CFN: Matt Gaspar on How V2 MISLED Catholics re. Islam

The Truth about Islam

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The Truth about Islam
 

By Matt P. Gaspers

Author’s Note: Quotations from the Quran are taken from the widely used English translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (first edition published in 1934). For the sake of readability, the texts are rendered using modern English syntax, pronouns, and verb forms. To read Ali’s translation online, visit quran.com. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Douay-Rheims Version of the Holy Bible. Concerning Scripture citations, numbers given in parentheses are the DRV chapter/verse, listed after the chapter/verse of most other mainstream English translations, e.g. II Cor. 13:14(13).

I was a junior in high school when Muslim terrorists attacked the United States of America on September 11, 2001. It was either later that year or sometime during my senior year, in a public speaking class, that I gave a presentation on what I thought were the facts about Islam: the terrorists were not true Muslims, Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians, we are all children of Abraham, etc. These were the consistent assertions I heard from the secular news media. They were also presented to me as the teachings of the Church, according to the documents of Vatican II.[1] In my naiveté, I was convinced that my presentation would contribute to the cause of promoting peace and understanding. Only later did I learn how profoundly misled I had been.
During my first year of college, I decided to examine the Quran for myself. What I found was shocking. Not only were the texts riddled with heresy and blasphemy, they also encouraged – even commanded – an attitude of contempt toward non-Muslims, including Jews and Christians, as well as the killing of those who refuse to convert to Islam. The following are some of the passages I discovered:

Concerning Jews & Christians
 
·      “O you who believe![2] Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you who turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily, Allah does not guide an unjust people.” (Surah 5:51)

·      “Fight those who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger,[3] nor acknowledge the religion of Truth,[4] (even if they are) of the People of the Book,[5] until they pay the Jizya[6] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Surah 9:29)

Concerning Jihad

The term jihad literally means “struggle” in Arabic. Many people, including Muslim scholars and clerics throughout the world,[7] claim that jihad primarily refers to the “inner, spiritual struggle” of each individual believer. The problem with this interpretation, however, is that it does not agree with the Quran or the history of Islam, both of which clearly portray jihad primarily as the physical (and bloody) struggle against non-Muslims to establish worldwide Islamic rule.[8]

·      “Remember your Lord inspired the angels (with the message): ‘I am with you: give firmness to the Believers:[9] I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers:[10] smite them above their necks[11] and smite all their finger-tips off them. … It is not you who slew them; it was Allah.” (Surah 8:12, 17)

·      “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent,[12] and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surah 9:5)

·      “Fight them,[13] and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,…” (Surah 9:14)

·      “Fighting is prescribed for you,[14] and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” (Surah 2:216)

·      “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons.[15] Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons above those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith[16]) has Allah promised good: But He has distinguished those who strive and fight above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,…” (Surah 4:95)

·      “Go forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if you (but) knew.” (Surah 9:41)

·      “O Prophet![17] Strive hard against the Unbelievers[18] and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. … Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed.” (Surah 9:73; 66:9)

·      “Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah – whether he is slain or gets victory – soon We shall give him a reward of great (value).” (Surah 4:74)

Concerning biblical & historical truths
 
The Trinity

It is critical to understand that the Allah (“God” in Arabic) of the Quran is not the YHWH Elohim (“Lord God” in Hebrew) of the Bible. The Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob[19] – the only true God[20] – is the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.[21]

·      “They [22] do blaspheme who say: ‘Allah is one of three in a Trinity’: for there is no god except One Allah. If they do not desist from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.” (Surah 5:73)

·      “O People of the Book![23] Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word,[24] which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him; so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son.” (Surah 4:171)

·      “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” (Surah 112:1-4)

·      “And behold! Allah will say: ‘O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as gods beside Allah”’? He [Jesus] will say: ‘Glory to You! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You indeed would have known it. You know what is in my heart, though I do not know what is in Yours. You alone are the Knower of things hidden.’” (Surah 5:116)

Mohammad profoundly misunderstood the doctrine of the Trinity. He thought that Christians believe that the Trinity consists of Allah (God), Jesus (a mere man, according to him) and Mary. In reality, the Trinity is God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit – one Divine Nature, three Divine Persons.

Islamic sources of history provide some key information that helps explain the origin of Mohammad’s heterodox notion. According to the Hadith,[25] Mohammad was influenced by a cousin of his first wife, Khadija, whose name was Waraqa bin Naufal.[26] This elderly man was a member of the heretical Ebionites,[27] a so-called Christian sect of Judaizers condemned by the Church for their denial of Christ’s divinity, among other errors.[28]

Our Lord Jesus Christ

The writings of the New Testament, which are demonstrably the most reliable sources of information concerning Jesus,[29] boldly proclaim that Jesus of Nazareth is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity made flesh.[30] The Quran, a text that was completed approximately 600 years after the death and Resurrection of Christ, flatly contradicts the New Testament.

·      “They do blaspheme who say: ‘Allah is Christ the son of Mary.’” (Surah 5:72)

·      “In blasphemy indeed are those who say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” (Surah 5:17)

·      “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger.” (Surah 5:75)

·      “One day Allah will gather the messengers together, and ask: ‘What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)?’ They will say: ‘We have no knowledge: it is You Who know in full all that is hidden.’ Then Allah will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the holy spirit,[31] so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! you made out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, with My permission, and you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission;[32] and you healed those born blind, and the lepers, by My permission. And behold! You brought forth the dead by My permission. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) you when you did show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: “This is nothing but evident magic.”’ (Surah 5:109-110)

St. John the Apostle wrote the following about those who deny that Jesus is “Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matt. 16:16):

“Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also. … He that believeth in the Son of God hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son maketh Him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of His Son. And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life. He that hath not the Son hath not life.” (I John 2:22-23, 5:10-12)

The Crucifixion, Death on the Cross, & Resurrection of Christ

·      “…they[33] said (in boast): ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, yet so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety killed him not. Nay, Allah took him up to Himself.[34]” (Surah 4:157-158)

Even apart from the New Testament, the claim that Christ only “appeared” to have been crucified and died contradicts the historical record. There are impartial, corroborating testimonies to Jesus’ crucifixion and death under Pontius Pilate in the works of Josephus (Jewish historian, b. ca. a.d. 37) and Tacitus (Roman historian, b. ca. a.d. 56).[35]

Furthermore, the allegation that Christians “are full of doubts” and have “only conjecture to follow” is untenable. The texts of the New Testament make it abundantly clear that Jesus was crucified[36] under Pontius Pilate,[37] died on the Cross,[38] was buried,[39] rose from the dead[40] on the third day[41] – His Body glorified[42] – and ascended into Heaven[43] on the fortieth day after His Resurrection.[44] All of these historical events were prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was born,[45] as He Himself taught.[46]

Concerning Predestination

·      “[Allah says] Many are the Jinns[47] and men We have made for Hell.” (Surah 7:179)

This assertion is certainly compatible with Calvinist heresy,[48] but not with the letter of Holy Scripture or the teaching of the Church.[49] “God is charity” (I John 4:8, 16). In His infinite goodness, He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance” (II Peter 3:9). He desires “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4). God Himself states: “As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezechiel 33:11).

Tragically, both the secular news media and the teachings of Vatican II continue to mislead millions of souls regarding Islam. This ongoing deception, which is certainly the work of “that old serpent…who seduceth the whole world” (Apoc. 12:9), must be exposed by the light of perennial Catholic truth. The members of the “Pilgrim Church on earth” must rediscover their true identity as the Church Militant, not for the purpose of taking up physical arms (although this could become necessary for legitimate self-defense), but for the saving of souls through spiritual combat. This is what “the charity of Christ presseth us” to do (II Cor. 5:14), charity which “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth” (I Cor. 13:6).

[1] c.f. Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), n. 16; Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions), n. 3.
[2] Muslims, exclusively.
[3] Mohammad.
[4] Islam, exclusively.
[5] Jews and Christians.
[6] tax for non-Muslims.
[7] e.g. “Open Letter to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,” a Muslim response to the Holy Father’s lecture given at the University of Regensburg on September 12, 2006. The letter was published in Islamica Magazine (Issue 18, p.25 – islamicamagazine.com/?p=634) one month after the Pope’s lecture and bears the names of 38 signatories. During his lecture, entitled “Faith, Reason, and the University Memories and Reflections,” Pope Benedict made use of the following quote from Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus (r. 1391-1425), which caused quite an uproar throughout the Muslim world: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached” (Dialogue with a Persian, Controversy VII, 2). Ironically, thousands of Muslims worldwide proved the emperor exactly right by their militant (and, in some cases, violent) reaction.
[8] c.f. Thomas F. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades – Updated Edition (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005), p. 1-3.
[9] Muslims, exclusively.
[10] all non-Muslims, according to the Quran.
[11] i.e. decapitate (c.f. English translation by M. H. Shakir).
[12] convert to Islam.
[13] all who refuse to convert to Islam.
[14] all able-bodied Muslims.
[15] i.e. bodies (lives).
[16] Muslims, exclusively.
[17] Mohammad.
[18] all non-Muslims, according to the Quran.
[19] c.f. Ex. 3:13-15
[20] c.f. Deut. 4:35, 39, 6:4, 32:39; II Sam. (Kings) 7:22; I (III) Kings 18:21-24, 36-39; II (IV) Kings 19:15, 19; I Chron. (Para.) 17:20; Ps. 18(17):31(32), 46(45):10(11), 86(85):10, 90(89):2, 100(99):3; Sir. (Ecclus.) 36:1-5, 42:18-21; Isa. 37:16, 20, 43:10-13, 44:6-8, 45:5-6, 21-22, 46:9; Jer. 10:10; II Mach. 7:37; John 17:3; Rom. 3:29-30; I Cor. 8:4-6; I Tim. 1:17, 2:5; Jam. 2:19; Rev. (Apoc.) 1:8, 17-18, 21:6, 22:13
[21] Gen. 1:26, 3:22-23, 11:1-8; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 3:13-17, 28:18-19; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; II Cor. 13:14(13); I John 5:7 Vul. (drb, kjv, nkjv)
[22] Christians.
[23] Christians, in this instance.
[24] not, however, the personal Word (Logos) of the Bible, i.e. the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (c.f. I [III] Kings 19:9-14 [read in light of Mark 1:9-11]; John 1:1-18).
[25] collection of written accounts of oral tradition concerning the life and teachings of Mohammad, held as sacred by Muslims.
[26] c.f. Sahih Bukhari (hadithcollection.com): Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3; Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605.
[27] c.f. Jim Murk, Islam Rising: The Never Ending Jihad Against Christianity Book 1 (Springfield: 21st Century Press, 2006), p. 41-42, 72.
[28] c.f. Catholic Encyclopedia (www.newadvent.org), article entitled “Ebionites.”
[29] c.f. Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervand Publishing House, 1998), p. 55-71.
[30] c.f. Ps. 45(44):6-7(7-8) (read in light of Heb. 1:8-9), 102(101):25-27(26-28) (read in light of Heb. 1:10-12, 13:8), 130(129):7-8(6-7) (read in light of Matt. 1:18-21; John 1:29); Wis. 7:24-26 (read in light of Heb. 1:1-3); Isa. 7:14 (read in light of Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35), 9:1-2, 6-7 (read in light of Matt. 4:12-16; Luke 1:26-33), 35:1-6 (read in light of Matt. 11:1-6, 15:29-31; Mark 7:31-37; Luke 7:18-23); Matt. 14:28-33, 28:5-9, 16-17 (read in light of Ex. 34:14; Deut. 6:13; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8); Mark 14:53-55, 60-62 (read in light of Ex. 3:13-14); Luke 1:39-43, 2:10-11; John 1:1-3, 14, 18, 5:18-23, 8:23-24, 28, 56-59 (read in light of Ex. 3:13-14), 9:1-7, 35-38 (read in light of Ex. 34:14; Deut. 6:13; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8), 10:30, 37-38, 12:44-45, 13:12-19 (read in light of Ex. 3:13-14), 14:1, 6-11(12), 15:23-24, 17:1-5, 10-11, 20-24, 18:1-8 (read in light of Ex. 3:13-14), 20:26-28; Acts 20:28; Philip. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19, 2:9; Heb. 1:1-12, 13:8; II Pet. 1:1; I John 1:1-3, 2:22-24, 5:7-12, 19-20; II John 7-11; Rev. (Apoc.) 19:11-16 (read in light of John 1:1-3, 14, 18)
[31] not, however, the personal Spirit of the Bible, i.e. the Third Person of the Holy Trinity (c.f. Ezek. 11:5; John 14:16, 15:26, 16:13; Acts 8:29, 10:19, 13:2).
[32] This supposed incident is not recorded in any of the four canonical Gospels, but only in some of the heretical Gnostic gospels, e.g. the so-called Gospel of St. Thomas.
[33] the chief priests, elders, scribes, and other Jews who clamored for Pontius Pilate to hand Jesus over for execution by crucifixion (c.f. Matt. 27:1-2, 11-18, 20-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-5, 13-25; John 18:28—19:16; Acts 2:22-23, 3:12-15, 4:8-10, 13:26-29).
[34] not, however, the Ascension as it is recorded in the New Testament, i.e. after the Resurrection.
[35] c.f. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book 18, Ch. 3, Para. 3; Tacitus, Annals Book 15, Ch. 44 (c.f. Strobel, The Case for Christ, p. 76-83).
[36] c.f. Matt. 27:31-35; Mark 15:20-25; Luke 23:26, 32-33; John 19:17-18; Acts 2:36, 4:10, 5:30, 10:39; I Cor. 1:22-24, 2:1-8; Gal. 3:13; I Pet. 2:24; Rev. (Apoc.) 11:3, 7-8
[37] c.f. Matt. 27:1-2, 11-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28—19:16; Acts 3:11-13; I Tim. 6:13
[38] c.f. Matt. 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28-34; Acts 2:22-23, 3:14-15; Rom. 5:6-10, 14:7-9; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:14-15; Philip. 2:5-8; I Thess. 5:9-10; Heb. 9:15; I Pet. 3:18; Rev. (Apoc.) 1:12-13, 17-18, 2:8
[39] c.f. Matt. 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; Rom. 6:1-4; I Cor. 15:4; Col. 2:11-12
[40] c.f. Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-16; Acts 2:24, 3:14-15, 10:40, 13:30; Rom. 4:25, 6:1-10, 8:11; I Cor. 15:4, 20; I Pet. 1:3
[41] c.f. Luke 24:6-7, 45-46; Acts 10:39-40; I Cor. 15:4
[42] c.f. John 20:19-20, 24-29; I Cor. 15:12-22, 35-53
[43] c.f. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11; Eph. 4:7-10; Heb. 4:14, 9:24
[44] c.f. Acts 1:1-3
[45] Crucifixion (c.f. Ps. 22[21]:16[17]; Isa. 53:5; Zech. 12:10; Acts 8:26-35), death (c.f. Isa. 53:8, 12; Dan. 9:26), Resurrection (c.f. Ps. 16[15]:8-11; Acts 2:22-32, 13:26-37), Ascension (c.f. Ps. 110[109]:1; Acts 2:33-36; Heb. 1:13).
[46] c.f. Matt. 16:21, 17:22-23(21-22), 20:17-19; Mark 8:31, 9:30-32(29-31), 10:32-34; Luke 9:22, 18:31-34, 24:13-16, 25-27, 32-36, 44-45
[47] a mythological “third race” of creatures endowed with intelligence and free will, distinct from angels and men (c.f. Quran, Surah 15:26-28). According to the Quran, the devil is of the Jinn race (c.f. Surah 18:50).
[48] John Calvin (1509-1564), one of the most influential figures among the original Protestant dissenters, is the man most responsible for popularizing the heresy that every person, apart from human free will or conduct during life, is predestined by God either to salvation or damnation (c.f. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 3, Ch. 21-24; ). The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) is a prime example of Calvinism (c.f. Chapter 3 – Of God’s Eternal Decree). It is worth noting that the aforementioned creed also refers to the Pope as the visible head, not of the Church, but of the Antichrist (c.f. Chapter 25 – Of the Church, Art. 6).
[49] The “predestined-to-hell” heresy was first formally condemned by the Church at the Second Council of Orange (a.d. 529) (c.f. Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, n. 200[397]), a thousand years before the Protestant revolt.

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