This is currently an extremely sensitive subject, which I am attempting to broach, it is not written as an attempt to incite anyone to commit harm to anyone else, but rather it is an attempt to open peoples minds to the truth rather than what is being dumbed down and perverted by the media and politicians and proponents of multiculturalism. It is a subject that I am not at all comfortable with, I’ve been careful so as not to offend anyone and yet there are time in a Christians life when he or she has to stand up and be counted. It is quite easy to become complacent about world affairs when you are a contemplative monastic, and your only aim is toward God only. Yet, I ask myself, when the world suffers, when my christian brothers and sisters are being tortured, murdered and their properties confiscated and or burnt to the ground, do I not as a christian have an obligation, no, a moral imperative to say something? Psalm 93:16 pronounces “Who shall rise up for me against the evildoers? or who shall stand with me against the workers of iniquity?” Or do we simply allow it to continue and say this is God’s will, or if you are not religious saying that this is the future or that its progress…. Well they are wrong, this is simply nonsense and political correctness, and as my dear grandmother used to say: “it will all end in tears”.
The times in which we live, dear brothers and sisters, the dangers that today occur in the name of religion, make me fear most strongly, for humanity and the world, do not allow yourselves be dragged into these excesses, and perhaps even turn toward errors and actions that will damage your very soul. These thought have kept my heart in anguish for quite some time.
I have absolutely no intention of ranting and raving as some writers do on the subject of Islam and muslims, there are muslims whom I’ve called friends many years ago, religion, even though I was a priest, was avoided in discussions as a matter of courtesy, yet by taking this approach was I betraying my faith? Yes I was, I was being politically correct, I was being ecumenical and polite but I was not fulfilling my duties as a christian. In Scripture, Christians are told, “But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15; St. John Paul in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio tells us: It is the Spirit who impels us to proclaim the great works of God: “For if I preach the gospel, it is no glory to me, for a necessity lieth upon me: for woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.” (1 Cor 9: 16). […] No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples. […] Christians who live and work in this “Areopagus” of culture, scientific research, politics and international relations spheres must always remember their duty to bear witness to the Gospel.
In the 1920s and 1930s, several voices were critical of the West’s increasing decadence and the hubristic reliance on technology to advance civilisation and save the West from its enemies. Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc, the Anglo-French writer and historian, led the charge in his critique of this misguided sense of superiority and myopic view of progress. But it was he alone among historians, social commentators, and counter-cultural voices who predicted that Islam — or as he called it “Mohammedanism” — would rise again, as it had in the past, harness the technology of the West as a weapon to turn it back on the West and crush it by degrees [Belloc, H. et al., 2010. The essential Belloc: a prophet for our times, Charlotte, NC: Saint Benedict Press. Chap. 2]
Personally I’ve only ever had one adverse encounters with a radically minded muslim, in Birmingham, after I attended an Interfaith meeting, I hailed a taxi to take me to Snow Hill station for my return to Oxford, when the taxi driver (obviously having noted all the priests and bishops exiting the building) stated “You know mate, that lot in there still have to pay for the Crusades, It’s coming, they will all convert or be executed, praise be to Allah!” I made no reply, simply because I was a bit shocked and could not think of an adequate reply, and wondered if I had replied how that journey would have ended.
We shall almost certainly have to contend with Islam in the near future. Perhaps, if we lose our Faith, it will rise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by the so-called Christian West, had already been achieved, the political conquerors of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved to be completely inflexible; the second is that its area of occupation did not fade into the distance, but on the contrary slowly began to expand.
Shortly after his exile, Emil Shimoun Nona Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul gave an interview in which he warned the West about the supposed dangers of accepting Muslims into their communities:
“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.” — (Cna, 2014. Iraqi bishop warns that West will suffer from Islamism. Catholic News Agency. [Accessed May 12, 2019].)
In 1296 the deceased former King Louis IX of the French was raised to sainthood. The king said he was inspired in all of his actions as king by his Christian zeal. He fought in wars against Islam, and he fought in France against blasphemy. Blasphemy, doubting the teachings of the Catholic Church, was severely punished by Saint Louis’ government.
Islamic forces have of course invaded Europe before. Muslim forays into Europe began shortly after the religion’s inception, with a short-lived invasion of Byzantine Sicily by a small Arab and Berber force that landed in 652. They established various emirates in Europe after the conquering the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal – Al-Andalus) was the first genuine foothold in continental Europe gained by Islam from 711 onward, with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Arabs renamed the region Al-Andalus, which expanded to include the larger parts of what is now Portugal and Spain. It is estimated that Al-Andalus had a Muslim majority by the 10th century after most of the local population had willingly converted to Islam. [Hourani, Albert (2002). A History of the Arab Peoples. Faber & Faber, p. 42]. One notable emirate was the Emirate of Crete, from the late 820s to 961. The other was Emirate of Sicily from 831 to 1091. This coincided with the La Convivencia [The Coexistence] period of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.
The Christian counter-offensive known as La Reconquista [The Reconquest] began in the early 8th century, when Muslim forces managed to temporarily push into southern France. Slowly, the Christian forces began a re-conquest of the fractured Taifa kingdoms of Al-Andalus. There was still a Muslim presence north of Spain, especially in Fraxinet all the way into Switzerland until the 10th century. Muslim forces under the Aghlabids conquered Sicily after a series of expeditions spanning 827–902 A.D., and had notably raided Rome in 846 A.D. The Emirate of Sicily was established in 965 A.D. Arabs held onto southern Italy until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada.
One should note that the Arabs imposed Sharia, thus, the Latin and Greek speaking Christian communities, as well as a community of Jews, had limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmī (non-Muslims living in an Islamic state). Dhimmī are required to pay jizya (poll tax). These taxes marked their status as subordinates to Muslim rule. There are already an undisclosed number of Sharia Courts within the United Kingdom and this baffles me greatly as “the law of the land must apply to us all” and not allow an alternative to the established laws of the land, whilst we are informed by the media that they are not courts of law as such, and that they only make decisions on religious matters and Sharia principles they do legally bind their arbitration. The UK government now says that “there is evidence of a problem, but we have an inadequate understanding of all the issues involved”. It has commissioned a review into whether Sharia is being “misused or applied in a way which is incompatible with the law”.
The exact number of Muslims in Europe is unknown. According to estimates by the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe (excluding Turkey) in 2010 was about 44 million (6% of the total population), including 19 million (3.8% of the population) in the European Union. A survey conducted by Pew Research Centre in 2016 found that Muslims now make up 4.9% of all Europe’s population. In 2017 Pew further conservatively projected that by 2050 the Muslim population of Europe would reach a level between 7% and 14%.
Gilles Kepel’s exploration of Muslim attitudes and activities in Europe in his book states: “France, possessing the largest Muslim community in Europe and a longstanding victim of Muslim terrorism, has taken an uncompromising attitude toward combating terrorism. However, Europe finds itself also in a dilemma. Faced with multicultural populations, how can it best pursue policies of integration while preventing the proselytising influence of radical Islamists? The benefits of political asylum and freedom of expression can challenge Europe’s liberal tradition if they are co-opted by radical Muslims to establish and maintain cultural separatism.” According to Kepel, the battle for the Muslim mind in Europe is a battle over the right for self-determination, and the war for Muslim minds around the world may hinge on its outcome. [The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West by Gilles Kepel (2004).
In the past we have always taken heed of what the Doctors of the Church and our saints have told us with regard to Islam and this is what I share below. You decide… If you feel you know better than the Saints and the Doctors of the Church, well, all I can say is, God help you: To the Catholics who continue to prattle ecumenical nonsense, stating that the Koran is “a book of peace,” here is what a great Saint John Bosco had to say on the subject; he preached the truth about the “impostor” Mohamed and his false religion (our translation of the Italian Text in Il Cattolico istruito nella sua religione, Tratt. xiii; “Il Maomettismo”. Torino 1853. – The Catholic instructed in his religion) P. is St John Bosco and F. Is the interviewer:
P. No doubt for a Catholic there is no science more important than that which instructs him in his own religion. An important science, and at the same time very consoling, because it has such certain and clear foundations, that under all our relationships allow us to recognise the contribution of Divine Omnipotence. This Religion of Jesus Christ, which is uniquely preserved in the Roman Catholic Church, according to the words of the same Savior, had to be persecuted in every way, but never won. In every age, in the midst of the most bloody persecutions, one would be kept as an immobile column, always visible, always victorious, without ever using other weapons than those of charity and patience. The immutability which has been preserved from the times of Jesus Christ up to us can only be attributed to a Divine Omnipotence.
Having thus established the foundations of our Holy Catholic Religion, I would like to keep you a moment regarding some curious events: I would like to say concerning those Religions that were united to the Catholic Church, and that once separated.
P. Before speaking to you about religions that separated from the Roman Catholic Church, I wish to point out the religions that do not have the characteristics of divinity, and which we call false religions, can be narrowed down to Judaism, Idolatry, and Mohammedism, and to the Seven Christians professed by the Greek Schismatics, Waldensians, Anglicans and Protestants.
I do not believe that it will be necessary to speak of Idolatry, because in our day, with the exception of very few countries where the light of the Gospel has not yet been able to penetrate, it no longer exists.
I already seem to have spoken enough about Judaism in the first part of our discussion.
If you would like, I will tell you about the others starting with Mohammedism.
F. Very well, Fine. I have wanted this for a long time. What are these religions that once separated from the Catholic Church?
P. By Mohammedism, we meant a collection of maxims extracted from various religions, and which, when practiced, come to destroy every principle of morality.
F. In which countries is this Mohammedism practiced?
P. Mohammedism professes itself in a large part of Asia, and also in a part of Africa.
F. From whom did Mohammedism begin?
P. The Mohammedism had principle from Muhammad.
F. Oh! of this Mohammed we have so much pleasure hearing you speak: tell us everything you know about him.
P. It would take too long to convey to you all that the stories tell of this famous impostor: I will only try to let you know who he was and how he founded his Religion. Mohammed was born of a poor family, a kind father and a Jewish mother, in the year 570, in Mecca, a city of Arabia, not far from the Red Sea. Dreaming of glory and eager to improve his condition, he went wandering through several countries, and succeeded in becoming an agent of a merchant widow of Damascus, who later married him. He was so astute that he was able to take advantage of her infirmities and her ignorance to establish a religion. Suffering from epilepsy, bad falls, he affirmed that his frequent and many falls were raptures so that he could hold conversations with the Angel Gabriel.
F. What an impostor, to deceive people in this manner! Did he also attempt to work miracles in confirmation of his preaching?
P. Muhammad could not perform any miracle in confirmation of his religion, because he was not sent by God. God alone is the author of miracles. However, since he boasted of a superiority greater to Jesus Christ, he was immediately asked to perform miracles in the same way as he did. He haughtily replied that miracles had been worked by Jesus Christ, and that he was raised up by God to restore religion by force.
With all this he boasted that he had performed one, and said that a piece of the moon, having fallen in his arms, he had been able to reconstitute it; in memory of this ridiculous miracle the Mohammedans took the half moon as their insignia.
You laugh, oh, my children, and quite rightly, because a man of like-mindedness should rather consider himself a charlatan, not the preacher of a new religion. It was precisely for this reason that his fame spread as an impostor, and as a disturber of public tranquility, his fellow citizens wanted to imprison him and put him to death. It is for this reason that he took flight, and withdrew to the city of Medina with some libertines who helped him to become a master.
F. What does Muhammad’s religion consist properly?
P. The religion of Mohammed consists of a monstrous mixture of Judaism, paganism and Christianity. The book of the Mohammedan law is called Koran, or book par excellence. This religion is also called Turkish because it is very common in Turkey; Muslim from Musul, the name given by the Mohammedans to the conductor of prayer; Islamism, from the name of some of its reformers; but it is always the same religion founded by Mohammed.
F. Why did Muhammad mix different religions?
P. So that he could induce the peoples of Arabia, being part Jews, part Christians, and Pagans, to follow him, he took parts of the religion they professed, especially those points that mostly favour sensual pleasures.
F. Was there a requirement for Muhammad to be a learned man?
P. No not at all, he could not even write; to compose his Koran he had to be helped by a Jew and by an apostate monk. Speaking of matters contained in Sacred History confusing one fact with another; for example, he ascribes to Mary, sister of Moses, many of facts concerning Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, with many other blunders.
F. This seems to me to be a good thing: if Muhammad was ignorant, he did no miracle, then how could he spread his religion.
P. Muhammad propagated his religion, not with miracles or with the persuasion of words, but with the power of arms. Religion which, favours all sorts of libertinism, made Muhammad the head of a formidable band of brigands very quickly. Together with them he flowed into the countries of the East gaining the peoples, not by conveying the truth, not with miracles or with prophecies; but by the single argument, in that he raised the sword above the heads of the vanquished, shouting: “either believe or die.” [quite a powerful motivator one could say. Ed.]
F. Scoundrel, are these then the arguments used to convert a people? Undoubtedly, since Muhammad was so ignorant, he wold have disseminated many errors in the Koran?
P. The Koran can be said to be a series of errors that are most blatant against morality and opposed to the worship of the true God. For example, excused from sin for those who deny God for fear of death; allowing revenge; ensuring his followers a paradise, one that is full of only earthly pleasures. In conclusion, the doctrines of this false prophet allows for many obscene things to happen, which a Christian soul would be too horrified to mention.
F. What difference are there between the Christian Church and Mohammedanism?
P. The difference is huge. Muhammad founded his religion with violence and with the use of arms: Jesus Christ founded his Church with words of peace, making use of his poor disciples. Muhammad agitated passions, Jesus Christ commanded self-denial. Muhammad did no miracle, Jesus Christ performed numerous in broad daylight and in the presence of countless multitudes. The doctrines of Mohammed are ridiculous, immoral and corrupting: those of Jesus Christ are august, sublime and very pure. No prophecy was fulfilled by Muhammad; in Jesus Christ all were fulfilled. In short, the Christian Religion, in a certain way, makes mankind happy in this world to be raised later to the enjoyments of Heaven; Muhammad degrades and humiliates human nature, and places all happiness in sensual pleasures, reducing mankind to the level of unclean animals.
For Islamic scholars, there is a statement in the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, which for me personally is exceptionally problematic and perplexing (admittedly quite a few of the Popes apostolic exhortations these days bewilder me) and makes me draw the conclusion that he could not have read a single page of the Koran or something was lost in translation:
“[…] 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. (p. 253)”
As the situation in the Middle East escalates, and the violence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) spills rivers of innocent Christian blood, this statement made by Pope Francis seems to contradict reality.
The Koran actually “sanctions violence” throughout its pages, so one could only assume that (i). Either Pope Francis did not read it; or (ii). He was given a sanitised version of the Koran. “Islam does not have any normative tradition of pacifism, and warfare has been integral part of Islamic history both for the defence and the spread of the faith since the time of Muhammad.” [Lewis, Bernard, Islam and the West, Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 9–10]. The Koran contains approximately 109 verses which incite war against non-muslims. Some are quite vivid and depictive, with commands to decapitate infidels wherever they may be hiding.
Perhaps His Holiness Pope Francis could explain to us the following few verses I found which “oppose violence” in the pages of the Koran?:
Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you […] — Koran 2:190
And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. — Koran 2:191
We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers. — Koran 3:151
… and one of my all-time favourite peaceful comments:
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, — Koran 5:33
[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.” — Koran 8:12
O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand. — Koran 8:65
And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. — Koran 9:5 [My understanding is that we Christians are considered polytheists by the Muslim because we believe in the Triune God. Koran 23:91 expressly denies that God had a son. Ed.]
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. — Koran 9:29
So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them […] — Koran 47:4
The contextual relationship of brutal, violent and terrorising passages are far more double-edged than should be expected in a book that is considered as perfect from a loving God. Most modern Muslims use discretion and free will in interpreting their holy book’s “call to arms” according to their own ethical preconceived idea concerning warrantable violence. The apologists of Islam pander to these proclivities with vague discourses which camouflage the historical facts and more often than not do not stand up to careful examination.
Lamentably, there are very few verses indeed with a mention of peace, forbearance and leniency so as to introduce an equilibrium against those calling for nonbelievers to be assaulted and repressed until they are degraded and convert to Islam, or ultimately slaughtered. Muhammad’s own bellicose patrimony, combined with a considerable prominence and encouragement toward violence found in the Koran, have resulted in massacres and a trail of blood throughout world history which began in 609 A.D.
St Paul in Galatians 1:8-9 warns us: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.”
Popes as anyone else are certainly free to express their personal opinions. A Pope’s opinions, however, when shared with the public, carry more weight because of the authority of his office than would the opinions of another, such as a lowly hermit-priest. The Pope’s words — particularly when expressed not through an interview or sermon, but an official document — signal, at least implicitly, that his opinion is in fact the belief of the Church. This has a real impact on the interpretation of whatever issue is being addressed, for both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Particularly in a modern context, where global news is instantaneously available, papal opinions spread far, and fast. Once an idea is out in the wild as something “the pope said”, it becomes difficult to ever take back. There is even a not entirely uncommon misconception that papal opinion, when it touches on any subject related to faith, rises to the level of infallibility which of course it does not.
Never before has there been so much division within the Church over basic doctrine. Catholics today argue over long-established teachings which, as recently as fifty years ago, were accepted without dissent. This division appears to permeate the Church, and can be seen not only amongst the laity, but also within the ranks of churches senior prelates. This division relates not only to our own internal understanding of teaching about articles of faith and sacramental beliefs, but the way in which the Catholic Church should deal with other religions. It is particularly worrying that this comes at a time when Islam is rising in power, having recently exterminated the Catholic Faith out of Iraq, with ever greater numbers of Muslims answering Islam’s call to jihad against Christians.
What is obvious from these statements is that it represent a very different view of Islam than we’ve heard from the Vatican in recent years. The recent dormancy of Islam has led many in this generation to believe precisely as Pope Francis does: that it is only Muslim extremists who pose a threat, and that the religion itself is more or less praiseworthy. The experiences of most of the saints throughout Church history, however, taught them the opposite — namely, that Islam and its practices are antithetical to the Catholic faith (and all christians) and those who seek to live it.
The general council of Vienne was summoned by pope Clement V with the bull Regnans in caelis, which he had written on 12 August 1308 at Poitiers…
. It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to christian princes where Saracens live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place, in the hearing of both Christians and Saracens and there make public declarations in his honour. There is a place, moreover, where once was buried a certain Saracen whom other Saracens venerate as a saint. A great number of Saracens flock there quite openly from far and near. This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful. These practices cannot be tolerated any further without displeasing the divine majesty. We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in christian lands. We enjoin on catholic princes, one and all, who hold sovereignty over the said Saracens and in whose territory these practices occur, and we lay on them a pressing obligation under the divine judgment that, as true Catholics and zealous for the christian faith, they give consideration to the disgrace heaped on both them and other Christians. They are to remove this offence altogether from their territories and take care that their subjects remove it, so that they may thereby attain the reward of eternal happiness. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet. They shall also forbid anyone in their dominions to attempt in future the said pilgrimage or in any way give countenance to it. Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness. [Council of Vienne 1311-1312 A.D.]
“Every man who does not hold the Catholic Christian Faith is damned like Mohammed, your false prophet.” — St. Peter Mavimenus martyr from Gaza. From the Martyriologum Romanum when he was asked to convert to Islam by a group of Muslims before being murdered by them.
101. “There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, was was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites. They are also called Saracens, which is derived from Ζάρρας κενοί, or destitute of Sara, because of what Agar said to the angel: ‘Sara hath sent me away destitute.’ These used to be idolaters and worshiped the morning star and Aphrodite, whom in their own language they called Khabár, which means great. And so down to the time of Heraclius were they very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having in- sinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration.” — Saint John of Damascus, Arab Catholic monk-priest of Syria. On Heresies under the section On the Heresy of the Ishmaelites (in The Fathers of the Church. Vol. 37. Translated by the Catholic University of America. CUA Press. 1958. Pages 153-160.)
“We profess Christ to be truly God and your prophet to be a precursor of the Antichrist and other profane doctrine.” — Ss. Habenitus, Jeremiah, Peter, Sabinian, Walabonsus, and Wistremundus, martyrs of Cordoba, Spain. Memoriale Sanctorum in response to Spanish Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd Ar-Rahman II’s ministers that they convert to Islam on pain of death.
“Any cult which denies the divinity of Christ, does not profess the existence of the Holy Trinity, refutes baptism, defames Christians, and derogates the priesthood, we consider to be damned.” — Ss. Aurelius, Felix, George, Liliosa, and Natalia, martyrs of Cordoba, Spain. Reported in the Memoriale Sanctorum in response to Spanish Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd Ar-Rahman II’s ministers that they convert to Islam on pain of death.
“On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, the point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.” — St. Thomas Aquinas, Theologian and Doctor of the Church. Quoted from his De Rationibus Fidei Contra Saracenos, Graecos, et Armenos and translated from Fr. Damian Fehlner’s Aquinas on Reasons for the Faith: Against the Muslims, Greeks, and Armenians (Franciscans of the Immaculate. 2002).
“As we have seen, Muhammed had neither supernatural miracles nor natural motives of reason to persuade those of his sect. As he lacked in everything, he took to bestial and barbaric means, which is the force of arms. Thus he introduced and promulgated his message with robberies, murders, and blood-shedding, destroying those who did not want to receive it, and with the same means his ministers conserve this today, until God placates his anger and destroys this pestilence from the earth.
(Muhammad) can also be figured for the dragon in the same Apocalypse which says that the dragon swept up a third of the stars and hurled down a third to earth. Although this line is more appropriately understood concerning the Antichrist, Mohammed was his precursor – the prophet of Satan, father of the sons of haughtiness.
“But enough is enough in concluding this article, which matters so much for your salvation; that is to say, for the destruction of this perverse sect of Muhammad. Because if we have proven that in the end she places all that is beastly, and unworthy of man’s authority; and if the author of it was an adulterer, a perjurer, a robber, a murderer, a blasphemer, and an ignorant man in human and divine letters; and if the things that this law contains are all philosophical fables, and errors in Theology, even for those who do not have more than a spark of reason; and in what it teaches of customs, is a school of bestial vices; and that his new sect was not procured by reason, nor supernatural miracles, nor natural reasons; but was only introduce by the force of arms, and violence, and fiction, and lies, and carnal license; what remains here, is but an unholy sect, blasphemous, vicious, invention of the devil, and a path leading directly to hell, and therefore does not merit in being called a religion.” — St. Juan de Ribera, Archbishop of Valencia, Catechismo para la Instruccion de los Nuevos Convertidos de los Moros — Catechismo fol. 157. [our translation. Ed.]
“The Mahometan paradise, however, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.” St. Alfonsus Liguori. The History of Heresies and their Refutation – or the Triumphs of the Church.
What is obvious from these statements is that represent a very different view of Islam than we’ve heard from the Vatican in recent years. The recent dormancy of Islam has led many in this generation to believe precisely as Pope Francis does: that it is only Muslim extremists who pose a threat, and that the religion itself is more or less praiseworthy. The experiences of most of the saints throughout Church history, however, taught them the opposite — namely, that Islam and its practices are antithetical to the Catholic faith and those who seek to live it.
Hilaire Belloc, the great 20th century Catholic historian and poet, warned in 1929 that Islam would make a return to the world stage in his book Survivals and New Arrivals; Survivals, Chap. III, p. 252:
“We no longer regarded Islam as a rival to our own culture. We thought of its religion as a sort of fossilised thing about which we need no trouble. That was almost certainly a mistake. We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps, if we lose our Faith, it will rise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by the nominally Christian had already been achieved, the political conquerors of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved immovable; the second that its area of occupation did not recede, but on the contrary slowly expanded.
In my own youth the decaying power of Islam (for it was still decaying) in the Near East was a strong menace to the peace of Europe. Those old people of whom I speak had grandparents in whose times Islam was still able to menace the West. The Turks besieged Vienna and nearly took it, less than a century before the American Declaration of Independence. Islam was then our superior, especially in military art. There is no reason why its recent inferiority in mechanical construction, whether military or civilian, should continue indefinitely. Even a slight accession of material power would make the further control of Islam by an alien culture difficult. A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know.
We are now living in the dawning of P. D. James’ Children of Men!