Hopeful Signs

Hopeful Signs June 1, 2017

A video protesting Radical Islamic nutjobs has gone viral in the Middle East.

30,000 Muslims in the UK marched against ISIS.  Why didn’t we hear about it?

Also, the Muslim community tried to warn the cops about the bomber.  They didn’t listen.  The failure of the cops should not blind us to the fact that the Muslim community is trying to be vigilant about the nuts.

Moreover, 70,000 Indian Muslim clerics issued a fatwa against terrorism.

So did a Pakistani shiekh, condemning them to hell in that not-mincing-words way of Muslims.

Christian Church destroyed by ISIS rebuilt by Muslims.

Here are a whole bunch of other fatwas on terrorism from various sources.

Catholics easily forget that we are the weirdos on the global religious scene in that we have a Magisterium that formally teaches and defines what Catholics do and do not believe.  Most religious traditions (including Islam) do not have that and so the fatwas and ruling of various clerics are, in the end, just the opinions of that Muslim or group of Muslims and have not binding force except insofar as that particular Muslim or group of Muslims happen to be respected.

But respect is nothing to sneeze at either.  Much of what troubles the US Church is precisely that lay Catholics form their thinking, not on the Church’s teaching, but on what some folk hero or culture war figure tells them.  That can be good or bad depending on whether the Revered Figure is an influence for good or evil.  Muslims operate on much the same basis, so the more Revered Figures there are saying “Terrorism is bad” the better.

Meanwhile the stupidest thing bloodthirsty right wing culture warriors can do is look at condemnations of terrorism from Muslims, call them liars, and accuse these people fighting the good fight of somehow being in league with terrorists.  It is wicked because such lack of charity both drives away people who are on the side of the angels and because it poisons our own souls.  As C.S. Lewis said:

Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

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