ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY





















 07/26/2013 14:01
ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY
Millions of Muslims devoted to Our Lady and eager for exorcism
by Samir Khalil Samir
Fatima, Harissa, Damascus, Samalut, Assiut, Zeitun and many other places where the Virgin appeared are the destination of incessant pilgrimages from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran. Pilgrims in search of physical but also spiritual healing; spontaneous and mystical prayer and not the schematic and formal verses of official Islam. The iconoclast Salafists destroy places of pilgrimage every year. But the devotion to Mary is growing, also fueled by the stories of the Koran. The spiritual dialogue between Christians and Muslims is much more promising than cultural, theological or political dialogue.


Beirut (AsiaNews) - Each year millions of Muslims come on pilgrimage to the Catholic Marian shrines. Not only to the major shrines such as Fatima in Portugal or Harissa in Lebanon, but also to Egypt, Syria, Iran. Muslims - especially Muslim women - go to give thanks to the Madonna or great Christian saints, like St. Charbel or St. George.

In the eyes of many Westerners these gestures seem ridiculous or false:  they speak of apparitions, of prayers, but then there are massacres, killings, violence in the name of religion!

Like it or not, the religious phenomenon is alive in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. When you see millions of Hindus go to bathe in the dirty water of the sacred river it may seem like a ridiculous thing. Yet for those who do it is an act of purification, of prayer. The West is tolerant and benevolent towards other religions, but its attitude towards Christians is increasingly hypercritical. The West is not post-Hindu, post-Islam. It is only post-Christian!

The point is that in the West, the supernatural is considered outdated, it is branded as mythology, illusion, instead the West is forever denouncing the difficulties that neither miracles nor pilgrimages can erase.

But in the rest of the world the spiritual dimension is alive and well. In the East, the religious sentiment is very much alive among Muslims, Christians and other religions. But in most of the West - especially on the part of intellectuals - the religious sentiment is seen as a thing of the past, irrational, naive. We must state this clearly: this interpretation is wrong.

The Marian devotion of Muslims

In Egypt, there are at least a dozen places of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin, which commemorate the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt. The tradition is very rich in the apocryphal texts of the fourth and fifth centuries. You can read some passages in the article by then Msgr. Ravasi (now Cardinal) of 28 December 2007, the feast of the Holy Innocents, published in the L'Osservatore Romano.

Every year in August, the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption of Mary) at least one million pilgrims go on pilgrimages to various shrines of Our Lady. The most famous are in Upper Egypt (in the South), at Jabal al-Tair, near Samalut, about 200 kilometers from Cairo. The festival lasts for 15 days, people pray, baptize infants (the parish priest has also built a species of baptistery, for Muslims, given the demand for baptisms from them as well) and celebrate.

More to the south, about 380 km from Cairo and 7 km from Assiut, there is another similar place of pilgrimage at Deir Dronka where tradition holds that the Holy Family stayed and the Virgin rested in a cave.

A few appearances have been reported in recent times:

On 22 January 1980 the Virgin appeared to a deacon.
On 10 January 1988 he appeared in the church tower to an Australian tourist, and Jesus appeared with a dove to the workers of the monastery.
On 7 August 1990, the Virgin appeared to the monks, surrounded by light, in a cave of the convent.
The annual pilgrimage is made during the "fasting of the Virgin" (7 to 21 August, the feast of the Dormition being the 22 in the Coptic rite). More than half a million pilgrims come, among them tens of thousands of Muslims. One of the monks is "specialized", so to speak, in baptisms, because he manages to make the 36 liturgical signs of the cross on the child's body in a minute (he showed me how some years ago!).

Even there, Muslims constitute a large number of participants, it is said that they are at least a quarter of the total number of pilgrims.

In Egypt, another pilgrimage to modern places of Marian apparitions is in Zeitun, near Cairo. The apparition, which began in 1968, lasted for several months. Various sociologists - not Egyptians - have called the phenomenon a kind of affective compensation, psychical consolation for the harshness of life. But people went there, Muslims and Christians, because they saw a white shape on the dome of the Church of Zeitun, which they interpreted as being Sittina Mariam, Our Lady Mary. The fact is difficult to explain, but was seen by thousands of people and there are also pictures. Another apparition of the Virgin is celebrated in Imbaba, a populous neighborhood.

From 1982 to today, reports of Our Lady's apparitions in the Damascus neighborhood of Soufanieh continue. Oil flows from the icon of the Madonna, and the hands of a normal, well-balanced girl of 18, Myrna Nazzour, also sweat oil. The parish priest of the time, quite against it at first, has become the icons' greatest enthusiasts. There too, Muslims and Christians flock in great numbers.

Near Damascus there is also a sanctuary to visit the mausoleum of Settena Zainab, the daughter of Ali and Fatima, the founder of Shiism. This is a pilgrimage to the roots. But when you go to places of apparition of the Virgin, the reasons are far deeper.

For years now plane loads of Muslim women from Iran have been landing at Fatima, Portugal.  They come to pray before Our Lady who appeared to three shepherd children. The reason is that the Madonna was named after the daughter of Muhammad and wife of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

In Harissa, Lebanon, Iranian women constantly come to pray to Our Lady, to the point that the rector of the shrine has a chapel prepared especially for them, with icons, signs and prayers to the Virgin in Persian, to facilitate their devotion.

Last year, during the month of May, as I waited for evening Mass to begin in Harissa, I saw hundreds of Muslim families - probably Shiite - who stopped to listen to the hymns before Mass and who only left at the end.

When I was in Morocco, I found that many women, during pregnancy and after childbirth, continued the so-called "fast of Our Lady," inspired by the Koran, which speaks of this fast.

Mary in the Koran

The Muslims make their way to these shrines, knowing that Mary is the woman most praised in the Koran, the only woman mentioned by name, called "Siddīqah" (true, believer, holy), a title reserved for men (siddīq). She is the only one whom the Koran states that God has "chosen" (inna Allāh istafāqī), and twice, and that God has preferred her to all the women of the earth (wa-faddalaki 'ala nisā' al-'ālamīn); moreover that she was consecrated (innī nadhartu mā fī batnī muharraran) in her mother's womb before birth. Indeed, a scared saying (attributed to Muhammad and thus regarded as a certainty) says that every child, when born, is "touched" by Satan, with the exception of Mary and her son; a saying that draws very close indeed to the concept of the Immaculate Conception.

In the Koran Mary is "the most pure", because God has made her pure. In the Annunciation, in two different chapters, Mary says to the angel,: "How can I have a baby, when no human being has ever touched me?". Thus, in the Koran, Jesus is called: "The Christ Jesus, son of Mary" (al-Masīh 'Īsā Ibn Mariam): never in Arabic is a person referred to as "son of ... (a woman)", but always. .. a man, and therefore Jesus being born of a woman who has not known a man, could not be called "son of Joseph"!

Therefore, the last verse (12) of Chapter 66 (al-Tahrīm) of the Koran, reads: "And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout. "

When Mary is referred to in Islam, "'Alayhā l-salām" (peace be upon her) is added, a title that is not given to any saint. This title is also given by Christians to Mary. There is an entire body of literature on Mary in the Koran, written by both Muslims and Christians.

Popular devotion for Christians saints, even among Muslims

What drives Muslims to undertake these pilgrimages? First of all people are looking to rediscover their faith in the essential; they are looking for a renewal of faith.  This is also followed by a desire for physical healing. But the question of a spiritual healing is much stronger. This is very similar to the sense of Christian pilgrimages.

It must be said that pilgrimages have no value for the orthodox Muslim, apart from the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). With the exception of Mecca, they consider this practice a kind of idolatry. This is why radical Muslims destroy all the places of pilgrimage, especially the tombs of Sufi sages, which Muslim mystics visit every year. Such destruction is typical of the Salafis, who are constantly carrying out iconoclastic raids in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Jordan, Pakistan, etc. ...

This trend in radical Islam is somewhat similar to early Protestantism: they despise popular piety as overly naive and distorted. In reality, the people seek God through everyday things, but also through certain phenomena or testimonies overtime. It does not matter that they are Christians or Muslims.

There are regular visits to St. George in Egypt, to the shrine of St. Charbel Makhlouf in Lebanon, to the house of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, visited every day by Muslims, usually women. Sometimes these pilgrimages are made to ask for the grace to have a child at other times to ask for physical healing. And it is always the Muslims to go to the Christians.

Monk exorcists for Muslims

Another spiritual element present in the faith of the people is fear of the devil. An episode that I experienced many years ago when I was a religious, but not yet a priest, is a very significant example of this. I was at the American University in Cairo and had entered and exited the building several times during the day for some research. At a certain point the doorman stopped me and gently asked me a favor. "My sixteen year old daughter - he says - is possessed by a demon." It was the first time I heard this expression in my entire life. He told me of how this demon would fling her on the ground, and hurt her. He adds: "I took her to our imams and they could not do anything. They themselves have told me that the only one can free her is a monk." He begged me to do something.

I promise him that I would pray for them, but I saw that he was disappointed by my answer. When I told the story to my brothers, they all criticized me, because they believed I should have preformed an exorcism, according to the established liturgical rite. And I discovered that many monks and religious are approached by Muslims and asked to cast out demons from a family member and that this practice is very common.

Usually, Muslims go to Coptic Orthodox monks or priests and often these exorcisms take place in public. I once witnessed one of these in front of the station square in Cairo (Bāb al-Hadīd), today called Mīdān Ramsis, with candles and holy water. A man lying on the ground, rigid, who swore and was a cripple, at a certain point, became calm.

A few years ago, in September 1994, a Canadian priest of the charismatic movement, famous for miracles, came to Lebanon. He was Father Emilien Tardif (1928-1999) of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Tens of thousands of people, many Muslims, followed him asking for his help. His cause for beatification is proceeding. This phenomenon is a fact that I can not explain. But I think that God gives a supernatural gift to some, to be put at the service of all. These gifts are distributed only in a Christian environment, but they are certified, verified by non-Christians.

Miracles are made for the benefit of anyone who has faith, the faith that leads God to grant the miracle.

In the human being there is a need that is not satisfied in Islam, but which is alive in Christianity. There is a need for spirituality, mysticism and beauty that is offered with greater ease in the Christian world than in Islam.

Sincere piety unites people. Mary as a bridge between Christians and Muslims

The most symbolic example of this was the decision of the Lebanese parliament to set up a national holiday for all three years ago, choosing the feast of the Annunciation of Mary. It was a deliberate decision by Christians and Muslims. The Koran twice refers to the account of the annunciation (in Chapters 3 and 19), almost in the same terms of the Gospel, and with a much more elegant and solemn style. In these texts the Virgin Mary is attributed is described as being strongly submissive to God and amazed at what happens to her, so much so that God Himself comforts her.

These experiences lead to great collaboration and a spiritual harmony with many Muslims. If it is not taken over by Islamic radicalism - which mixes religion and power, religion and state, religion and politics - the Muslim, just like any other believer, nourishes as openness to the supernatural, the spiritual, in his heart. But this aspect is not freely expressed in Islam: the spiritual is planned, the five daily prayers are predefined and must be done with pre-set words, so much so that if make a mistake while reciting them, you have to start all over again. Official Islam lacks spontaneity. For this reason, when a Muslim looks for something more intimate, they look towards Christianity.

Devotion creates feelings of friendship and not antagonism. In the West it is often said that religions, especially the monotheistic religions, are a source of wars and divisions. This thesis is false from the historical point of view and from the point of view of content. Of course, wars have been waged in the name of religion. But man has also launched wars in the name of many other ideologies, religion itself does not wage wars. We only have to think of nationalism, the divisions and the world wars fought in Europe, we are forced to admit that nationalism has been the cause of a far worse violence than any religion, and that the atheistic ideologies of the twentieth century, have produced more deaths than religions.

Even the religious wars fought in Europe were based on political phenomena that exploited religion ("cuius regio, eius religio "). It was the common view of the time, not the vision suggested by the Gospel. This connection between politics and religion is still very strong in Islam and Judaism as well. Identifying one State with a religion and an ethnic group, generating Zionism, has created a violent movement that was fueled by religion, and that creates problems for many Jews who to not back Israel's politics. On the Islamic side, the Palestinian cause has been identified with Islam and has created the same difficulty, and it is perhaps for this reason that the peace process and a possible reconciliation have stalled.

To date, it seems to me that Christianity as a religion distinctly separates faith and politics, though not always perfectly ... like everything that is human. Benedict XVI also writes about this in his Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East: "A healthy secularity, on the other hand, frees religion from the encumbrance of politics, and allows politics to be enriched by the contribution of religion, while maintaining the necessary distance, clear distinction and indispensable collaboration between the two spheres" (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, No. 29).

In fact, with the Muslims, as soon as you mention Mary, there is a notable change in attitude: there is an atmosphere of piety, of silence, of brotherhood, as if after chatting about many things, you were entering a place of worship, and there is silence.

Some might see this as a kind of syncretism. But in fact, devotion is a phenomenon that is open to all. Even in the West, Marian shrines do not only attract Christians, but also other believers, or people who have left the Church, even non-believers. Even though the liturgies are clearly Christian. And if I, as I pray to Our Lady, see a Muslim praying next to me, what's the problem? On the contrary: it is a great comfort because devotion is a far stronger foundation for a relationship and friendship than ideological, political or cultural bonds. Those who think the of Christian faith in an exclusive way, as do some Catholic traditionalists, have yet to fully understand Christianity.

  07/26/2013 14:01. [[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] Millions of Muslims devoted to Our Lady and eager for exorcism. by Samir Khalil Samir. Fatima, Harissa, Damascus, Samalut, Assiut, Zeitun and many other places where the Virgin appeared are the destination of incessant pilgrimages from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran. Pilgrims in search of physical but also spiritual healing; spontaneous and mystical prayer and not the schematic and formal verses of official Islam. The iconoclast Salafists destroy places of pilgrimage every year. But the devotion to Mary is growing, also fueled by the stories of the Koran.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  The spiritual dialogue between Christians and Muslims is much more promising than cultural, theological or political dialogue. Beirut (AsiaNews) - Each year millions of Muslims come on pilgrimage to the Catholic Marian shrines. Not only to the major shrines such as Fatima in Portugal or Harissa in Lebanon, but also to Egypt, Syria, Iran. Muslims - especially Muslim women - go to give thanks to the Madonna or great Christian saints, like St. Charbel or St. George. In the eyes of many Westerners these gestures seem ridiculous or false:  they speak of apparitions, of prayers, but then there are massacres, killings, violence in the name of religion!

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Like it or not, the religious phenomenon is alive in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. When you see millions of Hindus go to bathe in the dirty water of the sacred river it may seem like a ridiculous thing. Yet for those who do it is an act of purification, of prayer. The West is tolerant and benevolent towards other religions, but its attitude towards Christians is increasingly hypercritical. The West is not post-Hindu, post-Islam. It is only post-Christian! The point is that in the West, the supernatural is considered outdated, it is branded as mythology, illusion, instead the West is forever denouncing the difficulties that neither miracles nor pilgrimages can erase.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  But in the rest of the world the spiritual dimension is alive and well. In the East, the religious sentiment is very much alive among Muslims, Christians and other religions. But in most of the West - especially on the part of intellectuals - the religious sentiment is seen as a thing of the past, irrational, naive. We must state this clearly: this interpretation is wrong. [[The Marian devotion of Muslims]] In Egypt, there are at least a dozen places of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin, which commemorate the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt. The tradition is very rich in the apocryphal texts of the fourth and fifth centuries. You can read some passages in the article by then Msgr. Ravasi (now Cardinal) of 28 December 2007, the feast of the Holy Innocents, published in the L'Osservatore Romano.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Every year in August, the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption of Mary) at least one million pilgrims go on pilgrimages to various shrines of Our Lady. The most famous are in Upper Egypt (in the South), at Jabal al-Tair, near Samalut, about 200 kilometers from Cairo. The festival lasts for 15 days, people pray, baptize infants (the parish priest has also built a species of baptistery, for Muslims, given the demand for baptisms from them as well) and celebrate. More to the south, about 380 km from Cairo and 7 km from Assiut,

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  there is another similar place of pilgrimage at Deir Dronka where tradition holds that the Holy Family stayed and the Virgin rested in a cave. [[ A few appearances have been reported in recent times:]] On 22 January 1980 the Virgin appeared to a deacon. On 10 January 1988 he appeared in the church tower to an Australian tourist, and Jesus appeared with a dove to the workers of the monastery. On 7 August 1990, the Virgin appeared to the monks, surrounded by light, in a cave of the convent.


[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] The annual pilgrimage is made during the "fasting of the Virgin" (7 to 21 August, the feast of the Dormition being the 22 in the Coptic rite). More than half a million pilgrims come, among them tens of thousands of Muslims. One of the monks is "specialized", so to speak, in baptisms, because he manages to make the 36 liturgical signs of the cross on the child's body in a minute (he showed me how some years ago!). Even there, Muslims constitute a large number of participants, it is said that they are at least a quarter of the total number of pilgrims.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] In Egypt, another pilgrimage to modern places of Marian apparitions is in Zeitun, near Cairo. The apparition, which began in 1968, lasted for several months. Various sociologists - not Egyptians - have called the phenomenon a kind of affective compensation, psychical consolation for the harshness of life. But people went there, Muslims and Christians, because they saw a white shape on the dome of the Church of Zeitun, which they interpreted as being Sittina Mariam, Our Lady Mary.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] The fact is difficult to explain, but was seen by thousands of people and there are also pictures. Another apparition of the Virgin is celebrated in Imbaba, a populous neighborhood. From 1982 to today, reports of Our Lady's apparitions in the Damascus neighborhood of Soufanieh continue. Oil flows from the icon of the Madonna, and the hands of a normal, well-balanced girl of 18, Myrna Nazzour, also sweat oil. The parish priest of the time, quite against it at first, has become the icons' greatest enthusiasts. There too, Muslims and Christians flock in great numbers.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Near Damascus there is also a sanctuary to visit the mausoleum of Settena Zainab, the daughter of Ali and Fatima, the founder of Shiism. This is a pilgrimage to the roots. But when you go to places of apparition of the Virgin, the reasons are far deeper. For years now plane loads of Muslim women from Iran have been landing at Fatima, Portugal.  They come to pray before Our Lady who appeared to three shepherd children. The reason is that the Madonna was named after the daughter of Muhammad and wife of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] In Harissa, Lebanon, Iranian women constantly come to pray to Our Lady, to the point that the rector of the shrine has a chapel prepared especially for them, with icons, signs and prayers to the Virgin in Persian, to facilitate their devotion.
Last year, during the month of May, as I waited for evening Mass to begin in Harissa, I saw hundreds of Muslim families - probably Shiite - who stopped to listen to the hymns before Mass and who only left at the end. When I was in Morocco, I found that many women, during pregnancy and after childbirth, continued the so-called "fast of Our Lady," inspired by the Koran, which speaks of this fast.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] [[ Mary in the Koran ]] The Muslims make their way to these shrines, knowing that Mary is the woman most praised in the Koran, the only woman mentioned by name, called "Siddīqah" (true, believer, holy), a title reserved for men (siddīq). She is the only one whom the Koran states that God has "chosen" (inna Allāh istafāqī), and twice, and that God has preferred her to all the women of the earth (wa-faddalaki 'ala nisā' al-'ālamīn); moreover that she was consecrated (innī nadhartu mā fī batnī muharraran) in her mother's womb before birth.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Indeed, a scared saying (attributed to Muhammad and thus regarded as a certainty) says that every child, when born, is "touched" by Satan, with the exception of Mary and her son; a saying that draws very close indeed to the concept of the Immaculate Conception. In the Koran Mary is "the most pure", because God has made her pure. In the Annunciation, in two different chapters, Mary says to the angel,: "How can I have a baby, when no human being has ever touched me?". Thus, in the Koran, Jesus is called: "The Christ Jesus, son of Mary" (al-Masīh 'Īsā Ibn Mariam):

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  never in Arabic is a person referred to as "son of ... (a woman)", but always. .. a man, and therefore Jesus being born of a woman who has not known a man, could not be called "son of Joseph"! Therefore, the last verse (12) of Chapter 66 (al-Tahrīm) of the Koran, reads: "And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout. " When Mary is referred to in Islam, "'Alayhā l-salām" (peace be upon her) is added, a title that is not given to any saint. This title is also given by Christians to Mary.


[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  There is an entire body of literature on Mary in the Koran, written by both Muslims and Christians. [[ Popular devotion for Christians saints, even among Muslims]]  What drives Muslims to undertake these pilgrimages? First of all people are looking to rediscover their faith in the essential; they are looking for a renewal of faith.  This is also followed by a desire for physical healing. But the question of a spiritual healing is much stronger. This is very similar to the sense of Christian pilgrimages. It must be said that pilgrimages have no value for the orthodox Muslim, apart from the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  With the exception of Mecca, they consider this practice a kind of idolatry. This is why radical Muslims destroy all the places of pilgrimage, especially the tombs of Sufi sages, which Muslim mystics visit every year. Such destruction is typical of the Salafis, who are constantly carrying out iconoclastic raids in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Jordan, Pakistan, etc. ... This trend in radical Islam is somewhat similar to early Protestantism: they despise popular piety as overly naive and distorted. In reality, the people seek God through everyday things,

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] but also through certain phenomena or testimonies overtime. It does not matter that they are Christians or Muslims. There are regular visits to St. George in Egypt, to the shrine of St. Charbel Makhlouf in Lebanon, to the house of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, visited every day by Muslims, usually women. Sometimes these pilgrimages are made to ask for the grace to have a child at other times to ask for physical healing. And it is always the Muslims to go to the Christians. [[ Monk exorcists for Muslims ]] Another spiritual element present in the faith of the people is fear of the devil.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] An episode that I experienced many years ago when I was a religious, but not yet a priest, is a very significant example of this. I was at the American University in Cairo and had entered and exited the building several times during the day for some research. At a certain point the doorman stopped me and gently asked me a favor. "My sixteen year old daughter - he says - is possessed by a demon." It was the first time I heard this expression in my entire life. He told me of how this demon would fling her on the ground, and hurt her. He adds: "I took her to our imams and they could not do anything.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] They themselves have told me that the only one can free her is a monk." He begged me to do something. I promise him that I would pray for them, but I saw that he was disappointed by my answer. When I told the story to my brothers, they all criticized me, because they believed I should have preformed an exorcism, according to the established liturgical rite. And I discovered that many monks and religious are approached by Muslims and asked to cast out demons from a family member and that this practice is very common.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] Usually, Muslims go to Coptic Orthodox monks or priests and often these exorcisms take place in public. I once witnessed one of these in front of the station square in Cairo (Bāb al-Hadīd), today called Mīdān Ramsis, with candles and holy water. A man lying on the ground, rigid, who swore and was a cripple, at a certain point, became calm. A few years ago, in September 1994, a Canadian priest of the charismatic movement, famous for miracles, came to Lebanon. He was Father Emilien Tardif (1928-1999) of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Tens of thousands of people, many Muslims, followed him asking for his help. His cause for beatification is proceeding. This phenomenon is a fact that I can not explain. But I think that God gives a supernatural gift to some, to be put at the service of all. These gifts are distributed only in a Christian environment, but they are certified, verified by non-Christians. Miracles are made for the benefit of anyone who has faith, the faith that leads God to grant the miracle. In the human being there is a need that is not satisfied in Islam, but which is alive in Christianity.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  There is a need for spirituality, mysticism and beauty that is offered with greater ease in the Christian world than in Islam. [[Sincere piety unites people. Mary as a bridge between Christians and Muslims]]. The most symbolic example of this was the decision of the Lebanese parliament to set up a national holiday for all three years ago, choosing the feast of the Annunciation of Mary. It was a deliberate decision by Christians and Muslims. The Koran twice refers to the account of the annunciation (in Chapters 3 and 19), almost in the same terms of the Gospel, and with a much more elegant and solemn style.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  In these texts the Virgin Mary is attributed is described as being strongly submissive to God and amazed at what happens to her, so much so that God Himself comforts her. These experiences lead to great collaboration and a spiritual harmony with many Muslims. If it is not taken over by Islamic radicalism - which mixes religion and power, religion and state, religion and politics - the Muslim, just like any other believer, nourishes as openness to the supernatural, the spiritual, in his heart. But this aspect is not freely expressed in Islam: the spiritual is planned, the five daily prayers are predefined

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] and must be done with pre-set words, so much so that if make a mistake while reciting them, you have to start all over again. Official Islam lacks spontaneity. For this reason, when a Muslim looks for something more intimate, they look towards Christianity. Devotion creates feelings of friendship and not antagonism. In the West it is often said that religions, especially the monotheistic religions, are a source of wars and divisions. This thesis is false from the historical point of view and from the point of view of content. Of course, wars have been waged in the name of religion.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  But, man has also launched wars in the name of many other ideologies, religion itself does not wage wars. We only have to think of nationalism, the divisions and the world wars fought in Europe, we are forced to admit that nationalism has been the cause of a far worse violence than any religion, and that the atheistic ideologies of the twentieth century, have produced more deaths than religions. Even the religious wars fought in Europe, were based on political phenomena that exploited religion ("cuius regio, eius religio ").

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] It was the common view of the time, not the vision suggested by the Gospel. This connection between politics and religion is still very strong in Islam and Judaism as well. Identifying one State with a religion and an ethnic group, generating Zionism, has created a violent movement that was fueled by religion, and that creates problems for many Jews who to not back Israel's politics. On the Islamic side, the Palestinian cause has been identified with Islam and has created the same difficulty, and it is perhaps for this reason that the peace process and a possible reconciliation have stalled.

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]] To date, it seems to me that Christianity as a religion distinctly separates faith and politics, though not always perfectly ... like everything that is human. Benedict XVI also writes about this in his Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East: "A healthy secularity, on the other hand, frees religion from the encumbrance of politics, and allows politics to be enriched by the contribution of religion, while maintaining the necessary distance, clear distinction and indispensable collaboration, between, the two spheres" (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, No. 29).

[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  In fact, with the Muslims, as soon as you mention Mary, there is a notable change in attitude: there is an atmosphere of piety, of silence, of brotherhood, as if after chatting about many things, you were entering a place of worship, and there is silence. Some might see this as a kind of syncretism. But in fact, devotion is a phenomenon that is open to all.


[[ISLAM-CHRISTIANITY. @King Saudi Arabia -- if, you are with "Siddīqah"? then, you are with me, also. Diversamente, un fuoco uscirà dall'Onnipotente, e brucerà, tutti i complici di: Rothschild 666 FMI, come te!]]  Even in the West, Marian shrines do not only attract Christians, but also other believers, or people who have left the Church, even non-believers. Even though the liturgies are clearly Christian. And if I, as I pray to Our Lady, see a Muslim praying next to me, what's the problem? On the contrary: it is a great comfort because devotion is a far stronger foundation for a relationship and friendship than ideological, political or cultural bonds. Those who think the of Christian faith in an exclusive way, as do some Catholic traditionalists, have yet to fully understand Christianity.



 26/07/2013 10:58
ISLAM-CRISTIANESIMO
Milioni di musulmani devoti alla Madonna e desiderosi di esorcismo
di Samir Khalil Samir
Fatima, Harissa, Damasco, Samalut, Assiut, Zeitun e tanti altri luoghi dove è apparsa la Vergine sono meta di incessanti pellegrinaggi da Libano, Siria, Egitto, Iran. Si cerca la guarigione fisica, ma anche quella spirituale; la preghiera spontanea e mistica e non quella schematica e formale dell'islam ufficiale. I salafiti iconoclasti distruggono ogni anno luoghi di pellegrinaggio. Ma la devozione a Maria cresce, nutrita anche dai racconti del Corano. Il dialogo spirituale fra cristiani e musulmani è molto più promettente di quello culturale, teologico o politico.


Beirut (AsiaNews) - Milioni di musulmani si recano ogni anno in pellegrinaggio ai santuari mariani cattolici. Non solo ai grandi santuari come Fatima in Portogallo o Harissa in Libano, ma anche in Egitto, in Siria, in Iran. Musulmani - e soprattutto donne musulmane - vanno a chiedere grazie alla Madonna o a grandi santi cristiani, come san Charbel o san Giorgio.

Agli occhi di molti occidentali questi gesti sembrano quasi ridicoli o falsi: si parla di apparizioni, di preghiere, ma poi vi sono carneficine, uccisioni, violenze proprio in nome delle religioni!

Piaccia o non piaccia, il fenomeno religioso è vivo in America Latina, in Africa, in Asia. Quando si vedono milioni di indù andare a bagnarsi nel fiume sacro, nell'acqua sporca, può sembrare una cosa ridicola. Eppure per quelli che lo fanno è un gesto di purificazione, di preghiera. L'occidente si mostra al massimo tollerante e benevolo verso le altre religioni, ma verso i gesti cristiani è sempre ipercritico. L'occidente non è post-indù, post-islam. E' solo post-cristiano!

Il punto è che in occidente tutto ciò che è soprannaturale sembra passato di moda, bollato come mitologia, illusione, denunciando sempre tutte le difficoltà  che né miracoli, né pellegrinaggi riescono a cancellare.

Ma in gran parte del mondo la dimensione spirituale è viva. In oriente, fra musulmani, cristiani e altre religioni, il sentimento religioso è vivissimo. Invece in gran parte dell'occidente - soprattutto da parte degli intellettuali - il sentimento religioso è visto come una cosa sorpassata, irrazionale, credulona. Occorre dirlo chiaro: questa chiave di lettura è sbagliata.

La devozione mariana dei musulmani

In Egitto, ci sono almeno una decina di luoghi di pellegrinaggi alla Vergine, che commemorano il viaggio della Sacra Famiglia in Egitto. La tradizione è ricchissima nei testi apocrifi del IV-V secolo. Si può leggere alcuni brani nell'articolo di mons. Ravasi (oggi cardinale) del 28 dicembre 2007, per la festa dei Santi Innocenti, uscito sull'Osservatore Romano.

Ogni anno, in agosto, in occasione della Festa della Dormizione (Assunzione di Maria) almeno un milione di pellegrini vanno in pellegrinaggio nei vari santuari della Madonna. I più famosi sono in Alto Egitto (nel Sud), quello di Giabal al-Tair, vicino a Samalut, a circa 200 chilometri dal Cairo. La festa dura 15 giorni, la gente prega, battezza i bambini (per i Musulmani il parrocco ha fatto anche una specie di battistero, visto la richiesta di battesimi anche da loro) e festeggia.

Più al Sud, a circa 380 km dal Cairo e a 7 km di Assiut, a Deir Dronka dove si dice che la Sacra Famiglia sia stata e dove la Vergine si è riposata in una grotta, c'è un altro simile luogo di pellegrinaggio.

Nel periodo moderno sono state segnalate alcune apparizioni:

Il 22 gennaio 1980, la Vergine è apparsa a un diacono.
Il 10 gennaio 1988 è apparsa nella torre della chiesa ad una turista australiana, e Gesù è apparso con una colomba agli operai del monastero.
Il 7 agosto 1990, la Vergine è apparsa ai monaci, circondata da luce, in una grotta del convento.
Il pellegrinaggio annuale si fa durante il "digiuno della Vergine" (7-21 agosto, la festa della Dormizione essendo il 22 nel rito copto). Più di mezzo milione di pellegrini vengono, tra di loro decine di migliaia di musulmani. Uno dei monaci è "specializzato" per così dire nei battesimi, perché riesce a fare i 36 segni di croce liturgici sul corpo del bambino in un  minuto (me ne ha fatto una dimostrazione anni fa!).

Anche lì, i musulmani costituiscono un numero imponente dei partecipanti, si dice che sarebbero almeno un quarto dei pellegrini.

In Egitto, un altro pellegrinaggio a moderni luoghi di apparizioni mariane è quello a Zeitun, vicino al Cairo. L'apparizione, cominciata nel '68, è durata per diversi mesi. Vari sociologi - non egiziani - hanno definito il fenomeno una specie di compensazione affettiva, di consolazione piscologica per la durezza della vita. Ma la gente ci andava, musulmani e cristiani, perché vedevano una forma bianca sulla cupola della chiesa di Zeitun, che hanno interpretato come essendo Sittina Mariam, Nostra Signora Maria, la Madonna. Il fatto è difficile da spiegare, ma è stato visto da migliaia di persone e vi sono pure delle foto. Un'altra apparizione della Vergine viene celebrata a Imbaba, un quartiere molto popolare.

A Damasco, dal 1982 continuano ancora oggi le apparizioni della Madonna nel quartiere della Soufanieh. Dall'icona della Madonna scorre olio, e dalle mani di una ragazza di 18 anni, Myrna Nazzour, giovane normale e ben equilibrata, si nota essudazione di olio. Il parroco del tempo, molto contrario all'inizio, è poi diventato il più grande promotore. Anche lì, accorrono musulmani e cristiani.

Vicino a Damasco vi è anche un santuario per visitare il mausoleo di Settena Zainab, la figlia di Fatima ed Alì, il fondatore dello sciismo. Questo è un pellegrinaggio alle radici. Ma quando si va nei luoghi di apparizione della Madonna, vi sono motivi più profondi.

A Fatima, in Portogallo, da anni atterrano aerei dall'Iran, pieni di donne musulmane, per pregare davanti alla Madonna apparsa ai tre pastorelli. Il motivo è che la Madonna porta il nome della figlia di Maometto, e sposa di Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

Ad Harissa, in Libano, di continuo arrivano donne iraniane a pregare la Madonna, al punto che il rettore del santuario ha preparato una cappella apposta per loro, con icone, cartelli e preghiere alla Vergine in persiano, per facilitare la loro devozione.

L'anno scorso, durante il mese di maggio, in attesa della messa serale ad Harissa, ho visto centinaia di famiglie musulmane - probabilmente sciite - che si sono fermate ad ascoltare i canti prima della messa e sono andate via solo alla fine.

Quando ero in Marocco, ho scoperto che molte donne, durante la gestazione e anche dopo il parto, continuavano il cosiddetto "digiuno della Madonna", ispirate dal Corano, dove si parla di questo digiuno.

Maria nel Corano

I musulmani si mettono in cammino verso questi santuari mariani, sapendo che Maria è la donna più elogiata nel Corano, l'unica donna nominata per nome, definita "Siddīqah" (verace, credente, santa), titolo riservato agli uomini (siddīq). Solo di essa è detto nel Corano che Dio l'ha "eletta" (inna Allāh istafāqī), e per due volte; e che Dio l'ha preferita su tutte le donne della terra (wa-faddalaki 'ala nisā' al-'ālamīn); anzi, era consacrata (innī nadhartu mā fī batnī muharraran) nel seno della sua mamma, prima  della nascita.  Più ancora, un detto sacro (attribuito a Muhammad e considerato come detto sicurissimo) dice che ogni bambino, quando nasce, è "toccato" da Satana, all'eccezione di Maria e suo figlio; detto che somiglia al concetto dell'Immacolata Concezione.

Maria è, nel Corano, "la purissima", perché Dio stesso l'ha resa pura. Nell'annunciazione, Maria dice all'Angelo, in due capitoli diversi : "Come avrò un bambino, allorché nessun esser umano mi ha mai toccato?". Percio', Gesù viene chiamato nel Corano: "Il Cristo Gesù, figlio di Maria" (al-Masīh 'Īsā Ibn Mariam): mai qualcuno è chiamato in arabo "figlio di ... (una donna)", ma sempre di ... un uomo;  e però Gesù essendo nato da una donna che non ha conosciuto uomo, non poteva essere chiamato "figlio di Giuseppe"!

Perciò il Corano, nell'ultimo versetto (12) del capitolo 66 (al-Tahrīm), recita: "E Maria, figlia di 'Imran, che conservò la sua verginità; insufflammo in lei il Nostro Spirito. Attestò la veridicità delle parole del Suo Signore e delle Sue Scritture, e fu una delle devote".

Quando nell'islam si nomina Maria, si aggiunge: "'Alayhā l-salām" (su di essa sia la pace), un titolo che non è dato a nessun santo. Questo titolo viene dato anche dai cristiani a Maria. Vi è tutta una letteratura su Maria nel Corano, scritta da musulmani e da cristiani.

La devozione popolare ai santi cristiani, anche dai musulmani

Cosa spinge i musulmani a intraprendere questi pellegrinaggi? La gente cerca anzitutto di ritrovare la sua fede nell'essenziale; essa cerca un rinnovamento della fede; poi viene anche il desiderio di guarigione fisica. Ma la domanda di una guarigione spirituale è molto più forte. Ciò è molto simile al senso dei pellegrinaggi cristiani.

Va detto che nell'ortodossia musulmana, a parte il pellegrinaggio alla Mecca (hajj), i pellegrinaggi non hanno alcun valore. Escluso quello alla Mecca, si considera questa pratica una specie di idolatria. Per questo i musulmani radicali distruggono tutte le mete di pellegrinaggi, in particolare le tombe dei saggi sufi, che i musulmani mistici invece vanno a visitare ogni anno. Queste distruzioni sono tipiche dei salafiti, i quali compiono di continuo razzie iconoclaste in Tunisia, Libia, Egitto, Mali, Giordania, Pakistan, ecc...

Questa tendenza dell'islam radicale è un po' come il protestantesimo degli inizi: disprezzano la fede popolare come troppo ingenua e distorta. In realtà la gente cerca Dio attraverso le cose quotidiane, ma anche attraverso certi fenomeni o testimonianze straordinari. E non importa che questi siano cristiani o musulmani.

Vi sono visite regolari a san Giorgio in Egitto, al santuario di san Charbel Makhlouf in Libano, alla casa della Madonna a Efeso, frequentata ogni giorno da musulmani, di solito donne. Talvolta questi pellegrinaggi sono fatti per chiedere la grazia di avere un figlio; altre volte per domandare guarigioni fisiche. E sono sempre i musulmani ad andare dai cristiani.

Monaci esorcisti per i musulmani

Un altro elemento spirituale presente nella fede popolare è il timore del demonio. Un fatto che mi è successo molti anni fa, quando ero già religioso, ma non ancora sacerdote, è molto significativo. Ero all'università americana del Cairo e sono entrato e uscito diverse volte in un giorno per alcune ricerche. A un certo punto mi ferma il portiere e con molta gentilezza mi chiede un favore. "Mia figlia sedicenne - mi dice - è posseduta da un demonio". Era la prima volta che sentivo tale espressione nella vita. Lui mi spiega che questo demonio la butta per terra, le fa male. E aggiunge: "L'ho portata dai nostri imam e non hanno potuto fare nulla. Loro stessi mi hanno detto che solo un monaco la può liberare". E mi prega di fare qualcosa.

Io gli prometto che avrei pregato per loro, ma ho visto che è stato deluso dalla mia risposta. Quando poi ho raccontato l'episodio ai miei confratelli, tutti mi hanno criticato, perché secondo loro avrei dovuto operare un esorcismo, secondo il rito previsto dei libri liturgici. E ho scoperto che molti monaci e religiosi sono richiesti dai musulmani per scacciare i demoni dai loro familiari e che tale pratica è molto comune.

Di solito i musulmani vanno dai monaci o dai sacerdoti copti ortodossi e spesso tali esorcismi avvengono in pubblico. Una volta ho assistito ad uno di questi davanti alla piazza della stazione del Cairo (Bāb al-Hadīd), oggi chiamato Mīdān Ramsis, con candele e acqua benedetta. Un uomo, steso a terra, rigido, che bestemmiava ed era storpio ad un certo punto si è calmato.

Alcuni anni fa è giunto in Libano, nel settembre 1994, un sacerdote canadese del movimento carismatico, famoso per i miracoli, il Padre Emilien Tardif (1928-1999) dei Missionari del Sacro Cuore. Decine di migliaia di persone, moltissimi musulmani, lo hanno seguito domandando il suo intervento. La sua causa di beatificazione sta procedendo. Questo fenomeno è un fatto che non so spiegare. Ma penso che Dio dà ad alcuni un dono soprannaturale, da mettere a servizio di tutti. Questi doni sono distribuiti solo in ambiente cristiano, ma vengono certificati, verificati anche da non cristiani.

I miracoli vengono fatti a favore di chiunque ha fede; è la fede che porta Dio ad accordare il miracolo.

Nell'essere umano c'è un bisogno che non è soddisfatto nell'islam, ma che è invece vivo nel cristianesimo. C'è un bisogno di spiritualità, di mistica, di bellezza che viene offerto con facilità più nel mondo cristiano che nell'islam.

La pietà sincera unisce gli uomini. Maria, ponte tra musulmani e cristiani

La cosa più simbolica è stata la decisione del parlamento libanese di creare, tre anni fa, una festa nazionale per tutti, scegliendo la festa dell'Annunciazione di Maria. È stata una decisione voluta da cristiani e musulmani. Nel Corano ricorre due volte il racconto dell'annunciazione (nei capitoli 3 e 19), quasi negli stessi termini del Vangelo, e con uno stile molto più elegante e solenne. In questi testi si attribuisce alla Madonna un carattere di forte sottomissione a Dio e di stupore per quanto le succede, così che Dio stesso la conforta.

Queste esperienze spingono ad una collaborazione, ad una sintonia spirituale con molti musulmani. Se non è preso dal radicalismo islamico - che mescola religione e potere, religione e Stato, religione e politica - il musulmano, come ogni credente, sviluppa nel suo cuore un'apertura al soprannaturale, allo spirituale. Ma questo aspetto non si esprime liberamente nell'islam: anche lo spirituale è programmato, le cinque preghiere quotidiane sono predefinite e devono essere fatte con parole già fissate, tanto che se sbagli nel dirle, devi ricominciare daccapo. L'islam ufficiale manca insomma di spontaneità. Per questo, quando un musulmano cerca qualcosa di più intimo, lo cerca nel cristianesimo.

La devozione crea sentimenti di amicizia e non di antagonismo. In Occidente si dice spesso che le religioni, soprattutto i monoteismi, sono fonte di guerre e divisioni. Questa tesi è falsa dal punto di vista storico e dal punto di vista del contenuto. Certo, in nome della religione si è spesso fatto la guerra. Ma l'uomo lancia guerre in nome di qualunque ideologia e non è la religione a scatenare le guerre. E se pensiamo ai nazionalismi, alle divisioni e alle guerre mondiali avvenute in Europa, dobbiamo dire che il nazionalismo è stato causa di violenza molto più di ogni religione, e che le ideologie atee, nel ventesimo secolo, hanno prodotto più morti che le religioni.

Anche le guerre di religione avvenute in Europa erano basate su fenomeni politici che strumentalizzavano la religione ("cuius regio, eius religio"). Era la visione comune di allora, non la visione suggerita dal Vangelo. Questo legame fra politica e religione è ancora fortemente vissuto nell'islam e pure nell'ebraismo. Avere identificato uno Stato con una religione e con una etnia, generando il sionismo, ha creato un movimento violento che si è nutrito della religione e che crea difficoltà a molti fedeli ebrei che non vorrebbero sostenere la politica di Israele. Da parte islamica, aver identificato la causa palestinese con l'islam ha creato la stessa difficoltà, ed è forse per questo che il processo di pace e una possibile riconciliazione sono bloccati.

A tutt'oggi, a me pare che il cristianesimo sia la religione che tiene più distinte fede e politica, anche se non in modo perfetto ... come tutto ciò che è umano. Lo scrive anche Benedetto XVI nella sua Esortazione apostolica per il Medio Oriente: "La sana laicità, al contrario, significa liberare la religione dal peso della politica e arricchire la politica con gli apporti della religione, mantenendo la necessaria distanza, la chiara distinzione e l'indispensabile collaborazione tra le due." (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, N° 29).

Di fatto, con i musulmani, appena si parla di Maria, si cambia atteggiamento: c'è un'atmosfera di pietà, di silenzio, di fraternità, come se dopo aver chiacchierato di tante cose, si entra in chiesa e si fa silenzio.

Qualcuno potrebbe vedere qui una specie di sincretismo. Ma in realtà, la devozione è un fenomeno aperto a tutti. Anche in Occidente, nei santuari mariani non ci vanno solo cristiani, ma anche altri credenti, o gente allontanata dalla Chiesa, o addirittura non credenti. E si celebra con chiarezza una liturgia cristiana. E se io, mentre prego la Madonna, vedo un musulmano che prega affianco a me, che problema c'è? Anzi: è un grande conforto perché la devozione è una base molto più forte di rapporto e di amicizia che i legami ideologici, politici o culturali. Chi pensa la fede cristiana in modo esclusivo, come talvolta fa un certo tradizionalismo cattolico, non ha capito ancora pienamente il cristianesimo.
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