Al Queda believed Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion

Details from CNS:

A U.S. al-Qaida official concluded that Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion, “particularly after the rage expanding against the mother church (Vatican) as a result of its scandals and policies refused by many of its public.”

American al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn wrote Osama bin Laden in January 2011 and laid out reasons for reaching out to Catholics, particularly the Irish. He urged bin Laden to use public anger at the church’s mishandling of clerical abuse to encourage Irish people to convert to Islam, according to newly declassified documents.

The letter was contained in files allegedly found at bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout after he was killed by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last May.

The Combating Terrorism Center, a privately funded research base at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, posted a number of declassified documents belonging to bin Laden on its website May 3.

They were taken in the raid on his house.

The letter from Gadahn particularly highlighted the reason for approaching the Irish, noting Ireland was not a participant in “Bush’s Crusade wars.”

It noted “the increasing anger in Ireland towards the Catholic Church after exposing a number of sex scandals and others” and speaks of the hunger of youths because of the economic downturn in Ireland.

Gadahn wrote that Irish people, “who were the most religious of atheist Europe,” were moving toward secularism.

“Why do not we face them with Islam?” he asked.

Read more.

  • http://www.ironiccatholic.com Ironic Catholic

    I suppose this is not surprising.

    But allow me to be the first to say it:
    Never.

  • kenneth

    The fact that they think Irish Catholics are ripe for conversion to radical Islam shows how little understanding they had of their enemy and the West. Irish disaffection with Catholicism has a lot to do with the abuse, but also with trends toward secularism, disagreement with the Church’s positions on women clergy, sexuality etc. The Irish who are drifting or running away from Catholicism are doing so because they consider it medieval in its authoritarianism and doctrine. Jihadist Islam offers them what? An ideology and authority figures that are 10 times as backward and abusive and regressive as the Irish bishops on their worst day. Al Queda doesn’t have much to offer in economic terms either. Yes, a lot of us are in hard straights these day and will consider a lot of things we wouldn’t have five years ago. We still have some ways to fall before we sign on with Al Queda for the maybe $20 a day and two-year lifespan most of them have.

  • Fiergenholt

    Catholics in Ireland and North America, who are now old enough, remember how Christendom “demonized” atheistic communism in the Cold War. Now the tables are turned. We may not have realized it in the 1950′s, but a lot of the rhetoric issued by us was ultimately wrong and in error — but the we had repeated it to ourselves so often that we assumed it had to be true. Now the tables are turned: Al Queda — having “demonized” both North America and the Catholic Church — has repeated their own erroneous “facts” so often, they assume it to be true as well.

    Fascinating! I guess humanity never learns.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    Frankly I’ve said that muslims are prime converts to Christianity.

  • midwestlady

    Actually, we’re targeted by a number of other religious groups; this isn’t the only one. But Islam has many other problems, as Kenneth points out above, that will probably prevent whole scale movement in that direction.
    Some of the other groups are more successful, however, such as Mormonism and evangelical Christianity and above all, New Age unorganized religion, which gets many of the people leaving Catholicism.

  • cathyf

    So you’ve got a religion whose prophet married a 6-yr-old and consummated the marriage when she was nine. A religion which tries, convicts and executes rape victims as a matter of law. A religion which teaches that heaven includes the daily activity of sodomizing young boys.

    And so people outraged over the Church’s lack of diligence and/or competence in preventing sexual abuse are prime candidates to convert to such a religion?

    … yeah… right… (note — use of the grammatical form “double positive”)

    More seriously, what it shows is that these particular enemies have based their goals, strategies and tactics upon a completely wrong view of us, their enemies. Osama bin Laden in fact seriously believed that flying planes into the WTC, Pentagon and Capitol would result in large numbers of westerners converting to Islam. And he probably thought that the Irish complaint about sex abuse was simply that the priests were keeping all of the best victims to themselves.

    Recognizing this is an important tactic for fighting back against Salafist terrorists. Instead of us telling each other that the Muslims are motivated by poverty, or western imperialism, we take seriously that Muslims in fact have ideas of their own. And that convincing them that some of their beliefs about us are simply wrong will make them see that terrorism will not get them what they want. And some of the ideas that we can start with are that every man wants the opportunity to sexually abuse children. And that western men want marriage to be a transaction between the husband (aka the john) and the bride’s father (aka the pimp) rather than to convince women freely to marry them.

    Who knows, we might convert them if we show them that we are the folks who are repulsed by pedophilia. Who can explain that it’s a heck of a lot more fun to be married to someone who actually wants to have sex with you.

  • sjay

    Gadahn’s belief in the ripeness of some Christians for conversion was likely based on his own life, in which he converted from nominal Protestantism to Islam.

  • kenneth

    Getting into a battle of ideologies with Muslims over whose religion sanctions pedophilia is REALLY not where Western Christianity and the RCC want to make their stand right now!

  • Oregon Catholic

    No kidding. Islam never, but the New Age movement has even gotten ahold of the LCWR.

  • anon

    There is no denying the Catholic priest scandal and its cover up did an untold amount of harm to the Catholics particularly in Ireland. But the bottom line is; unlike Islam there is no basis for human rights abuses much less pedophilia and child abuse to be found anywhere in the Chrisitan Scripture!

    The Church is in crisis because the Irish people not only expect but demand better from their religious authorities and that is the main reason why there is no hope for Islam or any other fascist cult in Ireland. No educated mind would ever free willingly entertain some barbaric and tyrancial notion for a Diety. And Islam really is at the bottom of the rotten heap of utopian ideologies!

    At the end of the day the idea of “God” corresponds with a peoples power to idealize. In short, it is not possible to create a notion of “God” above the ideal of it’s people.

  • pagansister

    IF I were an unhappy Catholic for whatever reason, Islam wouldn’t be my first choice of another faith to turn to.


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