Wilders’ “Open Letter to Pope Francis” Criticizes Church Myopia on Islamic Antisemitism

His Holiness Pope Francis

Gates of Vienna published an open letter from Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) in The Netherlands to His Holiness Pope Francis, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Wilders thanked the new Pope for his ecumenism and mea culpa regarding past Christian antisemitism referred to in the body of his Papal Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. However, Wilders criticized His Holiness’ myopia as regards anti semitism and derogation of Christians in Qur’anic doctrine. Pope Francis’ exhortation is primarily directed at excoriating  “unfettered Capitalism and love of money.” That may reflect the social justice advocacy of His Holiness and exposure to both the Peronism of his native Argentina and neo-Marxist liberation theological prevalent in Latin America. Pope Francis is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and was Jesuit Archbishop there before being chosen by the College of Cardinals to succeed the retiring Pope Benedict XVI. His Holiness has recently announced reorganization of the Roman Curia.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb of Al Azhar Institute Grand Mufti of Egypt

Wilders’  letter to His Holiness Pope Francis drew attention to the apparent myopia of his Holiness’ exhortation espousing the  view that Qur’anic doctrine eschews hatred and violence. Wilders comments referred to specific anti semitic and anti-Christian Qur’anic doctrine cited by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, of the Al Azhar Institute (Al Azhar) in Cairo, Spiritual leader of the Sunni Muslim Ummah and Grand Mufti of Egypt. Andrew Bostom, author of Sharia versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism  and other works, frequently refers to Al Azhar as the Sunni equivalent of the Vatican. Wilders’ letter to His Holiness was triggered by both Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s comments on antisemitism in an October 25, 2013 MEMRI TV interview and the recent publication of  His Holiness’ Papal Exhortation.

Watch the MEMRI TV interview with Sheikh Al-Tayeb  where he justifies anti semitism based on the Qur’an.

Open Letter to his Holiness Pope Francis

Posted on December 6, 2013 by Baron Bodissey

The following open letter to Pope Francis was written today by Geert Wilders, the leader of the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, Party for Freedom) in the Netherlands.

Open letter to his Holiness Pope Francis

Your Holiness,

In your recent exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Paragraphs 247-248) you draw the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith. The exhortation also contains a sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.

Your words are words which might inspire many.

Unfortunately, they are in sharp contrast to the expressions of hatred which were voiced last October by the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, and the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo.

During an interview, aired on Egyptian television on October 25, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayeb reaffirmed the relevance of Koranic verse 5:82, which states that of all people the Christians are closest to the Muslims, while the Jews are strongest in enmity towards them. This verse has inspired centuries of Islamic hatred of Jews.

Al-Tayeb’s invocation of Koranic Jew-hatred is in line with fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb’s predecessor at Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, even wrote a book, entitled The Children of Israel in the Koran and the Sunna, in defense of Jew-hatred based on Koranic teachings.

The current suffering of Christians from Islamic persecution in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and so many other countries, clearly indicates what Christians have to endure from the followers of the Koran. What atheists and Jews, who are considered the worst enemies, have to endure from Islam is even worse.

In your exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 252-253) you state that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

Reality does not confirm this statement.

The Koran is full of bellicose and hate-mongering verses against non-Muslims. Your Holiness will be able to find them if he reads the Koran, but I will name just a few:

 2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, […] Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”
 4:89: “If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
 5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, […]: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land.”
 8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”
 9:5: “When the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”
 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah.”
 9:30: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them.”
 9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”
 47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”

I hope that the Holy Father will help us defend the West’s Judeo-Christian and humanistic civilization, to which even atheists and agnostics owe their freedom and democracy.

Nothing will be gained by a refusal to face reality.

We must speak the truth about Islam — the largest threat to mankind in this present age.

Very respectfully,
Geert Wilders

Member of the Dutch Parliament
Leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Update: Dr. Andrew Bostom has addressed the same issue extensively, backed up by appropriate citations. He notes:

Former Pope Benedict XVI, and current Pope Francis have openly expressed their ecumenism toward Jews and Judaism, while acknowledging Christianity’s indebtedness to Jewish ethical values. This ecumenical message has been coupled to frank, mea culpa-based contrition for the tragic legacy of Christian Antisemitism. The disparity between their attitudes and their two contemporary Sunni Muslim equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and Ahmad Al-Tayeb — the latter having emphatically and triumphantly re-asserted the modern relevance of canonical Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred — could not be more striking.

Both Tantawi’s and his successor Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s career trajectories to the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, despite their own public endorsements of virulent, if “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred, reflect the profound moral pathology at the very heart and soul of mainstream, institutional Islam.

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