Abu Mazen

Daniel Mauch. Two Popes, a Bishop, a Canon, and 7 Monks in Prayer (c.1505). Louvre, Paris.

We are too accustomed to prefacing the word scandal with the modifier sex. We lose sight of scandal’s insidious range. What we  witness in Sunday’s carnival of prayer at the Vatican is scandal of a different stripe: the abuse of prayer. Israeli President Peres, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (nom de guerre Abu Mazen) will meet in the Vatican garden. Imams will read selectively from the Quran, rabbis will read from the Tanakh. Christians will flourish the New Testament. All will conspire to ignore the elephant in the topiary: Islam—and Islam alone—contains a theological imperative to violence.buy Continue Reading