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Friday, November 23, 2012


Phillip Turnbull

After years of Catholic/Muslim 'dialogue' in Turkey the frustrated Archbishop of Ankara, aware that the 'dialogue' was no dialogue but one way traffic by the catholics across the bridge to the non responsive Muslims, finally asked them in frustration, "What can you Muslims learn from us Catholics?" They told him bluntly: "Nothing! We can learn nothing from you because you have nothing to teach us. Furthermore, we are going to take Europe from you, Not with violence but with time. And we have all the time in the world. Because it is your liberal tolerant western laws and attitudes that will hand Europe to us on a plate."

The Archbishop of Ankara took this message back to Rome to unresponsive and catatonic fellow Bishops and liberal religious. "Please stop handing over un-used catholic churches (in Italy) to muslim communities. Of course they will accept them. They will also think - "See how superior we are to these infidels. Why they even hand over their churches to us - because they have no respet for their own religion."

I have just spent 4 years in Indonesia - the world's largest Muslim country.

I have returned a changed man. I have seen what is is like to live under a totalitarian religion. I have seen what is happening - and we should all be concerned. Our biggest fault is that we are catatonic - we underestimate what is possible around the corner.

As Fr Samir Samir SJ says correctly - "The present state of Islam is that it is an ignorant religion, taught by ignorant people for ignorant people."

Recently an Islamic scholar in Lebanon was explaining the probable development of the Koran - over a century or so - like many of the Biblical texts -a gradual development. Some of his students rushed him and literally threw him out the window. He is now in hiding in Europe.

Islam's problems are largely of it's own making - since the 12th century ban on the use of reason. hence - ask a muslim "Why does paper burn?" and you are likely to get the reply - "Because it is the will of Allah."

Islam needs to ask itself questions and we need to ask Islam questions.
At present people are too frightened to.

I asked questions when I was in Indonesia. A woman (teacher) on one occasion, looked over her shoulder and around the room to see if anyone could hear our conversation, then said quietly to me, "You do realise we are having a very dangerous conversation."

I then realised we are living in dangerous times.


I prefer the truth spoken plainly by our religious and this course seems wonderful as well as your article-For the Christian Humanist of the 20th century, there are three levels of reality: GRACE (the only true reality); NATURE (fallen, but made by God); and MODERNITY, in which men ignore Grace and either ignore or domi nate nature, God’s creation, originally intended as a gift for the man steward. In the end, because modernity forgets, ignores, or despises the true reality of Grace, it can only produce a false, substitute world. Historian Christopher Dawson noted that just “as the unity of the ancient world was finally broken in two by the sin of Islam, so the modern world is being broken by the sin of the only serious rivals to Christianity at the present day are not the old religions of the East, but the new political substitute-religions, like communism, nationalism, and so forth.” In essence, modernity is merely a shadow of a shadow. “The modern pagan, the godless child of tecnology or the “crowd man” is something more than fallen,” author and Trappist priest Thomas Merton wrote in the late 1950’s. “He lives not only below the level of grace, but below the level of nature--below his own humanity.” Man now living in “a world of falsity and illusion” loses all sense of purpose, all moorings, and the disorder of the world becomes fully manifest.

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