Muslim apostate to Christianity, Magdi Allam, who was recently baptized by the Pope asks the latter to “make a pronouncement in ‘a clear and binding way’ on the question of whether Islam is a valid religion.” In olden days, no Christian, let alone pope, would’ve had any difficulties answering this question — just as no Muslim today would have any problems answering this question if directed at Christianity. At any rate, how does the Pope see Islam? Better yet, how does the typical Christian, or follower of any other faith, see Islam? How do atheists and secularists see it? If all such people (the vast majority of humanity, i.e., the non-Islamic world) believe Muhammad was not a “prophet,” what was he? If the Koran was not revealed from Gabriel, based on the verbatim words of Allah, what is it? Honest answers to oneself regarding such otherwise taboo questions will in and of themselves go a long way in explaining the state of affairs of the Islamic world.
“Muslim convert to Catholicism tells pope Islam is not inherently good,” by Cindy Wooden for the Catholic News, October 29:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Muslim-born journalist baptized by Pope Benedict XVI at Easter asked the pope to tell his top aide for relations with Muslims that Islam is not an intrinsically good religion and that Islamic terrorism is not the result of a minority gone astray.
As the Vatican was preparing to host the first meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum Nov. 4-6, Magdi Allam, a longtime critic of the Muslim faith of his parents, issued an open letter to Pope Benedict that included criticism of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
In the letter, posted on his Web site Oct. 20, Allam said he wanted to tell the pope of his concern for “the serious religious and ethical straying that has infiltrated and spread within the heart of the church.”
He told the pope that it “is vital for the common good of the Catholic Church, the general interest of Christianity and of Western civilization itself” that the pope make a pronouncement in “a clear and binding way” on the question of whether Islam is a valid religion.
The Catholic Church’s dialogue with Islam is based on the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (“Nostra Aetate”), which urged esteem for Muslims because “they adore the one God,” strive to follow his will, recognize Jesus as a prophet, honor his mother, Mary, “value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.”
The council called on Catholics and Muslims “to work sincerely for mutual understanding” and for social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.
How about the salvation of souls? The concept of truth? Apparently these now take a backseat to temporal cooperation — in word only, too.
Allam told Pope Benedict he specifically objected to Cardinal Tauran telling a conference in August that Islam itself promotes peace but that “‘some believers’ have ‘betrayed their faith,'” using it as a pretext for violence.
“The objective reality, I tell you with all sincerity and animated by a constructive intent, is exactly the opposite of what Cardinal Tauran imagines,” Allam told the pope. “Islamic extremism and terrorism are the mature fruit” of following “the sayings of the Quran and the thought and action of Mohammed.”…