Why Islam Is the New Catholicism

CNN contributor Eboo Patel discusses how Catholicism, now celebrated by the political elite supporting Paul Ryan, was seen as a highly corrosive element in government just 60 years ago.

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Perhaps Islam will conquer the bad reputation many Americans give the religion, as Catholicism did in the past, writes CNN contributor Eboo Patel. The founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and author of the new book Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America writes that the Muslim faith is just that -- not a weapon, as propaganda may suggest.

"Our freedom, our religious freedom, is at stake if we elect a member of the Roman Catholic order as president of the United States," Norman Vincent Peale told a conference of evangelical leaders in September 1960. Materials handed out at the Peale conference claimed 'Universal Roman Catholicism' was both a religion and a political force whose doctrines were ultimately incompatible with the American ideals of freedom, equality and democracy.

And the conference's keynote address alleged that Catholics practiced "mental reservation," which allowed them to lie about their intentions in order to gain power. And when they succeeded, they would make second-class citizens of everyone else.

Replace "Roman Catholic" with "Muslim" and "Church hierarchy" with "caliphate" in those pronouncements and today we are witnessing a similar energy directed against a different faith community using largely the same categories.

In today's parlance, Kennedy was part of a stealth jihad meant to replace the U.S. Constitution with sharia law and practicing taqqiyya to mask this dawa offensive.

As they believed about Catholicism then, many evangelicals now view the very nature of Islam as incompatible with American values. Evangelicals rate Muslims lower on a "favoribility" scale than any other religious group, according to "American Grace," a book by scholars Robert Putnam and David Campbell.

Read Eboo Patel's entire piece at CNN.

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