In the book Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist author Jack Smith examines the role Islam will play during the great tribulation. This excerpt comes from chapter 1.
ISLAM PORTRAYED AS A RELIGION OF PEACE
Is Islam really a religion of peace, justice, and tolerance, as many of its adherents profess, or is the peace, justice, and tolerance (that does occur in its name) a mask that covers the real identity of the creator of the faith? Father Theodore Hesburgh is President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. He is the namesake for TIAA-CREF’s Hesburgh Award, and he served as Notre Dame University’s President for more than thirty-five years. I quote this well-respected and very spiritually minded man only to show the depth of confusion and disagreement about the things that we see and hear about Islam. Here is what he stated in a recent interview:
We at Notre Dame are trying to bring in some top Muslim scholars who can put out the true story of the Muslim religion, speak about its goodness, not its cruelty or its aggressiveness. I think that would be a great favor to the Muslim religion, rather than come through as a religion led by these bomb throwers ... I think the religion thing is completely overdone. It seems to me the very worst people are standing to represent the religion. And, many believe, masking their cause in religious rhetoric.
Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 at a speech at Regensburg University in Germany mentioned (did not quote) fourteenth century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologos. Manuel II’s actual statement over 600 years ago went this way:
Show me just what Muhammad 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.
The reason why I quote the Pope is not because I agree with the Pope’s mentioning of the name of the Byzantine Emperor (or to imply that the Pope disagrees with Father Hesburgh’s statement, because Vatican officials expressed immediate regret over offending the Muslims15), but rather to use it as an example to show the problem that Islam has. Islamists around the world were outraged at the Pope’s statement. One Internet website included this posting: “You and the West are doomed.” Another stated (by video), “We will conquer Rome like we conquered Constantinople.” Another reported, “Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, not Constantinople.” Enraged protestors marched in Indian-and Pakistani-controlled sectors of Kashmir; and in Indonesia, they burned an effigy of the Pope and flags of the United States, Germany, and Israel. An Italian nun was shot and killed in Somalia after an Islamic cleric there condemned the Pope’s speech. An Italian diplomat and his wife were killed in Morocco, and Morocco recalled its ambassador to the Holy See in protest of the Pope’s remarks. Does that sound like the response of a peaceful, just, and tolerant religion?
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