Who was the nun recently murdered by Islamic nutbags (yes Islamic nutbag is a redundancy)? There’s been a blackout in the media as to her life story and the manner of her death, of course. Imagine if a Muslim woman had been shot in the back by rabid Christian thugs. There would be gooey Today show features, roundtables with E.J. Dionne, Cokie Roberts and Jim Wallis, books, etc. Hollywood would already be in pre-production for the story, and gaseous jabberjaw Chris Mathews would declare a theocracy. Maureen Dowd would simply stroke out.
Sister Leonella’s last words to the filthy cowards who shot her in the back were, “pardono, pardono” - “I fogive, I forgive.” Christianity is, ideally, the love that, as Pope Benedict once put it, “goes to the very end.” It is the religion that steps out of the circle of retribution. (Which isn’t to say there isn’t a time for self-defense, as in the War on Terror).
What could Islam possibly add to this? Most people don’t realize that, as Hillaire Belloc wrote a hundred years ago, Islam is, strictly speaking, a heresy. It’s Catholicism for dummies. Muhammad kept the part he liked and tossed the rest. (And who knew that Mohammad had epilepsy?) Thus the Muslim love of the Virgin Mary and elevation of Christ as a great prophet. This is probably what that 14th Century quote Pope Benedict used referred to: Islam didn’t give the world a thing except a weak, kindegarten, and violent form of half-Catholicism. Both Hillaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton said as much in the early 20th Century. Belloc’s book Moslems and Chesterton’s The New Jerusalem are more informative than anything you’ll find on Islam today. And they would certainly have not ignored sister Leonella. We should not either. More: