Why this Muslim admires the Catholic Church | Strange Notions website

Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, visited Cardinal Beshara Boutros al-Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, in Bkirki in December 2012.

The admirational Muslim in this instance is not the Sheikh, but Tamer Nashef, an Israeli Muslim researcher and writer with postgraduate degrees in English literature from the University of Haifa.

First, allow me to start this short article with what might be deemed a startling confession: I am not a Catholic, nor am I even a Christian. In fact, I am a secular Muslim and an avid reader of philosophy and history with an unswerving commitment to the unmitigated truth no matter where it is even, nay especially, if it runs counter to commonly held beliefs… I have spent the last few years researching the history of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, and was shocked to discover that almost everything we had been taught about Catholicism was erroneous and apparently affected by anti-Catholic bias … I feel utmost respect for the work of Catholic monks and monasteries in the Middle Ages. Their intellectual activities are one of the brightest chapters in the history of the Catholic Church.

Mr Tamer recites quite a long list of reasons for his admiration here in his article on Strange Notions, a website that CP&S has long linked to in the site’s sidebar. Mr Tamer is of course not alone in expressing such views.

He concludes his article:

I have not written this essay to whitewash Catholic history. Nor am I claiming that the Catholic Church has been nothing but infallible or that its record has been immaculate. My aim was to express admiration for the prodigious achievements that Catholicism and the Catholic Church deserve credit for—credit that is not often given to it due to deep-seated bias and firmly established myths.


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Poor sinner.
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