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Friday, August 5, 2016

But what sort of martyr?

Maureen Mullarkey at TheFederalist: Was Jacques Hamel A Martyr To The Faith Or To His Illusions About Islam?
Set aside, if you can, all horror at Hamel’s murder. Look past, please, all warranted sympathy for this good man and his terrible end. There remains a question: Was the priest a martyr for the faith or to his own illusions about Islam?

By all accounts a kindly man, Hamel served in a parish committed to the very illusion of ecumenical agreement with Islam that de Mattei abhors. The Belfast Telegraph reports the nuns gave reading lessons to Muslim kids in the tower blocks. Church authorities soared above such neighborliness. Courting dhimmitude, they donated the land beside Hamel’s church to local Muslims to build the mosque his two young killers attended. During Ramadan, the parish hall “and other facilities” were given over to Muslims. (In terms of Islamic jurisprudence, the mosque and the ground under it belong forever to the eternal ummah. The archdiocese has ceded a portion of Normandy to the caliphate. Allah be praised.)

In his last pastoral letter, Hamel called for communities to live together and “accept each other as they are.” But accepting Islam means recognizing its totalizing nature. Authentic acceptance is unsentimental. It is a prod to staying watchful. To befriend Muslims as individuals does not cancel the necessity to know Islam’s history, its millenarian ambitions, and its enduring theological imperative toward violence.

Christian charity does not entail any obligation to accommodate Islam’s muscular expansion in the West. One way to love the enemy is to defeat him. Yet Hamel’s parish was actively lending itself to Islam’s ascendancy. Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray is a lesson in the price Christianity pays for the fanaticism of profligate mercy.