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Often, we pray for goodness in the world but usually do so off the cuff, quickly, and in an all too generic way. We pray for the end of conflict. We pray for reconciliation. We pray for peace. But when it comes to terrorism, we need also to pray that evil, occult tendencies, and arrogance be purged from religions that spawn vehemence and destruction. The Church militant must rise when his faith is under attack, and the Church militant not only prays for a shield but also actively seeks (in prayer) to "deliver us from the evil one."

That's the original translation of the end of the Lord's Prayer -- "evil one," not just "evil," which is a general term -- and it's powerful because there is something effective about specifically naming an evil.

Spirit of pride. Spirit of occultism. Spirit of hatred.

There is much evil, obviously, in segments of Islam; there is a diabolical disorientation; denying this has solved nothing. While we're called to love everyone, including those who hate us, and while it's true that the majority of Muslims are good, disciplined, and dedicated people who wish no harm to others (and could teach us something about adherence to core principles), and while all three of the last Popes have made strong overtures to Muslims (Francis seems especially intent on this; after all, we are people created by the same God), it also is true that many Muslims are persecuting, taking advantage of, and brutalizing Christians.

It is time for this to stop. It is time for us to stop this. It is especially time for the good Muslims to bring it to a halt -- if they believe in the One Good True God.

No religion that believes in God, Who is love, can at the same time nourish hatred.

This comes to mind in the wake of the Boston Marathon.

It also comes in the wake of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who yelled the Islamic terrorist’s buzzword “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) as he killed 13 in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, a rampage, as one newspaper notes, that the Obama administration classifies as workplace violence, not terrorism. Questions remain about that Texas fertilizer plant. Maybe it was a simple accident. It was certainly a coincidence. There was Flight 800 that may have been shot down off Long Island. There are all these ricin letters (as after 9/11 there were anthrax letters). There was the sudden shutdown of all American Airlines flights the same day as the marathon attack. There was that jet that crashed into Queens right after September 11.

In other words: the jihad in America may be a bit more extensive than is generally admitted.

And whatever the case:

It's up to Islam to clean its own shop -- or remain suspect in the minds of Christians and Jews who have long memories of persecution and the attempts to eradicate Christianity in the Middle Ages (and currently to eradicate Judaism). Muslims are not oppressed by Christians; they are causing the oppression. In the wake of September 11, and now Boston, we heard our leaders emphasize how important it is that we not discriminate against or blame any one group and after 9/11 the government went out of its way in reaching out to Muslims, to the point of granting special privilege. It has not been a balanced approach. There is a time for tough love. Perhaps we need to be reminded that Muslims were not the targets at the World Trade Center.

The majority who died there were Christians as were the majority who have died in church burnings or have been and are being tortured for their faith in Nigeria, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Turkey, Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, Indonesia, and the Philippines [here's a list of just recent attacks]. There's a Christian evangelist languishing in a cruel Iranian prison for simply proclaiming Jesus -- while those who so much as draw a cartoon that's less than fawning of Mohammed, or who leave Islam, are marked for death. Even kids and the mentally ill have been brutalized as "enemies" of the faith. Let's stop pretending that such things are rare acts.

The many good Muslims must now speak out against this. We want to hear their voices. We don't want to hear the U.S. government on this subject. We need to hear it loudly from all segments of Islam: terrorists are evil. Killing Jews and Christians is of the devil.

We want to see Muslims get rid of their extensive violent factions and come to the defense of Christians who, while often turning the other cheek, have a right -- a duty -- to preserve their own religion, protect their young, and stand up for their rights as human beings. When was the last time that Christians went on a rampage against Muslims? When was the last time a Catholic burned down a mosque or beheaded a Muslim missionary? How many practitioners of Islam have succumbed to Christian terrorism in the past couple of centuries? When was the last time that Christians hijacked a jet in a Muslim country?

We are called to love. We are not called to be brutalized. In modern times there has been no Christian version of "jihad." It is Islam, too often -- virtually always -- that resists compromise. There is the all-too-concrete idea in many Muslim minds, it seems, that Christianity -- in the end -- must be eliminated.

We can't stand for that.

It is radical Islam that thinks nothing of death for those "infidels" who refuse conversion. It is Islam that uses curses invoking "jinn" spirits to afflict those who are "enemies (to specify the occultism). The uncle of the Boston bombing suspects railed against the young men for what they did. Many Muslims feel the same way. “We will never allow ourselves to be hijacked by this attempt, and we will not allow the perception to be that there is any religion in the world that condones the taking of innocent life,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Some argue that Islam forbids the type of violence that has tainted its reputation [see below].

But if that's true, let's see action.

We respect Muslims who love. We respect Muslims who are disciplined. We respect the view of Muslims who are shocked by the sexual mores of the West. Muslims acknowledge Jesus (though as just a prophet) and the Koran mentions Mary more than the Bible does. We can find common ground. Controversy was sparked when at Medjugorje -- a hamlet that has Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims living next to each other -- the Blessed Mother once allegedly said that the holiest person in a particular part of Sarajevo was a Muslim woman (described as a "saint"), and that "members of all faiths are equal before God. God rules over each faith just like a sovereign over his kingdom. In the world, all religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God."

We accept that. We accept the call to unity.

We also accept, however, that one of the commandments is, "Thou shalt not kill."

Any aspect of Islam that looks the other way when there is the death of innocent others in the name of that religion is not of God and is not a legitimate form of any belief.

[resources: Retreats in Buffalo (5/4), Syracuse (5/5)]

[see also: Islam and violence]

[Print article]

[Footnote: "What I love about American culture is, this one terrorist spawned a whole bunch of heroes and I love that about our society - that just because one guy went crazy and caused some crazy things and whatever, we don’t retaliate and become like them," noted one commentator last week. "A terrorist in American society creates heroes not more terrorists."]


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