What consequences should the Kenya terror attack bring about?

By now you all know about the horrific attacks in Kenya by Islamic terrorists against non-Muslims.

It saddens me, and alarms me, that several of the terrorists had US passports and that they were living in my native place.

Let us include the victims and their families in our prayers.

That said, I saw a piece on Politico that caught my eye:

Fox’s Beckel: No more mosques in America until Muslims ‘denounce’ Kenya attacks

Fox News co-host Bob Beckel went off on American Muslims on Monday, demanding that no more mosques be built until moderate Muslims “denounce” the recent mall attack in Kenya.

Islam is “not the religion of peace,” Beckel, the show’s relatively progressive co-host said. “They are the religion of Islamic [fundamentalism].”

“I will repeat what I said before: No Muslim students coming here with visas. No more mosques being built here until you stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet,” Beckel continued. “It is not what your prophet meant as soon as I know. I don’t know his mother’s name and I don’t care. The point is, that the time has come for Muslims in this country and other people in the world to stand up and be counted, and if you can’t, you’re cowards.”

The right approach?

Sts. Nunio and Alodia, pray for us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mamajen says:

    I think it’s un-American, and not a precedent we want to set. We need to figure out something that works, though.

  2. robtbrown says:

    What’s un American?

  3. mamajen says:


    Discriminating based on religion, limiting expression of religion, limiting immigration based on religion, etc.

    There are already people who consider Catholics and other Christians to be “terrorists”. If we head down this path, who’s to say it won’t be us someday (soon)?

  4. fatherpalka says:

    We will never know if any “moderate” Muslims denounce such acts, for our national media will never report such things.

  5. Priam1184 says:

    The problem with Beckel’s idea is this: who is going to denounce the attacks? There is no ‘moderate’ Muslim pope, or any figure even approaching that level of respect, to speak for the entire religion. Will one guy on a street corner or at a press conference suffice? Because I’m sure that al-Qaeda would not mind sending a whole troop of these guys to engage in taqiyah (lying to our face) to ensure the continued construction of mosques and the continued flow of visas for potential terrorists. Alas the downside of that grand Masonic idea of freedom of religion.

  6. Traductora says:

    I don’t think this plan is un-American at all. Islam is not a religion; Islam is the only theocratic system in the world. It’s a political code as well as a warped religious creed, and one that directly conflicts with our system and in fact, one whose sworn duty it is to oppose our system.

    If Muslims are willing to live quietly without trying to realize that part of their religion, they can certainly be tolerated. And only a few decades ago, Islam was beginning to turn into nothing but a sort of cultural artifact among Westernized people from Islamic countries and was just something they observed for family celebrations. But the underlying nature of it is exactly what Al Qaeda says it is, and this inevitably comes to the fore unless it is opposed and crushed every time it rears its head.

    The “moderate” Muslim silence on this latest atrocity has been truly stunning. I realize some of them may be scared of the more radical Muslims and hence remain silent. But maybe they need a little negative impact on their own lives to give them the impetus and courage to speak out. Instead, every time there is one of these attacks in the name of Islam, all the non-Muslims here rush forward to assure Muslims that it really has nothing to do with them, which, alas is not the truth. They have to confront the fact that their “religion” is essentially as politically opposed to our system as Communism or Nazism was decades ago and they have to deal with this and reject it if they wish to remain among us. Unfortunately, our very government is so full of Islamists, starting at the top, that they are probably quite secure in the fact that there is absolutely no chance of any this ever happening.

  7. James Joseph says:

    If you think Beckel went off you should read what St. John Damascus has to say about it. Ha.

  8. robtbrown says:


    I agree about religion, but immigration can simply be closed to those from certain areas of the world. How can Catholics be said to be terrorists? Where are the Catholic acts of terrorism?

    Any mosque in America would have been smart to denounce immediately the events of 9-11.

  9. HeatherPA says:

    I do find it interesting a few days after the Pakistan church killings, there is a huge earthquake there.

  10. mamajen says:


    Believe it or not I’ve seen leftists call pro-lifers terrorists simply for protesting outside abortion clinics, because they make mothers scared. But they don’t even have to go that far these days–just label us a “hate group” and it doesn’t get much worse than that as far as liberals are concerned.

    I can get behind banning immigrants (and temporary visas) from certain parts of the world. It’s not fool-proof, but it’s a good start.

  11. samgr says:

    The U.S.A. believed after World War I that the nation was becoming too unProtestant and not English speaking enough. Congress in 1924 passed a law basing immigration on the nationalities of those admitted in 1890. This severely limited — banned for all practical purposes — immigration from southern and eastern Europe, the homelands of most of Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish immigrants and explicitly banned all Asians. We were all taught this in 11th grade American history, but in mealy-mouthed words that made religious and ethnic discrimination sound like a wonderful red-white-and-blue thing.

  12. PA mom says:

    I think he is very brave to have spoken in such a way.

    It is telling that the remedy he is proposing is at a local level. Obviously, since the Federal govt is currently funding movies on the wonderful contributions of Islam, pressing for more Muslim hires and trying to increase money and weapons to the Muslim armies in the Middle East, they are not going to change tact anytime soon, including immigration policies.
    Practically speaking, would the Federal govt allow local authorities to disallow permits? I think not. I think there is no chance of inflicting penalties until they are back here in the States causing harm.

    The job to be done here is to draw people back to Christianity. As many as possible, as quickly as is feasible.

  13. Shane says:

    Ah yes, let’s curtail the religious freedom of Muslims. I’m sure such a precedent will have absolutely no ramifications for faithful Catholics in America, especially in light of this cultures closeness to our beliefs.

    If nothing else, I would oppose Beckel’s proposal simply for it’s logical incoherence. Muslims were killed in the attacks on the mall. Furthermore, this attack was in Kenya, and American Muslims should not have to bear punitive measures for that. And such an idea would have negative second and third order effects for any religious group that the government would then want to pick on (*cough*Catholics*cough*)

    Robtbrown: The IRA and its offshoots spring to mind.

  14. cajuncath says:

    Certainly we need to crackdown on the immigration or travel entry of Muslims who may pose a proximate threat. I think there are real issues with the mosque proposal.

    Shane: Well put, I don’t think it can be put it any better.

    Traductora: Your comments don’t seem fully informed by way of singling Islam out as having a theocratic, political dimension embedded in it. You seem to have drunk heavily from American waters. Catholic magisterial doctrinal truth has proclaimed the rights of Christ over man in all forms, and that includes His rightful claims for the public allegiance of governments and rulers. Our true faith, rightly understood, condemns the separation of church and the reigning government and is just as opposed to Lockean American liberalism. Not to mention our teachings on abortion and artificial contraception directly clashing with American constitutional jurisprudence.

  15. Cantor says:

    The right approach?

    Sure. Let’s just repeal the First Amendment. The government, after all, should have the right to demand what the churches say and do, right?

  16. jamie r says:

    What a profoundly idiotic idea.

    1. Al-Shabab committed the attacks. Somali Muslim extremist rebels committed the attacks. You know who didn’t commit the attacks? American Muslims. Islam is considerably less centralized than the Catholic Church. An American Muslim is no more part of Al-Shabbab than an American Baptist is part of the IRA. If we’re going to hold American Muslims accountable for acts that they had nothing to do with, are we going to start holding American Catholics (or even Baptists) responsible for the IRA? Are we going to allow lawsuits against the Holy See based on sex abuse in a parish? This sort of inability to comprehend how institutions are organized reflects poorly on Bob Beckel – surely Beckel wouldn’t expect to be held accountable for Family Guy, which is broadcast by the Fox network and routinely includes incredibly vile blasphemous and scatalogical humor.

    2. What part of “shall make no law” does Beckel not understand?

    3. You know what’s not going to help with anti-American sentiment in the Near East? Closing America to Muslims. Who would you rather Muslims learn about America from – Somali Imams, or by visiting on student visas? Sending Muslims the message that we don’t want them here isn’t going to help lead to peace. It works out for people like Beckel and his employers, since terrorism is good for news ratings, but it doesn’t do the American people any good.

  17. Bob B. says:

    How about this…
    Islamic fury as Russian court bans ‘extremist’ Qu’ran
    UCANews, September 25, 2013

    Russia’s top Islamic cleric has protested a provincial court order to declare a translation of the Quran as extremist and to destroy it.

    Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, said in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin released Monday that the ruling was “illiterate” and “provocative.”

    The Quran is available in Russian translation, but the court last week ruled that the translation by Elmir Kuliyev published in Saudi Arabia in 2002 violated federal law banning extremist materials.

    Gainutdin said that the “Russian Muslims were appalled by the neglect of law shown by the court” in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk and demanded that the verdict be revoked. He said the court’s order to destroy the Muslim holy book was particularly outrageous.

  18. Lin says:

    Islam is not a religion of peace as they would like us to believe. If you practice Islam, you believe that muslims must kill the infidel, enslave him, or convert him. There is no alternative. AND it is acceptable to lie to further promote the faith. Moderate muslims do not exist. One either practices the faith or does not. Peace loving quotes from the Qu’ran are from the prophets earlier writings and are abrogated by later writings. Islam is MUCH, MUCH more than a religion. It is an IDEOLOGY that will not ever work in a capitalist society. If we do not reproduce faster than they do, they will take over the world without firing one shot. And the statistics are VERY bad on that issue. Much pray and fasting is needed.

  19. JKnott says:

    All very good points here.
    I would only add….”Remember Lepanto”


  20. av8er says:

    I agree with Lin. But how to control and/or prevent something similar from happening here? If a tiny minority of Muslims denounced the 9-11 attacks, what can we expect in the future? How can we trust Muslims if they are allowed to lie to us if it is in the name of Islam? Not only do we need to pray for them but for their conversion. We need more men laity in our dioceses and parish staff to make it more attractive for our own children but for the muslim men to convert to.
    Archbishop Fulton Sheen said of the commies but can be easily said of the muslims, “They have all of the zeal and none of truth and we have all of the truth and none of the zeal”.

  21. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Lin,

    all that is – forgive me to say so – about what you usually hear as a sort of anti-Islam collection (plus one other thing which I do not mention not to stir up thoughts). There are good and bad things in it.

    Islam is not a religion of peace as they would like us to believe. If you practice Islam, you believe that muslims must kill the infidel, enslave him, or convert him. There is no alternative.


    It is acceptable to lie to further promote the faith.

    Probably correct; I have not checked it up and hence do not positively know, but I have no reason to disbelieve so.

    Here you must be careful though. The Muslim cannot be trusted? Maybe. But in some cases to some extent there simply is no alternative to trusting the Muslim nonetheless. (As a thought-experiment you could say that because as Muslims they are eo ipso untrustworthy and hence must be converted. But then: can their conversion, itself, be trusted?) Also, I would count on it that the usual natural-law conscience and feeling of decency does prevent some lies even if allowed by Mohammedan law.

    Moderate muslims do not exist. One either practices the faith or does not.
    That is an inner-Islamic question of who is a believer and who is not. In a sense there are no moderate Catholics, either. But for practical matters there are a lot of moderate Muslims. They would not probably be brought to deny a line from the Koran (though I hear that they often enough have no knowledge that such and such teaching is part of it), and they would perhaps even to some degree even join their less moderate fellow-Muslims to some degree in their violence… but still: there were (nominal) Muslims in Egypt who threw ex-President Mursi out of office and banned his party. As realists we have to take these things into account, and not make enemies too much of enemies. We have enough anyway.

    Peace loving quotes from the Qu’ran are from the prophets earlier writings and are abrogated by later writings.


    Islam is much, much more than a religion. It is an ideology.

    I disagree. Islam is a religion, period. In addition, it is a false religion; a quite false religion and false to the point of being of public danger. But it is a religion. And any religion is by definition an ideology; an ideology which is not a religion is, in a sense, only what did not succeed enough to become one. “religion” means more than mere “ideology”.
    The problem with sentences such as this one is that their origin is feelably marked by some modern and perhaps quite American prejudices. 1. Religion per se is a good thing (in the sense of “denomination”; for the classical sense “virtue of worshipping God” it would not be a prejudice, but we would then classify Islam properly as an aberration of this virtue, i. e. a superstition). 2. Ideology is more than religion. 3. Ideology is a bad thing. 4. Religion (as opposed to ideology) must not directly and concretely influence civil society.
    All of the four are wrong, and especially no. 4 is in my view a time-bomb which works against Catholics quite well.
    Let’s leave it at that Islam is a religion; a false religion; and a dangerous religion. Catholicism is also a religion; the true religion; and a benefit to society.

    It is an ideology that will not ever work in a capitalist society.
    I said before that Islam is a false religion. If, however, there was not this notion of falsehood (and indeed there are many honorable voices that say that Catholicism just as well will not ever work in a capitalist society), the quite logical response would be “so much the worse for the capitalist society”.

    If we do not reproduce faster than they do, they will take over the world without firing one shot.
    In some senses this may be (as has often been said by Americans, and in my view with regrettable nonchalance) the case about my own country (Germany). As for countries which do not already have a Muslim population, it is only true if they are let in. No perhaps it would be unrealistic to assume they would not be; but there is certainly a different component coming into play besides the fertility rate.

    And the statistics are very bad on that issue.


    Much prayer and fasting is needed.

    Never wrong.

  22. Imrahil says:

    Dear @av8er,

    as an addition to what you wrote:

    A popular joke around here goes like this.

    A priest was known to always find some laudable in everything. One time they asked him: “what about the Devil?” He thought for a few seconds, and then said: “Well, say about the Devil what you will; but there’s no denying he has zeal.”

  23. “We need to figure out something that works, though.” such as? I agree with Beckel(and that’s rare).I also agree with Lin,

    ” Islam is not a religion of peace as they would like us to believe. If you practice Islam, you believe that muslims must kill the infidel, enslave him, or convert him. There is no alternative. AND it is acceptable to lie to further promote the faith. Moderate muslims do not exist. One either practices the faith or does not. Peace loving quotes from the Qu’ran are from the prophets earlier writings and are abrogated by later writings. Islam is MUCH, MUCH more than a religion. It is an IDEOLOGY that will not ever work in a capitalist society.”

    All you have to do is look at the history of Islam.It was NEVER spread peacefully.They called up the Crusades for a reason. We would like to think we can appease them,talk to them, work something out.Unfortunatel THEY do not see it that way. It’s time to wake up.Yes,Pray for them but we have the right to defend ourselves.

  24. Jim says:

    There is no such thing as a right to worship a false god or follow a false religion.


    18. Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: “His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.” Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.” He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. “For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?” If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ.

    And further

    19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

  25. MikeM says:

    “Islam is the only theocratic system in the world. It’s a political code as well as a warped religious creed, and one that directly conflicts with our system and in fact, one whose sworn duty it is to oppose our system. ”

    It’s worth remembering that for most of our country’s history, Americans said the same thing about us.

  26. Traductora says:


    A theocracy is a form of government where the authorities are the clergy and the state is governed by religious law (sharia). That is the whole thing Al Qaeda and similar groups are fighting for – they proclaim it themselves, and if you haven’t heard it,you haven’t been paying attention.

    Christianity is not and never has been theocratic. Having a society guided by religious principles is not the same as a theocracy. Christianity sees two spheres, that of Caesar and that of God, which are separate but essentially in tension. The State has often desired to use religion to enforce political compliance (the Inquisition) and sometimes the Church has tried to use the state (one could actually cite the Inquisition again). But these are errors and not part of Christianity and in fact never last because Christianity is not theocratic and always maintains the moral freedom of the individual in the face of the laws of the State.

    Islam is entirely different, and it is the failure if well-meaning people to understand this that has led to such confusion in our policies. And that’s without even going into the fact that it is a cruel, vicious, life-denying parody of a religion.

  27. Traductora says:

    MikeM, the only attempts to establish a Christian theocratic state were Calvin’s Geneva and its spiritual heir, the Pilgrim colony here. Both of them failed within short order because Christianity is not theocratic and cannot be forced into the theocratic mold.

    One of the problems is that people don’t understand what a theocracy is; it’s not just a state with an established religion, but a complete package where the religion is the state and vice versa. Only Islam does that, and because it is an aggressively proselytizing religion, it is attempting to impose this form of government on the entire world.

  28. cajuncath says:


    While Catholicism does not call for the clergy themselves to hold civil authority, it most certainly officially calls for Catholic confessional states with the governmental officials recognizing Catholicism as the one true faith, and, as possible and judicious, to limit public spreading of any teachings that conflict with Holy Catholicism. If you do not accept that, you are aligned against centuries of Catholic teaching and values.

    Spheres for God and Caesar is not to be misinterpreted. The fact that they have distinct competencies and roles does not mean that are not to be tightly interwoven in a common exercise of principles and values, working in tandem for the natural and supernatural ends of their country’s populace.

    There is no question that the American system stands in pronounced opposition to Catholic values in this area. Again, not to mention the jurisprudence on abortion and artificial contraception.

    “If there is only one true religion, and if its posssession is the most important good in life, for states as well as individuals, then the public profession, protection, and promotion of this religion and the legal prohibition of all direct assaults upon it, become one of the most obvious and fundamental duties of the state.”

    That’s Msgr John Ryan in his work ‘Catholic Principles and Politics’. Not written in the Middle Ages by the way, but in the middle of the twentieth century.

    Islam is not entirely different, but in fact is very similar. In fact, if we examine the intricacies carefully enough, I may have to concede that their Islamic tenets allow for a greater degree of standard tolerance of Christianity and Judaism than ours does of Islam and Judaism.

  29. ” In fact, if we examine the intricacies carefully enough, I may have to concede that their Islamic tenets allow for a greater degree of standard tolerance of Christianity and Judaism than ours does of Islam and Judaism.”

    i’ve seen enough of the intricacies of Islam and how tolerant they are. You have to be kidding.

  30. sorry but convert or die doesn’t sound very tolerant.Children don’t even get a choice. If they’re mixed in with the infidels they die too.

  31. Lin says:

    An ex-Muslim Ali Sina has stated the following, “Islam is not a religion. Considering Islam a religion is a foolish mistake that could cost millions of lives. Islam is a political movement set to conquer the world. It is the Borg of the non-fictional world. Islam has one goal and one goal alone: to assimilate or to destroy.” 

  32. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    People who consider themselves Moslems are killing other people who consider themselves Moslems in droves all the time, either because the latter are considered no true Moslems by the former, or as ‘collateral damage’ from a dedication to modern weapons and strategy and tactics involving large-scale indiscriminate killing (perhaps with the thought that they will be grateful for being ‘treated’ to martyrdom?). Presumably, many Moslems who are not keen to kill or be killed are as unlikely to want to draw attention to themselves by speaking out (if they think various slaughters are things worth condemning) as ordinary people under various totalitarian governments were and are.

    Not only can Moslem immigrants be problematical, but citizen (or other immigrant) converts to Islam. Consider the plausible conjecture as to the part of Samantha Lewthwaite in the mall attack, for one example.

    Prayer and (domestic) missionary work for conversion of Moslems seem of the greatest importance, for their own spiritual good in the first place, and for the good of society as an additional consequence, but must be pursued wisely in the knowledge of the mortal dangers converts often face, and of the wide and varied range of (often violent) opposition missionary work will encounter.

    boxerpaws1952, you do not mention dhimmi status, which can allow latitude of various sorts – consider the Rum Millet in Turkey for some four centuries – but which is also always at the mercy of effectively arbitrary power, including changes of who is exercising it (sudden mass slaughter can presumably never be eliminated as a possibility).

  33. jflare says:

    Hmm.. So Islamic fundamentalists have inflicted various acts of terror all over the world. So..let’s refuse to allow for even one more mosque, until the entire Muslim community apologizes for 9-11….


    Have we [?!?] lost our marbles??

    Look, if we insist that mosques may not be built because of acts of violence around the world, we must expect such attitudes to come home to roost.
    I suspect it might be all of a few months before someone will insist that no Christian churches–Catholic in particular–may be built until someone apologizes publicly for the shooting death of Dr Tiller and/or the various priestly abuses inflicted against children these last 60 years.

    Honestly, we can’t expect this kind of outrage to only bite where we wish!

  34. bookworm says:

    None other than Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch reports that Muslim leaders in Kenya have indeed condemned the Westgate mall massacre:


    Of course, Spencer then goes on to question whether these Muslim leaders are doing enough to prevent the problem in the first place by dialing down what they teach in their mosques and schools. I get his point there, but it seems to me that if there are truly “moderate” Muslims out there, what good would it do them to take those actions? The non-Muslims they would be trying to address (us) wouldn’t believe them, and the terrorists would consider them traitors and target them next. So maybe they feel it’s in their best interest to just stay off the radar and that’s why we don’t hear about them.

    I’m also put in mind of how the media treats things like abortion clinic bombings and murders of abortionists. Pro-lifers can condemn these acts until they are blue in the face and MANY of them do, but the MSM takes pretty much the same “yeah, sure, but we know you don’t really mean it and you’re all woman-hating terrorists at heart” approach toward them, that some are taking toward Muslims here.

    I do believe that radical Islam is far more of a threat to our society than either the current administration or the MSM lets on, and a lot more could be done to track and head off KNOWN terrorists and their sympathizers, but measures like banning all Muslim immigration would be going way too far for the reasons mentioned above — including the possibility that any measures designed to target Muslims for being subversive could just as easily be turned against Catholics or other religious groups.

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Barry Rubin writes today about the probable future of Syria, “the rebels themselves deny they are ‘moderates’. Note that when the United States tried to get the Syrian rebels to denounce al-Qaida over a year ago they all refused. They would rather alienate America than al-Qaida.

    “A question that comes up is would not the people of Syria suffer? The tragic truth is that they will suffer either way. Of course, there will be ethnic massacres. First, the Sunni Muslims will be slain; then the Christians, Druze, Kurds, Shi’ites, and Alawites will be massacred. How many hundreds of refugees will Arab and Western countries absorb?

    “The current civil war will not be the last war. There will be a civil war between the victorious partners, at least the Brotherhood-types and al-Qaida, and perhaps the Salafists. Then there will be a war between the Sunni Islamists (al Qaida and Brotherhood-types) and the Kurds. There has already been fighting between al-Qaida style organizations and other Sunni Islamist rebels against the Kurds. Intra-Sunni Islamist rebel infighting is increasingly occurring. Al-Qaida groups have also fought one another and other rebel groups.

    “War without end, amen.”

    How much of anything like that is already ‘imported’ into lands with large and varied Moslem immigrant populations and communities, awaiting ‘favorable’ circumstances to ‘transpire’?

    What all can be done to try faithfully to ‘unpick’ all that, by domestic missionary work?

    I think of St. Berlabei among the 813 martyrs of Otranto. As Sander Magister wrote in 2007,
    “During the beatification process for the eight hundred, in 1539, four eyewitnesses spoke of the prodigy of Antonio Primaldo, who remained standing after being decapitated, and of the conversion and martyrdom of the executioner. This is the account of one of the four, Francesco Cerra, who in 1539 was 72 years old:

    ‘Antonio Primaldo was the first to be slaughtered, and without his head he remained upright on his feet, nor could any of the efforts of the enemy knock him down, until all were killed. The butcher, stunned by the miracle, confessed that the Catholic faith was the true one, and insisted on becoming a Christian, and for this the pasha condemned him to death by impaling.’ ”

    St. Berlabei’s is a conversion the sincerity of which is evident: and he probably foresaw such a stauros, even more horrific and agonizing than beheading.

    But how best to foster conversions in less desperate circumstances (in addition to prayer)?

  36. cajuncath says:

    Boxerpaws, I am rather serious. I’m not clear what intricacies you have studied that leads you to different conclusions, but let’s explore the truth together here, free of rancor and sweeping generalized inaccuracies, to see what the situation is.

    Standard Islamic teaching holds that Christians and Jews are people of the book. So, in an Islaimc state, while they are kept under tight restrictions and cannot seek converts nor publicly spread any teaching that conflicts with Islamic tenets, adherents of Christianity and Judaism have a standard right to the basic practice of their religions and to public houses of worship.

    In contrast, in a Catholic state, which is the standard official desired form of government for Catholicism, no non-Catholic religion, which covers both Islam and Judaism, ever has a standard right to a public house of worship. I think this supports my point. If you are claiming otherwise, I’d like to hear what substantive theological position you base it on.

    By the way, I’m not saying this is a problem or something we should somehow be ashamed of as Catholics. I am simply declaring that if we’re going to start consuming ourselves with questionable measures of freedom and tolerance as the measure of ourselves, standard Muslim teaching does have us beat, at least a little bit, in this area.

  37. robtbrown says:

    cajuncath says:
    In contrast, in a Catholic state, which is the standard official desired form of government for Catholicism, no non-Catholic religion, which covers both Islam and Judaism, ever has a standard right to a public house of worship. I think this supports my point. If you are claiming otherwise, I’d like to hear what substantive theological position you base it on.

    The Jewish Ghetto in Rome has a long history. I don’t know of any decision from the Vatican during the time of the Papal States to shut down the synogogue of the Roman Jews.

    There is an interesting story that took place near where I used to live in Rome. Many years ago there was a nobleman who would throw stones from his window on Jews as they were walking by his home. The pope called for him and suggested, with the Italian talent for compromise, that he not throw stones but merely fruits and vegetables.

  38. cajuncath says:

    robtbrown, I’m referring to the official theological position that nobody outside of Catholicism in a Catholic state ever has a basic right to public worship, aside from what has or has not been allowed as a toleration in the course of Catholic history.

  39. jhayes says:

    Cajunath wrote: “robtbrown, I’m referring to the official theological position that nobody outside of Catholicism in a Catholic state ever has a basic right to public worship”

    Cajunath, that is no longer the position of the Church. Dignitatis Humanae says:

    The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right….

    If, in view of peculiar circumstances obtaining among peoples, special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional order of society, it is at the same time imperative that the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom should be recognized and made effective in practice.

    Finally, government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens.

    It follows that a wrong is done when government imposes upon its people, by force or fear or other means, the profession or repudiation of any religion, or when it hinders men from joining or leaving a religious community. All the more is it a violation of the will of God and of the sacred rights of the person and the family of nations when force is brought to bear in any way in order to destroy or repress religion, either in the whole of mankind or in a particular country or in a definite community.


  40. Nan says:

    @JamieR, you’re naive. Alshabab recruits in the US. 2 of the terrorists were from the Twin Cities and aren’t the first to have been recruited to go to Africa. Others have been killed in Somalia, so yes, American Muslims were involved.

    Islam is a political system that actively calls for killing, enslaving and forcibly converting non-Muslims.

  41. Nan says:

    @cajuncaath, see Saudi Arabia. A muslim country in which there are no churches and it’s illegal to wear a cross or possess a bible.

  42. cajuncath says:

    Nan, thank you, my oversight. What I stated was standard Islamic teaching applying to lands outside of historic Arabia. Within Arabia, no other religion is to have any official presence. Iran, by contrast, has churches, synagogues, and even Zoroastrian temples.

    Your comment regarding killing, enslaving and forcibly converting does not appear to be particularly accurate.

  43. Nan says:

    @JamieR, there’s a reason the phrase “to the shores of Tripoli” features in the Marine Hymn. The First Barbary War was fought against Muslim pirates. They didn’t like us when they weren’t trying to come here so restricting Muslim immigration isn’t a good argument for they won’t like us. They won’t like us unless we all become good Dhimmis or convert.

  44. Nan says:

    @cajuncath, up until the 60’s there were open slave markets and yes, Muslims still practice slavery; this is why some countries discourage women from going and working as domestic help. They have no recourse and no rights; their employers are free to treat them as they will. Note also that the Nairobi mall killers specifically chose non-Muslim victims. Forcible conversion is happening all over the middle east and asian countries where men kidnap Christian girls and forcibly marry them and convert them. I don’t know what kind of taqqiya you practice but I know what Islam is.

  45. cajuncath says:

    Nan, I don’t practice taqqiya, and you should refrain from leveling asinine accusations against others.

    I am referring to standard theological teachings, as I understand them. What actually happens in day-to-day life, and what is done empirically by any number of over 1 billion Muslims stems from a host of motivations that aren’t necessarily grounded in official theology. Based on your confused thinking, we should presume that Christianity entails breaking the speed limit, cheating on your taxes, and cheating on your spouse. As well as disobeying your clergy when you decide you don’t like what they teach.

    If you survey the 21st century muftis and ayatollahs of the world, I’d venture to guess you would not find much support for the claim that Islam formally teachings that a person can be killed, enslaved, or forcibly converted because that person is non-Muslim.

  46. Nan says:

    Their theological teachings call for killing, enslaving and forcible conversion and the true objective is a world wide caliphate. Because Mohammed is considered to be the perfect man, pedophilia is accepted in Muslim communities as he married a 6-year-old. Nor can the Koran be questioned. Despite historic evidence that it has changed over time, there can be no discussion of it.

    My thinking isn’t confused at all.

  47. Lin says:

    @cajuncath…………Nan is correct. Do your homework. God bless you!

  48. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    It would be good to see, however tentative and full of ball-park figures, a thorough-going sketch of which “number of over 1 billion Muslims” contend that their ‘motivations are (necessarily) grounded in official theology’ as they understand it (to vary and apply cajuncath’s words), and in which configurations and numbers, especially in a world characterized by internet as well as older broadcasting technologies. Who seems to be following whom in which specific teachings? What body or bodies of ‘mere Islamic doctrine’ are how widely shared?

    Can anyone recommend reliable resources in this direction, on- or offline?

  49. Deo Credo says:


    I would assume the official theology you are strongly trying to imply does not exist would be based on quaran 9 5, ” And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

    This is generally taken as the ” convert by the sword” philosophy by my fellow Christians. It has historically been taken this way by Muslims as well. I believe this passage is a large part of their justification for spreading their religion by the sword during the earlier years. To my unlearned ears it certainly sounds as though the Muslim faithful are being exhorted to kill me unless I convert.

    I can’t speak for the modern philosophy as I am unable to have a civil discourse with people shouting that I need to die or even worse actually slaughtering my co religionists. I would venture to say that if you surveyed the 21st century muftis and imams you would indeed find that they are supporting violence. If this is not the case please point me to the articles by Islamic heads of state and important Muslim leaders that condemn the common violent outbreaks among their brothers and sisters in the faith. I agree that the actions of a few do not make up an opinion of the many, however when I go to my priest and confess a feeling of violent ill will towards anyone or anything I am not told, “it’s okay they aren’t Christian’s.” the Pope frequently speaks out against violence and as a matter of fact I don’t see any Bishops calling for the eradication of Muslim nations. I would that the same courtesy was returned to Christians.

    As to the original point of the article, please do not give Oblamer any legal precedent to screw a religion. He is doing quite well on his own in violation of our laws I would hate to see the atmosphere if we help legitimize his sort of feelings.

  50. jamie r says:


    The Barbary pirates were pirates, not terrorists. Should we also ban English-speakers from coming here because of the War of 1812?

    And there were some US Muslims in Somalia. So what? There are some Americans every where, and some of them commit crimes. That doesn’t mean that the US as a whole is responsible. Likewise, US Muslims as a group aren’t responsible for what Al Shabab does. If there’s a group of US Muslims that are responsible for Al-Shabab, then that group should be held accountable, but not all US Muslims. A group of Muslims trying to build a mosque in Tennessee is not necessarily the same as a group of Muslims in Somalia trying to kill the Kenyan President’s family.

    If one Catholic in Mexico commits a crime, does that mean all 1.2 Billion Catholics belong in jail?

  51. BLB Oregon says:

    I think we need to learn from the Spanish expulsion of the Moors and later the Moriscos. It is not a high-water mark in the history of Christendom. As for pirates, the Barbary pirates may have been Muslim, but Sir Francis Drake was most decidedly Christian.

    Let’s think about this: How was the English crown supposed to respond to the terrorists acts by extremist Irish? Was that terrorism all about religion? It was not. Neither is this terrorism all about religion. Christians and Muslims have lived in peace over the course of history. When there is war, terrorism, and hatred, religion isn’t the reason. Religion is made into the excuse. When the real reasons aren’t there, those few who will always harbor their hatreds will not have the power to stir up young men with everything to live for.

  52. Kathleen10 says:

    Personally I could care less if muslims “like us”. I agree they will never like us. It is us dead or converted they are interested in, nothing less. There is no common ground on which to converse. Nothing to debate. They want us dead. Fair enough, I wish they were all on another planet for the sake of the rest of us.
    I hear Bob Beckel’s frustration and even fear, and I agree. There is much to be afraid of, so he is right in that sense. He wants to stem the tide of infiltration that is going on, that “taking over the culture without firing a shot” we have all heard about. He fears similar massacres in America at some point no doubt. Who doesn’t.
    But we have a dominant secular culture here in the US, and it’s God is political correctness. This is ugly to say, but, even if we had numerous attacks here on American soil just like Kenya (God forbid), I believe we are all but incapable of even saying the words that we would in some way “limit” immigration based on religion, country of origin, or ever be able to pull it off. Not today when limiting would be instantly called out as isolationism, bigotry, or some other derogatory term. That seems to be Americans greatest fear, not Kenyan-type attacks, which should be, but being considered a racist or bigot. Horrors!
    I would limit immigration in a second if I could. One of the Kennedy’s (Ted?) managed to alter the countries of origin for American immigrants, and that opened the door for muslims to come here in droves. I would shut that door in a heartbeat. Student visas? No. Work visas? Only if you have a spotless record and WE need you. At one time we only admitted those who could be a benefit to the US, not as much for what we could do for the immigrant.
    Too harsh? I don’t think so. But there are many people whom haven’t seen enough, they don’t want to see it, and it may take them seeing what they could never fathom with their own eyes before our country would change immigration, permits to build mosques, visas, and other such matters.
    Bob Beckel is going to take a hit from liberals, and sadly, will likely “pull a Barilla” and cave. There are not many Robert Spencers or Pat Robertsons in the world. Not enough spines to say the tough stuff.

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