It’s interesting – and timely, I guess, after yesterday’s entry – that on today’s top Google News page, I found Benedict XVI. The title of the article? “Pope Benedict XVI angers Muslims during German visit”. This BBC article explains much the same thing: that the Pope quoted Emperor Manual II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire who said, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Now the media, the Muslims, and the multitude are all outraged.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love (or try to love) all people, no matter the race, sex, or creed – including Muslims. It’s wrong to attack, persecute or mistreat them in any way; they’re human beings made in the image of God also. This doesn’t mean, though, that the ideology itself can’t be criticized.
So. Why is it that so many people buy into the propaganda (often by Muslim apologists) that Islam is a religion of peace, even in the face of Hamas, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah? I mean, every student of History would know that Islam spread by sword (telling others to “convert or die”) – and continues to do so today – while Christianity spread through persecution (being told to “recant or die”) – and continues to do so as well.
Perhaps I’m missing something, but it seems like a natural consequence of following either of the founders: Mohammed, who fought many battles himself to spread the faith, and Christ who was persecuted unto death. Hence, Islam teaches following Mohammed through Jihad, and Christians follow in the path of Jesus who says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43).
“Jihad” is defined in my dictionary as “a holy war undertaken by Muslims against unbelievers”. Now, I realise that there are other kinds of Jihad as well, but this war against “infidels” is an integral part of Islamic ideology. Lukewarm Muslims may not adhere to it, but it’s nonetheless an essential part of the Islamic faith, and it’ll go on until the whole world “submits” (that’s what “Islam” means) to their faith. This is perhaps best explained in the Catholic Answers special report on The Truth about Islam and Violence, entitled “Endless Jihad”.