I’m not sure what world Pope Francis is living in, but he’s certainly not in touch with the current realities facing our planet today.
During a speech he delivered on Friday to a world meeting of populist movements, the Pope said that “Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist.”
The Pope then argued that terrorism is the result of income inequality more than religious fervor. Something that must surprise the uber-wealthy leaders of the Islamic terrorist movements.
“No people is criminal or drug-trafficking or violent. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence yet, without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and will eventually explode.”
Finally, the pope said that there is extremism in every religion and we shouldn’t blame Islam for Muslim terrorism (Sadly the pope forgets that while Islam and Christianity share a similar number of adherents, Islam contains millions of supporters of violent extremism, while in Christianity the numbers are negligible).
“There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia.”
Some have argued that the Pope was simply arguing that not all people who hold to these faiths, and Islam in particular, are terrorists. The problem with that train of thought is that NO ONE thinks that all adherents to any faith are terrorists. No, indeed what it sounds like the Pope was trying to express was that terrorists who claim to be Muslim are not actually practicing Islam. This is a favored refrain of liberals all over the world — that somehow the hundreds of thousands of Muslim terrorists are not actually practicing Islam properly.
Here’s the problem with this theory. While liberals (liberal Muslims included) may buy the hype that Islam is a “religion of peace,” that is simply not what the Koran itself teaches. Even more importantly, that is not what the life of Mohammed taught. This is vital because orthodox Islam teaches that Mohammed lived an ideal life from which Muslims today can build their lives off of. This is part of the reason that spousal abuse is allowed in Islam, child marriages are allowed, men are allowed to marry multiple wives, and violence against non-believers is also allowed.
Mohammed did all of these things, and because Islam teaches that he lived an “ideal” life, then his example is to be followed by all Muslims.
Which is why terrorism is endemic to those who follow the religion of Islam.
It is why Pope Francis is wrong and Muslim terrorism does most certainly exist.
During his lifetime, Mohammed built a kingdom that would become an empire and conquer half of the known world within just a few hundred years. He did this partially through proselytizing; he attempted to convert the surrounding tribes and nations to his religion. However, if they did not convert, he attacked them with his armies. Mohammed conquered and murdered thousands upon thousands of people simply because they would not convert to his religion.
Because Islam teaches that Mohammed lived the ideal life, all Muslims are cleared to follow his example. Hence, Islamic terrorism.
There is no similar theological correlation in Christianity or Judaism. Nowhere in either faith’s orthodoxy is it taught that the followers of those faiths can berate, rape, steal, or kill in the name of that faith. The tenet does not exist. In fact, Judaism doesn’t proselytize at all, and Christianity teaches that believers should be prepared for persecution and should always be ready to forgive. Neither faith ever gives permission for their adherents to use violence preemptively. Which is why acts of terrorism committed by Christians or Jews fall completely outside of thousands of years of orthodox teaching in both faiths.
The same cannot be said for Islam. Throughout the history of Islam, force and violence have always been acceptable tools to be used in the spread of the religion. ALWAYS.
Pope Francis is wrong. Again. Muslim terrorism most certainly exists, and it is an existential threat to Western civilization.
By the way, in the same speech Pope Francis later argued that global warming was a very real threat to our planet. He made sure to use the words “scientific consensus,” as he told his listeners that we should not “disregard the voice of Nature.” No wonder liberals love this pope, all he ever talks about is politics.
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