Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006
"Azzam," I invite you to the true faith

Today's Washington Post placed the latest Al Qaeda scare video, this one featuring American Islamic convert Adam Gadahn, a.k.a. "Azzam the American," on page A24. Some may criticize this news judgment, but I do not: there is no good reason to allow the Moros to commandeer all our front pages just by posting another extortion message on one of their websites.

That said, this video needs, and has received, commenting on, e.g. by Counterterrorism Blog here, and also by Jihad Watch here. Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, is one of several American terrorism experts specifically "invited" by this video to convert to Islam -- an "invitation" that is implicitly a death threat, since according to a hadith (post-Koranic written tradition viewed as authoritative), Muslims may kill an "infidel" only after inviting him to convert.

In response to this invitation, Spencer declares:
...Adam, I have a preliminary invitation of my own for you: I invite you to accept the Bill of Rights, and enter into the brotherhood of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. My invitation does not focus on my religion, although I invite you to that also, but rather on a framework within which people of differing faiths can live in peace, harmony, and mutual respect -- provided that none of the groups involved cherishes supremacist ambitions to subjugate the others.
Good; I'll join in that. I teach the Bill of Rights, Jefferson, and Madison, as well as medieval Crusading; they all have their points. But I'd like to add a little:

Adam, I invite you to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, as Lord, and as second person of the God the Blessed Trinity, "for there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12), and in His one holy Catholic and apostolic Roman Church, the "pillar and ground of the truth," 1 Timothy 3:15. Christ's revelation is final, and any later purported revelation that would reduce Him to the status of mere prophet shows itself thereby as false, if not indeed satanic. "Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son." 1 John 2:22.

Your Mohammad was an enterprising adventurer who secured secular power by cobbling together a rattletrap religion from shards of theology that he picked up from whatever Jews and Christians he happened to find in Arabia, who were probably rather dodgy ones anyway, because why else would they be in Arabia? (It was a popular retirement destination for Byzantine heretics.) He persuaded a few followers (later many, through conquest) not only that there is only one God, as to which he was of course correct, but also that this was somehow news to the entire world outside Arabia, thus creating a painful necessity for world conquest by newly-enlightened Arabs.

Your God has no love for mankind -- only icy justice. You are outraged, as are many Jews, by the notion that He so abased Himself as to become one of us and take our sins on Himself. As Chesterton said, stumbling on that rock of scandal is the first step. You call God "all-merciful": dare to believe that He is infinitely more merciful than your theology allows Him to be.