During his trip to Turkey in late November, Pope Francis said that he would never rule out the possibility of dialogue with representatives of the Islamic State:
I never consider something a lost cause, never. Maybe we can’t have a dialogue, but never close the door. It is difficult, you might say “almost impossible,” but the door is always open.
Dialogue, of course, has to be a two-way street to be effective. So it is useful to consider some of the most recent examples of Muslim outreach to Jews and Christians: it can help us evaluate the prospects of that dialogue with the Islamic State and the Islamic world in general.
6. Poll: 80% of “Palestinians” support jihad terror attacks on Israeli civilians
The Associated Press reported Tuesday on a new poll showing that 80 percent of Palestinians “supported individual attacks by Palestinians who have stabbed Israelis or rammed cars into crowded train stations.”
They’re approving of hit-and-run attacks on Israeli civilians, and of stabbing whole families to death in their homes in the middle of the night. They’re glorifying and celebrating savagery. But surely this is nothing that a bit of “dialogue” won’t cure!
5. Muslims forcing closure and demolition of churches all over Ethiopia
Last week Ethiopian authorities, responding to complaints from local Muslims, destroyed the building housing the Y Semay Birihan Church (Heaven’s Light Church), located in the overwhelmingly Muslim city of Harar. The Christian news site BosNewsLife reported that “efforts by local majority Muslim populations to ‘eliminate the public presence’ of churches resulted in the forceful closure, destruction and demolition of several church buildings in recent years.”
Cameron Thomas, an official of International Christian Concern, explained:
Corrupt officials willing to defend their religion rather than the laws they’ve sworn to uphold, are violating Christians’ rights by forcibly closing, destroying and demolishing churches across Ethiopia.
Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to build new houses of worship or to repair old ones. It seems as if Muslims in Ethiopia, with help from compromised officials, are trying to establish that prohibition there.
4. Islamic State using former churches as prisons
In the formerly Christian city of Mosul, the Islamic State has converted former churches, notably the ancient Chaldean Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. George’s Monastery, into prisons. The transformation neatly epitomizes the difference between the worldview of those who previously used the buildings and those who use them now. There have been no reports, in any case, of a successful “dialogue” resulting in the Islamic State reducing or commuting the sentences of anyone held in these new prisons.
3. Islamic Republic of Iran launches “We Love Fighting Israel” campaign
Not to be outdone in glorifying hatred and savagery, even among the youngest children, and paving the way for a war that is certain to come, the Islamic Republic of Iran has launched a social media campaign titled “We Love Fighting Israel.” Investigative journalist Adam Kredo reported in the Washington Free Beacon that this campaign “encourages Iranian children, teens, and Internet users to photograph themselves alongside messages of hate for the Jewish state.”
That is indeed outreach of a sort, but not of the kind that the proponents of “dialogue” in the West have in mind.
2. Palestinian superhero “Gaza Man” fights Israel
Always global leaders in antisemitism, the Palestinians this month went Iran’s social media campaign one better, creating a comic book superhero named Gaza Man to fight the Zionists. “We will never sanctify people,” explained Palestinian activist Mohammed Mus’ab, “but we can sanctify the idea of a masked man who devotes his life to protect his land, his religion and his principles.”
What a great idea – Muslim outreach to the kids! What superpowers will Gaza Man have? Maybe he can fly with Hamas’ rockets and make sure they murder the maximum number of Israeli civilians. Then he can fly (without an airplane, of course) to the UN and whine at the General Assembly about how Israel is killing “Palestinian” civilians — grabbing stills from horror movies on the way to use as props.
The persecutors of Christians didn’t forget children, either…
1. Islamic State beheads four Christian children for refusing to convert to Islam
Canon Andrew White, the “vicar of Baghdad” and one of the last Western Christian clergyman to leave the domains controlled by the Islamic State, revealed last week that Islamic State jihadists had beheaded four Christian children: “ISIS turned up and said to the children, ‘You say the words that you will follow Mohammed.’ The children, all under 15, four of them, said no, we love Yeshua, we have always loved we have always followed Yeshua, Yeshua has always been with us.”
The jihadis insisted: “They said: ‘Say the words.’ They said ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off.”
Islam forbids forced conversion — “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256). However, what is considered “forced” is more elastic than the Western view. Muhammad is represented in a hadith as saying that Muslims should take up arms against non-Muslims who refuse to convert or submit: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war.…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim 4294)
Thus when these children refused to convert, the Islamic State jihadis fought and killed them, as per Muhammad’s instructions.
Lamented White: “How do you respond to that? You just cry.”
Another response: you begin to realize the futility of “outreach” and “dialogue” with those who believe in a supremacist, aggressive, violent and expansionist theology.