TIRANA, Albania (AP) – Pope Francis called Sunday for Muslims and all religious leaders to condemn Islamic extremists who “pervert” religion to justify violence, as he visited Albania and held up the Balkan nation as a model for interfaith harmony for the rest of the world.
“To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman,” Francis told representatives of Albania’s Muslim, Orthodox and Catholic communities during a half-day visit to Tirana in which he recalled the brutal persecution people of all faiths suffered under communism. >
Muslims and Christians throng Albania streets to greet Pope
This, and many other articles, emphasise the Pope’s call to Muslims to condemn terrorism, yet it seems that his main purpose in visiting Albania was to highlight it as a place where Muslims and Christians live together peacefully.
Muslims are a 56% majority in Albania yet all religions have equal rights there. This contrasts with the allegation which is currently being promoted that our Muslim minorities intend to take over, and then persecute us.
I posted this in facebook:
“The pontiff traveled to Albania on September 21 for a packed one-day visit that will spotlight the country as a model of inter-religious harmony, amid turmoil in the Middle East and rising intolerance in Europe.” All religions were banned and persecuted under communism. After 1992 they cooperated in the rebuilding of mosques and churches. Muslims are a 56% majority.
Still, radical Islam is a grave danger, even in our own countries… Just last week our Australian police swooped to break up a plot which intended to behead an innocent Australian at random, and some 60 or 70 Australian Moslems are in Iraq/Syria fighting as jihadis.
If you are talking about the IRA or KKK, the comparison is like an elephant to an ant. While the IRA and KKK committed acts of violence in the past, they were isolated to a small region and were never a threat to the entire world. Islamic terrorism is a threat to the entire world. When we take off our shoes at the airport it’s because of the threat of Islamic terrorists. Even the KKK at their worst wasn’t as extreme as the Islamic terrorists are. For example, the KKK didn’t slaughter entire towns of innocent civilians and bury them in mass graves. And they didn’t behead children.
I love my Muslim brothers and sisters out there. They worship the one true God, they believe Jesus is a prophet and the messiah, they believe in the Old Testament prophets, as well as believing Christianity is a religion created by God. ISIS and the other extremist groups are not Muslims. They totally take the verses in the Qur’an, which according to anti-Islamic propaganda are “violent”, out of context. You need to figure out the historical context of these verses in order to realize what Muhammad was really trying to say. Also some of the “violent” verses were not translated well into English and could actually be translated as something different and not violent at all (I took a year of Arabic and also had people study the Qur’an explain them to me).
I love Muslims and Muslims love us Christians. It’s in their scriptures! "Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." - Qur’an 2:62
As you can see Islam does teach peace and Islam shows great respect for us Christians, the followers of Jesus.
It would be very difficult for me to pattern my life on the life of Christ, and become a member of the KKK, or the IRA. If it would be an easy thing to do, then I would seriously have to consider Christianity to be a vile evil to be fought and rejected, much like the late Christopher Hitchens considered it to be.
Many modern atheists reject the Bible based on their rejection of the violence of the Old Testament, but few, if any, of the Christians or Jews that I have ever met, or read, accept the holy wars of the Old Testament as fitting of emulation either.
On the other hand, to pattern one’s life on the life of Mohammed, as presented in the Hadith, it is an authentic enough interpretation to choose violence as a modus operandi.
That is not to say that all Muslims will go that way, but that the House of Islam of Mohammed, and the Kingdom of God advocated by Jesus, are totally different places. Methods may differ between the extreme and the moderate of Islam, but the House they want to set up is the same one.
Muslim belief about the Old Testament is fundamentally different than our belief about it. For example, we believe, as it says in the Old Testament, that Abraham was the father of the Jews. We believe that Abraham gave his blessing to Isaac and that Isaac passed it on to Jacob. And we believe that these were the Jewish patriarchs. But the Muslims deny this and instead insist that the blessing was given to Ismael instead of to Isaac. And Muslims deny that the Jewish prophets were even Jewish. Instead, they believe that they were all secretly Muslim (secretly because of the fact that the religion of Islam didn’t exist until 7 AD). Belief in a hidden knowledge is similar to the heresy of Gnosticism.
It’s too bad that verse isn’t the only one in the Qur’an about the Jews and us Christians. The later chapters contradict this verse.
Actually, many view Christ as a heretic, as often preached in their mosques… and the Koran/Quran/Qur’an/Whateva is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. Sorry, but I feel very little love from these “brothers” of yours.
As for the Pope… my feelings about him are still mixed. I just don’t get this guy.
On one end, he has humanized the Church and the papacy, retaining and regaining many Catholics. He personifies many of Christ’s teachings.
…on the other end, he assigns liberal bishops (Chicago), preaches about social justice (a very slippery slope, given his S.American roots), and in Europe he preaches about tolerance and welcoming immigrants.
Europe is inundated by illegals, most of them non-Christian, and violent crimes are rising, not to mention the economic and sociocultural burden they bring too. So while the Vatican enjoys its clean streets and relatively violent-free lifestyle, Rome and other major EU cities are crime-ridden, dirty, overpopulated, and in desperate need of overhaul.
Like I said, great guy, brave too… but a big mouth.
I was not talking about the IRA or KKK, the IRA has never been a specifically Catholic or even Christian group and has included Jewish, Protestant and atheist members. Indeed as a group it has a an ambiguous and paradoxical relationship with Catholicism in many respect historically. My grandfathers both served in the IRA and one grandmother served in the women’s auxillary movement which aided them during the War of Independence. Although I am course here talking of the IRA of the 1920’s and not it’s iteration after 1969. The KKK might more fit the mould I suppose, although you are right of course it’s activities were limited to a small area relatively speaking, detestable as their outlook was. Of course Islamic terrorism is indeed a serious global threat but sadly we have also had similar problems and issues in our own history and still currently, although thankfully to a lesser degree than in many majority Muslim nations.
I was talking more of groups such as the Lord’s Reistance Army, Ustase, Iron Guard etc.
Yes but they do not find Christ himself blasphemous - it is important when discussing other people’s faith not to try and load our paradigms onto their understanding. Indeed Muslims do view the Trinity and the role of Christ as the literal son of God as shirt but then again Jews also find our concept of the Trinity strange. Ultimately all three of these faiths are worshipping God but of course we Catholics would argue the revealed truth we have access to is more accurate than the other two faiths.
It does seem to me that more and more moderate Muslims are speaking against ISIS. I hope that trend continues; we do need more of it. I am glad the Pope is pushing for this. Moderates need to take their religion back - they should defend and protect it, not just stay silent while Muslim extremists engage in terrorism. (Turkey needs to step up in this regard as well.) I am also glad we’re talking more about this.