Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The War on Terrorism is Not a War on Islam!

A few years back, a newly-married couple invited me to visit with them. She was a devoted Christian, one who'd grown up in the Church. He was not only "unchurched," as the label puts it, but had never even set foot in a church.

We went through the initial pleasantries as people do when first getting to know one another. Then the wife told me that in all honesty, her husband had some real problems with the Church.

"So do I," I told him. "You give me your list first."

"I don't like the way the Church goes around bombing abortion clinics," he told me.

The perception of this otherwise intelligent man was that all Christians lit fuses to blow up abortion clinics.

It seems to me that this kind of religious ignorance is what lay behind the inflammatory comments of Congressman Tom Tancredo and the responses of those Americans likely to support them and the young Muslims around the world apt to see Tancredo's comments as confirmation of their worst feelings about America. Most Muslims in the world don't know Christians and most Christians don't know Muslims; so, they become prey for caricatures.

Americans who support Tancredo's irresponsible comments show that they've been suckered into Osama bin Laden's lies. In spite of repeated repudiation of him from responsible Muslim clerics the world over, bin Laden has called his campaign of terror an Islamic holy war. But he no more represents Islam than abortion clinic bombers represent Christians or the IRA represents Roman Catholicism.

The multifaceted effort to crush what has been called Islamofascism--a weird philosophy that uses a great world religion as an excuse to advance nihilism and dictatorship--is not a religious war. The United States is, after all, a multicultural nation whose population includes many peace-loving, freedom-loving Muslims who daily make contributions to the common good, including those serving in our military. The war on terrorism is a war on a demonic ideology, akin to Hitler's Nazi movement.

As a Christian, I freely admit that I would like the whole world to know and follow Jesus Christ. But that can never happen by coercion--military or otherwise. What I want and what I believe America at its best has always stood for, is a world at such peace and enjoying such freedom that all are free to choose their own spiritual paths.

Bin Laden wouldn't agree with this, of course; but he doesn't speak for world Islam.

With his comments, Tom Tancredo has given bin Laden a ton more recruits, young Muslims who believe that America really is hostile to Islam. In so doing, the congressman has damaged the war on terrorism, given aid and comfort to the enemy, and endangered every American soldier, sailor, and Marine.

7 comments:

Tamar said...

"Most Muslims in the world don't know Christians and most Christians don't know Muslims; so, they become prey for caricatures."

Mark, so important what you say here. In fact, we all know so little about one another that we are all prey for caricatures all of the time. Somehow people feel safe when they are categorizing and labelling others - deluded into thinking the unknown is somehow known.

Mark Daniels said...

Tamar:
Thank you for dropping by my site and for leaving your comments.

Your comment surfaces a reason I enjoy blogs: It exposes me to ideas, cultures, and beliefs that I might not otherwise encounter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people having strong beliefs. But unless we make some effort to understand those who hold to markedly different ones from our own, our belief systems are shaky house of cards, at best.

Thanks again, Tamar!

Mark

AJStrata said...

I agree with you 100% and said just about the same thing myself.

But I dropped by to invite you to a cool carnival

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/365

Amillennialist said...

"It seems to me that this kind of religious ignorance is what lay behind the inflammatory comments of Congressman Tom Tancredo and the responses of those Americans likely to support them and the young Muslims around the world apt to see Tancredo's comments as confirmation of their worst feelings about America."

It may be true that some "young Muslims around the world" are ignorant of the West, but it is much more likely that Rep. Tancredo's comments are based on a greater knowledge of Islam than you seem to possess.

"Most Muslims in the world don't know Christians and most Christians don't know Muslims; so, they become prey for caricatures."

That may be true for some people, but that doesn't mean that one must be ignorant of Islam to vigorously oppose it. In fact, the more one gets to know the Qur'an and Hadith, the more one should oppose it.

"Americans who support Tancredo's irresponsible comments show that they've been suckered into Osama bin Laden's lies. In spite of repeated repudiation of him from responsible Muslim clerics the world over, bin Laden has called his campaign of terror an Islamic holy war."

Your use of words like "irresponsible," "suckered," and "lies" shows you have never read the Qur'an.

"But he no more represents Islam than abortion clinic bombers represent Christians or the IRA represents Roman Catholicism."

If you define a religion by its scriptures, then bin Laden absolutely represents Islam, since Allah commands the faithful to fight non-Muslims until "all religion is for Allah."

When Christians do the things you describe, they violate Christ's commands, not fulfill them.

"The multifaceted effort to crush what has been called Islamofascism--a weird philosophy that uses a great world religion as an excuse to advance nihilism and dictatorship...."

I would respectfully suggest you study the Qur'an, Islam's history, and terms like "taqiyya," "kitman," and "dhimmi." What you describe is exactly Qur'anic Islam.

"The United States is, after all, a multicultural nation whose population includes many peace-loving, freedom-loving Muslims who daily make contributions to the common good, including those serving in our military."

That is absolutely true. It is a false dichotomy to argue that telling the truth about the Qur'an, the Hadith, and Islam's history is to claim that all Muslims are terrorists, etc.

"The war on terrorism is a war on a demonic ideology, akin to Hitler's Nazi movement."

That is absolutely true. Islam was a partner with Nazism during World War II in persecuting and killing Jews.

The ironic part of your statement is that the "demonic ideology" to which you refer is that which is commanded in the Qur'an and which has been practiced with varying degrees of zeal around the world over the last 1400 years.

"As a Christian, I freely admit that I would like the whole world to know and follow Jesus Christ. But that can never happen by coercion--military or otherwise."

And that is an important difference between Islam and Christianity. Christ's people are commanded to use love to persuade others (in the form of words and good deeds); Allah commands the conversion, submission, or killing of non-Muslims to make the world Islam.

"What I want and what I believe America at its best has always stood for, is a world at such peace and enjoying such freedom that all are free to choose their own spiritual paths."

Yes, but the path of Islam, when practiced according to the Qur'an and Hadith, will result in the death of non-Muslims unwilling to submit to Islam.

"Bin Laden wouldn't agree with this, of course; but he doesn't speak for world Islam."

Who does? Does Mohammed? Sura 9:5 commands, "...kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Sura 9:29 dictates that Muslims must, "Fight the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] until they feel themselves subdued and pay the jizya." Sura 8:39 requires that the faithful fight, "...until all religion is for Allah."

"With his comments, Tom Tancredo has given bin Laden a ton more recruits, young Muslims who believe that America really is hostile to Islam. In so doing, the congressman has damaged the war on terrorism, given aid and comfort to the enemy, and endangered every American soldier, sailor, and Marine."

No doubt Tancredo's comments will encourage some Muslims toward Jihad, but it is doubtful they would have otherwise refrained from fighting for Allah.

Arguing for the most extreme response for the most extreme attack against our nation is hardly treason.

Mark Daniels said...

AJ:
Thank you for the invitation. I hope to participate in the blogging discussion.

Amillennialist: Thank you for your comments. My response is simply this: Irrespective of the attitudes of the Islamofascists, it should never be the policy of the government of the United States to make war on any religion. Period.

God bless!

Mark

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

As an American Jew I'm aware of and alarmed by the threat posed by jihadist fanatics. However, I wish to correct Amillenialist's comment, "Islam was a partner with Nazism during World War II in persecuting and killing Jews." This was not true in Morocco (I do not know about other Islamic countries.) Morocco, as a French protectorate, fell to the Nazis in 1940, but the sultan refused to sign anti-Jewish legislation. An estimated 300,000 Moroccan Jews were protected during World War II. The only Christian country that I know of that did anything similar was Denmark, which had a much small Jewish population.

Mark Daniels said...

Richard:
Thank you for that helpful historical comment.

Mark