Translating Words, Interpreting Events

‘Either Europe Will Become Christian Again or It Will Become Muslim’

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By Enza Ferreri

Only a few days ago one of the best known figures of the Italian counter-jihad, Egyptian-born journalist Magdi Cristiano Allam, a former Muslim who converted to Catholicism, announced that, although he remains Christian, he has left the Catholic Church.

In his column in the daily paper Il Giornale he gave several reasons, prominent among which is “Because this Church is weak vis-à-vis Islam”:

What more than anything else drove me away from the Church is its religious relativism, in particular the legitimization of Islam as true religion, of Allah as true God, of Muhammad as true prophet, of the Koran as sacred text, of mosques as places of worship. It is genuine suicidal madness that John Paul II went so far as to kiss the Koran on May 14, 1999, Benedict XVI put his hand on the Koran praying toward Mecca in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul on November 30, 2006, while Francis I began by extolling the Muslims “who worship one, living and merciful God.” On the contrary I am convinced that, while respecting Muslims who, like all people, possess the inalienable rights to life, dignity and freedom, Islam is an inherently violent ideology, as it has historically been conflictual inside and belligerent outside. Even more I am increasingly convinced that Europe will eventually be submitted to Islam, as has already happened from the seventh century to the other two sides of the Mediterranean, if it does not have the vision and the courage to denounce the incompatibility of  Islam with our civilization and the fundamental rights of the person, if it does not ban the Koran for apology of hatred, violence and death against non-Muslims, if it does not condemn Sharia law as a crime against humanity in that it preaches and practices the violation of the sanctity of everyone’s life, the equal dignity of men and women, and religious freedom, and finally if it does not block the spread of mosques.

This news has attracted national and worldwide media attention, just as the announcement of his conversion from Islam to Catholicism on 22 March, Easter Eve night, 2008 did, when he “received Baptism, Confirmation and Communion in St Peter’s Basilica from Pope Benedict XVI”.

Allam’s position has several Italian (and international) counter-jihad blogs sympathetic to it, carrying articles with titles like Islamic Fundamentalism and the Impossible Dialogue.

But his new decision to leave the Church has also attracted many criticisms in Italy. Journalist Filippo Savarese: “I do not know what could be worse than repudiating one’s conversion for (alleged) issues which are in fact mostly ‘political’.” Politician Maurizio Lupi who was Allam’s godfather: “I am sorry, but Christianity taught me to love the freedom of every man and to respect it even when I do not agree with his choices. In this case not even with the reasons (we are Christian for love of truth not for aversion to Islam), but I notice that, unfortunately, this is the attitude of many who say they accept Christ but not the Church.”

Gabriele Satolli, candidate to the 2013 Italian general election for the party founded by Allam, Io Amo l’Italia, left the party, called Magdi’s motivations “raving, and therefore impossible to agree with.”

Still, although we may dispute whether they are a good enough reason to leave the Catholic Church, Allam’s arguments are grounded in reality.

“Having a dialogue” is by definition a reciprocal verb, as “being a sibling.” They mean something only if what is true of the subject of the verb is also true of the object, be it a quality, relationship or activity. When a call for dialogue is not met with a response, it is a monologue.

As Raymond Ibrahim points out, the Muslim countries with some of the worst records on their treatment of Christians are also the most interested in interfaith initiatives in the West:

Few things offer surreal experiences as when Islam and the West interact—when 7th century primordialism encounters 21st century relativism.  Consider the issue of “interfaith dialogue.”  In principle, it is a decent thing: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others trying to reach a common ground and professing mutual respect.  But what does one make of the gross contradictions that emerge when a human-rights violating nation calls for “dialogue,” even as it enforces religious intolerance on its own turf?

Enter Saudi Arabia.  Birthplace of Islam, the Arabian kingdom is also the one Muslim nation that regularly sponsors interfaith initiatives in the West—even as its official policy back home is to demonize and persecute the very faiths it claims to want to have an interfaith dialogue with.

There are different positions within the Catholic Church with regard to Islam, with a minority of voices, some of which are powerful, dissenting from the official stance.

The two positions at the extreme opposites are exemplified by the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who was Archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, Archbishop of Bologna.

The former is credited with having anticipated many bishops of Italy and Europe in stretching out an acquiescent hand towards Islam. As early as 1990 he dedicated his Saint Ambrose homely to “We and Islam.” In 2001, after 9/11, his Saint Ambrose homely had a title that substituted a clear stance with a list of concepts: “Terrorism, retaliation, self-defence, war and peace.”

On Islam, the most difficult issue of the decade, as well as on many other questions, Martini’s position has always been the search for a grey area, a balancing act: “We have to prevent the dramatic scenario of a clash of civilizations,” qualified by “We must not delegitimize the right to self-defence from terrorism and the need to extinguish its hotbeds.”

It is interesting how, replicating the ideological and political alliance between Islam and the Left in the Western lay world, Cardinal Martini, considered a progressive and constantly praised by the mainstream liberal media, was after his death eulogized by the leftist newspaper La Repubblica for having approved of policies ranging “from dialogue with Islam to yes to condoms” and because “he had never condemned euthanasia.”

Writer and blogger Antonio Socci thus sums him up rather unfavourably: “Everything imposed by ideological fashions found Martini open to dialogue and to all possibilities: ‘there is nothing wrong in two people, even homosexuals, having a stable relationship and in the State favouring them,’ he had said.”

At the other end of the spectrum is Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. As early as 30 September 2000, before 9/11, when not many people in the West worried about Islam at all, he delivered a speech at the Fondazione Migrantes seminar, “On Immigration”. The following [translated from Italian by the author] is what he said on Muslim immigration to Italy and Islam:

The case of Muslims

If we do not want to evade or censor realistic attention, it is apparent that the case of Muslims should be treated separately. And it is hoped that political leaders will not be afraid to face it with open eyes and without illusions.

Muslims – in their vast majority and with few exceptions – come here determined to remain alien to our “humanity”, individual and social, in its most essential, valuable, “secularly” non-renounceable aspects: more or less openly, they come here determined to remain substantially “different”, waiting for us all to become substantially like them.

They have different eating habits (not in itself a big problem), a different holiday in the week, a family law incompatible with our own, a concept of women very far removed from ours (going as far as practicing polygamy). Above all, they have a strictly fundamentalist view of public life, so much so that the perfect identification between religion and politics is part of their unquestionable and inalienable faith, although they prudently wait to become predominant before imposing it. It is therefore not the Church, but modern Western states that must think carefully about this.

I shall say more than that: if our state seriously believes in the importance of civil liberties (including religious) and democratic principles, it should work to make them more widespread, accepted and practiced at all latitudes. A small tool to achieve this goal is the request of being given a not purely verbal “reciprocity” by the immigrants’ countries of origin.

In this respect the Italian Bishops Conference wrote in 1993: “In many Islamic countries it is almost impossible to adhere to and freely practice Christianity. There are no places of worship, non-Islamic religious events are not allowed, not even minimal ecclesiastical organizations exist. That raises the difficult problem of reciprocity. And this is a problem that affects not only the Church, but also civil society and politics, the world of culture and even international relations. For his part, the Pope is tireless in asking everyone to respect the fundamental right to religious freedom” (n. 34). But – we say – asking does not help very much, even if the pope cannot do any more.

Although it may seem alien to our mentality and even paradoxical, the only effective and not unrealistic way to promote the “principle of reciprocity” by a really “secular” state,  truly interested in propagating human freedoms, would be to allow for Muslims in Italy only the authorization of institutions which Muslim countries actually allow for others. [...]

Conclusion

In an interview ten years ago, I was asked with great candor and with enviable optimism: “Are You among those who believe that Europe will either be Christian or cease to exist?” I think my answer then may well serve to conclude my speech today.

I think – I said – that either Europe will become Christian again or it will become Muslim. What I see without future is the “culture of nothing”, of freedom without limits and without content, of skepticism boasted as intellectual achievement, which seems to be the attitude largely dominant among European peoples, all more or less rich of means and poor of truths. This “culture of nothingness” (sustained by hedonism and libertarian insatiability) will not be able to withstand the ideological onslaught of Islam, which will not be missing: only the rediscovery of the Christian event as the only salvation for man – and therefore only a strong resurrection of the ancient soul of Europe – will offer a different outcome to this inevitable confrontation.

Unfortunately, neither “secularists” nor “Catholics” seem to have so far realized the tragedy that is looming. “Secularists”, opposing the Church in every way, do not realize that they are fighting against the strongest inspiration and the most effective defence of Western civilization and its values of rationality and freedom: they might realize it too late. “Catholics”, letting the knowledge of the truth they possessed fade in themselves and replacing apostolic anxiety with pure and simple dialogue at all costs, unconsciously pave the way (humanly speaking) to their own extinction. The only hope is that the seriousness of the situation may at some point lead to an effective awakening both of reason and of the ancient faith.

It is our hope, our commitment, our prayer.

Written in 2000. All predictions confirmed. Truer, if possible, now than it was even then.

Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, La Repubblica.

 

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  • IftikharA

    If Islam is so bad, then why is it the WORLD’S FASTEST
    GROWING RELIGION! It is also one of the youngest religions. However no matter
    how hard everyone tries to give Islam a bad name, it will be twice as more
    populated. So let’s get straight to the point yeah?, Basically Islam is the most
    hated religion I don’t know why hmm maybe because it is also the most fastest
    growing religion and 2nd largest but no one will be able to stop this religion
    from growing.

    Islam is the fastest growing faith in Britain. Hundreds and thousands of
    Brits are reverting to Islam. By the middle of this century, over half of Brits
    would be Muslims.

    “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of
    its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to
    possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which
    can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man
    and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the
    saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the
    dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems
    in a way that would bring it the much
    needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad
    that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to
    be acceptable to the Europe of today.” [G.B. Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM,
    Vol.

    No. 81936.]

    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    • Mo86

      Your first paragraph was all I read.

      “If Islam is so bad, then why is it the WORLD’S FASTEST
      GROWING RELIGION!”

      Being threatened with death if you don’t convert tends to produce more converts – at least in number, if not sincerity.

      Having a slew of wives tends to help increase the number of Muslims as well.

      “However no matter how hard everyone tries to give Islam a bad name…”

      What idiocy. Other people are giving Islam a bad name? It’s not Islam’s child rapist, warlord prophet Mohammad giving it a bad name? It’s not the Koran and hadith with their relentless passages of instructions for Muslims to oppress and MURDER unbelievers that is giving Islam a bad name? It’s not the example after example after EXAMPLE of riots/murders over cartoons, so-called honor killings, “marrying” of little girls to old men, entire countries where women can’t do so much as freakin’ DRIVE – all of this and more – it’s not THESE things giving Islam a bad name?

      Ridiculous.

      I WILL NOT SUBMIT.

      • 2gajemee2

        If you study Islam, you can only come to the conclusion that it’s beautiful.It’s very true that some muslims who are only muslims because they were born in a muslim country and hardly know anything about their own religion make Islam seem bad.The prophet said to ignore people who try to provoke you, don’t kill innocent people.Women have a lot of rights in Islam.If they don’t get them, they have a right to fight for them.And … there is no compulsion in Islam.

        • Mo86

          It’s remarkable how you can sit there and write such lies.
          I have studied your religion. It’s not beautiful.

          It teaches I, as an unbeliever, must submit, convert or die. It was started by a child rapist. It teaches women are less than men.

          It does nothing but oppress and bring misery EVERYWHERE it is practiced.

          Do not treat me like I’m stupid. I know your blood cult and I loathe it with all my heart and soul.

          I will NOT submit. Know that.

          • 2gajemee2

            If you want nothing to do with it, it’s your own choise, but if you really want to know about Islam, you should study the sources of Islam, instead of letting Islamofobic networks give you their twisted view about it.

          • Mo86

            I know all about your intolerant, hateful, violent, perverse “religion”.

            Notice how you don’t deny anything I’ve said.

            Quran (9:29)
            “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

            From the hadith of Bukhari, volume 5, #234

            “Narrated Aisha: The prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six. We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Harith Kharzraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house.

            I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw
            some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s blessing and a good luck.”

            Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s messenger came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at
            that time I was a girl of nine years of age.”

          • Guardian

            Lies, taqiya is what weak minds submit to. The fastest growing group of idiots on the planet. Islam is not a religion, it is a social control mechanism based of threats, terror, murder and ridiculous promises. The power elite use this “religion” to control the masses. False piety and feigned generosity are used by these elitists to convince their sheeple that they are good and just people. All the while they sodomize non-muslim women, and men; drink and eat gluttonously all manner of alcohol and PORK when they are out of the eyesight of their lemmings.
            I have lived among these vermin, in America, in Europe and in their homelands. They believe they are superior. I have proven on many occassions they are not…in any way superior.
            Mr. 2gajemee2, You are either a liar or a brainwashed fool.
            Your pathetic “prophet” was foretold of in the Christian Bible. We know of him and we know he is a FALSE PROPHET. We believers of the Book are not fearful of your kind. We know you are bound for Hell’s gate and shall remain there eternally.
            You can bring it all you want. We shall overcome and your fte will be eternal. Have a nice time in Hell.

          • linus

            Very TRUE Mo86

        • linus

          women got respect in islam ?
          check this

          Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain:
          The Prophet said, “I looked at Paradise and found poor people forming the majority of its inhabitants; and I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.” (Bukhari, emphasis added; see also these parallel traditions here and here)
          Mo said Don’t kill innocent people??
          check this
          Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.
          NO compulsion in Islam??
          Bukhari (84:57) – [In the words of] “Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’

          Now please clarify your position, thin head

      • linus

        People who are converting to islam are not knowing about it. they are the most STUPID people i can think of

        • tonny

          i convert to islam because i realise that christian hate GOD .

          i convert to islam because i realise that the funder of christianity is anti christ.

          i convert to islam because i realise that bible is fake book

          for more information check http://islamicsign.blogspot.com/

          you will realise that only you that are ignorant of islam are animal

    • aussiewoman

      fastest growing cos muslim men have 3 wives or more all pumping out little jihadis,.fastest growing cos they are killing , bombing, beheading any and all opposition in muslim countries, and cos they use TERROR to keep muslims from leaving the death cult they were born into.. and lastly cos they breed in the millions brainwashed morons like you with the intelligence of a gnat and the open mindedness of a brick…And calling ur kiddy fiddling, prophet a wonderful man, when he was a slaver,rapist, murderer, and terrorist exactly proves every word I just said.

      • tonny

        why you dont say the truth .
        christianity is a fake religion

        • aussiewoman

          I will pray for you, you are lost

    • Mo86

      You don’t know why Islam is hated? Gee, maybe it’s because it teaches unbelievers like me must submit, convert and die? Maybe because its founder “married” a 6-yr-old child and had sex with her when she was 9?

      Here it is from the Islamic texts themselves. Deny it. I dare you:

      Bukhari vol. 7, #65:

      “Narrated Aisha that the prophet wrote the marriage contract with her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: “I have been informed that Aisha remained with the prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).”"

      Maybe because those who follow its teachings oppress, rape and murder anyone who disagrees with them? Maybe because under sharia women are treated like property or like slaves? Maybe because people can’t even print a stupid cartoon that Muslims don’t like without there being murderous riots?

      Maybe because Muslims STILL haven’t apologized for 9/11? Maybe because all over the world the followers of this cult are slaughtering Christians and others?

      Gee, maybe those are some reasons.

    • Ricardo Davalos

      Islam is only growing because muslims wont stop fucking. When it come to actual realization of what is right and wrong Atheism is the fastest growing. Ive seen and read articles of muslims having 12 children when they cant even raise 1 child in a proper fashion. Too asume that islam is growing because they procreate more than they should is a bald face lie. Islam is the worst thing to happen to the word since the advent of god and its sickening.

      • NothingButTheTruth

        Agree with you brother….I have come across many muslims …no decency whatsoever..so immature and they burst out if said anything against them or their prophet…One muslim friend of mine said he killed someone and i was shocked and I dont know far its true but i didnt see any kind of regret in him….So i would rather live as a non believer and opt humanity than being a muslim who outwardly says peace but only has given birth to nothing but wickedness…May their allah bless them n show them way….I really feel like laughing at people who say islam is beautiful…when they are filled with so much of bitterness and wickedness…..

      • linus

        how true

      • Johanes Christmanto

        I Live in Indonesia when the most population is moslem (and the biggest on earth), but I am a Catholic..I think europe should rise again and fight islamization, how? not to kill them but start practicing christian faith, go back to church, and let the Christ in your soul. you know europe it’s been sleeping..and it is time to wake up. I thanks God when you guys realize the danger of islam and it make you read your bible. here it is almost every Christmas and Easter every church must protect by police..because it is time potential for bombing the church and christian..we gave them a job and a living but they burn our church and put so many regulation because we are christian..I am very sad when seeing England, France, US are converting to moslem..how do we become in major Islamic country? ..US and France, And England is Christian hope..I warn you IT IS DANGER TO LET ISLAM TO YOUR COUNTRY…because they are legitimated to KILL CHRISTIAN..they are protecting by your Democracy and they are sheltered by their syariah…remember you can not practice your faith in islamic country..but they push you to accept the syariah in your country (Christian land). Please send this post to your friends..and warn them. Hope your president read this. God Bless you All.

    • linus

      Muhammad savior of humanity??
      please……….. have some sense

  • DilloTank

    Islam gives itself a bad name. Like it did on 911, for example.

  • raju

    The world is over populated, straining our resources, etc.etc. suppose there were five people in the world, the world needs to get rid of one to survive in peace, without starvation and chaos, what better reason could there be then to get rid of this one, ISLAM. It destruction is coming and they are asking for it. Period

  • fredlb

    Secularists and moderate Christians can not (will not) fight Islam. They will just set around twiddling their thumbs, refusing to see the danger, until they are given the two choices: Convert or die. The only hope for Europe’s not becoming Muslim is the rise of Christian fundamentalism — fight fire with fire.

  • tonny