It is a piece on the current series at APU called Engaging Muslims, in a Q&A style inteview with Regina Biosclair, Cardinal Newman Chair of Catholic Theology. There wasn't much digging, just a quick fly-over of someone's fantasy land.
I am happy to learn about other cultures and develop relationships with just about anyone, but please--in the name of all that is good and truthful--don't try to decieve me.
Regina Boisclair was asked by ADN reporter "Why is it important for the general public to understand Islam?"
Before giving Ms. Boisclair's answer, let us look more deeply at the question. The primary assumption by questioner is the "general public" does not understand Islam. Secondarily, she assumes that Ms. Boisclair must truly understand. After all she is chair of Catholic Theology. She probably has time to read and research such things. Well, more than ignorant working people, anyway.
OK, I'm ready to grant a level of scholarship to someone with the august title of Chair of Catholic Theology.
I know you can't wait. What's the answer? Gee, what does the great Christian Scholar of Theology think we all need to understand?
A. "So that they don't go around thinking Muslims worship another god (sic), so they don't go around thinking these people are evil, so they come to recognize that the Muslim world condemns terrorism."And this woman gets paid for her contribution? I'm sorry to have to submit that either she is grossly and regrettably misinformed or she has willfully attempted to deceive people who look up to her.
"Westerners have a long history of predjudice, suspicion and fear of Islam going back thousands of years. But Islam is part of the family tradition--it's one of the three Middle Easterm Monotheisms, of which Judaism and Christianity are the others. They all have one god(sic), anointed humans, sacred texts, community who observe prayer, fasting and alms-giving and go on pilgrimage. Wat we have is difficulties in the family."
Look again at what she said.
1. "so they don't ... think Muslims worship another god"
I can understand why someone who had never done any research would buy that line. After all, it all sounds pretty similar, doesn't it. Mentioning the names of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses, Jesus -- gee, it must be a 'family' thing.
What I can't tolerate is someone who espouses scholarship in theology and yet would perpetrate such a monstrous and demonstrable lie. Allah is not Yahweh...the Koran is without question the antithesis of the Bible.
I leave it to the reader to do his own research. There is plenty of information available ... you can start with the links on this blog. Try Answering Islam for starters.
2. "...so they don't go around thinking these people are evil..."
You know, I struggled with a facet of this question for some time after I realized that Islam was a vile cult given birth through a man of very low character. I have had close friends in the past who were Muslim--they were very nice folks. I came to realize that there is Islam (which is most definitely evil) and there are "cultural" Muslims (who may be just as ignorant of Islam as many Westerners). Not knowing much about their religion, they just want like many people, to pursue a decent and quiet life.
What the "general public" needs to know is more truth about what Islam teaches and the best way to help Muslims escape it.
3. "...the Muslim world condemns terrorism..."
Is this person on some high doses of non-prescription medication? Does she have a newspaper, a TV, a computer? Or does she say this because she actually thinks people will believe her?
Unfortunately, the room full of people at the first public lecture did, I think.
I don't remember seeing one demonstration by Muslims protesting Jihad or the Islamofacists. However, there are hundreds, if not thousands of examples of Muslims rallying to chant "Death to America!", or "Kill Those Who Insult Islam". There are many videos of these loving examples of Muslim peacefulness and piety, so it's a little difficult to swallow such a large bolus of crap.
4. "Westerners have a long history of predjudice, suspicion and fear of Islam going back thousands of years."
What in the world is she talking about? Most Westerners hadn't a passing interest in Islam because they never really encountered it--until 9/11. Unless, she happens to be speaking of the few hundred years of Muslim conquest of the Mediterranean and Spain, which was finally stopped by Europeans who were a little tired of being attacked and subjugated.
And please, "thousands of years"? As a scholar of theology, surely she would know that Islam got rolling in the seventh century when Mohammed had his encounter with the spirit world. That amounts to 1400 years...so it would more accurate to say hundreds of years. Assuming, of course, that what she was saying was true anyway.
5. And the most egregious statement of all from someone putatively learned: "Islam is part of the family." No, dear sister, not my family. Do some reading, or stop lying.
On her behalf, I have to say that she is probably only touting the Papal line...for he said the same horrible lie when he addressed Moroccans in 1985, saying "we worship the same God".
"They all have one god(sic)," (tell that to Muslims, who think Christians are polytheists)
"anointed humans," (Only Catholics, sorry)
sacred texts, (true)
community who observe prayer, (true, but in a fundamentally different way)
fasting and alms-giving (true)
and go on pilgrimage. (where do christians and jews go for the Haj? Maybe she didn't have time to read the Bible and see that there is no mention of pilgrimage.)
Another question by the intrepid reporter: "What things about Islam would surprise us, if we knew?"
A. Muslims invented algebra. ...The whole foundation of the Western Renaissance and enlightenment came out of Islamic scholarship. The philosophical background to Thomas Aquinas great works came out of Islamic scholarship.?
Ms. Boisclair, you really MUST start reading a little bit.
What you say is so ridiculous, it is laughable. But even if Muslims HAD invented algebra, which they didn't--sorry it was the Greeks, what have they done with it? Nothing. Hey, the Greeks invented everything, right? insert smile here
What has any Muslim-dominated society done with science? Nothing. The so-called Golden Age of Islam occurred under rulers not interested in fundamentalist, strictly applied Islam. They wisely adopted the scholars of conquered countries and let them continue to study.
As soon as the non-fundamentalists were supplanted by the Islamists, all progress and learning came to an end. Just look around the world! Where are the great economies, the great scientific discoveries, the great humanitarian efforts?
Let me give you a hint. It isn't in a Muslim-dominated country.
As for philosophy, Islam does not encourage philosophy or thinking, so don't even try that one. If you think me harsh....go find out the truth for yourself. This is no time to be ignorant and certainly no time to be hiding the truth from "the general public" because it might offend someone.
We need to understand that Islam is an evil and destructive cult. Only then can we see the need to help Muslims escape that prison. There is no rapprochement between fundamental Islam and civilization--there is only domination. I only hope it doesn't take another 9/11 for you to realize that.