Brian objected to some of my blogs about Islam so we dialogued a bit. Our discussion started after a whack-o shot up a mosque in New Zealand. He disliked my suggestion that at the same time New Zealand was hit, hundreds of Catholics were slaughtered by Muslims in Nigeria. I asked why New Zealand made the big news and there was silence about Nigeria. He got frustrated and discontinued the discussion. Here was my final response:
On Mar 26, 2019, at 4:14 PM, Brian wrote:
Thanks Steve. I’m sure we would have a lot to discuss. I have traveled, am married to an Irish Catholic and lived in Singapore and Malaysia for six years. I’m not sure then how you would proceed in this current atmosphere here in NZ.
Brian, my initial reaction is it’s best to just discontinue this conversation, but I will give brief answers to your questions below.
I would prosecute the idiots who shot the Muslims in New Zealand. Anyone who does such things are guilty of heinous murders and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law; every citizen should be protected. This does not, however, preclude being honest about what Islam is and what those threats are worldwide.
Is dialogue with Muslim people not advantageous in your opinion?
We as Christians always dialogue and try to work for commonality. However, one must realize that Islam is not a religion or a political ideology that negotiates or dialogs in good faith. Islam holds to the Koran without flinching (though not necessarily all Muslims) and it’s very clear what Islam teaches about the infidel. Dialogue? Yes. But there’s an old saying “respect but suspect” which is especially true when there’s a 1400 year history and precedent with Islam.
Are interfaith meetings not the way to go in your opinion?
Of course, we as Christians always have interreligious dialogue because we always hope for the best. But to wear blinders into such an interreligious dialogue is only to be foolish. Islam is Islam and Mohammed taught and practiced true Islam. He is the model and true Muslims will always follow him as an example. Read the life of Mohammed. He married six-year-old girls, he slaughtered with the sword, he conquered with a sword and he called you an infidel.
Should vetting and surveillance of mosques and Muslims be part of a country’s mandate even though the alt right terrorists are seemingly more of a threat?
All potential terrorists should be investigated and watched — Muslims and any other lunatics on the right or left. Your government dropped the ball. But when you look at terrorism across the globe all non-Muslim sources of terrorism is a tiny fraction compared to the terrorism caused by Muslims. I take you to be an intelligent man and expect you to understand this.
What should be the Catholic response?
We should love, hope for the best, dialogue but also be honest and suspicious of groups that call us infidels and whose holy book calls us infidels and requires our death if we don’t convert. This is been practiced by Islam for 1400 years and only a foolish or ignorant person can deny it. Just because we may know some “nice Muslims” doesn’t mean that Islam is a friendly peaceful religion/ideology. It is not.
We as Christians should love and respect and evangelize, AND we should not wear blinders but be wise. We should be educated about the other ideology, study and be experts on their holy books, learn their history and their methods of propagation of the religion/ideology and above all respect but suspect. We should also be prepared to protect ourselves and our countries that do love and respect freedom and freedom of religion.
Thanks again for your honest and respectful approach. Believe me, I have a lot of people who just attack and I don’t waste my time responding. But you are respectful and therefore I have appreciated our dialogue. My views are quite well known since I posted my talk at the Franciscan University of Steubenville last summer. You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/9Pj-QPlN2CU