#FultonFridays: Mary and the Muslims

December 10, 2015

On Fridays, I post excerpts from the writings of the great American bishop and media evangelist, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. I call them #FultonFridays.

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite, within it, some elements of Christianity and of Judaism, along with particular customs of Arabia. Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His majesty and His creative power, and uses it, in part, as a basis for the reproduction of Christ, the Son of God. Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet announcing Him just as to Christians, Isaiah and John the Baptist are prophets announcing Christ.

The Christian European West barely escaped destruction at the hands of the Moslems. At one point they were stopped near Tours and at another point, later on in time, outside the gates of Vienna. The Church throughout northern Africa was practically destroyed by Moslem power, and at the present hour, the Moslems are beginning to rise again.

If Moslemism is a heresy, as Hiliaire Belloc believes it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined. Others have had a moment of vigor, then gone into doctrinal decay at the death of the leader, and finally evaporated in a vague social movement. Moslemism, on the contrary, has only had its first phase. There was never a time in which it declined, either in numbers, or in the devotion of its followers.

The missionary effort of the Church toward this group has been at least on the surface, a failure, for the Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. The reason is that for a follower of Mohammed to become a Christian is much like a Christian becoming a Jew. The Moslems believe that they have the final and definitive revelation of God to the world and that Christ was only a prophet announcing Mohammed, the last of God’s real prophets.

At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Moslem writers say, “When the locust swarms darken countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words: ‘We are God’s host, each of us has ninety-nine eggs, and if we had a hundred, we should lay waste the world, with all that is in it.’”

The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg? It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but the Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity — and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God. This is the line of argument:


The Koran, which is the Bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First of all, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also, in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Mary’s family in a genealogy, which goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Koran’s description of the birth of Mary with the apocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe that Mohammed very much depended upon the latter. Both books describe the old age and the definite sterility of the mother of Mary. When, however, she conceives, the mother of Mary is made to say in the Koran; “O Lord, I vow and consecrate to you what is already within me. Accept it from me.”

When Mary is born, the mother says: “And I consecrate her with all of her posterity under thy protection, O Lord, against Satan!”

The Koran passes over Joseph in the life of Mary, but the Moslem tradition know his name and has some familiarity with him. In this tradition, Joseph is made to speak to Mary, who is a virgin. As he inquired how she conceived Jesus without a father, Mary answered: “Do you not know that God, when He created the wheat had no need of seed, and that God by His power made the trees grow without the help of rain? All that God had to do was to say, ‘So be it, and it was done.’”

The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying: “Oh, Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth.” In the nineteenth chapter of the Koran there are 41 verses on Jesus and Mary. There is such a strong defense of the virginity of Mary here that the Koran, in the fourth book, attributed the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.


Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary.” In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, “I surpass all the women, except Mary.”

This brings us to our second point: namely, why the Blessed Mother, in the 20th century should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as “Our Lady of Fatima.” Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception, which the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, as mentioned earlier. Moslems attended the church services in honor of Our Lady, they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

Missionary Zeal

Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ Himself is born. In an apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her divine Son. She is forever a “traitor,” in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.

Many of our great missionaries in Africa have already broken down the bitter hatred and prejudices of the Moslems against the Christians through their acts of charity, their schools and hospitals. It now remains to use another approach, namely, that of taking the 41st chapter of the Koran and showing them that it was taken out of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary could not be, even in their own eyes, the most blessed of all the women of Heaven if she had not also borne One who was the Savior of the world. If Judith and Esther of the Old Testament were pre-figures of Mary, then it may well be that Fatima herself was a post-figure of Mary! The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.

Fulton J. Sheen


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Reader Interactions


  1. informeddisciple1 says

    Sam, thank you so much for sharing this! As always Archbishop Fulton Sheen was (and is) awesome for enlightening those of us ignorant in the subject, especially when it comes down to our brethren of different faiths.

  2. Doug says

    What was the date of Venerable Archbishop Sheen’s discussion of “Mary and the Muslims”? It helps explain the language and usage of terms, i.e. “Moslemism”.

  3. dagney says

    Different days, different ways. Don’t be critical of unfamiliar things because of your own ignorance. It is a valid word in English.

  4. Ray Hill says

    Webster defines “Moslemism” as “the religion of Islam”. The Jury is out folks, it’s a word. By response to Paul – there are no made up words in the dictionary.

  5. Salmon says

    Paul, I see you have an article on your website about the age of sexual consent in the Bible. From the scope of your blog posts, I assume you are a convert to Islam from Christianity, either practiced, or not, and that you have that article to justify Mohammad’s marriage to Aisyah at the age of 6. Arguing that the age of marriage and consent was much different in the ancient world, given a number of factors, shows that you are familiar with anachronisms.

    What more can be said? Life is too short and you look already too old to be an internet troll. There’s no prejudice in Sheen’s article, just what you’ve brought to it. If you are offended, you and God are both better served in prayer than in trolling.

  6. Paul Williams says

    Fulton J. Sheen vainly believes that Muslims will be converted to Christianity by venerating Mary:

    ‘It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.’

    This will not happen. The son of Mary was just a man. She was not the ‘Mother of God’.

    Muslims are taught in the uncorrupted Word of God:

    ‘O People of the Book [ie Christians]! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”” desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.’ (4:171)

    ‘Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how God doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!’ (5:75)

  7. Salmon says

    Hoping for your conversion = prejudice? Mormons and JW’s go around and around in these same insular circles back to their sacrosanct texts, you seem very insecure in your belief. Maturity in your faith will set you free from fear and open dialogue. The Truth cannot be taken away from you by dialogue or force in as much as it is true. Thus, Christ awaits you.

  8. Adrienne says

    This excerpt, which you have quoted in its entirety, is from Fulton J. Sheen’s 1952 book, The World First Love, Mary Mother of God. It is widely considered one of the top 10 Christian books ever written.

    The thing that most people gloss over is Sheen’s great prophetic vision. In 1952, it was in no one’s radar screen to talk about the conversion of Muslims, much less to point out the beautiful and poetic hand of God in the design of the Fatima revelation. Fatima, Portugal named after a real Muslim princess, and Fatima named for the first daughter of Mohammed, revered in the Koran. Sheen was no slouch when it came to missionary work (that’s an understatement!), so he well understood the veneration of Mary around the world by many different faiths. In India today, for instance, the apparition of Our Lady of Vailankannii is constantly visited by hoards of Hindu, Muslim, as well as Christians. It is precisely because of the Muslim’s esteem of Mary that Fulton Sheen pointed out her inevitable promise of God’s mercy to them as well.

    Our Lady and Islam: Heaven’s Peace Plan – by Fr. Ladis J. Cizik. It is must reading which details beautifully the serious patterns of Mary’s interventions in history and in different countries, especially the Fatima connection to Our Lady of Guadalupe and Mexico.

    And don’t forget this: Fulton Sheen video on Our Lady of Fatima, Part 1


  9. Eric Draper says

    Dear friends Paul and Salmon et al; perhaps we (Muslims and Christians) can begin a dialogue starting with our common enemy: Satan. HE is the sower of discord, hatred, mistrust, and all evil and revels in our earthly turmoil. Comments?

    Eric Draper

  10. Paul Williams says

    Islamic scholar Ibn Qayyim (1292–1350 CE) wrote a famous poem called “O Christ-Worshippers”. It is rather good..

    O Christ-worshippers! We want an answer to our question from your wise ones,
    If the Lord was murdered by some people’s act, what kind of god is this?
    We wonder! Was He pleased by what they did to Him?
    If yes, blessed be they, they achieved His pleasure,
    But if He was discontented, this means their power had subjugated Him!

    Was the whole entity left without a Sustainer, so who answered the prayers?
    Were the heavens vacated, when He laid under the ground somewhere?
    Were all the worlds left without a God, to manage while His hands were nailed?
    Why did not the angels help Him, when they heard him while he wailed?

    How could the rods stand to bear the True Lord when He was fastened,
    How could the irons reached Him and had His body pinned?
    How could His enemies hands reach Him and slap His rear,
    And was Christ revived by himself, or was the Reviver another god?

    What a sight it was, a grave that enclosed a god,
    Stranger still is the belly that confined Him!
    He stayed there for nine months in utter darkness, fed by blood!
    Then he got out of the womb as a small baby,
    Weak and gasping to be breast-fed!
    He ate and drank, and did that which naturally resulted,
    Is this what you call a god?
    High Exalted be Allah above the lies of Christians,
    All of them will be held accountable for their libels!

    O Cross-worshippers! For what reason is this exalted
    and blame is cast upon those who reject it?
    Is it not logical to break and burn it, along with the one who innovated it?
    Since the Lord was crucified on it, and his hands were fastened to it?
    That is really a cursed cross to carry,
    So discard it, do not kiss it!
    The Lord was abused on it, and you adore it?
    So it is clear that you are one of His enemies!
    If you extol it because it carried the Lord of the Worlds,
    Why don’t you prostrate yourself and worship graves,
    Since the grave contained your god in it?

    So Christ-worshipper, open your eyes,
    This is what the matter is all about.

    • William Murdoch says

      The Lord was murdered by the people because God willed it to be so. In fact, Jesus says in John 10:18, “No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself…” To many people, it is unfathomable that a being as omnipotent and almighty as God would ever allow Himself to be murdered, humiliated and crucified on a cross for all the world to see. This is because “God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” (John 3:16). I can understand your frustration because Muslims in particular have a difficult time understanding how a proud and majestic God could sacrifice Himself for the lowly, weak, ungrateful people that is mankind. It is something that we Christians simply accept. We don’t really know why He loves us this much, but we know that He does. We cannot fathom God’s love for us, especially for those who have turned away from Him and have disobeyed His commandments. God loves all people, even those who don’t believe in His existence. The all-loving God is a Christian concept that is only revealed through the Holy Bible, and we, as Christians, attempt to show His love through our words and deeds toward others (though as humans, we sometimes fail). This brings us to the argument on whether or not the Bible has been corrupted, for it is the deciding factor on what is true and what is false. In short, our God is One of compassion and mercy, One who was willing to lower Himself to our level in order to save us from our own sins. Our God is called Emmanuel, God-with-Us, but He is also Majesty, as well as the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of the entire world.

  11. Andrew says

    Interesting article by Fulton Sheen, as usual. He is quite close to the point, but not quite there in my view.

    In my experience, talking about theology with Muslims is useless at best, dangerous at worst. Fulton seems to understand that, but he doesn’t state it explicitly.

    The discussion of Mary and Fatima comes close to the point. He also comes close in his recognition of missionaries’ charity breaking down the barriers of hatred.

    But Fulton does not state why the hatred exists in the first place. Why, against all logic, are the Muslims so convinced that their particular cause is so right that it justifies violence?

    The answer lies in the nature of the Muslim’s relationship with God/Allah. Allah is peerless and aloof; Allah has no partners, no family, no friends and seeks none. Allah demands unconditional submission and obedience, the kind of unquestioning submission and obedience that a slave/employee gives his master/boss, NOT the loving kind of reasoning/questioning obedience that a son, daughter, or heir gives a father or mother. In other words, there may be prophets in Islam, but there are no saints. There are sermons in Islam, but no dialogue.

    Therefore, the key to evangelizing Muslims is to emphasize a different and familial relationship with God. God does indeed have “peers”, God has a mother, a son, a whole family, in fact. Moreover, God desires this; He wants YOU to be a full member of his family, God wants you to be like Him, to be His heir, and to stop being just another face in a numberless mass of abd-Allahs [=slaves of Allah] blindly obeying orders.

  12. Paul Williams says

    Once we were with the Prophet Muhammad when a man came forward who held in his hand something wrapped in a blanket. He said:

    “O messenger of God, I was passing by a thicket of trees when I heard some young birds chirping. I seized them and put them in my blanket. Then their mother appeared and began to hover over my head. So I uncovered them a little to let her see. She alighted on them and I wrapped them all up in my blanket. Here they all are.”

    Muhammad immediately ordered them to be put down. I put them down, but their mother would not leave them. Muhammad said: “Do you wonder at the compassion of this bird for her young? By Him who sent me with the Truth, God is more merciful to His servants than this mother of young birds is to her young.’

    Then he ordered: “Take them back and put them where you got them. And their mother as well.” So he took them back.

  13. Eric Draper says

    May I humbly and respectfully state that all of the truly good people of the earth have, as their mortal enemy, SATAN. Can we recognize and acknowledge that it is he (the evil one) that is the chief architect behind the hatred, mistrust, discord, and killings, that are now plaguing us?

    Satan does not care if we are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, or Atheist. He wants us ALL in hell for eternity.

    THIS will be our final trial.

    May God protect and defend us all.

    Eric Draper

  14. Salmon says

    Eric, that is overly simplistic and inaccurate. I understand the inter-religious dialogue vibes you’re trying to give, but they come across more naive than generous. Of course Satan would care if the truth about God is distorted, that was and is the primary source of sin since the fall. Jesus makes all the difference. Hatred of Satan does not unify people, it is the love of Christ that does. Catholic theology has expounded on the Logos (Christ) for some centuries to help clarify where he can be found, but it has never changed the fact that Christ is his Church and that is where he is in totus!

    As you can see from Paul’s writings, his is a violent approach to conversion made up of frequenting Catholic blogs in hopes to browbeat people with non-sequitur comments from theological immature imam’s. If you were aiming to impress, Paul, please quote Avicenna. This was the whole point in BXVI quoting an ancient Xian emperor, “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”.

    I’ll quote what follows in the lecture:

    The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.[4]

    The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature.[5] The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.[6] Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.


    There are many nice things in Islam, because it is a mix of various forms of heterodox Christianity, Judaism, tribal beliefs etc…Christians of the time knew this (St.John D), but we don’t. Very few Catholics know that Islam itself concedes as much in the meeting of Muhammad and Bahira. Google it, in short, Muhammad was a salesman and while in Syria he came into contact with an Arian Monk (heresy) and that monk gave him various gnostic gospels and told him he was a prophet. The rest is history

    Beloc has this,

    “Mohammedanism was a : that is the essential point to grasp
    before going any further. It began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It
    was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It
    was a perversion of Christian doctrine. Its vitality and endurance soon
    gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary
    with its rise saw it for what it was_not a denial, but an adaptation and a
    misuse, of the Christian thing. It differed from most (not from all)
    heresies in this, that it did not arise within the bounds of the Christian
    Church. The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most
    heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth and doctrine to begin with. He
    sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic
    doctrine, oversimplified.

    His last point is pertinent. Oversimplified. Much of your comments, Paul, are just that. Far from damning or the smoking gun, they come across as incredibly ignorant of Christianity, childish, to a point.

  15. Pat_h says

    Not all that long ago the use of the term “Islam” was not all that common. Mid 20th Century Mohammedism was fairly or references to the Moslem Faith. Changes in spellings and terms have been fairly recent. There’s be no reason to change the use of the term here as that would be altering the author’s original language, just as I believe I’ve seen Churchill refer to Mohammedism and older texts refer to Muslims as “Musselmen”, or something along those lines.

  16. Pat_h says

    I see the commentary here has been basically heavily diverted, but what we have to note is that Bishop Sheen had amazing foresight.

    I often skip the Friday entries on Fulton Sheen but I’ll have to stop doing that. He very clearly saw then what we’re now seeing. Quite amazing. And my guess is that he’ll prove to be correct. I’ve long thought it likely that the point at which the type of Islam we see that is so common in the Middle East today will begin to break down is when women begin to assert themselves and that would tie in here. In the modern world, education and the flow of ideas cannot be indefinitely suppressed and therefore the sort of repression we see of women in some Islamic regions will undoubtedly end, and with that, the ability to monopolize religious knowledge and belief will likewise end in those cultures.

  17. Eric Draper says

    My dear friend,

    That Satan revels in our (humankind) feelings and actions of ill-will, violence, mistrust and hatred that we often express toward one another does, in fact, make my point exactly. I humbly suggest that you read on-

    The way I would explain it to you is that all of these, (negative) actions take us further and further away from our central God-given command which is of course to Love God and to Love Our Neighbor, admittedly, no easy task. If this simple fact is ignored or not understood, than our Catholic Faith has no meaning and countless Christian martyrs and, indeed Christ Himself, have died in vein and we have learned nothing by their example. Naiveté, my friend, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Eloquence, rhetorical skill, and biblical knowledge are not substitutes for true Wisdom, Understanding, and Love.

    It is not the love of Our Lord that unites us, no, it is our love of Him through the love we have for one another that does this.

    We are to be “Christs” to all people, yes, even to those who persecute and hate us.

    Eric Draper

  18. Andrew says

    Actually, Satan can be an interesting topic to discuss with respect to Muslims.

    “And again the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory and said to him: All this I will give to you if you just bow down to me. Then Jesus said to him Go away Satan….” (Matthew 4)

    Unlike Jesus who told Satan to go away, Mohammad could not resist involvement in the local politics of Medina after fleeing there from Mecca (the Hijrah). Fatefully since then, Muslims have been unable to separate themselves from the politics of the world and the illusions of Satan. While Fulton Sheen was giving his sermons in the mid-20th century, Muslim polemicists such as the notorious Kutb and Maududi were laying the foundation for the modern jihadist movements using words and actions taken directly from the post-Hijrah deeds and sayings of Mohammad. They did so without any concern that nonpolitical Muslims would be able to convincingly refute them or demonstrate that their jihad is an illusion from Satan.

    There are many Muslims who deeply detest men such as Kutb and Maududi for entangling millions of their fellow believers in irrational jihadic fantasies of world domination. They will appreciate the steadfastness and strength of our King Jesus Christ who would not exchange one minute of rectitude for any amount of temporal political power.

  19. Salmon says


    To put it succinctly, I agree, any violence and hate would separate us from God’s will. That is why I quoted the Regensburg lecture, to act violently (hatred) is against the nature of God and reason itself. The Catechism is specific in that sin wound mankind’s unity because it is contrary to reason (1872).

    “But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.[6] Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.” — This is not possible in the Catholic understanding of God, God cannot command things contrary to His nature, ie, reason itself.

    My comment about about Satan not being the cause of any unity is based on the Catholic understanding of evil. Evil doesn’t exist in a positive sense, it is the absence of good. It is not a ‘thing’ in and of itself that exists in contrast to good, like the ying and yang. This is not to say that evil doesn’t exist, it does. It exists in a parasitic form, it can only exist through good actions being corrupted. Catholic moral theology follows these principles. Anywhere you read St.Augustine referring to ‘disordered’ desires, he is referring to this, all things are are good (in the moral sense) when they are do the action they were intended to by design.

    Pax Christi.

  20. Paul Williams says


    A fair and open-minded reading of the Qur’an will draw the reader’s eyes to hundreds of scriptures extolling tolerance, forgiveness, conciliation, inclusiveness and peace. These are the overwhelming majority of the scriptures and the central thrust of the Qur’anic message. A clear indication of that message is found in the fact that every one of the 114 Surahs (Chapters) of the Qur’an except one opens with a reminder of Allah’s loving and forgiving attitude towards humans: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of God the All-Compassionate and the Ever-Merciful). Muslims understand that the compassion and forgiveness extended by God to humans must be mirrored as much as is humanly possible by their compassion and forgiveness to each other.

    When they read the Qur’an, the opponents of its message place little importance on the obvious differences of experiences and responsibilities between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was the spiritual leader of a small and intimate group of followers at a time of occupation but relative peace and personal security throughout the land. He suffered death, according to the Christian scriptures, but his execution by the Rome-governed state came after a short burst of state anger that actually followed several years of him being able to preach throughout the land without severe opposition and with no known violence. By contrast, the Prophet Muhammad (in many ways like Moses or Joshua) found himself not only the spiritual leader but also the political and legislative leader of a massive community that wanted to be moderate, just and inclusive but suffered bitter organised persecution and warfare from other political entities which were committed to his community’s destruction. His responsibilities (including the sustenance, education, governance and physical protection of tens of thousands of children, men and women) were very different.

    A double-standard also seems to exist. Many of the scholars and pundits who dislike the fact that Muhammad had to fight military campaigns during his path to peace, and who consider his religion to be inherently martial, overlook the fact that many biblical prophets and leaders — including Moses, Joshua, Samson, David and other Sunday School favourites — were also warriors through necessity. Despite our Children’s Book image of these warriors, their actions included frequent killing and were sometimes couched in highly bloodthirsty language. For example, the Book of Numbers (31:15–17) records that Moses ordered war against the Midianites, but was gravely disappointed when, after having slain all the men, his warriors chose not to kill the women. He therefore instructed his warriors to kill every male child and to leave alive no females except virgins, whom the Israelites were allowed to keep as slaves. This hardly fits with our Charlton Heston-esque view of a very popular Jewish and Christian prophet.

    It is worth observing that among the scriptures that form the bedrock and bulk of the Judeo-Christian tradition — the Old Testament — one can find numerous verses like these that explicitly advocate (or at least once advocated) large-scale violence incompatible with any codes of warfare that Jews and Christians would nowadays condone.

  21. Andrew says


    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    If Muslim leaders viewed the wars and struggles of Mohammad the way Christians and most Jews view the wars and struggles of Joshua, Moses, and maybe even Judas Maccabee, I would share your view. In a blog dedicated to Catholic gentlemen, somewhere, somehow, someone should some day mention the Nine Worthies whose legends of chivalry profoundly inspired generations of Catholic warriors since in the Middle Ages.

    But this just isn’t the case in Islam. Mohammed, in the minds of Muslims, is more than just one exemplary historical figure among many. Certainly not a model of chivalry, a preudhomme, nor a gentleman. Mohammad is the final source of inspiration, the indisputable “last prophet”, of Islam, the last word. The polemical writings of Maudidi and Kutb exhort all Muslims to follow the example of Mohammad in an open-ended eternal Jihad that will not end until the whole world is converted to Islam politically, economically, and socially. This is not the flawed but admirable compromise of one sinful man using violence to solve a particular problem in a particular situation in a particular place. It is a dangerous illusion from Satan designed to destroy the lives of millions of people, starting with Muslims.

  22. John g. Parisi says

    The Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen egins on page one. The only Person Ever Pre-anounced. I don’t understand the article on the Muslims. Why does he write about the Muslims?

  23. Andrew says


    Thank you for the link to the writings of Joel Hayward. I see now where all your comments came from…

    I have mixed feelings about Joel Hayward and people like him. On one hand, it is pleasing to see Muslims attempting to reinterpret and reform their religion and give it a different face.

    On the other hand, Joel misrepresents the reality of Islam and what most Islamic clerics actually think and teach, both now and in the past 1400 years. I don’t know whether Joel is trying to reinvent Islam, create his own interpretation of Islamic texts, resuscitate a moderate strain of Islam, or if he is merely running interference by covering (takiyya) for the fanatics. Ultimately, his motives do not matter because in Islam, the opinions of the 5% extremists count, and the views of the remaining 95% of Muslims don’t. For a moderate Muslim, a Catholic, or any non-Muslim, it is dishonest and dangerous to pretend that Joel Hayward represents the “real Islam” and that persons such as Kutb and Maududi do not.

  24. Paul Williams says

    ‘the opinions of the 5% extremists count, and the views of the remaining 95% of Muslims don’t’

    …is an very odd thing to say – like saying that right-wing fundamentalist militant Christians represent global Christianity. That is arbitrary and a bit perverse.

    Mainstream orthodox Islam is not extremist and has always rejected terrorism. Kutb and the like do not represent the orthodox position but have introduced new non-Islamic ideologies into Islamic discourse.

  25. Andrew says


    Thank you for your comments once again.

    I’m unconvinced that the views of Kutb and Maududi deviate from or contradict orthodox Sunni Islamic opinion. Opponents among Muslims may find them distasteful, but so can almost anyone. Has any Muslim shown that Kutb and Maududi peddled Satanic illusions?

  26. Janet says

    Their flaw is that they have the mission to convert the world? Sir, that is our own ‘flaw.’ That is our own Christian mission. The Catholic church laid it down at Vatican II, the liberal cowards, but we are restoring it brick by brick. If you must predict Islam’s downfall, you will have to do it on other grounds than sincerity. (I suggest starting with their denial of Original Sin, which makes them liberals.)

  27. Janet says

    Again, Andrew, you say that Christianity unlike Islam has no mission in the temporal, no political role. That is not the teaching of the Church! I refer you to Pius XI among others, Quas Primas, in which he firmly states in theory what was practice throughout the blessed middle ages, the teachings of Christ must be reflected in the state, must be, or that state will not succeed, honor must be paid to God by every state, or it fails in the first order of justice (St. Thomas). Vatican II gave up this right, we want it back.

  28. Janet says

    @Eric Draper: I have written a sci fi novel set on Earth’s first space colony in which traditional Catholics and Muslims cooperate. It is called Run. I have not sold a single copy. It is very well written–all testify–but the politics are all ‘wrong.’ There’s no niche it satisfies. None of my traditional Catholic peers wish to pause their attacks on Muslims long enough to consider the possibilities of alliance over issues where our interests converge in the struggle against liberalism, which are many. They attack me for suggesting it. And liberal Catholics won’t read it because it is dedicated to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and promotes the restoration of the Catholic state, not to mention they celebrate traditional Latin mass in the hold of a mighty spaceship. I have five hundred copies under the bed! I am telling you this as a cautionary tale. Your suggestion is perfectly reasonable, but no one will listen. Let me offer you a free copy of the book. I’ll link this comment to the website, email that address given in the text at the website and I’ll send you an e copy. Best of luck.

  29. Andrew says


    Christianity does not reject the temporal world of politics, economy, technology, etc, but it does prioritize the eternal over the temporal, and at its best, infuse the eternal into the temporal (or “clothe” the temporal with the eternal).

    Islam compromises eternal salvation to satisfy a temporal objective: world domination by coercing “submission” from the majority and giving political power to a few corrupt men. Mohammad failed to resist Satan’s third temptation of Christ. That is why there can never be cooperation with the true followers of Mohammad. I observe this not with anger nor with rage, but with sorrow.

    “Liberalism” fails to resist one of the other temptations: “…turn these stones into loaves of bread”. While Christ indeed fed thousands of people on multiple occasions, feeding people’s souls takes priority over feeding their bodies. For greatest effect, both must happen at the same time, hence the Eucharist.

    The Church long ago discovered a balance between the temporal and the eternal, and between the material and the spiritual. All the saints resonate this truth. It needs to be rediscovered by us and lived. It would be unwise too ally with one of Satan’s spawn to defeat the other.

  30. Andrew says


    I think it was St Francis of Assisi who gave the best answer when he was questioned by the Muslim Sultan Al-Kamil during the siege of Damietta during the Fifth Crusade in 1219. The Sultan wanted to know why the Christians fought so valiantly against the Muslims. St Francis quoted Matthew 5:29, “And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.” At first, I did not understand why St Francis quoted that particular scripture, but it made more sense the more I thought about it.

    So war would be a valid choice if war means a choice between losing something versus perishing completely. It is this tragically realistic view of war and politics that underpins traditional Chivalric sensibility, and contrasts sharply with the bland fanatical approach to war in Islam, or the naively mechanistic approach to war in modern liberalism. That is why Chivalry never dies despite every attempt to kill it; it is the most realistic approach to war and politics ever invented.

  31. Yveshehadi says

    Please refer to brother rashid for THE BEST EXPLANATION OF ISLAM. There is No better source than this former muslim’s!

  32. Stephen says

    Alright read .. however the doctrinal issues on the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union of Our Lord is missing and makes it only just heretical. There is more to it that should not be brushed off.


  1. […] The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg? It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but the Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity — and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God. This is the line of argument: (continue reading at Catholic Gentleman) […]

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