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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Pope's "Dialogue" with Muslims Is One-Way

Pope Francis and the Grand Mufti of Istanbul in the Blue Mosque

Our guest writer Cassandra has written another article for this blog.


The BBC reported that the Pope visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul as part of a three-day visit to Turkey. According to the BBC reporter, the Pope offered a moment of “silent to the Grand Mufti.” The BBC man said that it was, “a moment of rich symbolism in terms of the inter-faith dialogue” that the Pope is trying to promote. And it certainly was!

For some reason the BBC didn't see fit to report on the Pope's visit to the Orthodox Christian basilica of Hagia Sophia. The basilica was converted into a Mosque following the Turkish invasion and occupation of Constantinople in 1453, and is now a museum. This is a pattern that Muslims have followed throughout history after invading other peoples' land in order to show the supremacy of their religion – see also the conversion into a mosque of the Basilica of John the Baptist in Damascus, and the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The rock at the heart of the Dome, called the Foundation Stone, has great significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims, and the Dome is believed to have been built on the site of the Second Jewish Temple.

Of course, as all good jihadis will tell you, the conquest of Constantinople was foretold by Muhammad, the founder of the "religion of peace", who promised the Muslims that, after stealing the Christian city of Constantinople, with Allah's help they would steal Rome as well. A promise that the Islamic State, those "hijackers of the peaceful religion of Islam", would like to realise.

The Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News, however, did report on the Pope's visit to Hagia Sophia from which two points stand out for me. Firstly, that “the Pope left Hagia Sophia without praying,” and, secondly, that “the Islamic call of prayer from the speakers of nearby mosques was heard in the historic building.” A visit rich in symbolism indeed!

Why didn't (or couldn't) the Pope say a prayer in what was for centuries a Christian place of worship? Would it have caused the Muslim Turks offence for a Christian to make any sort of a claim on a building that they stole from Christians?

Secondly, why was the Islamic call to prayer played from the speakers while the Pope was in Hagia Sophia? Was it by coincidence that the Pope's visit to the basilica coincided with it? If so, it is a rather common coincidence. It reminded me of the Mass that the same Pope held during his visit to the Holy Land, which was similarly interrupted by the loud playing of the Islamic call to prayer. It's funny how the call to prayer always coincides with events like these. For those who don't know, these are the words of that prayer:
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
I witness that there is no god but Allah.
I witness that there is no god but Allah.
I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Come to worship. Come to worship.
Come to success. Come to success.
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
[From (The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) by Mark Durie, 2010, page 17]

A visit rich in symbolism indeed! But the symbolism is probably lost on both the Pope and the BBC.

The problem with Muslim-Christian “inter-faith dialogue” is that the aim of the “dialogue” is almost always nebulous. From the Christian perspective it always seems to amount to something like “let's hang out together, and say nice things to each other so that everybody feels good.” Which is all good and well, but it does nothing to resolve the tough issues such as Muslim persecution of Christians around the world which (silly me) I would have thought was the point of “dialogue”.

Rather than tackling the root cause of such persecution - the Islamic texts – the “dialogue” revolves around deflecting blame from those texts to things like “hunger and poverty” or “Islamophobia”; or else yammering on about what Christians and Muslims have in common, for example the fact that both groups reverence Mary or that both groups believe that Jesus had a miraculous birth and performed miracles. That's all good and well but it ignores the fact that Muslim persecution of Christians does not originate from Muslim and Christian unawareness of the fact that they both share similar beliefs, nor from “Islamophobia”, hunger or poverty.

Re-read that call to prayer. The problem stems from Islamic supremacism which is writ large in Islamic law and psychology, and which in turn originates from the texts of Islam. Muhammad is told in the Qur'an: “He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it conqueror of all religions however much idolaters may be averse.” (Qur'an 61:9) While Christians are taught to be humble, Muslims are taught the supremacism of Islam over other religions, which explains why, after invading other peoples' land (which it is their divine right to do), they find it difficult not to commandeer other peoples' places of worship for Allah.

It explains why, when a Christian man has the audacity to marry a Muslim woman, the Muslim mind sees fit to punish all Christians in the area for that “crime”. Since in Islamic law Muslim men are free to marry Christian and Jewish women, why should Christian or Jewish men marrying Muslim women cause such reactions? Well, it is because the former is meant to ensure that the number of Muslims increases in a society since the children of such unions are invariably raised as Muslims. The latter cannot be allowed because it would mean that the children of such unions (following the religion of the father) would be Christians or Jews, and the number of Muslims in the society would decrease. The notion that Christians and Jews share an equality with Muslims is foreign to Islamic law.

Christians, like the Pope, following their teacher's command to be humble believe that they are building good will with their Muslims counterparts, but fail to see that Muslims, following Muhammad's teaching that they are the best people (Qur'an 3:110), while Jews and Christians are the “worst of created beings” (Qur'an 98: 6), view Christian obeisance towards them as being in the normal order of things, and not something that requires any sort of reciprocity.

The Pope's visit won't stop the Turkish government supporting the Islamic State by, for example, allowing them to use Turkish territory to launch attacks.

But none of that really matters anyway, because ending wrongdoing on the part of Muslims, through an honest examination and repudiation of certain ideas in the Islamic texts, is not the point of “inter-faith dialogue”.


  1. Dear Enza
    I wish you could write something like this to the Vatican, I do believe people really cannot see their own blindness. such as the fact pointed out that they faced Mecca to pray when it would be impossible for the Mufti to pray towards a Christian centre of worship, for instance.


    The defenders on the battlements seem a strange coalition to our modern eyes, trained from the cradle to perceive the world in a particular way. Try raising the bipartisan aspect of assault on European Christianity and expect to be banned. The muslims, powerful as they are on the streets, hold little or no sway at the upper levels of power in the West. Their menacing and continuing presence must be explained by the agency of other parties.

    1. It should read.
      "expect to be banned from sites like Gates of Vienna"


      The big picture with the lacunae attended to.

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