Posted by Spengler on March 24, 2008, 11:19 AM
on First Things' blog:
The world is now discussing Magdi Cristiano Allam’s baptism by Pope Benedict XVI during the Easter Vigil at St. Peter’s. Osama bin Laden recently accused Benedict of plotting a new Crusade against Islam, and instead finds something far more powerful: faith the size of a mustard seed that can move mountains. The faith of a single human being well may have changed the course of great events. Since 9/11 the leaders of the West have searched for a “moderate Islam” to counter radical Islamism, without however encountering a single prominent Muslim willing to unequivocally repudiated terrorism, wife-beating, the stoning of adulteresses and so forth.
Now Magdi Allam, the deputy editor of Italy’s newspaper of record and a bestselling author, tells us that he has found the true God and forsaken an Islam that he regards as inherently violent. Mr. Allam has a powerful voice. For years he was the exemplar of “moderate Islam” in Europe, and now he has decided that Islam cannot be “moderate.” His conversion shifts the agenda to the debate that Benedict opened at Regensburg in September 2006 over faith and reason, in opposition to arbitrary submission and violence. Before Benedict’s election, I summarized his stance as “I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it.” Now we are seeing what faith can accomplish.
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