Last November Pope Francis issued an exhortation entitled Evangelii Gaudium in which he made the following assertions about Islam:
In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.
The Vatican at first denied that any such thing had happened, and an edited video of the event was released that supported their denial. However, as we reported last week, the end of Sura 2 Verse 286 from the Koran that the imam quoted — which had been judiciously removed from the publicized version — was most assuredly included in the cleric’s Arabic-language prayer.
To provide context for this momentous event, the following information is instructive. Regular readers should bear with me; I know you’ve seen this all before.
’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper is commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English.
The Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994) is “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.
This an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar; it is the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam.
Consider this passage from Reliance of the Traveller, chapter O, o9.0:
Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad.
The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:
- Fighting is prescribed for you (Koran 2:216)
- Slay them wherever you find them (Koran 4:89)
- Fight the idolators utterly (Koran 9:36)
In o9.8, Reliance of the Traveller describes the objectives of jihad:
The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4)… and the war continues until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax…
We should also bear in mind what Islamic law says about lying. In Book R “Holding One’s Tongue,” §r8.0 “Lying” at r8.2 “Permissible Lying,” Reliance of the Traveller cites the iconic Islamic legal jurist Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali:
This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissible for a given interest… When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N: i.e., when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible) and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.
Keep all these sources in mind when you watch the following video.
Vlad Tepes has conducted a comprehensive interview with Maj. (ret.) Stephen Coughlin, who is one of the foremost non-Muslim American experts on Islamic law. Maj. Coughlin examines the context of what the imam’s prayer at the Vatican as it relates to Islamic law. He uses his explanatory material — from authoritative sources of Islamic law — to expose the strategy behind Muslim participation in the prayer event at the Vatican, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s exploitation of the “interfaith” movement to accomplish its own ends.
Many thanks to Vlad for recording, editing, and uploading this video (if you’re not familiar with it, see this subtitled version of the Arabic recitation referred to in Maj. Coughlin’s briefing):Read more at Gates of Vienna