Francis’ Foot Washing Stunt with Muslims Indicates Submission
During Holy Thursday Mass, Pope Francis washed the feet of migrants, three of whom were Muslims. Most Catholics understood this as a gesture of humility and brotherhood. That is how the Catholic press reported it …
Many Muslims, however, may see it differently—not as a gesture of brotherhood, but as one of submission and surrender. The word “Islam” means “submission,” and submission is what Islam expects of other faiths. Muslims consider Islam to be the supreme religion. To the extent that it tolerates the “People of the Book” (Christians and Jews), Islam tolerates them on the condition that they acknowledge its supremacy.
Historically, the People of the Book were expected to assume the status of dhimmis—second-class citizens with limited rights. The origin of this attitude can be found in several verses in the Koran, particularly 9:29, which says that the “People of the Book” are to be fought “until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
The conditions that govern the lives of dhimmis were further elaborated in the Pact of Omar (named after the second caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab). The two dozen or so stipulations include a prohibition on building new churches or repairing old ones, a prohibition on displaying crosses, and a demand that dhimmis give up their seats “to honor the Muslims.”
With the passage of time, the dhimmi requirements were expanded, but the general idea was to keep Christians in their place, and even humiliate them. Sometimes, when dhimmis paid the jizya, they were required to approach the tax official on all fours.
Unfortunately, the dhimmi laws are not a thing of the past. Churches are prohibited in Saudi Arabia, and Christian visitors to the Kingdom are not allowed to bring Bibles with them. In Pakistan and other Muslim countries, Christians are looked upon by many as inferior beings, fit only for menial jobs. In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has re-imposed the jizya tax, and Islamic State scholars cite the Koran and the Pact of Omar as justification for doing so.
When the Pope kneels before a Muslim, these are the thoughts that will come into the minds of many followers of Islam. For them, the Pope’s gesture will serve as confirmation of the age-old Islamic conception of Christianity as a second-rate religion. Although some Muslims may be moved by the Pope’s gesture and some may even be converted, it’s likely that a majority of Muslims will interpret it as a sign of weakness.
… The foot washing was part of the preparation that the apostles needed in order to be worthy of going out into the world and spreading the gospel. The point of it was not so much to stress the humility of Christ, as to stress that the apostles should act likewise. They too were to act as servants. But servants of which master?
Well, as servants of Christ, obviously. But if that’s so, it doesn’t make sense to involve Muslims and Hindus. The foot-washing ritual seems intended for followers of Christ. It’s a reminder that they should imitate him. As such, it doesn’t seem fitting that Muslims and Hindus—representatives of entirely different [and false man-made] faiths—should be participants. Muslims are supposed to follow the example of Muhammad, not Christ. Is the Pope saying that they should forget about Muhammad and imitate Christ? Or that they should be good servants of Islam? Or what?
The twelve participants are not meant to be merely passive objects of the celebrant’s charity, they are also subjects who go out into the world and act out the roles assigned to them by their master. …
Pope Francis has striven to be in touch with the common people, but he seems increasingly out of touch with the common people of Europe. Does he mean to identify himself and the Church with the wave of young male migrants who are now despoiling Europe? Or will the Church now be identified with the out-of-touch elites who have facilitated what the common people of Europe now consider to be an invasion? Will the Church be looked upon as a party to what is coming to be seen as a great betrayal of the European people by its leaders?
Read the full article at Crisis Magazine