In the wake of the horrific Jihadist attack on a Catholic church in Normandy, France, Pope Francis’ latest statements that the world war we are in is not a religious war shows a lack of knowledge of Islamic doctrine. The Pope is not alone in this view. Every major Western political leader from George W. Bush through to Barack Obama has maintained the same belief.
When the Islamic State caliphate was declared in 2014, their media arm issued a slick, 10-page document announcing the establishment of the caliphate. In those 10 pages, they cited Islamic scripture 26 times–scripture from the Quran and scripture from the Sunna of Mohammed. The entire document was dominated by Islamic scripture and associated commentary.
So whether the Pope thinks that the Jihadists are waging a religious war or not is irrelevant. The Islamic State Jihadists believe they are waging a religious war. And they justify it with Islamic doctrine.
In warfare the enemy’s reality becomes your reality. We can’t wish this all away and we can’t simply deny the nature of our enemies. In 1943, no one tried to make the case that the Nazis had misinterpreted Mein Kampf. No one tried to make the case that the Japanese had perverted the Shinto religion.
The West must pivot toward making an honest, objective analysis of what our enemies believe, not what we think they should believe.
The Pope’s unfortunate statement is not unique. Western leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are fiddling and Rome may literally be burning soon.
It is long past time to wake up!