Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bulgarian Assassination attempt

This shocking video of an attempted political assassination, on the face of it, seems out of place on this religious affairs blog. However, the gentleman with the gun pointed at his head, Ahmed Dogan, is leader of a party which relies heavily on the Bulgarian Muslim minority's vote called the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. It supports and promotes Muslims in Bulgarian society. It is mainly formed of ethnic Turks and has thus met with a fair bit of opposition from the extreme right and left wings in that country and there have been several instances in which opposition to the party has seemed religiously motivated. I would be surprised if this didn't have some such motive, either ethnic or religious, even if that prejudice is a manifestation of some psychological problem with the would be assassin.
Papa B leads the way
In an increasingly secular world, a strong Islam is a protection to the rights of Christians and for the promotion of justice in general throughout the world. Islam and Christianity tend to agree on the matters of life and of social justice where we and society as a whole are threatened by atheist ideologies. An attack on anyone for their religious beliefs is an attack on each person who holds a faith, even when it is perpetrated out of religious motivations because it seeks not only to suppress that person and their faith but the very idea idea that faith should be a part of a person in everything they do. This becomes particularly important when that person is involved in public life. It seeks to make faith irrelevant and if the concept of faith itself becomes irrelevant, it will soon becomes extinct.
Faith itself is relevant to the world today and will be more so tomorrow
I have no time for the SSPX line that interfaith and oecumenical dialogue should simply be the Church trying to convert people to Catholicism when faiths have so many areas of agreement that are so important. A person reaches out to God when they convert and God reaches back and touches their very soul, if we want to encourage this process of love then the appropriate situation for it is the interpersonal. Not only would evangelism in this situation be inappropriate, it would be pointless. We have so much to lose to atheist ideology, and by "we" I don't only mean Catholic, Christian or religious people. Religion as a force has huge potential to alter the world for the better simply because theism is a common factor is such a large proportion of human lives, and so to disregard this unifying experience of love is to to jeopordise the work of religions and religious people for a better future. That would be dangerously irresponsible.

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