For this week's online essay, go read Islam and Us by no less than the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, at First Things (hat tip: Right Coast). He sounds several notes of caution, such as: "[C]oncern begins with the Koran itself. I started, in a recent reading of the Koran, to note invocations to violence—and abandoned the exercise after fifty or sixty pages, as there are so many of them." And: "The claims of Muslim tolerance of Christian and Jewish minorities are largely mythical, as the history of Islamic conquest and domination in the Middle East, the Iberian peninsula, and the Balkans makes abundantly clear." He goes into some detail on these and other themes.
Why is it that only Catholics are making the case for defending Western culture (including Western religion, the ethical core of that culture for two millennia) against Islamic threats and violence? Is it because they are rising to defend the Pope, or are they the only ones who think there's something to defend? I am disappointed, for example, that in two full days of talks by LDS leaders at the recent General Conference, there was hardly a peep on this very relevant and pressing topic, just the same old menu of institutional imperatives (meetings, missions, marriage, and money). I really think that Benedict XVI is turning out to be the right man at the right time to lead the Catholic Church and, symbolically, all Christendom.
Any chance the Vatican could lend us an Archbishop or two to speak at the next Conference? They'd be a real hit. I'm serious. I'm sure Mitt Romney would second the motion.