The irrepressible Pope Francis is at it again: in his Angelus address last Sunday, he announced: “Today the Church celebrates the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. I greet the refugees and migrants present in the Square around the monument entitled ‘Angels, unawares,’ which I blessed last year.” He spoke with sympathy about “the internally displaced, who are forced to flee, as also happened to Jesus and his family. ‘Like Jesus, forced to flee,’ likewise the displaced, migrants. Our remembrance and our prayer to them, in a particular way, and to those who assist them,”
Yet this came just days after Mahmoudi Ridha, a Muslim migrant from Tunisia, murdered a Catholic priest in Italy, Fr. Roberto Malgesini. After killing Malgesini, Ridha crowed: “The priest died like a dog, that was right.” According to Church Militant, in the wake of the murder, “police have categorically rejected the Italian bishops’ claim” that Ridha “had mental problems.”
After the murder, Pope Francis, as determined as ever to ignore the grim reality of Islamic jihad, declared that Ridha was “a person in need” and “malata di testa,” which is bad Italian for either “sick in the head” or a “headache.”
“I am not sure if Pope Francis is being deliberately ambiguous or speaking poor Italian as he often does,” said an Italian linguist. “Of course, he wouldn’t like his pro-migrant, pro-Muslim narrative to be disrupted if the assassin were found to have jihadi motives.”
Indeed. In light of his long-established positions, it is easy to understand why Pope Francis would call Ridha a “headache.” Ridha’s act could blow the Catholic Church’s deceptive game regarding Islam and mass Muslim migration wide open. The Catholic Church during the misrule of this Pope has become so wedded to the idea that mass migration is a good thing and a Christian duty to accept and enable that even when police reject the claim that a Muslim migrant murderer was mentally ill, the Church insists on it.
Even worse, “Roberto Bernasconi, president of the Como section of pro-migrant Catholic charity Caritas, blamed the ‘tragedy’ on the anti-migrant ‘climate of hatred and intolerance that is fomented in the city.’” That’s right: he is claiming that a Muslim migrant murdered a pro-migrant priest because of anti-migrant sentiment, which is not exactly the most effective way to stamp out such sentiment.
The Italian Catholic bishops and Roberto Bernasconi call to mind a passage from a book that those bishops probably haven’t read in a long while: “And for this reason God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
As I told Church Militant, no one in the media, Church or police has tried to discover whether Islam’s doctrine calling for violence against unbelievers may have been a motive for Fr. Malgesini’s murder because all three are deeply committed to the idea that there is no such doctrine, and that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
To acknowledge that Mahmoudi Ridha was motivated by Qur’anic passages such as “kill them wherever you find them” (2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5) and “when you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4) is inconceivable to them. They either don’t know that such passages exist, or they are certain that no Muslims today take them seriously or would ever consider acting upon them. The only fallback position for those whose denial and willful ignorance is so implacable is to insist that Ridha is “mentally ill.”
The Vatican is especially invested in that kind of obfuscation. According to Vatican News, “The theme of fraternity is also present in [the Pope’s] constant embrace of migrants, epitomized in his pastoral visit to Lampedusa. His signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi in 2019 marks one more example of Pope Francis’ dedication to promoting brotherly love.”
Brotherly love? Sure. But as for regarding all human beings as brothers, both Sunni and Shi’ite Islam teach that the lives of non-Muslims are not worth as much as the lives of Muslims. Reliance of the Traveller, a classic Sunni manual of Islamic sacred law, explains matter-of-factly that “the indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the indemnity paid for a man. The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third the indemnity paid for a Muslim. The indemnity paid for a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth that of a Muslim.” (o4.9) The Qur’an calls “the unbelievers among the People of the Book,” that is, Jews and Christians who do not accept Islam, “the most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6).
Sultanhussein Tabandeh, the Shi’ite author of A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, agrees, stating: “Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain.”
But the Pope and the Catholic Church continue to ignore all of this. The coming encyclical, meanwhile, will mislead millions of Catholics into a complacency that could be fatal. No wonder Mahmoudi Ridha gave the Pontiff a headache.
“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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