Joseph D’Hippolito takes the dhimmi Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to the woodshed in this Jerusalem Post piece:
“When the Christian, the Muslim, or the Jew sees his neighbor of another faith following the ways of this world instead of the peaceful will of God, he must remind his neighbor of the nature of the one God we look to,” the Most Rev. Rowan Williams told Muslim scholars gathered at Al-Azhar in Cairo, Islam’s most prestigious seminary.
This from a religious figure who personally witnessed the World Trade Center towers collapse.
As an American who saw thousands of his countrymen incinerated three years ago, I believe the good archbishop did nothing but politely revile the innocent dead and the loved ones they left behind.
Can men who hijack airplanes and plow them into buildings for the greater glory of Allah be considered the neighbors of civilized people?
Can men who abduct civilians committing the unpardonable sin of seeking a living in Iraq and behead them for the greater glory of Allah be considered the neighbors of civilized people?
Can men, women – and even children – who strap on explosive vests filled with shrapnel and blow themselves up in crowded buses, discos, markets, pizza parlors, and subway stations be considered the neighbors of civilized people?
Can men and women who invade a school, take hundreds of children hostage, deny them food and water, force them to drink their own urine, rape some of them, then shoot them in the back as they try to escape be considered the neighbors of civilized people?…
…[C]onsider what the archbishop said and wrote one year after the terrorist atrocity:
The National Catholic Reporter, a liberal American newspaper, quoted Williams saying at a British arts festival in August 2002 that, as the twin towers fell, he was “pondering at the time, thinking … actually, I do not think this is an act of war. It is an act of terror, of violence, of barbaric carnage but somehow, war does not come into it.”
In a collection of essays published one month later, Williams criticized the moral necessity to remember collectively the unique mass murder he personally witnessed: “The point at which we need to show more footage of collapsing towers, of people jumping to their death, when we raise the temperature by injunctions never to forget – that is when something rather ambiguous enters in Bombast about evil individuals doesn’t help in understanding anything. Even vile and murderous actions tend to come from somewhere.”
Instead of patronizing his Cairo audience, Williams should have said this:
“Fellow theologians We come together seeking mutual understanding and respect. Yet how can you claim to seek them when you do nothing about the atrocities committed in Allah’s name?
“You say you respect Christians and Jews as ‘People of the Book.’ Then why do you do nothing when many of your fellow Muslims refer to Christians as ‘infidels’ or Jews as ‘pigs’ and ‘monkeys’? Why do you do nothing when Arab media outlets broadcast the lie that Jews used the blood of Arab children to make matzot?
“You call Islam a religion of peace. Why do you do nothing when many of your fellow Muslims – including clerics – support and commit such ‘unpeaceful’ acts?
“You say that not every Muslim supports these fanatics. Not every Russian supported communism; remember Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov. Not every German supported Nazism; remember Martin Niemoeller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“Where are your Bonhoeffers, your Niemoellers, your Sakharovs, your Solzhenitsyns?
After he was released from a Nazi concentration camp, Viktor Frankl was asked what he learned. Frankl responded that there are only two races – the decent and the indecent. In which camp does Islam lie?”
Such words would provide a refreshing change from the effete diplomacy that marks inter-religious gatherings.
They would be bold, visionary, honest.