Islam cannot be one among many faiths

Islam cannot be one among many faiths

Rod Dreher quotes from then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s book “Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium” a passage that describes Islam itself as incompatible with democratic pluralistic society.

One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society. When one represents the situation in those terms, as often happens today, Islam is defined according to the Christian model and is not seen as it really is in itself.

He was observing that Islam, by its very self-definition, cannot be one among many religions in society, but must always dominate. It cannot be an equal with others. Plus its religious norms are not to be observed just by Islam’s adherents, but by all people in the society. Thus, for example, all women in Islamic countries must wear the headcoverings and be subject to all the various subjugations. Rod says:

If Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, is right, then we have a serious problem on our hands trying to assimilate Islam into states and cultures derived from Christianity. Islam cannot be swallowed by Western-style pluralist democracy. It can’t happen without the Muslims becoming untrue to their faith.

Which brings us back to the question, once again: Is dialogue with Islam possible?

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