Palestine, The Pope & Honesty on Islam
We are, sadly, watching the latest round of aggression in the Middle East currently as Israel and Palestine exchange rockets night after night.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and the ease with which those in charge seem to fall into such destruction. Of course the roots of the conflict are as old as historical record can recall. However, here in the UK, the BBC take an overtly pro-Palestinian position which I find disturbing. Part of the reasoning appears to be that Israel has better weapons so it is unfair for them to retaliate when Hamas fire rockets at civilian targets in Israel. I wonder if France was bombing London they would be suggesting we only respond with little guns so we don't kill the aggressors too much? I don't suppose many of those commenting can imagine living in a place where your civilisation is surrounded by enemies determined to exterminate you completely. But when you think about it, they really should, following 9/11 and the War on Terror, we should really have a firm idea about the ideology which drives some people to such extremes of hatred.
These attitudes are fully on display in the UK right now:
This is a side of Islam which a lot of people seem utterly determined to ignore. Instead, Islam is portrayed as benign, peace loving, etc. In films like Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, the Muslims are portrayed as the civilised arbiters of justice, mercy and peace: a stark contrast to the brutish Christians who are stupid extremists bent on destruction. Practically a complete reversal of reality. And yet this is the way these ideas seep into the public psyche and become fact.
Pope Francis seems completely unaware of this. He has presented a very positive image of Islam from the outset of his papacy. For a good example, look at the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, where §253 states:
“In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
“the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
Has he read it????Samuel Gregg notes in the National Review that Pope Francis’s fellow Jesuit Samir Khalil Samir (who is no knee-jerk anti-Muslim), writes in his 111 Questions on Islam (2002), Westerners who assert that groups like the Taliban are acting in a manner contrary to the spirit of Islam “usually know little about Islam.” In the Egyptian-born Jesuit’s view,
“On the sociohistorical level, from the Qur’an onward, the ordinary meaning of jihad is unequivocal. [It] indicates the Muslim war in the name of God to defend Islam.”
TURKEY—Report out of Istanbul alleges that Turkish Minister of Religious Affairs led prayers for #AlAqsaMosque in #Jerusalem out of ancient Byzantine Church, Santa Sophia (now a mosque)—holding a sword.— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) May 13, 2021
Video in thread confirms this report. pic.twitter.com/Pj5kZz1ro8
The basic concept for me is best explained by thinking about what countries in the world you would want to live and bring up your family. Are they countries built on Islam (Saudi, Pakistan, etc) or countries built on Christianity? Don't we owe it to our Muslim brothers and sisters to help them to truth?