"Theologically, Islam is a house of cards. It can’t stand up to examination, which is why Islam’s guardians go ballistic at the least hint of criticism. Nevertheless, Catholics [and Orthodox] should start making the case while there is still time — before the questioning of Islam becomes a crime, or before the Islamic world goes ballistic in the literal sense of the term."Read and share widely, along with Part 1 and Part 2.
Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam [Pt. 3]
by William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine — February 11, 2015
In his book America Alone, Mark Steyn observed that “there is no market for a faith that has no faith in itself.” He was referring to Christianity’s loss of faith in itself as exemplified by the decline of Christianity in Europe and the corresponding rise of Islam—a faith that does have faith in itself.
A new Church policy toward Islam should be geared toward reversing that situation—that is, undercutting Islam’s faith in itself while at the same time strengthening the faith of Christians. Many others have written about the second half of the equation, so let me concentrate on the first. How do you sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of Muslims?
I’ve already addressed the objection that sowing doubts is not a nice thing to do. Many Catholics seem to believe that religion is ipso facto a good thing, which means that weakening someone’s religious faith would be a terrible thing to do. Yet history provides many examples of religions that seem best consigned to the past—for example, the child-sacrificing religion of the Carthaginians and the human-sacrificing religion of the Aztecs.
Catholics are reluctant to put Islam in the same category as the Carthaginians for two reasons: First, Islam is a very big religion—the faith of a billion and a half people. Second, Islam bears a superficial similarity to Christianity; Muslims believe in one God and they “revere” Jesus. Yet it’s estimated that some 270 million people have been killed in the name of Islam over the centuries—far more than the combined total of all those killed in the name of Nazism or communism. It’s not politically correct to compare Islam to totalitarian ideologies, yet many respected authorities including Catholic authorities, have done just that. Consider this entry from the 1910 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In matters political, Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad…. The rights of non-Muslim subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the ‘Infidel'.
As I suggested in the previous column, a new policy toward Islam should be based on the assumption that Islam is an ideological enemy, just as communism once was and still is. The idea is to wean people away from the ideology by undermining and discrediting it, and also by offering a better alternative. Because Islam has proven itself to be a totalitarian system, we should try to weaken faith in it just as, during the Cold War, the West (with considerable help from the Catholic Church) attempted to weaken faith in communism.
Once you’ve studied up on Islam, the first thing you realize is that the key to sowing the seeds of disbelief is Muhammad himself... If he is discredited, Islam is discredited.
But it’s difficult to give other people second thoughts about their religion if you don’t know the first thing about it yourself. And there are numerous indications that Catholic authorities are badly informed about Islam—else why do they continue to maintain, in the face of overwhelming evidence, that Islam is a religion of peace? So the first thing that Catholics need to do is to get up to speed on Islam.