What’s the absolute last thing in the world that Pope Woke, aka Francis, would want to do? What would cause him to recoil in the most spine-tingling horror imaginable? That’s right: the prospect of following in the footsteps of his long-gone predecessor, Pope Urban II, and calling for a new Crusade. Yet that’s exactly what the Islamic State (ISIS), which is apparently not aware of just how woke and accommodating to their various demands the pope is, has just accused him of wanting to do.
ChurchMilitant.com reported the improbable news on Tuesday: in an article in its weekly publication Al-Naba, ISIS claimed that Pope Francis’ recent trip to Iraq heralded a new “Crusade” to “remove the shariah of Allah from this land and to establish polytheistic religion in its place,” and that the pope marked the beginning of this “Crusade” by “lifting his profane cross over the ruins of Mosul.” The woke pope, with his fond daydreams about Islam being a religion of peace and tolerance, has once again run into the law of unintended consequences, and caused more trouble than he solved.
Jihad attacks will follow in Iraq, ISIS declared, warning Iraqi churches that the jihadis “will remove their crosses very soon” as they did “the first time, with Allah’s permission.” This came in an editorial entitled “Messages of the Christian Idolator-Tyrant [Taghut al-Nasara al-Baba] on His Visit to Iraq.” As I explained to Church Militant, taghut refers to idols or idolaters, particularly as rulers; nasara is the Qur’an’s word for Christians; and al-baba is the pope. So taghut al-nasara al-baba is the Christian idolater or idolator-tyrant, the pope.
ISIS claimed that Francis went to Iraq bent on “propagating new crusader ideas towards Muslim countries, especially Iraq, which has been the site of a grinding war for the last two decades between the Muslims and the mushrikeen,” that is, the idolators or polytheists. The pope’s interfaith event in Iraq amounted to “unleashing an invitation to a new religion of unbelief and atheism” adhered to by Christians, Jews and “the idolator-tyrants [taghut] of Muslim countries.”
Decrying the pope’s cherished idea that Christianity and Islam can come to a mutual accord and understanding based on their supposed “common father” Abraham, ISIS continued: “The so-called ‘Abrahamic religions’ — whether true or false — are said to belong to Ibrahim, the prophet of Allah, and based on the claim that the city of Ur, which the Christian idolator-tyrant visited and from where he launched his campaign for this new religion is the birthplace of Ibrahim, the prophet of Allah.”
The idea of “Abrahamic religions,” according to ISIS, is “Satanic,” basing this idea upon the Qur’an: “Abraham was not a Jew, nor was he a Christian, but he was a Muslim hanif, and he was not one of the idolaters” (3:67). It may seem strange to Westerners to claim that Abraham was a Muslim in light of the fact that Islam didn’t come to the world until 600 years after Jesus. But in the Islamic scheme of things, Islam was the original religion of all the prophets of the Bible. Their followers corrupted their teachings to create Judaism and Christianity, which are both false religions. That idea is mainstream Islam, not just the province of “extremists.”
The author of this document also refers to the pope profaning Mosul by lifting his cross over it. This is because in Islam, Jesus was not crucified (cf. Qur’an 4:157), and to affirm otherwise is to suggest that Allah is not strong enough to protect his prophets.
The pope would most likely be shocked to find that his very attempts at conciliation and peace are being viewed as provocations, but this is yet another example of his getting involved in affairs that he only dimly understands at best, and creating more problems than he is solving. He almost certainly doesn’t know that the Qur’an says that “the Jews and the Christians will never be satisfied with you until you follow their religion,” (2:120). So even his outreach is viewed as a sinister attempt to seduce Muslims away from Islam, and that this group is likely to strike at Christians to protect themselves against this perceived attack on Islam.
Pope Francis’ peace outreach may consequently end up getting even more Christians killed than would have been if he had left well enough alone and stuck to preaching the Gospel, which it is supposedly his mission to propagate and defend. But that has never seemed to be very high on his priority list.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 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 Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.