Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is the current Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, and who is generally considered to be one of the more conservative voices in the American church, did an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that is sure to drive Republicans crazy.
Right wingers lost whatever small part of their minds they had left when President Obama compared what extremist groups such as ISIS are doing, to what happened in the Crusades. They have piled on in recent weeks because the president refuses to use the term “Islamic extremism,” or to say that America is at war with Islam, despite the fact that George W. Bush said quite plainly that his “war on terror” was not a war against Islam. Somehow, President Obama is being held to a different standard on the matter. Imagine that.
On the March 3 edition of New Day, Dolan tells host Chris Cuomo that comparing ISIS to Christian extremists is accurate. And he uses a much more recent comparison than the Crusades to make his point.
After telling Cuomo that he believes that one of ISIS’s goals is to destroy the “ancient Christian population of the mid-east,” Dolan adds, “I also believe with all my heart and soul that these extremists do not represent genuine Islamic thought.”
When Cuomo asks if Dolan believes they are Muslims, Dolan says that, yes, they are, but that they practice a “perverted” form of Islam. Cuomo brings up the problems that the president has been having with defining who ISIS are, saying that he doesn’t want to “give credibility to them as Muslims.” Dolan’s response is certain to make right wing heads explode. He says,
You know the parallel I’ve drawn, Chris, and enough people have been kind enough to tell me that they think the analogy is accurate. Remember 30, 35, 40 years ago, with the IRA, in Ireland? The IRA claimed to be Catholic, ok? And, they were baptized, they had a Catholic identity, but what they were doing was a perversion of everything the church stood for. And, to their immense credit, the bishops of Ireland, every time the IRA blew up a car, or a house, or a barracks in the British army, the Irish bishops said ‘They are not Catholic.’
The analogy is somewhat accurate. These are not pure, these are not real, Muslims.
Dolan continues by saying that the Islamic world needs moderate forces to “rise up” and say that ISIS does not represent Muslims. But, unlike some who have called for similar condemnations from Muslim leaders, Dolan accurately observes that, unlike the Catholic Church, there is not one leader, or for that matter even a handful of leaders, who can speak for the majority of Muslims.
“But I think if something good is coming from this, Chris,” Dolan concludes, “is we see the voice of measured, temperate, fair, just Islam, that’s beginning to speak up and say ‘these fanatics do not represent us.'”
Here’s the interview, via RawStory:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la8AMcNtBPs]