A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Saturday, December 26, 2015

JESUS WOULD BE CALLED A SETTLER IN ISRAEL, AND WOULD LIKELY BE MURDERED BY MUSLIM ARABS - The hypocrisy of Christian churches who worship Jesus, while agitating for the surrender of his land to the Muslim invader, indifferent to Christians being persecuted and slaughtered in Muslim countries

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Thousands of Jews have been murdered by Muslims for being Jews.   Not only that, but there will be no Jews allowed in the Islamic State of Palestine, as envisioned by the Arabs, the White House, the EU, and the many organizations calling for the partition of the land of Israel to create a Muslim terror state.
Christian priorities. Among those activist organizations, Christian churches have been notorious for ignoring human rights horrors now being perpetrated against Christians all over the Muslim world, to obsessively focus on Israel and what they call the "occupation".
Christians effectively disown Jesus and their own doctrine.  Christians read, study, and quote from the Bible - which is in part the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel - and with a straight face they declare that the land does not belong to the Jews but to the Muslim invader who conquered Jerusalem in the 7th century AD.  According to their view, Jesus would be a settler, an occupier, with no right to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other holy Jewish places in Israel. 
It gets worse.  As Muslims oppress, persecute, and even murder Christians in countries ruled by Islam (see related articles further on this page), Churches in the West have closed their hearts to Christian suffering so as not to antagonize Islam.  In the meantime they are busy organizing lectures and conferences about the Israeli "occupation," and engaging in BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) against Israel - the only Mideast country where Christians are safe, respected, and enjoy full human rights.
What could be behind this?  In a nutshell, Muslims are used as a tool for Christians to deprive Jews of their land.  They hope that Muslims will eventually take over the land, even by force, unleashing a second Holocaust.  They would much rather see Jerusalem under the Muslim yoke - inaccessible to Christians - than to tolerate Jews calling the city Israel's capital.  Since Crusaders can no longer slaughter Jews, Christians have contracted out genocidal Muslims to do the job, by supporting them morally and financially. 
Pope John Paul met 12 times with his
beloved friend, arch-terrorist Yassir Arafat
Recent Popes have met numerous times with Muslim terrorists representing the Palestinians, and established warm relations with them because of their shared hatred against Jews and their shared plans for a Holy Land without Jews.
Bear in mind that under the partition plan, Biblical Jerusalem would become part of the Islamic Palestinian State.
A little history.  Before Israel liberated Jerusalem in the defensive war of 1967, it was Jordan that occupied the city.  Jordan could be considered one of the most moderate regimes in the Mideast.  The political forces now at work among Palestinians are much more extreme, so we can expect even harsher restrictions on Christian worship in the city were they to control it. 
This is what the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem was like before its liberation by Israel in 1967 (or as Christian churches now call Israeli "occupation").
Continue reading about this, about an incident of Christian apartheid in a Canadian city, and about the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world
ALSO SEE UPDATES - Muslims greet Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in Bethlehem with a hail of stones.

Under Jordanian rule, “Israeli Christians were subjected to various restrictions during their seasonal pilgrimages to their holy places” in Jerusalem, noted (former mayor of Jerusalem) Teddy Kollek. “Only limited numbers were grudgingly permitted to briefly visit the Old City and Bethlehem at Christmas and Easter.”
In 1955 and 1964, Jordan passed laws imposing strict government control on Christian schools, including restrictions on the opening of new schools, state control over school finances and appointment of teachers and the requirements that the Koran be taught. In 1953 and 1965, Jordan adopted laws abrogating the right of Christian religious and charitable institutions to acquire real estate in Jerusalem.
In 1958, police seized the Armenian Patriarch-elect and deported him from Jordan, paving the way for the election of a patriarch supported by King Hussein’s government. Because of these repressive policies, many Christians emigrated from Jerusalem. Their numbers declined from 25,000 in 1949 to fewer than 13,000 in June 1967.
These discriminatory laws were abolished by Israel after the city was reunited in 1967.
For a more current assessment of Palestinian Muslim treatment of Christian Arabs, numbers tell the story.  Christian Arabs have been continuously leaving the areas now controlled by the Palestinian Authority due to Muslim harassment and violence. 
There is only a fraction of Arab Christians living in Bethlehem and in the PA these days.  Just this 2015 Christmas an Arab set fire to a Christmas tree in Bethlehem.
Kirschen, Dry Bones cartoon,Palestinians, West Bank, Islam, holiday,Christmas, Bethlehem, Christians, Palestinian, PLO,

  • The erosion of the Christian presence has peaked under Palestinian Authority rule
  • Bethlehem went from 60% Christian in the 1990s to just 10% today.  
  • In the meantime, Christian population inside Israel continues to grow and has now reached approximately 140,000. 
  • Christian Churches, however, continue to wage war against Israel, while giving full support to the anti-Christian Palestinian Muslims.
 Read more -

Onto another subject:

I bring up these observations for two reasons:  One is the Christmas Season.  The other a more local issue that is on today's newspapers in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, that illustrates the very high degree of hypocrisy among Christians. 
Apartheid in Victoria, Canada.  It so happens that there is a large population of homeless people in the city of Victoria, a jewel of beauty and mild weather, a much-sought tourist destination in the Pacific Northwest.
Victoria, BC harbor
There are not enough shelter accommodations for Victoria homeless people, and even if there were, many prefer to camp in public parks in the city.
Residents living near those parks are at their wits' end, not being able to sleep because of the loud fights and shouting of obscenities at the camp in the middle of the night.  They report thefts, loitering in their properties, drug needles on their yards, and even public defecation. 
Cathedral Church Elementary School to the left,
the proposed site for a homeless shelter to the right.
Parents are outraged. 
City Hall was forced to listen to residents' complaints and came up with a solution:  to use a vacant seniors' home that just happens to be 18 paces away from an elementary school.  
Parents of children attending that school are up in arms.  Most homeless people suffer from drug and alcohol addiction and a good number of them have mental problems.   Not the most desirable neighbors. 
Anglican Church Elementary School
And who runs this elementary school?  The Anglican Diocese of British Columbia.  The same Anglican Church that decries Israelis for building fences that protect their children from murderous Arab terrorists.  The same Church that accuses Israel of occupation.  The same congregation that accuses Israel of apartheid for keeping violent Muslims from infiltrating Jewish communities in the "settlements". 
The school administration has not voiced opposition to the homeless shelter.  It would not seem Christian to do so.  But parents have, strongly and in an unequivocal way. 

Discrimination?  Apartheid?
Now, these homeless people are not hateful jihadists glorifying the murder of innocent children.  In fact, aside from being ragged individuals pushing shopping carts loaded with their possessions, they are no threat to anyone.  Just a nuisance.  But the nice Christian parents of Christ Church Cathedral School students don't want them anywhere near their children.  

But Israelis who build fences and checkpoints to protect their children from actual terrorists are considered racist and oppressors. 

And by the way, our own checkpoints are spreading from just airports to other places of public gathering, particularly in Europe.  In France it is becoming routine to be checked before boarding a train, for example, and to access many other places that could become targets for jihadists.   

This is what living with Muslims does to our civilization.  Israelis know what it is like to live with Muslims and have created security measures to avert the death of even more Jews.  Thousands of innocent Israeli civilians have been murdered or maimed for just being Jews. 

In spite of living with daily Muslim terror, Israel is NOT an apartheid state.  Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews enjoy the same rights and live next door to each other.  It is the Arabs inhabiting Judea and Samaria - what Christians call the West Bank - who live in their own villages ruled by the Palestinian Authority.   
Even long after the Israeli liberation of that ancient Jewish land by Israel, Judea and Samaria Arabs held Jordanian passports and citizenship (later revoked by Jordan to pre-empt their possible return to Jordan). 
The divide in Israel is fluid, though.  Palestinians from the PA are allowed to work in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, as well as in the rest of Israel.  If there was no terror, there would be even more integration. 
There used to be peaceful social mixing for a few years after the liberation of the land, until Muslims started resorting to terror.  Then Israel built fences.  When Arab snipers started targeting Jewish babies, Israelis built a solid wall in one dangerous section of the divide.  The visiting Pope denounced that wall, although the Vatican State itself is surrounded by a wall and heavy security, and has the most strict immigration policies in the world.  That's apartheid too.
Victoria BC  -  School and proposed homeless facility: 18 paces and a world apart


Nadaf Netanyahu 
Stop trying to destroy Israel, the only Mideast country where Christians enjoy freedom, safety, and human rights .

Read message and related articles

Blog archive of articles about Palestinian Christians

Bethlehem.  Minarets predominate in the landscape. 

 - And their steady disappearance from ancient holy land
 - Official Muslim discrimination, harassment and violence has driven them away
  • The erosion of the Christian presence has peaked under Palestinian Authority rule
  • Bethlehem went from 60% Christian in the 1990s to just 10% today.  
  • In the meantime, Christian population inside Israel continues to grow and has now reached approximately 140,000. 
Read more

on the plight of Christians in the Muslim world

Philippines: Muslims murder seven Christian farmers in Christmas eve raids

No Christmas celebration in Sudan: Muslims burn and demolish churches

Bangladesh: Christians skip traditional Christmas Midnight Mass for fear of Muslims

Three Muslim countries — Somalia, Tajikistan, and Brunei — now banning Christmas celebrations

The Indonesian Jihad on Christian Churches

Christians face being wiped out from the Middle East within TEN YEARS as they are killed by ISIS or forced to flee persecution, warn Catholic aid groups


May 2015:

pa  - The Pope calls terrorist Mahmoud Abbas AN ANGEL OF PEACE and recognizes the Islamic State of Palestine
 - The Vatican loved German Nazis too and saved more than 1000 of them by providing them with false IDs so that they could escape justice
Read more, including numerous links to articles on the Church and the Jews, the Inquisition, and the Church alliance with the Nazis.

by dealing giant blow against Israel

A digital reconstruction of the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem,
as it was in times of  the Roman occupation.

US Court dismisses Congress law recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel, thus empowering the Muslim conquerors and occupiers' claim to the ancient Jewish capital
Read more about the city of Jerusalem and the ongoing effort to delegitimize Israel's right to it.

Dry Bones, Kirschen,Rome, the Pope, Muslim, Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem Day, Islam,Eurabia, appeasement,Yom Yerushalayim,

December 2014:

 - May the world hear your cries for help

Read more here

If Jesus walked the streets of Muslim-controlled towns in Judea and Samaria, he would be murdered by Muslim Palestinians, for being a Jewish settler.

Footage shows a young Palestinian-Jordanian girl declaring "I want to stab a Jew." Photo: Screenshot.
Palestinian children are being indoctrinated to hate and kill Jews.  Many of the attackers have been young teenagers. 
About this girl:

About the ongoing indoctrination of Palestinian children to hate and murder -

Muslim parents are sending their children to become "martyrs".  Then the Palestinian Authority grants them a pension in recognition of the heroism of their children.  If the terrorists survive, they get paid a salary. The more Jews they kill, the higher the reward.
Read more:

Dry Bones, Kirschen,appeasement,Jewish State, Jews, Israel, Middle East, Christians, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya, North Africa,Africa, antisemitism,

Give Jerusalem to the Muslims?

During their occupation of Jerusalem until the city's liberation in 1967, the Jordanians used Jewish tombstones from Mount of Olives cemetery as latrines, pavement, and other construction.
Read more
And here
Palestinians continually desecrate Mount of Olives Jewish graveyard in Jerusalem
Arab terrorists control part of Mount of Olives

October 18, 2015

 a Jewish sacred shrine

Palestinians have torched the Jewish holy site of Joseph's Tomb overnight in the West Bank city of Nablus, as religious tensions escalate

-  Read history of ongoing Palestinian desecration of Jewish and Christian holy sites
- When they took over the Church of the Nativity they defecated in it and used the bible as toilet paper
 - Jordanians used Jewish tombstones as latrines - Palestinian harassment and violence against Christians and terror against Jews

Read more

The Muslim desecration of the
Church of the Nativity

During the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestinians took over the building and desecrated it, defecated in it, used the Bible as toilet paper.

A Greek Orthodox priest, held hostage by Palestinians who took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, is holding a sign saying “PLEASE HELP,” April 2002. (Government Press Office)

Read more

This church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was desecrated by Palestinian Muslims during their violent takeover in a standoff with Israeli forces.  They trashed it, and defecated in it.  Christian churches everywhere remained silent.  They only speak out when they can criticize Israel.

Jews get lynched if they stray into Muslim towns
A modern-day posted sign leading into Bethlehem warns Jews to keep away. 


  Dry Bones cartoon, Kirschen, Israel, Obama, Palestine, Jews, Jewish State, two state solution, double standard,



Bethlehem: Muslims greet Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem with a hail of stones

Fouad Twal

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem greeted in Bethlehem by hail of stonesPA reportedly arrests 16 ‘Salafi radicals’ who were planning to carry out terror attack against tourists celebrating Christmas,” Times of Israel, December 25, 2015:
The car taking Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, was struck Friday, Christmas Day, in Bethlehem by rocks thrown by Palestinian rioters. 
None of the passengers in the patriarch’s vehicle was injured in the incident, but his car sustained damage, according to a Ynet news report. 
Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators erupted following his departure from the city, known as the birthplace of Jesus, the news site said…. 
He also said Palestinian security forces arrested Wednesday about a dozen suspected radical Islamists in Bethlehem. 
A report in the Palestinian Ma’an news agency put the number of detainees at 16. According to the report, the group are Salafi radicals who were preparing to carry out a terror attack against Western tourists arriving in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas there. 
The report did not identify the detainees as being affiliated with any known jihadist groups. 
A report in the Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv said that senior PA officials met in Bethlehem earlier this week in order to formulate a strategy against the threat posed by extremists to the Christian celebrations in the city. 
At least four people are being held in detention without trial in Bethlehem and four others, supporters of Islamic State, were arrested elsewhere in the West Bank. It was not clear where eight other people were being held. 
On Thursday night, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the authority’s prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, participated in a midnight mass at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, Ma’an reported.
In a statement released by his office before the visit, Abbas praised Palestinian Christians for their role in creating a “rich and diverse society.” 
“This year, we witnessed more churches around the world supporting the call for recognition of the State of Palestine, and an increasing number of Christian groups campaigning to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of our land,” Abbas said. 
The Christian Palestinian population dwindled significantly over the past years. Christians today make only 2 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank.



Allied with Jew-killers, Christian churches will say anything to support Islam.  Western Christians are not being naïve.  They know exactly what they are doing. 
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE:  The contemporary Catholic Church has wholeheartedly endorsed that idea that Islam is a religion of peace, and that Muslims are the first victims of jihad terrorism.

This proposition is enforced as an iron dogma, the one non-negotiable point in today’s comfortable suburban Church: anything goes, everything is winked at, moral teaching is discarded or ignored left and right, but whisper that Islamic jihadists point to the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and you’ll be the new Jan Hus.
The piece in the Los Angeles archdiocesan newspaper is just one example of the barrage of nonsense that comes from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on this issue, but it is noteworthy in being particularly counterfactual.

It spends a great deal of time admonishing us that the first victims of Islamic jihad terror groups are other Muslims, as Fr. Ronald Rolheiser apparently believes, with Barack Obama and numerous other Western leaders, that this proves that the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the rest are un-Islamic.

In fact, it only establishes that they believe their Muslim opponents to be un-Islamic, and because Islam mandates death for heresy and apostasy, they kill those opponents.
Rolheiser also says: “But the Muslim religion is not to blame here. There is nothing inherent in either the Koran or in Islam itself that morally or religiously undergirds this kind of violence.” Well, let’s see. Apparently Rolheiser has overlooked just a few passages from the Qur’an, including:
2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”
8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, “˜I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers” hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!–
8:39: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”
8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.”
9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”
9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”
47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”
But of course the Bible is full of violence, too, eh? Sure, although there is actually nothing in it remotely equivalent to the Qur’an’s open-ended and universal commands to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. And also, one finds the same calls to violence when one turns to the authoritative sources in Sunni Islam, the schools of Sunni jurisprudence (madhahib):
Shafi’i school: A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates about jihad that “the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only “provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)…while remaining in their ancestral religions.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).
Of course, there is no caliph today, and hence the oft-repeated claim that Osama et al are waging jihad illegitimately, as no state authority has authorized their jihad. But they explain their actions in terms of defensive jihad, which needs no state authority to call it, and becomes “obligatory for everyone” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.3) if a Muslim land is attacked.
The end of the defensive jihad, however, is not peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims as equals: ‘Umdat al-Salik specifies that the warfare against non-Muslims must continue until “the final descent of Jesus.” After that, “nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent” (o9.8).
Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”
However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)
Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”
Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”
This is also taught by modern-day scholars of Islam. Majid Khadduri was an Iraqi scholar of Islamic law of international renown. In his book War and Peace in the Law of Islam, which was published in 1955 and remains one of the most lucid and illuminating works on the subject, Khadduri says this about jihad:
The state which is regarded as the instrument for universalizing a certain religion must perforce be an ever expanding state. The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world….The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state. (P. 51)
Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad. In his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, he quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.”

Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims.
Blissfully or willfully ignorant of all this and much more, Rolheiser says: “It’s time to establish a greater solidarity with Islam.” With Islam, mind you — not with Muslims who genuinely reject all this and want to live in peace with non-Muslims as equals in a secular society without trying to gain hegemony over them.
No, Rolheiser thinks the Catholic Church should establish greater solidarity with Islam, which denies that Jesus is the Son of God (Qur’an 19:35), denies that he was crucified (Qur’an 4:157), denies that he is divine (Qur’an 5:17 and 5:72), says that those who say Jesus is God’s Son are accursed (Qur’an 9:30) and calls upon Muslims to make war against and subjugate them (Qur’an 9:29).
When reality becomes so horrible as to be undeniable, people like Fr. Ronald Rolheiser and the publishers of Angelus will be asked why they kept their people ignorant and complacent in the face of the advancing jihad threat instead of preparing them for what was coming.

Ronald Rolheiser
Wikipedia:  Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I. (born 1947 in Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan), is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He received his doctorate at the University of Louvain, and is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Canadian Theological Society, and the Religious Studies Association of Alberta. Before taking his current position, he taught for many years at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a specialist in the fields of spirituality and systematic theology.  Rolheiser has a regular column in the Catholic Herald which is featured in approximately 60 newspapers in five different countries.

Our Muslim brothers and sisters,” by Ronald Rolheiser, Angelus: The Tidings Online, December 3, 2015
This is not a good time to be a Muslim in the Western world. As the violence perpetrated by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram becomes more and more prevalent, huge numbers of people are becoming paranoid about, and even openly hostile towards, the Islam religion, seeing all Muslims as a threat.
Popular opinion more and more blames the Muslim religion itself for that violence, suggesting that there is something inherent in Islam itself that’s responsible for this kind of violence. That equation needs to be challenged, both in the name of truth and in the name of what’s best in us as Christians.
First of all, it’s untrue: Painting all Muslims with the same brush is like painting all Christians with the same brush, akin to looking at the most depraved man who calls himself a Christian and saying: “That’s Christians for you! They’re all the same!”
Second, it’s also unfair: Islamic militants no more speak for Islam than Hitler speaks for Christianity (and that comparison isn’t idly chosen). Finally, such an equation misleads our sympathy: The first victim of Islamic terrorism is Islam itself, namely, authentic God-fearing Muslims are the first victims of this violence.
When we look at the history of any terrorist Islamic group such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda, we see that it first establishes itself by terrorizing and killing thousands of its own people, honest, God-fearing Muslims. And it goes on killing them. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have killed thousands more Muslims than they have killed Christians or persons of any other religion. While their ultimate target may well be the secularized Christian West, more immediately their real war is against true Islam.
Moreover the victims of Islamic terrorists are not just the thousands of moderate Muslims who have been direct victims of their violence and killings, but also all other Muslims who are now painted with the same brush and negatively judged in both their religiosity and their sincerity. Whenever Islamic terrorists perpetrate an act of violence, its victims are not just those who die, are injured, or who lose loved ones, it’s also all true Muslims, particularly those living in the West because they are now viewed through the eyes of suspicion, fear and hatred.
But the Muslim religion is not to blame here. There is nothing inherent in either the Koran or in Islam itself that morally or religiously undergirds this kind of violence.
We would holler “unfair” if someone were to say that what happened during the Inquisition is inherent in the Gospels. We owe Islam the same judgment. One of the great students of world religions, the renowned Houston Smith, submits that we should always judge a religion by its best expressions, by its saints and graced-history, rather than by its psychopaths and aberrations.
I hope that others offer us, Christians, this courtesy. Hitler was somehow a product of the Christian West, as was Mother Teresa. Houston Smith’s point is that the latter, not the former, is a truer basis for judging Christianity. We owe our Islamic brothers and sisters the same courtesy.
And that’s more a recognition of the truth than a courtesy. The word “Islam/Muslim” has its origins in the word “peace,” and that connotation, along with the concept of “surrender to God,” constitutes the essence of what it means to be a Muslim. And for more than 90 percent of Muslims in the world, that is exactly what it means to be a Muslim, namely, to be a man or woman of peace who has surrendered to God and who now tries to live a life that is centered on faith, prayer, responsibility and hospitality.
Any interpretation of Islam by a radicalized group that gives divine sanction to terrorist violence is false and belies Islam. Islamic extremists don’t speak for God, Mohammed, Islam, or for what it means to surrender in faith, but only for a self-serving ideology, and true Muslims are, in the end, the real victims of that.
Terrorist attacks, like the recent ones in Paris and Mali, call for more, not less, sympathy for true Muslims. It’s time to establish a greater solidarity with Islam, notwithstanding extremist terrorism.
We are both part of the same family: We have the same God, suffer the same anxieties, are subject to the same mortality, and will share the same heaven. Muslims more than ever need our understanding, sympathy, support and fellowship in faith.
Christian de Cherge, the Trappist monk who was martyred by Islamic terrorists in Algeria in 1996, wrote a remarkable letter to his family in France shortly before he died. Well aware that he had a good chance of being killed by terrorists, he shared with his family that, should this happen, they should know that he had already forgiven his killers and that he foresaw himself and them, his killers, in the same heaven, playing together under God’s gaze, a gaze that lovingly takes in all of God’s children, Muslims no less than Christians.\
Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father



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