The first part of this article is a long rant about “Islamophobes” and “xenophobes” and “the far right”. Then the writer turns to discussing how the interfaith dialogue types are getting on:
While they must be concerned about and opposed to discrimination against Muslims in non-Muslim countries, Christians, however, simply cannot overlook the atrocities which are being perpetrated in the name of Islam in many places in the world against our fellow Christians. There is simply no moral equivalent, for example, between the admitted and lamentable discrimination against Muslims in the west and the sufferings of Christians in Iraq and Syria.
People who have been involved in the Catholic/Christian-Muslim dialogue for decades and who have a high regard and affection for Islam are sensing a tension, if not emerging crisis, in the dialogue recently.
To be honest, the statement that “Islam is a religion of peace” is becoming less and less credible.
This is not simply due to prejudices in the west but to the actions of some Muslims themselves. While admittedly the west has played a devastating and regrettable role in destabilizing Iraq, in the past ten years over a million Christians have been killed, plundered or forced into refugee status by Muslim movements in northwestern Iraq alone. ISIS’s ideology to spread the caliphate around the world puts it into a religio-political ideology.
It is the expressed mission of ISIS to spread the caliphate over as much territory as possible. Talk of the black flag of ISIS flying over the White House and other western capitals does nothing to calm xenophobia in Europe and the west.
Even paranoids can have real enemies…
Rev. Dr. Elias D. Mallon is a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement and CNEWA’s [Catholic Near East Welfare Association] external affairs officer.