Friday, September 29, 2006

al-Zawahri: Pope is a charlatan

The main thrust of al-Quaida’s #2 on a newly released video was an attack on President Bush, it was expected that he would also attack the Pope. A

According to the IntelCenter, al-Zawahri said Benedict is reminiscent of Pope Urban II, who in 1095 ordered the First Crusade to establish Christian control in the Holy Land.
"This charlatan accused Islam of being incompatible with rationality while forgetting that his own Christianity is unacceptable to a sensible mind."

"If Benedict attacked us, we will respond to his insults with good things. We will call upon him, and all of the Christians to become Muslims who do not recognize the Trinity or the crucifixion."

Trawling through the sites this seemed to be more or less all he had to say, about the Pope, which for al-Quaida is almost gentle, maybe the Pope's words are being listened to. Let us pray that is so.

not really directly connected but...
I thought it might be interesting to see what came up when I put "POPE" into the Ajazeera search engine, this is the top ten.

1 - Zawahiri blasts Bush, Pope in video (9/29/2006) Aljazeera reports that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number two, in a new video message has called US President George Bush a liar who had failed in his war against al-Qaeda.
2 - Echoes of the pope in al-Azhar mosque (9/27/2006) The protests in Egypt and the rest of the Muslim world over remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI, who implicitly linked Islam and violence, particularly in regard to jihad have still not abated.
3 - Pope tells of 'respect' for Muslims (9/25/2006) Pope Benedict XVI has met Muslim diplomats in Rome as part of the Catholic church's latest effort to mend relations with the Islamic world.
4 - EU official criticises Muslim fury (9/24/2006) Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the EU Commission president, has strongly defended Pope Benedict XVI, saying Muslim criticism was unacceptable.
5 - Let us be rational (9/24/2006) The Muslim overreaction to the pope's remarks may go to support his point about Muslim's problems with rationality.
6 - Palestinians protest against pope (9/23/2006) Thousands of Muslims staged anti-pope marches in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza on Friday, waving green Hamas banners and denouncing the pontiff as a coward.
7 - Pope invites Muslim envoys to Rome (9/22/2006) Pope Benedict will meet Muslim ambassadors to the Vatican and Italian Islamic leaders in an attempt to end the furore caused by his speech in Germany.
8 - Pope: Islam remarks not my views (9/20/2006) Pope Benedict XVI has said his use of medieval quotes critical of Islam, which infuriated Muslims worldwide, did not reflect his own convictions and were misunderstood.
9 - Papal envoys move to defuse anger (9/19/2006) The Vatican has begun a diplomatic drive to calm tensions after comments on Islam by Pope Benedict XVI.
10 - Pope's speech: Archbishop urges calm (9/18/2006) The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for calm over Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about Islam, asking that they been seen in context.


hilary said...

while forgetting that his own Christianity is unacceptable to a sensible mind."

Ah, that explains it. He forgot that Christianity is unacceptable to a sensible mind. Funny sort of thing to forget.

Seeker said...

Considering the previous mention of the lack of Europians to procreate in significant numbers, does the Church have a remedy in mind, when the main cause of pressures of economy and work do not facilitate enough childbirth within marriage?

Given that the Economic situation will not be changed by the Church and the Demograpphic picture of Europe is being tinkered with by allowing the fast breeding input from other cultural sources such as Islam, does this not show that we cannot easily, as Europeans, return to a situation where we can maintain population sufficiently, of our own people of European, Christian heritage?

Are we not digging our own graves by allowing rampant immigration and and thereby signing the death warrant of the Christian Faith itself?
As a formerly practicing Catholic and one who yearns for guidance relevant to Today's world, I am appaled at this "Interfaithing" that is going on, inasmuch as it shows Christianity to be a weak and failing Faith, all too willing to submit to that growing tumult of Oriental thinking that is basically never going to accept the Truth of the Crucifixtion or the Trinity, and is all too wiling to enforce it's alternate beliefs on those Societies that allow it free passage.
I believe, personally, that the proof of the Nature of this beast were shown yet again by the events and reaction surrounding the Pope's recent lecture, (the contents being mild and factually correct, to my mind) are an indicator of the immicibility of these two schools of thought, and that to survive, the Christain Church must be prepared to stand firm for It's beliefs and for Western Governments to afford whatever protection it may take to enable It's survival.

How can the Church survive, when the Anglicans have a State-head of Church in waiting (Charles) who has already thrown in the towel and is going to allow the inclusion of non-Christian ideas into the Coronation and has demonstrated his inabilty to "defend THE Faith," and when we have a Catholic Pontiff who has been forced to apologise for using qoutations from a formerly besieged Church leader, when the context of His speech was ignored.

Every apology to a mob will ultimately indicate weakness, although I hope these events have served to put Christians on guard.
The Church will not survive through capitulation of It's principles and yet those rinciples will need to be defended.
How will you react when it is deemed offensive to other Religionists, to voice a belief in the truth of the noton of the Trinity?
No amount of "interfaithing" can change the tenets of the only other faith that presents a direct challenge, by it's nature, to Christianity.
Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Judaeist, Scientologist, and pagans, do not insist on the right to deny Christian belief.
Who will fight with their lives should the mobs come to destroy our heritage?

Michael Petek said...

My answer to Ayman al-Zawahiri is, "The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun!" (Gandalf, LOTR)

Here's the remedy:

(1) Repentance among the faithful for our lukewarmness in the faith.

(2) Build on the work of Pope John Paul II in mending relations with the Jews, and affirm with him that the Lord is faithful to the covenant of Abraham in regard to them - is Islam a punishment from God for our failure in past centuries to respect our elder brethren in the faith?

(3) The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - cf. Esther 3:7-14; 7:1-9:19.

Anonymous said...

Our true enemy is the secularisation of society not other religious groups.

Michael Petek said...

Actually, our true enemy is not flesh and blood, but the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Other religious groups are not, as such, our enemies as long as they keep the Queen's peace.

But if they commit public crimes, then they are public enemies.

Take Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mouth of Sauron and Destroyer of the Unbeliever.

He is a public enemy (hostis) because he is in armed rebellion against lawful governments, because the powers that be are ordained of God.

Secondly, he is a terrorist who wages war in furtherance of a false religion. He ought not to do so, for such things are infelicitous.

Anonymous said...

We could secularism the "Spirit of this Word" or the "Spirit of the Age.

Henry said...

We should not forget, as Hilaire Belloc emphasised in his book, that Islam is one of the great heresies ie a deformation of orthodox Christianity.

We should pray regularly for their conversion.

As regards our failure to procreate, an important factor is the rotten economic policies which have been pursued in western countries for at least the past 200 years, which mean that young people have difficulty in finding decent stable jobs and housing, so have little confidence in starting a family they can bring up in secure conditions.

In Britain, we have, for no good reason, crowded ourselves into the Greater London and South East region. Over 80% of the population is concentrated into less than one-third of the land area. Yet the Scottish Highlands region, for instance, could perfectly well accommodate a two or three million people and suststain an economy to give them a good standard of living.

It is the same throughout Europe. In Germany, there has been an exodus from the former East Germany. What is the Polish government doing that means that large numbers of people are leaving when the country actually needs to be built up and recover from the disaster of communism?

The Catholic Church has a coherent view on issues of economic justice in its Social Teaching, but on the whole we (the laity) refuse to get our heads around it. Were we to do so and think about practical policies which would put its effects into practice, and take a part in political activity, then we might find less need to deal with the consequences of harsh economic conditions, such as poverty, hopelessness and to some extent, abortion and birth control.

We need family-friendly economic policies, which, unfortunately, none of the main political parties are offering, nor ever have - we need an alternative to Socialism or Capitalism, not a mixture of two bad systems.

Michael Petek said...

Hilaire Belloc was right about many things, but not on this one. Islam is not a "heresy" from Christian orthodoxy, for heresy is the denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith.

In order to be in heresy a person must remain within the four corners of the Athanasian Creed (and so be in the faith to the extent that disposes a person for baptism), otherwise he becomes an apostate.

The Lebanese Maronite priest Father Michel Hayek declared in 1967: "Why not admit clearly - so as to break a taboo and a political proscription - what is so resented in the flesh and in the Christian conscience: that Islam has been the most dreadful torment that ever befell the Church. Christian sensibility has remained traumatized to this day."

You're absolutely right about Catholic Social Teaching, Henry - in his encyclical Divini Redemptoris on atheistic Communism Pope Pius XI taught that the State must see to it that there are jobs for everyone, particularly the fathers of families and the young. Of course, he dealt with the family wage in Quadragesimo Anno.

Is is just my imagination, Henry, or is the subject of Land Value Taxation galloping in the direction of this conversation?

Henry said...

Well the lack of it is certainly a factor in our present economic woes, but it does't help that we are pouring money into unwinnable wars, and they are a problem in another way in that they keep other matters off the agenda. Which could be why British politicians love to mind other countries' business when they can't even make sure the streets are swept here and the hospital wards are swarming with superbugs.

Michael Petek said...

These wars had better not be unwinnable, Henry! If the Islamists were to see us off in Iraq and Afghanistan, just think what this would mean.

The world's only superpower - and in Afghanistan the world's most powerful military alliance -defeated militarily by rebel militias in flip-flops and armed with nothing heavier than light artillery, and unaided by any other majopr power.

Now the real unemployment rate in this country is about 1.7 million - if we went to partial mobilisation we could put them all to work making war materiel and pay them good wages for doing so.

The problem is that this country is not the same nation that fought WW2, and if today's Britons were put to the same task, we'd lose.

General Rupert Smith wrote recently - quoting Clausewitz - that war is a product of a trial of strength and a clash of wills, and that you've never truly won unless and until you break the enemy's.

[During WW2 this country had in the German Army an enemy who was highly motivated with a formidable will to win. My father was in the German Army for three and a half years, almost the whole time on the Russian front, and he used to tell me about the visits the SS used to make to his unit to give political lectures to make sure the men were on message about what they were fighting for.

He remembered one occasion when one of his comrades asked "What happens if we lose the war?" The SS man replied, "If we lose we're going to take a lot of people with us!"

My father would remember that answer every time the subject of the Holocaust came up.]

The problem with Islam in armed jihad is that the mujahideen are unshakeably convinced that God Himself commands them directly to fight the infidel, if they die in jihad they will go straight to paradise, and that God will punish them if they don't wage it.

That means their will is indefinitely unbreakable, while our secular humanist will - the concurring wills of Government, people and military -is not. That is why Islam was so unstoppable until they met the Franks at Poitiers.

It is also why the Crusaders had to find a way of stiffening their own will to fight in emulation of Islam. Since Christianity has no divine precept to fight, but leaves this to the discretion of earthly Sovereigns, the monks of war had to take religious vows to fight to the utmost to recapture the Holy Land.

Henry said...

If as you say, it is a spiritual force we are up again, the only effective weapon is a spiritual one ie we should be praying for their conversion.

Fighting them by their own methods only serves to feed and fatten the beast. It cannot be killed by violence, since it is a religion that glorifies violence and being violent ourselves is in effect paying homage to their evil deity.

Michael Petek said...

Henry, their own methods are the use of armed force without lawful authority.

On 2 June 1953 the Archbishop of Canterbury gave Her Majesty a sword in testimony that she is God's minister, an avenger to bring His punishment to wrongdoers (Romans 13:4). There is no moral equivalence between the two cases The first is per se an offence to God, the second not.

There is a saying that runs, "Be careful of what you wish for, for you may get it!" A fortiori this should apply also to what we pray for.

Now, if we pray for the conversion of anyone, God not infrequently has to visit temporal punishments on them in order to procure it. These may involve the everyday hardships, misfortunes and injustices visited on us, or they may come from God through the civil authorities when, as His ministers, they justly coerce public enemies and criminals.

In relation to public justice these punishments have value in retribution, deterrence, reformation or the protection of society. But in relation to divine justice they are purely medicinal, designed to bring sinners to repentance.

The use by the civil power of military force within the limits of public justice can often bring those on (or near) the other end of it to consider their consciences in view of the fragility of their own lives - as they say, there are no atheists in foxholes.

But if God's punishments simply make evildoers angrier, that is due to their malice and no-one else's. Look in Revelation 15 - even when the angels of heaven impose God's punishments with the greatest of wisdom, people still curse God instead of repenting as they ought.

Martin Luther once made a comment he later had to retract: that to fight against the Turk (sic) is contrary to the will of God who, though them, chastises us for our sins. Undoubtedly He does, but He also sends the civil authorities to fight them with the sword, to chastise them for theirs.