Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Catholics Then, Muslims Now

This is a bit of a rarity... an op ed piece from the New York Times worth bothering with. In the face of the recent hysteria over an anti Muslim film produced in the US, it might be useful to look closely at where this sort of thing comes from. There is a long history of anti Catholicism in the US. I am not talking about the recent fashionable trend in intellectual circles but the sort of greeting Irish immigrants met with when they got off the boat in the 19th century. 

There has always been a significant nativist sentiment in the US. In 1844 there was a series of riots and attacks on Catholic churches in Philadelphia which resulted in the destruction of two churches and numerous deaths and injuries. This sort of violence perpetrated against Catholics occurred in a number of cities throughout the 1830's and 1840's.

This nativist sentiment has never entirely disappeared from the scene and can be seen in the deliberate targeted provocation of the recent film. 

 This famous Thomas Nast  cartoon illustrates the prevailing attitude.


Barona said...

Excellent post. I am trying to determine if, what are moderate Muslims trying to do, given the narrative has bee - as usually is the case - been taken over by the "Squeaky Wheel". We do not hear anything from (e.g.)
Islamic clerics denouncing the violence across the Middle East. Now, this might well be that the liberal media _ as Tarek Fatah has said - only consults those Muslims wearing "appropriate" Islamic garb.

We may well be at a point in which moderate Muslims have lost. The phenomena of hysterical Moslem haters adds to the fires that these men stoke: "see, they hate us...". And in this, these dark age clerics cease control of the streets.

Freyr said...

There was one sentence that troubled me... In the years after World War I, Catholic radicals carried out a deadly wave of terrorist attacks in the United States.

This refers to the famous case of Sacco and Vanzetti who were Italian anarchists. Significantly both of them refused the offer of a priest prior to their execution.