Monday, October 08, 2007

Let's not be hypocritical about Muslims...

There are indeed many, many things about Islam that ought to make us critical of it. First and foremost, Islam sets itself up as a rival revelation to the one delivered by Jesus Christ to the Apostles. It claims to be "another way" to God and asserts that the Christian revelation is defective and that our Scriptures are corrupted. This alone singles is out for condemnation and criticism. But that is the same with any rival religion to Christianity and this criticism does not single out Islam specifically.

Islam could also be condemned because it condones the practice of lying and deception in the interest of furthering Islam. This practice is called Al-taqiyya and the famous Muslim philosopher Al-Ghazali said of it, "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible." This is certainly one reason to condemn Islam.

One could also cite for censure the idea that true faith can be spread by means of force. This is contrary to the timeless Catholic belief that true faith must be volutary and arise from genuine assent of intellect and will to God's revelation, not because of duress or fear of death. Not only is forcing belief by violence an affront to the dignity of the human person, but it is actually impossible to inculcate anythng close to true faith by this means. It is both immoral and defective.

One could blame Islam for its belief that the proper relationship between God and His people is that of a slave-master relationship instead of a Father-Son relation. This belief makes a mockery of Christ's reconciliation between man and God and makes God's will arbitrary and unreasonable instead of motivated by reason and the good. The god of Islam (which I must state emphatically is not the same God as ours) is an arbitrary tyrant.

There are so many other things we could criticize Islam for: for its teaching that those who carry out attacks against non-believers and die in the process go straight to Paradise; for its acceptance of polygamy; for its acceptance of pedophilia (remember, Mohammed's youngest wife was 7 years old and only 9 when the marriage was consummated); for its stirring up of anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hate around the globe. All of these things truly make Islam a vile and detestable religion.

But there is one thing that I cannot in good conscience condemn Islam for; and curiously enough, this is the one thing that I see most conservative Catholics condemning Islam for the most: that is the fact that Islam seeks to dominate the entire world. I cannot fault the Muslims for this. Why not? Because we, too, seek to dominate the entire world. Let's not mince words here: it is unacceptable, in light of Christ's mandate to preach the Gospel to all creatures, that there exist so much as one non-Christian on the face of the earth. Christ commands that every creature must be converted and believe the Gospel. What our Gospel is differs entirely from what the Muslim message is, and the means by which people are won to the Gospel are good works, prayer, charity and preaching, not slaughter and beheading. But nevertheless, both religions seek universal dominance. Therefore, I cannot fault Muslims for wanting their religion to dominate.

That does not mean that we hate non-believers; that does not mean we cannot live in peace and harmony with Separated Brethren, Jews and non-Christians. But it does mean that ultimately, we would like to see every human soul on the globe a Catholic in communion with the Holy See.

I'm so sick of conservative Catholic talk-show hosts pointing out ominously, "Muslims seek to dominate the entire globe; Islam teaches that the whole world must be subject to them." Well, of course, but that's what our religion teaches, too! So let's not be hypocritical about it. There is a proper place for this argument. For example, in pointing out the bankruptcy of the American political plan of the liberals that says that if we just sit down and negotiate with these people then maybe they will stop attacking us. Then it is fitting to point out that they will never stop, because their goal is world domination. But this is a moot point when the discussion turns religious, because our religion also seeks to convert the entire planet (notwithstanding Pope John Paul II's cowardly promise to the Russian patriarch that Catholics wouldn't try to convert the Russian Orthodox).

So, let's keep our discussion about Islam on track. Let's censure it for what need to be censured, but recognize that we cannot justly blame it for things that we ourselves also believe (and if you do not believe that it is God's will that every single person be a Catholic, then you need to go back to Theology 101). I've recently been listening to a CD series by Dr. Srdja Trefkovic on Islam that I can highly recommend to anybody interested in this important issue.

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