Eight hundred years ago, St. Francis of Assisi embarked on a mission to the port city of Damietta, Egypt, to try and convert Sultan al-Kamil to Christianity. While this did not come to fruition, both the sultan and the saint were able to have a peaceful dialogue and establish a mutual respect that is absent from the present-day polemics of Islam.
While many today hold that those who seek to create a universal caliphate through acts of terror in the name of Islam falsely represent their religion, they ignore the original Islamic texts that inspire these perpetrators. The Islamization of our society, however, does not just come from avowed terrorists but from various Islamic scholars and activists seeking to impose sharia law. As a result of the West disavowing its Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian roots, government officials have catered to such injustices since they consider the petrodollar more valuable than the victims of violence. Consequently, they have capitulated our rights of free speech and religion to the point of classifying anyone who questions Islamists’ intentions as an Islamophobe. Islam: Religion of Peace? places Islam in its historical and sociopolitical contexts in order to better understand what has bred the Islamic threat facing today’s society, as well as how many of our political and church leaders have failed to address the problem, thereby creating more instability between both Muslims and non-Muslims. Author Mario Alexis Portella also proposes solutions whereby both peoples may enter into a meaningful discourse and establish harmony.
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About the Author
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is the author of Ethiopian and Eritrean Monasticism—The Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of Two Nations, and he is a columnist for the monthly online journal Il Mantello della Giustizia.