I missed the significance of Pope John Paul II (the Polish Pope) kissing the Koran. At the time, I was among the sedated ones (see below). My level of alertness subsequently rose. I am now broadly aware of archbishops of Canterbury doing double somersaults with twists to show how flexible they are when it comes to dealing with Islam. For example, at one point then-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (Civil and Religious Law in England: a Religious Perspective, 7 February 2008) envisaged the introduction of sharia law in the UK before smartly back-flipping in case anyone noticed. Pope Francis has also shown a particular keenness for inter-faith dialogue.
Imagine the reaction of the mad mullahs, the radical muftis, the firebrand imams, and the sheiks of Arabique to the Pope kissing the Koran. Mixed emotions, I would think. Defilement of their sacred book might have entered their minds. Uppermost, however, would probably have been extreme satisfaction that the Pope was behaving as befitting the leader of future dhimmis.
According to John O’Sullivan’s insightful and entertaining book, The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister, Pope John Paul became disappointed that his respectful gesture was not appropriately reciprocated in one way or another. After fourteen centuries of bloody and bloody-minded conflict that is surely the best-ever example of the triumph of hope over experience.
Recall, Islam in its fundamental scripture specifically takes on and mangles the central tenets of Christianity. No other religion does that. It specifically denies the divinity and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In the Koran, verse 61:6, it has Christ (conveniently for Mohammed) foreshadowing the coming of a Messenger (read Mohammed), despite Christ clearly ruling out future prophets before his own return and warning that false prophets will arise in the interim. (Matthew Ch. 24, Mark Ch. 13)
For Christian leaders who actually (really) believe in their faith there is no wriggle room here. There is no room to consort with Islam, being, clearly, the product of a false prophet; or to find common cause with Islam as there might be with other faiths; or to seek rapprochement with Islam. Engaging with Muslims as individuals is of course an entirely different matter.
When the very leaders of Christianity give the appearance of legitimising Islam, is it time to give up? Imagine the signal it sends to all those Muslims, including many women, who would like to escape Islam’s medieval clutches. Without a spiritual and resolute Christian counterweight, the long march of unbelievers to submission and/or death seems all too likely.
Yet, bravely, Geert Wilders does not give up, nor do commentators such as Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch). Then there are unlikely allies like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins. Having the advantage of coming from the God-denying left, they are insulated to a degree from being torn down by the gatekeepers of the politically-correct moral order. They perform the same sort of indispensible role as did George Orwell in criticising communism. Whether it will be nearly enough is debatable at best.
These are desperate times shrouded by sophistry. In keeping with the stance of Christian church leaders, political leaders, commentators and news outlets are almost universally administering verbal sedatives to calm (mislead intentionally or not) the populace at large. As part of this, Muslim community leaders who call for engagement are lauded and feted without any hard questions being asked of them.
Muslim community leaders should not be anointed in the absence of explicitly identifying those parts of Islamic scripture, including the very words of Allah in the Koran, which they personally disavow. Because if they disavow none of it; perforce, they cannot give primacy to Western values. For example, from verse 4:89:
So choose not friends from them [disbelievers] till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back [apostates] then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them.
Does this passage have an historical time band on it? Or, are Allah’s words timeless? If they are indeed Allah’s timeless words, how can a ‘devout’ Muslim accept the Western values of treating people equally and freedom of religion? It doesn’t make sense. Let me repeat this sentiment for the benefit of those sedated: It doesn’t make sense.
There are many passages in the Koran and in the Hadith which are equally offensive to Western values. Muslims wanting to embrace Western values have a problem. For if they disavow the ‘offending’ parts of their scripture, are they still Muslims? I seriously doubt they are so considered by Islamic religious leaders. These leaders, so far as I can tell, aren’t like Christian leaders. They will not accommodate heresy.
On the other hand, many Christian leaders will apparently accept any heresy in a forlorn attempt to cosy up to Islamists. Let me take a stab at their thinking.
Oh well, so what if Christ said that about false prophets. I am sure he didn’t mean to refer to an illiterate, medieval warlord, credited with a cobbled-together scripture which elevated him and marginalised Christ, who bedded a nine-year -old girl, and whose sayings and doings have inspired conquest, butchery, enslavement and mayhem for over fourteen centuries. Let’s not be obdurate; let’s simper in their direction in hopes they will begin to like us.
Memo to leaders of Christian churches: they despise you and will always despise And, while you act like toadies and betray Christ’s ministry; who can blame them? Meanwhile, sedated Canadians, unmoved by the Muslim invasion of Europe, have elected Justin Trudeau on a policy of admitting 25,000 so-called Syrian refugees by the end of this year. We’d better wake up and smell the coffee.