Tuesday, May 12, 2015


"These days, on the subject of Islam, non-Muslims have mostly divided into two camps — though there’s a little wandering about between the tents. Camp one says Islam is a religion of peace, and points for proof to the millions of non-violent Muslims around the world. Warlike Muslims are an anomaly, they say, and fight not because they are religious but because they are politicised. Bad guys like Isis aren’t Muslims so much as Islamists, which is different. Most politicians and public figures belong to this camp, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. Camp two is more furtive. Members look around before they speak. In this gang, sotto voce, everyone agrees there is something intrinsically violent about Islam and that Islamism — Isis, for example — is a natural offshoot of its angry soul. The Queen’s chaplain appears to be in camp two. He sent a wave of revulsion through the media last month when he suggested the Quran might incite violence. Round here they say ‘Islam was spread by the sword’, meaning that conquest is in its DNA. Though Allah has a compassionate face, war is in his nature too. Ploughshares must sometimes become swords. How else will the caliphate be established?.... Is that there really isn’t much in the Quran to suggest that Allah gives a hoot for non-believers. Muslims are encouraged to forgive one another, but it is not required to forgive infidels, the apostate or people who blaspheme. We’re not all in it together. That Pew study also predicted that sometime soon after 2050 the number of Muslims will begin to overtake the number of Christians worldwide. In England, nearly one in ten British children is now Muslim — and is that what they’re taught? No need to say sorry to an infidel."
Mary Wakefield, "Original sin makes us better people. I wish Muslims believed in it." The (London) Spectator. 11 April 2015, in www.spectator.co.uk
"Christianity’s doctrine is found in three sources: the Bible, Tradition, and the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church. An unbiased and clear inspection will show that Christianity is a religion of peace. Islam, not so much. Christianity offers peace through redemption, freedom through penance, joy through forgiveness, perfection through sanctification, and charity as the crown and driving force of every Christian life. Nowhere does Christianity’s Divine Founder counsel violence, mandate war, or promise something sinful as a reward for fidelity. Yet a careful reading of the Qur’an, the “founding document” of Islam, reveals that these three elements are present in its pages. A sampling: - “Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them; thereafter is the time for either generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens…. But those who are slain in the way of Allah, he will never let their deeds be lost” (47:4). - “May the two hands of Abu Lahab [Muhammad’s uncle who betrayed him] perish! May he himself perish! Nothing shall his wealth and gains avail him. He shall be burnt in a flaming fire, and his wife, laden with faggots [firewood], shall have a rope of fiber around her neck” (111:1-5 sura). - “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued'".
Father John Perricone. "Christianity and Islam: morally equivalent?" The New Oxford Review. (April 2015), p. 24.
The wise mots of both Father Perricone and Mary Wakefield highlight something which any cursory reading about Islam quickly reveals: that notwithstanding the fact that most of its adherents are peaceful and law abiding, it is au fond a religion of violence. Akin to what Simon Weil thought was the major characteristic of pre-diaspora Judaism, Islam in its origins shows itself to be a religious belief system which incalculates a theology of warfare and violence towards all those who do not adhere to its tenets 1. Whereas the intermittent violence which one can associate with Christianity (the Crusades, et cetera), can be said to be at variance with the central tenets of Christianity, that is hardily the case with Islam. Its founder, the so-called Prophet Mohammed, was a figure who it is easy to see, from any unbiased point of view, had hands filled with blood of innocent people. It is not too far a thing to say, that from any humane standpoint, Mohammed was an evil man. Pur et simple. And unless and until the two billon plus human beings who claim some relationship with Islam, own up to this fact about their religion, the relations between these two billion and the other five million people on the planet earth will be filled with more violence. Because violence and hatred is something that Islam is filled with. To claim anything else is both idiocy and propaganda. Unless and until a true reformation of this religion of hatred takes place, the world can, must and will be on guard to stop in its tracks any more advances by this faith system.
1. For Simone Weil's rather negative view of pre-diaspora Judaism, see: Waiting on God. Translated by Emma Crauford. (1954), pp. 157, where she comments: "The tradition of Noah and his sons throws a startling light on the history of Mediterranean civilisation. It is necessary to delete what the Hebrews added to the story out of hatred....The Hebrews boasted of having utterly exterminated a number of cities and tribes in the land of Canaan when Joshua was leading them. Give a dog a bad name and you can hang him. After he has been hanged you can accuse him more than ever". See also: Letter to a Priest. Translated by A. F. Wills. (1951), p. 15, where she comments: "If some Hebrews from classical Jewry were to return to life and were to be provided with arms, they would exterminate the lot of us--men, women and children, for the crime of idolatry". For the recent historiographical discussion of Jewish influences on early Islam, see: The Cambridge Ancient History. Volume XIV. Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors, A. D. 425-600. Edited by Averil Cameron, Bryan Ward-Perkins and Michael Whitby, (2000), pp. 684-697.


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