“What is Islam?” Revisited | Fr. James V. Schall, SJ CWR
Within Islam, the world is divided into a zone of war and a zone of peace. Those who are in the zone of war or sympathize with it are enemies who deserve death.
“An aspect of the attack (in Syria) that was not often reported in the media was the way the Islamist invaders tried to remove not only the Christians but the Christianity from the town, a phenomenon that is common now when Islamism expands in the Middle East and in the greater Muslim world. It is not enough that Christians should leave, convert, or die, but all traces of Christianity should be removed as well.” — Michael Coren: Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity (Plattsburg, N. Y. McClelland & Stewart/Random House Canada, 2014), 48
“Seventeen-year-old Ismael said he was ordered this summer by his Islamic State superiors to help behead every male ages 14 to 45 from an enemy Syrian tribe in Deir Essour. The teenager said he balked, but his 10-year-old brother took to the job with zeal. Activists said hundreds were killed.” — Maria Abi-Habib, “The Child Soldiers Who Escape Islamic State: Boys, Teenagers Tell of Lessons in Beheading, Weaponry at Training Camps,” Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2014
“The Islamic State stormed unimpeded through Mosul, Qaraqossh, and the smaller towns of Nineveh province last summer, marking Christian homes with the letter ‘N’ for ‘Nazarene’ and giving residents an ultimatum: renounce Jesus Christ and convert to Islam, or die. The 200,000 Christian faithful in Nineveh, many of whom still pray in Aramaic, refused. For that, they had to flee en masse one August day with little more than the shirts on their backs. Some, including children, were slaughtered, and some may have been enslaved.” — Nina Shea, “Christians on the Run from Iraq,” National Review Online, December 24, 2014
Michael Coren, the Canadian journalist and TV host, has written a sober and frank book, titled Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity. Its basic intent is to survey and accurately recount the extent of Islamic persecution of Christians in particular in every area of the world from the Mid-East, to Africa, Indonesia, Asia, the Philippines, Europe, and America. Others besides Christians are also attacked, but Christians have become the prime target. The goal, now almost achieved in many areas, is the total elimination of Christians from Muslim-held areas. No doubt, for many, this startling phenomenon has certain apocalyptic overtones. As Coren himself stated, one needs a strong stomach just to read about the mind-numbing, brutal Islamic atrocities that regularly occur in every part of the world—beheadings, stabbings, rapes, throat-slittings, eye-gougings, knifings, burnings, and killings of every imaginable sort.
These scenes are not figments of anyone’s imagination. They are often recorded live in various media. Most people cannot even imagine them even when they see them. If the extent and inhumanity of this persecution of Christians are at all reported in the West, they are played down or unstated because of political presuppositions, ecumenical or liberal presuppositions, or because of cowardice and very real fear of Muslim retaliation—the murder of 12 in Paris yesterday being a timely and horrifying example. While Walid Phares, Robert Spencer, Laurent Murawiec, and Andrew Bostom, among others, have presented earlier graphic accounts of Muslim-originated atrocities, Coren has brought this bloody record up-to-date, as the violence has increased measurably in recent months.
When Robert Royal finished his book Catholic Martyrs in the Twentieth Century in 2000, I recall being especially struck by his observation that so many of these martyrs died quietly, unknown except to God. Usually they lived good lives. In no way were they the cause of their fate, other than for their being Catholics or Christian. A reading of the Coren book leaves one with the same agonizing impression. Catholics and Christians of every denomination are now being slaughtered on a regular basis in various Muslim-dominated lands for no other reason than that they are followers of Christ.