Religion & Liberty Online

Samuel Gregg reviews ‘Islam: Menace or Challenge?’

In his new book, “L’Islam: menace ou défi?” (“Islam: Menace or Challenge?”), Bishop Dominique Rey addresses how Catholics in Europe can best respond to the growth of Islam throughout the continent. While Rey lays out various manifestations of Islam in the book, he chooses to focus mainly on Christianity rather than Islam, writes Samuel Gregg at The Catholic World Report. “Rey is more concerned with how Catholics respond to Islam’s growth throughout Europe.” Islam’s presence in Europe offers Catholics a pressing opportunity to formulate an apologetic for their faith, argues Rey.

As Muslim communities in Europe continue to expand, Europe faces inevitable questions concerning religious liberty, immigration policy, and integration. In order for these issues to be debated productively and tactfully, Catholics should dig into the history of Catholicism in France, as well as arrive at an understanding of how to live out their Catholic faith. The goal here “isn’t to claim a type of preeminence for the Church in French life, let alone political-privileges,” explains Gregg. Rather, the objective is to “help Muslims understand the society into which they must integrate.” Rey encourages Catholics to embrace their faith without seeing their Catholicism and national identity as being one and the same, encouraging Catholics in Europe to take their faith seriously.

“Canonizing religious relativism is in the interests of no-one who cares about truth,” concludes Gregg. “That is the lesson that Catholics can offer France and Europe in the face of Islam, if they choose to do so.” 

Read the full book review: “Looking into the Mirror of Islam.”

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.