Action Alert!

Father Rosica on Islam: 180º from reality

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 16, 2015

"Allahu akbar" was never a call to violence & destruction.

That astonishing quote comes from the Father Thomas Rosica, the English-language attaché of the Vatican press office, in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

What is “astonishing” about the statement? Simply that it is so clearly wrong, so blatantly at odds with the facts. Does Father Rosica expect his readers to forget the many times in recent years when we have heard those words, ”Allahu akbar,” invoked precisely as a celebration of violence and destruction?

Father Rosica’s statement is obviously false. And he knows it’s false, because in the blog post from which it is taken, he goes on to talk about the proper response to Islamic extremism. “Muslim leaders and moderate Muslims need to condemn acts of violence and terror,” he says, and on that we can all agree.

The danger confronting our world is Islamic terrorism. It obfuscates the issue to speak of terrorism in generic terms, as the Obama White House does. It muddies the waters to remark, in the context of the deaths in Paris, that all religious faiths have been tainted by violence. (Are you worried about Presbyterian terrorists?) Nor is it helpful to observe that most Muslims are peaceful. Of course the terrorists are a minority, but they are a very dangerous minority, and we cannot ignore their appeal. Why are so many Muslims tempted toward violence?

Even before asking that question, let alone resolving the answer, some people—like Father Rosica, like President Obama—seem determined to believe (or to pretend) that there is no link between Islam and terror. Is it a coincidence, then, that so many terrorists have recruited their troops from the ranks of Islamic zealots (perhaps the same sort of coincidence as the 80 consecutive years of bad weather that resulted in disappointing harvests in Russia under Communism)?

Apparently many people in the West are loath to link Islam with terrorists for fear of offending moderate Muslims. But any peace-loving Muslims should be as worried as we are by the prospect of Islamic terrorism—more worried, indeed, because their faith is being abused and disgraced. Responsible Muslim leaders should be anxious to join in any effort to root out the problem.

The reality is 180º removed from Father Rosica’s statement. “Allahu akbar” has become a call to violence and destruction. That’s a very large problem for the West, but it’s also a problem for moderate Islam. If some Muslims deny the problem—if they take offense when the problem is mentioned—then they’re part of the problem.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Jun. 29, 2016 1:08 PM ET USA

    Given the publicity, it is neither a secret or calumnious to note that money had to be paid to try to silence Lynch's former homosexual partner. Neither is Lynch's complicity in the passive killing of Terry Schiavo. (Find the late Father Neuhaus' commentary on Lynch's culpability in First Things.) Unfortunately, we can't expect much from Pope Francis given that he recently made similar remarks about the Church supposedly persecuting homosexuals.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 29, 2016 10:17 AM ET USA

    Bishop Lynch's sympathy for the gay movement is well known in the Diocese of St. Petersburg!

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Jun. 27, 2016 8:04 PM ET USA

    Fealty to brother bishops in the form of silence is an indication of spines associating with spines made of gelatin. We want our Catholic faith back!! Thank you Archbishop Wenski.

  • Posted by: rfr46 - Jun. 24, 2016 11:31 PM ET USA

    Good for Archbishop Wenski. Now, will our good Pope do his job?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 24, 2015 5:48 PM ET USA

    After 9/11 in 2001 I heard the cognoscenti emphasize that "only" 10% of Muslims either practiced "extremism" or supported the "extremist" faction. Later someone pointed out that 10% of 1.5 billion people is 150 million. If this number is anywhere near accurate, then the "extremist" problem is larger than the politicians are letting on.

  • Posted by: meegan2136289 - Nov. 16, 2015 8:46 PM ET USA

    Their religion is being abused? Are you sure about that? I wonder if perhaps the terrorists are the true practitioners of Islam and the moderates are the heretics.