Catholic World News

Cardinal Tauran laments ‘right-wing’ ignorance of Islam

March 20, 2012

Speaking with Al Jazeera, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue lamented mutual ignorance between Christians and Muslims.

“We succeeded in avoiding the clash of civilizations; let us avoid a clash of ignorance,” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. In Europe, he stated, “there is a fear of Islam, but it is due to ignorance.”

“If you speak to right-wing groups, you realize that they have never opened a Qur’an and never met a Muslim.,” he continued. “There needs to be a big effort to educate, to inform them … because most of the problems are coming from misinterpretation or ignorance.”

Cardinal Tauran also criticized the attitudes of some Muslims towards Christians.

In some textbooks, “Christians are never called Christians, they are called misbelievers, and this is not right,” he said. “You cannot deny that they are the target of a kind of opposition. I have been in the Middle East for many years and what I felt was that Christians feel they are second-class citizens in countries where Muslims are the majority.”

“If Christians would leave the Middle East, it would be a tragedy, because first of all they are leaving the earth where they were born because Christians have always been in the Middle East,” he added. “And all the holy places would become museums, and that would be a catastrophe.”


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  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Mar. 20, 2012 9:49 PM ET USA

    May GOD save us from any more comments from Cardinal Tauran!

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Mar. 20, 2012 7:54 PM ET USA

    The willful ignorance of the true nature of Islam has to stop. We can't keep burying our heads in the sand. No doubt there are peaceful Muslims but there is no such thing as a peaceful Islam. Islam is a religion whose god sanctions the slaughter and enslavement of those who will not willfully sumbit to it. It has always been that way. The real reason so many in our Church and our culture sing it's praises is because they know that to do otherwise would be to risk riots and murderous rampages.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Mar. 20, 2012 5:17 PM ET USA

    On this very page there is 1)a headline about a Jordanian Prince (no less) pleading of Christians 'don't leave!' 2) a headline of how the Copts of Egypt face an uncertain future 3) a headline of anti-Christian bombings in Iraq. This is about standard daily fare from that part of the world. Does Cdl. Tauran ascribe all this to us feeble-minded and ignorant rightwingers? Or do his words reflect current success in France accommodating the Muslim hordes?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 20, 2012 9:01 AM ET USA

    Where to begin? Fear of Islam is due to the "ignorance" of "right wing groups"? Christians are "leaving" the Middle-East, where they're "the target of a kind of opposition" and are being treated like "second-class citizens"? Could the wholesale slaughter of Christians by Muslims in many countries have anything to do with their "fear" of Islam? The Cardinal's pathetic attempt at moral equivalence here is disgusting.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 20, 2012 7:37 AM ET USA

    I've read the Qu'ran. Don't think the good Cardinal has, though.

  • Posted by: mclom2107 - Mar. 20, 2012 6:52 AM ET USA

    P.S: I have read the Qur'an, which I obtained in Saudi, so no Muslim will be able to suggest, as does happen, that I have an unauthorised version. It was from reading the Qur'an and subsequent study, that I learned about Allah having as one of his names: the Greatest Deceiver of All. Jesus calls Satan the father of all lies. From the Qur'an I learned about "taqqiyah". Does my knowledge make me a right-wing extremist, or am I not instead a faithful Catholic who wants others to be aware?

  • Posted by: mclom2107 - Mar. 20, 2012 6:47 AM ET USA

    I do not understand Card. Tauran's comment that Christians in Muslim countries "feel" they are second class citizens. They are. Under Sharia, they are "dhimmis" (2nd class who pay a special, punitive tax).