The church and islam

When I read the works of Henri Lammens , and his articles about the history of islam and how the religion was born , I felt I was reading a very high Scholarship from Catholics on islam , that even muslims themselves fear from dealing with , yet the church now days don’t want to speak the truth loudly about islam , they don’t want scholarship on islam but they want muslim scholarship !,that is repeating what muslims say about their religion rather then investigating it’s origins . they even stop Lammens Biography about Muhammad from being released , because it would be very embracing to the muslims, that islam was not ‘’ born in the full light of history ‘’ , but stands on a very shaky foundation .

Another Catholic Scholar is the famous alphonse mingana , who was the first to recognize the Syriac words influence on the quran , and his theory was picked up later by the famous Christoph Luxenberg ( who wrote a book by the name of The Syro-aramic reading of the koran ) . and professor Gabriel Sawma who wrote ( The Quran Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread) . where they show that the old quranic manuscripts can be read in Syriac . some of their work was so great , that it can turn islam doctrines up-side down . and this help us to see how islam came into existence. rather then reading pseudo-history written 100s of years later by muslims

on the other hand , there are Catholics who bow down to the Saudi money ,and defend islam like John Esposito , who blamed america for 9/11 ! and who wrote later ‘’ contrary to what some object to implementation of islam law or involvement of islamic activists in government’’ !!

I even , talked to a Catholic who left his religion for islam , and who was quoting this man to show me that islam is good and nice !

There are no signs that the church leaders are going to support more islamic studies , like they did before . rather , it’s possible we will see more john Esposito types in Europe and America. a type that will not encourge me as a muslim to embrace Catholicism but to stay in my religion!

my question is , when will the church go back on the right track and stop sacrificing reason and studies on islam ,and abandon multiculturalism and false ecumenism ! how is it that Catholic Scholars used to give us a strong studies on islam , and now strongest that we got are people like Esposito !

the quotation from Esposito is ‘’ Contarary to what some have advised , The United State Should not in principle object to implementation of Islamic Law or involvement of Islamic Activists in government’’

I didn’t type it in full


Oh, my gosh. Sharia law is completely contradictory with our Constitution! We CANNOT implement Sharia or we are finished as a nation founded on the Constitution. He should have to go live in Saudi Arabia under Sharia!

well , when you know he is close friend with prince al waleed , then everything else makes sense .

It’s best to stick with listening to the Pope. Every speech he has reiterated Christ’s love and importance. Don’t worry about others who may have something to gain. God will deal with them in His own way.

Even Faith and Reason should be able to tell every Catholic, the fullness of Truth.

Perhaps one can read this:

Pope Benedict says, “In fact, the man Jesus of Nazareth is God made visible; in Him, God dwells fully. And while we too always seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that the He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.”

Be at Peace for the love of God.


Arabic Catholic

You might be interested in this link to the Quadrant magazine who report on the investigation into the beginning of Islam and of the person of Muhammad.

I think you and others misunderstand what this means.

The question is whether Muslims should be allowed to follow Shari’a law among themselves, voluntarily, not of course whether they should be allowed to impose it on non-Muslims.

Rowan Williams’ 2008 lecture “Civil and Religious law in England” was misrepresented and caricatured at the time, but Catholics ought to have known better, and certainly ought to give it a second look now, given the conflict over the “contraception mandate” in the U.S.

Note that Williams explicitly mentions Catholic hospitals as one example of a religious community whose rights ought to be respected.

The big issue in both Europe and the U.S. is whether religious liberty applies only to individuals or to communities.

Your bishops are rightly arguing that it applies to the latter.
They have Rowan Williams on their side.

But this doesn’t just apply to one religious community–it applies to all.

“Implementing Shari’a law” in the sense defended by Esposito and Williams simply means respecting the communal norms of Islamic communities in the same way that Catholics expect the government to respect their communal norms.


We certainly need revisionist scholarship of the kind you’re describing in the second paragraph (I’m less sure that scholarship of Lammens’ sort, characterized by a “holy contempt,” has any value at all).

But by the principles of the Golden Rule we must recognize that this kind of revisionist scholarship is roughly equivalent to the work of the “Jesus Seminar.”

When people do this kind of scholarship on Christian origins, treating the Gospels (which are our only real sources for the life of Jesus) with radical suspicion, Christians tend to get annoyed and to dismiss the value of such scholarship.

We therefore also need scholarship like that of Esposito, which treats Islamic sources with more respect.

Most people do not get the impression that the Vatican is overly soft on Islam. The only folks who think this are people with huge polemical axes to grind–such as ex-Muslims (just as ex-Catholics are typically very anti-Catholic). Pope Benedict and his advisors clearly take the dark side of Islam very seriously. I don’t think you’re looking at the picture fairly.


The pope has not shied away from confronting the problems endemic to Islamic culture. He tried to put velvet over the steel in his message some years back at Regensburg, but it was pretty clear that he wanted Islamic leaders to do more to sever the historic link between Islam and violence. He’d never be as blunt as I just was, but the ‘Arab Street’ rioted against him anyways.

you tell it like it is, thanks Arabic Catholic! and yes I have downloaded the book you recommended and will read it.

It doesn’t matter, either Muslims in America follow OUR law, or there is no law. They can’t have a separate system of law within the United States. There can be no compromise on this matter.

This is very true. Islam exists in such a way that if it is the major religion of a country it is very dificult to seperate the government from religion. that is why the US has had so much trouble setting up secular governments in Ira and Afghanistan, and why Islamic partys are having so much succes in the wake of the arab spring.

That said, I would like to point out that several traditions asociate with Islam are not actualy Islamic persay but are simply Saudi culture. for instance women covering themselves is found nowhere in the Koran, only that women should dress modestly.

that said, any time religion enters government its a bad day. Someone will alwase disagree and feal their religiouse liberty is being vioated.

I disagree; Christians seem to take that sort of scholarship very seriously to me. They just don’t agree with it. William Lane Craig has done some excellent work regarding the historicity of the Gospels, off of the top of my head. I have another book by an author bookmarked right now that’s solely about looking at various historical claims about the Resurrection (I’m too lazy to look it up right now :stuck_out_tongue: ). Lee Strobel wrote a book called “The Case for Christ” on the historicity of the New Testament.

Christian scholars give serious thought to “Jesus Seminar” scholarship. They just don’t agree with the conclusions.


it looks like i didn’t posts the link.

Who are “we”?

The United States Constitution very explicitly forbids the establishment of religion.

So whatever you say about Muslims applies to any other religious group–say Catholics. (And if you want to argue that the Bill of Rights presupposes a certain broad religious consensus, it’s pretty clear historically that this consensus was Protestant.)

How do you like this same logic when President Obama applies it to Catholic hospitals?

Your bishops don’t like it at all. And they are quite right not to like it. It’s pernicious logic, and so it should be opposed consistently.


You’re right that Christians take revisionist scholarship much more seriously than Muslims do. We could discuss whether that’s because of intrinsic Christian-Muslim differences or just because Western Christians are more accustomed to living in a pluralistic, partly secularized society and have made their peace with this. But the fact is clear.

However, I was thinking less of Christian scholars than of the typical Christian response on this forum. Mention someone like Pagels or Ehrman or Crossan and the typical response will be dismissal.

Also, Strobel is hardly an example of someone who takes revisionist scholarship seriously. N. T. Wright would be a much better example even than Craig. (Or, among Catholics, perhaps Fr. Robert Barron.)


Edwin is right about how free societies must allow muslims to freely submit to private Sharia court arrangements on a voluntary basis. We can’t oppose this without, for example, opening up things like our marriage tribunals to government meddling. Goose, gander, etc…

But Sharia doesn’t easily lend itself to private, voluntary submission. It is a system designed to dominate a society and demand submission (the definition of Islam). Traditionally, if I (christian) share the gospel with a muslim teenager, Sharia permits (perhaps encourages) the father of that teen to use violence against me to ‘protect’ his child. This clearly cannot be tolerated in an open society. So RealJulianne is correct to be alarmed that ‘Sharia’ is unlikely to ‘submit’ to modifications necessary to keep it a voluntary and private order that rules the conduct of muslims alone. Historically, that’s just not what Sharia IS.

Edwin and I have been round this course once before and he may have a point that Sharia, to the extent that its entirety is NOT a divinely revealed system is subject to changes and reform. But history to date suggests that’s a pretty steep uphill climb. So I don’t think concern is entirely without merit or to be condemned as bigotry.

Edwin, that may have been true 500 years ago when Christians were quite busy mingling religion with state - but no Christian denomination that I know of thinks this is a proper idea anymore. Historically, even then, it usually was the state interfering with Christians.

Islam, as it is practiced by the vast majority of it’s adherents, rejects the separation of chruch and state with only one nation that I know of who has a majority Islamic population and a marginally secular government.

I would submit , that it’s not illogical to keep on your guard against Islamic encroachment into government if you value a secular government.

I think you misunderstood my point.

I’m alluding to the present conflict between the Catholic bishops and the Obama administration. My point is that the administration questions the Catholic Church’s right to claim exemption from government policy under the guise of religious freedom. The question both here and with regard to Shari’a is whether the right to religious freedom applies to communities as well as individuals, and whether granting communities such rights may in fact interfere with the rights of individuals. So, for instance, some would say that granting an exemption to Catholic hospitals based on Catholic teaching ignores the many Catholics who disagree with this teaching as well as the rights of non-Catholics employed by Catholic institutions, essentially giving government endorsement to Catholic dogma over against the choices of individuals. I think this is very similar to the more reasonable concerns that folks have about Shari’a in Western countries (for instance, one of the more controversial issues is whether we should respect Islamic norms regarding female dress and behavior, and whether such respect actually interferes with the rights of Muslim women who may wish to disobey or change such norms).


The fault it mine. Ideally, I would like to see free people be able to bind themselves contractually to more strict religious law - Catholics for example should be able to give up the secular “no-fault” divorce provisions of marriage law if they voluntarily choose to do so.

That said, I really don’t think Sharia law would be quite the same - not only does it bind the adherent, it also attempts to bind others who are not necessarily Islamic in a much more pernicious manor than any other religious law that I’m aware of.

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