Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Speaking Truth to Jihad
The 14th century theologian, hesychastic monk, and for a long time Archbishop of Thessalonica, Gregory Palamas (canonized as a saint shortly after his death), one day in approximately 1355 was sailing on a ship on his travels when Muslim pirates attacked it and abducted those they did not kill -- among them, Gregory Palamas.
Palamas later wrote a letter in which he recounted many details of his kidnapping and subsequent interrogations by the Muslims. One particular quote stands out, speaking truth to jihad. Note: when he says "nation" he refers to the Caliphate, and Islam:
For this infidel and god-hated and all-abominable nation boasts that they have overcome the Romans on account of piety... God has delivered them unto a lascivious mind, passions and vices, so that they live shamefully and inhumanly and in a way hated by God ... they live by their bows and swords, rejoicing in enslavement, murder, raiding, looting, wantonness, adultery, sodomy. And not only do they indulge in such practices, but (O madness!) they think that God approves of them. This is my opinion concerning them, now that I know their ways more accurately.
"Gregory Palamas among the Turks and Documents of His Captivity as Historical Sources", G. Georgiades Arnakis, Speculum, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan., 1951), p. 106.