20th January 2020
Note: This is to put in relief the background of the on-going conflict between two prominent religions – Islam and Christianity both man made – casting a shadow and creating utter confusion on the ongoing present heated discussion both in politics and religion in India and abroad!
Is there a high correlation between increased devotion in Muslims and radicalization? Writer Kilpatrick comes to that conclusion and contrasts it with Pope Francis’ failure to notice it. Should Christians and Muslims strengthen their religious insight, each making a deeper study of Koran and Bible? There are complimentary and destructive insights in all religions for all to accept and reject. One has to make a rational choice in each instance.
The writer faults the Pope for not making this distinction. I for one greatly appreciate the Muslim stress on “Zachat”, charity helping the deprived, while oppose their radical stand making Koran as the last word both in religion and politics.
Muslim League in Politics?
Take for example the name “Muslim League” for a political party, opposed even by a person like Nehru. If there can be a Muslim Leage, why can’t there be a ‘Christian League, Hindu League and one for each religion? That is not done because religion should not be paraded in public space for religious gain. Such mixing will be counter-productive; still it is done in India just for the sake of vote-bank politics, sacrificing all principles.
Migration & Democracy!
What about the universally applauded principle of democracy in the 21st century where two-way traffic is a must, give and take? Muslim migrants are welcomed in all democratic countries. Is it so in Muslim countries, where foreigners of different religions go for work but are thrown out at the age of 60 like a squeezed lemon?
Muslims are very submissive and cooperative to follow the law of the land in Europe and other democratic countries when they enter. But once they get a foothold in the country of adoption and increase in numbers – 2.7 for Muslim and 2.1 for Christian, 5 children for Muslims and one or two or no children in host countries like Europe — they change their submissive stand and start demanding the enforcement of ‘Shariat law’ for their community!
If they once resorted to “Jihad or conquest” today they resort to use of their women to produce more and conquer the youth-starved Europe by multiplying faster! We have published many articles with statistics of birth rate of Muslims and others in western countries. So we ask: Why even the secular world is failing miserably today to enforce democratic principles on Muslims and continue to live in the dark ages? There are other points to write, but not now.
In matters religious this Rigidity of Koran and the compassionate face of God in the Bible and of the Pope is all too pronounced. The writer points this out. “Proselytism is a solemn nonsense” is the consistent stand of Francis who exhorts to learn from all religions and affirms all religions are willed by God. Just the opposite is the stand of Muslims.
Time and again we said in this column that Cross is for crucifying self, one’s own detestable traits, not what one dislikes in others. Even so ‘Jihad’ should not be used as a weapon to exterminate unbelievers in Koran or Allah! Francis is regular and fierce in advocating the need to change and create a new church shorn of all RIGIDITY of the conservatism.
He being a liberal, promotes a church of the poor, for the lonely, god-forsaken drunkards and prostitutes, the gay people, cohabiters, civilly married because the Church for him is first for sinners not saints. For that stand Francis is torn to pieces as a heretic, creating confusion, by the so-called theologians and university professors.
Progress through change only!
Progress through change for the better is the new accepted rule by all. Once upon a time when most were illiterate and lived like animals in the wilds, Church used to speak of humanization, civilization and Christianization of Europe. After the Vatican Council, the Church made a frog-leap from Ottaviani principle: “Church always the same” (Semper idem) to a Church to be “Constantly reformed and changed!” It has now become the ‘New Normal’.
To give added speed to the Bark of Peter floundering in the stormy sea today, its present Captain Francis literally follows the wisdom nut-shelled by Cardinal Newman: “It may be different in a higher world, but here below to live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed most often!”
Let shine Truth, Love & Light!
I am not a Muslim basher. My over a decade old tenant Nazar running his welding shop for a nominal rent for over a decade is my deeply loved and trusted younger brother and dependable helper. That is how we live in a multi-religious community in Thammanam for peace and prosperity!
So, adhere we all must to Truth, Love and Light called God or Allah or what you please, in all our thoughts, words and actions! ‘Flaws like feathers on the surface flow! Those who seek pearls must dive below’ (John Dryden). james kottoor, editor ccv
Please read below Kilpatrick’s views
on Rigid Muslims for Pope Francis!
Increased religiosity — more frequent prayer and mosque attendance, studying the Koran etc. — is often observed in jihadists in the weeks and months leading up to their attacks.
January 20, 2020 (Turning Point Project) — The New York Times reported that Mohammed al-Shamrani, the Pensacola jihad murderer, had become more religious after a trip home to Saudi Arabia in February. That shouldn't be surprising. In fact, increased religiosity — more frequent prayer and mosque attendance, studying the Koran etc. — is often observed in jihadists in the weeks and months leading up to their attacks. Notable examples of this phenomenon are the Fort Hood shooter, the San Bernardino killers, the elder of the two Boston Marathon bombers, and Salman Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber, who was observed chanting Islamic prayers loudly in the streets in the weeks before the massacre. The evidence is not just anecdotal. A number of European studies have shown a high correlation between increased devotion in Muslims and radicalization.
Pope Francis is apparently unaware of this correlation because, for many years, he has been urging Muslims to go deeper into their faith. He once told a groups of migrants that Christians should seek strength and guidance in the Bible, while Muslims should seek the same in the Koran.
Of course, Francis has much the same message for people of all religions: stick with the faith you have and learn from it. During a visit to a secondary school in Rome on December 20, he told students that they should not try to convert others or convince them of the truth of the Catholic faith. Rather, they should tell non-Catholics "you be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature." Moreover, "never, ever advance the Gospel through proselytism. If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus."
The Pope's opposition to proselytism seems to stem from an assumption that all religions are basically the same, and all are equally beneficial. His strong belief in shared beliefs is evident in Evangelii Gaudium's positive assessment of Islam. Expanding on Nostra Aetate, he writes: "we must never forget that they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one merciful God…" He continues, "Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services." In addition, "They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy toward those most in need." Moreover, "authentic Islam and a proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence" (252–253).
Reading this, it's difficult to see any reason why Muslims need to be converted. In fact, there is no suggestion in the document that Muslims should be evangelized. The only nod in that direction is the recommendation that Christians should dialogue with Muslims about their "shared beliefs" (253).
Coincidentally, Muslim authorities are in perfect accord with the pope on this score. They don't believe that Christians should evangelize either, and they don't believe that Muslims should be converted. In fact, Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to proselytize. In Iran, security officials routinely arrest evangelical Christians during the Christmas season when it is easier to apprehend them in groups. But not to worry. If you keep your head down, you'll be alright. As one Iranian Catholic put it: "If you are a Christian in Iran and do not evangelize, and do not advertise your religion, you will not go to jail. Christians that do go to jail are converts [from Islam] or evangelizing."
Don't get the idea, however, that Muslims are opposed in principle to evangelization. Islam is a proselytizing faith. Muslims feel that it is a duty to convert. In short, they can evangelize you, but you can't evangelize them.
Devout Muslims also believe that they have a mission to bring lax or lukewarm Muslims to a fuller understanding of the faith. Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani was most likely subjected to some Muslim-to-Muslim proselytism on his trip to Saudi Arabia. And we know from FBI records that Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, was led deeper into his faith by the notorious Anwar al-Awlaki — who later became Al-Qaeda's chief propaganda officer.
So, "stick to your faith and go deeper into it" may be good counsel for young Catholics, but it may not be the best advice to give to young Muslims.
It's not quite certain, however, that Pope Francis really wants Catholics to stick to their faith — at least, not to the faith they were brought up in. One of the main themes of his Christmas week talks was change. In his traditional Christmas address to the Curia he mentions change 30 times. He speaks of "epochal change," "ongoing process," "movement," "a reposition of our ways of thinking," and, citing Italian novelist Giuseppe di Lampedusa, "everything has to change."
Why? Because "there is always the temptation to fall back on the past"…"there is a need to be wary of the temptation to rigidity. A rigidity born of the fear of change…" So, if I understand this correctly, Catholics are in constant danger of falling back into rigidity and fundamentalism, and the only antidote for this temptation is a program of constant change. We are entering an era of "epochal change," says Francis, and this new age, he implies, calls for a new Church.
But if change is such a good thing for Catholics, wouldn't it also be a good thing for Muslims as well? If change is the correct response to rigidity and fundamentalism, isn't Islam long overdue for a top to bottom transformation?
Pope Francis has often criticized fundamentalists Catholics, but to all appearances they are a vanishing breed. On the other hand, Islam is primarily a fundamentalist religion. According to Dinesh D'Souza "there are virtually no liberals in the Muslim world." By our definition of fundamentalist, says D'Souza, "all Muslims are 'fundamentalists' because all Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal, unadulterated word of God…If you don't believe these things, you're not a Muslim."
The semi-official Vatican position is that extremism among Muslims is a perversion of Islam. People who endorse terrorism, or amputations, or stonings must therefore be misunderstanders of true Islam. But if that's so, then there seem to be a great many misunderstanders in the Muslim world.
In a 2013 global survey of Muslim support for Sharia law, the Pew Research Center revealed that large percentages of Muslims held rather extreme views. For example, in Pakistan 89% favored stoning for adultery. The figure was 85% in Afghanistan, 84% in the Palestinian territories, and 81% in Egypt.
Sharia law also mandates whipping or amputations as a penalty for thieves or robbers. Eighty-eight percent of Pakistanis favored these punishments, along with 81% of Afghanis, 76% of Palestinians, 70% of Egyptians, 66% of Malaysians, and 57% of Jordanians.
The sharia penalty for apostasy (converting to another faith) is death. Eighty-six percent of Egyptians favor the death penalty for apostasy, along with 82% of Jordanians, 79% of Afghanis, 76% of Pakistanis, and 62% of Malaysians.
If you're looking for a rigid fundamentalist religion that's badly in need of transformational changes, the place to look is Islam, not Catholicism. The whole world is in danger because of normative Islam's fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran. As evidenced by the Pew surveys, a large number of Muslims hold quite rigidly to the literal sense of their scripture: "stoning" means "stoning," and "amputation" means "amputation." By contrast, even the most "rigid" Catholic knows that Christ's words about cutting off your right hand if it causes you to sin are not to be taken literally.
Here we have a classic example of straining out the gnat while swallowing the camel — in this instance, straining out the gnat of the "threat" from fundamentalist Catholics while swallowing the camel-sized lie that Islam is a peaceful faith.
One could say that it's none of the Pope's business to point out the faults of another religion. May be so. But by the same token, why is it his business to act as an apologist for Islam?
Prudence may dictate a cautious approach when raising concerns about Islam. After criticism of Nazism by Pius XII and other churchmen brought swift and brutal reprisals against Jews and Christians, the Vatican muted its criticism, and sought to undermine Nazism by adopting others, less overt measures. On the other hand, Pius XII never talked up the "positive" side of Nazism.
It would be understandable if, in some instances, the Vatican maintained a prudent silence about the dangers that emanate from the fundamentalist faith founded by Muhammad. But why must it continue to spin out a cotton candy version of Islam that prevents Catholics from understanding the gravity of the threat?
In their anxiety to combat the threat from rigid Christmas, it sometimes seems as though Francis and others in the hierarchy are oblivious of the threat from fundamentalist Islam. Here is more on rigidity from Francis's Christmas talk to the Curia:
Here, there is a need to be wary of the temptation to rigidity. A rigidity born of the fear of change, which ends up erecting fences and obstacles on the terrain of the common good, turning it into a minefield of incomprehension and hatred.
The need to build bridges and tear down walls and fences has been a consistent theme of the Francis papacy. But when there are enemies around, walls can come in handy, and for safety's sake, bridges occasionally need to be blown up to prevent an enemy's advance.
Of course, Francis is not referring solely to physical walls, but also to dogmas of "exclusivity" which supposedly keep us from appreciating the common humanity which we share with those on the other side. That danger does exist, but the greater danger today is that in their haste to create a new fluid Church, liberal churchmen will only succeed in creating one that is confused, undefined, vulnerable, and defenseless.
The idea of tearing down walls and fences is appealing to the multicultural mind because it promises to open us to greater diversity. But if we really respect the wisdom of different cultures, we will notice that every culture builds walls.
"Don't take down a fence until you know the reason why it was put up." The saying is a paraphrase of an observation by Chesterton, but it is also said to be an African proverb. In any event, it makes good common sense — the kind of common sense that seems to be largely missing from the calculations of many modern churchmen.
Published with permission from the Turning Point Project.