It’s all fun and games until Muslims decide to destroy a neighborhood shrine, and kick the little plaster statue of Mary down the street.
And steal the photo of a family member that a guy had with him while praying.
And pee all over the shrine area and the harmless little statue.
The whole point of Italy’s neighborhood chapels and shrines (already an old custom in St. Francis of Assisi’s time) is that anybody can stop by these tiny places for prayer or quiet, and the whole neighborhood takes care of them voluntarily. Many are hundreds of years old, some over a thousand years old. Some are indoors, some are outdoors. They hurt nobody and cost no public money.
In this case, it’s a lot more recent. In 2000, a previously vacant and abandoned lot – a depressing eyesore near high-rise apartment buildings without green space – was bought and turned into a tiny park, garden, and outdoor chapel by local Catholic parishioners. The “Parco della Maddonnina” (Little Madonna Park) was then made available to everyone for walks, playground sports, board games, reflection, and prayer, at the price of absolutely free. It brought up property values and made the locality a better place to live and work.
So yeah, they have just insulted the entire neighborhood’s mom and kicked their puppy, not to mention threatening their kids.
The original story shows some neighborhood people saying a Rosary of reparation, praying for God to forgive the perpetrators of this and other outrages, and to turn their hearts toward Him instead of such nastiness and evil. They also did a lot of cleanup, bought new statues, and basically worked hard to make the shrine and park presentable again.
The moral of the story is that although some Muslims are drawn towards Christianity by Marian devotion, because “Miryam” is mentioned in the Quran and many ahadith records of tradition, this doesn’t apply to everybody; and Fulton Sheen was taking an optimistic point of view. Many of the ahadith are really twisted and jerkish (Mary as an androgynous person who impregnates herself, not as a true Virgin or example of womanhood), and some Muslims are eager to “support” Mary by destroying everything Marian they can get ahold of. Given that there’s even a strain of Islam that destroys tombs and graves of famous Muslims despite religious injunctions to visit and honor them, you really can’t expect some Muslims to respect anything.
And unfortunately, that means that we will have to take precautions, and expect tribulations and persecutions. Some Muslim people want to hurt us and make us sad or make us crawl. There is not a lot of pushback from Muslims of goodwill, and much of what is done is not done in a form acceptable to free people. (There’s a difference between accepting help from Muslims, versus Muslims who offer to “protect” us poor groveling helpless infidels. Accepting “protection” isn’t fitting, and has that tendency to turn on people, anyway.)
If anybody, citizen or not, doesn’t want to accept the social contract of normal life and normal civil law, and if such a person is taking active steps to destroy other people’s enjoyment of that social and governmental contract, we have to come down on them like a ton of bricks.
Muslims picketing the park or leaving the Islamic equivalent of Chick tracts?
Annoying but acceptable.
Muslims destroying everybody else’s stuff?
Not acceptable in any civilized country.