Islamic extremists who carry out acts of terror are simply applying what their faith requires of them, according to Jesuit Father Henri Boulad, an Islamic scholar of the Egyptian Greek Melkite rite.In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Boulad said that “Islam is an open-ended declaration of war against non-Muslims” and those who carry out violent jihad are true Muslims who are applying exactly what their creed demands.
Those who fail to recognize the real threat posed by Islam are naïve and ignorant of history, he said, and unfortunately many in the Church fall into this category.
Citing a letter he wrote last August to Pope Francis, Father Boulad said that “on the pretext of openness, tolerance and Christian charity — the Catholic Church has fallen into the trap of the liberal left ideology which is destroying the West.”
“Anything that does not espouse this ideology is immediately stigmatized in the name of ‘political correctness,’” he said.
The priest went so far as to chastise Pope Francis himself—a fellow Jesuit—suggesting that he has fallen into this trap as well.
“Many think that a certain number of your positions are aligned with this ideology and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions and compromises in compromises at the expense of the truth,” the priest wrote to Francis.
Christians in the West and in the East, he wrote the Pope, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”
“It is high time to emerge from a shameful and embarrassed silence in the face of this Islamism that attacks the West and the rest of the world. A systematically conciliatory attitude is interpreted by the majority of Muslims as a sign of fear and weakness,” he said.
“If Jesus said to us: Blessed are the peacemakers, he did not say to us: Blessed are the pacifists. Peace is peace at any cost, at any price. Such an attitude is a pure and simple betrayal of truth,” he said.
The priest also stated his belief that the West is in an ethical and moral debacle, and its defense of Islam is a denial of truth.
“By defending at all costs Islam and seeking to exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name, one ends up betraying the truth,” he wrote.
To back up his argument, Father Boulad enumerated a number of texts from the Koran that call on Muslims to employ violence in their conquest of the world for Allah.
The many passages he cited included: “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” (Koran 2:191), “Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood” (Koran 9:123), “When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them” (Koran 9:5), “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” (Koran 5:33), “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies” (Koran 22:19), and “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an” Koran 8:12.
Father Boulad is not the first Jesuit scholar to criticize the West for its naivete in dealing with Islam. Last year, Georgetown scholar Father James V. Schall contended that decades of students have been given a “sanitized education” that systematically excludes an honest portrayal of the history and theology of Islam, which limits their ability to assess what is going on in the world.
In his essay titled “Realism and Islam,” Father Schall argued that Islam “is actually and potentially violent throughout its entire history” and the basic reason for this method is religious in nature: “obedience to the Law of Allah.”
Therefore, he wrote, the Western tendency to simply call Muslim violence “terrorism” is insulting to believing Muslims who “see themselves carrying out the will of Allah, even sometimes to their own death in doing so.” Rather than terrorism, he insists, Muslims see their violence as “a religious endeavor to conquer the world,” which they understand to be “an act of piety.”
Because of this gaping educational void, “most citizens are simply not equipped to face the forces now reappearing in the world,” he wrote.
“And while it may be politically incorrect to state these things, they need to be stated and are in fact the truth—things that both Muslims and non-Muslims need to hear and consider,” he said.