Fr. Samir: "we have now reached the most ferocious brutality in the history of Islam"
|Boys look at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 1. One Anglican official said more than 1,500 people were killed in Iraq in late July in violence perpetrated by the Islamic State extremists. (CNS photo/Wissm al-Okili, Reuters)|
"...we have now reached the most ferocious brutality in the history of Islam. Never before have we witnessed this degree of barbarity. The question is: Is this Islam? Or is it an aberration? Certainly it originates in the Islamic tradition. But on the other hand, we certainly cannot say that this is Islam. In other words, it is a derivative of Islam: they hope to bring about the “caliphate”, [as in] the famous period from the turn of the tenth century to the thirteenth, and this is a mistake. Many Muslims say so; I repeat: their great thinkers are opposed to it. The tragedy is that Muslims do not dare engage in self-criticism: in other words, the people silently go along with it. I don’t see [anyone saying] what even the Vatican Commission for interreligious dialogue says in the document that it issued on Tuesday, August 12: These things are unacceptable! It is the clearest document that I know of; it does not use diplomatic expressions; it is very balanced but strong. And it says: How long are you going to remain silent? Let the imams speak up! And not only the imams: the crowd, the Muslim people go into the public squares when there is a minor political “cause” involving others, against others; but when it is about Islamic questions, they may think that something is not right, but they do not go into the streets over that." -Egyptian Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir, a professor of the history of Arab culture and Islamology at Saint Joseph University in Beirut