By Theodore Shoebat
The Catholic Church did not invent Islam. I have heard this countless times, and have received innumerable messages from people, that Islam was founded by the Catholic Church. I don’t have the time to respond to every individual who tells me this assertion, so I have decided to write this essay to deal with it.
The idea that Islam was conceived by the Catholic Church is traced back to a conspiracy theorist named Alberto Rivera, a con-artist who claimed to be a Jesuit (I know how many messages I will receive about how I slandered “brother Alberto”).
Alberto said that the “the Pope” commissioned Muhammad to do three missions:
1. Eliminate the Jews and Christians (true believers, which they called infidels).
2. Protect the Augustinian Monks and Roman Catholics.
3. Conquer Jerusalem for “His Holiness” in the Vatican.
These commands, for one thing, cannot be found in any primary account whatsoever. What is a primary account? We need to know this if we are going to understand the nature of our inquiry. When trying to reach an historical conclusion, or make historical observations, one must focus first on one type of evidence: first hand accounts, or primary sources.
A primary source is a document written in, or around the time, of the particular historical event in question, being based on eye-witness accounts and first hand materials. To use an example that we are all familiar with, I will ask a simple question: The Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, how do we know that it happened? Because Moses, who was the leader of Israel’s liberation, wrote about it. We would never know about the Exodus, if Moses never wrote a book about it. Exodus, then, is a primary source account. Would you, then, rather read the Book of Exodus, or a modern book on the Exodus? The only way to fully comprehend the Exodus, is to read Exodus.
So then, how would we learn about the invention of Islam? We would need to read ancient documents, both Islamic and non-Islamic. We would have to read the primary source accounts. And when reading on the origins of Islam, based on the primary source accounts, we have absolutely zero substantiation for any of Rivera’s claims.
Now, Rivera says that he learned of Islam’s Catholic inventors from one Cardinal Bea. But when we research the statement that Rivera attributes to Bea, all we find are books and articles, written by anti-Catholic polemics, and not one statement from anything ever written by Bea. Therefore, to simply conclude Rivera’s quoting of Bea as factual, is both empty of scholarship and absent of any cognitive reasoning expected of the historian.
When my father exposes Obama’s family, or reveals an unknown plan of the jihadists, he does not simply claim that it is true, nor does he say that he met so and so, and so and so said such and such, and thats it. He goes to the primary sources, searching and finding documents in Arab, Israeli, American, and other records. He spends countless hours sifting through innumerable sources, trying to find reliable information on the particular subject he is writing on.
Truth is found through both will and reasoning, not sensation or exciting novelties. That the Catholic Church invented Islam, is just that, a sensational novelty. And in regards to the rest of the rubbish Alberto said in regards to Islam’s creation, there is not one piece of primary evidence (I dare anyone to show me just one).
If we are going to analyze the origins of Islam, what must be first comprehended is the innate focal point of Islamic theology: Islam is a religion of a book; it is primarily revolved around the Koran, and secondarily fixated on what interpretation Muslim authorities deduce on the Koran.
Without the Koran, there is no Islam. Therefore, in order to understand the origins of Islamic theology, one must read the Koran. And when we do, what we find is not evidence of a Catholic creation, but actually statements that are openly anti-Catholic.
One of the most quoted Koranic verses by exposers of Islam, is Surah 9:29, which states:
Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture and believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
But when one reads the verse in conjunction with the subsequent verses, one finds that the Christians it is commanding to war with, are in fact Catholics. Here is the full verse:
Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture and believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no god save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! (Surah 9:29-31)
The existence of the word monks, in the verse, signifies that it is referring to Catholics, both Eastern and Western. How do we know this? Let us look to the interpretation of this verse by Abu Bakr, the successor to Muhammad, and one who was amongst the most elite of Muhammad’s companions. Before invading Syria, he declared:
You will meet people who have set themselves apart in hermitages; leave them to accomplish the purpose for which they have done this. …You will meet people who have shaved the crowns of their heads, leaving a band of hair around it. Strike them with the sword.
Those who have their hair shaven to the shape of a crown, can only be referring to Catholic monks; for the tradition behind this hairstyle, symbolizing the crown of glory given to the martyrs, and the crown of thorns placed on Christ’s head, is purely one of Catholic origin.
The first people that Abu Bakr mentions, the ones who “set themselves apart in hermitages”, were the heretical Christians, or the Arians, Nestorians, and other subscribers to false doctrines.
So, when Rivera claims that “the Pope” commissioned Muhammad to kill the Jews and the “true Christians,” the only Christians that the Koran initially commanded to kill are the Catholics. Why would the Catholics create a system that is innately adverse toward the Catholic Church? It makes no sense, and anyone who upholds such an ahistorical statement, is not committed to historical truth and reasoning, but a mere opinion that is both groundless and ignominious.
Those who believe this slanderous lie will argue that the Muslims broke off from Rome and began to fight Catholics; and to those who say this, I will ask you to bring me one primary source account that proves this claim.
Furthermore, the idea that Islam was invented by the Catholic Church is void of any evidence in the writings of the Church Fathers. In order to understand Islam’s history, we read the Koran and the Hadith; in order to understand Catholic history, we read the Church Fathers. We find absolutely nothing close to what Rivera claims in any book written by any of the Church Fathers or ancient Catholic theologians who lived closest to the early days of Islam.
In fact, in looking to the earliest Christian opinion on Islam, what we find are Catholics writing against Muhammad as a damnable heretic and enemy to Rome. One of the best examples of this are the writings of Theodore Abu Qurrah, the bishop of Harran who lived in the 9th century, when Islam was still quite a young cult.
Theodore affirmed the primacy of the Roman Church, and viewed Islam as an enemy toward the Church. On the primacy of the Church of Rome, Theodore writes:
Do you not see that St. Peter is the foundation of the church, selected to shepherd it, that those who believe in his faith will never lose their faith, and that he was ordered to have compassion on his brethren and to strengthen them? As for Christ’s words, “I prayed for you, that you not lose your faith; but you, have compassion on your brethren, at that time, and strengthen them,” [Luke 22:32-33] we do not think that he meant St. Peter himself [and the apostles themselves]. Rather, he meant nothing other than the holders of the seat of St. Peter, that is, Rome, [and the holders of the seats of the apostles]. (1)
Theodore goes on to write how when the heresy of Arianism (the denial of Christ’s divinity) arose, the Church commenced the Council of Nicaea to combat it; when Nestorianism (the denial that God became flesh in Mary’s womb) arose, the Church of Rome commanded the Council of Ephesus. (2) Islam intrinsically coincides with both of these heresies, in that it rejects Christ’s divinity, and the Incarnation of God in Mary’s womb.
Since the Church of Rome was the one that first commenced the two councils that went against these two false doctrines and their followers, it is therefore impossible that the Catholic Church would then turn around and create a heresy that upholds them and desires to kill the very people (Catholics) who were adverse to these heresies.
John the Deacon, an ancient Catholic theologian who had direct access to the material of Theodore Abu Qurrah, declares the primacy of St. Peter’s See, deems Muslims as enemies to the Church, and then describes how the bishop Theodore wrote against the heresies of Islam:
And because the Lord had promised Peter, the chief of the apostolic choir, that he would lay the church’s foundation on the unshaken rock of his confession, and because he had assured the church that she would overcome the gates of hell, so the opponents of God, up to the present, struggles against the church. …I am speaking of the most blessed and most philosophical bishop of Haran in Coele Syria, Theodore. In his writings, which were truly inspired by God, he worthily held up to public scorn the impious religion of the Agarenes [Muslims] and showed to all that it was worthy of complete derision. (3)
The Catholic Church preserved and protected the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and in so doing it condemned and fought against Islam more than any other institution in history (if you don’t believe me, read any detailed history book on the Crusades). The first Church leader to lead and organize a crusade against Islam was St. Pope Leo IV who, in the year 849, led a battle against Muslims who were trying to sack the Vatican.
As soon as Arianism came about, the Church combated it; and when Islam arose, with its very Arian doctrine, the Church combated it. Catholicism’s war against Islam is a continuation of its war against Arianism. There is therefore no evidence or documentation to prove that the Catholic Church suddenly decided to invent an extension of the very doctrine it was bent on crushing and suppressing.
Islam has its roots in Arian doctrines, not Catholicism; and yet many today wish to turn it round, and reverse this very historical fact. Constantine Porphyrogentinitus, the fourth emperor of the Byzantine Empire, wrote in the 10th century, in his Administrando Imperio, that
he [Muhammad] was believed because a certain Arain, who pretended to be a monk, testified falsely in his support for love of gain. (4)
John the Deacon also recounts an Arian origin to Islam:
The Saracens [Muslims] are intent and zealous to deny the divinity of the Word of God. On all sides, they array themselves against him, eager to show that he is neither God nor the Son of God. Indeed, it was only because their false prophet [Muhammad] was the disciple of an Arian that he gave them this godless and impious teaching. (5)
For the Catholic Church inventing Islam, we have no evidence. What we do have, however, are an abundance of ancient records of Catholics fighting Muslims, and Muslims striving to destroy Christendom and the Catholic Church, a goal which, to this day, they have not given up.
They contine to slaughter Christians every day, which is why you should donate to our rescue team to save Christian lives.
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(1) Theodore Abu Qurrah, Discerning the True Church, B164, trans. John C. Lamoreaux*
(2) *Ibid, B165-B166*
(3) *Refutations of the Saracens by Theodore Abu Qurrah, the Bishop of Haran, as Reported by John the Deacon, GK86-88, trans. John C. Lamoreaux*
(4) *Constantine Porphyrogentinitus, De Administrando Imperio, 14, trans. R.J.H. Jenkins, brackets mine*
(5) *Refutations of the Saracens by Theodore Abu Qurrah, the Bishop of Haran, as Reported by John the Deacon, GKh118, trans. John C. Lamoreaux*