Editor’s Note: Three American scholars, two Christians and one Muslim, spoke to WND about the threat of political Islam. They say there will be further trouble unless Americans understand the threat and learn how to resist it. This interview with Catholic psychologist William Kilpatrick is the second part of the series. In part one, Robert R. Reilly of the American Foreign Policy Council said America is hurting itself by working with U.S.-hating Muslims.
WASHINGTON – Catholic psychologist Dr. William Kilpatrick is warning that Christian Americans are naïve about Islam and working towards their own extinction.
“We often hear that the true Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a minority of violent extremists,” Kilpatrick told WND. “If that’s true, why not open the books on Islam? Islam deserves the kind of inspection and scrutiny that Christianity has received for decades.”
Kilpatrick, author of “Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for The Soul of The West,” said alarms should be sounding.
“Muhammad said that he came as a ‘warner,'” wrote Kilpatrick in his book, published in November. “Among the banners that can be seen in various Muslim demonstrations in Europe is one that reads, ‘Islam – our religion today, your religion tomorrow.’ For anyone who follows the pronouncements of Islamic religious authorities around the world, there can be little doubt that this is their goal.”
Kilpatrick chronicles Islam’s war on Christian civilization as a war on universal human rights. He cites three factors working against all people of goodwill: cowardice or malice by secular governments, naïve Christian leaders and irreligious or atheist news media preaching indifference.
Indifferentists purport that all religions are equal and valid, except Christianity. Among them are secular media who whitewash Islam’s history and agenda, charging instead that Christianity is guilty of intolerable extremism.
Islam on the rise
Islam certainly is on the rise, but it’s difficult to discern whose demographic statistics are accurate, if any. The latest Vatican research shows 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, while the Pew Research Center claims Muslims slightly outnumber Christians at 2.2 billion compared to 2.18 billion, respectively.
Fight back against the legal attack from the Council on American-Islamic Relations on the First Amendment by making a contribution to WND’s “Legal Defense Fund.” Donations of $25 or more entitle you to free copy of “Muslim Mafia” – the book so devastating to CAIR that the group is trying to ban it.
In America, U.S. Census Bureau figures, released by the Association of Religion Data Archives, are incomplete because some 158 million people refused to reveal their religions. Still, 2.6 million U.S. residents declared themselves Muslim; roughly 137.2 million claimed to belong to a branch of Christianity; and 58.9 million of the Christians declared themselves Catholic. A higher count of 77.7 million Catholics, courtesy of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, is probably more accurate as it’s based on parish registration.
Why, however, does the Obama administration appear to favor Muslims and adopt policies that infringe on the rights of Christians?
Kilpatrick told WND he’s “alarmed” that critics of Islam, such as himself, eventually could be charged with “hate crimes.” As noted in WND exposés, Obama’s Justice, Defense and Homeland Security Departments refuse to classify religiously motivated attacks by Muslims as terrorism. As WND reported, after Obama took office in 2009, DHS sent a memo to law enforcement officials in the states labeling outspoken Christians and others “right-wing extremists,” further urging them to monitor such Americans as likely terrorists.
Robert R. Reilly, author of “The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist,” criticized the Obama administration for favoring political Islam but said Islamists won’t win if Americans return to their Judeo-Christian roots.
Kilpatrick likewise criticized Obama’s policy toward the Islamic world.
“In our failure to understand Islam, we’ve helped to bring to power some of the most extreme Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.
But the problems don’t begin with government. Many professing Christians, the majority of voters who elect lawmakers and the president, ignore religious differences to everyone’s peril.
“Excessive emphasis on tolerance and sensitivity has resulted in a dangerous knowledge gap for Christians,” said Kilpatrick. “The main victims of Islam are Muslims. Should Christians be more worried about offending the sensibilities of some Muslims or should they be concerned about the men, women and children who are oppressed by Islamic laws?”
Several refugees from Islamic countries, whose identities are being kept confidential, spoke to WND verifying Kilpatrick’s claims.
One Muslim lady happily dresses like an American when she’s in the U.S. On Islamist requirements for women to be suppressed under a burqa or hijab, she said, “Those are men’s rules.”
A young woman who fled with her widowed mother and sister from one Muslim-ruled country to another said until they gained asylum in the U.S., almost none of their human rights were recognized.
Still others said that before the Arab Spring, they had befriended Catholics or other Christians and secretly converted to Christianity.
Christian refugees from Islamic nations are deeply concerned about Obama’s domestic and international agendas.
While some Muslims come to the U.S. to wage jihad, others say coming to America was “everything” because they believe in freedom as it’s expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Where should Christians begin?
“Tolerance needs to be balanced with justice, and justice seems to require that Christians be provided with a fuller account of Islam, because their survival may depend on that knowledge,” said Kilpatrick.
Jihad “isn’t an interior spiritual struggle,” he said, “but a serious obligation to subdue non-Muslims.”
That means, he said, many Western Christians “are going to be woefully unprepared for the kinds of things that are already happening to Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Sudan.”
“The Islamic faith is founded on a blunt rejection of basic Christian beliefs, but you would hardly know it from reading official church statements or from listening to prelates,” Kilpatrick stressed. “Instead of informing their flocks that Islam rejects Christ and requires its people to work toward the eventual subjugation of Christians, many Christian leaders have been more intent on emphasizing the common ground that Christians and Muslims share.”
Kilpatrick pointed to the Second Vatican Council declaration “Nostra Aetate” as focusing almost exclusively on the similarities between Muslims and Christians.
“That approach was in keeping with the spirit of change and openness that marked the [1960s] council because it seemed to fit with the prevailing circumstances in the Muslim world at the time,” he said. “The search for shared beliefs and values arose when the militant side of Islam was kept in check by secular rulers.”
Despite Kilpatrick’s critique, the last two popes haven’t shied away from criticizing political Islam.
In his 1994 book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope,” Pope John Paul II praised Muslims for their “fidelity to prayer,” but critiqued the impersonal depiction of God in the Quran.
In part, he wrote: “Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Quran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces divine revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God’s Self-revelation … has definitely been set aside.”
Pope John Paul wrote of his efforts to stop human rights violations of fundamentalist Muslims trying to impose their religion on others, especially Christians, but ended the chapter diplomatically by saying the Church is always open to dialogue.
Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t accept Islamic violence against Christians when, for example, someone publishes an irreverent cartoon of Muhammad.
The reaction to Benedict’s 2006 address on faith and reason at the University of Regensburg was cause for pause because Islamists waged international riots, they bombed Catholic churches in Israel and shot a Catholic nun to death in Somalia. Despite death threats and numerous Islamic governments calling for a retraction, Benedict continued preaching the Gospel and human rights with delicate diplomacy, even in Muslim majority countries.
Shortly after the violence, Pope Benedict issued two apologies but no retraction. He said, “At this time, I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims. … Yesterday, the cardinal secretary of state published a statement in this regard in which he explained the true meaning of my words. I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.“
Even at Regensburg, Benedict XVI was diplomatic in discussing the widespread Muslim rejection of reason.
“Without descending to details,” he said, “such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels,’ [Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus] addresses his [Muslim] interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: ‘Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’ The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable.”
In part, the fury was ignited by media who merely featured Pope Benedict quoting the emperor without the pontiff”s critique of his “unacceptable” “brusqueness.”
In America, Kilpatrick is worried about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been holding “dialogues” and conferences with Muslim organizations and leaders since 1996. The USCCB has made blanket statements condemning critics of Islam, but cites no examples. Last year they collaborated with the Islamic Society of North America, and Kilpatrick urges the bishops to investigate ISNA before taking further action.
Kilpatrick said, “Any adequate response to the threat from Islam will require us to push Muslims to rethink their faith on the most basic level. Critics of Islam tend to avoid the main question in favor of secondary questions. The secondary questions are: Is Islam a religion of peace? Is Islam compatible with modern values? Are women treated fairly under Shariah law?
“The main question is: Did Muhammad receive a revelation from God? That’s the heart of the matter. As long as Muslims believe that Muhammad received his marching orders from God, the Islamic jihad will continue.”
The Quran says Allah first gave his doctrines and rules to the Jews, but they changed His sacred word. He then revealed His doctrines to Christians, but they lied in saying Jesus was His son. So, according to Islam, Jews and Christians are infidels. The Quran also condemns the concept of the Holy Trinity and incorrectly states Christians believe the Trinity is God the Father, Jesus and His mother, Mary. Therefore, according to the Quran, Muhammad was the last prophet.
“First of all, the God of the Quran is sort of a dictator,” Kilpatrick said. “Muslims refer to themselves as ‘slaves of Allah,’ and He’s a very capricious dictator. Muslims describe Him as ‘pure will.’ Therefore, He’s not really held to the rules of reason: He can say one thing and then contradict it a little bit later in another verse.”
Muslims have developed a doctrine of “abrogation,” the overriding of teachings that appear first in the Quran with others that appear later, he said.
“If two passages in the Quran contradict each other, the earlier passage is abrogated by the latter passage,” Kilpatrick explained. “Thus, almost all the peaceful passages are in the early part of the Quran, and so they’re canceled by the latter more warlike passages.”
One could argue that Christians also consider themselves slaves of God. However, Christian slavery – Christian servitude – is voluntary. Paul, in Romans 6:20-23, describes it this way: “When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Kilpatrick discussed Muslim doctrines on hell and heaven.
“Unbelievers are going to hell, and it’s described in detail in many, many places. Of course, they believe in Paradise, which is described as a garden of earthly delights with food, refreshments, couches, pavilions and jewels – for the men,” he said.
“According to the Hadiths, Muhammad is reported to have said that when he looked at hell, he saw many more women than men. So there’s a bias against women.
“I might point out that ideas have consequences,” Kilpatrick continued. “Given the account of heaven in the Quran, it might make men want to shortcut the process of getting there, and the only sure way of doing that, according to Islamic tradition, is by killing and being killed in the way of Allah. And so we see all the martyrdom operations and bombings.
“It’s quite interesting that on September 11, the airline apparently made a mistake and Mohamed Atta’s luggage was left behind in Boston. When [authorities] opened his luggage, they discovered a wedding suit, a bottle of cologne and a long letter expressing his desire to meet his 72 wives in heaven.
“The best way to secure peace and show our love for Muslims is to offer them something better,” Kilpatrick advised.
He believes the “something better” is the truth about God as the rational creator and redeemer, Whose love, justice and mercy are the keys to everlasting joy.