Recently two prominent American bishops joined two leading Shiite Muslim scholars in Iran in issuing a statement on weapons of mass destruction. According to the statement, “Christianity and Islam cherish a common heritage that emphasizes, above all, love and respect for the life dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community.” It went on to say that “Catholicism and Shia Islam hold a common commitment to peaceful coexistence and mutual respect,” and concluded with a commitment to “our mutual intention to engage in sustained dialogue based on our shared values.”
This emphasis on the shared heritage of Christianity and Islam is fairly representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ stance on Islam—namely, that Islam is a sister faith with which we have a close affinity. For example, at the Muslim-Catholic National Plenary Dialogue in October of 2012, keynote speaker Fr. Tom Michel, S.J., entitled his talk “Living Our Faith Together.” Fr. Michel explained that he was uncertain whether the plenary theme was supposed to be “Living Our Faith Together” or “Living Our Faiths Together,” but he preferred the former because “we are already united.”
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Christians are being butchered by the hundreds and thousands by their “partners in faith.” As Islamic terrorism spreads across the globe, Church leaders might want to reconsider the common-ground-with-Islam policy that has been in place since Vatican II. It’s one thing to affirm the common humanity shared by Christians and Muslims; it’s another thing altogether to assert that they share a common belief system—as in “Living Our Faith Together.”
That approach is fraught with difficulties. What’s the interfaith common ground on jihad? On the equality of men and women? On amputation for theft? On the doctrine that Islam should reign supreme over all other religions? Is it wise to emphasize our “shared values” with a religion that inspires so many to maim and murder? To use an analogy, why would you want to tout your common ground with the local bully who beats his wife and intimidates his neighbors?
To ask a more basic question, why would you want to advertise your “common heritage” with a made-up religion? Even if Islam did not have a long history of depredations, in what sense does it qualify as a revealed religion—other than the fact that it claims as much for itself? Do the Catholic participants in the Muslim-Catholic dialogue believe that Muhammad actually received a revelation from God? If they don’t, then they are in danger of being involved in a pretense. Why do the claims of Islam merit so much serious consideration—let alone respect and esteem—if its founder was the perpetrator of such a massive fraud?
Despite all the fashionable talk about our shared heritage, there is no organic connection between Islam and Christianity as there is between Christianity and Judaism. Muhammad borrowed ideas and stories from the Torah and the Gospels, but the Koran can hardly be considered an outgrowth or fulfillment of either. It’s more accurate to say that Muhammad hitched a ride on the Jewish and Christian traditions. He saw them, in other words, as a vehicle for his own aspiration. And that aspiration—which jumps out from almost every page of the Koran—was to be a prophet.
Initially, Muhammad seemed content to be accepted as a prophet within the Jewish tradition, but when he was rebuffed by the Jews of Medina, it became apparent that his motivation was simply to be a prophet at any cost. Muhammad began to accuse the Jews and Christians of having distorted and falsified the revelations that were given to them, and he presented the Koran as the pristine revelation that the Jews and Christians had been guilty of distorting.
And what was the revelation? Ali Sina, the author of Understanding Muhammad, puts it this way:
What was his message? The message was that he had become a messenger and people had to believe in him…. Beyond that there is no other message. (p. 15)
Sina exaggerates, but not by much. Although the Koran also emphasizes the oneness of God, the only really new element not to be found in existing revelations is that Muhammad is a prophet—and not only that, but the “seal of the prophets.” The odd thing is that there is no prophecy in the Koran. Other than promising unbelievers that they will end up in hell, the Koran does not foretell anything of note. The prophet’s main message, repeated over and over, is precisely that he is a prophet.
Read the Koran and test this for yourself. The most frequently repeated phrases are “Believe God and His Prophet,” “Obey God and His Prophet,” and variations thereof. Sometimes the words “Messenger” and “Apostle” are substituted for “Prophet,” but they are all just different ways of saying “Muhammad.” In short the Koran never fails to remind its readers that Muhammad is a prophet.
Moreover, this prophet is on very intimate terms with the Almighty. Almost every time that Allah is mentioned in the Koran, Muhammad (under the title the “Apostle,” the “Messenger,” or the “Prophet”) is mentioned in the same breath. This too is odd. In fact, it borders on the sacrilegious. The greatest sin in Islam is the sin of “shirk”—that is, the crime of associating anyone with Allah. In order to refute the doctrine of the Trinity, the Koran emphasizes that Allah has no partners. Yet Muhammad links himself with Allah on almost every page—sometimes to the point that Allah begins to seem like a junior partner. Sina puts the matter rather starkly:
Islam is nothing but Muhammadanism. Muslims claim that they worship no one but Allah. Since Allah was only Muhammad’s alter ego, his other alias and invisible sock-puppet, in practice, it’s Muhammad whom they worship. (p. 7)
Prince Caetani, an early twentieth-century scholar of Islam, makes the same point in a slightly more elegant way:
It is thus the person of Mohammed that stands out above all in the front rank, till to God is given a secondary position in His capacity as the auxiliary of the Prophet. He is no longer the Supreme Being, for whose service everything should be sacrificed, but rather the all-powerful Being who aids the Prophet in his political mission, who facilitates his victories, consoles him in defeat, assists him in unravelling all the mundane and worldly complications of a great Empire over men, and helps him smooth over the difficulties which rise up every day as he works out these new phases of his prophetic and political career. (Cited in Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim, p. 88.)
In Caetani’s view, Allah becomes little more than a “deus ex machina” who supplies Muhammad with “revelations of convenience.” These were revelations that seem tailored to get Muhammad out of a jam or to resolve a dispute in his favor. Here’s a sampling:
- After the Battle of Badr, a dispute arose over the division of spoils. Muhammad promptly received a revelation that “the spoils belong to God and the Apostle.” (8:1)
- He received a revelation allowing him to marry his own daughter-in-law. (33:37)
- Another revelation allowed Muhammad to marry as many wives as he desired. (33:50)
- In another revelation, Allah freed Muhammad from his oath to one of his wives that he would stay away from his concubine, Mary (66:1-4).
After one such revelation, his young wife, Aisha, remarked: “Truly thy Lord makes haste to do thy bidding.”
After the Swiss voted in favor of banning minarets in their country, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, chided the voters: “I wonder,” he said, “…if they have ever opened the Qur’an.” One could ask the same question of the USCCB dialoguers. Because if you do read the Koran, one thing you can’t miss is the centrality of Muhammad. In a large sense, it’s all about him. Although Muhammad was careful not to refer to himself by name (he does so only on four occasions), see how many times the “Prophet,” the “Apostle,” and the “Messenger” are mentioned. The same is true of the Sira and the Hadith—the two other main sources of Islam. They are dominated by the person of Muhammad. Or consider this directive from Reliance of the Traveller, the definitive manual of Islamic law:
Allah has favored him above all the other prophets and made him the highest of mankind, rejecting anyone’s attesting to the divine oneness by saying “There is no god but Allah,” unless they also attest to the Prophet by saying “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” (v 2.1)
In short, you can’t have one without the other.
Other prophets were anxious to call attention to God, Muhammad seemed more anxious to call attention to his own prophethood. The Koran seems to be constructed not so much to serve the needs of the people of God, but to serve the needs of one individual’s rather large ego. The Koran’s obsession with the status of Muhammad suggests that it is an entirely human creation devised largely for the purpose of furthering the aims and ambitions of one man. After all, if Muhammad is the true author of the Koran, the words “Obey Allah and his Prophet” can just as well be translated as “Obey Allah and Me.”
One can find many resemblances between the Koran and the Torah and a handful of similarities between the Koran and the Gospels, but one can also find compelling evidence within its pages that it is, in fact, the “invented tale” that its author takes great pains to deny. (For examples of these denials see 11:13, 12:112, 32:1-2, 34:43.)
This being the case, Catholic bishops ought to be careful that, in their eagerness to show respect for Islam, they do not go overboard on the matter of “common ground” and “shared heritage.” What is the point of affirming your unity with a belief system that largely developed out of one man’s megalomania? What does it matter if Muslims revere Jesus, if the Jesus they revere was introduced into the Koran for the purpose of denying the claims of Jesus of Nazareth while enhancing the claims of Muhammad the prophet?
Muslims refer to the Koran as the “Holy Koran.” So also do numerous Western leaders including presidents, prime ministers, and four-stars U.S. generals. Bishops, however, should be more cautious about assigning sacred status to a book of such dubious origins. If the chief purpose of dialogue is to allow clerics of different faiths to congratulate each other on their shared open-mindedness, then it helps to concentrate on the mutual heritage aspect and to avoid the obvious stumbling blocks. But “let’s pretend” is not a very sound basis on which to move both parties closer to the truth.
What currently seems like the height of enlightened sensitivity on the part of bishops may eventually look like a display of simple foolishness. And, considering how rapidly our illusions about Islam are being deflated by the march of events, “eventually” seems due to arrive well ahead of schedule.
Editor’s note: The sign in the photo above reads “Stop – Yes to ban of minarets” sponsored by the Swiss People’s Party and posted during the fall 2009 referendum over whether minarets on new mosques should be banned in Switzerland. (Photo credit: REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann)
‘why would you want to advertise your “common heritage” with a made-up religion? ‘
do surgeons and butchers have a common heritage?
Thank you for this post! I see P. Michel goes on to talk about ‘shared mission’ (peace, justice, moral values, freedom), citing Nostra Aetate, 3. Libertas ac justitia socialis vera? Ask the women in Saudi Arabia, enslaved, or Mrs Ibrahim in Sudan. Pax vera? How many dead in Egypt and Syria and Nigeria and Indonesia? In some countries, it is true, we can work with them to prevent immoral civil legislation, sure, and that’s great so far as it goes. The professional dialoguers, though, many of them, haven’t proved themselves good witnesses to the truths of our Faith. Our Shared Faith, indeed; pft.
And, in any event, the Fathers of the Council might very well choose to make a different sort of declaratio about the Church and Islam, fifty years on! To treat those two paragraphs as a solemn canonisation of anything is misguided, in my opinion.
Might as well advertise a “common heritage” between Catholicism and Protestantism.
I suppose the “common heritage” between Islam and Christianity is that they are both religions practised by humans.
…Just as the “common heritage ” between surgeons and butchers is cutting up meat.
William Kilpatrick writes, “After the Swiss voted in favor of banning minarets in their country, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, chided the voters: ‘I wonder,’ he said, ‘…if they have ever opened the Qur’an’.”
Yes, well, it’s fine that Cardinal Tauran has “chided the voters” in Switzerland for putting a stop to building mosques in their country. I wonder, though, if the cardinal has ever considered “chiding” the Saudis for not allowing a single church ever to be built in Saudi Arabia. It’s true that media outlets have reported an agreement that would allow a Coptic Christian church to be built in Saudi Arabia, but this agreement has not been confirmed by the Saudi government. The Tablet reports, “Such a development would be remarkable as the Saudi kingdom forbids all public expressions of Christianity and possession of items such as Bibles, crucifixes, religious statues and other religious symbols is forbidden.” http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/454/0/-first-church-in-saudi-arabia-after-reports-of-momentous-accord-with-egypt-s-coptic-pope
In fact, not only is the building a Christian church in Saudi Arabia still officially against the law, but Christians have even been arrested for merely attending a prayer service in a private home. http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/30/saudi-arabia-christians-arrested-private-prayer
The core of William Kilpatrick’s arresting article could be summed by his sentence, “To use an analogy, why would you want to tout your common ground with the local bully who beats his wife and intimidates his neighbors?”
That is something that members of the Church hierarchy ought to become aware of before it’s too late.
On the Feast of Christ the King, celebrated on the last Sunday of October (the Sunday before the Feast of All Saints) and initiated in 1925 by Pius XI in his Encyclical Quas Primas, there follows after the Mass a Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“..Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism..”
Now to include two American Bishops.
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.”
I recommend this prayer at this time when Christians are being Beheaded and Crucified (as happened to St Peter and St Paul) in the Middle East.
The main difference between Islam and Traditional Catholicism, is that Islam worships Satan, and Catholics Worship the Blessed Trinity. If you don’t believe in the Blessed Trinity, then you don’t believe in God and the Hypostatic Union of Jesus Christ. Islam is the Great Pretender. Islam is the Antithesis of Jesus Christ. Satan possessed Mohammad in order to Defeat Catholicism. The Catholic Faith was started by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, True God and True Man, consubstantial with the Father, and by Whom all things were made. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, but together with the Father and the Son is both adored and Glorified.
Islam believes in “slaughter your adversaries”, if they don’t say you are right. Catholicism was preached by the Apostles and the message was “Love your enemies; do good to those who persecute you.” Catholicism being the fulfillment of the Old Law and the Prophets, as Jesus was the Lamb of God, the final Victim of Expiation, and by whose Blood we are Saved through Baptism and the Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Union, Holy Orders and Matrimony).
Mohammad believed in Self-Worship, and was neither expiator or Prophet. Saying one has Union with a Fake Religion, is like telling everyone Gold can become Tin or Pot Metal. The one has absolutely nothing in common with the other. Islam is a Theocracy. Catholicism is a Religion.
End of Story!
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Well said Catherine! That is a clear and truthful summary of the differences between the One True Catholic Faith and the Heresy of Islam, a spawn of the Devil.
(Btw, sorry for the length of time your comment was held up in Moderation; it came through whilst we were all in slumberland over here! 😉 )
“The main difference between Islam and Traditional Catholicism, is that Islam worships Satan,”
The main difference? What other differences do we need, for God’s sake?
I’ve never heard, or read, ignorant nonsense on such an industrial scale. And I suggest (humbly) you should know better Kathleen, encouraging the poor, demented woman.
I hold no brief for Islam personally – if it came to a gun-to-the-head choice between that and Christianity – I’d choose the latter.
But Muslims believe in God. One God. A good God. They may be wrong in their interpretation of Him (I think they are) but they don’t believe the Devil is God, and they don’t worship Satan.
What is more, Christianity (including Catholicism) has enthusiastically slaughtered a good few of its enemies too. And what is even more – it was recently commonplace for ignorant Protestants to assert Catholics worshipped the Devil, Some still do assert it, in fact. So stupid are some folk.
A Dutch friend once told me (long ago) that when a Dutch person sees a German person they want to say to them, “When are you going to bring our bicycles back?”. (I thinks it’s a reference to the concluding days of the 2nd World War in Europe!)
In the last few days, at least a few Catholics here in this Muslim-majority country are asking, “When are you going to give us our Advent hymnbooks back?”.
Hey, -spittle, may I suggest, “humbly” or not, that you go back and re-read Fr Geiger’s admonitory essay about behaving oneself on the Internet.
Your diatribe about “ignorant nonsense on such an industrial scale” from a “poor, demented woman” is a personal attack which the woman you’re referring to didn’t deserve – not to mention that her opinions are entirely supportable, whereas yours hardly ever are.
Here’s a update from last week by Professor Kilpatrick concerning the Islamic threat:
…for the commenter here who denies that Muslims worship Satan, all I can say (for now) is that whilst all Muslims may vehemently and even honestly deny that they worship him, that doesn’t mean they don’t do so. There’s a logical fallacy on the loose somewhere in that commenter’s mind, but I’m not able to pinpoint it right now. Sort of looking for a needle in a haystack of needles.
If the Koran is one of the devil’s ploys to distract people away from Jesus Christ, then to follow the Koran is to follow the devil, isn’t it?
If the Koran is one of the devil’s ploys to distract people away from Jesus Christ, then to follow the Koran is to follow the devil, isn’t it?
We should at least be open to the possibility that it’s a purely human creation
I accept, completely, that the Koran is not of God, but don’t accept that it’s a “purely human creation”. It was written, as was our Holy Bible, by humans, obviously; but that’s not to say the Koran wasn’t inspired by Satan. The Screwtape Letters and all that. Are pornography, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and the legislation in our various countries permitting the same of purely human invention?
I think Islam is exactly the kind of thing you’d end up with if some megalomaniac decided to start a cult centred on themselves. (And Mr Joseph Smith I’m looking at you too). Islam may well be inspired by Satan, I can’t rule it out, but it strikes me as just the kind of thing fallen humanity would come up with by itself.
There have been many religious systems in history. To my mind Christ and his cross — so utterly startlingly unlike anything anyone would invent — underscores the difference between and made and ‘God-made’ religion. Invoking the devil might just confuse the issue.
I remember that Augustine believed the pagan Gods of Olympus were actually devils, I think he was wrong, and that by studying classical paganism we can learn a lot about human myth making. — If we thought they were all devils, we’d use that as an excuse to stop thinking.
underscores the difference between and* made and ‘God-made’ religion
I meant the difference between man-made and God-made — typo!
Tom Fisher says:
“There have been many religious systems in history. To my mind Christ and his cross — so utterly startlingly unlike anything anyone would invent — underscores the difference…Invoking the devil might just confuse the issue.”
I can’t describe the difference between Christianity and other religions better than you do, Tom Fisher, when you talk about Christ and his cross. Still, I believe in the existence of Satan, and I don’t think talking about Satan confuses “the issue”, which is this: Who do we want to live with in eternity – him or God ? We can’t ignore that choice which God lets – insists – we make.
…and consider how many times Satan is referred to by that very name in Holy Scripture:
Acknowledging (not invoking) the name of the devil is brutal Christianity, not superstition.
It’s possible that Chesterton might ultimately be proved right on the Islamification of England. People constantly demonstrate an apparently unlimited ability to believe anything – with the basic proviso that it’s stupid enough.
We all know that.
And – along with JH, I believe in existence of the Devil – of which there were about 7.2 billion at the last count.
I was exceptionally rude to the lady, to be sure – and I’m sorry.
Went too far. Didn’t pause before hitting the send button.
But I will say it again – in a more measured form: Going around pronouncing that people who believe differently to ourselves worship the Devil – is misguided. There are still plenty of half-witted people out there who believe Catholics are Satan-worshipping Whores of Babylon and so forth, Spawn of Satan, Vatican the Seething Nest of Vipers, Fount of all Falsehood,* etc.
You might not believe it, JH – but it’s true. I’ve met some myself. In Belfast. It’s just another kind of ridiculous.
Nor is it possible to “prove” that Muslims, or Mormons, or, indeed Catholics – don’t unwittingly believe in the Devil. That’s the way it is with metaphysics. Can’t prove anything.
And yes, some Muslims are behaving more frightfully than Christians, these days. And this is to be deplored. Apparently, they also believe that all infidels- i.e. non-Muslims – go straight to Hell.
What an absurd idea!
Whoever heard such nonsense? (I trust it’s all right to say that?)
* Mind you, some Catholics are getting a bit warm on that one themselves, aren’t they?
Truth be told, Satan is mentioned by that name 47 times in the whole of the Scriptures, only 14 of those in the Old Testament. Most of those references, of course, are in Job.
In the Qur’an (a much smaller publication) he is mentioned about 35 times, and never flatteringly. On the contrary:
[4:60] “Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?
[16:98] When thou dost read the Qur’an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan, the rejected one.
It’s really a serious mistake to say that the Qur’an, and hence Islam encourages attachment to Satan. I admit nobody here has actually said as much.
The Islamic scripture relies very heavily on the Old Testament and on what have become known as the later apocryphal scriptures in Christianity. The Qur’an, if anything, looks like the previous Scriptures, but very much honed or “streamlined” to emphasise to an historically half-montheisised people the grandeur and the might of God, and his desire that the Arabs turn away from their old ways and follow at any cost a godly and moral life.
Let us pray God that the twirp in Sydney right now is fully attended to and the morning coffee patrons are re-united with their families immediately.
I’m still of the view, GC, that Islam, and its foundational text, the Koran, are the Devil’s handiwork, whether or not your everyday Muslim is one himself. I’ve said this here (or somewhere) before: I’ve personally never met a Muslim I didn’t like, or at least didn’t think was worthy of the generalised respect we owe to all human beings until they prove otherwise. But who can deny that millions upon millions of them (whilst keeping in mind there are hundreds of millions of them) are hard-line fanatic foot soldiers from Hell, or at least, useful idiots of the Dark Lord, whether they know it or not – and that’s because their belief system is based on power, domination, submission and slavery in one form or another, most especially in those parts of the world where they are the absolute majority.
Our ever-so-wise elderly agnostic says that Christians too have a lot answer for in their past, the implication being that Muslims will also grow out of their bad habits of subjugation,rapine, murder and so forth in another few hundred years. Well, I don’t think we can afford to take the long view he does. We’d best confront Islam like we did Communism, denounce the heinous crimes being committed in its name, and if we can’t destroy it – which we can’t, because it’s a belief system far, far stronger than Communism – do our level best to contain its influence both at home and abroad. This is the new Cold War, and it’s going to make the last one look like a walk in the park.
My first sentence would have been better written thusly:
“GC, I’m still of the view that Islam, and its foundational text, the Koran, are the Devil’s playthings, whether or not your everyday Muslim is one himself.”
Your are right GC – I’m sure – that Islam in no accredited way “encourages attachment to Satan”… but then has Satan not always been a master of disguise, masquerading as harmless, right from his very first appearance to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Islam is a heresy based on lies; Mohammad, who is little less than a god to Muslims, was no prophet, gave no proof whatsoever for any of his ‘visitations’, and based on all the evidence, was a pretty nasty character. His ‘religion’ has been spread by the sword, forced ‘conversions’ and bloodshed. Any glance at the daily reports of the atrocities committed by some of its members, the arrogance and aggressive attitude of a very large percentage of Muslims (even some homegrown ones who eat our bread), and its sinister aim to continue its spread by force into the rest of the world, makes it really hard to see it in any other light than being “a spawn of the devil”.
We all know there are millions of good law-abiding Muslims too of course, who just do their best to struggle on with life within this faith that they find themselves. However, their staggering indifference towards the horrific suffering of the victims of their religion’s jihadism (past and present) reveals a deep-seated belief among them that non-Muslims are really not worth bothering about.
This is in stark contrast to the Catholic Christian belief that all men are of equal value before God.
There are loads of informative and reliable links showing up the evils of Islam and its Qur’an:
“Following are the 10 most evil teachings in history that surprisingly are divine teachings of Islamic God Allah. Obviously, Islam’s Allah was not the God, whom the pre-Islamic Arabs used to worship as their God, but was the alter-ego of Muhammad.
Every word of the Quran was Muhammad’s own, which he put on the tongue of his imaginary friend Allah (AKA Muhammad). Islam is out and out fraudulent.”
P.S. Excellent comment from JH at 22:19 !
Thanks for the flowers, Kathleen 😉
Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum is very important. Another one is the Middle East Media Research Institute, also known by the ironic (for Jews) acronym MEMRI, and still another site to look at from time to time is Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, which today, sadly, is reporting on the “lone wolf” attack by that Muslim fanatic in Sydney AU. My goodness, exactly how many Islamic “lone wolves” are there? It seems every week or two now, we’re reading reports about a Muslim “lone wolf” shooting, beheading or running someone down. We’ve had two here in Canada these past two months, both against Catholic soldiers, one a member of my diocese.
Mr Spencer, also a Catholic, who’s been banned from entering the UK because of his anti-Islamic views, wrote a book a few years ago: The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam (And The Crusades), and one Muslim book reviewer wrote (as you can see at the top of the front cover art on the book): “May Allah rip out his spine from his back and split his brains in two, and then put them both back, and then do it over and over again.”
Whew! For many years, our local Toad used to earn his daily crust as a book reviewer, but I doubt even he could ever write something as trenchant as that, even though he’s been known to be piercing in his critiques of newly arrived woman commenters on this blog.
I see that a line of faceless baby dolls has been launched in the UK by one Ridhwana B, formerly a Muslim school teacher in north England. No eyes, nose or mouth.
“I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features,” said Ridhwana, who did not wish to reveal her last name.
…oops…I see my first link is for a faceless (sharia compliant) doll that ships from the USA, not the UK. Once again, the USA is at the forefront of the fight for religious freedoms. And the US version is slightly less hideous than Ridhwana’s.
Just to play devil’s advocate John Henry — consider the modern secular West’s view on the following issues — and the view of devout Muslims. Which group do you feel closer to?
The existence of God.
The existence of objective morality
The importance of prayer
Catholicism has a lot in common with Islam on almost very issue where Catholicism clashes with the post-Christian West
We all know there are millions of good law-abiding Muslims too of course
The very fact that you even need to post such a comment speaks volumes about the common perception of Islam …
The very fact that you even need to post such a comment speaks volumes about the common perception of Islam …
So how much stock should we put in the “common perception”? The “common perception” is that Christian morality is outdated and restrictive — and yet the common perception is false. It often is.
I did not wish to suggest, Tom, that the Modernist sirens of the common opinion should be heeded — I was pointing out instead that a pervasive climate of religious hatred has become a kind of norm in our societies, including yes an atheistic religious hatred of Christianity as you quite rightly remind us.
Dear kathleen and JH, it’s all a bit too much for me even to imagine that my many Muslim neighbours and colleagues and also old friends are connected to Satan any more than any non-baptised person may be or, come to think of it, enough of the baptised as well.
I am quite convinced that Islam for them is identified with moral living and, of course, enough of them fail in that respect as we the baptised also do.
I cannot remember in my experience of our many Muslims here any one person who we would confidently say had “heroic virtue”, such as we know our saints to have shown.It’s sort of goodness very much on the natural level and that should not surprise us too much. It’s rather like most people we meet even in traditionally Christian countries. If that is a sign of Satan, then it is worldwide, as I think toads have been suggesting quite recently, although I could be wrong.
Tom Fisher asks: “…consider the modern secular West’s view on the following issues — and the view of devout Muslims. Which group do you feel closer to?”
The existence of God: Muslims may think they believe in God, but I agree with the Prince Caetani quote above – they believe in Muhammed, with ‘god’ being given a secondary position as his auxiliary in forwarding his political mission. In any case, their ‘god’ is a false one bearing no relation to true God. Theirs is a religion made out of whole cloth by Muhammed in the same way Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon (or Moron if you’ll forgive the pun) at his kitchen table.
The existence of objective morality: That’s a pretty wide concept. I haven’t studied Islamic philosophy and doubt that I ever will; but as for secularists, I’d say most of them believe in the Golden Rule, even if they don’t believe in God, whereas I think most or many strict Muslims only believe it insofar as their fellow Muslims are concerned; so on balance, I feel more at home living in a predominantly secularist society than I would living in a Muslim one.
Homosexuality: You might as well ask me if I prefer the Nazi treatment of homosexuals over the secularist’s approach.
Marriage: Er, which one and how many?
Abortion: Muslims practice abortion.
Euthanasia: I’m not informed about their views on euthanasia, but Muslims practice capital punishment, whereas most secular societies don’t. Six of one, half a dozen of the other is about the size of it.
The importance of prayer: We’re still allowed to pray in our predominantly secular nations; but try reading the Holy Bible or forming a Christian prayer group in, for example, Saudi Arabia.
“Mohammed gave no proof whatsoever for any of his ‘visitations’, “
If anyone can give me any “proof” of any ‘visitations’ by any religion, at any time on planet Earth during the last 20,000 years – be these “visitations” Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Muggletonian, or Quivering Brethren, Little Green Men From Mars – or whatever “belief-system” anyone cares to conjure up – I will repent immediately and publicly. And start doing serious penance.
(Unless it turns out to be the Mormons, of course.)
It’s really a serious mistake to say that the Qur’an, and hence Islam encourages attachment to Satan. I admit nobody here has actually said as much.
Cripes, GC! …What have you been smoking? More to the point what have you been reading – under the impression it was CP&S?
“Islam’s sinister aim to continue its spread by force into the rest of the world, makes it really hard to see it in any other light than being “a spawn of the devil”.
Or how about…
The main difference between Islam and Traditional Catholicism, is that Islam worships Satan,
What do you make of those two examples, then? Chopped liver?
Your observations here on Islam are, in my opinion, eminently sane and reasonable. So they won’t be overly popular.
“Our ever-so-wise elderly agnostic says that Christians too have a lot answer for in their past, the implication being that Muslims will also grow out of their bad habits of subjugation, rapine, murder and so forth in another few hundred years. “
I imply nothing of the sort, JH. Muslims may grow out of it, and then they may not. I can’t know, because I don’t have “visitations.”. Some religions do, some don’t. Catholics and Anglicans appear to have, for the time being, at least.
…Incidentally, I loved your classic rib-tickler about “Mormons and Morons.”
Always did. Gets me every time. Even when Dennis Rodman said it.
JabbaPappa takes Kathleen to task for pointing out the obvious: “We all know there are millions of good law-abiding Muslims…”, his retort being: “The very fact that you even need to post such a comment speaks volumes about the common perception of Islam…”, and then further on he opines that “…a pervasive climate of religious hatred has become a kind of norm in our societies…”
In which societies exactly are Muslims being made objects of religious hatred? Perhaps in India. Certainly not in most western democracies where we bend over backwards to actually avoid stating another obvious truth: that the ‘religion’ called Islam is being used by Muslims to main, behead, rape, steal from, enslave and conquer their perceived enemies – including other Muslims, btw. Just the other day, Vice-President Joe Biden lectured Hirsi Ali, the Muslim-born Ethiopian woman who was subjected to genital mutilation as a 5 year old, who fled to Holland to escape an arranged marriage planned for her by her family and who was threatened with death by the Muslim “lone wolf” who murdered Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam 10 years ago, the death threat being in a letter which he pinned to Van Gogh’s chest with a knife. Biden, famous Islamic scholar that he is (like his boss) buttonholed Hirsi Ali at some function and told her that “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.” When she disagreed with him, Biden actually responded: “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”
Every time there’s another Islamic attack in our cities, the very next day our newspapers and broadcasters wring their hands about the dangers of a backlash against Muslims, which never seems to happen, despite all the “religious hatred” bemoaned by JP. Likewise, after each new atrocity perpetrated by one of their own, Muslim organizations issue press statements about their fears that non-Muslims will be returning the favour, which again, we never seem to do. Here’s a press statement we can expect from them in the not too distant future, if we’re not careful:
American Islamic Conference Concerned About Backlash After Next Week’s Bombings
Full disclosure: that’s a riff on something borrowed from elsewhere, but too good – and too perceptive – for me to resist, and as the title of the original piece warns us: Silence=Acceptance. Thus, it is our duty as civilized people to fight the good fight against these barbarians, who for now mostly happen to be Muslim ones, whether it offends people worried about “religious hatred” or not; but why they are so worried, seeing as the hatred seems very one-sided, is beyond me.
In which societies exactly are Muslims being made objects of religious hatred?
I have no idea why you imagine that my comment concerning the pervasiveness of religious hatred was centred around Muslims in particular.
JabbaPappa says: “I have no idea why you imagine that my comment…
Here’s why: it’s because this particular post concerns Islam, and also because your first comment (at 08:21) is directed at Kathleen and criticizes her for stating the obvious, your words being that it (her comment) “…speaks volumes about the common perception of Islam…”, your intent being to say that “religious hatred” (your next comment at 14:25) of Muslims is a commonly held one. Was that not your intent? If not, what is this “common perception” of Islam that you refer to?
JabbaPapa – not JabbaPapp. Sorry. [Note to self: “Pappa” is Italian for baby food, which JP’s meanderings are not]
— because you put two and two together, and came up with five.
How, exactly, does my phrase “including yes an atheistic religious hatred of Christianity” restrict, in any way at all, this religious hatred to strictly Muslim targets ?
Tsk… you haven’t answered my question, JabbaPapa, about what you meant when you said Kathleen’s comment “…speaks volumes about the common perception of Islam…”. I think it’s your belief that most people in the West hate Muslims. If not, I ask, as did Charles Kingsley of my confirmation namesake: what exactly do you mean?? So far, your Apologia don’t amount to much, and in fact…
…your comments on this thread, in response to T. Fisher and me, remind me of this:
My link to Charles Kingsley’s screed does work, but here’s a simpler version.
oh flipping heck, not that rubbish “twist and shout” nonsense AGAIN !!!
Sorry jh, but I am not responsible for your over-interpretations of anyone’s internet posts, nor do I feel the need to justify whichever false perceptions thereof that you may be inventing inside your head.
I deny the truth of your suggestions purporting to show me as being more conscious of the religious persecutions of Muslims than of other forms and targets of religious persecutions, and so why on EARTH do you continue to ask me to defend these notions of your personal invention that I have explicitly rejected ???
“…not that rubbish “twist and shout” nonsense AGAIN !!!”
Sigh. As usual, JabbaPapa resorts to CAPITAL letters and multiple punctuation marks!!!
Res Ipsa Loquitur, as my learned friend would say.
I’ve never linked that “Twist and Shout” video before; so don’t blame me if others share my opinion of you.
I take back my last (^) word, which I thought was on target, but which now sounds unnecessarily personal. This is why the French are so right insisting on the distinction between “tu” and “vous”.
Then, of course there are those who will say, “Of course Islam is detestable and devilish. As is Christianity, Judaism, Voodoo, Hinduism, Astrology, Yoga, Phrenology, Divining the Future by Examining the Entrails of Dead Sheep, Ancestor Worship, and the movies of Mel Gibson. Instead of nit-picking around, in aimless and futile fashion amongst all that metaphysical gibberish – we should stuff the whole boiling in a cardboard box marked, “Stupid,” tie it up with ribbon, and throw it in the deep blue sea.”
Personally, Toad suspects such an attitude would be unduly reckless and hasty. But he can readily see why people might feel that way.
Waiting on the sidelines to see what would transpire from JH’s questioning of JabbaPapa’s words re “the common perception of Islam” 😉 , I have to just add that if there is anyone who thinks the persecution of Muslims in our day and age (even this being normally at the hand of other Muslims anyway) is anything comparable to the brutal and merciless persecution of Christians (which normally is at the hand of Muslims), is just living in cloud cuckoo land.
However, I don’t think Jabba does think that, however obscure his comment might have been; just the very adopting of his new avatar is surely a sign that he is as concerned with the desperate plight of Christians under persecution as much as anyone else. Besides, he has always vigorously defended Catholicism.
I am more worried about our dear GC though, and that our views on Islam might be hurtful to her as she lives and works among friendly Muslims in the Golden Chersonnese! As I have already said, I (and many others) agree and share absolutely JH’s interpretation of the real Islam, its heretical origins – heresy always being the work of the Devil please note – its diabolical machinations, its innate dominant violence and cruelty; and the threat it purports to the rest of the world. Yet this is not, however, a personal attack on individual Muslims who, through no fault of their own, find themselves within this ‘religion’. Under any satanical regime, e.g. Communism, or faith system, e.g. Islam, there are always good people who recognise and avoid its more inhumane side. Though I repeat that I really cannot understand the deafening silence of the so-called ‘good Muslims’ in not protesting in outrage against the crimes of their co-religionists.
Silence in the face of the barbaric evil being committed by islamic jihadists can only be interpreted as a form of cowardly acceptance of it!
Yes, the same can be said for the silence of all baptised Catholics too of course (as GC points out) who do not ‘practice what they preach’, or when they allow the wicked ways of our societies to go forward without protest. Remaining silent in the face of unjust laws like so-called ‘gay marriage’, abortion, euthanasia, etc. is also wrong, and here in the West we are just as much to blame for taking the easy road and not standing up to fight against these evils. We should, as followers of Christ, denounce sinful laws and actions of our secular times too, whatever is said by the liberals and modernists among us, who do not want to ‘ruffle their feathers’ or ‘dirty their hands’. Tolerance of evil in any of its guises (and by whomsoever might be the culprits) is a form of compliance with it.
And that includes denouncing the evils of militant Islam, whatever “perception” might be given to the rest of the world.
“Yet this is not, however, a personal attack on individual Muslims who, through no fault of their own, find themselves within this ‘religion’. “
Very good point, indeed, Kathleen. How many of us find ourselves, “…through no fault of our own,” within one ‘religion’ or another? If I’d been unfortunate enough to have been born in Salt Lake City, for example, the chances are quite high I’d be a Mormon. In the Golden Personnese, very likely a Muslim. Same with Kathleen, or any of us.
It’s like Philip Larkin said: All down to Mum and Dad. (Well, nearly all. There’s always JH and GKC. And C.S. Lewis. Well, almost CSL.)
As to “…the common perception” of Islam – that perception depends entirely on where we happen to be standing. If we are for example, in Saudi Arabia, the view is bound to be somewhat different from the one obtained in, say, Surbiton High Street, or Los Angeles.
As to “…the common perception” of Islam – that perception depends entirely on where we happen to be standing.
No, not always.
There are plenty of Muslims who are capable of waking up from the horror that is Islam and denouncing its barbarities and evil mindset. Risking torture and death they have shouted out their warnings about the true nature of Islam – may God bless them abundantly for their courage. (JH gives us some links above – there are plenty of others.)
‘Good‘ Muslims who would not resort to committing the crimes so typical of islamic jihadists themselves, can only block their ears and eyes and hearts (i.e. their very minds) to the evils of many of their co-religionists in order to remain practicing this faith without losing their sanity. And many do just that.
Isabella Rose, author of ‘Reclaiming the Sacred’ has this eye-opening article on her blog:
“…I beg you to understand that in America, we are deeply sheltered and protected from the realities of the Muslim creed.
I am one of the first to recognize this, because until I lived in foreign countries, spent time around Muslims in close quarters, and met those who have been affected by them, I too was under the American delusion that most Muslims are “misunderstood.”
My “awakening” began some years back.
When I first moved to Europe some years ago, I fearlessly took up residence with a group of people, including several Muslims, and entered into it Western notion that we should give everyone a chance, not judge based on a few ruthless terrorists, and that certainly the “bad guys” were just a rare exception.
I really could not believe that the Muslin religion was definitely intended to be one of violence and war…”
Do read the whole thing… although it makes for very scary reading. It is simply one person’s “awakening” to the bare hatred of Islam FOR ALL NON-MUSLIMS, however much they try to cover it up… and however loudly gullible westerners try to deny that Islam is a dangerous and evil political [though it calls itself religious] ideology in our midst. It is based on submission and hate – the very opposite of Catholic Christianity.
Some might think you are preaching outright religious hate, Kathleen.
I don’t, because I know where you are coming from. Because I came from there myself.
Although, in my day, it was Jews. Tempi cambi.
“…I beg you to understand that in America, we are deeply sheltered and protected from the realities of the Muslim creed.” Says
And, (sigh) let’s get back onto the dreary old treadmill of the Inquisition. (Yes, I know – but…)
There was a time in Europe – not all that long ago, (say 13900 to 1700)n- when many thousands of people of assorted faiths – werem burned todeath over basic differences of opinion. (say, 1300 ad to 1800 – when thousands of people – far more than the handful of Christians o
… the above, partially-edited, comment is even more incoherent than Toad’s usual offerings.
Just ignore the last paragraph. It’s his same old, same old, inconsequential, ramblings anyway.
Best to just ignore it, and concentrate on the hideous iniquity of Islam.
Everything Catholics believe in is true, and everything everyone else – from Muslims to Atheists, via Astrologers, Albigensians, Anthropologists, Arsonists, Anarchists, and Anabaptists – all the way down to the very bottom of the barrel – Agnostics, is false.
And, why not, indeed?
(Will that do, Kathleen?)
I duly read the link provided by Kathleen at 13.02, Dec. 17th.
In a box on the left, it says Muslims have killed 420 million people. I suppose that would be since about 600 AD, when the religion was invented.
It includes the startling assertion that 270 million Jews have been killed by Islam. As of today, there are about 6 million, 125,000 or so Jews on earth. What does that “prove?” I don’t know.
The link also features the truly hideous murder of a Christian girl. I suppose that might “prove” that, when religious maniacs are permitted to run amok, there is no end to the horror.
Hardly a suitable advertisement for any religion, particularly ones with somewhat chequered pasts.
It might provoke people to wish to call down a plague on all their houses.
“Though I repeat that I really cannot understand the deafening silence of the so-called ‘good Muslims’ in not protesting in outrage against the crimes of their co-religionists.”
I wonder how many “good” Catholics publicly protested the Inquisition in outrage?
Dangerous course to take, no doubt.
“Some might think you are preaching outright religious hate, Kathleen.”
Yes Toad, perhaps some Islamophiles like you might think so…. and perhaps many others who are not so enamoured of Islam might think that you are preaching nothing but outright hatred for Catholicism.
Your constant sly pointing out of twisted accusations of some of the sins of the billions of Catholics of present and past history is simply risible when one compares them to the evil of the ideology of Islam, its founder (the rapist, torturer, murderer, extortionist, thief, called Mohammad), its history of violence, its belligerent followers and its thousands upon thousands of worldwide daily atrocities, of which only a tiny few reported incidents filter down into the MSM.
The reason I gave the above link was not to point out the one horrendous murder of the lovely Christian girl, but how Isabella learnt first-hand how much the Muslims, while pretending courtesy towards us, loathe our guts and desire to either wipe us out or convert us to their heretical creed.
And for the last time – the Spanish Inquisition that you so gloatingly like to poke Catholics with as a sign of their own ‘terrorist extremism’ some centuries ago, was in fact a judicial system thought up by the government and king, who only later on drew in the help of Church clergy. On the whole it was only an intent to investigate possible cases of undermining heresies from spreading, though excesses were made. Read this well researched article: http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/madden/03481.html
You refuse to see any good in the Catholic Faith into which you were blessed to be baptised, and that (whether you believe it or not) is a great tragedy. I really don’t want to waste any more time arguing this out with you; it’s obvious it is hopeless and you will never allow the light of Truth of Our Blessed Lord’s saving grace to penetrate your hardened heart. Even so, I shall keep you in my prayers.
Don’t be absurd, Kathleen. I dislike Islam intensely, as I’m frequently and, it seems, endlessly saying. In fact I regard it as by far the most unpleasant of all contemporary religions. Bar none. How about that?
When I’m accused of being an “Islamophile,” (or indeed a “phile” of any religion) logic on CP&S is getting seriously out of whack.
“..the Muslims, while pretending courtesy towards us, loathe our guts and desire to either wipe us out or convert us to their heretical creed.”
The Muslims may well do. But aren’t Catholics supposed to desire to convert people to their creed?
If one lot can, why not another? And it’s bound to be “heretical,” isn’t it? Everything else is. Is it more heretical than, say, Anglicanism? Probably.
“Your (Toad’s) constant sly pointing out of twisted accusations of some of the sins of the billions of Catholics of present and past history is simply risible when one compares them to the evil of the ideology of Islam,..”
In other words, yes we were bad – but they are even worse. OK.
…And, just because I’m occasionally a trifle critical of some aspects of Catholicism, doesn’t mean I can’t find any good in it.
Because I can. Very good Pope for one thing.
(Handsome image of Toad ranting, complete with baston – on Raven’s latest posting. Rackham? )
kathleen, whilst I can happily believe that the particular Muslim community referred to in that article is as radically-minded as the article suggests, it’s still anecdotal evidence concerning those Muslims over there, not Muslims in general.
It is unrealistic to try and show that this or that particular group or community accurately represented Muslims (or anyone else) generally — neither the 9/11 plotters, nor the particular local communities alluded to in that article, nor my own direct neighbours, most of whom are Muslims, are any of them representative of Muslims as a whole — and nor, by the way, are the Evangelicals who burn Korans, the extremist radicals who fire-bombed a Paris cinema for showing The Last Temptation of Christ or our own local parishioners singly or accurately representative of Christians as a whole.
We base our interpretations, instead, on multiple and sometimes directly conflicting sources of information — though of course, underlying that interpretation are our direct perceptions of reality, the Revelation, educational factors constituting whichever philosophical outlook, whichever degree of analytical training, ability, and methodology that we possess, and our emotional relationships with each instance of input from whichever of these sources (and so on) ; the combination of these factors constitute hermeneutics.
My disagreement with toad’s hermeneutical methodology is that all too often he takes a negative approach towards conflicting information, so that he then says A or B are bad, therefore this or that or the other are wrong or bad, often providing, quite unduly, more weight to negative information than positive.
But can’t you see that you’re making the exact same mistake ?
Certainly, both Islam and Atheism are wrong, because each is based on certain metaphysical claims that are inconsistent with Revealed (Historical) Truth — but once we start deriving from this basis any notion that the individuals or groups that cling to these false philosophies should be viewed with any sort of a priori opprobrium and blanket condemnation regarding themselves personally is the day that we forsake our own Christian Faith.
Actually, dear Toad, I think she is a frog. I don’t remember any Aesop’s fables starring toads, but I could be wrong. Tuna, dolphins, swallows and donkeys, yes. And even if it were a toad, it would be hardly flattering, for –
How may this fowle and venemous beest whiche is seke and pale of colour (the amphibious specimen) rendre and gyue to yow helthe / For the leche whiche wylle hele somme other / ought fyrste to hele hym self / For many one counterfayteth the leche / whiche can not a word of the scyence of medecyne / from the whiche god preserve and kepe us.
(Yes, that was the 1481 Caxton version – took me about 10 minutes to work it all out, but I got there in the end).
One man’s frog is another man’s toad, perhaps, GC?
And I assumed it was a male one.
Although there is no clear evidence, certainly.
Toad, Mr Caxton assures us the frog was a “she” if you read even minimally attentively.
Though you have a point. The words for frog and toad are the same in Greek, as they are in Malay too. Our Anglo-Saxon forebears, however, appear clear on the distinction as are our Chinese cousins. Let me assure you that if you come to East Asia and order the “frog rice porridge”, it’s frog you’ll be getting, certainly not disgusting toads, although they will probably call it “field chicken rice porridge” on the menu.
Dear kathleen (@ ), please don’t be worried about me in any way. I’ve been here all my life, except for about 20 years that I studied and worked in Australia when I was a whole lot younger. The only danger I sense is from the common criminals, such as the snatch thieves, burglars and wayside robbers that most seem to consider to be an increasing menace in these parts. That’s probably why most of us drive anywhere we go, even just round the corner, although the hot humidity or heavy rain doesn’t encourage walking either
I would just like to say that when your country is majority Muslim, most of the people you know or see on the street are just sort of ordinary, with mouths to feed and bills to pay. They are very attached to their religion and see it as a call to a noble and ethical life but, of course, they often fail and can be terribly venal, just as in all other parts of the world. Of course, there are more than a few, mainly among the younger men and late adolescent boys, that get drawn by these murderous ideologies. I believe that the forces of our Special Branch, inherited from the British days, keep a good eye on these chaps and, to date, there have not been that many major incidents.
Without seeming to realise it, you have now at last answered the question JH so insistently wanted you to answer earlier on, and that you were consistently side-stepping.
I know you are a highly-intelligent and cultured man (sincerely I do) so I could not believe that you, of all people, could be so hoodwinked into thinking that all who cry out a warning about the advance of militant Islam are fooling themselves! And that our adamant rejection and distrust of Islam, its creed, its evidently wicked founder, plus a very large percentage of its belligerent members, is no more than a matter of distorted “perception”!!
Really Jabba, are you serious?
Well, I’m afraid I believe you are totally wrong, and that the crimes of Islam since its very beginnings, and continuing throughout the centuries to our very day, speak for themselves.
In saying that it is no more than one’s perception (inferring that our perception is incorrect) you are doing a great favour to all those weak left-leaning Western leaders and clergy who pander to Islam, refusing to see the writing on the wall: Islam is a dangerous heresy!
I know very well that not all Muslims are out to cut our throats and that there are plenty of normal, peaceful ones. If you have bothered to read any of my other comments you will see that I repeatedly recognise this fact. I also meet many ordinary Muslims every day going about their business with all the ordinary cares of life like any of us. They are in minority here so no problem. Wait a few generations and ask me again; I might have a different tale to tell you… Like in many parts of France nowadays where white Christian Frenchmen have told me (first hand) that it has become quite impossible to live! In their own country!! You live in France; you must know this.
And why? Because if Muslims are faithful to their leader, they will try to imitate Mohammad… and I don’t need to tell you what that means.
So it would be impolite, in GC’s rather daunting-sounding neck of the woods, to ask a waiter, “Do you have frogs’ legs?” – and if he says Yes – to tell him to, “…Hop off and get me a cheese sandwich, then.”
These little local tips can be life-savers. (Bit of much-needed light relief.)
More seriously, maybe we should consider that, just as every cloud has a silver lining – sadly and conversely every crowd has a lunatic fringe.
Inevitable, I suppose.
“..often providing, quite unduly, more weight to negative information than positive.”
You have a good point, and that’s because (as you know) it’s far more often possible to falsify a theory than to verify it.
Both are very valuable accomplishments. And falsifying is seldom if ever “unduly,” I’d suggest.
Dear GC, what I was “worried” about was hurting your feelings because of your friendly Muslim neighbours and colleagues appearing to be lumped together with terrorists (they weren’t), not that you personally were in any danger! 🙂
It is evident that Islam in Malasia, Indonesia and probably other countries of Eastern Asia poses a smaller threat to Christians and other non-Muslims than in many parts of Africa, the West and the Middle East.
But I do remember you telling us how the Muslims in your part of the world got pretty heated over the debate to refuse to allow Christians to use the name Allah for God, although the two names are interchangeable in the local language you told us!
Hello Kathleen, no. my feelings weren’t hurt at all.
Our indigenous people here are not Arabs, but Austronesians, related to the peoples of the Philippines. They were never part of any Arab empire and Islam is imported. That would make a big difference in many ways, I would say.
Nevertheless, kathleen. the “what Christians are allowed to call God in the national language” business goes on. Just last week the authorities confiscated Catholic Advent hymnals intended for use by aboriginal Christians because the word “Allah” was used for referring to God.
And there’s a report coming from Surakarta in Indonesia that some Muslim groups are making things difficult at Christmas.
Of the 10 countries in the world with the worst records of persecuting Christians, 9 just happen to be Islamic ones, and I don’t think the evidence for that can be shrugged off as merely “anecdotal”. As the number of “anecdotal” reports of rapes, eye gougings, beheadings, whippings, stabbings, church burnings, bible seizures, prayer group arrests, enslavements, kidnappings, forced marriages and so forth pile up, they become statistically significant:
…and of the 50 countries in the world with the worst records of persecuting Christians, I count 42 as being majority Muslim, with some of the remaining 8 having significant Muslim populations:
Even Malaysia gets mentioned as No. 40 (“moderate persecution”) on the worst persecutors list. And, pace Malaysia, note that Turkey, which is edging toward fundamentalism, and the majority Muslim Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo) don’t make that top 50 list.
I wonder if there are any, let alone 10, Christian majority countries where Muslims are persecuted because they are Muslims. No “anecdotal” evidence please.
I don’t mean to harp on Malaysia, but – and please correct me if I’m mistaken, GC – if you’re an ethnic Malay (which by legal definition apparently means that you must be Muslim) who converts to another religion, is it not so that you can be arrested and held in a
concentration“re-education” camp until you come to your senses? The authorities are apparently more relaxed with people born outside of Islam, which is nice of them. Is Christian mission work allowed in Malaysia? Can a disciple of Christ go there to follow Our Lord’s command about making disciples of all nations?
Jabba asked me:
“But can’t you see that you’re making the exact same mistake [as Toad] ?”
Wow! To be compared to Toad… that was certainly a punch below the belt.
Why is it so hard for you to accept the (obvious, to me anyway) fact that whilst when Christians have done terrible things in the past it was in flagrant contradiction to the example of Our Lord and principles laid out by His Church, but when Islamists commit terrible acts they are doing so in obedience to the founder of their religion and their ‘sacred’ text!
And do you really believe that past Christian crimes, either in barbaric viciousness and cruelty, or in number, are in any way comparable to Islamic crimes?
To say that just because Christians have done extreme things as well and that they are not representative of Christianity, is hardly the point, and I don’t know why you think that it is so hard to assess objectively what Islam actually teaches with respect to the use of violence in spreading itself and the justification of killing ‘unbelievers’. It’s right there in black and white (as the saying goes), and all that stuff about hermeneutics, whilst having a general validity, is in this case irrelevant.
Read the statistics of world records for Islamic persecution of Christians JH has just put up.
…my last comment, while grammatically correct, might leave one with the impression that I suspect GC is an “ethnic Malay”, but I don’t think that – not that there’s anything wrong, etc, etc…
When I said: “if you’re an ethnic Malay”, it would have been better for me to have said: “if one is an ethnic Malay”.
Anyway, I think I’m just about Islamed out. What’s this one: Comment 67?
“last week a Muslim leader in Jakarta calling on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo not to take part in any Christmas celebration sponsored by Catholics or Christians. He asks that celebrations be low-key to not disturb the sensibility of Muslims.” !!!
GC, just read this link you gave from Asia News. Looks like Islamic sensibilities are getting stirred up there too – poor things. Be careful!
I see that Indonesia is No. 47 on the “worst persecution” list – 7 down from Malaysia.
Boko Haram militants kidnap 200 villagers. Please forgive this “anecdotal” reference to an event reported earlier today. I really must try harder, despite isolated events like this one, to learn that Islam is a partner of Christianity overall, generally, for the most part, in the grand scheme of things, as a whole, when all is said and done, at the end of the day, all things considered…Perhaps a week or two at a re-education spa in Malaysia might cure me of my ingrained prejudice against all things Islam.
I must say that I’m shocked at the number of non-references to Islam and to Muslims in that BBC report I’ve just linked. References to “militants” abound, but none to Islam or to Muslims. Boko Haram might be a Methodist terrorist group or even an Inquisitionist throwback one for all that we can tell. Nice also how the BBC strives to ‘balance’ its reportage by referring to the villagers defending their homes and families as “vigilantes”.
There were two references in that report by the formerly revered BBC World Service to “jihadists”, (one such reference since replaced with the term “insurgents”, and the other soon be edited as well, no doubt) but again, for all one can tell, they might be references to Quakers, another well known religion of peace.
JH is right, again. Nix the Muslims. But – one final thought: the headline asks: Christianity and Islam: A Common Heritage?
Yes, of course there is – and here it is:
“31 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”
3 So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites so that they may carry out the Lord’s vengeance on them. 4 Send into battle a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel.”
(..boring bit edited out.)
7 They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man. 8 Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, 12 and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.
13 Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boy children. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.“
Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Boko Haram? Yes, it’s our own dear Holy Bible. Fount of common Moral Values for both Christians and Muslims, it seems.
We assume the Lord was satisfied with the vengeance dished up by his faithful servant Moses.
Now, for God’s sake, lets get back to a nice, comfy, topic – like paedophile priests.
So far (9.30 am) three people have given Toad’s comment above the thumbs down.
Excellent idea, no doubt. But what are their objections to it?
That what he’s saying is not true? That The Bible is nothing to do with Christianity or Islam?
In other words, if you disagree – explain why, please. I’d be interested.
… so hoodwinked into thinking that all who cry out a warning about the advance of militant Islam are fooling themselves!
Can you please show me where I may have typed any such thing ?
Why is it so hard for you to … &c.
I think you’ve missed my point, which is that to conflate the just condemnation of various Islamist groups (that the majority of Muslims abhor BTW) with the just rejection of the falsehoods of Islam itself to then come up with a condemnation of Muslims generally would be terribly mistaken.
This does not mean that one should cease to condemn Islam, nor cease to even more fiercely condemn militant Islamism — but to suggest that the one is intrinsically the same as the other would be akin to suggesting that extremist Paris cinema fire-bombers or IRA terrorists were ordinary Catholic Christians.
Very well put, Jabba – and I, for one, agree and take the point.
However, we must surely also agree that there seem to be an inordinate number of extremely extreme Muslims around these days – and they seem to be catching on.
Ironically, I suppose they’d regard themselves as “Traditional,” Muslims, as opposed to the “Mods,” who don’t, for example, insist that their womenfolk go shopping dressed from top to toe in a dustbin liner with a slit in the front to look through.
Not a deeply comforting thought, though – even on CP&S.
Mods and Trads.
JH @ 20:22 Decmeber 18
I don’t mean to harp on Malaysia, but – and please correct me if I’m mistaken, GC – if you’re an ethnic Malay (which by legal definition apparently means that you must be Muslim) who converts to another religion, is it not so that you can be arrested and held in a concentration “re-education” camp until you come to your senses?
Yes, it is so, in short. They are called “Faith Rehabilitation Centres”.
The authorities are apparently more relaxed with people born outside of Islam, which is nice of them. Is Christian mission work allowed in Malaysia? Can a disciple of Christ go there to follow Our Lord’s command about making disciples of all nations?
No, it is unlawful to proselytise among Muslims.
About people not born Muslims changing back to their old religions, like the “instant Muslims” so-called in Sabah, please take in these remarkable circumstances:
Well, kathleen, we got our Advent hymnbooks back from the police:
GC: ‘Faith Rehabilitation Centre’ does sound nicer than ‘concentration camp’, which is why, I suppose, Himmler called his camps ‘Resettlement’ areas; but a rose by any other name is still a rose.
T: About your bible thumping quotes at 05:46, haven’t got time right now to verify their accuracy, textual and contextual, but you may not have twigged on to this, so permit me to poInt out that our religion is Christianity, not Judaism, which is to say: whenever things stated in the OT are overruled by Jesus and His apostles in the NT, we are enjoined to follow the latter.
JP: It would be helpful to your readers if you could refer to earlier comments either by the author’s name or by time-stamp, as that would save us the unnecessary trouble of looking for them, which we have to do in order to understand yours. As for your comment at 10:39 wherein you state that the majority of Muslims abhor tactics of terror, even assuming they do, I put it to you that where Muslims do form the majority in a particular country, it is almost certain that all other religious groups in that country are going to be persecuted, with the levels of persecution becoming evermore severe as the population ratios tip towards ‘Islam’ which, after all, means “submission”. You state that a “condemnation of Muslims generally would be terribly mistaken”. I put it to you that, in light of our recent (post-WW2) experiences, it is entirely logical, reasonable, and indeed imperative, for Christians to be deeply worried about the threat of Muslim ascendancy, even if most Muslims are not (yet) committed to Sharia.
So we ignore the Old Testament, when it suits us, do we, JH?
That’s fine with me. I’m not too crazy about pornographic violence.
…And so we don’t see the OT as the “Common Heritage” of both Islam and Christianity either, do we?
That’s fine with me too.
And the nasty vengeful monotheistic God featured has nothing to do with either Islam or Christianity.
Well, that’s a relief.
(It’s called Numbers 31.)
Toadstool: we ignore the Old Testament when Christ bids us to do so, not when it suits us.
The only thing that Islam has to do with the Old Testament is that Allah’s ‘prophet’ was a plagiarist who cut and pasted from it , and the New Testament as well, to create his own new cult.
Me (quoted out of context, but never mind):
“… so hoodwinked into thinking that all who cry out a warning about the advance of militant Islam are fooling themselves!”
“Can you please show me where I may have typed any such thing ?”
It is my point(s) that you seem to be continually missing!
I did not say that you said that I said these words (^) verbatim from you – (phew) – but that that was the general gist of what most of what I was saying above was about, and giving valid reasons for it too (the danger of advancing militant Islam), and what you were seemingly refuting. May I point out that I was not the only one who came away from your comments with that impression?
Yes, I also said that Islam is “a spawn of the devil”, (which is another way of saying a heresy) which, as a Catholic, you perhaps agree with… even if you don’t like my choice of words. I did not say individual Muslims were devils… though I do think there are quite a lot of them out there in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Sudan etc., who are surely possessed of devils aplenty.
But dear Jabba, do I really need to repeat AGAIN that we all know not all Muslims are violent, rapists, torturers, murderers and all the other things that their adored leader obviously was?
Heaven forbid that every Muslim should be a bloodthirsty terrorist… for if that were the case, what with the growing number we have living now here in Europe, surely neither you nor I would still have our fair heads sitting so nicely on our necks! The threat is hanging over all of us though, as they grow in violence and cruelty and expand their reign of terror to greater and greater limits… and as JH’s comment at 16:48 describes so illustratively.
It would be cowardly, and forgive me saying so, extremely stupid, to deny this reality.
So glad you got your Advent hymnbooks back! Less than a week left of Advent now, but better late than never. 😉
You link at 11:52 gives us yet another proof of how the ‘religion of
extortionpeace’ sets about keeping its members under its swordin line. (Must watch my typing!)
To Toad of the 14th December… You are way out of you depth here Toad.
“To Toad of the 14th December… You are way out of you depth here Toad.”
Being, as you suggest – deeply shallow, I’m quite prepared to accept that soft impeachment Geoff – but you must be more specific.
In what way?
Anyway – it seems to sparked a stimulating, albeit somewhat acerbic, debate (although I’d really have to thank Catherine for that.)
“Toadstool: we ignore the Old Testament when Christ bids us to do so, not when it suits us.
The only thing that Islam has to do with the Old Testament is that Allah’s ‘prophet’ was a plagiarist who cut and pasted from it , and the New Testament as well, to create his own new cult.”
No doubt there are numerous examples of Christ bidding us to ignore the OT, JH. Maybe you can give us a couple?
As of yet you have allowed Numbers 31 to go unremarked, I see.
Clearly – as you point out – naughty old Mohammed appropriated whole chunks of the OT (and the NT, if you like) because it suited him. He most likely would acknowledge it himself.
As did Christianity in its own fashion, I suggest. And both cults refer back to it.
That is clearly convincing evidence of the “Common Heritage” which we are discussing.
In fact, it is the “Common Heritage.”
…Or I am Mel Gibson.
Toad asks for a couple of examples where Christ bids us to ignore the Old Testament. Compare:
Exodus 31:15 and Matthew 12:1-8
Exodus 20:8 and Romans 14:5-6 and also Colossians 2:16-17
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and Matthew 5: 31-32
Leviticus 25:45-46 and Matthew 23:10
…I could go on, but I wonder whether Toad even has a Bible in his hovel that he can refer to.
Toad mentions earlier (on this thread or some other one) that there is no more proof for the authenticity of the Bible – as the Word of God – than there is for the Koran. But the Koran was written by one man in a tent with no witnesses, and the message in it is that HE is THE last and most perfect prophet of ‘god’. Talk about a self-serving witness. The Bible, on the other hand, was written by many men. The more witnesses the better. But looking specifically at the New Testament: Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, did not write one word of it. It was written by His followers. Eight of them by my count. Again, the number of witnesses says that it’s more credible than the writings of a single man, especially one writing something in his own best interests.
Many thanks, JH. There is indeed a bible here in my dust-plagued, dog-infested, adobe hovel, and I will refer.
I wasn’t disputing, just inquiring.
Interesting and serendipitous(!) that JH cites the credibility of the NT, as I very recently was reading about Christ’s “trial” by Pilot.
I’d like CP&S to go into that at some length.
Who was the witness who took down the quotes, for example?
“But the Koran was written by one man in a tent with no witnesses…” is what I said.
According to Wikipedia, “several companions of Muhammad served as scribes and were responsible for writing down the revelations”. Mea Culpa, but my argument is still a valid one: the Koran is the word of one man, the purpose of which is to anoint him as semi-divine, which in turn means that its credibility is nil. Not to mention what a scuzzball he was in real life.
Apologies to Pontious. I was getting him mixed up with Biggles. Easily done.
Toad asks: “…[at] Christ’s trial by Pilot…who was the witness who took down the quotes, for example?”
All of the Gospels refer to the trial before Pilate and all were written by different people, some of whom might have been present. No notarized copies of their original testimonies are extant. Does that mean they aren’t true? What is your so-called ‘point’? Personally, I’m very taken with Bulgakov’s account of the trial.
Toad, please exercise your non-existent editorial authority to edit my italics. There’s a good Ealing Art School graduate.
[Moderator writes: “glad to oblige JH 🙂 ]
The point is, I suppose, that the whole episode strikes me as highly unlikely. And given its vast importance within the Christian story, I’d like to get more input from those more knowledgeable.
For instance, how do we know about Pilate’s wife and what was in her dream?
From Pilate? Why would he tell anyone else?
Another point is, the trial is clearly the basis for all subsequent anti-Semitism. So needs careful analysis. I suggest. Anyway, it’s interesting, isn’t it? No? OK.
(Other, considerably better-known Ealing grads include Freddy Mercury and Pete Townshend; the latter a contemporary.)
Must read the Book of Numbers now before retiring, but Toad, let me leave you with this riddle:
Marriages has he none, but my daughter’s father is her husband’s son”.
… Who is he?
If that’s too much mental exercise for you, Toad, take a page out of Jabbapapa’s book and continue grasping at straws and beating around the bush.
Toad at 07:55:
My comment about the Ealing Art School (or College) was meant entirely in a spirit of playful banter between two almost equal minds. Personally, my first degree was from what the British call a “red brick” univeristy, although mine didn’t even come up to that standard of building materials.
It is my point(s) that you seem to be continually missing!
erm, no, not really — I’m simply refraining from commenting on most of them, as I only wish to express an actual disagreement with the one point that I positively objected to.
Your other points seem, to me, to be at the very least debatable (though I do not personally desire to debate them at this point), and I’m using that adjective positively as meaning “suitable for use as a serious object of debate”, and at best they seem generally useful — but that still does not mean that one should start viewing Muslims generally in the way that one views the Islamists.
Otherwise, regarding toad’s views on trads versus mods in Islam — the women’s “bin-liner” fashion is of contemporary, not traditional, origin, as are most of the other ideological and other specific contents of Islamism.
The ideology of Iran and the Ayatollahs is generally representative of the more conservative form of mainstream Islam, and it is not friendly towards the IS or Al Qaeda and so on … so that the trads here are the Ayatollahs ; the Islamists are among the mods.
I wonder whether Toad even has a Bible in his hovel that he can refer to
He has several, though not IIRC a copy of the Vulgate …
Dear Jabba (and you really are “dear” to all the Team on CP&S – old time internet friend and commenter here as you are), I think you’re being a little bit silly now and playing with words! Or are you just teasing me? 😉
As you know very well, Islamists are Muslims too.
“but that still does not mean that one should start viewing Muslims generally in the way that one views the Islamists.”
1: Horribly-written story in the Telegraph, which gets more idiotic, sloppy, and pitiful each day.
2: Religious lunacy now extends beyond the grave. But – hang on – hasn’t it always, (or so they tell us)?
And what sane Catholic would object to being buried in, say, a Mormon cemetery?
It was political correctness mustn’t-offend-the-muslims lunacy actually ; latest though is that the pen-pushers who imagined it was a really good idea to dig up that gentleman’s remains appear to have abandoned the idea in face of public outcry over how ridiculous, unseemly, dishonourable, and disrespectful it would have been.