First interview – The Whole Truth about the Qurʾān
Brother Michel-Marie: Brother Bruno, to begin the first of our three talks, here are two texts: the paragraph devoted to Islam, in Point 6 of our 150 Points, and the paragraph on Islam of the decree Nostra Aetate on the Church’s relations with non-Christian religions, adopted at the Second Vatican Council. Which of these texts can best introduce us to this religion?
“Point 6. [...] Islam. The author of the Qurʾān diverted the Covenant made with Abraham from its historical beneficiary, Isaac, in favour of Ishmael, and thereby emptied it of its Davidic Messianism. His fundamentally anti-Trinitarian “monotheism,” disregards the Redemption wrought by Jesus Christ.
“This is why the Phalangist considers that this false religion has no rights. He will advocate no understanding or collaboration with it, but merely a circumstantial toleration for the benefits of peace.”
Now, the paragraph of the decree Nostra Ætate of the Second Vatican Council:
“The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honour Mary, His Virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgement when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
“Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.”●
Brother Michel-Marie: Brother, what do you have to say about these texts?
Brother Bruno: These two texts proceed from two antagonistic Spirits!
The first text, which is our own composition, is a summary of my lifelong work as a disciple of Father de Nantes. It all began when I entered the seminary and learned oriental languages. The text results from a “Christian reading” of the Qurʾān, that is, a scientific reading, using the same methods that we do when we read the Bible. It is therefore legitimate. It is also charitable! That is to say, it is concerned with truth; in the search for the meaning of the text first of all, and the author’s thought, a search as far from nasty polemics as it is from flattery to solicit everyone, Muslims, Jews and Christians, to hear this truth, as would a disciple of Father de Nantes: “with honour and loyalty, with a view to reaching the unique and pure Truth in which all are called to assemble, finally united, in the same worship and the same love” of the true living God.●
The paragraph on Islam in Nostra Ætate, on the other hand, is not at all produced by this Spirit. It is based on an a priori, and therefore is not at all scientific: the Church, which has been “missionary” ever since the Pentecost, now seeks to establish a dialogue! The text is born of an ideology of conciliation: the Church abandons the idea of converting Muslims to be able to “dialogue” with them in order to conquer the world to a “new humanism” defined by the Second Vatican Council. This text is therefore an “unreserved praise of Islam,” according to our Father’s expression. Let us note that this text paradoxically confirms our “Christian reading” of the Qurʾān but, at the same time, it masks the truth about the Muslim world and the Qurʾān.
Father de Foucauld’s judgement on this Muslim world is beyond question. He was a saint who devoted his whole life to it. He expresses a truth that is part of our daily experience today: “The outward appearances of this Muslim world are attractive. They are attractive like people whom you see from a distance when they are wearing make-up and are covered in tawdry rags. Look more closely, and you will see that they are horrors.”●
As for the truth about the Qurʾān, this is where the mystification lies! The decree Nostra Ætate hints at its kinship with the Bible: “the Muslims adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth.” These are all words that we read in the Bible, so this clearly proves that they have been transposed from their original Hebrew into Arabic. They are thus true and inspired.
But the text adds “[…] who has spoken to men.” Ah?! What men? This is left unsaid, so as to make room for Muḥammad. Yet if we had to answer the question, we would have to say: God did not speak “to men,” but to a man: Abraham, from whom He brought forth a whole people! Then God spoke to his descendants: Moses, David, and the prophets. This is the beginning of Genesis, of the whole of Sacred History, in chapter 12, verse 1: “Yahweh said to Abraham…” He spoke to Abraham! If there had been a tape recorder, what He said could have been recorded! “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” This is the beginning.
But afterwards, what was to come of these words? What did God intend to do? What more did He have to say? Nostra Aetate goes no further! Well, God intended to make a Covenant! That is the truth!
Brother Michel-Marie: It is this paragraph from Nostra Ætate that is the charter for our relations with Islam: we find there the exact attitude of the Holy Father recently in Abu Dhabi and Marrakech, for the building of a more fraternal world with Muslims.
Brother Bruno: More fraternal than with the Christians? This is precisely where the absolutely outrageous and senseless mystification lies! To stop at Abraham, the ‘common denominator’ without ending with Jesus Christ, nor with His divine Mother, is to outrage God by denying the Trinity of the three Persons, a denial which, moreover, is explicit in the Qurʾān.
This is foolish, because Islam still continues to claim religious and political supremacy, based on a supposed divine revelation that would be specifically its own. And our leaders consent to Islam claiming this divine revelation in this way; I had a professor of Arabic at the Catho,● Father Mubarac, who believed it... whereas the scientific truth, that is to say, the exact translation of the text shows what we write in our Point 6, namely that: “the author of the Qurʾān diverted to the benefit of Ishmael the historical Covenant made with Abraham in favour of Isaac,” and of the One he prefigures, the coming Messiah.
But the Council’s ‘experts’ did not read the texts. They therefore lent themselves to this “founding robbery” that our Point 6 denounces, by placing Islam in the History of the unique Religion of the Covenant, as a fulfilment of the Revelation of God, whereas it is its appropriation! This is the great discovery that I made: God reveals Himself to Abraham, as we said earlier. He promises him a land and countless descendants, and makes a Covenant with him: “On that day Yahweh made a Covenant with Abraham, saying: ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.’ ” (The Book of Genesis 15:18) He promises him the Promised Land, of Canaan. And the following chapters tell how Abraham first understood that these promises would be fulfilled by his son Ishmael, who was born to him of Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid, because Sarah was barren. Thus we see Abraham saying to God: “Oh! Let Ishmael live before Your Face!” (Gn 17:18). God, however, answers him: “No, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son whom you are to name Isaac. I will establish My Covenant with him, as a perpetual alliance, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.” And “as for Ishmael, I have heard you,” therefore God did not absolutely reject Ishmael, “I bless him and I will make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly. […] Yet My Covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you.”
So, the author of the Qurʾān takes advantage of this promise of ‘compensation’ in favour of Ishmael to make God say: “We have made a Covenant with Abraham and Ishmael” (Q 2:125) before attributing to Abraham this exclamation: “Master, sanctify him as a faithful child” (Q 2:126) which is the copy of verse 18 of Genesis chapter 17. You see: the author of the Qurʾān has his finger on the text of Sacred Scripture, like me at this moment: there is no divine revelation other than this one, except that in the Qurʾānic passage Isaac is not even named!
It is a robbery, a phenomenal, radical subversion, unprecedented in the entire history of humanity, and it is an unprecedented revolution that strips a fortiori Christians – the children of God “like Isaac” as Saint Paul explains to the Galatians – of the “adoptive filiation”. Ga 4:28
Brother Michel-Marie: And the logical consequence of this “stripping” is therefore to abolish the Davidic Messianism of God’s Covenant with Israel, as the end of our paragraph states?
Brother Bruno: Yes: if Israel is not the Chosen People, then salvation does not come from the Jews, therefore not from Jesus Christ, but from the Arabs. Moreover, a careful reading of the text reveals a certain number of devices employed by the author of the Qurʾān to erase the divine character of Jesus, to strip Him of His role as Messiah, which he is aware of thanks to the Gospels! But his aim is precisely to refute the Gospels. All this is done skilfully, deliberately!
For example, by changing the Name of Jesus to ʿīsā by inverting the two consonants “aïn” and “shīn” in the Hebrew yéshūʿa. Deprived of the etymological meaning of His Name, “Yahweh saves,” Jesus is no longer the Saviour, the Son of God.●
On the other hand, Jesus is very often referred to as the “Son of Mary”: but this serves to erase “Son of David” and “Son of the Most High” from the Gospels.●
Brother Michel-Marie: This is the continuation of our point 6: “his fundamentally anti-Trinitarian ‘monotheism’ disregards the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ.” If Jesus is not the Messiah Saviour, what is He in the Qurʾān?
Brother Bruno: “Jesus, son of Mary” is a ‘righteous man’ who comes after Moses, but as a simple commentator of Moses, and who gives “understanding” of Scripture. This is the Gospel, for the author. The words of Jesus, or of the Apostles, about His divinity are well known to the author since he declares them ‘extrapolations’ of the disciples. Like our modernists today! And the mystery of Redemption is cleverly contradicted by the author by denying the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross replacing it by the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament!
An example sums up the author’s intention: ‘the Cow,’ ʾal-baqara. This is the title of Sūrah 2. It is the return to the Mosaic liturgy in which the sacred cow was reduced to ashes and with these ashes a ritual purification was made. Nb 19:2 In Sūrah 2, this “cow” is “pierced and hung;” its “function is to be punished for those who are looking on.” (Q 2 70) This is a sacrilege! It is copied from Saint John: this “cow” replaces our Jesus pierced and hung on the Cross for our salvation. “They looked on Him Whom they have pierced.” (Jn 19:37●)
Brother Michel-Marie: Thank you, Brother Bruno, for this flood of light that situates Islam in the context of our divine orthodromy! But since it is not an authentic revelation, what is it?
Brother Bruno: It is what Saint John Damascene called “the heresy of the Ishmaelites.” Our works are absolutely conform with those of this Father of the Church, a contemporary of the beginnings of Islam: they recognise that, at the beginning of the 7th century, Islam is the formidable heresy of a religious genius, a powerful man of action, far superior to Luther. His intention was to provoke a return to the “perfect” religion, al-ʾislam, which was that of Abraham, to whom God said: “Walk before Me, and be perfect!” (Gn 17:1) It is the same word, taken from the Targum, the Aramaic translation of the Bible, where it is written: haweī šelīm, “be perfect,” which the author of the Qurʾān has transcribed as ʾaslim.
It is also the religion of both Moses, who brought “Scripture and Law,” that is to say, the Torah, and Jesus, who gave “understanding” of it in the “Gospel.”
For after Jesus, Jews and Christians, he claims, – yet, what is extraordinary is that it is indeed true, – introduced “changes” – these are technical words that I explain in detail. The former did so to invoke the tradition of Moses against Christians, and the latter to say that Jesus is the Son of God fulfilling the Scriptures. Then they began to wage a merciless war against each other.
As a remedy for this war, the author wants to abolish Judaism and Christianity and bring everyone back to the only authentic Abrahamic tradition, which according to him passes through Ishmael.
Brother Michel-Marie: This author, who is he, or at least who does he claim to be?
Brother Bruno: It’s difficult... Our Father liked to describe him as a “large-tented Himyarite.” According to our hypothesis, he was an Arab from the South, from the cradle of a very ancient civilisation, in Yemen, literate, having received the finest education in the best Jewish and Christian schools. He was an apostate Christian; he imbued with all of Holy Scripture! We have formed a solid hypothesis on this subject; he was perhaps a former monk.
In any case, the text reveals a man who presents himself as the successor of Moses in that he is going to lead the Arabs to reconquer Jerusalem, like Joshua, to lead them in an assault on the Promised Land, at the time of the Persian invasion in 614. In fact, the Arabs allied themselves with the Persians against the Byzantines. He also presents himself as the successor of Jesus, in whom he sees the model of the “prophet of peace,” a figure that announces the true “beloved,” that is to say himself, the author: “muḥammadun.”
This is where the name Muḥammad comes from, and the whole legend surrounding Muḥammad comes from this word that appears once in the Qurʾān. The term muḥammadun means “the man of predilections” according to the expression of the prophet Daniel in the Bible (Dn 9:23●) the object of God’s favour, who came to fulfil the plan of salvation of the “God of deliverances,” as announced by the initials “ALM” that introduce Sūrah 2. The “deliverance” consists in ascending to Jerusalem at the head of the Arabs on pilgrimage, more precisely in an “armed band,” jahada, to drive out the Christian Byzantines and reconstruct the Temple of Jerusalem on the Abrahamic foundations. For tradition places the Temple on the mountain where Abraham was going to offer Isaac in sacrifice. For us Christians, it is the announcement of Jesus’ sacrifice, but for the author of the Qurʾān, it was the return to Abraham to re-establish the “perfect” religion; neither Jewish nor Christian: Muslim!●
Brother Michel-Marie: You said jahada?
Brother Bruno: Yes: jahada means “gathered in a band,” for a troupe. That too is a discovery, but it is linguistic. The author leads his followers as Joshua led the Hebrews to conquer the Promised Land, to drive out the “idolaters” and “apostates” who are the Christians.
Brother Michel-Marie: Those who say that there are “three gods”?
Brother Bruno: Yes: “never say ‘three’ ” (Q 4:171) ... drive them out and kill them “wherever you catch them,” wherever they resist – this is in the book, absolutely! This is to be done so as not to be seduced by error, but to destroy it!● This declaration of war is quite explicit.
Brother Michel-Marie: Is that what jihad is all about?
Brother Bruno: Jihad, that’s what it is. We translate it as “holy war,” because to resist it, there were the Crusades, which were holy wars, but here, they were armed bands.
Brother Michel-Marie: The jihad is not a holy war?
Brother Bruno: No, except that, in the beginning, its aim was to conquer Jerusalem.
Brother Michel-Marie: Clearly, Brother Bruno: the Qurʾān is therefore absolutely not God’s ultimate revelation after the Torah and the Gospel, as the Muslims claim!
Brother Bruno: Obviously not, since it has been copied from them. The Qurʾān is based on Jewish and Christian wisdom, of which its author is imbued, but turned against Christ; in the end, it is antichrist, denying the divinity of Jesus Christ.
In fact, the term qurʾān refers to the biblical verses that the author makes use of. The qur’ân is the Bible! And at the beginning, the author presents his “book,” ḏalika-l-kitāb, “this book.” (Q 2:2) Thus, we must make a clear distinction: what we call, “the Qurʾān,” and which we endeavour to translate, is this kitāb or, as we would say today, it is like a “Phalangist’s” “logbook.”
Brother Michel-Marie: a jihadist’s logbook?
Brother Bruno: A jihadist’s logbook, yes, precisely; it is the logbook of this muhammadun in which he exposes the plan that he intends to execute, a plan that he believes to be directly inspired by God, in the light of the true “proclamation” of the Torah and the Gospel, the original proclamation, which the Christians and Jews have falsified.
Islam has completely lost the history of its origins; this is what we are discovering as we endeavour to translate the text. A whole fanciful legend, about the story of Muḥammad, which came afterwards, has been substituted for this true history. And yet, the Qurʾān retains a strength that is astonishing, because it bears the full strength of the biblically inspired Word on which it is based.
As a true son of Father of Foucauld, our Father, Georges de Nantes, wanted to give the true qur’ân back to the Muslims, and in consequence the Holy Scripture from which it was drawn and which is revealed by a true translation of the text on scientific bases. Such a translation brings us back to the source of true Revelation, that of the Living God, to Holy Scripture, the Word of the Lord!
At the hour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s choosing, this scientific translation will be a providential instrument of a new missiology that will easily conquer these abused Muslims. Instead of flattering them and leaving them with the conviction that Islam is the ultimate revelation of God, they will have the Revelation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and they will espouse this marvellous devotion. But for this to happen, we will have to be ready to explain to them what we have just said in a few words. And it is not they who will have the mission to dominate the universe as they still believe today, it will be the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
This is what we will address in our next two talks, God willing!
Father Georges de Nantes, Auto-da-fé, He Is Risen 69c
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Afterword of Volume I, p. 329 et seq.
Charles de Foucauld, Missionary Monk and Martyr, He Is Risen, no. 69.
Institut catholique de Paris: that students familiarly refer to as “the Catho” is a private Catholic University located in Paris composed of academic faculties, institutes, schools of management.
The Epistle to the Galatians 4:8
“Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.”
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary. Volume II, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Q 2:87, “Jesus”, p. 224.]] .
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary. Volume II, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Q 2:87, pp. 225-226
The Book of Numbers 19:2
“This is the statute of the law that Yahweh has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and upon which a yoke has never come.”
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary. Volume I, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, pp. 305-306
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary. Volume II, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Q 3:144, p. 120 sq.
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Afterword to Volume 2, p. 303 sq. and, in the same volume, the appendix devoted to Muḥammad.
The Qurʾān, Translation and Systematic Commentary. Volume II, Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, Q 2:190-195