Should Catholics concern themselves with reforming Islam

Curious of people’s thoughts. Much Catholic media talks about how Catholics have a duty to help Islam reform themselves to lower fundamentalist tendencies amongst those who practice their religion, whereas other Catholics are scandalized by the notion. Vote and let me know your thoughts

I voted “other” because, although it is our human duty to help saner minds prevail in the struggle of life and death, I don’t believe it to be possible for outsiders to influence a religion directly.


I think I agree with GEddie. No one can interfere with the theology of a separate religion, but we can encourage and support Muslims who are not terrorists (or in agreement with terrorists). There is no possible way their religious leaders would accept help reformulating their position, though.

At the end of the day, I feel like the goal should be conversion.

Forgiveness, then love for those who subscribe to hateful and atrocious ideologies (as well love for all enemies and persecutes in general) then work towards conversion (e.g. prayer and fasting).

Yes, through developing a common diplomatic peaceful relationship(ecumenism?). Not through reforming theology.

Catholics have no duty to reform another religion. The fact that so many people are talking about Islam’s need to reform itself only speaks to the problems of Islam. Quite frankly, when another religion (which is false) has problems or is in a time of crisis, that’s a perfect time to take advantage of that. I think EWTN and Catholic media should be preaching about the problems in Islam, point to the crisis, and by contrast maybe Muslims will see the positives of at least looking into Christianity.

Other religions will have problems and will self-destruct. Many Protestant denominations are dying out and declining, some have already died out. We can’t worry about reforming them so that they’re stronger and better. We want them to be weaker and more in crisis. They don’t have the fullness of the truth, and that fact will lead them into problems. The fruits of lack of truth are division and crisis. This is natural.

The Catholic Church has the guarantee of the Holy Spirit that the gates of Hell will never overcome it. No one else has that guarantee. The gates of Hell can overcome any other religion.

If we see that process happening, we should look at it as an opportunity and a blessing that through this more souls will be saved and brought to the Catholic faith.

Reform must come from within Islam. It cannot be imposed by outsiders. We can express displeasure, even encourage change, but actual reform must be internal to Islam.

…Muslims will see the positives of at least looking into Christianity. Hopefully they read 1 Corinthians 13 and see what’s at the core of the teaching of Jesus. Would not hurt if all who call themselves Christians would read it too.

You talking about the CNA article?
If you are, it’s talking about MUSLIMS reforming Islam, not Catholics.
I haven’t seen any Catholic media making this claim. Do you have a source for this?

Should Saint Boniface have been concerned with the reform the religion of the Frisians or the Germanic tribes, instead of seeking their salvation?

I imagine that Boniface would be castigated for cutting down Donar’s Oak by today’s clerical
leadership. It’s not an ecumenical or tolerant gesture.

But, the Catholic Church and other Western Christian churches don’t seek the conversion of non-believers anymore, so this post is hypothetical.

The OP says:

Much Catholic media talks about how Catholics have a duty to help Islam reform…

How do you get hypothetical out of that? He’s stating it as A FACT. I’m asking simply where his is getting his information.

Yes, Catholics do need to speak up out of their conscience on behalf of those 270 million who died across the world in the name of Islam.

There are those who want to reform Islam from within. But many times these people’s lives are endangered.

The only good I can see of the present martyrdom of Christians and other humane people of good will is their sufferings and blood are overfilling the cup so to speak, and forcing Islam to look at itself.

I was inclined to say yes, but then I went with “Other” because I don’t know that it’s really a specifically Christian thing to do, or a specifically Catholic thing to do. I just think that it’s something that people outside of Islam, as a general rule, ought to have a serious interest in.

If you ask me, the main thing that Islam needs to reform about itself is separation of church and state, becoming a proponent of secular society albeit in a way that doesn’t imply irreligion, and in general just become better at having Muslims live in much better harmony with non-Muslims and different types of Muslims living more in harmony with each other. This directly affects anyone who’s not a Muslim, so of course those people should have a serious interest in that.

With that being said, Christianity in general is primarily responsible for ushering in the secular state, the separation of Church and state, we continue to live in what is basically an extension of the Westphalian age on a global scale. And Catholicism in particular is known for being vehemently opposed to all of this from the outset and reluctant to go along with any of it over the course of quite a few centuries. It did, after all, prevent good Catholic defenders of the faith from purifying their religion and silencing the heretics, as it had done so effectively up to a certain point in time.

As long as you’re not a Catholic who suffers from amnesia on all these relevant points, perhaps a Catholic is the best sort of person to explain exactly why this sort of arrangement might initially seem like it’s to the disadvantage of your religion and your particular tribe, but in the end it turns out to be best for everyone. It wasn’t so long ago that your ancestors were going through the very same thing.

Of course, there are arguments to be made for other types of people being “best-positioned” for the reform-talk, and I actually think at least a couple of them would be more convincing. It depends on what type of Catholic it is too, I doubt there’s very many Catholics who choose to interact with their own history in a way that portrays the Catholic Church as being resistant and reluctant to reform in key areas before finally giving in. But a certain kind of Catholic perspective could be very convincing in this type of situation, which is likely to lead to a point where Muslims are initially resistant to certain reforms before reluctantly giving in. And then, of course, later generations of Muslims will resent such a characterization of their religion’s progress over time. If it was a great idea, they’ll want to believe it was their idea all along, and that their specific religious group always fought for what was right. Just like Catholics mostly like to believe about their own past.

I just mentioned this on another thread…but the Catholic Church in Rome was set up to be purely for the ecclesia and not have imperialistic ties as we saw what happened to eastern Orthodoxy.

We have families from Yemen all over. They start quick stops and tobacco shops. I have befriended them at their stores. I know 6 phrases in Arabic and we joke about my using their language. When the owner became a citizen we bought him a present. I was fond of YAYA. He is 30ish with 2 wives. One is in her 20’s and one is 14yo. He left her behind in Yemen
Actually, everyone in the mideast does not speak Arabic. I think only Egypt does. The Koran is in Arabic that is why other countries can speak some Arabic better than I.
There is a book called, THE SON OF HAMASS,. My approach was I bought 2 books and gave them to them. On the front flap, I wrote a note. It said that I prayed Allah would open their hearts to the message in the book and as they grow in their personal journey of jihad through their 7 pillars of spiritual growth that they would find Jesus not as a prophet but as their brother, best friend and Son of God. I feel they found the trash can but that was my attempt. I gave them another book, I WAS DIVORCED AT TEN. In Iran their trying to stop these marriages of babies. I wonder how many 9 or 10 year Olds die on their wedding nights because of internal vaginal ruptures. The young author of the Book was granted her divorce.
These marriages are arranged in infancy. Their playing dolls one day, which they can take with them. They start their menarche (their first menses) and then, are sent to their husbands.
As upsetting as this is to our culture, God did remind me the Blessed Mother was 14yo.
In Europe, in the dark ages, they married young and royalty married early.
THE SON OF HAMAS converted to Christianity. His father, who started the movement, is in an Israeli prison. One doesn’t want to be in prison in a third world country. His father disowned him and their is a death notice out for him. Some Christian invited him to a Bible study while they were walking down a street. I’m not sure if it was in Gaza or Israel. He traveled both places. It gave away the location of the study which was dangerous.
What converted him was the scripture, “FORGIVE YOUR ENEMIES”. The Koran doesn’t say that.
So, that was my attempt at evangelization. I planted seeds. GOD had to guide the plants to grow. I have seen no effect.
I don’t feel any hate in my heart for Muslims. I confess having had some hate. On 9/11 for 5 hours and I prayed earnestly for God to deliver me from the hate. After Nick Burg was decapitated over 6 and 1/2 minutes with a serrated knife, I hated for three months with such intensity Jesus could not reside in my heart. If I had died then, I pray purgatory is true because I wasn’t heading up on the elavator. The only thing that melted the ice from my heart, was hearing a Christian from Rwanda forgive his neighbor who macheted to death 17 of his family members in their civil war. Thank you, Jesus.
Hate is a heavy burden to carry. Remember the shooter of the church in S. Ca., I think. Immediately, they forgave him. I would need a few days, I think.
in Christ’s love
Tweedlealice a work in progress :shrug:

I chose Other because we are part of the global community and we can at least have the discussion amongst ourselves and with other faith communities such as we do on here.

However, I do not think we need to be “reforming” their institutions, clerics, doctrines etc. The CC gets enough people trying to meddle/reform/modernise our doctrines, why would we do the same to another religion?

We have already had the Crusades, let’s not go there again.

Remember it’s not only Islam under attack, christianity is under attack too and as we have seen in some attacks, Judaism is also under attack.

The question “should we help reform Islam” makes the incorrect assumption that we can.

When I read the Koran and about Mohammad’s vision, I read about an angel of light leading Mohammad around. I read all the commandments ordering violence against certain peoples, at prescribed (or any) times, I read about Mohammad’s use of women and it trumps all the niceties that are in the beginning of the Koran. Read the Hadith, it is scary.

The angel of light reminds me of when Christ said that devil can appear as an angel of light, and I come to the conclusion that perhaps Mohammad really did have a vision, but it was from the devil (literally) so do you think you can reform a religion that at its foundations may have been influenced by Lucifer? I don’t think you can.

i thought the question was about reforming islam, not fighting islamic invaders of the holy land, or did i miss something?

nevertheless, here are some resources i believe could help you.

Well, a religion should be reformed by its own adherents, not outsiders. However, I didn’t immediately say No, because you said “help reform”, and I think there *could *be ways in which we could help.

But nevertheless, I think I ultimately have to say No, we should leave it to them.

“You wouldn’t last six months in Spain. You’d have been burned alive in Spain, during your heretic period.”

  • Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons


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