Perhaps the defining, most pressing issue for the Catholic Church in the first half of this century will be, or IS how to think of, and respond to Islam. The Jewish response to Islam has largely been defensive, or outright war. Buddhist responses to Islam have been ad hoc depending on local traditions but they have not been non-violent. Buddhist monks regularly attack and burn down Islamic mosques in SouthAsian countries. Same with the Hindu reactions to Moslem attempts to eradicate their religious practices. Most religious people will violently resist their oppressors if the oppressors attempt to annihilate those religious practices as Islam regularly does where it gains the political upper hand.
Islam’s attacks on Christendom since Islam’s birth roughly 1500 years ago tell us everything we need to know about Islam’s intentions toward Christianity; its aim has always and always will be to annihilate Christianity. There is no use denying this fundamental fact or wishing it were otherwise. Its in the DNA of Islam to be at war with other religious traditions and this is as it should be. Unlike its effeminate counterparts in the mainline Christian traditions, Islam’s leaders, whether Sunni or Shia, actually believe they have the truth, the definitive revelation from God and that therefore other religions are false and falsehoods have no rights. Therefore Islam’s leaders are doing what their doctrines require them to do: give the rest of the world a choice: convert or die. Most of the time Islam promotes the death of other religions simply by restricting these religions freedom to operate and curtailing their ability to grow (see Zorastrianism as a case in point). The point here is that Christianity is doomed if Islam gains the political upper hand in any given country. It may take centuries but it will die out.
So how should the Christian church respond to Islam? Except for the brief interlude of the crusades, Christianity has always taken a defensive posture vis a vis Islam. that defensive posture is no longer possible. We have to seize the initiative and confront Islam. Our political and military leaders oscillate back and forth between military confrontation and denial when it comes to Islam. I recommend a steady, clear-headed compassionate response to the adherents of Islam: conversion to the true faith Catholicism. We need to evangelize them. It would be leaving people subjugated by Islam in the hands of a heresy were we to just ignore Islam or merely militarily confront it.
The neoliberal global elite thought they could convert the adherents of Islam to “democracy” and modernity but that project has failed. The great mission of the Church in the 21ist century is the conversion not of the modern barbarians (the left liberals who are self-destructing and dying out because they hate marriage and children) but the conversion of Islam.