Few Americans even know that there was a jihad attack in Corpus Christi, Texas last week. But Michael Mulvey, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Corpus Christi, is well aware. Last Thursday, a 20-year-old Muslim migrant from Syria named Adam Salim Alsahli, according to CNN, “attempted to rush the security gate with a vehicle.” Then, after “security deployed a barrier to stop the vehicle,” Alsahli “exited the vehicle and opened fire…and naval security forces returned fire.”
Alsahli was “neutralized.” After his attack, officials “identified various social media accounts, which initial reports indicate are likely associated with the shooter….Online postings by these accounts expressed support for ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” But you can relax now: the Roman Catholic Bishop of Corpus Christi has condemned the attack, so all is well.
As far as we know, Mulvey had nothing to do with the attack, but nonetheless, as Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported, he announced Thursday: “I condemned the act of terrorism that was perpetrated this morning at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. These acts of violence are heinous, but they will not undermine our resolve to work for peace in our hearts, and our society. Our prayer is with the sailor who was injured this morning.” CNA noted that Mulvey “pledged to be a force for peace in the face of evil.”
Well, that’s a relief. You know that concerned citizens all over the country were on the edge of their seats, wondering whether the Catholic Bishop of Corpus Christi was going to applaud or condemn the attack. Now he has come down on the side of the angels, we can all relax and go about our business.
Mulvey’s statement was similar to dozens of condemnations of jihad terror attacks that politicians and other public figures have issued after jihad massacres all over the world in the last few years. It is unclear what moves them to make these statements. Did anyone really think that Michael Mulvey, a Catholic bishop, might be in favor of Adam Alsahli’s jihad attack?
Are there people out there who suspected that Michael Mulvey helped Adam Alsahli buy his gun or otherwise prepare for his jihad, and were such suspicions so persistent that the good bishop felt it necessary to clear the air? Does Michael Mulvey think that his condemnation will stop future jihadis from carrying out their attacks, for fear that the local Roman Catholic bishop will condemn them?
If Michael Mulvey is sane, which presumably he is, then he knows that the answer to all those questions is no, and so there was no reason whatsoever for him to issue his condemnation except to signal his virtue. Mission accomplished.
But the bitter irony here is that no matter how thunderous Mulvey’s condemnation was, and no matter how resoundingly it inspired pangs of conscience in jihadis everywhere, and no matter how hard Mulvey tries to be a “force for peace,” he will find himself unable to persuade jihadis to lay down their arms and stop waging war against unbelievers, because those jihadis consider that war a divine command (cf. Qur’an 9:29).
What’s more, the Roman Catholic Church in general is indefatigably committed to Pope Francis’ ridiculous claim that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” That is, the Catholic Church is institutionally committed to ignoring and denying the ideological wellsprings that give rise to attacks such as that of Adam Salim Alsahli.
Consequently, no matter how much Mulvey works to be a “force for peace,” he will find himself confronted with jihadis who, in his view, persistently misunderstand their own religion. But he can’t deal with that problem in any realistic manner; to do so would be to deny one of the modern-day Catholic Church’s most cherished newly-minted dogmas, that Islam is a religion of peace.
It is worth noting also that both Adam Alsahli and Mohammed Alshamrani, who attacked another naval air station in Florida in December, were foreign nationals; Alsahli came to the U.S. as a “refugee” and Alshamrani as a foreign student. The Catholic Church strenuously opposes any efforts to reform the programs by which they entered the country.
And so Michael Mulvey might as well go the whole way and have printed a whole pad full of his condemnations of jihad activity, so that all he has to do is fill in blanks for the place and date of the attack. He will find that he will go through such a pad with remarkable speed.
“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.