The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is encouraging Christians to join in the Islamic iftar ‘ritual’ meal on the occasion of the Muslim festival of Ramadan.
ChurchMilitant (h/t Marvin W) In a Ramadan greeting to “Muslim brothers and sisters” Friday, the Vatican dicastery called upon Christians and Muslims to “protect together” mosques and churches and quoted the prophet Isaiah 56:7 affirming that “a place of worship of any religion therefore is ‘a house of prayer.'”
“For us, your Christian friends, it is a propitious time to further strengthen our relationships with you, by greeting you, meeting you on this occasion and, where possible, by sharing in an Iftar with you,” the statement read.
Speaking to Church Militant, world-renowned Islamic scholar Robert Spencer said he was disturbed by the Vatican’s “assumptions that arise from Vatican II declarations about Muslims together with us adoring the God of Abraham.”
“By participating in iftars, Christians are helping celebrate an imperative to conquer and subjugate them,” he noted. “Iftar is not just a meal. It is the breaking of the Ramadan fast every evening. Ramadan is a month devoted to intensifying one’s observance of Islam and growing more righteous.”
“In Islam, the most righteous deed of all is jihad, which most prominently involves warfare against and the subjugation of non-Muslims. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: ‘Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).’ Muhammad replied, ‘I do not find such a deed’ (Bukhari 4.52.44),” Spencer explained.
Author of the bestselling The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, the historian told Church Militant he was also shocked by the Vatican drawing a parallel “between the destruction of churches and mosques in this age or any age.”
“Such equivalence demonstrates historical illiteracy as throughout history thousands, if not tens of thousands, of churches have been turned into mosques in order to demonstrate the superiority of Islam over Christianity, and the victory of Muslims over Christians,” Spencer observed.
The foremost example of this is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Also the Umayyad Mosque, formerly the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Damascus. The mosque of Cordoba might seem to be an equivalent example of a mosque that was converted into a church, but it is just a single example against a mountain of examples on the Islamic side. Islam explicitly proclaims that it is the true embodiment of Christ’s teachings, and that Christianity is illegitimate. This has worked out for 1,400 years in the destruction or conversion of churches.
In its Ramadan statement, the Vatican recalled Pope Francis’ words on a visit to the Heydar Aliyev Mosque, in Baku (Azerbaijan) in 2016: “Meeting one another in fraternal friendship in this place of prayer is a powerful sign, one that shows the harmony which religions can build together, based on personal relations and on the good will of those responsible.”
But Spencer slammed the pontiff’s words as “ignoring, as do all modern Church statements about Islam, that religion’s deeply embedded doctrines that completely delegitimize Christianity and call for warfare against Christians and those of other faiths, with mosques as the base of operations (qaeda).”
“This is why we have seen weapons stockpiled in so many mosques around the world,” Spencer added, pointing out that the pope “would do well to consider who exactly is being worshiped in mosques, when Muslims have so very often, in so many countries, come out of Friday prayers and violently attacked non-Muslims.