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Pope Francis Meets Viktor Orban
Guess what the Pope lectured the Hungarian leader about?
By Hugh Fitzgerald
Pope Francis, he of the deplorable ipse-dixit remark that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” visited Hungary for two days in mid-September, where he chose to lecture Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the need to welcome immigrants, by which he meant those “Muslim economic migrants” whom Orban has so steadfastly refused to accept in his country, no matter what pressure is put on him by the European Union. A brief Jihad Watch report on the meeting is here, and a Reuters report on the presumption and ignorance displayed by Pope Francis is here: “Pope urges Orban’s Hungary to be more open to needy outsiders,” by Philip Pullella and Gergely Szakacs, Reuters, September 13, 2021:
Pope Francis said on Sunday that Hungary could preserve its Christian roots while opening up to the needy, an apparent response to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s stand that Muslim immigration could destroy its heritage.
How can Pope Francis be so sure that Hungary can preserve its Christian roots if it admits large numbers of Muslims who, because of their higher fertility rates, would become an ever-greater percentage of the population? While churches are closing their doors in the U.K., France, and Germany, thousands of mosques are being opened in the same countries. When the percentage of Muslims in a country crosses a certain threshold – some say as little as 8%, others as much as 15%, but still very far from a majority – the Muslims, it appears from observation, start to make their presence menacingly felt. They begin to make demands of the circumambient society – for halal food in schools and prisons, for the right to wear hijabs wherever they wish, including in public schools and government offices, for prayer rooms in factories and offices, and the time off to use them.
Slowly, the islamization of neighborhoods, then of communities, then of whole cities – think of how Malmo in Sweden has been transformed — takes place, as Muslims move in, and non-Muslims move away, out of both fear and religious distress. Muslims in Infidel lands form united voting blocs which gives them greater political power than their numbers would warrant. Why should the countries of Europe not wish to prevent this from happening? Why does Pope Francis wish to convince the Christians of Europe not to trust the evidence of their senses? They can see that the large-scale presence of Muslims in their own countries has created a situation that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than would be the case without such a large-scale presence. Are they to ignore the evidence of their senses, and to supinely accept the vaporings of Pope Francis, who thinks “authentic Islam” has nothing to do with violence, and apparently doesn’t care if the fanatical faith of Islam eventually prevails in post-Christian Europe? Viktor Orban, one of the most farseeing and stubborn of Europe’s leaders, has given the Pope his answer, firmly and eloquently, on the subject of opening Hungary up to Muslim migrants: No.
Wherever Muslims are In the majority, they manage to depress the numbers of non-Muslims in their midst. In Pakistan at Partition in 1947, 13% of the population was Hindu; now it is 2%. In 1947 in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) Hindus made up 30% of the population; now they are 7%. While Muslims drive out non-Muslims, the reverse is not true: Muslims in India have gone from 9% of the population at Partition to 15% today. Look at how Muslims have taken over whole swathes of European cities — Paris, London, Amsterdam – so that a visitor to the Muslim-inhabited parts of those cities would be forgiven for thinking he is in Algeria, or Karachi, or Istanbul.
The Pope should look at the statistics covering the last few decades in the history of Europe, the ever-increasing figures on rape, murder, robbery, welfare fraud, street violence, grooming gangs, family violence, and antisemitic attacks, and how those figures reflect the increase in the Muslim population. There are already tens of millions of Muslims living in Europe, battening on the benefits offered by the welfare states; these Muslims have not been either willing or able to integrate into their host societies; they know that as Muslims they are the “best of peoples” (3:110) and that the Infidels among whom they have settled are “the most vile of created beings.” (98:6) Muslim migrants are responsible for a huge rise in crime, especially violent crime; they have required enormous increases in national budgets to pay for the many governmental benefits they receive; they have created in many Muslim-dominant neighborhoods a permanent climate of insecurity; these have become no-go zones where non-Muslims dare not go; even the police need to enter in numbers, and firemen enter only if accompanied by an armed escort.
Pope Francis has not been paying attention to any of this. He sits securely above the societal fray, in the Vatican. No need for worry about violence; he has his colorful Swiss guards. The increase in crime, the terrorist threat, the burden on state budgets that results from this increased Muslim presence all over Europe – none of that affects him. He has never visited the neighborhoods devastated by the Islamic blight, as in Seine St. Denis in the Parisian banlieue, or Islington and Edgeware in London. Such visits would only upset his serene self-assurance on the subject of Islam. And please, don’t bring up crime statistics to the Pope. Why upset him?
Francis was in Hungary for n unusually short stay that underlined differences with the anti-immigrant Orban, his political opposite.
Closing a Church congress with a Mass for tens of thousands of people in central Budapest, Francis used the imagery of a cross to show that something as deeply rooted as religious belief did not exclude a welcoming attitude.
The cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to be well-rooted, it also raises and extends its arms towards everyone,” he said in his remarks after the Mass.
The cross urges us to keep our roots firm, but without defensiveness; to draw from the wellsprings, opening ourselves to the thirst of the men and women of our time,” he said at the end of the open-air Mass, which Orban attended with his wife.
For more than a decade, the nations of Europe have been opening themselves “to the thirst of the [Muslim] men and women of our time.” There is nothing spiritual about their “thirst.” What the Muslim migrants – they are almost entirely economic migrants, even though many falsely claim to be “asylum seekers” — want are all the benefits that the generous Infidels have been so ready to supply: free or subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, family allowances, all available, it would appear, for the asking.
“My wish is that you be like that: grounded and open, rooted and considerate,” the Pope said.
Francis has often denounced what he sees as a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements, and has called for European unity, and criticised countries that try to solve the migration crisis with unilateral or isolationist actions.
Pope Francis is dismayed by the notion that the nations of Europe would dare to defend their own peoples and interests, and not accept the diktats of transnational organizations like the European Union or, for that matter, the Vatican. He thinks nationalism is always and everywhere to be deplored; Viktor Orban does not. Orban thinks of Hungary not just as a certain territory, defined in metes and bounds, but as the “family home” of Hungarians; they alone should be able to decide whom they wish to welcome into their home, and whom they want to keep out.
When Pope Francis presumes to preach to Viktor Orban, or to any other leader of a European state about migration policy, he is denying them the right to protect their family home from an invader – Islam – millions of whose adherents have already demonstrated, throughout Europe, what terrible social and economic problems they can cause.
Pope France might be forgiven, just a bit, if one thought he had at long last realized how little he knew about Islam and was now trying to rectify his ignorance by reading, and studying, the Qur’an and the hadith. But one has the awful feeling that the Pope has avoided that task, that he has instead relied on what some Church “experts” on Muslim-Catholic relations have told him, assuring him that all manner of things shall be well, and that only the bigoted could object to the presence of so many Muslims. Besides, the fierce devotion of Muslims to their faith is something that Christians, falling away from their own faith in a post-Christian world, might do well to emulate.
Orban, by contrast, told the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia last week the only solution to migration was for the European Union to “give all rights back to the nation state”.
The Pope has called for migrants to be welcomed and integrated to tackle what he has called Europe’s “demographic winter.” Orban said in Slovenia that today’s migrants “are all Muslims” and that only “the traditional Christian family policy can help us out of that demographic crisis.”
Francis, 84, who spent only about seven hours in Budapest, met Orban and President Janos Ader at the start of his visit.
By “demographic winter,” the Pope means the decline in fertility rates of European women which have fallen below replacement levels. He sees migrants – which for the past two decades has overwhelmingly meant Muslim migrants — as a “solution” to this “winter.” He thinks that people are fungible; in Pope Francis’ view, only the numbers count. If the Christian population in a European country declines by 20%, or 30%, or 40%, what does this matter, as long as they are replaced by Muslims eager to take their place? Perhaps the Pope should consider – truthfully — how he would feel if Italy were to become 60% Muslim. Would he really have no qualms?
The Vatican said the meeting which was also attended by the Vatican’s top two diplomats and a Hungarian cardinal, lasted about 40 minutes and was cordial.
“I asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish,” Orban said on Facebook. Hungarian news agency MTI said Orban gave Francis a facsimile of a letter that 13th century King Bela IV sent to Pope Innocent IV asking for help in fighting the Tartars.
The letter was a reminder to Pope Francis that centuries ago there were clear-eyed Popes who saw Muslims quite differently than he does – saw them, that is, as a direct threat to the survival of Christian civilization, rather than, as our pollyannish Pope Francis insists, as people who deserve to be welcomed with open arms and endless Christian charity. Those Popes understood that Muslims regarded Christians — Infidels — as the “most vile of created beings,” and were dead set on violent Jihad, to seize the lands of the Christians and make them part of Dar al-Islam, as they did with Spain for 800 years. Muslim tactics have changed since then. Once Jihad was waged by armed warriors conquering lands from without; now the “stealth jihad” of demographic conquest proceeds from within. But the ultimate goal – islamizing as much of the world as possible — remains the same.
Later on Sunday Francis arrived in Slovakia, where he will stay much longer, visiting four cities before returning to Rome on Wednesday.
The brevity of his Budapest stay has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest the Pope is giving priority to Slovakia, in effect snubbing Hungary.
Of course the Pope was snubbing Hungary. Viktor Orban is the Pope’s unyielding antagonist, a European political leader who refuses to open his arms and his country to people who want to come in, not to integrate into Hungarian society, but only in order to take advantage of every possible benefit a European welfare state has to offer, Those benefits — housing, education, medical care and more — all add up to a kind of proleptic Jizyah. Viktor Orban has seen the baleful effects of large-scale Muslim immigration in Germany, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, and Sweden; he doesn’t want the same thing to happen in Hungary. Nor is he alone. In Eastern Europe those who live in what were once the satellite states of the Soviet Union have a keener sense of threats to their liberty than do the peoples of Western Europe; they exhibit a stronger attachment to their nation, and a greater determination not to give up any of their national sovereignty to supra-national groups, like the E.U., than do those living in Western Europe. Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states have all refused to “open wide” their countries to Muslim immigrants.
The Pope is 84. He’s a nice man, amiable, well-meaning, terminally naïve. But he’s also irresponsible, and ignorant, and has done a lot of damage. For years he has been making baseless pronouncements about “authentic Islam.” He’s been lecturing, even hectoring, the Europeans to take in still more millions of Muslim migrants, despite the evidence of what that migration has already wrought. He owes it to his flock to read, and study, the Qur’an and hadith. Then he should read about the history of Islamic conquest of many lands and many peoples, and what happened to those peoples after they were conquered. The scales should fall from his eyes, and it won’t be pleasant. He doesn’t like unpleasantness. He’s of the smiling, dove-of-peace-releasing, Rodney-King school of simplemindedness: Why can’t we all get along? There are reasons, Pope Francis. Here are just a few of them: Qur’an 2:191-193, 4:89, 5:33, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, 98:6. A Starter Kit of Inculcated Hate. You need to grasp this nettle without further evasion or delay.
The Pope needs to start telling the truth about Islam, first of all to himself and then to others. He can do it quietly, almost imperceptibly. He should first of all stop defending Islam. No more absurd remarks about “authentic Islam” being “opposed to every form of violence.” He must speak up about the “social distempers that have arisen in Europe from too sudden and too massive a migration.” He should admit that “I have in the past been too quick to make pronouncements on migration, a subject about which I had not adequately informed myself. I regret this.” He doesn’t have to mention Islam by name. Everyone will understand. His mea maxima culpas – the plural is called for — should always end with some version of this orbanesque sentiment: “Your country is your home. Everyone has a right to decide whom to admit, and whom to keep out, of the family home.”