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The Astute William Kilpatrick, of Boston College, Points Out Some Implications of Western-World Leaders' Reactions to Trump's Proposed Embassy Move to Jerusalem
As published in "The Catholic Thing" on 12 December 2017. I must confess I only came across this very recently, but Mr Kilpatrick's observations will not date.
"On Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem".
"When President Donald Trump announced that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Muslim world reacted with outrage and threats.
"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned of "dangerous consequences" [link in original article].
"The spokesman for Turkish president Erdogan warned that the move was a "grave mistake, because "Jerusalem is our red line" [link in original].
'Bekir Bozdag, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the move would plunge the world "into a fire with no end in sight" [again, link in original].
'And Saudi Arabia's King Salman warned that the move "would ocnstitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims all over the world".
'The leaders of the Western world reacted in similar fashion. Pope Francis, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron all criticized Trump's announcement. Meanwhile, the patriarchs and heads of the local churches in Jerusalem sent a letter to President Trump warning that the transfer of the embassy "will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence, and suffering in Jerusalem".
'But there is an obvious contradiction here.
'As Jihad Watch editor Robert Spencer points out in a recent column, these leaders have a record of defending Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, which is being perverted by only a handful of extremists.
'Pope Francis, for example, has said that "authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence".
'On another occasion he drew a moral equivalence between Islam and Catholicism, saying "If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence".
It is a pity that someone did not sweetly ask Pope Francis whether, should he ever speak of the violence of Mohammed - which is plainly described in many places in the canonical texts of Islam, within which it is heartily approved of - he would also speak of "the violence of Jesus of Nazareth". Because of course he would not be able to do so; he would be in great difficulty should he try to draw an equivalence between the mass-murderous Arab warlord, on the one hand, and the unarmed Jewish rabbi, carpenter and healer, on the other; between the man who inflicted terror, slavery and cruel death upon many and the man whose very word and touch raised people from death to life; between the warlord with a harem stuffed full of captive sex slaves, and the man who died at 33, unmarried. - CM
'For over a decade now, various Church leaders and secular leaders have assured us that violence has nothing to do with Islam.
'But if that's what they really believe, why should they worry that moving an embassy would create - to quote from the letter of the Church leaders in Jerusalem - "hatred, conflict, violence and suffering"?
'By assuming that Muslims would riot over the announcement, says Spencer, the pope and other leaders are inadvertently admitting the truth about Islam: "that the numerous incitements to violence and hatred in the Quran and Sunnah do tend to lead to Muslims behaving violently at the drop of a hat, or the move of an embassy".
'After all, we are not talking here about a tiny minority whose actions would be rejected by the great majority, but about widespread rioting and violence on a global scale - "plunging the region and the world into a fire wth no end in sight", as Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister put it.
'And, apparently, the "fire" would be justified because, as King Salman said, the move "would constitute a flagarant provocation of Muslims all over the world".
"It's a safe bet that King Salman understands Islam better than do Merkel, Macron, May, and the Holy Father.
'Yet he is even more concerned than they.
'He seems to assume that Muslims are highly prone to violence. He understands that they are easily provoked because their religion and their religious leaders tell them to be. Moreover, as he must know, almost anything might be considered provocative.
'Last July, a "day of rage" resulting in the murder of an Israeli family (that is: the brutal Muslim murder of a family of unarmed Jews at their dinner table - CM) was called because metal detectors had been installed on the Temple Mount as a security measure.
"Even Pope Benedict's measured address to an academic gathering at the University of Regensburg led to (or, rather, "was seized upon as excuse du jour for" - CM) global rioting and killing.
'There is no end to the number of things that offend Muslims.
For Muslims will seize upon the smallest thing as a pretext for a riot, for a murderous - or mass-murderous - attack upon the despised Kuffar. And if there is no excuse ready to hand, they will invent one themselves, and attack defenceless people upon the basis of an outright and brazen lie; this has been seen many times in both Pakistan and Egypt, where pretexts are invented in order to unloose the raging Muslim mobs upon helpless Hindus and Christians (Pakistan) or helpless Coptic Christians (Egypt). - CM
'This, along with numerous other differences, should lay to rest the quaint notion that there is a moral equivalence between Islam and Catholicism (or between Islam and any variety of Christianity - CM).
'They are very different faiths. No-one worries about global rioting should Catholics be offended by a slight to their faith. Yet if any group has cause to riot, it is Catholics and other Christians. Christians (both Catholic and non-Catholic - CM) in many parts of the Islamic world face daily persecution and even extermination. They are beaten, raped, and decapitated, and their churches (and their homes and places of business - CM) are burned to the ground.
'So on the one hand, Muslim believers are ready to commit mayhem over an academic talk or the moving of an embassy; and on the other hand, Christians remain peaceful even though their brethren are being slaughtered and burned alive. How much longer, one wonders, will Church leaders (and this applies to many non-Catholic church leaders, as well as to many Catholic leaders - CM) collaborate in the false assertion that Islam and Christianity are equally peaceful faiths?
Or try to maintain the equally false assertion that their flocks are as prone to eruptions of irrational violence, as are those who gather in the mosques and listen to incendiary khutbas, such as one may view on MEMRI, helpfully translated, any day of the week, too many to count. - CM
'Religious and secular leaders are caught in a flagrant contradiction.
'They tell us that Islam is a religion of peace and justice, yet they warn us not to provoke its followers in any way.
'Don't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Don't draw cartoons that might offend Muslims. Don't wear religious symbols that might provoke them. Cover your women and your statues. Don't ring church bells in the vicinity of Muslims.
"Don't criticize them for persecuting Christians because, as Ahmed-al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar University told Pope Francis, such criticism is a "red line" that must not be crossed.
"Just stay quiet and you'll be okay". That's what Mohammed Atta told the passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 shortly before it flew into the World Trade Centre.
'It wasn't good advice then. And it's not good advice now.
'As Islam expands its global reach, it's becoming increasingly evident that the "dont-do-anything-to-provoke-them" policy isn't working, and never will."
Exactly. An excellent article this, by Mr Kilpatrick. Brief and to the point. Send it on its travels, dear NER readers. Send it far and wide. It was picked up on by ACT for America, so its circulation in the States will have been pretty good; but it is such as to demand even broader dissemination.