A Revival For Islam

The story I mentioned a couple of days ago about the Pope baptizing Magdi Allam, a Muslim convert, is getting a lot of play. Someone, and I can't remember who right now, cautioned against taking a triumphant tone. I think this is good advice. Yet I think we may look back on this someday as a very significant event.

One article you must read comes from the mysterious Spengler (via Rod Dreher). Spengler thinks the door is opening for widespread conversion of Muslims to Christianity, and this may change the entire equation of Islamic-Western relations.

Muslims suffer from a stultifying spiritual emptiness... Muslim traditional society cannot withstand the depredations of globalized culture, and radical Islam arises from a despairing nostalgia for the disappearing past. Why would Muslims trade the spiritual vacuum of Islam for the spiritual sewer of Dutch hedonism? The souls of Muslims are in agony. The blandishments of the decadent West offer them nothing but shame and deracination. Magdi Allam agrees with his former co-religionists in repudiating the degraded culture of the modern West, and offers them something quite different: a religion founded upon love.

Over a year ago, I mentioned stories about a quickening of conversions in Islamic countries. Chuck Colson (via Leticia) confirms it is still happening. Some Muslims and Christians are finding common ground in resisting the Culture of Death. I'm still cautious, but a lot seems to be happening under the radar.

Think about this: the combined efforts of Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher brought down the Soviet Union in only a few years. Can the same happen with radical Islam? It's a different kind of war now, obviously. We are in a struggle for the hearts and souls of men. Spengler argues that if Benedict can create an environment in Europe that allows Muslims to convert without risking their lives, the dam could break.
Today's Europeans stem from the melting-pot of the barbarian invasions that replaced the vanishing population of the Roman Empire. The genius of the Catholic Church was to absorb them. If Benedict XVI can convert this new wave of invaders from North Africa and the Middle East, history will place him on a par with his great namesake, the founder of the monastic order the bears his name.

This is bold talk, but stranger things have happened. In the 1980s I was a young Army officer, and I can assure you that none of us expected the Soviet Union to simply crumble away. Yet a few years later it did. We also did not have to wonder whether that evil empire had weapons of mass destruction; we knew what they had, and we knew they could be launched our way any time. If a threat that great can disappear so quickly, anything is possible. We have a Pope who is ready to lead this Crusade. I won't be surprised if it costs him his life. Yet he will press on.

So what can we do to help? Pray. Hope. And if you know any Muslims, show them the love of Christ. We can win this war - one soul at a time.

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