Pope Benedict endorses my Muslim strategy

Wow, this blog must be getting influential.  The Thinking Housewife quotes the following from the successor of Saint Peter:

Dear friends, on the basis of what I have outlined here, it seems to me that there can be fruitful collaboration between Christians and Muslims. In the process, we help to build a society that differs in many respects from what we brought with us from the past. As believers, setting out from our respective convictions, we can offer an important witness in many key areas of life in society. I am thinking, for example, of the protection of the family based on marriage, respect for life in every phase of its natural course or the promotion of greater social justice.  I got this idea from the magnificent blogger “Bonald” at “Throne and Altar”.

Okay, I made up that last sentence.  Still, you’ll recall how we tossed around this very idea on this blog a while ago.  You’ll also recall that Bonifacius called me a heretic for even considering the idea.  My interlocutors eventually convinced me that the strategy probably wouldn’t work, not because it’s a bad idea for either party, but because the Muslims almost certainly wouldn’t go for it.

Laura Wood and Larry Auster are outraged.  They think the idea is not only impractical, but wicked and cowardly.  They seem to embrace the idea, which I’ve combatted here and here, that Muslims worship a false god, rather than worshipping the true God falsely.  Mrs. Wood takes it farther, denying any common ground between Catholics and Muslims, saying that the marriage covanant, fetal rights, and social justice defended by Muslims has nothing to do with that defended by Catholics.

Readers will know how greatly I admire both Mrs. Wood and Mr. Auster.  Indeed, I look on them as leaders of our movement, and I’ve benefitted greatly from both of them.  Here, though, my must defend Pope Benedict–not because he is my spiritual father, although that would be reason enough–but because these attacks are more extreme than reason will allow.  They say that we may never ally ourselves with Muslims against a common, and vastly more dangerous, liberal foe, because the Mohammadans deny the divinity of Christ.  It is true, to the great sorrow of the world and especially to the souls of Muslims, that they do deny this truth.  But so do the liberals and so do the Jews.  Elsewhere, Mrs. Wood has stated that she would rather the western world commit suicide by multiculturalism than that we cease to be accomodating to the Jews.  Now, I agree that that the Jews are an admirable people, and it would impoverish us if we could not appreciate their many admirable traits.  I also would not want to see the Jews expelled from the West–despite their long history of hostility to Christendom and the certainty of their continued hostility–because a Jew who’s lived in the West his whole life has as much right to his home as I have.  I have no doubt that those few Jews who do believe in God believe in and worship the one true God.  However, we must conclude then that denying the divinity of Christ doesn’t automatically set one beyond the pale for any of us.  Indeed, while Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet, many of the Jews think Him a false prophet now boiling in excrement in Hell.  The Jews do not support any kind of heteronormative marriage or any restrictions on abortion, and they and their pet organizations have done far more to secularize America than the Muslims have.  To be consistent, we must admit that a Muslim who’s lived in the West his whole life has rights we must respect.  Muslim civilization, too, is brilliant in many ways, and we should give it its due.  Of course, though we should admire the Muslims and the Jews, we should remember that they do not reciprocate our esteem.  They mean harm to our culture (although they don’t see it as harm; they sincerely believe that marginalizing our faith is for our own good), and we must respond to that prudently but proportionately.

A Christian-Muslim alliance against liberalism would be much less corrupting than a Christian-liberal alliance against Islam.  If the former marginalizes belief in the Incarnation, the latter marginalizes belief in God Himself.  I no longer recommend either coalition:  the latter because it is too monstrous to contemplate, the former because it wouldn’t work.  The fact of the matter is that we have a Muslim-liberal coalition, and it’s pretty stable.  Both sides see Christianity as the greatest evil, and both sides are contented enough that they’re gaining from their alliance.  It seems almost impossible to peel away either to our side.

How does one win a two-front war?  Generally speaking, one doesn’t.  It looks, though, like that’s what we’re stuck fighting.  Pope Benedict is right to be looking for ways to postpone hostilities with our less-dangerous enemy.  If it doesn’t work (and I expect it won’t), we’re none the worse off for trying.  Even if he doesn’t succeed in building an Adam Webb-style virtuocratic alliance, if he can at least create some friction between our two enemies, if he can put the thought into their heads that their interests might not be identical, this could really pay off.

14 Responses

  1. “saying that the marriage covanant, fetal rights, and social justice defended by Muslims has nothing to do with that defended by Catholics.”

    Muslims allow divorce and remarriage while spouses are still alive and also allow polygyny. They are on a different page from Catholics on this front.

    Are Muslims against abortion? I thought they allow abortions for the first four months after conception as well as in a bunch of other circumstances. Unless I have this wrong they are certainly not in agreement with Catholics on this key moral issue.

    I have no idea what ‘social justice’ Muslims defend.

  2. I had assumed that this was a reference to their opposition to usury and capitalism, but “social justice” is such a vauge word, it’s hard to tell what His Holiness was referring to.

  3. ““social justice” is such a vauge word”


  4. It’s a pact with the devil.

    Lots of German Catholics offered their enthusiastic support to the Nazi’s in the belief that they were better than the Wiemar scum. Look where that ended up.


  5. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is my enemy, too.

  6. On this occasion, I agree with the previous posters. Before advocating an alliance with Islam, Bonald, I would respectfully suggest that you spend some time living in a Muslim-majority community where Islamic extremists have captured the levers of political power, such as my borough of Tower Hamlets in London. I can assure you that the militants in that community see Catholics as being the enemy just as much as secular atheists.

    If you look outside the radical Islamist community for allies, you come up against the argument that I’ve made before, i.e. that moderate Muslims in the West accept the legacy of the Enlightenment.

  7. That’s basically the conclusion I was forced to come to, too. It doesn’t matter how good a Catholic-Muslim alliance might sound in my head. The Muslims won’t go for it. They see all Westerners as the enemy, except for the communists who offer them the most welfare goodies.

    It just hit me that that’s probably what European Muslims mean by “social justice”.

  8. You obviously don’t live with Muslims and have no idea how they operate.

  9. Reggie,

    I’m actually very curious to know how Muslim ascendency has affected daily life in your borough, if you feel at liberty to say.

  10. It manifests itself in different ways. I can mean having a good selection of Indian restaurants to dine in. Or it can mean getting beaten up by a gang of thugs if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know that the local Christian clergy aren’t happy about the way things are going. Sometimes it’s just the little things, like all the local shop assistants wearing the hijab. On a political level, I don’t like my tax money being funnelled by Mayor Rahman towards Islamist organisations who he happens to be connected with, and I don’t like him firing employees of the borough and replacing them with Islamist stooges.

    The best source on the shenaningans of Islamic London is the journalist Andrew Gilligan. He’s not sensationalist (he’s coming from a moderate conservative perspective), but he’s been working on the subject for a few years now and know what he’s talking about:


    It’s only fair to say that some of the staunchest opponents of the Rahman regime (which is associated with the East London Mosque) are other Muslims – the apolitical, Sufi-inspired Barelvis who attend the Brick Lane Mosque.

    I absolutely despise the likes of the BNP, who oppose immigration from a fascist perspective, but to some extent I can understand why people support them. This first came home to me when I lived for a year in Leicester while I was attending law school (Leicester being a majority-immigrant city) and I had the charming experience of being spat on in the street for looking like a white middle-class student. (Either that or they really, really didn’t like my fashion sense.)

  11. He is hardly likely going to go and speak to muslims and then say “You are the enemy”, that wouldn’t be tactful at all. I think any intellegent person could have deduced from the very fact that his holiness felt it important to address the muslims he was therefore going to take a “commonality against liberalism” line.

  12. I would also add that these guys are wolves in sheep’s clothing. In relation to the trend in British Islam towards supporting pro-Western, pro-Enlightenment values, the boys at the East London Mosque have consistently followed a strategy of camouflaging their extremism and presenting themselves as respectable members of British society (they even got Prince Charles to preside at the official opening of the Mosque a few years ago). The likes of Gilligan have done good work in exposing what happens behind closed doors and the fundamentally un-British nature of these guys’ outlook.

    The most powerful critique of Islamism in Britain that I know of is Ed Husain’s “The Islamist”, which is a memoir by a British Muslim who got sucked into this world and ended up becoming disillusioned with it and returning to his family’s brand of spiritual, apolitical Islam.

  13. He could just preach the Gospel to them.

  14. Hello Bonald,

    It seems your Muslim strategy may becoming more possible, especially after this recent event I discussed at the site below:


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