In an interview with the Register, Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad explains why he believes Islamist terrorists are applying what their religion teaches them, and why the Church fails to address this because she has fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.
Edward Pentin (National Catholic Register)
The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam has asserted.Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and (a caricature of) Christian charity.”In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”
“Christians,” he wrote, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”Some said the Pope took a diplomatic yet slightly firmer line on Islam when he gave an address to Al Azhar university in Cairo at the end of April.Father Boulad, 85, an Egyptian and a relative of the Jesuit scholar of Islam Father Samir Khalil Samir, also discusses in this interview why he believes Islamists are merely carrying out what their religion teaches, whether Islam is capable of reform, and how, despite its problems, the religion can help the Church in acting as a bulwark against secularist ideology.
- Father Boulad, what evidence is there to show that Islam is inherently violent?
- Are the extremists simply being faithful to an authentic Islam in your view?
- Should the Pope and the Vatican shed what some view as political correctness and address Islam for what scholars and others believe it really is?
- How much is violence more of an Arabic problem, given the significantly fewer violent attacks in, for example, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation?
- Are there genuine and workable possibilities for reform of Islam and can dialogue ever be effective?
- The Church has often allied with Islamic countries in the past in defense of life issues. Islamic countries can also act as a filter against secularist ideas, preventing such trends as gender ideology from entering their society. How can Islam’s strengths in these areas be best promoted despite its associations with violence?