Jan 20, 2009

Gaddafi, Islam, and Christianity

The long-time President of Libya (since 1969), Muammar al-Gaddafi, is a bellwether on the Islamic-Christian wars of the 21st Century because he has immense influence over Muslims living in the rest of the world. A dangerous and fervent Muslim who was trained by the British, he is extremely serious about extending the rule of Muhammed over the entire world. Just as it was important to read Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in the 1930's to see where this German dictator was going, it is critical to hear Gaddafi when he speaks of international Islam's attempts to conquer lands where Christianity survives.

Over 25 years ago The Wanderer newspaper reported an invitation from al-Gaddafi to Pope Paul VI to debate the rightness of the Catholic religion. From the time and the manner in which the invitation was issued, I thought it might have come from a young leader who seriously wanted to examine which faith was true (or alternatively seize an opportunity to try to demonstrate the superiority of Islam).

Msgr. Michael L. Fitzgerald describes the public meeting in Libya from the viewpoint of a liberal priest:
...a Christian-Muslim seminar was held in Tripoli, Libya. This took place in February, 1976. Though it came about by agreement between the Secretariat for Non Christians and the Arab Socialist Union of Libya, the initiative really came from the Muslim side. Since the Libyans were the hosts, the main burden of organization fell to them. This in fact led to some surprises. Through the generosity of the Libyan leader, Colonel Mu’ammar Gaddafi, about 500 people, Christians and Muslims, from all over the world, were invited to Tripoli for the occasion. So what had been intended as a private meeting between theologians turned into a public manifestation, held in the main theatre of Tripoli, with the participation one evening of Colonel Gaddafi himself. It must be said, these conditions made the dialogue difficult. There is a great difference between exchanges in a closed circle and papers read to the public.
The meeting was made-to-order for conversion to Christianity, but the great opportunity to show real belief in the Divinity of Jesus Christ was lost. Gaddafi then claimed it was clear that Islam had easily won the debate. I've thought for a long time that if truly saintly and firmly believing priests had demonstrated authentic Christianity, the world might be different today. Instead, the meeting illustrated the liberal and unorthodox charade of a 'doubting and 'searching' church it had become in the post-Vatican II days of the 1970's.

The result of this failure to impress Gaddafi with authentic Christianity is seen on a number of Gaddafi videos posted to YouTube. Gaddafi speaking in Timbuktu claims "Muhammed is the prophet of all people. He superceded all previous religions...All people must be Muslims....Muhammed is the prophet of the people in Scandanavia, in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa....[America] should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims." Gaddafi then boasted that Islamic immigration and births in European countries mean that within a few decades "Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe without swords, without guns, without military conquests."

Gaddafi also claims that Obama's Islamic heritage and training will mean better times for Arabs in the Middle East. Gaddafi then states that "The thing we fear most is that the black man suffers an inferiority complex. This is dangerous. If our brother Obama feels that because he is black he doesn't have the right to rule America, this would be a disaster, because such a feeling would make him behave whiter than white..."

2 comments:

nashid said...

An honest mistake. But Colonel Gaddafi has been the de facto leader of Libya since a 1969 coup, not Kenya as posted.

Dust I Am said...

Nashid, Thank you for your note. The correction has been applied.