Skip to comments.Islam not as tolerant as us: cardinal
Posted on 01/01/2004 1:22:43 PM PST by NCjim
Too many Islamic countries treat their Christian minorities as second-class citizens, barring church building, while Western states let their Muslims build mosques freely, a senior Vatican official has said.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who recently retired as the Vatican's foreign minister, told the French Catholic daily La Croix this week that Christianity and Islam faced "an enormous task" of learning to live together in mutual tolerance.
Cardinal Tauran was the latest and highest-ranking Catholic to worry about Vatican relations with Muslims, an issue seen as central for whoever succeeds Pope John Paul.
"There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens," said Cardinal Tauran, the church's top diplomat for 13 years before he had to step aside when he was made a cardinal.
Stressing the need to respect minorities, he singled out "the extreme case of Saudi Arabia, where freedom of religion is violated absolutely - no Christian churches and a ban on celebrating Mass, even in a private home".
"Just like Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well," he said.
Leading church figures are increasingly worried about Muslim-Christian friction in Africa and the Middle East. Another concern is the often difficult integration of Muslim minorities in traditionally Christian Europe.
La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal published with Vatican approval, said in October that Islam had had a "warlike face" throughout history. It charged Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan with discriminating against Christians.
This was seen as a departure from the Vatican's approach, in which it usually stressed both positive and negative aspects of its relations.
In Rome to celebrate John Paul's 25th anniversary as pontiff last year, several cardinals said relations with Islam were key for the next papacy, akin to the communist challenge at the start of John Paul's reign.
The head of the United States Bishops' Conference, Bishop Wilton Gregory, spoke of potential religious violence.
He said in reference to Islam in the West and in Africa: "It's growing in places it didn't exist before and it is growing in places where Christianity is growing. The world cannot afford a violence that is born of religious intolerance."
Saudi Arabia has rejected criticism of its ban on churches, saying the Vatican would not let mosques be built on its land.
Meanwhile, the French Government and the Muslim world's most prestigious centre of Islamic learning have found common ground on a contentious French law that would stop Muslim girls wearing headscarves in French state schools.
The Grand Sheik of al-Azhar, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, said hijab-wearing was a religious duty, but governments of non-Muslim countries had the right to pass any laws they wanted, even on dress.
The French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, assured him that France guarantees its Muslim citizens complete freedom to practise religion. President Jacques Chirac has called for a law banning Islamic headscarves and all religious symbols in state schools.
Talk about stating the obvious...
IMHO an "enormous task" should be "impossible task". - Tom
True...but the "obvious" has not really been stated by anyone, either the Muslim and the Christian "religion of peace" advocates. I am so tired of hearing Christians tell us that and what I want so desperately to hear, is a high ranking Muslim forcefully denouncing the violence and discrimination done by his fellow Muslims.
HA!!! This strange silence, especially by the "peace-loving" Muslims is so telling. They obviously fear their own at best, or at worst, in silence agree with them and their evil tactics.
I was talking to my wife this morning about the radical cultural transition that America is now undergoing. We have large populations coming to America from other cultures, bringing with them their inferior religious values and they're not desiring to assimilate into our culture. The trend now for immigrants is to gravitate toward insulated communities as sub cultures. These folk seem to enjoy living within our society but they don't want to become Americans in the traditional sense, i.e., learn the language and develop friendships outside of their cultural group.
As one who believes the Christian culture to be superior to whatever they bring, this troubles me. I watch the erosion of our values by this anti Christian invasion and it causes me concern.