I encourage everything to check out the work of Oasis. Which Rights for Which Democracies? This and a number of other topics are featured in the new issue of OASIS Magazine now available. Check out their entire website but don't miss their free newsletter and documents of the Magisterium.
THE PRIMACY OF FACTS - The presentation of the Arabic edition of Fr. Giussani’s book, The Religious Sense at Milan Catholic University
The media tells us true Islam is a religion of peace (and love). I beg to differ. Islam is an ideology of power. Politics is woven into the very fabric of Islam. In fact in classical Islam it is a virtue to kill an infidel. The Koran explicitly forbids friendships with Jews and Christians. The West is struggling against an ideology which has every intention in conquering it.
Allow me to make an analogy which I find helpful. If a Christian desires to embrace the fullness of Christianity, meaning a complete understanding of Scripture and Tradition with an appreciation for actual history, than he/she must become Catholic. The fullness of what it means to be Christian is to be Catholic. If a Muslim desires to embrace the fullness of Islam, meaning the deen of Islam and everything that it embraces including not only religion and spirituality but a complete system of education, economics (interest-free), politics (khalifah), jurisprudence (law), international relations/foreign affairs, warfare/fighting (Jihad), social life, and health with an appreciation for actual history than he/she must become a radical, militant or fundamentalist Muslim. The fullness of what it means to be Muslim is to be a radical, militant or fundamentalist Muslim.
Some like to make the claim that there is Islamism and then there is Islam. They go on to say Islam is the authentic faith and Islamism is a perversion of it. The facts clearly show though that Islamism is authentic and rooted from within the core teachings of the Koran and the Hadith. Islamism is the "Dark Side" of Islam, but it's very authentic. Others seem to make a claim like there is Islam #1 behind this door and then there is Islam #2 behind a different door. No this is also a false choice. As a Muslim you either accept the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith or you don't. A radical, militant or fundamentalist Muslim takes his/her Koran seriously. He/she believes and accepts the foundational truths of their faith and tradition. A radical, militant or fundamentalist Muslim is neither an aberration or a nominal Muslim but a classical orthodox Muslim. I'll deal with the question of violence a little bit later. Now it is true to say many Muslims intentionally choose to ignore portions (larger or smaller depending on the individual) of their deen. Some Muslim countries are more strict or open than others on what type of behavior is allowed. In fact when Muslims are visiting or living in non-Muslim lands anything basically goes.
My mind keeps drifting towards a proper understanding (ontologically speaking) of the doctrine of God. As Catholics we believe that what a person believes about God determines the truths or errors about everything else. A person must have a full understanding of the Trinity and the Incarnation, the hierarchy of truths as the Church likes to say, or errors will result in the rest of their thinking. (That's why following the Communio school of thought is so helpful to me in living my life.) All Muslims deny the Trinity, in fact condemns to Hell everyone who believes this and considers it an unrepentable sin. To associate partners to God is the most serious crime or offense any human can make from a Muslim perspective. All Muslims deny the Incarnation, that God become man. They also deny that Jesus Christ died or was resurrected. In regards to man, Muslims deny original sin. There is no concept of atonement or redemption in Muslim thought. We as Catholics, or any orthodox Christian for that matter, conflict with Muslims on nearly every major doctrine of God or man. This fact has significant consequences on a whole number of different fronts. If Muslims get their doctrine of God and man so wrong this has serious negative effects on their religion, spirituality, politics, economics, etc. Allow me to consider just one example at this time.
Let us consider the concept of religious freedom. If God, or a demon, through the Angel Gabriel gave Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) both the original and final religion of mankind why do we need religious freedom? If Islam is a total, complete and perfect religion, why do we need religious freedom? If as Muslims they truly love their neighbors why would they not impose the Islamic faith on everyone regardless if they desire it or not. It's for their own good. They must submit to it, the literal meaning of Islam is to surrender or submission, or deal with the consequences which could more or likely mean death for them. This is the Muslim way.
That is not to say that absolutely everything Muslims believe about God or man is incorrect though. Allow me to clarify and digress before I return to the main topic at hand. I recommend we consult Pope Paul VI's encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, the Paths of the Church. Pope Paul VI draws the image of Jesus Christ and His body which is the Church in the center (the One, Holy, Catholic, & Apostolic Church subsists...) with multiple concentric circles going around Christ. After Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox being the nearest to Christ followed by the Protestants. After Christians, the Jews followed by the Muslims. Muslims recognize there is only one God therefore they are monotheists. After the Muslims the various Eastern religions (Buddhists, Hindus, etc.) and other pagan religions. On the outer perimeter there are atheists, those that deny the existence of God. But even atheists are human and have some recognition of the religious sense, a basic desire for truth, beauty and goodness. So in comparison to pagans or atheists we as Catholics have much more in common with Muslims. If it's appropriate for the Holy Father and therefore Catholics to dialog with atheists then it's even more appropriate that we dialog with those (i.e. Muslims) who are even closer to us in their world-view.
Now onto less heady stuff - politics. Democracy is a Catch 22... If Muslims win democratic elections then they should rule. That's why Europeans should start having some more babies and that's why the failure to recognize the Hezbollah in the Holy Land is a scandal. The serious problem or dilemma that we face when Muslims (with their world-view foremost in our minds) win the majority in any election is that they will gradually, if not radically, adopt the Sharia (jurisprudence or law) which is a natural and normal movement or change of that country's political and legal structure. Look at what happened when the Islamic radicals won the democratic elections in Iran, Turkey, Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan, etc. The Sharia greatly restricts, if not outright prohibits, religious freedoms, women rights, among many other things including some basic human rights, i.e. whom you make look at, how you may dress, etc. How are we in the West going to deal with this reality?
Remember that jihad is both internal and external. It literally means to struggle. External jihad can be both peaceful and violent. My point being that the Koran and Hadith explicitly permits violence. That doesn't mean all Muslims as individuals are violent. But their religion, better to say ideology (deen), condones or justifies it against non-Muslims.
You must ask yourself what is the stated goal of Islam - both in its holy text the Koran and in its tradition (Hadith)? The goal of Islam is to dominate the world. The religion of Islam, the deen of Islam is inherently political. But what is the current situation of Muslims living in the world today? They have fallen behind the West in science, technology, wealth and prosperity. As stated above Muslims believe the deen of Islam is the most complete and final ideology or system of thought of all mankind. Falling behind the rest of the world creates an enormous sense of frustration in the eyes of Muslims and it should considering their world-view. Because of this many Muslims are resorting back to the ways taught to them by Koran and the prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). After-all following the methods taught to them by Mumammad (p.b.u.h.) allowed them to conquer a good portion of the known world in the later half of the first century. It is their hope now that by following these same methods that the same results will occur.
Once again though I must stress that this doesn't mean all Muslims are violent. Not all Muslims are evil, in fact the majority of Muslims are good people - work hard, have families, etc. And it doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to dialog with them to secure rights, i.e. religious freedom for Christians living in Muslim countries. And we must give them rights in our own country. Many Muslims live in our country because they were persecuted in their own country. For example, the Muslim teacher that brought me into the Islamic faith was from Syria. He and his family left there b/c they were persecuted. The vast majority of Muslims I have met in this country deeply appreciate the freedoms we have here in America.
Its one thing to argue about methodology on how we should dialog or communicate with Muslims. This discussion of methodology is needed. In my humble opinion we should follow Don Giussani's and Pope B16's model. What I'm trying to do in my post(s) unlike maybe Christopher is to come to some clear conclusions about what the deen of Islam (from its center or core) objectively teaches. A discussion of both topics is needed.
I leave you with this to consider. The proclamation of the Gospel and its acceptance by Muslims is what will bring peace to the Middle East and the world, but most importantly salvation for all those who recognize Christ as their Lord and Savior and live in accordance to that which is given them. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Below are some additional references for you.
There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam... As Arthur Koestler said, 'You hate our Cassandra cries and resent us as allies, but when all is said, we ex-Communists are the only people on your side who know what it's all about.'The Bible and the Qur'an by Fr. Jacques Jomier, O.P.
Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy. And these former Muslims, to echo Koestler's words, on the side of Western democracy are the only ones who know what it's all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries. -- Ibn Warraq, from the Introduction of Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out
Jomier carefully presents what the Qur’an teaches about the Hebrew and Christian bible. He contrasts the essential Muslim teachings with the Jewish and Christian understandings of themselves. Jomier is both sympathetic and critical. This is an excellent text in which to understand just what Islam means when it talks of Jewish or Christian sources in the light of its own traditions. — James Schall, S.J., Georgetown University
Fr. J.L. Menezes knew Islam up close: as a priest in India, he devoted his priestly life to introducing that nation's tens of millions of Muslims to Christianity. With this life of Mohammed, he left us the record of his appeals: a frank, honest, and exhaustively researched exploration of the life of the 'prophet' of Islam, the development and contents of the Koran, and an introduction to various Muslim sects.All posts on Islam by Ignatius Insight Scoop
Working from the earliest Islamic sources, Fr. Menezes provides a complete account of Mohammed's life, from his days as a simple merchant to his triumphs as a leader of armies and revered prophet. Menezes delved so deeply into his subject that he was even able to describe Mohammed's physical appearance. He explains why Mohammed couldn't possibly be a true prophet, and reveals the true sources of his 'revelations.'
Fr. Menezes could be writing about today's Muslim terrorists when he explains that 'Mohammed posed as the apostle of God, the seal of the prophets; as the destroyer of idolatry; as preacher of one true God, and the reformer of morals: while his life is marked by innumerable marriages; and great licentiousness, deeds of rapine, warfare, conquests, unmerciful butcheries, all the time invoking God's holy name to sanction his evil deeds, ordering prayers and alms deeds and at the same time propagating Islam everywhere by fire and sword.'
Turning to the Koran, Fr. Menezes delineates the distinctive teachings of Islam, explaining the elements of the Muslim holy book that make it so difficult for Muslims to convert to Christianity -- and showing how the Koran, when read honestly and without Islamic preconceptions, nonetheless depends upon and leads to Christianity.
Fr. Menezes concludes with an 'appeal to candor and common sense,' inviting Muslims to think critically about their religion, and to embrace Christ instead. With Islam on the march everywhere and Muslims streaming into the U.S. in record numbers, the candor, common sense, and solid Christian faith of this book are needed more than ever.
Europe & Islam by Hilaire Belloc
Moslems Their Beliefs, Practices, and Politics
'I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam.' - Moslems by Oussani, Gabriel; Belloc, HilaireMain page on Islam (links to others at bottom of the page) by TCRnews.com
Thus warned Hilaire Belloc in 1936 -- long before the Christian West permitted millions of Moslems to immigrate and proliferate, building thousands of new mosques in the United State and Europe, including a huge one in Rome itself a few years ago. Belloc's essay on Moslems, together with five important and meaty Catholic Encyclopedia articles by scholar Gabriel Oussani in 1908, comprise this valuable new book... Belloc and Oussani's writings make clear that Moslems and Christians don't mix very well. The lesson: Christians need to reproduce to survive. Just as important: Christians cannot share political power with sworn enemies without dire consequences for their children and grandchildren.
Melkite archbishop says clash between Islam, West is inevitable unless both sides change.Islam in Europe - Clash of religions or convergence of religiosities?
It is a mistake to think that religous and political radicalism among European Muslims is a mere import from the cultures and conflicts of the Middle East. It is above all a consequence of the globalization and Westernization of Islam, writes Olivier Roy.---
ZENIT - Christianity on Trial in Turkey, Killings and Persecution Continue
Asianews.it - A river of flags in Istanbul in support of secular democracy
Songs, concerts and slogans of peace showed clearly that secularism is the only way to reach a real and concrete democracy...
The Weekly Standard - Turkish Crisis - The Turkish dilemma seems to run much deeper than a conflict between secularism and religious radicalism by Stephen Schwartz
Mob and police torture Catholic man accused of blasphemy
Asianews.it - Saudi attack, a warning to moderate Islam
Asianews.it - Iraqi leaders indifferent to 'endangered' Christians
AP - Muslim woman runs for Danish parliament
Mark Shea's Blog Catholic and Enjoying It - Clash of Civilizations Watch
FTs - The Much Exaggerated Death of Europe by Richard John Neuhaus
JIHAD IS A CENTRAL DUTY of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: the struggle within the soul, defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But in Islamic history and doctrine violent jihad is founded on numerous verses of the Qur'an — most notably, one known in Islamic theology as the "Verse of the Sword": "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful" (Sura 9:5). Establishing "regular worship" and paying the "poor-due" (zakat) means essentially that they will become Muslim, as these are two of the central responsibilities of every Muslim.Dhimmi Watch
Sahih Bukhari, which Muslims regard as the most trustworthy of all the many collections of traditions of Muhammad, records this statement of the Prophet: "Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah's Cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr)."
Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that "in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force." In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with "power politics," because Islam is "under obligation to gain power over other nations."
Violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. The passages quoted above and many others like them form a major element of the motivation of jihad warriors worldwide today. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, with all its assumptions about unbelievers‚ lack of human rights and dignity, is available today as a justification for anyone with the will and the means to bring it to life.
Jihad Watch is dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology play in the modern world and to correcting popular misconceptions about the role of jihad and religion in modern-day conflicts. By shedding as much light as possible on these matters, we hope to alert people of good will to the true nature of the present global conflict.
IT IS LONG PAST time to bring the world's attention to a global scandal.---
Dhimmitude is the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians. Dhimmis, "protected people," are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, are part of the legal superstructure that global jihadists are laboring to restore everywhere in the Islamic world, and wish ultimately to impose on the entire human race.
If dhimmis complained about their inferior status, institutionalized humiliation, or poverty, their masters voided their contract and regarded them as enemies of Islam, fair game as objects of violence. Consequently, dhimmis were generally cowed into silence and worse. It was almost unheard-of to find dhimmis speaking out against their oppressors; to do so would have been suicide. For centuries dhimmi communities in the Islamic world learned to live in peace with their Muslim overlords by acquiescing to their subservience. Some even actively identified with the dominant class, and became strenuous advocates for it.
Spearheaded by dhimmi academics and self-serving advocacy groups, that same attitude of chastened subservience has entered into Western academic study of Islam, and from there into journalism, school textbooks, and the popular discourse. One must not point out the depredations of jihad and dhimmitude; to do so would offend the multiculturalist ethos that prevails everywhere today. To do so would endanger chances for peace and rapprochement between civilizations all too ready to clash.
But in this era of global terrorism it must be said: this silence, this distortion, has become deadly. Before 9/11 it was easy to ignore and whitewash dhimmitude, but the atrocities changed the situation forever. In jihads throughout history, untold millions have died. Tens of millions have been uprooted from their homes. Tens of millions have been stripped of their cultural identity. To continue to gloss over the destruction wrought by jihad ideology and its attendant evil of dhimmitude is today to play into the hands of jihadists, who have repeatedly vowed to dhimmify the West and destroy any recalcitrant elements. While jihadist groups, even with their global diffusion, are not strong enough to realize this goal by themselves, they have a potent and destructive ally, a genuine fifth column, in the dhimmi academics and dhimmi journalists they have recruited in the West. They have succeeded in confusing millions in the West into mistaking honesty and truthfulness for bigotry, and self-defense for oppression.
Before it's too late for Western Europe and the United States, which gave birth to the traditions of freedom and equality of rights for all that shine today as lights in the entire world, this must be stopped. Therefore Dhimmi Watch seeks to bring public attention to:Dhimmi Watch fights to ensure that deeds done in the darkness for so long will not continue to be done. The light of world attention is anathema to the proponents of jihad and dhimmitude: we have seen in recent years that women sentenced to stoning for adultery, often victims of rape unjustly accused thanks to Sharia laws disallowing rape victims' testimony, were freed following international outcry. Dhimmi Watch will seek to provoke similar, continuous and increasing outcry wherever and whenever the Sharia's institutionalized injustices threaten dhimmis and women.
The plight of the dhimmis, an immense but almost completely ignored ongoing scandal that continues in Muslim countries today;
The plight of women under Sharia provisions, similar to conditions imposed on dhimmis, in the denial of equal rights and dignity;
Slavery in Islamic lands, which continues today, justified by Sharia-'s dhimmi codes;
The integral role of jihad and dhimmitude ideology in global terrorism today;
The license that academic and journalistic whitewashes of dhimmitude gives to radical jihadist enemies of human rights for all.
May the truth prevail.
3 books on Radical Islam for $3 - Conservative Book Club
Daniel Pipes' Blog
Daniel Pipes' Archive on Catholic Exchange
The Investigative Project on Terrorism