In PJ Media I discuss a few examples of recent attempts at inter-faith dialogue that Pope Francis should consider as he weighs engaging with the Islamic State.
During his trip to Turkey in late November, Pope Francis said that he would never rule out the possibility of dialogue with representatives of the Islamic State:
I never consider something a lost cause, never. Maybe we can’t have a dialogue, but never close the door. It is difficult, you might say “almost impossible,” but the door is always open.
Dialogue, of course, has to be a two-way street to be effective. So it is useful to consider some of the most recent examples of Muslim outreach to Jews and Christians: it can help us evaluate the prospects of that dialogue with the Islamic State and the Islamic world in general.
6. Poll: 80% of “Palestinians” support jihad terror attacks on Israeli civilians
The Associated Press reported Tuesday on a new poll showing that 80 percent of Palestinians “supported individual attacks by Palestinians who have stabbed Israelis or rammed cars into crowded train stations.”
They’re approving of hit-and-run attacks on Israeli civilians, and of stabbing whole families to death in their homes in the middle of the night. They’re glorifying and celebrating savagery. But surely this is nothing that a bit of “dialogue” won’t cure!
5. Muslims forcing closure and demolition of churches all over Ethiopia
Last week Ethiopian authorities, responding to complaints from local Muslims, destroyed the building housing the Y Semay Birihan Church (Heaven’s Light Church), located in the overwhelmingly Muslim city of Harar. The Christian news site BosNewsLife reported that “efforts by local majority Muslim populations to ‘eliminate the public presence’ of churches resulted in the forceful closure, destruction and demolition of several church buildings in recent years.”
Cameron Thomas, an official of International Christian Concern, explained:
Corrupt officials willing to defend their religion rather than the laws they’ve sworn to uphold, are violating Christians’ rights by forcibly closing, destroying and demolishing churches across Ethiopia.
Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to build new houses of worship or to repair old ones. It seems as if Muslims in Ethiopia, with help from compromised officials, are trying to establish that prohibition there.
4. Islamic State using former churches as prisons
In the formerly Christian city of Mosul, the Islamic State has converted former churches, notably the ancient Chaldean Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. George’s Monastery, into prisons. The transformation neatly epitomizes the difference between the worldview of those who previously used the buildings and those who use them now. There have been no reports, in any case, of a successful “dialogue” resulting in the Islamic State reducing or commuting the sentences of anyone held in these new prisons.
3. Islamic Republic of Iran launches “We Love Fighting Israel” campaign
Not to be outdone in glorifying hatred and savagery, even among the youngest children, and paving the way for a war that is certain to come, the Islamic Republic of Iran has launched a social media campaign titled “We Love Fighting Israel.” Investigative journalist Adam Kredo reported in the Washington Free Beacon that this campaign “encourages Iranian children, teens, and Internet users to photograph themselves alongside messages of hate for the Jewish state.”
That is indeed outreach of a sort, but not of the kind that the proponents of “dialogue” in the West have in mind….
Read the rest over at PJ Media.