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Building Bridges Between Christians and Muslims: A Case Study

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester has not even had the courtesy to respond to my requests for a meeting. Nor has any diocesan official. Must not offend the friends of jihad terrorists.

After my appearance was canceled, Amjad Bahnassi, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, was conciliatory: “I doubt there was any foul play or bad intentions by the Diocese. We have great relations between the two faiths.”

“No hard feelings”? No “foul play or bad intentions”? Yes, we assassinated this man’s character, smeared and defamed him, and succeeded in strong-arming Bishop McManus into canceling his appearance. And hey, bishop, we don’t hold a grudge!

This isn’t about me. Robert Spencer will eventually go away, whatever happens. Do Bishop Robert McManus and the Roman Catholic Church (as well as the mainstream media) think that when I go away, their troubles will be over?

Apparently so. Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, lead organizer of the conference, explained:

I was not looking for a problem. The bishop felt that by disinviting him we would be avoiding a problem in casting a bad light on Christian-Islamic relations. Why risk that?

Why indeed? But what about the Muslims who cast a bad light on Christian-Islamic relations by persecuting Christians in Egypt, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere? Is anyone allowed to speak up for those Christians and explore the ideological root causes of why they’re being persecuted, or would that upset the shallow and insincere friendships you have with Muslims stateside?

Any genuine dialogue, and any healthy relationship, proceeds on the basis of honesty. Pretending that Islamic texts do not say what they say about Christians, and that Muslims do not act upon those texts to persecute Christians, will do nothing to help those Christians who are under threat. Only by confronting honestly the source of the problem can we ever hope to solve it.