Sometimes one wonders, and the pontiff’s recent remarks on Islam make one wonder about his Catholic credentials even more. His PC credentials, however, are beyond doubt.
His Holiness certainly eschews the inductive method of Catholic thought, whereby a general conclusion is drawn on the basis of particular facts. And the facts are in the public domain, impossible for any sentient person not to know.
Just about every terrorist act over the last 15 years has been committed by Muslims screaming ‘Allahu akbar!’. In one month of November, 2014, the BBC counted 664 attacks producing 5,042 deaths.
Muslims were responsible for 450 out of 452 suicide attacks launched in 2015. And the atrocities Muslims committed this year are still fresh enough in our memory not to need a mention.
Professional researchers would find such facts statistically significant, and professional analysts wouldn’t take long to discern a causal relationship between Islam and terrorism. Why, even a rank amateur, provided his mental faculties are intact, wouldn’t find the task unduly difficult.
The Pope is neither a researcher nor an analyst, and his mental faculties are very much in doubt if his take on the situation is anything to go by. “It’s not right to identify Islam with violence,” pronounced His Holiness, “It’s not right and it’s not true.”
If it’s true, it’s right, and the truth is there for all to see. Yet none so blind as those that will not see, as the saying goes. So, if Islam isn’t responsible, who is?
“I believe that in every religion there is always a little fundamentalist group,” explained the Pope. That’s God’s own truth, but this particular God’s own truth is irrelevant to the argument – unless His Holiness can demonstrate that, say, fundamentalist Lutherans also murder thousands by acts of terror.
The Pope can’t do that, but he can lump his fellow Catholics together with Muslim suicide bombers. “If I speak of Islamic violence, then I have to speak of Catholic violence… this man who kills his girlfriend, another who kills his mother-in-law… and these are baptised Catholics.”
But we aren’t speaking of violence, Your Holiness. We are speaking of terrorism, which is violence specifically committed in pursuit of political goals, in this case the clearly enunciated Islamic goal of establishing a worldwide Muslim caliphate. Surely any halfway intelligent person should see the difference?
Propensity for violence isn’t uniquely Muslim but universally human. It derives from the concept the Pope may be familiar with, that of Original Sin. But Muslims more or less hold exclusive rights to modern terrorism, which they perpetrate in the name of Allah.
Saying that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam is either a lie or ignorance or an ignorant lie. It’s like saying that neither the Koran nor indeed Muhammad has anything to do with Islam.
After Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina, he wrote down (or rather dictated) 300-odd verses explicitly calling for Allah-inspired terrorism against infidels. And he practised what he preached, killing, for example, hundreds of Jews with his own sabre. Muslim terrorists are thus acting in the spirit of their scripture, and they often choose throat-slitting and decapitation in imitation of their creed’s founder.
It’s true that not all Muslims slit throats, cut heads off or blow themselves up in public places. By the same token, not all Germans were Nazis and not all Soviets were communists. Would His Holiness suggest that the crimes the Nazis and the Soviets committed had nothing to do with Nazism and communism?
Speaking of imams, the Pope said, “I know how they think, they are looking for peace.” Of course they are, Your Holiness. The kind of peace Tacitus was referring to when he wrote: “Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.”
The Pope wouldn’t need a translation but, for those who do, this means “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”