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“Truly my soul waits silently for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved… My soul, wait patiently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:1-2, 5)
The Hidden Face of Islamic Terrorism
A phenomenon that brings our society to its knees and that, paradoxically, tends to promote it through a totalitarian logic and methodology aimed at subduing man’s freedom of thinking and having a personal faith.
Since Islamic terrorism is essentially against freedom and democracy, it is necessary to look for who is continuing to build up its logic and totalitarian methods in our society. It is not so important to stop and consider the words as much as the ideas that are being diffused through various religions, since Islamic terrorism kills in the name of its “god”. One thing made me think several days ago in Cardinal Ruini’s speech, in which he affirmed that the danger does not come from Muslims but from lay people, or in other words, people who are free to think, believe, and live with the responsibility of their choices.
I did some research and I realized that there is one word that both the pope and his newspaper, “L’Osservatore Romano” avoid saying or writing at all costs: it is the word “Islamic” applied to terrorism of this type of origin. John Paul II did not even use it on the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks, when speaking to a group of U.S. Bishops, let alone “L’Osservatore Romano”. Not a day goes by in which it does not report “attacks”, “assaults”, “kidnappings”, “violence”, “murders” that are the work of Muslims. But not even once does it apply this status to the authors of terrorist attacks. Another deafening silence of “L’Osservatore Romano” concerns the quality of Islamic terrorism: the absence of limits with which it works, especially when there is a deliberate massacre of children. The car bombs that were detonated in Baghdad last September 30th (2004) in the midst of dozens of Iraqi children attending a celebration of the opening of a new water system, killing thirty-seven of them, were filed by the official newspaper of the Holy See under the heading of “Another day of ordinary violence”. The Vatican acted in the same way in relation to the events of July 7th (2005) in London, notwithstanding Blair’s “conversion” to Roman Catholicism…The pope presents himself as the defender of human rights, but at the same time, represents the most monocratic, oligarchic, antidemocratic system that exists on the entire planet. And his ideas are spreading, as evidenced by the brother of (George) Bush (Governor Jeb Bush) , and (Tony) Blair, to name only two, who have converted to Roman Catholicism, and were together with all the powers of the earth, kneeling before the coffin of the Supreme Roman Pontiff…and at the foot of the throne of his successor at his first speech…
Terrorism is clearly an expression of a western anti-democratic and dictatorial culture. It has a very precise origin, the Second World War. Politicians are speaking today of a long and difficult war. Do we really want to take this idea seriously? The European society has experienced two wars in the last century, two conflicts that indicated a turn in history because they were without comparison to the wars fought up to that point, not quantitatively (destruction, deaths) perhaps, but certainly qualitatively. The trenches of Verdun and of Carso are the anti-Waterloo and the anti-Solferino, and indicate the end of traditional warfare: physical battle with men and horses, the generals at the head of the troops with the flag waving. Here there was only mud, gas, cadavers and the nightmare of the absurd, of the disproportion between the effort and the result in the name of an insane ideology: the ideology of the UBER MAN, of “Gott mit uns”, of man equal with God, of infallible man who in order to save the soul organizes the Holy Inquisitions, Holy Wars, excommunications against whoever does not think like him because he is infallible and therefore identifies himself with God. This is the womb that gave birth to the totalitarianism of the twentieth century and continues to give birth to and keep terrorism alive to this day.
For this reason, and he is right in his thinking, Cardinal Ruini does not say that the danger is a religion where slaves are still sold in the market and the women are all slaves, but that the danger is people who are free to believe and to think, in other words, lay people. There is only one God and only one Master and we are all brothers, says Jesus.
Once again world news was shaken by a tragic act of bloodshed. London, a city loved and respected by all, a lighthouse of civility and freedom and of responsibility, almost like Jerusalem, was struck in its heart, not by just anyone, but by the enemies of democracy and of peace. I would like to provide just one example of what this ideology, one that permeates Italy, produces, since Italy is the product of its religion. Recently in the province of Novara, a man in a fit of rage killed and injured several people, after a judicial official appeared at his door to proceed with the seizure of his house. At the end of a long day, the murderer was flushed out by the police. A desperate man, to say the least. A man who by all appearances seemed very calm, who however was hiding an arsenal of weapons in his house. A man worried by what would become of his life and who placed his assurance in his weapons.
Without desiring to over generalize about this episode, we can use it as an extreme expression of a growing malaise in our western society that is touched by terrorism: the lack of trust and of hope, the fear of what awaits us in life due to terror. In Italian society, currently going through a period of economic recession, it appears to produce an unstable mental equilibrium in people that manifests itself suddenly in the face of unknown realities of the future and the suffering of the present. I believe however that this malaise has deeper roots. Terrorism is dangerous above all because it desires to eliminate the true God from the conscience. Exactly as in the days of the Holy Inquisitions, for those who were not able to flee to other lands, as the Pilgrim Fathers did, terrorism forces us to live our lives as if in a closed horizon, limited to the present, while the future is hypothesized only by means of the light of this present. In this picture, the true and living God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob, the God of Jesus, either disappears completely or finds a small corner, half-hidden by a curtain, because we are inclined to think that we can shape our future by ourselves; because religions that “worship man and not the Creator” incline us to see God set in the upper heavenly spheres or closed inside church institutions, always farther and farther away from the tension and suffering of our human existence. On one hand we are inclined to consider God as a great puppeteer who controls us poor puppets, but on the other hand the demand for a divine, providential intervention hides man’s desire to possess God Himself. This is what the Holy Inquisitions and Islamic terrorism want to have us believe.
The Lord has not left us alone, however. We must proclaim this to the idols of this world, even to those who get called vicars of Christ and clothe themselves with the authority that is owed only to God. We must say to them, in the hope of saving even them, that in reality no one possesses God, and that we cannot conjure Him up for our use and consumption, but we must invoke Him only as the psalmist does, placing ourselves in the posture of waiting. But for us believers, this waiting on the living Word is neither a resigned nor an inactive waiting because it is illuminated by a past event that is fundamental for our present as men and women believers: the coming of Jesus Christ. In this way this tension between the past of the Jesus event and the wait for the future coming of God generates hope, the hope of believers. The Christian faith does not look, beginning from the known present, toward an obscure and unknown future, as the Holy Inquisitions and Islamic terrorism would have us believe; the Christian faith looks ahead beginning from the future of God, a future which hopes in the present to which it runs counter, and it is this hope that gives form to faith’s experience. Anticipating the future of God and of the creation in hope this way, and causing this future to enter into the heart of the present, this faith therefore starts to suffer the present evil and to transform this present. To Israeli, American, Spanish, English and Iraqi companions, to all those who are slaves of the Holy Inquisitions and of Islamic terrorism, who are slaves of the idols of this world, we desire to proclaim the freedom to which Jesus has called us to live and proclaim. With one hand we wipe away the tears, and with the other we open up the path to walk on, because the Red Sea will open, as it already opened, and Pharaoh’s chariots will be sunken and we will sing songs of joy to our God, the true and living God, the God of love and of justice.