Peter Kreeft: Catholics Can Learn from Muslim Devotion
Says Secularism a Bigger Threat Than Islam
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MERRIMACK, New Hampshire, DEC. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In a lively debate held last month on the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, two renowned speakers on theology met to discuss the topic "Is the only Good Muslim a Bad Muslim?"
Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College and well-known Catholic apologist and author of over 45 books, engaged in a two-hour debate with Robert Spencer, an internationally known scholar and major critic of Islam.
Both men shared their common and opposing views on Islam before a full audience of spectators. While the men seemed to agree that strict adherence to the Muslim faith can, for some of its 1 billion followers, lead to violence and the mistreatment of women, Spencer likened the peaceful Muslim who does not follow such thinking to a lax Catholic who "practices birth control or support legal abortion. They are defying their religion, because they do not have the authority to reform to it," he said.
In the debate, as well as in his book, Between Allah and Jesus, Kreeft focused on the "theological essence of Islam, which is a radical submission to the will of God." He compared the devout Muslim’s readiness to serve God to the "humility and obedience displayed by Christian saints."
He also commented that this example could serve as a lesson to today’s Catholics, "who all too often treat the demands made by their own faith as mere suggestions, to be taken or rejected by the self-directed individual conscience."
Kreeft followed his assertions by adding that Muslims have high birth rates and they reject both abortion and pornography: "[Muslims] postpone gratification, and pay forward the gift of life to new generations -- something far too few Christians are doing in our time.”
He also added that good Muslims can act, and have acted, as our allies in "international culture wars." Kreeft cited the fact that Islamic states have voted along with the Holy See and other Catholic countries within the United Nations to defeat population control programs that were supported by formerly Christian countries in Europe.
The philosopher said he views the secular movement in Europe as more much more damaging to society than the theocentric mentality of Muslims. "Our real enemies, as Christians, are demons," said Kreeft. "It's all too easy […] to think that Muslims or Communists are the problem, and if we can only defeat and subjugate them the Church will triumph."
He went on to say that "secular enlightenment," which rejects God completely, "is far more dangerous to our souls than a world religion that is devoted to worshipping the same God as Christians and Jews, albeit in a partial, somewhat primitive and distorted manner."
Kreeft focuses on the commonality between the three major faiths: "Large elements of Islam are identical with Judaism and Christianity -- because that's where Mohammad got them."
"In a profound sense," the apologist added, "Islam and secular West are mirror images of each other."