I must admit that I’m somewhat surprised to see some people making a meal the sight of Sayeeda Warsi cosying up to the Pope and buying wholesale into the Catholic Church’s absurd rhetorical attacks on so-called ‘militant secularism’.
Warsi is, of course a Muslim, and its this – and this alone – which seems to have thoroughly perplexed some people largely, one suspects, because their thinking on the nature of the relationship between Catholicism and Islam runs no further than the Crusades.
In focussing solely on historical enmities, what these people are failing to see is that Catholicism and Islam have more in common than just monotheism.
In purely political terms Islam is a totalitarian theocratic ideology in which there is absolutely no concept of secularism whatsoever. Within Islam, religion and the state are one and the same thing and there is no civil or secular law and indeed no such thing as civil society. Religion is everything and rules every single aspect of Islamic life and culture.
As for Catholicism, although it may pay lip service to Matthew 22:20-21
And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
… it also to be remembered that the Catholic Church is not just a church. It is also the last remaining institution of the Western Roman Empire and, indeed, some historians would argue that it is the Western Roman Empire, or rather what the Western Empire evolved into following the collapse of its civil and political institutions in the 5th century.
Catholicism is, consequently, no less totalitarian in outlook than Islam. The concept of Christendom was, and is, nothing more than a theological variation on the old Imperium Romanum and, as such, we should hardly been surprised to see two representatives of notionally opposing totalitarian ideologies – Sayeeda Warsi and the Pope – finding common cause against a common enemy, which isn’t just secularism but also liberty itself.
It’s happened before, and within living memory – remember the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?