By Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (RET) ~
Onboard his plane to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis spoke to reporters. Queried about terrorism committed by radical Islamists, he suggested, while what is being fought is a war, it is “not a religious war.”
He then added:
“It’s a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood? Let’s not be afraid to say the truth. The world is at war, because it’s lost its peace!”
The real truth is the world has lost its peace because Islam mandates perpetual war until its global caliphate is established.
It appears, just like President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who claim Islam can do no wrong, the Pope has joined the naiveté scene.
With so much ongoing violence in the world linked to Islam, we simply cannot continue to accept the naiveté of leaders refusing to admit it.
Christians in the Muslim world are being forced to leave their religion to escape persecution, or to pay a tax, or to be put to death-all as a matter of Islamic doctrine-and Pope Francis refuses to see it.
Is love for his fellow man blinding the pontiff to the reality of Islam or does the reality of Islam intimidate him from speaking truth?
If the former, the Pope need understand the teachings at Cairo, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. Considered the chief center of Islamic and Arabic learning globally, it was Obama’s co-host choice for his infamous 2009 “New Beginning” speech to the Muslim world. It embraces an ideology seeking to enslave or destroy Christianity.
Initially founded more than a millennium ago by a Shiite Islamic sect, Al-Azhar University fell into Sunni hands in the 12th century. Ever since then, it has set the tone for Islamic scholarship for 90 percent of the world’s Muslims.
While Islam’s teachings have undergone little substantive change in its history, Al-Azhar did experience a bit of a renaissance in the 1960s. It opened its doors to the modern disciplines of medicine and engineering and even admitted women.
But as late as 1991, Al-Azhar embraced the Conditions of Omar-a pact drawn up by Prophet Muhammad’s successor, Caliph Omar, addressing how Muslims were to deal with Christians. Three primary conditions were offered to Christians: convert to Islam, remain Christian but pay tribute (known as “jizya”), or death.
The Conditions relied on the Koran’s Verse 9:29 which states:
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
The 1991 republication of the 14th century book “The Reliance of the Traveller“-an authoritative summation of Islamic jurisprudence (sharia)-includes a reaffirmation of the Conditions of Omar by Al-Azhar University. University officials made no attempt to suggest the conditions were inappropriate in a 20th century world. Despite this, during Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, he credited Al-Azhar for carrying “the light of learning through so many centuries…”
Three years later, “tolerant” Al-Azhar University outlawed judaism in Egypt.
Should we believe, then, that Pope Francis is oblivious to all this? Or is there another reason for him putting a tolerant face on an intolerant religion?
Al-Azhar’s grand imam had visited the Vatican in May 2016. The meeting by the two religious leaders sought “reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull.”
The referenced lull occurred after then-Pope Benedict XVI dared call for greater protection for Coptic Christians in Egypt following a December 31, 2010 church bombing that killed 23.
With attacks having also taken place on Christians in Iraq as well, Pope Benedict said the Cairo bombing was “yet another sign of the urgent need for the governments of the region to adopt…effective measures for the protection of religious minorities.”
However, to the Muslim Brotherhood hardliners about to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Pope Benedict’s call for greater Christian protection represented “an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs,” prompting the government’s recall of its ambassador to the Vatican.
In 2006, Muslim leaders accused Pope Benedict of committing another egregious act. Neither condemning nor endorsing Islam, Benedict had simply dared repeat 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II’s quote about the religion:
“Show me just what Muhammad 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.”
Undoubtedly, Pope Francis is aware of these Muslim sensitivities to any negative comments about their religion-truth be damned!
While this, arguably, might excuse Pope Francis’ reluctance to call the ongoing war an Islamic one, it does not excuse another comment he made.
Asked about the “barbarous assassination” of a French priest “killed in the name of Islam,” Francis proffered, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”
While fear of Muslim reprisals might cause Pope Francis not to speak badly of Islam, there is no excuse for equating Catholicism-a religion that left the Dark Ages centuries ago-with Islam-a religion still living in them.
Such indifference to Islam stunningly prompted an Iraqi columnist to suggest, “Israel is the last hope for Arab Christians.”
In discussing Islam, Pope Francis told reporters, “Let’s not be afraid to say the truth.” An appropriate response might be Jack Nicholson’s famous rant in the movie “A Few Good Men.” On the witness stand, pressed by a prosecutor for the truth, Nicholson shouted, “You can’t handle the truth.”
Apparently, neither can Pope Francis.
A version of this piece also appeared on http://www.theblaze.com/
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.