Vatican Concerned About Islams Power
Islam is enjoying its time in the limelight. It should: A darker force is about to steal it.
Islam is the worlds fastest growing religion, and global influence is rising with the number of its believers. Iran and other Islamic states are settling into quite prominent positions in geopolitical machinations.
Among the places experiencing Islams imprint today, Europe is the most notable. Among the serious problems besieging the Continent, foremost is the growing influence of Islam. The Christian heritage of Europe is being diluted; European culture and society is being redefined.
Two of Europes largest cities, Madrid and London , have suffered at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists. In November 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot to death and then violently stabbed by an Islamic immigrant. In Germany , mistrust between Germans and Muslim immigrants is growing; one recent study revealed that most Germans believe a clash with Islam is inevitable. With Muslim populations expanding and growing increasingly audacious, an anxious spirit of distrust is budding among native Europeans across the Continent. Tension between Europeans and Muslim immigrants is thickening.
Thanks to the backing they receive from nations such as Iran , as well as the growing popularity of Islam among Western nations, Europe s Muslim immigrants are a force to be reckoned with. In recent years especially, this sector of European society has made its presence felt.
As the historic and traditional faith in Europe , the Roman Catholic Church in recent times has become acutely aware of Islams growing presence and influence. The Muslim voice in Europe is growing louder; and the Vatican is growing wary.
The Vatican s concern was noted in a May 27 article by the news agency Zenit. Persecution of Christians in Islamic countries makes the news almost daily, and the Vatican is concerned. The article was reporting on the plenary session of Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers that occurred May 15-17.
After dealing with issues related to migration, Archbishop Lajolo, the equivalent of the Holy Sees foreign minister, turned to Islam. The faith factor, he noted, is becoming more and more important in the debate over migration (ibid., emphasis ours).
Muslim immigrants have freely entered Europe for decades. Is that about to change?
During his address, the Vatican representative criticized Islamic nations for their lack of reciprocity and condemned nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia for their tendency to promote radical Islamic norms and lifestyle in other nations. Islamic countries, he noted, demand religious rights for their citizens who migrate to other countries, but ignore this principle for non-Muslim immigrants present in their own lands (ibid.).
Beyond simply drawing attention to the growing crisis presented by Islam in Europe, the Vatican official recommended how best to withstand Islams foreboding presence.
First, the Catholic Church needs to live its own identity to the full, without backing down and by taking clear and courageous positions to affirm Christian identity. Radical Islamists, the prelate warned, take advantage of every sign they interpret as weakness. This suggestion by the Vatican makes it clear that compromise with Islam is not an option.
Another suggestion: Muslims who live in predominantly Christian countries should be integrated into the nation. Although European politicians who are unsure about just what to do with their raging Muslim populations will appreciate this notion, the Islamic world surely will not. We live in a time when Muslim imams are agitating for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate; the last thing we should expect to see is a widespread integration of Muslim immigrants into Western culture.
Nevertheless, the fact that the Vatican , and a number of European nations, are alarmed by Islams mushrooming presence is a foreboding sign of things to come. A look at the history of this church-state combine portends what we can expect to see in the near future. Watch for the Vatican and Germany to begin to work more closely together to unite Europe , and then to set the Iran-led Islamic movement straight.