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Theme: “Anti-Ecumenical Unity” As a Response to Islam

February 11, 2007

The following are selections from the writings of Serge Trifkovic. Serge Trifkovic is an Eastern Orthodox Christian and the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.

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Chronicles: Islam and the West: The Threat, The Defense: Interview with Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio

For a Christian the real task is to help our fellow humans who are trapped in Islam and to help them become free. But the more pressing task than that is to help our fellow former Christians, or post-Christians, to become aware of who they are and to become proud of their civilizational and spiritual legacy, because that’s the only defense we have….

Islam is a totalitarian ideology based on hate and violence. Therefore, the only way it can find adherents willing to sacrifice their lives in what they perceive as a higher cause is to have the Enemy, and that Enemy is the Christian, the European, the more successful civilization that has given us the cathedrals, the cantatas, the icons, the Shakespeares and Goethes….

…let us not even pretend that Europe is still Christian. Today there are more Muslims at prayer on Fridays in Britain, France, or Germany than there are Christians at mass or liturgy in those countries on Sundays. To change this, Christian traditionalists belonging to different denominations should forge anti-ecumenical unity.

FrontPageMag: The Stupidity of Dialogue With Islam

Of all major religions, Islam is the least amenable to dialogue with other faiths. Among non-Muslims it seeks converts or obedient subjects, not partners in a dialogue. Nevertheless, among some misguided Western social conservatives there exists an a priori desire to forge an alliance of believers against the moral and spiritual decay of a sinful world an “ecumenical jihad,” a war of all religions against unbelief:

“If we will work and fight and love in action side by side with our Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox and Jewish and Muslim neighbors, we will come to perceive something we did not understand before… If we did not balk at having Stalin’s followers as our allies against Hitler, we should not balk at having Muhammad’s followers as our allies against Stalin.”

The historical analogy here overlooks one thing: Stalin’s anti-Nazism did not make him cease being a villain equal to Hitler. A political marriage of convenience to fight Marxism during the Cold War is one thing, but seeking common ground with Islam for an ecumenical jihad is one of the dumbest ideas in decades.

(..)

Forte wrote in his 1999 book on Islamic law that “though radicals often create an effigy of the West as a ‘devil,’ their real animus is against traditional Islam.” Today’s extremists, he claims, are a theologically marginal tradition “that Islam early on rejected as opposed to the universal message of its Prophet.” In a remarkable twist of reality Forte accuses the secularized media establishment of negative stereotyping of Islam because it is a religion:

“When they talk about Islam, they talk about jihad. They patronizingly assume that violence is an essential part of Islam.”

This view, however erroneous, boils down to the conviction that believers, no matter their denomination, are better people than nonbelievers, and that a religious outlook — any religious outlook — is preferable to the nihilistic wastelands of postmodern secularism. Frankly, there is a certain rude logic to this, which just goes to show how dangerous this secularism is because it makes any alternative seem better than itself.

But such assertions cannot change reality. A problem does exist. Islam is not only a religious doctrine, it is also a self-contained world outlook, and a way of life that claims the primary allegiance of all those calling themselves “Muslim.” There is “Christianity,” and there used to be “Christendom,” but in Islam such distinction is impossible….

Chronicles: Cardinal Law and Ecumenical Jihad; Do Muslims, Christians, and jews Belive in the Same God?

On Sunday, November 24, Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston came to a mosque in Wayland, Massachusetts. Wearing a gold crucifix and a flowing black robe with red trim, Law removed his shoes at the door. Then, as the imam chanted the sunset prayers in Arabic, the Roman Catholic prelate knelt with his forehead just inches from the carpet and offered praise to Allah. After the prayers, Law shared the iftar, the meal breaking the daily sunrise-to-sunset Ramadan fast. In a brief speech after the meal, Law declared that he felt “very much at home” among Muslims, because “the starting point–and the most important point–is that we believe in one God.”

Cardinal Law’s intentions may have been good–the road to hell is paved with those–but his theology is seriously flawed. He merely parotted one of the cliches endlessly repeated by those who would conceal the dangerous potentialities inherent in Islam: that Muslims “believe in the same God” as Christians and Jews. This is a severe distortion of the truth. What Muslims fundamentally believe is that they know the true nature of the God that Judaism and Christianity tell lies about–lies for which Christians and Jews will be punished in hell. The fact that Muslims share Levantine monotheism with us thus makes them more, not less, antagonistic to us on a religious level. Hopes for reconciliation on the grounds of common monotheism, as opposed to a realistic “good fences make good neighbors” civilizational détente, are wishful thinking….

The proponents of an “Ecumenical Jihad,” such as Cardinal Law or Peter Kreeft, share two fallacies. Their faulty understanding of Islamic theology leads them to imagine that “Allah” is interchangeable with God. Their incomplete understanding of the phenomenon of secular globalization leads them to seek an equally monolithic counterweight on the side of faith. In reality the only resistance possible is not that of blurred boundaries of old identities, but the reaffirmation of those identities. Islam is a natural ally of globalization, as it seeks the ultimate Gleichschaltung. It can only cheer at the spectacle of a mighty cultural Leviathan that is devouring the remnants of Christendom and paving the way for a faith as yet unrelativized, untouched by self-doubt, immune to critical pondering of its assumptions.

FrontPageMag: Defeating Jihad

The victory in the war on terrorism ultimately has to be won in the domain of morals and culture. It can be won only by an America – and Britain, and France, and Italy. – that has regained its awareness of its moral, spiritual, and civilizational roots. If that happens, the renewed impulse to defend those lands and to procreate will come, too. While the likelihood of such belated recovery remains in doubt, it it is not impossible. Miracles do happen, and therefore they will happen.

Excerpts from The Sword of the Prophet: Islam history, theology, impact on the world, Regina Orthodox Press, 2002:

In The Flying Inn, Chesterton depicts a decadent England falling under a Nietzschean version of Islam. Only a drunken, half-mad Irishman, who moves an inn-sign from place to place and defies the de-Christianization of his country, defeats the enemies of life. But, as Thomas Fleming has asked, where, in these sober and progressive times, are we going to find a drunken Irishman who keeps the Faith? Not at the Vatican, if history is to repeat itself: The doors of Spain were opened to the Muslims in the eighth century by the Archbishop of Seville, Oppas. The spirit of the Second Vatican Council keeps the legacy of Oppas alive and well. When Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, Achbishop of Bologna, declared that there should be “no more entry visas for Muslims” and that “Christian Europe” was in danger of being overwhelmed by a “Muslim invasion,” the voices from within the Catholic Church were the shrillest in their outrage. Perhaps today’s Catholics would be well advised to revisit The Catholic Encyclopedia’s verdict from 1908, which stands as firmly today as it did almost a century ago:

In matters political, Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad…. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the “Infidel.” Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

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Some critics may object that this account of Islam in the modern world does not pay much attention to Islamic moderation, to the everyday wish of everyday Muslims for a quiet life. This is not because such moderates are rare, but because they are rarely important. Religions, like political ideologies, are pushed along by money, power, and tiny vocal minorities. The urgent need is to recognize this. Our problem is not prejudice about Islam, but folly in the face of its violence and cruelty. And in any case, the willingness of moderates to be what are objectively bad Muslims, because they reject key teachings of historical Islam, may be laudable in human terms but does nothing to modify Islam as a doctrine.

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Islam discriminates against all “unbelievers.” Until the petrodollars support a Kuranic revisionism that does not, we should go for it with whips and scorpions, hammer and tongs. Secularists and believers of all other faiths must act together before it is too late.

See also:
Serge Trifkovic
List of articles in FrontPageMag
News & Views by Serge Trifkovic in Chronicles
Serge Trifkovic webiste

Peter Kreeft
Peter Kreeft’s Ecumenical Jihad
Catholic Education: “A Defense of “Culture Wars”: A Call for Counterrevolution.” Chapter four in Ecumenical Jihad.
John J. Reilly/Culture Wars: Review of Ecumenical Jihad
Against The Grain: Kreeft’s “Ecumenical Jihad” and Two Perspectives of Islam

David Forte
NRO: Religion is Not the Enemy: Don’t look at bin Laden and see Islam
Acton Institute: Islam, Past and Future
Ashbrook Center: Faith, Ideology and Politics

Related Posts:
Theme: The Pope, Islam and secularism
Debate: The Question of Dialogue
Scene: Turks Terrorize the Byzantines
Debate: St. Francis of Assisi and Islam
Speech: 10-Point Plan for Victory

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