Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vatican Takes Harder Line with Muslims

In a very significant change in policy, the Vatican has decided that quiet 'negotiating' with Muslims is simply fruitless; more verbal pressure will be exercised, and the Church will ask other countries to assist.

..."The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century … and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights." [Mgr. Velacio de Paolis, Secretary, the Vatican Supreme Court.]

De Paolis is hardly alone in his thinking; indeed, the Catholic Church is undergoing a dramatic shift from a decades-old policy to protect Catholics living under Muslim rule. The old methods of quiet diplomacy and muted appeasement have clearly failed. The estimated 40 million Christians in Dar al-Islam, notes the Barnabas Fund's Patrick Sookhdeo, increasingly find themselves an embattled minority facing economic decline, dwindling rights, and physical jeopardy. Most of them, he goes on, are despised and distrusted second-class citizens, facing discrimination in education, jobs, and the courts.

These harsh circumstances are causing Christians to flee their ancestral lands for the West's more hospitable environment. Consequently, Christian populations of the Muslim world are in a free-fall.

Rumblings of this could be heard already in John Paul II's time. For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican equivalent of foreign minister, noted in late 2003 that "There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens." Tauran pushed for reciprocity: "Just as Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well."

Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican's diplomacy toward Muslims.

If the Islamists and muhajedeen aren't careful, their use of the term "Crusaders" could become a self-fulfilling prophesy. And the results last time weren't so good for the Islamists.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

The guide book for the "religion of piece" specifically calls for making the infidel 2nd class. There are guidelines a non-muslim must follow to be tolerated, as well as the jizya, or poll tax he has to pay. Yet, the Saudi's and other muslim govt's repeatedly fight any mention of this treatment in the "human rights" commission of the un. Cute.