Times accurately asserts that not one Muslim religious authority has issued a Fatwa condemning Osama Bin Laden. (hat tip to Against the Grain)Others have lamented the sometimes contradictory responses of Western Muslim authorities. These are valid concerns that I share. However, we must keep at least two considerations in mind:

First, Islam has not had a universal religious or political leader since the fall of the last Caliphate after WWI. A diversity of scholars issue religious opinions, but there is no final authority that can speak to all muslims everywhere, as the Pope can speak for the Catholic Faith. Therefore, Muslims will have as difficult a time reaching a religious consensus on any issue as the world's Protestants will.

Secondly, Muslims have perceived historical grievances against the West. Great Britain and the Allies did betray the Middle East in the Versaill treaty. The independence that the Allies promised the Arabic tribes became the colonial mandates that placed them under non-muslim rule. Britain's tragic handling of their mandate, in particular, has haunted much of the 20th and early 21st centuries since. Plus, Muslims that live in the West face the obsessive secularism promoted by Reasonable elites of society. What is a devout Muslim to do when these elites insist on celebrating the murder of unborn children, the widespread delivery of pornography even to children and the denial of God in the public square? They risk the wrath of the islamofascists should they speak out, and they want to take that risk for an apparently Godless society?

Add to that the suspicion that they suffer from whenever islamofascists strike. They don't have many incentives to make a stand. Even if it is the right thing to do.

Catholics, in particular, should not burden muslims with pronouncements of the inherent "violence" or "heresy" of islam, particularly when they ignore the facts to do so. We should not ignore our Faith in order to indulge our passions, however strong our legitimate desire for justice may be. Rather, let's hold to truth, even when the share of that truth radiates through Islam. We can't forget that the agents of Evil--islamofascists--want nothing more than for Westerners and Muslims to kill each other. They want to see a massive collision of civilizations. Well, let's keep it simple. Let's unite civilization--Western and Islamic--against the barbarism that is Islamofascism. The Muslim world does not need another Talibanic Afghanistan. The West does not need Muslims in their midst lining up in Al Qaeda. We have the common desire to live our lives in peace and freedom. Let's stand by that desire and put an end to the ambitions of those that would deny us both what is our right.

Muslims are not the enemy. Islamofascists are. Let's recognize the difference before it's too late.