Catholic World News

Catholics ‘fertile ground’ for conversion to Islam: senior Al-Qaeda official

May 04, 2012

A senior Al-Qaeda operative advised Osama bin Laden in January 2011 that Irish Catholics--and Catholics in general--are ripe for conversion to Islam, according to a letter released on the first anniversary of bin Laden’s death.

Adam Yahiye Gadahn--a Protestant raised in California who converted to Islam at 17--told bin Laden:

I noticed the sympathy of the Irish people to the Palestinian issue, and the soft treatment by the Irish judicial system of the Muslims accused of terrorism, and also not participating with its troops in Bush's Crusade wars (although it is participating within the European Union forces in training the Somali army). Also, what helped to prepare the message was the last economic crisis that affected Ireland a lot, thus forcing its youth to look for sources of living in the outside.

The other matter is the increasing anger in Ireland towards the Catholic Church after exposing a number of sex scandals and others. The people there are moving towards secularism, after it was the most religious of atheist Europe, and why do not we face them with Islam?

“Also I was thinking of preparing an Arabic message to the Christians of the Arab region, calling them to Islam, and to caution them from cooperating with invader enemies of Islam who oppose the Islamic State,” continued Gadahn, who moved to Pakistan shortly after his conversion. “Then the attack on the Catholic Church in Baghdad took place, launched by the organization of the Islamic State of Iraq that we support, which is--if we like it or not--known to people as Al-Qaeda in Iraq. This attack halted me, and I thought twice about my two project messages.”

Reflecting on Catholicism, Gadahn said that “their public in general, these days, is more sympathetic and understanding of the Muslims, than other Protestant and Orthodox Christians,” though he added that

I also do not deny the animosity of the Pope and other church heads to Islam and Muslims--why not, Islam is the biggest threat for the continuity of their power, particularly in Europe. I do not deny that they send missionaries here and there, asking Muslims to apostasy. But I am talking about the public and present situation, and the size of animosity, and the size of the missionary activities. We cannot compare their efforts against Islam to the efforts of the Evangelist Protestants or the efforts of the Coptic Church and other spiteful Orthodox.

“The conclusion is that, in general, the Catholics are a fertile ground for call of God and to persuade them about the just case of the Mujahidin, particularly after the rage expanding against the mother church [Vatican] as a result of its scandals and policies refused by many of its public,” continued Madahn.

“But the attacks on the Christians in Iraq, like the Baghdad attack and what took place earlier in Mosul and others, do not help us to convey the message,” said Madahn. Referring to the terrorist attack on the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, he added that “even if the ones we are talking to have some grudge against the mother church, they will not grasp in general the targeting of their public, women, children and men in their church during Mass.”

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 06, 2012 5:51 AM ET USA

    Mercy and weakness are not the same thing. The "Precious Blood" is NOT something the Muslims believe in. To be truly martyred for God (who is the Christ) is neither easy or cheap. Unholy killing comes naturally to fallen man and must be avoided.

  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - May. 04, 2012 6:48 PM ET USA

    Gadahn's reasoning is faulty. Catholics are ripe for conversion but not because of perceived hatred of the holy father or sympathy with the Palestinians. They are ripe for conversion because Islam is counter-cultural. They believe in something. Most Catholics haven't really been given any education in Christian fundamental beliefs.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - May. 04, 2012 3:50 PM ET USA

    As somebody (not Chesterton) said, if a man stops believing in God he does not believe in nothing, he believes in anything. This guy's political analysis, though, is not that far off base.