Muslim Converts to Christ Beg Pope Francis to Stop Deceiving Himself

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By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor, The Stream, January 10, 2018

John ZmirakLast year, Jason Jones and I wrote at The Stream to Pope Francis. We begged him to reconsider his statements on Muslim immigration. This in the wake of the murder of French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel.  Muslims slit that priest’s throat while he was saying Mass. Not in Egypt or Iraq. In France.

Now a much more powerful document has appeared. The authors? Men and women who risked Fr. Hamel’s fate. Indeed, from an orthodox Muslim point of view, they invited it. The signers are converts from Islam to Christianity. There’s a penalty for that in Muslim sharia. And hence in many Muslim countries, such as our “ally” Saudi Arabia. It’s death. Where the government won’t cooperate, family members sometimes murder converts from Islam to other faiths, for impugning their families’ “honor.” An Ohio girl fled her immigrant parents in 2009 when they learned she’d become a Christian. ISIS regularly issues threats against “apostates” like these authors.

The Voice of the Martyrs

Please read this prophetic document. Read every word. It speaks in the voice of the early Christians. Of St. Paul and of Justin Martyr. Those believers defended their faith. They admitted that it might cost them their lives. That’s the risk these modern Christians have taken. And they wonder why the shepherd of one billion Catholics keeps saying things about Islam that simply aren’t true. First some key passages from the letter. Then some analysis.

The authors open:

Many of us have tried to contact you, on many occasions and for several years, and we have never received the slightest acknowledgement of our letters or requests for meetings. You do not like to beat around the bush, and neither do we, so allow us to say frankly that we do not understand your teaching about Islam, as we read in paragraphs 252 and 253 of Evangelii Gaudium. …

Pope Francis’s Party Line on Islam

Maybe you’ve never read that papal document by Pope Francis. Here are the relevant paragraphs:

We must never forget that [Muslims] “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.[198] The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need. …

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. [emphasis added]

An Antichrist?

To this these followers of Christ who risked all to escape Islam reply:

Islam came AFTER Christ, and so is, and can only be, an Antichrist (see 1 Jn 2.22), and one of the most dangerous because it presents itself as the fulfillment of Revelation (of which Jesus would have been only a prophet). If Islam is a good religion in itself, as you seem to teach, why did we become Catholic? Do not your words question the soundness of the choice we made at the risk of our lives? Islam prescribes death for apostates (Quran 4.89, 8.7-11), do you know?

In fact, as long as Islam wants us to be its enemy, we are, and all our protestations of friendship cannot change anything. As a proper Antichrist, Islam exists only as an enemy of all: Between us and you there is enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah alone!” (Qur’an 60.4) For the Qur’an, Christians are only impurity” (Quran 9.28),” “the worst of Creation” (Qur’an 98.6)all condemned to Hell (Qur’an 4.48), so Allah must exterminate them (Quran 9.30). We must not be deceived by the Quranic verses deemed tolerant, because they have all been repealed by the verse of the Sword (Quran 9.5).

The Quran: From Kumbaya to Violent Jihad

Remember how the Quran works: chronologically. Like Supreme Court decisions, later verses in the Quran can completely overturn earlier ones. As I wrote here a few months ago:

The revelations Muhammad claimed to receive fall into two starkly different periods, with contrasting content.

While he was an obscure would-be religious leader living in the pagan city of Mecca, Muhammad sang one tune: “Kumbaya.” He condemned religious coercion. He called for mutual brotherhood. He flattered both Jews and Christians as “people of the book.” Each had worthy (if partial) revelations from God. Muhammad had simply come along to complete and correct them….

Later, Muhammad emigrated to greener pastures in Medina. The city welcomed him as a sage who could settle the constant feuds among Arab clans that were tearing the place apart. He soon gained power as absolute ruler of the city.

God Changed His Mind

At that point, wouldn’t you know it, his revelations began to change. Now God was telling him to “slay the unbeliever.” To raid his caravans and take his cargo. Suddenly God revoked what he’d said before. He just flip-flopped on countless issues. The changes (“abrogations”) were always in the direction of giving the new military ruler of Medina permission to rape and pillage. Muhammad promised his holy warriors (jihadis) the highest place in heaven if they died in combat. Those who survived could keep most of the loot they captured (the mosque got a cut). They could keep any women they chose to take home as sex slaves after killing their infidel husbands and fathers.

It’s the early verses that Christians like to talk about. That the Council on American Islamic Relations always quotes. But they have been overruled, as surely as the pro-slavery Dred Scott decision was. Except that the Quran became less humane, instead of more.

Are Amish Typical Christians?

Last year the learned Jesuit priest Fr. Henri Boulad wrote about Christian self-delusion concerning Islam. Like these brave converts, he knows whereof he speaks. Fr. Boulad is former Provincial of the Jesuits in Egypt and director of the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria. He wrote a warning to the West in general and the Catholic Church in particular. He noted that the words of Vatican II that Pope Francis cited (that Muslims “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”) are deeply naïve. Or at best highly selective. Fr. Boulod pointed out that a recent tradition exists of looking at Islam through rose-colored glasses. He blamed its popularity among Catholics on the writings of a single academic, “the French Islamologist Louis Massignon (1883-1962), for whom mystical Sufism had meant the essence of Islam.”

But to take the tiny sect of the Sufis and treat it as typical of Islam is like using the Amish as your standard for “real” Christianity. It’s simply unrepresentative, an instance of wishful thinking.

The Islamic Cultural Invasion

Catholic expert on Islam (and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad) William Kilpatrick has warned of the impact such comfy illusions have on the West:

[T]he Catholic leadership today is more committed to sensitivity, acceptance, and welcoming than it was in the sixties. Not only have Church leaders failed to resist the Islamic cultural invasion, they seem to have embraced it. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Catholic Church has become one of Islam’s chief enablers. By encouraging mass Muslim migration, by pedaling a rose-colored view of Islam, and by supporting Islam at every turn, Catholic leaders are aiding and abetting the spread of an aggressively anti-Christian belief system.

A Different Gospel

Let’s close with the words of the courageous Christian converts. They put their lives on the line for Jesus:

As to Your Holiness’s stance on Islam: even as President Erdogan, among others, asks his countrymen not to integrate into their host countries, and while Saudi Arabia and all the petrol monarchies do not welcome any refugee, expressions (among others) of the project of conquest and Islamization of Europe, officially proclaimed by the OIC and other Islamic organizations for decades; you, Most Holy Father, preach the welcoming of migrants regardless of the fact that they are Muslims, something forbidden by Apostolic command: “If anyone comes to you but refuses this Gospel, do not receive him among you nor greet him.Whoever greets him participates in his evil works.” (John 1.10-11); “If anyone preaches to you a different Gospel, let him be accursed!” (Galatians 1.8-9)

John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream, and author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.

He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012 he was editor of Crisis.

He is author, co-author, or editor of eleven books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.