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Iraqi government blocked Jews from attending pope’s interfaith service, Vatican silently went along

Associated Press reported Saturday: “The Vatican said Iraqi Jews were invited to the event but did not attend, without providing further details.”

Now we know the rest of the story. And so it is clear yet again: interfaith outreach and dialogue all go one way, and result in the Christian side becoming mute about Muslim persecution of Christians, and ultimately becoming less Christian altogether, and more accepting of Islamic mores it should know better than to accept, such as deeply-rooted Islamic antisemitism. The pope didn’t dare say anything about this, because speaking out might have jeopardized his meeting with Sistani and whole visit to Iraq. So what did that visit accomplish? Nothing and less than nothing.

“Iraq Bars Jews From Pope’s Interfaith Event,”

by Jules Gomes, Church Militant, March 8, 2021 (thanks to Tom):

NASSIRIYA, Iraq (ChurchMilitant.com) – Jewish leaders are slamming Pope Francis’ silence on Iraq’s anti-Semitic policies after it emerged that the Iraqi government blocked Jews from attending the pontiff’s interfaith service at the birthplace of Abraham.

A delegation of Jews was unable to attend the “Abrahamic” event even though the Vatican had invited the representatives to be present because “the Iraqi government stymied efforts for any Jews to travel to Iraq,” the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Multiple Jewish sources confirmed to Church Militant the veracity of the Jerusalem Post’s report explaining that Iraq may have barred the Jewish delegation because Iraq does not officially recognize Israel and there are no relations between the two states.

Vatican Questioned for Its Silence

Freddie Dalah, an Iraqi Jew who fled Iraq for Britain years ago, asked Church Militant why “the pope, using this great opportunity, did not take the Iraqi government to task regarding the conspicuous absence of any prominent Jews as a delegation for their community?”

“The absence of Jews from the event confirms the Vatican’s historic silence when it comes to the ethnic cleansing of the Jews not only from Europe but from the Middle East as well,” Dalah observed. “Sincerely, a bit more shrewdness in managing the diplomatic situation regarding the absence of the Jewish community would not have gone amiss.”

Speaking to Church Militant, Iraqi-born Edwin Shuker, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said he “genuinely believed that the Vatican was misled by the Iraqi government into thinking that there will be a Jewish presence in Ur.”

“The Iraqi government, who intended to do so, recently changed their mind in case the Jewish delegation has links with Israel,” Shuker said, “but they could not find local Jewish representatives and ended up with a wasted opportunity.”

Shuker and his family fled to the United Kingdom in 1971 amid rising tensions, with dozens of Iraqi Jews executed on spurious charges, but regularly travels back to Iraq, working to preserve Jewish shrines and sites to maintain links between Iraq and its displaced Jewish community.

The Vatican “made it a point of telling journalists” that it had invited representatives of Iraq’s Jewish community to attend “despite the fact that Muslims violently purged the Jews from the country decades ago,” wrote Yakir Benzion.

“The Vatican didn’t bother telling the reporters why none showed up,” remarked Benzion, from United with Israel — the world’s largest pro-Israel online community.

“I am sad that the Iraqi government prevented Jews, Abraham’s children, from participating in what was meant to be a prayer for peace,” lamented well-known Rabbi Elchanan Poupko of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Asking why a rabbi was not present at the birthplace of Abraham as part of the papal event, Middle East analyst, writer and peace activist Yoni Michanie said Francis should have spoken up and also remembered the “tens of thousands of Iraqi Jews who were ethnically cleansed in the late 1940s.”

On Saturday, Church Militant reported the conspicuous absence of Jews from the Ur event, quoting Jewish anthropologist Karen Harradine, who said she found it “insulting to us Jews that we were not included by those who used the birthplace of our first patriarch, Abraham, to virtue signal and mumble meaningless platitudes about healing.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Vatican conference to promote Mary as ‘model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam’

Does the Vatican really think that this will increase harmony and mutual respect between Muslims and Christians? Vatican top dogs should consider a statement of the Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb:

“The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”

Dialogue, in other words, is all too often for the Islamic side a means of dawah, Islamic proselytizing, not a genuine discussion. In the Qur’an, the Virgin Mary gives birth to Jesus, but it is stated that he is not the Son of God (19:35), not divine (5:17), and was not crucified (4:157), and thus could not be and is not the savior and redeemer of the world. Do these Vatican officials really think that their Muslim interlocutors will discard what the Qur’an tells them and move closer to the Christian view? Or are they discarding the Christian view of Mary (and hence of Jesus) themselves, so as not to offend their “dialogue” partners? Almost certainly.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Vatican to organize conference promoting Mary as ‘model for faith’ for both Christianity and Islam,” by Jeanne Smits, LifeSite News, February 16, 2021:

February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — “Mary, a model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam:” is the title of an upcoming series of online webinars presenting Our Lady as a bridge between Catholicism and Islam organized, among others, by the Pontifical Academy of Mary (Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis or PAMI).

Starting on February 18, ten weekly conferences will be given jointly by Catholic and Muslim speakers who will seek “dialogue, knowledge and cooperation” regarding themes such as “Mary, a woman of faith,” “God who is love and faith,” prayer, purity, hospitality and non-violence, fasting and penitence, fraternity and citizenship.

The Franciscan pontifical University of Rome, the “Antonianum,” is another co-organizer of the event through its Duns Scot Chair of Mariological Studies as well as the International Islamic-Christian Marian Commission and the Grand Mosque of Rome and its Islamic Cultural Center of Italy.

The Italian weekly Famiglia Christiana presented the event in the light of the Abu Dhabi declaration, illustrating its article on Saturday with a photo of Pope Francis signing the Human Fraternity Document together with Imam al-Tayyeb of the Al-Azhar University of Cairo.

Quoting at length from the Document, Gian Matteo Roggio commented: “The course of these webinars is therefore aimed at active, free, conscious, solidary and popular participation in the opening of this space of intersection, interconnection, hospitable reception, thus meeting the explicit requests of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azahr, the noble Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.”

Readers of Famiglia Christiana in Italy are being asked to believe this: “The figure of Mary, a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman, belongs by right and by fact to the path, the processes and the experiences that contribute to the generation of such an educational path, which makes a positive and confident wager on the embrace between generations and on a new politics and economy, where countries do not need to build their identity on contempt and on systematic negation, whether overt or covert, of the other and of others: an identity, that is, at the expense of the dissimilar and ready to identify in the other the cause of all the ills, failures, limitations and problems that instead have their multiple causes elsewhere. Belonging to these three religious and multi-cultural worlds (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), the figure of Mary is in itself a pressing and constant invitation to intersect and interconnect these same worlds, even making them a model of plural coexistence where the boundaries of each are made to allow communication, passage, exchange; and not to be closed, according to the many figures of exclusion that have, as their fruit, the culture, psychology, politics and economics of war, hatred and inhumanity.”

In the same grandiloquent style, Roggio added: “The webinars will end during the month of Ramadan with ‘the dates of Mary’ in the Conference Hall of the Great Mosque of Rome (health situation permitting): in memory of what is stated in the Holy Quran (Sura 19,22-26), namely that after giving birth near the trunk of a palm tree, she was called by the newborn child who told her ‘Do not be sad […] shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you and it will drop fresh and ripe dates on you. So eat them,’ a meal of friendship and fraternity will be shared once the sun goes down, as a tangible pact of alliance for the service to the common good of all, no one excluded, in obedience to the ‘understanding of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers’ (Document on human brotherhood for world peace and common coexistence).”

Roggio, the author of these very pro-Islamic lines, is not simply a journalist, he is a member of the religious order, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. He studied Mariology at the Pontifical Academy of Mary and is now a professor at the same institution. Roggio will be giving the lecture on “God who is love and mercy” on February 25, together with Islamic theologian Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh, who teaches at the Gregoriana Pontifical University.

Roggio’s words therefore clearly express the spirit of the coming Islamo-Christian webinars: a spirit of profound relativism and misleading equation between the Catholic faith and Muslim beliefs.

The real question is this one: is the Virgin Mary whom we Catholics honor as the Mother of Jesus, only Son of God and the Word Incarnate, the same person as the woman named “Miriam” by the Quran? Is her son, Îssa, the Quranic equivalent of Jesus? He would then be a “Jesus” who could not in any way be the Son of God, because, the Quran proclaims, such an idea is “something monstrous” and that “it is not fitting for the Most Merciful to have a son.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Absolutely Not. Here’s Why.

My article in PJ Media on a much-misunderstood topic:

The Qur’an says that Christians and Muslims worship the same God (29:46), and so does the Catholic Church. The Irish Catholic newspaper recently considered this question and offered an argument from authority, which is the weakest of all arguments: Christians and Muslims worship the same God because the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council says so in the documents Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate. But a closer examination of the evidence shows this to be false.

Besides the obvious differences regarding the Trinity, the crucifixion, and the divinity of Christ, there are deeper differences that are often overlooked.

  1. Free will. There are numerous passages of the Qur’an, as well as indications from Islamic tradition, to the effect that not only can no one believe in Allah except by his will, so also no one can disbelieve in him except by his active will. “And to whoever God assigns no light, no light has he” (24:40).

The issue of free will versus predestination has, of course, vexed Christians of various sects for centuries, as different biblical passages are given different weight in various traditions. Calvinism, of course, in its pure form is notorious for its doctrine of double predestination, the idea that God has destined people for hell as well as for salvation. But this position is largely unique to them in the Christian tradition, which generally holds that God desires all men and women to be saved, and gives them the means to attain this salvation. The idea that God would create men for hell is in total conflict with the proposition that God “desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), and that he “takes no pleasure in the death of anyone” (Ezekiel 18:32).

The situation in Islam is, on first glance, even worse, with the Qur’an’s testimony on this, as on other matters, appearing to be hopelessly contradictory. The Qur’an, says the Qur’an, is “nothing but a reminder to all beings, for whoever of you who would go straight; but you will not do so unless Allah wills, the Lord of all Being” (81:27-29). Those who would “go straight” — follow Allah’s straight path — cannot do so “unless Allah wills.”

The Qur’an goes significantly further than that, into a more or less open determinism: “If Allah had willed, he would have made you one nation; but he leads astray those whom he wills, and guides those whom he wills; and you will surely be questioned about the things you have done” (16:93). Even though everything is in Allah’s hands, even the decision of the individual to obey him or not — for he leads astray those whom he wills, and guides to the truth whom he wills — human beings will still be held accountable for the things they have done.

Allah even sends people to hell based not on their deeds, but solely upon his fiat: “And if we had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the word from me will come into effect: I will surely fill hell with jinn and people all together” (32:13).

The Qur’an repeats this idea many times: Those who have rejected Allah do so because he made it possible for them to do nothing else. And indeed, given the fact that in the Islamic scheme of creation and salvation, human beings are the slaves of Allah, not his children, the rejection of free will is not altogether surprising. Allah tells Muhammad that “some of them there are who listen to you, and we lay veils on their hearts so that they don’t understand it, and in their ears heaviness; and if they see any sign whatever, they do not believe in it, so that when they come to you they dispute with you, the unbelievers saying, ‘This is nothing but the fairy-tales of the ancient ones’” (6:25-6).

There is much, much more. Read the rest here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Qur’an will be heard at the Vatican

When will there be Christian prayers and readings from the New Testament at the Grand Mosque in Mecca?

Will the Qur’an readings at the Vatican feature these verses?

Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14

Jesus is not the Son of God: “O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (it is) better for you! – Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.” — Qur’an 4:171

“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35

Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” — Qur’an 9:30

Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger – they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157

“Islamic prayers to be held at the Vatican,” Al Arabiya, June 6, 2014

For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.

Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level, according to the Associated Press.

Low expectations

The Vatican will broadcast a live feed of the event to viewers across the world.

However, expectations for the event should be kept low, according to Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the custodian of Catholic Church property in the Holy Land.

[No-one should think] “peace will suddenly break out on Monday, or that peace is any closer,” AP reported him as saying.

On Friday, the Pope met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and discussed ways of promoting peace and stability in Asia the Vatican said in a statement.

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