I keep reflecting on the vicious animosity that “Islamophobes” have towards Islam. Now, I despise Islam as a religion, but I am willing to accept that many Muslims, who practice a loose interpretation of the Koran, who live virtuous lives like “Emeth” the good Calormene in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle,. And even if all Muslims were violent “Islamofascists,” full fledged members of Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, etc., I still wouldn’t buy into the “Let’s kill all Muslims” rhetoric, since of course that goes plainly against Catholic teaching on so many levels.
And when I hear people spouting this angry, bitter filth, I think, “Then the Muslims have won. They’ve made you just like them.
Satan means “Accuser,” and that is exactly the role Islam plays in the “grand scheme of things”; it is the Accuser.
Satan is a legalist–this is why, Fr. Amorth teaches, it is important to use the right formulae in spiritual warfare: not that God cares, but the Devil cares.
Mohammed took God’s Law, chopped it up, rearranged it, and re-presented it as his own revelation. Most of the moral and social laws in the Koran are taken from the Bible. Then Mohammed went around accusing Christians and Jews of not following God’s law.
This is where the “middle ground” between so called “Islamofascists” (a term which is neither helpful nor accurate, since fascism is a specific political philosophy, and it is hard to see how the ragtag suicide bombers of al Qaeda reflect a political philosophy of strict central government and social order) and the “peaceful Muslims,” a middle ground which says the Quran forbids killing the “innocent” or that the Qu’ran only orders the killing of “infidels,” and that only those who deny God are “infidels.”
Yet Mohammed went around challenging Christians and Jews. There is the famous story of how he challenged the Christian priests to walk through fire to prove their faith (more on this later). When Islam finds a weakness in a Christian or Jew, be it failure to obey the Torah, sin, or just an apparent lack of trust in Providence, then it says, “Kill the Infidel!”
The problem is that, throughout history, far too many Christians have given Muslims reason to believe we are, in fact, infidels. As I say to fundamentalists who tell me they think it’s possible for a Catholic to be a Christian but they don’t know many: “I don’t know many Catholics who are Christians, either.”
Islam, as it has been often noted, is really a Christian heresy–the only heresy started by a non-Christian–and the areas it rules are the areas where Christianity failed either by going into heresy or by going into schism from Rome or both.
And as Europe has become Protestant and now secularized, Islam is moving into Europe.
Islam has never been defeated by war, and it has never been defeated by Christians stooping to the Muslims’ level. In _Star Wars_, a Jedi who acts in anger to kill even the most evil Sith Lord will only give the Sith the ultimate victory by succumbing to the Dark Side himself. Vader/Anakin Skywalker overcomes the paradox by killing the emperor as part of his own redemption, not killing the Emperor in anger but rather to save his own son.
Similarly, whenever “Christians” succumb to anger and hatred against Muslims, they allow Islam the ultimate spiritual victory. If, as some say we should, we were to completely eradicate Afghanistan and Iraq with nuclear weapons, besides the horrendous loss of civilian life and many people who are not even Muslims, we would be allowing Islam to win the moral victory by stooping to their level and proving that we are not the Christians we profess to be.
ISLAM HAS NEVER BEEN DEFEATED BY MERE WARFARE. Even when Islam has been defeated by warfare, as at Lepanto, it has been defeated by warfare in conjunction with prayer and fasting. Even at Lepanto, 2 of 3 fleets were sunk, and the victory was won just as much by a shift in weather as by the military prowess of the remaining fleet (which was specifically dedicated to the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe). The major battles which kept Islam from conquering Eastern Europe also involved fortuitous shifts in weather.
St. Francis wanted to be a Crusader for the adventure in his youth and then, after his conversion, wanted to see the Holy Land. He went to the Sultan and recounted the above story about Mohammed. He said, “I stand here as a believer in Jesus Christ, willing to prove my faith by walking through fire!” The Sultan didn’t call his bluff. He praised St. Francis for his courage and faith and gave him a medal guaranteeing safe passage throughout Egypt and the Holy Land.
Years later, when Saracens threatened Assisi, St. Clare confronted them with the Eucharist (Some accounts say she led her sisters in a procession; others say she stood at the window). In either case, she came at them with only the Eucharist–no swords, no guns, no nuclear bombs–and these bloodthirsty Muslims fled.
John Paul II won over his Muslim assailant by an act of profound Christian love and forgiveness.
Indeed, when John Paul II wanted to make a pilgrimage to Ur, the Iraqi government forbade it for they knew a visit from the Pope would be worse for Saddam Hussein’s regime than any US invasion.
The keys to defeating Islam are fasting, prayer, profound faith and unity with Rome, not nukes and torture and armies.
“What if they attack us?” many say. What if? Are you afraid of dying? Are you afraid of going to Heaven? That’s the very charge they lay against you, and they will be right. They kill you because their job is to send people to Hell as fast as possible. Show true Christian faith and practice, and even if they do kill you, you will win the victory over them by going to Heaven, where perhaps you can pray for their conversion the way St. Stephen prayed for St. Paul’s.