Rhetoric emanating from both the Vatican and extremist Islamic groups is boiling over in light of the terrorist bombings of recent months.
But it is not words alone—a Catholic-dominated Europe is taking action against Islam.
It appears the July 7 London bombings were a wake-up call to some powerful politicians.
The Washington Times of August 4 described a campaign underway across Europe to expel radical Islamic clerics who incite extremism and condone terrorism. This is an effort “to root out extremist imams [Islamic leaders] who help radicalize disenchanted Muslim youths and recruit them for violent causes.”
In early August, eight fundamentalist Palestinian preachers were expelled from Italy. France deported an Algerian imam who was arrested in “a preventative anti-terror operation.” Another Algerian was expelled from France for preaching inflammatory sermons. More deportations are expected to follow. “We will not keep people on our territory who issue calls to hatred, to violence and to the disrespect of our democratic values,” French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy stated.
At the same time, more stringent legislation is being passed in European countries to make prosecution easier. Austria passed a law allowing the deportation of Muslims who preach sermons that are “a danger to public security.” In the Netherlands, legislation has been proposed that would outlaw the praising of terrorism, and France has announced plans to strengthen its anti-terror laws.
In early September, a Moroccan-born citizen of Denmark became the first person charged with instigating terrorism under a new anti-terrorism law in that country. The law, which limits free speech, “illustrates how democracies across Europe are adopting tougher measures in an era of rising extremist violence, despite protests that civil liberties are being sacrificed in the process” (New York Sun, August 30).
These moves in Europe to crack down on Muslims who preach hatred are just a precursor of an infinitely more aggressive campaign.
The Roman Catholic Church’s influence over Europe is prophesied to increase. As it does, we can expect to see the Catholic Continent’s attitude toward radical Islam become more hardened.
See Gerald Flurry’s article “Are Two Great Religions About to Trigger Nuclear War?” in our September-October issue for more on where this confrontation will lead.