Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Pope Francis, a leading advocate of Doormat Christianity, is at it again. Although it is traditional for papal podiums to depict the crucifix, during his recent visit to the island of Malta, Pope Francis ditched the cross lest it offend Muslim migrants. As the archdiocese of Malta openly admitted, “The podium will not be adorned with a crucifix, given that the majority of migrants are Muslim.”
Instead, the podium backdrop used by Francis consisted of recycled plastic bottles with red blobs meant to highlight the two primary reasons Francis was visiting Malta—to defend migrants and the environment: “When you look deeper, you will see that the sea is made of recycled plastic bottles, because there is more plastic than fish in our sea,” artistic director Carlo Schembri explained. “And the red blobs are life jackets — the lives of people lost at sea.”
While this was meant to highlight the hazards illegal Muslim migrants experience crossing the Mediterranean, one wonders (but doubts) if Francis remembered the dozens of Christian migrants who were intentionally thrown overboard and drowned in the Mediterranean by their Muslim counterparts.
Meanwhile, Dr. Philip Beattie, an economist at the University of Malta, explained the reality of his island’s migrant situation: “The majority of the illegal immigrants trafficked to Malta on rickety boats leaving the Libyan coastline are not genuine refugees, but economic migrants — and are mainly Muslim young men aged between 18 and 28.”
Beattie also got to the heart of the matter:
Saint Paul preached “Christ crucified — a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” [1 Cor. 1:23] when he brought the gospel to Malta. The Apostle boasted in the scandal of the Cross. Why is the pope ashamed of the Cross before Muslims, especially during Lent?
Perhaps it’s not just shame; perhaps Francis, whose Maltese mission was in large part to support the many Muslim migrants who have flooded the tiny island, removed the cross as a precaution—lest offended Muslims cause a scene and thus compromise his presentation of them as poor victims in need of more state aid and concessions. After all, and as is well documented in this article, past and present, Muslims have engaged in an unwavering pattern of desecrating and destroying the cross, especially in churches and Christian cemeteries.
The fact that Francis’s shameful conduct took place in Malta is especially ironic, if not ominous, for Malta was the scene of one of the worst Islamic invasions of history, one worth remembering.
On May 18, 1565, Muslims, in the guise of Ottoman Turks, savagely besieged Malta. The defenders of that tiny island were led by the Knights of Saint John (formerly the Hospitallers).
The Ottomans proceeded to subject the tiny island to, at that time, history’s most sustained bombardment (some 130,000 cannonballs were fired in total). “I don’t know if the image of hell can describe the appalling battle,” wrote a contemporary: “the fire, the heat, the continuous flames from the flamethrowers and fire hoops; the thick smoke, the stench, the disemboweled and mutilated corpses, the clash of arms, the groans, shouts, and cries, the roar of the guns . . . men wounding, killing, scrabbling, throwing one another back, falling and firing.”
The vastly outnumbered Knights of Christ fought tooth and nail; many of them were ritually mutilated, their hearts and entrails pulled out to cries of “Allahu Akbar.” Afterwards—and speaking of the crucifix that Francis is ashamed of—the Muslim invaders mockingly nailed their bodies to crosses and set them adrift in the harbor.
Despite this, the Knights and Maltese defenders so persevered that, on September 11, the Muslim invaders raised the siege and retreated.
Today, Islamic invasions of Europe continue, though under the guise of a “refugee crisis”—one that the head of the Catholic world is doing all he can to facilitate, not in the name of Christianity, as evidenced by his abandonment of the cross, but supposed humanism, even as many migrants continue acting like their invading and conquering forbears, including by destroying the hated cross.
Days prior to the Islamic siege of Malta, Jean Parisot de Valette (1494–1568), the grand master of the Knights of Saint John—“his disposition is rather sad,” wrote a contemporary, but “for his age [seventy-one], he is very robust” and “very devout”—explained to his men what was at stake:
A formidable army composed of audacious barbarians is descending on this island; these persons, my brothers, are the enemies of Jesus Christ. Today it is a question of the defense of our Faith as to whether the book of the Evangelist [the Gospel] is to be superseded by that of the Koran? God on this occasion demands of us our lives, already vowed to His service. Happy will those be who first consummate this sacrifice.
Amazingly, everything he said is now explicitly or implicitly rejected by the current pope—even though Valette’s words are largely still applicable: masses of people who not infrequently behave like “audacious barbarians” are still “descending on this island,” as well as all of Western Europe, even though they are and openly behave as “the enemies of Jesus Christ.” Moreover, “Today it is [still] a question of the defense of our Faith as to whether the book of the Evangelist is to be superseded by that of the Koran.”
And in the midst of such an existential struggle, the so-called vicar of Christ is doing everything in his power to compel Christians to drop their guard and take in and appease more and more Muslims—even as he abandons the cross of Christ, lest it offends these selfsame Muslims.
Surely Valette—whom the capital of Malta is named after in honor of his sacrifice—is turning in his grave.