Dear Editor, I am sure I am not the only one who was very pleased and deeply moved to see the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Croke Park. Because of Covid-19 only about 150 people could take part.
I was impressed by the reverence of the Muslims present including little children. It was wonderful to see the two Archbishops, Diarmuid Martin and Michael Jackson, and the Jewish Rabbi taking part and welcoming our Muslim community and helping them to feel at home. It was also wonderful to see Sheikh Umar al Qadri. This man has consistently condemned Islamic extremism and violence.
The truly shocking part of the occasion was the Islamophobic gang outside Croke Park who shouted abuse and nasty name calling at Archbishop Martin as he came out. Between the name calling and verbal abuse these people recited the Rosary. I found their behaviour disgusting and there was nothing Christian about it. If that was representative of the Catholic Church, I would be totally ashamed to be a Catholic. Thankfully it doesn’t represent the Church I belong to.
Drimnagh, Co. Dublin.
Christians ‘share much with Muslims’
Dear Editor, The recent protest by a small group against the attendance of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at a Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha is so misguided. As Fr Michael Sullivan wrote in your last edition [IC 06/08/2020], we share much with Muslims, in terms of our Faith in a loving God, while we still disagree on aspects of that Faith.
Perhaps those rushing to judge Archbishop Martin might undertake some study of both the Vatican II documents, where it clearly states that the Church has a high regard for Muslims who worship the one almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and the Quran, that states that Muslims should respect other faiths.
It is an irony that the protesters failed to appreciate that the celebration Eid al-Adha honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God, has a biblical reference.
Templeogue, Co. Dublin.
Compassion exists only for the ‘woke’
Dear Editor, Reading a recent article about the hypocrisy of the “inconsistent criticism” on social media regarding journalists who spoke out about a picture circulating of a Sinn Féin senator wearing speedos and a Pope Francis t-shirt from the World Meeting of Families in Dublin [IC 06/08/2020], I was not in any way surprised. For some reason when a pro-life person is targeted online, their images shared and criticised relentlessly, it’s fair game.
However, when it’s someone the media deem ‘woke’ or has ‘acceptable’ opinions, suddenly a cohort of indiviuals grow a moral compass and defend the person from online abuse.
Such is the case of Gavin Boyne, who thankfully spoke to your paper about the double standards he experienced because of his stance on the abortion referendum.
The resounding message is that if you’re pro-life you are not worth defending, even worse, you deserve the abuse you receive regardless of how personal and vitriolic. In fact, some journalists even feel it’s their duty to join in the hateful scrum and to publicise it even further, opening the floor for more condemnation.
Strange they can see the humanity in some but not others.
It’s a morality solely based on group-think and social trends that is led by a hegemony of weak individuals whose desires are to remain relevant, popular and in power.
Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Christians have lost their awareness of the Devil
Dear Editor, The natural world is filled with clues as to the true nature of things and God speaks through them when we pause and listen.
I was watching a brilliant documentary about the Serengeti and the seasonal migration of animals. It showed the various predators as they stalked the herds of antelope and buffalo. Predators have different techniques but what is common to all is they always target the youngest and weakest.
One distinct advantage the herd has though is instinctive ‘situational awareness’. They know the lions are in the Savanna; that the crocodiles are waiting at the water’s edge and so can be prepared for the inevitable attack. They lose a small proportion of the herd. As humans we have lost our situational awareness, even as Christians. Not in relation to animal attacks but in the conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil.
It proceeds in much the same way but with a more insidious intention. The youngest and weakest are led away from the security of the praying Church community, into pastures that seem inviting. The Devil cannot make Hell look attractive so he makes the route look exciting. There is no quick kill as with a lion attack, it’s a gradual elimination of beliefs, the end of any prayer-life and even without moral corruption and ruin, the generations which follow are then automatically in the bag too. It’s a lot easier to protect in the beginning, than try to recover the lost further down the road.
We tend to think of ourselves as the top of the food chain on earth, which in the natural world we are; but remember that Jesus refers to us as sheep…mostly lost and the only defence we have against our enemy is the rest of the flock, the shepherd and to listen to His voice.