Fr. Franklyn McAfee
May 16, 2004
On the morning of September 11, we as a nation were awakened by the terrorist attacks of monstrous proportion, we awakened to the blind and raging hate fueled by irrational passions that exist in the dark quarters of the hearts of many people toward us. We asked the question - Why do people hate us?
The common mantra is that we are hated because "of our democracy, our freedom, our prosperity", but notice they never say our religion. A famous university professor and researcher on this topic, Bernard Lewis said this is not the case; the reason that we are hated by Muslims is that we are Christian. Our Christianity may be emasculated and secularized, but in their eyes, we are still The Christian West.
We are told by the President and other members of government of both political parties that the attack of September 11 had nothing to do with Islam and the war against terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Islam, after all is a noble religion, whose very name means peace.
The word Islam does not mean peace; it means submission - which was the goal of Mohamed as his armies traversed the vast Arabian Desert unifying the disunited caravan peoples of Arabia into a common family with one religion and one God. Mohammed accomplished his goal. But the conversion of these nomadic peoples was not achieved through instruction and evangelization; it was brought about by sheer force.
His successor, Omar, in the space of nine years conquered for Allah a landmass greater in size than all of Europe. In 634, Persia fell. In 636, he besieged Damascus and Syria fell; in 638, he conquered Jerusalem where he built the famous mosque and Palestine fell. In 698, the Muslims took control of ancient Carthage and in less than ten years, they took all Northern Africa. Africa was a jewel in the Church - the land of St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, the home of Tertullian, the place where in the third century, Mass was first celebrated in Latin. At the start of the fifth century, Northern Africa had 700 bishops, now there are only a few.
Then the Moslem navy set sail for Spain and took control of 90% of that country and they held it for 700 years.
Omar said, "It behooves us to devour the Christians and our sons to devour their sons so long as any of them remain in the world."
For centuries, all of Europe lived in fear from Moslem attacks on land and on sea; the Moslems were after all to conquer parts of Italy and France - they occupied Avignon, the place Catherine of Siena traveled to tell Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome. The Moslem Turks tried a naval invasion of Europe but were defeated at the battle of Lepanto by a coalition of European States organized by Pope St. Pius V.
Then came the decisive moment, the Moslem Turks threw all their might into a battle to invade and occupy Europe by advancing on Austria, and occupying the towns along the Danube. Their goal was the city of Vienna. In Vienna, the call to defend that city went out and the response was astonishing - workers, merchants, and students, side by side, took up arms to stop the advance of the Moslem army into their beloved city of art and culture.
Pope Innocent XI called for help from the Christian countries of Europe and John Sobieski, King of Poland, came to Vienna's defense and against all odds, in a heroic battle on the slopes of Kohlenberg, John Sobieski and his Polish troops defeated and repelled the Moslem army. And as they fled, one by one the Christian army took back the towns along the Danube that had been held by them. This historic battle ended the power of the Moslem armies - a defeat from which they never recovered. The year was 1683 and the date was September 11.
The great Russian theologian, philosopher and mystic, Vladimir Soloviev, a very close friend of Dostoevsky, in fact he was the model for Alyosha Karamozov in the Brothers Karamozov, called Islam the greatest heresy in history because it teaches an inhumane God. Because they deny the Trinity and the filial relationship of Jesus to God, they cannot call God "Abba" "Daddy" as Jesus did and which He told us to do. Allah did not take on our frail sinful human flesh and become a man like us in all things save sin. Their God did not fall to sleep in the arms of His mother. Their God did not grow weary or hungry. Their God does not know pain or feel the pangs of betrayal; their God did not die to prove his love. Allah, the Merciful has no mercy, for Allah has no wounds. There is no rebirth in this life, no sacramental encounter with the Divine, no partaking of the Body and Blood of God. No divinization of man through grace, no Good Shepherd, no lost lamb returned, no prodigal son, no coming home, no reconciliation. Only Submit! Submit! Submit!
A well-known author wrote the following in 1952:
The Christian European West barely escaped destruction at the hands of the Moslems. At one point, they were stopped near Tours and at another point, later on in time, outside of the gates of Vienna. The Church throughout northern Africa was practically destroyed by Moslem power, and at the present hour, the Moslems are beginning to rise again.
"If Moslemism is a heresy, as Hilair Belloc believes it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined. Others have had a moment of vigor, then gone into doctrinal decay at the death of the leader, and finally evaporated in a vague social movement. Moslemism, has only had its first phase. There never was a time in which it declined, either in numbers, or in the devotion of its followers.
The missionary effort of the Church toward this group has been, at least on the surface, a failure, for the Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Moslem writers say, "When the locust swarms darken vast countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words: "We are God's host, each of us has ninety-nine eggs, and if we had a hundred, we should lay waste the world with all that is in it." The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg?
The author of these words was the Catholic TV Evangelist, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Consider: European birth rate has fallen below the replacement rate - they are disappearing. Moslems are moving into Europe and they are increasing since contrary to the white European, they do not have abortions and they cannot use birth control.
Radical Moslem leaders have stated that they want Spain back. A terrorist attack in Spain kills hundreds. Spain's new government withdrew its troops from Iraq. Moslem leaders wrote the Vatican demanding use of the Cathedral in Cordoba on the grounds it was once a mosque. The Vatican denied the request. The Cathedral had at one time been a mosque, but before it became a mosque, it was a church.
The venerable statue of St. James Compostela slaying a Moor is removed from the church and placed in a museum because it offends Moslems. Seven mosques have been built in Spain, the last one dedicated in the presence of King Carlos.
Despite Vatican denial that it is a terrorist target, the United States found an Al Quaeda tape in a cave in Afghanistan which condemns Christians and says: "Rome must be destroyed."
How did Bishop Sheen know that Islam, once it obtained temporal power would become a menace? Since in 1952, we were at peace with all Moslem governments? By studying the nature of Islam. And in his study of Islam, he found the secret antidote for defeating it - by prayer to the Blessed Virgin.
Mary is the key.
Moslems love our Blessed Mother - one thing we have in common with them. The Marian shrines in the Holy Land are places of great veneration for the Moslems. The Koran teaches her immaculate conception, virgin birth, and her pre-eminence in Heaven. "Oh Mary, God has chosen you and purified you and elected you above all the women on earth." Higher than any woman on earth. Higher than the mother of Mohammed, higher than the daughter of Mohammed.
In the 4th book of the Koran, the writer states that the Jews are condemned because they spread monstrous lies about the virginity of Mary. Mary is for them the true Sayyida or Lady.
After the death of his daughter, Fatima, Mohammed wrote, "Thou shall be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary."
Last Thursday, we celebrated a new feast in the Church - the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, commemorating the apparition of the Virgin and the great miracle of the sun that occurred in 1917 seen by more than 75,000 people - the sun danced in the sky and then to the screams of the horrified crowd, plunged toward the earth. The Moslems were driven out of Portugal; the Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter named after the prophet Mohammed's daughter, Fatima. She fell in love with a young Catholic man and remained in Portugal and became a Catholic. The young man so loved her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima.
Wherever the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has been taken in Africa and India, crowds of Moslems have come out to hail her, joining Catholics in waving handkerchiefs in the traditional salute.
Could the Virgin whose rosary stopped the Moslems at Lepanto and whose invocation defeated them at Vienna, be the catalyst for their conversion to Christianity? Is there a connection between the apparition in 1917 at Fatima and Islam? Is Mary the answer to terrorism?
In the Book of Genesis, God spoke these words to the serpent: "I will put enmity between thee and the Woman, between thy seed and her seed. Thou shalt lunge at her heal, and she shall crush thy head!"
Return to Top
Close this window to return to current Commentary Page.