Archbp. of Kirkuk, Iraq: Let’s Talk to Benedict XVI Frankly, Openly


Iraq Prelate: Let’s Talk to Benedict XVI Frankly, Openly

Kirkuk Archbishop Hoping Church Leaders Will Tell Pope in Lebanon of Grave Situation for Christians

ROME, SEPT. 7, 2012 ( The archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, is hoping Benedict XVI’s trip to Lebanon next week will motivate bishops of the Middle East to speak openly with the Pontiff about the danger of Christianity fading away from the region. Archbishop Louis Sako told the charity Aid to the Church in Need Christian leaders should “go beyond the formalities” to spell out their concerns for the survival of the faith when they see the Pope during his Sept. 14-16 trip.

Archbishop Sako underlined the extent of the Christian exodus from the Middle East, saying that it showed no sign of stopping and indeed had spread from Iraq to other countries, notably Syria.He also said that, despite considerable political discussion, extremism and sectarianism are growing and that in response Christians are leaving the region that had been home to their families for thousands of years.

The rise of political Islam is a matter of worry,” the archbishop said. “We Christians are a minority and there is no prospect of us gaining equal citizenship in the concrete reality of day-to-day life and there is no vision of a better future.

“Everyone is speaking of democracy and freedom but the reality on the ground is different.”The sectarianism is gaining ground and the majority are not taking care of minority groups. I think there are real fears of more Christians leaving.”He described the difficulty of encouraging faithful in his Diocese of Kirkuk to stay, saying many if not most have left.”From my diocese there are few families left. I cannot stop them [leaving] and speaking truthfully I have no magic solutions.

I am doing my best to keep them, defend them and encourage them. That has limited the problem but it is sad to see them leaving for good. As a pastor, I feel bad.”Archbishop Sako reiterated that Christians feel like second-class citizens in a state based on Islam. He also acknowledged that some Christians get discouraged by a lack of strong Church leadership.

“Our hierarchy has become tired and it is sad to say we are sometimes divided,” he admitted.”It is necessary today to develop a Christian Arab theology able to announce the word of God to Arab Christians – and those who are not Christians – and help them to discover God’s love and paternal presence, enhancing dialogue and strengthening co-existence,” he reflected. “This theology does not mean isolation from the theology of the Universal Church but rather one which interacts with events and hence assists the Eastern Church with its mission.”


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  1. Supertradmum says:

    This exodus of Christians, including Catholics, is tragic and the West, including America and Europe have willingly ignore the persecutions. As to speaking to Arabs about Christ, one of my friend’s families is from Arab background and they can trace their Catholicism back to the year 200. That was before Islam.

    There are great stumbling blocks for evangelization. To blame the Church is not a solution. The problem is the stubborn refusal of so many in admitting that the religion of the majority is one of violent coercion and violence against those who convert to Christianity.

    Strong Church leadership means standing up against vicious laws and regimes which hate Christians. The Church needs the protection and strength of nations. But, which nations now, in 2012 really want to protect and defend the Church?

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    The persecution of Christians, Catholics in particular, is ramping up all over the world as the apostasy deepens. Yet we were born for a time such as this.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Joseph-Mary, I have known since the early 1970s, when I came back to the Church, that we were going to see the age of martyrs. I only pray that I shall be ready. As Hamlet says, “The readiness is all”. Even if one knows it is coming, one must pray for graces of joy and perseverance. I think that facing death before death comes helps. Dying to self. I shall pray for you and you, please pray for me. And we can all pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. War is inevitable. This good bishop needs our prayers and Masses.

  4. muckemdanno says:

    It’s kind of ironic, that George W Bush and the Republican Party, supported so strongly by so many Christians in America, is responsible for the overthrow of the Saddam regime, which actually protected the Christian population of Iraq, and the installation of the current “democratic” government of Iraq, which is run by fundamentalist Muslims who persecute them.

  5. AvantiBev says:

    Thank you Supertradmum! I remember the day after the attacks shouting at the TV when former President Bush said but “islam” means “peace”…shouting with all my might: “No, it means submission.” Then I started reading everything I could get my hands on about Mo and his minioms. Unlike secularists and unlike kristian syncretists, I DO believe there was an angel in that cave with Mo in 610 AD. Problem is it was lying about being named “Gabriel”.

    When I talk to those whom the East Coast elites sniff at as “common men”, I find Common Sense about Islam even if they have not read as extensively as I drove myself to read. They feel it in their guts that there is something dark and demonic in the soil from which sprang this socio-political ideology masquerading as a religion of peace.

    Our brothers and sisters are dying they are not “fading” as the above article says. They are being blown to bits, kidnapped and beheaded and burned to death. The usual suspects in our lame stream media ignore this but what really angers me are the kumbaya crowd in our own Church. Just last week I was speaking with an Iranian Assyrian Christian immigrant who has given talks all over the USA about the plight of Iraqi and Iranian Christians. She told me that she has been turned down point blank by Catholic priests here in the USA who have said she’d ruin the warm fuzzies their parishes had gotten from recent “interfaith” (read propaganda) services. This is a woman who prays the Our Father in the original Aramaic. Many will be told on the last day, “Come up a little higher” while some priests and ministers are sent down mouths agape.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Avanti Bev, I have taught Islam and the more I studied, the more I realized the earlier, Medieval Church got it right. There are reasons why we have a holy day this week, September 12th, which is September 11th in some calendars-the Holy Name of Mary, who defeated the enemy at the gates of Vienna. We celebrate this victory, the victory of Sobieskl over the Muslims, on 12 September, 1683 after which the feast was extended to the universal Church by Innocent XI in honour of her victory.

    I have to skip Mass tomorrow, as I do not want to hear a liberation theologian dissing real freedom-and see my comment on the other thread on the Pope.

  7. Captain Peabody says:

    I do not envy him his position. The Church in the Middle East needs strong and faithful shepherds now more than ever. We all know the verse: “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” I pray that God will protect and strengthen all his shepherds throughout the world in this difficult and dark hour.

    Mary, mother of Christians, pray for us.

  8. Matt R says:

    I agree Islam is wrong, and essentially a Jude0-Christian heresy. But let’s place the etymology of Islam in the proper context. Islam is derived from the s-l-m root group in Arabic (that group shows up in all Afro-Asiatic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic). That root means ‘whole, safe, intact’ and translates a few different ways when used in derivative words. In the case of ‘Islam’ it means ‘voluntary submission to God,’ or ‘entrusting one’s wholeness to another’ (in the religious context that would be God). ‘Muslim’ is the participle (in Arabic) which means ‘one who submits.’ Other words using this root would be ‘salaam,’ which is part of the greeting ‘al-salaam-alaykum’ (Peace be upon you, a not-altogether unfamiliar greeting, and a cognate to ‘Shalom aleichem’). Also, Islam is like Christianity in that religious leaders can’t force conversion, so that rules out submission as being forced (hence, Islam is not a violent religion per se)…that being said, the decentralized nature of Islam allows this to happen, particularly when politicians get involved. My hypothesis is that Islam’s rejection of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection-which are a part of Islam because it’s not supernatural-are why Muslims are so extreme when it comes time for violence…The requirements of Islam (The Shahadah, prayer, tithing, Ramadan, and the hajj) are quite good even in their incorrect assertions of the nature of God, and Muhammad clearly took them from Christians and Jews. But, Islam can get quite hypocritical and that’s because of its non-supernatural orgins; Ramadan is either Pharisee-like, not complied with at all, or completely observed, often to the detriment of one’s health. The ones who do observe it are quite pious, and if one actually cares to learn about Islam and not caricatures of it, Muslims are quite engaging and friendly. Sure, anti-Christian violence is nothing new. But, when it was closer removed from the life of Muhammad, it was more frowned upon religiously, and it occurs today because Saudi Arabia-again, historically hated by most outside of it- has tried to overthrow secular regimes in other Arab countries like Egypt and Syria, and the Christian minorities were protected by these governments, often made up of minority Muslim sects (Alawites in Syria, Iraqi Sunnis, etc).
    Also, I don’t think being so hostile to Muslims is ever going to win them over; in fact it further encourages those who lead the violence. The peacefulness of St Francis in imitation of Christ is why the Franciscans are the guardians of the shrines in the Holy Land, and Des Diex et Des Hommes provides another example of how we can interact with our Muslim brothers and sisters.
    Now, I know things are awful for Christians. But I’m not sure what to do. The Wahabbis controlled by the Saudis religiously(whatever’s left of al-Qaeda) the extreme Shias (Hezbollah) influenced by Iran, and the Salafists-kind of on their own but Saudi-allied- aren’t looked upon favorably by the rest of the Muslim community, who are more moderate or highly secularized, and historically in the majority when one has the time to care about religion rather than getting bread on the table. But, it’s time to put bread on the table, and have basic human rights. Out of ignorance people do things they shouldn’t do, or they think they can work out a compromise with the Islamists. Also, it’s the fault of the Bush administration that Iraqi Christians have been slaughtered; extremism wasn’t tolerated under Saddam Hussein, particularly of the 12-Imam Shia variety, because it’s Iranian.
    Also, another problem is in our own Church. Most Catholics only know about the Roman Church, and not the sui iuris Churches in communion with Rome (or that there are Latin Catholics in the Middle East).
    Sobieski didn’t defeat just ‘Muslims,’ he defeated the Ottoman Turks, who were much more motivated by controlling southeastern Europe politically than religious warfare…

  9. AvantiBev says:

    Matt R wrote: “But, Islam can get quite hypocritical and that’s because of its non-supernatural orgins; ”
    I TOTALLY disagree. It was indeed founded supernaturally by an angel who called itself “Gabriel” but was LYING. He/she/it was very good at lying, in fact is the Prince of Liars. It was in the cave with Mo in 610 a.d. and in fact, Mo’s first words to Kadijah, his older, wiser, wealthy businesswoman wife were: “Hide me for I fear I have been visited by demons.” Out of the mouths of babes and camel drivers comes the truth.

  10. AvantiBev says:

    Matt R: “Also, Islam is like Christianity in that religious leaders can’t force conversion, so that rules out submission as being forced ”
    Thanks, I needed a laugh. Well, I would laugh but then I remember the girls being kidnapped and forcibly converted and the pastors and lay people in prison awaiting their execution.
    God save my republic from Krispy Kreme Kristians crying “peace, peace”. Jeremiah would feel right at home in the American Catholic Church.

  11. Maria says:

    Dear Matt R,

    What you wrote is correct. Just like Christians, there are bad and good Christians. After I graduated, I volunteered in one of the missionary schools of the Christians Brothers. I had Muslim students in a catholic school.

    I grew up in Mindanao, Philippines. At that time, it was 20% Muslims & 80% Christians. There was always fighting between the government & MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). Now, it is 32%/68%. We left Mindanao for safety and better opportunity. I was very happy with what Reagan did to Libya. Mindanao was quiet for awhile. I said to myself that at least somebody stood up to them. I went back to Mindanao in 2008 after more 25 yrs and the still the same. I heard that a priest was dismembered. He went missing after he celebrated the mass. One priest was shot in the middle of the school grounds. The priest who was driving me around, his church was just burnt down. I asked him Father, it is time for an eye for an eye. His response was “that is not Jesus way”. I felt ashamed that as a Catholic, I let emotion reign instead of asking God how to solve this problem but how I wish I would see/hear peace where I was born. I know a lot of religious are/were persecuted there. For this reason alone, I thank God for our priests.

    My question is where are the educated and pious Muslims who know their real faith? Why are they not standing up for the truth of their faith … peace?

    God’s peace & joy!


  12. Matt R says:

    By non-supernatural, I meant this: “Preternatural: is the action which goes beyond the structure of the nature of the material universe. The fruit of the action of an angelical or demoniacal nature is said to be preternatural. The word comes from “praeter naturam”, beyond nature.” So we’re on the same page regarding its origins. Individuals can do what they want. I know that Islamic leaders force conversion and execute Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Bahais, and those of other religions. It doesn’t make it a correct interpretation of Islam, or Islamic at all for that matter. This is their way of seeking power, and committing evil. (Also, Catholic political leaders in history have gone overboard too; Charlemagne comes to mind against the pagan barbarians.)
    Maria, they have been oppressed by secular governments of all sorts, across the globe. Now, with the Arab Spring, might be a time to listen, to prevent what happened in the recent past from happening in the future
    Part of the problem is that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, which are majority Salafist/Wahabbi in composition, are highly organized (because they were oppressed! Imagine, suppression led to what these dictators feared would happen with free speech). But moderates tend to shy away from organization.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    It is in both the Koran and the hadith that forced conversion is not only permitted, but part of the way to convert. There are a series of passages on this point. Violence is not only in the texts, but in the life of Mohammed himself from the first writings about him. All this is online. If you do not want to read the Koran or hadith, I highly suggest reading these books: The Complete Indifel’s Guide to the Koran, the Politcally Incorrect to Islam, Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics,which has an introduction by the excellent Father Mitch Pacwa, and more books found here.

    The very foundations of Islam include warfare and hatred of Jews and Christians. The religion is, of course, man-made and not one of the two revealed religions, as taught by the Catholic Church, Judaism and Catholicism. All the hatred and rulings by “Allah” to persecute and to kill Jews and Christians are part of the inconsistencies of the original text of the Koran. Moderates are not true believers in their own religion.

    And, there is no Arab spring and was not from the beginning. When I watched the downfall of the tyrants of Egypt, Lybia and other places, it was clear that there were no groups of democratic leaders ready and strong enough to take over. The Muslim Brotherhood is real Islam and was behind all the revolts of 2011. One can trace all this on line. Sharia law is horribly violent and against women, and it the goal of the new governments. We cannot kid ourselves about this.

    By the way, even some of Mohammed’s friends thought he was listening to Satan. This is documented in the earliest writings about him. The religion is a mix of the Bible, the Torah, and Arab culture, plus Mohammed’s own ideas.

  14. Indulgentiam says:

    Matt R: ” It doesn’t make it a correct interpretation of Islam, or Islamic at all for that matter.”

    yes it does, it is exactly islam. if you have read the quran then you know that islam is seditious against every nation and every government on earth. islam demands that all muslims overthrow all nations, governments and non-sharia law. Saria law is sedition against the Constitution of the United States. lets take surah 9;123 from the quran—9:123 “O you who believe, fight those of the unbelievers near you and let them see how harsh you can be. Know that Allah is with the righteous.” (Fakhry’s translation)
    The historical context of this verse takes place after a military expedition in early 630, so it is late in Muhammad’s life (he dies of a fever in AD 632). Some scholars regard Sura 9 as the last sura (chapter) to be revealed from on high. Therefore, it sets many policies for Muslims today, and is often interpreted as abrogating or canceling previous verses, even peaceful ones. During the military expedition, Muhammad led a large army of 30,000 soldiers to the northern city of Tabuk in order to confront the Byzantine Christians. This is clearly a Muslim Crusade, centuries before the European Crusades. The Byzantines failed to show up, so Muhammad’s Crusade was fruitless, except he managed to extort a tax from northern tribes for the “privilege” of living under Islam, that is, for not being attacked again. After the Muslims returned, Muhammad scolded the “hypocrites” who had stayed behind and failed to support him. Then he turns to those people who stirred up strife in the community by expressing doubt in Muhammad’s revelations; they needed to be silenced. This latter groups is whom he attacks in 9:123—the “unbelievers.” He may wage war on them, without flinching.

    Another aspect of the historical context should be considered. Muhammad urges his fighters forward in order to kill the unbelievers, even if the latter belong to the fighters’ own family, as seen in the words “near you” in v. 123, which may imply a relational nearness as well as a geographical one. Be that as it may, the Muslim commentator S. Abdul A’la Maududi informs us:

    The Command [to fight] has been repeated at [the] end [of Sura 9] in order to impress on the Muslims the importance of the matter and to urge them to do Jihad and crush these internal enemies, without paying the least regard to the racial, family, and social relations that had been proving a binding force with them.

    It is clear, then, that Muslims should not pay even “the least regard to the … family … relations,” a “binding force” that had encumbered the expansion of Islam. Muslims have been ordered, therefore, to fight their family members in a physical way, in other words, to hit them with sharp swords. Why does Muhammad order this? According to Maududi, it is to “crush these internal enemies.”

    The literary context of 9:123 shows strife with those refusing to support or even opposing Muhammad. For example, in verse 121 Muhammad complains that the hypocrites do not spend any money in Allah’s cause (code for fighting), so Allah will recompense them accordingly. Next, Muhammad instructs his troops in verse 122 that not all Muslims should go out on a campaign of jihad, but some should stay behind to teach Islam, so they may warn people to beware of evil. Finally, in the verses after 9:123 Muhammad condemns the unbelievers for mocking his revelations. Thus, the literary context does not consist of peace and friendship with Muhammad’s opponents, and that is why he goes on the warpath and to deal with them harshly in 9:123.

    The elements within 9:123, the third step in our exegetical method, yield two hard truths. First, Muhammad uses the Arabic word qital (three-consonant root is q-t-l), which always means physically fighting and killing and warring—no other meaning is available. This word is usually stronger than jihad (three consonant root is j-h-d), which Muhammad uses in 9:73, a companion verse to 9:123:

    9:73 “O Prophet, fight [j-h-d] the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be stern with them. Their abode is Hell, and what a terrible fate!” (Fakhry)

    Thus, jihad and qital can barely be distinguished, since the means (swords) and the goal (submission or death) of fighting are the same in both verses. These two verses alone should lay to rest forever the frequent claim that jihad means only a spiritual struggle against sin in the soul. Second, not only does Muhammad say that his jihadists should fight the unbelievers (and hypocrites in verse 73), but the Muslim warriors should do so harshly or sternly. This lends a severity to the verse which is difficult to take in—along with the eternal fate of the unbelievers, which is very, very often stated in the Quran in exactly the same way as verse 73 states it—short and quick and severe.— James Arlandson, Ph.D. “answering islam”

    there is more and worse in the quran which was of course written by a mad man but i figured this would suffice to rebut your statement.

  15. Matt R says:

    @Supertradmum, what the heck are you talking about? There is an Arab Spring; my cousins are involved, as the children of a Tunisian expatriate. My friends are involved in Alexandria. I just had a group of a dozen North African students visit my class. They all participated in the initial revolutions and continue to fight for human rights. If hatred of Jews and Christians is part of Islam from the Quran, then why are there protections for them as People of the Book? Finally, who are you to say moderates aren’t believers in their own religion? They’re the ones who hate the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, calling them out as not being Muslims!
    @Indulgentiam, Islam is not monolithic like Catholicism in the structure of the religious authorities, and individuals or groups of Muslims take the Quran, sunnah, and hadith differently. There are Muslims who disagree with this exegesis of the Quran in its entirety.
    Jihad does have two meanings, struggle against sin and struggle against non-Muslims, but the first is emphasized over the second…also, two verses cannot entirely cancel out what the rest of the Quran has to say on the matter. If qital and jihad are exactly the same thing, why didn’t Muhammad just use qital? Clearly, there’s a distinction to be made for there are no true synonyms.
    Plus, I consider Islam to be the unifying religion for the the Arabs. I see the attempted war in AD 630 (can’t be a crusade, for that is a war of the cross…) as a way for Muhammad to assert himself in Arabia. Islam is a religion with very rational political explanations, both then and today, and it makes a good tool for various political agendas, which are not entirely-or at all-religious in motivation. (Sure, a demon very well may have appeared to Muhammad. That would explain why it’s turned out as it has, all inconsistent, contradictory, and at times violent.)

  16. wmeyer says:

    iBy the way, even some of Mohammed’s friends thought he was listening to Satan. This is documented in the earliest writings about him. The religion is a mix of the Bible, the Torah, and Arab culture, plus Mohammed’s own ideas.”

    And Belloc made an excellent case for Islam as a Christian heresy.

  17. wmeyer says:

    Forgive the typo above, I was quoting from Supertradmum. Not sure how I messed it up.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    MattR, just one long comment and then I must go. When America entered into conflict with the British in the American Revolution, we had trained, educated men ready to take over the reigns of federal government. We already had men in the colonies working and educated as governmental leaders. This is not the case in the countries we have been discussing. In Egypt, the one young leader who started the uprising had not one ounce of preparation for taking over a country, as brave as he was. He was literally thrown off the stage by the Muslim Brotherhood. He had no group such as Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Carroll, etc. Most of them were lawyers, businessmen and merchants with tons of experience in leadership and classical education to boot. They knew Greek and Roman history, law, politics and government. They knew the Scriptures and the long centuries of writings on rights and duties of men. They could write some of the most beautiful documents the world has ever seen.

    Not so in Libyan, Egypt or Tunisia.

    There are no charters of freedom and rules of order. There is no Roman Law, a gift to civilizations, only sharia law, which is suppression under a different name. There are no orderly, totally legal, organized parliaments which are not under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. A spring needs a source besides discontent. It needs order and genius.

    If there were men and women of genius, they would be shining lights in the growing darkness of sharia law. They are absent, because they were never there. Most left or were killed under the previous tyrants. But to run a country takes more than energy and fight. Genius is missing and leadership is missing.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    Oh , I forgot to add that any government not founded on the one true religion of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Faith, through the Catholic Church’s influence, will fail, as it will be flawed from the beginning from false ideas of humans, God, rights, full of heresy and just plain bad ideas. It is too bad our founding fathers were not all Catholic. What a country we would have.

  20. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, I have many typos today as I am very tired. I have zero people to talk to about all of this as the English are in la-la land about all of the ramifications. Anyway, bless you. I am out for the night.

  21. Matt R says:

    @Supertradmum, their lack of organization doesn’t make them any less committed to democracy.
    Your comparison to the American Revolution doesn’t work, because we were simply shifting the aristocratic control from England to the now-former colonies. We were not overthrowing a tyrant. Americans did not live in the squalor that is Egypt. George III never took away entire livelihoods in one stroke, as Mubarak did in 2009 by killing the pigs in Cairo ostensibly to eradicate H1N1, but also to get rid of all of Cairo’s street-cleaners who use pigs in their work. Evidently, you haven’t met young Arabs who want to be educated, or who already are.
    As I stated before, the Brotherhood, which was already organized, transformed from a charity into a group dominated by radicals because it was suppressed…also, the Parliament of Egypt is certainly led by the Brotherhood, but it is under the thumb completely of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
    I do agree on what the foundations of govt should be, however.

  22. Matt R says:

    Also, Mohammad ElBaradei didn’t want to rule a country under the military’s thumb (meaning nothing changed). He was the most prominent Arab in the diplomatic world. Of course the US govt doesn’t like him because we can’t control him entirely. Remember he was IAEA head for a number of years.

  23. Sissy says:

    Democracy isn’t a magic bullet, as more than one US administration has learned. “Democracy” in many former dictatorships amounts to nothing more than having an opportunity to vote for new scoundrels who will just exploit the population in more inventive ways. Haiti is a good example.

  24. Indulgentiam says:

    Matt R: “individuals or groups of Muslims take the Quran, sunnah, and hadith differently.”

    you can not have it both ways. you can not claim that people misinterpret, Matt R: “It doesn’t make it a correct interpretation of Islam, or Islamic at all for that matter.” and then when it is clearly proven that it is a correct interpretation say, Matt R: “individuals or groups of Muslims take the Quran, sunnah, and hadith differently”
    you need to either argue the text within the historical context of the crazy who authored it OR argue the interpretation of the people reading it. pick a side and stick to it. swinging back and forth between, well its just a misunderstood religion and even if it does say that the people don’t really believe that, is just plain silly and lacks reason.

    and finally, Matt R: “Jihad does have two meanings, struggle against sin and struggle against non-Muslims, but the first is emphasized over the second…”
    do you have anything besides personal opinion to back this up?

  25. Matt R says:

    @Sissy, Well, yes. But that raises the question: was it right morally/ethically, and good policy, for the US govt to support dictators who opposed Communism, and/or terrorism at various points, which used the same authoritarian methods we were condemning in the USSR and the PRC? I don’t think so, and it has led to this vicious cycle of hatred and bloodshed on both sides.
    If the US had not supported Sadat and Mubarak, much of the Islamist fire would have smoldered in Egypt, which has historically been hostile to it. But many saw it as an escape hatch, even if they didn’t believe in their interpretation of Islam.

  26. Matt R says:

    On your rebuttal towards interpretation of the Quran, sunnah, and hadith, : I made a valid point, considering Sunnis and Shiites use different collections of hadith, and there are at least 4 schools of Sunni law which emphasize different interpretations.
    An understanding of Islam and the Arabic language is what I have to back it up. I’m sorry if this doesn’t satisfy you.
    By the way, who is Dr James Arlandson? Where did he receive his PhD? I cannot find his CV online, which causes me to be much more critical of your source than if I knew his background.
    Also, I get that my view of Islam swings back and forth between historical examination of the texts, and criticizing the interpretations of said texts. But let’s say we’re discussing Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution. You have to take both sides into account, and I’m trying to do that in regards to Islam and the Quran.

  27. Sissy says:

    Matt R, the Muslim Brotherhood was active in Egypt before the US had any policy supporting dictators…of course, they were active allies of the Nazis, so there is that. It’s quite natural we still find ourselves on different sides of a particular ideological divide. I can see you are a well-intentioned, earnest young man, and it’s admirable that you want to defend the motives and beliefs of your cousins. But there just isn’t anything to this idea that the US caused Islamists to hate us, and that we deserve what we get. Islam has always been at war, and it always will be. It’s the nature of the beast. Qudb hated us because we like square dancing, among other silly reasons. Let us agree to disagree.

  28. Matt R says:

    @Sissy, you’re right, but we gave them good cover for their evil without taking the high ground everywhere and always.

  29. Indulgentiam says:

    @Matt R: “towards interpretation of the Quran, sunnah, and hadith, : I made a valid point, considering Sunnis and Shiites use different collections of hadith, and there are at least 4 schools of Sunni law which emphasize different interpretations.”
    ok, your going with the, “how different people interpret the writings of the possessed, mad man” argument. It is all fruit from the same poison tree, specifically; no matter which way you interpret a demonic lie it is still going to lead you away from TRUTH.
    Matt R: “An understanding of Islam and the Arabic language is what I have to back it up.I’m sorry if this doesn’t satisfy you.”
    That satisfies me fine :) your as entitled to your opinion as anyone else. but YOUR “understanding of Islam and the Arabic language” only makes your statements opinions and not facts.
    Matt R: “who is Dr James Arlandson? Where did he receive his PhD? ”
    here is his website–
    The quaran is nothing more than the collective rantings of a self professed murdering, pedophile, rapist. that you find anything redeeming in his writing makes me want to pray for you, and i will.

    The Lord bless you and keep you,..
    Our Lady guard you and guide you.

  30. Matt R says:

    Indulgentiam, I found that page earlier. It discredits everything he has to say, because I have no idea who he is.
    Also, YOUR understanding of Arabic is still an opinion. We’re just going to have to disagree on this.
    Evidently, there is something in the Islamic framework that brought on the appreciation of beauty and goodness, which led them to truth-part of it anyways, through natural law and reason. The Islamic philosophers revived Aristotle, and laid part of the foundations for science, which led to some pretty fantastic inventions to help us understand and see the world around us (and see more of it).

  31. Sissy says:

    “Evidently, there is something in the Islamic framework that brought on the appreciation of beauty and goodness, which led them to truth-part of it anyways, through natural law and reason. ”

    Well, evidently, our Holy Father disagrees with that theory, because he made the exact opposite point in his Regensburg speech. He explicitly stated that the problem with Islam is that is is NOT founded in reason, and he invited Muslims to come over to the light where they could learn to use reason. And, as I recall, the reaction to his truth-telling was sort of similar to what’s going on right now.

  32. Matt R says:

    I know the Holy Father has a much greater understanding of this, more than I will ever know. I’d like to know what his answer would be if I asked if the religion is unreasonable, could Islam still have just a teensy spark, and recognition of righteousness, that brings at least some Muslims to Truth?

  33. Sissy says:

    How can Islam lead anyone to Truth when the god they worship is not The One True God? They aren’t even monotheistic, as I’m sure you know, since Islam is clearly dear to your heart.

  34. Indulgentiam says:

    Matt R: “Evidently, there is something in the Islamic framework that brought on the appreciation of beauty and goodness,”

    well, if you are saying that there is something in the framework of everyone of your fellow countrymen that inspires them to appreciate beauty and goodness , then i wholeheartedly almost agree. I would change just one word in your sentence. It is not a “something” it is a “Someone”. For you see we are all created in Gods image and He most certainly loves beauty, just look around you. And He is goodness itself. Just witness his patience with us regardless of the havoc and destruction we have wrought. What inspires your fellow countrymen to love beauty and goodness is Our Father Who art in Heaven, the God of the Bible NOT the insane rantings, in the quran, penned by a demonically possessed despot.

  35. Matt R says:

    Of course Indulgentiam, I agree.

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