"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fr. Samir Khalil Samir on UK's Gagging Mr. Wilders

The producer of the controversial and now being banned movie "Fitna" (watch here) has been barred from entering the United Kingdom to avoid "displeasing Muslims" according to AsiaNews. Mr. Geert Wilders, a member of Parliament in Netherlands who wished to visit London perhaps to promote his movie to a more "tolerant" and "free" country to his dismay was disallowed by airport securities for political reasons.

Earlier, issues such as the cartoon depiction of Islam's prophet (read here)caused widespread casualties particularly targetting Westerners with violence. Some churches were vandalized with hate and some received death threats. Among those who were killed were Theo Van Gogh who was slit with a sharp knife on his neck and was left dead on the street by his assailant. Another case which was reported from Turkey was Fr. Andrea Santoro who was gunned down by a teenager, believed to be acted upon the said cartoon scandal.

In reaction to these violence done in the name of "Islam", none among any Muslims denounce the violence itself nor they condemned those "terrorists" doing such henious crimes in the name of "Islam". Fr. Samir Khalil Samir a Catholic priest, an Islamologist isn't happy with the gagging of Mr. Wilders. Here's what he has to say about the issue:

(AsiaNews) "One thing is clear: the decision of the British foreign office to block the visit of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders is a political reaction, dictated by political motives. The question that can be asked is whether this is a good policy. It could be that this expedient on the part of Great Britain is the only way to avoid religious conflict, but it seems worthwhile to me to make an observation.

I saw the film "Fitna" a year ago, and recently I have viewed a few clips from it again. The film is rather violent and crude, on purpose: its intention is to demonstrate that Islam is a violent religion in itself.


I don't like the film. For one thing, it depicts a reality with many citations from the Qur'an, to demonstrate the violence of this religion. Without a doubt, the reality presented in "Fitna" is partial, and in no way an accurate depiction of Islam as a whole.


The film is certainly provocative, because it intends to assert that Islam is a religion of violence. But in effect, there is violence both in the Qur'an, and in the life of Mohammed. Still today, there are Muslims who carry out violence in the name of the Qur'an and of the prophet of Islam.


But it must be said that the response to a violent, partial film cannot be violence, and not even the decision to prevent someone from speaking. The minister's decision to block Wilders, and the threats against him, fall into this category.


I have seen that the European Arab League has responded to this film with another film, a sort of "anti-Fitna"; other Muslim filmmakers have done the same thing. Such a reaction is more admirable than the one displayed by the Foreign Office. Although I do not like "Fitna," I am against the decision of the British government. All the more so in that Wilders was supposed to present the film to the House of Lords, and not to a political group.


Wilders's speech is, without a doubt, violent and fanatical. This is clear from reading just a few of his statements. But in the West, freedom of speech is a right that cannot be denied without creating other problems.

I have read at least 60 reactions from Muslims to the film "Fitna," although few of them had seen it. Their reactions are mainly of rejection, a violent response. Only one commentary states: "It is true, this film is violent, it is not helpful, and it increases our perception of being besieged on every side; we see Islamophobia everywhere. But it is also true that our reactions make a great deal of room for this Islamophobia."


I wonder: how is it that the Muslim world - and also part of the West - is so sensitive that it must gag every critic and even raise so much (physical) violence against (verbal) violence?


The Muslim world has not yet assimilated certain values, like the right to speech and to criticism, even though this can sometimes be unjust, or partially unjust.


There is a beautiful verse in the Qur'an that says: "In debate, dispute with them in a superior manner, and not on their level." This verse should exclude this kind of violent reaction. And yet it must be said: there is violence in the name of Islam.


In some of the "anti-Fitna" films, there are images of Israelis fighting against the Palestinians; then there are images of crusaders, with cross and swords; then images of Americans in Vietnam. One film has been produced by the Islamic society al Furkan. In these "anti-Fitna" films as well, violence connected to religion is denounced. But the difference is that the Muslims who carry out violence do so in the name of their faith, constantly citing passages from the sacred book and the hadiths. The Israelis and Americans wage war not in the name of the Bible or the Gospel, but in the name of their politics. This is not a question of crusades, because it is foolish to compare contemporary events with those of a long gone past.


If the West goes to war, it does so for political purposes, economic, etc. Unfortunately, in Islam there are many imams who preach a religious war against nonbelievers, not a moral war, but a physical war, always quoting the Qur'an. Violence in the name of God is to be rejected in every religion. John Paul II spoke out against it many times, and Benedict XVI is doing so today. It is therefore worthwhile not to block discussions, but to become engaged and demonstrate falsehood, the connections between religion and politics, correcting one another.


In conclusion, I do not believe that the film "Fitna"is helpful: it serves only to provoke Muslims to make a break with violence, and non-Muslims to react, and not remain silent. On the other hand, the British reaction is not valid either, it does not help Muslims to criticize themselves, nor to stop violence in the name of Islam.

It is increasingly urgent that there be a group of Muslims and non-Muslims fighting together for freedom of speech and conscience, and capable of dialogue; to advance self-criticism of persons and civilization; distinguishing precisely between religion and politics."

Having said that, one website Islam4UK Muslims are inviting non-Muslims for a conference, suggesting it's website's title:

:: CONFERENCE (1/3/09) :: THE ISLAMIC STATE - PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE

What is this conference about?

On the 3rd March 2009 C.E. it will have been 85 years since the destruction of the Islamic State, or in other words 85 years of tyranny, oppression and injustice. For over 1300 years this magnificent superpower dominated world affairs and introduced a law and order that lifted the masses from the darkness of man-made law and into the light of al-Islam. This special conference will be dedicated to providing an in depth overview of the Islamic State, its past, present and future as well as emphasise the need for all Muslims worldwide to struggle as much as they can for the sake of Allah (SWT) to implement the Shari'ah on the earth.

Who are the speakers and what are their topics?

1. The Reality of the Islamic State in the Past

2. How its destruction led to mankind's present sufferinng

3. How its inevitable establishment will illuminate human life in the future

[Speakers to be confirmed soon...]

When is it?

1st March 2009

3pm - 6pm

Where is it?

Vale Farm Sports Centre
76 Watford Road
North Wembley
Middlesex
HA0 3HQ
How much will it cost?

There is no admission fee.

Will there be any merchandise available?

DVD's (£2), Shahadah flags (£5), and other memorabilia will be sold inshaa'allah.

Is it for brothers and sisters?

Yes.

Please note however, strict segregation will be enforced.

I am a non-Muslim can I attend?

Yes. And you are welcome to embrace Islam as well.

Who can I contact for further information?

Media enquiries: 07956 600 569

General enquiries: 07547 032 668
Is UK soon to be the new Islamic State?


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