Responses to D'Souza Responds to Your Letters:
I read the articles from "To The Source" and find them interesting. Above all, it would be my preference that sane, cool heads sit down and resolve the ongoing conflicts in a civil manner. There is enough land and enough wealth for all. This is really a simple matter as has recently been demonstrated in the resolution of the centuries of unnecessary enmity between the Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The result has been peace and prosperity for all.
However, at this moment, we are currently engaged in a hot war with forces of radical Islam and while that hot war continues, we must bring the battle to the enemy or they will bring the battle to us - I was standing between the World Trade Center towers at the moment of that attack and lost friends and loved ones. That was the 21st century counterpart to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Your people will come to accept that the World Trade Center attack was a huge strategic miscalculation.
If you are to have any positive effect, you must find a way to contain radical Islam. Otherwise, we must and we will! And we will use all the power and might that is at our disposal. It is not wise for your people to underestimate that power and might, as others have throughout the last century. Nor should your people underestimate the strength of our will. The failure to control radical Islam will result in ongoing pain, suffering, and poverty for all nations where radical Islam continues to have a power base.
I compare the mentality of radical Islam to the Japanese emperor worship that lead to World War II and the requirement for the destruction of Japan via nuclear weapons to break the back of that foolish, suicidal nation. Just as was thecase with the Japanese kamikaze mentality, as long as Islam teaches violent martyrdom as a high ideal we can have only one logical response - kill them before they kill us! If you teach martyrdom to your young men, we have no choice but to kill them before they kill us. If you teach violent martyrdom to your women, we have no choice but to kill them before they kill us. If you teach this to your children, we must kill them before they kill us. However, if your people come to the table, we also can easily restore peace and prosperity to all, just as was done in Japan following the end of the conflict.
In closing, nothing would please me more than to see our peoples living side by side in peace and prosperity (as is the case with my non-radical Muslim friends). If there is anything I can do to assist with that goal, please let me know. However, it seems that that goal can only be accomplished by your people. It is your decision to live in peace or to continue in a hot war with a strong and powerful enemy. - F. B.
Dinesh - I applaud your original article on Islam and your responses to the letters. I am appalled at the rising bigotry against Muslims and the new Catholic triumphalism that praises the Crusades and distorts both Christian and Islamic history. You probably saw Fr Schall's interview on Zenit, Oct 3:
"God as Logos, Allah as Will," which is so full of inacurate generalizations it was an embarrasment to read.
Keep up the good work,
- Michael Woodward, Ph.D.
I think that you give the supposed tolerance of Islam of Christians too much credit. Absence of forced conversions is not the same thing as true tolerance. Tolerance includes the recognition of the right of others in both belief and action. While Christianity does have a past that is as you recognize a distortion of its origins and basic teachings, at its base is a teaching of the gospels including the admonition to love our neighbors as ourselves, to turn the other cheek, to pray for those who persecute us. No where in the New Testament is violence sanctioned to convert others or even to deal with those who have rejected the faith that they once may have embraced. At the base of Islam is another approach. Islam does not tolerate conversions of persons raised as Muslims to Christianity. It does not tolerate efforts by Christian missionaries to spread the gospel. It does not tolerate evangelism by churches in Muslim countries. It resists these efforts by force and violence. Most evangelism work by Christian missionaries in the Muslim world must be done in secret for fear of violence and arrest. Few Arab or Iranian Christians would feel that Muslim tolerance extends to their sharing of the gospel with Muslims. It is against the law to convert from Islam to Christianity. The punishment for such a conversion is death.
The Constitution of the old Soviet Union protected the right to believe whatever one wished, but did not protect the freedom to spread that belief. To say that one is free to believe but not speak, not free to not live out one's religious teachings regarding the importance of sharing the gospel with others is not really tolerance. That is the same kind of "tolerance" that the Muslim world practices or at least practiced at one time. It is increasingly hard to find even that "tolerance" in the Islamic world.
Yes, governments and churches in the "Christian" west have similarly acted with violence to bar dissident Christians or others from proselytizing in the past. But Christian churches throughout the world, and the West in particular, embrace the freedom of religion established now for many years. They embrace such freedom even though in some ways it seems to contribute to the loss of believers on the church rolls and the secularization of society. Such freedom is consistent with the basic teachings of virtually all Christian denominations, including those such as the Catholic Church, which once encouraged, and sometimes demanded, the use of force. Such tolerance is consistent with the original teachings of the New Testament.
Islam, even "moderate Islam" does not have a history of such tolerance. Ask the Coptic Christians of Egypt. One former Muslim from Palestine said in an interview recently that moderate Muslims are moderate in spite of Islam not because of it. In other words, Islam is not truly a tolerant religion. If you were to ask most "moderate" Muslims what should happen to a Muslim who converts to Christianity. I assure you it is not likely that they will urge "tolerance." Muslim "toleration" is extremely limited and narrow. And while we certainly don't want to encourage the radical elements to become more and more dominant, we don't want to disguise the truth, either. - Phillip L. McIntosh
Associate Dean & Professor of Law
D'Souza points out the wrongs done to other religions by Christianity...hundreds of years ago. I find a serious flaw in the argument of Muslim apologists. The only problem they seem to have with Christianity is focused on the crusades, and events that took place prior to 1600 a.d. It is time for this group to enter the 21st century, because I can watch the evils of Islam on my television tonight, whereas the evils of Christianity are a rumor of the past.
- Jason Cook
I agree to a very great extent with what Mr. D'Souza said, and the spirit in which he said it. I would even say that from many of the refugees I have spoken with a lot of current fundamentalist Islam is partly a backlash after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
It is also my understanding that a great deal of the problems in Bosnia (Yugoslavia) arose from the long-standing hostility that originated between those Christians who were forced to convert to Islam, and those who refused to. This has been cited in many books about the region's history.
I am accutely aware of the historical problems with 'Christianity'; though we don't burn people at the stake anymore, the problems still persist within the ranks.
- Sylvia Genders
Are you sure, that you are a Christian? If you know your history, the muslims have never treated their own people like their brothers and sisters. Killing and beheading, was par for the course, with muslim leaders.
The angel told Hagar, that Ishmael would be a wild man, and could not be trusted. So it is to this day. I get tired of your talking, about what Christians have done down through history. This was the Catholic church, and not Christians.
There is a difference, in the two. Catholsim, is paganism mixed with very little Christianity. Get your history straight. One last truth. If the Islamic people don't repent, and accept Jesus the Christ, they will miss eternal life with God, and all the wonderful things, that Christ has prepared for those that love him.
As Christians, we are called to love, and tell the good news to all people. Lets make sure, we do what God has told us to, and hate noone. In love I thank you, and all Honor and Glory to the Lamb of God!
- Billy Corbi
I simply wanted you to know that I appreciate and respect you for being willing to go against the conventional wisdom among Christians in the USA that denies any wrong-doing on the part of Christians (now or in the past) and which instead blames others (in this case Islam) with simplistic reasoning. Your quoting scripture about the log in the eye was most appropriate and your analogy between the history of the establishment of Israel and what that would look like if it were to happen in the USA is well done.
- Todd Lehman
Pastor Zion Mennonite Church
I would like to thank Mr. D’Souza for his reply to the letters sent him. However, I believe that his response did not go far enough to clarify what he originally said. And I think that his response while dexterous was actually misleading. It is also totally missing the point of the whole argument: whether Islam is a violent religion. Let me first of all clear up a few misconceptions. Is Christianity a violent religion? Did Christianity use the sword?
It is totally misleading to say that Christianity has spread via the sword as did Islam. Christianity, its teachings and practice, is completely against violence. And for almost a thousand years, (well maybe not quite) Christianity spread by the shedding of its blood to all kingdoms of men. It is only when Christianity grew in ‘political’ power under the Romans (Eastern Empire particularly), and by then it had already apostatized from the principles of biblical Christianity, that it began to use the sword of which we are all aware. Also, where Christianity under the Protestants it went without the sword. The sword came later as in the persecuting of other minorities of Christianity, and the indigenous, not all for religious reasons. Of Course Catholicism intentionally used the sword in spreading its teachings. But these were many hundreds of years removed from first spread and evangelism of biblical Christianity. Also, the merging of the political and religious lines was blurred; and consequently Christianity received a ‘bad’ name due to the political. For example, the English went to Indian not primarily to spread Christianity, but trade and later conquest; so also to Africa and else where (although individual Christians when to share the gospel without use of force, as Livingstone and Lacunza). But this is not the same with Islam. Islam started with the sword and continued with the sword regardless of how well they may have treated some. We well accept that Christianity did do wicked things as I noted above; however, this was not in conformity with biblical standards. And even if we grant that Islam was born with the sword, the big issue is what is the present condition or practice of both faiths today? Are they still using the sword? Overwhelming, Islam is. There is no excuse for the so called Christians of the past using the sword; but what matters now is how they behave today, 2006. And this is where the Pope’s speech comes in.
In order to ‘appease’ Islamic terror, as the western world is unfortunately doing, D’Souza attempts to blame the speech. What about the BBC and the NY Times that engendered or incited this furore by sending the speech into Muslims lands inciting the people to riot? Why must they be so gullible? The question that Souza is missing is this: must we be on our guard on how we speak about Islam just because it is a given that Muslims will raise hell if they are displeased? Are we not being held hostage by that behaviour? While it is absolutely certain that that we should not disparage others’ beliefs it is also equally certain, and imperative, that we should never take to the bullet or riots because someone mocked our beliefs. And this is the issue we are dealing with. It does not matter what the pope said; what matters is how the recipients behaved on hearing the speech. We cannot under any circumstances justify violence. This is what D’Souza should address. Do not try to excuse it by taking to tasks the speech. History speaks for itself; the present and future are ours to in order for us to learn from our past mistakes. Are the Muslims so infantile that they cannot accept what others say about their religion?
In closing, we should not be condemning the pope, but upbraiding the Muslims for their intolerant behaviour. For when we look at their comments and treatment of Jews and Christians in their own lands and in Israel today one is simply horrified. Imagine Saudi can send thousands of Qur’ans to the west, but we can hardly send a Bible there. They can come and practice their religion here, but we cannot practice ours there? These are the issues we need to talk to. Unless we do this there will always be tension. May the good Lord help us to know how to love and behaviour in times of mistreatment.
- Ron - Sola Virtus Nobilitat
Mr. D’ Souza’s remarks about Cortes reveal at best ignorance and limited scholarship and at worst bias. The Aztec’s cannibalistic practices have recently been confirmed by archeological findings showing teeth marks on the boiled bones of their victims. Their atrocities against other neighboring tribes are also well documented. Cortes’ reaction to these specific practices may well have influenced his policies regarding Montezuma and the Aztecs. The countries in the Americas that still have significant native populations today are those that were colonized by Catholic European Countries.
To begin to discuss the validity of Moslem sources that describe mistreatment by Christians versus Moslem sources that describe mistreatment by fellow Moslems versus Christian sources that describe mistreatment by Moslems is well beyond the scope of email. Perhaps Mr. D’ Souza should make a personal investigation into source material that presents evidence from all sides involved.
Please remove my name and email from the To the Source mailing list. I can no longer depend on the scholarship behind anything you print.
- Linda Semler
Dr D’Souza’s has no idea what Christians have suffered under Islam and the genocides in India, Armenia and other places that the Muslims have committed and would commit again if given the chance.
I am painfully aware of the shortcomings of Christians and Jews, not only in the distant past, but recent past as well. To condone the current Islamic terrorists because Jewish or Christians were terrorists in the past, is a recipe for perpetual violence. In the current time period, the Western nations at least are willing to condemn and try to stop the terrorist's violence. Moderate Muslims countries, assuming there are some, seem to be unwilling to get involved in stopping the terrorists. It makes one wonder whether Muslims actually condone the mission of the terrorists and are unwilling take any positive actions to stop their methods. One consolation is that the various Muslim factions seem to hate each other more than they hate Christians or Jews. If we allow them to continue to fight each other, maybe they will let the rest of us alone.
- Kenneth Nafziger
I can't believe you are giving voice to this wolf in sheeps clothing. It's easy to say "I'm a Christisan" but then to do nothing but bad mouth Christianity. And he does this in the name of fareness and honesty. You shall know them by their fruits. Well he is producing nothing but more hatred. Every one can see that Mr. Dinesh D'souza is doing nothing but spout the same dogma these terrorist are saying. We are cutting the heads off inocient people because we are so misunderstood. My coment is to move into the real world and stop trying to justify these barbaric acts of vilosence by things that happened a 1000 years ago. If people like Mr. D'souza would stand up and forceable denounce and speak out against these hateful acts again and again they would stop. If the U.S. would try tactics like this the world would condems us for doing it. Where is the condemnation of these terrorist? Stop trying to justify there actions and start speaking out against them. And where is the reat of the so called peaceful Muslim's? They are very quick to speak out when some anywhere "offends their religious beliefs", so why aren't they speaking out and reacting worldwide over these terrible acts of violence? Because they agree with them and support them there can be no other explanation. - Ken Wilson
As an Indian (the real one, not native American!!) I find D'Souza'a comments about his "good fortune" at his being born a Christian, because his ancestors were forcibly converted by Portuguese invaders, appalling.
He is merely sucking up to the conservative White WASP crowd that he desperately courts to gain acceptance into American society given his handicaps - short, dark and unfortunately for him, totally Indian appearance!!
His comments about India being predominantly Hindu despite centuries of Muslim rule as illustrative of Muslim "tolerance" is utterly false. Take the total population of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (the undivided India) today - which is about 1.3 billion.
Muslims constitute at least 400 million !! How come ?
Muslim atrocities on hapless Hindus is a historical fact. Practically all of these Muslims were converts from Hindu sects through violence, rape, torture and coercion.
He comments benignly about the British not converting Hindus into Christianity in the manner they did in Africa, North America. This too is false. The British brought in Christian missionaries by the boatload and gave them all facilities to proseletyse. In the Northeastern states of India, Christian missionaries have been active for centuries and majority of tribals in these sates have been converted to Christianity.
And these missionaries have been responsible in stoking separatist movements and terrorist activities against the federal Government.
It is Hindu tolerance that makes India a secular nation (despite they forming 85% of the population) and gives room to the likes of D'Souza to comment condescendingly about us Indians. It is because of the cultural heritage and philosophical strength of Hindu India (like that of Confucian China)that India (and
China) could withstand the onslaught of both Christianity and Islam. That is why both Islam and Christianity are minor religions even today in these countries. Unfortunately such inherent strength did not exist in the indigenous populations of North and South America, Africa and Australasia. Hence they became easy prey to the proseletysing hordes of Islam and Christianity. This is the point D'Souza fails to make - understandbly so because such admission would make him acknowledge the syncretic nature of Indian society and be more circumspect about shouting ad nauseum about his "good fortune" in being born a Christian.
- Hari Padmanabhan
Editors note: D'Souza is actually 5' 10". Sorry about your racial self-hatred.
“Under no Islamic empire were the Jews or Christians forcibly converted,” D’Souza unhistorically blathers. Tell that to 1.5 million tortured, dismembered, drowned, starved, burned alive dead Armenians. Perhaps D’Souza does not want to call Turkey from 1895 to 1922 an “empire” but it certainly was Islamic. Starting with the Janissaries, an elite army composed of men stolen forcibly as babies from Christian homes, to my pastor grandfather who had a gun put to his head with the words, “Deny your Christ and declare Mohammed is God’s only prophet, or die;” we Armenians have already seen the Islamic themes being promoted by their imams and terrorists today: 1)many virgins in heaven to rape if you kill the infidels, 2)the goods of all you kill are yours, and 3)all land belongs to Allah so any Muslim can take it by force.
Thousands of Armenian children were forcibly taken into Muslim homes and “converted.” Hundreds of thousands of Armenian adults refused to become Muslims and were massacred. All Armenian lands and properties were stolen and plundered, though we had been there almost from when Noah landed on our Mt. Ararat. - Rev. Roger Minassian, Founder & Board Chairman
Hope Now For Youth
What is so frightening about the radical camp of Islam that it threatens its very own traditional brethren? Why should traditional Muslims fear their radical counterparts? How can it be that traditional Muslims can become so weak to the point of being recruited by their radical zealots? What is it about Islam that dissents against the religion and its founder can dramatically lure even the tenderhearted Muslims to join their agitated brothers in defending their God.
I simply don’t understand why should anyone defend God. If God is God--the Almighty-- he does not need anyone to defend Him. God is beyond mortal dissent. The very idea of Muslims fearing insults and hurt because someone characterizes their religion to be violent is unbecoming of a Muslim. If there was ever a peaceful face to Islam, it should be reflected in the worst of the times, when their religion and their prophet is questioned. Violence is not right and cannot be right. As a matter of fact, the ones who take sword die by their sword. Maybe all of the violent Islamic rage against the west will be extinguished by it’s own weight. Click here to read more of this letter.
- Reuben David
D'Sousa is brilliant. - Doug Griffin
On a whim, I opened the message ab out tothesource. What a surprise! I enjoyed it immensely. I'm going to start reading the articles. Thanks - David Elias
Well said, Dr. D’Souza. I agree with your analysis and we certainly must be honest about our Christian heritage. Inquisitions and forced conversions are deplorable, your own faith notwithstanding. And you are correct that for a thousand years Muslims have been more tolerant than Christians. When it comes to Islam, however, it seems that one of the factors of Muslim toleration seems to be power. Islam is very much a religion based on power, firstly from Allah and secondly entrusted to an Islamic theocratic state. Islam sees a unity of political, moral and spiritual values.
What this means is that, Islam is a very tolerant religion as long as Islam is in power. Early Islamic history is filled with forced conversions. Their history is very much the converse of Christian history. We began as a tolerant minority and became an intolerant political power. Islam began as an intolerant political-religious power and became a tolerant religion. But my point is that the fabric of their religion mandates an Islamic power. And in an age of increasing globalization, it has become clear to the Islamic world that theirs is not a global power. I think it is this perceived loss of power that threatens Islam. For a theocracy, when ‘God’ is not in political power, then His sovereignty is in question. And I would argue that this, coupled with Western foreign policy failures, is at the heart of the radicalized Islam that we see today.
I would appreciate hearing any thoughts you might have or corrections you might like to make.
- Chris Lang
Xenos Christian Fellowship
What is OUTRIGHT sin, we are not deceived by that kife-stype...See that? Violence, stealing, murder,
adultry, dope-taking, etc., is not deceiving anyone...See that? This is important.....But where is the
Deception to be warned about? What was the greatest danger in Noah's day? Is-lam? what not even
thought of....The sons of God (Christians) saw the daughters of men, and took all the women them wanted.
So the Sons of God in Noah's day with their women kept the people from the Message Noah Had.
What was the deception in the days of Elijah? Is-Lam? Was not even thought of....But Ahab who was the
King of Israel was the most wicked King Israel ever had, and his wife Jezebell sold Israel into Paganism.
1 Kings 18;19 states Jezebell had 850 false Prophets....Oh God.
So it was once again church people that was the danger.
In the days of John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles, all but one was killed by church people. Fare-you-
sees, Sad-you-sees, Scribes, etc....When the host of heaven sang about the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem,
they by-passed all the church groups, and sang to the shepherds out in the field..See that?
So in our day it is denominations, independent churches that will not preach all of the world of God. See that?
How many churches will not preach it is a sin for women to cut their hair????
How many churches that will not let the bible interpret its own self even in water baptism, and will not
let that First church fresh out of the upper-room experience tell them to be baptised in the Name of Jesus
Christ...Acts 2;38....Even the Moon that controlls the ocean tides in 238,000 miles from earth. So the Moon
has a 238 formula to controll the natural water, and Acxts 238 controlls te Spiritual water of the Holy Ghost.
In fact there is not one place in the Bible, that anyone was ever Baptised saying Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
but in the Name of Jesus Christ every time.....Jesus commanded the Apostles to preach His Message to all
the world, and they never preached in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but was going to School under Jesus
Christ. He forbade them to preach until they were endued with Power from on high.. Now with all this Solid
Bible Truth, what will the people who read this do about al the deception? Wolf's hid in church clothes.
Now this is the foundation, and if the foundation is wrong, the whole building falls.
Look at the churches that teach God is three persons, and how can you have 3 fathers? God is Father
Son and Holy Ghost in one person with 3 offices of manifestation, or you destroy the first commandment.
There is more, but this will show you a mixed-up church world with thousands of different ways cannot be the
way of a Holy God with just one way to say and do.
if you want more, just write.
- Nathan Miller
I receive your emails via our church address. I just read your September 21 email asking "Is Islam the Problem?"
My answer is, definitely "Yes".
While Christians have not been blameless, and neither has the West, today's combination of Christian and Western civilization has, if anything, bent over backwards to be "tolerant" of anyone and anything, only to find that others see this as a sign of weakness and are moving to take advantage of it.
Meanwhile, Islamic "terrorism" is not just a phenomenon of the past 25 years. Yes, it is only recently that it has gained the name of "terrorism", but from the days of Mohammed, the approach of the horsemen of the Islamic armies sent terror into the hearts of those they were soon to conquer. Yes, Mohammed attempted to convince the pagans, Jews and Christians of his day with logic. His early Suras which became part of the Koran said the "people of the Book" (i.e. Jews and Christians), were to be treated as friends and not harmed.
But his message was accepted mostly by those pagans who had previously worshipped many gods at the Ka'aba shrine in Mecca, including "Allah", the "Moon God", which Mohammed established as the only god. When he was rebuffed in his attempts to convert Jews and Christians, he announced new revelations, which became the latter portions of the Koran, which said such things as "Believers (Muslims), take neither Jews nor Christians to be your friends: they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship Shall become one of their number, and God does not guide (those Jewish and Christian) called "wrong-doers," Sura 5:51-5:74).
And through the "law of abrogation" as it applies to the Koran, when there are two statements that contradict each other, the later one supercedes the earlier one. Thus statements to "treat people of the Book as brothers, or as friends" are earlier statements, and "do not allow them to live" are the later statements, which are the true teaching of the Koran.
The history of violence to promote Islam goes all the way back to Mohammed (even if you don't think we should say so publicly, apparently because Muslims won't like the truth and might attack us).
The following is just part of a chronology of early Islam compiled by the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), showing the "peaceful" spread of their religion. Click here to read more of this letter. - Gordon Roy Morris Milwaukee, Wisconsin