Beware of religious nuts who believe any religion is better than none.
Paolo Dall’Oglio, S. J. — A Dangerous Man.Â A Jesuit Intent On Misleading Other Infidels About Jihad And Islam And SyriaÂ (by Hugh Fitzgerald) Â John L. Allen Jr.Â Â |Â Â Apr. 24, 2013 /Rome
“There is no contradiction between jihad and democracy”– (which is about as absurd as the Mohammedan claim that ‘Jesus is a prophet of Islam’)
As confusion continues to surround the whereabouts of two kidnapped Orthodox bishops in Syria,Â a Jesuit expert says it’s time to “decriminalize” the word Â jihadistÂ in thinking about the conflict.
“It means a believing Muslim person who’s obedient to the divine order to commit oneself to the struggle for justice, including militarily,” Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio told a crowded assembly Tuesday afternoon in Rome. He compared the armed uprising in Syria to the Italian resistance against fascism.Â [actually, both sides in this are akin to the Fascists, or rather, Assad’s regime is akin to the Fascists, and the Muslim Brotherhood more like the Nazis, much more disciplined and fanatical, and dangerous because they are a world-wide phenomoenon, and the Assad regime has, in the end, no one to turn to outside of Iran and Hezbollah, and both are limited now in their power]..
“There is no contradiction between jihad and democracy,” Dall’Oglio insisted.Â [where, in what country, have real Muslims – the Ikhwan, or others — come to power, where there is “democracy”? And why should Infidels care whether or not their mortal enemies, the Ikhwan, who wish to islamize the universe, come to power through “democracy” or not? Why does that matter so much? Hitler won a pluarlity in the elections of 1933. So what?]
Dall’Oglio was speaking at a conference on Syria organized by FOCSIV, a federation of organizations of Christian volunteers. He was joined by Franco Frattini, an Italian politician and the country’s former foreign minister under the center-right government of Silvio Berlusconi.
Frattini began by confessing he wasn’t sure what to do about the Syrian conflict, in part because he’s not clear “on the force of jihadist movements within the opposition.”
That brought a response from Dall’Oglio, who spent almost 30 years living and working in Syria before being expelled in 2012 for his support of the uprising against President Bashar Assad.[and where he came to identify totally with the opposition, failing to see that what would replace Assad would almost certainly be, for non-Muslims in and out of Syria, be worse].
“The great majority of armed youth in Syria today is democratic,” he said. “They’re fighting the criminal exercise of indiscriminate repression and torture — the use of aerial bombings, Scud missiles, even chemical weapons.”
“JihadÂ is simply the Muslim word for resistance,” he said. “Fear of jihadism is no excuse for denying a people their legitimate right to self-determination.” [No, that is NOT what the word “Jihad” means. It means “struggle” — the “struggle” to overcome all barriers to the spread of Islam, until Islam everywhere can dominate, and Muslims rule, everywhere. That is what “Jihad” means. Dall’Oglio parrots the most obvious kind of Islamic propaganda, and apparently thinks no one knows what “Jihad” means and won’t call him out.]
While acknowledging the risk that extremist versions of Islam pose to minorities in Syria, including the roughly 10 percent of the population that’s Christian, Dall’Oglio insisted that the center of gravity in the opposition favors “an Islamic democracy along the lines of the Egyptian model.” [yes, and what happened in Egypt? Hundreds of thousands of Copts have already left; others feel besieged as never before — does Dall’Oglio think that’s a perfectly acceptable future for Christians in Syria?]
The alternative, he said, is that “the massacres will continue and an entire generation will continue to be tortured in Assad’s prisons.”
Dall’Oglio also faulted Christian leaders in the Middle East for being “overly subservient” and “collaborationist” with regard to the region’s regimes, including Assad, thereby “putting the Christian community at grave risk.”[they don’t have a choice — it’s the secular despots, or its Islam, the real Islam. Dall’Oglio, though he has lived in the region, can’t quite comprehend the anguish and fears of the local Christians. And they can’t quite explain to him exactly what it is that so constrains them. Why, after all, are these Christians so often parroting the party-line on Israel? Because they are fearful of the surrounding Musilms, and just like the Assad regime itself which seeks to wrap itself in the mantle of the “resistance” against Israel in order to deflect criticism by Muslims (just how effective that has been you can see from the events of the last two years), try to sound exactly like Muslims when it comes to Israel, and do not dare — as Maronites dared back in 1948 for example — to openly identify with the “Zionists” and their attempt to withstand Jihad.]
Had the kidnapping of the two bishops gone on longer, Dall’Oglio forecast, it would have been “manipulated” by pro-Assad forces to sow doubt in the West about the opposition. [and why not? It
“They want the world to believe there is no revolution in Syria, only terrorism,” he said, warning that spinning things that way risks becoming “a self-fulfilling prophecy with disastrous consequences.”[yes, it’s true that the Syrian regime has painted all of its opponents as “terrorists” and that is false, but many of its opponents, and certainly those who would inherit Syria, are members or sympathizers with the Ikhwan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Dall’Oglio carefully doesn’t mention. Why should Christians not assume that their fate will be llike that of Christians in Iraq when the protecting despot is removed (only 200,000 Christians left out of 1.5 million just before the Iraq war) or Christians in Egypt (200,000 having left since Mubarak was deposed). Dall’Oglio has identified with Musilms, with Islam, become a victim of his own eagerness to have this non-existent “dialogue.” He is, then, a menace, and a menace especially to the wellbeing of Middle Eastern Christians.Â ]
Prior to being expelled from the country, Dall’Oglio had been renowned in Syria for his work at the Deir Mar Musa, a 6th-century monastery 50 miles north of Damascus, which he helped convert into a center for interfaith dialogue.
Frattini offered an indirect confirmation of Dall’Oglio’s assessment, saying he had recently hosted a group of young Syrians in Rome, and said the Christians among them told him “they fear the militias linked to the regime more than they do the jihadists.”[well, of course they did– he was meeting with a rebel group, and the handful of Christians they have managed to attract — what did he think they would say?]
Tuesday began on a new note of alarm for the kidnapping of the two bishops: the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskenderun, Msgr. Boulos al-Yaziji.
According to a report from the Asia News agency, the two bishops were stopped at gunpoint by armed men Monday on their way to the city of Aleppo. A catechist traveling with them was shot to death, while a fourth person managed to escape.
Appeals were immediately launched for their release, including a statement from the Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi.
“The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has been informed of this new and very grave fact, which is part of the growing violence of recent days, creating a humanitarian emergency of extremely vast proportions,” Lombardi said.
“He’s following these events with deep participation and intense prayer for the health and liberation of the two bishops, so that, with the commitment of all, the Syrian people can finally see effective responses to their humanitarian drama, and realistic hopes of peace and reconciliation can appear on the horizon.”
Several reports Tuesday night and early Wednesday suggest the bishops had been freed, but the Greek Orthodox archdiocese in Aleppo said Wednesday morning they had no information on the bishops’ whereabouts and could not confirm they had been released
The identity of their kidnappers remained uncertain, though some reports out of Syria suggested they had been armed foreigners, possibly of Chechen origin.
Leaders of the Syrian opposition denied any responsibility, while officials of the Orthodox church insisted they’d had no contact with the kidnappers and had not paid any ransom.
Amid the chaos, observers say that kidnappings, especially of Christians, have become a growth industry among various armed factions looking for ways to fund their activities. [it is only the rebels who are kidnapping, or attacking, or killing, Christians — the government has been careful to try to protect the Christians, even distributing weapons to some of them,Â both Arabic-speaking and Armenians]]
In late February, the website “Ora Pro Siria,” operated by Italian missionaries in the country, launched an emergency fundraising appeal it called “Ransom a Christian.” According to the website, the going price for a kidnapped priest in Syria at that time was in the neighborhood of $200,000