1. Most Discussed
  2. Gainers & Losers

Killing Christians: The underreported story of Isl

  1. Snooker

    5,748 posts.
    Killing Christians: The underreported story of Islamist violence around the world

    http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com

    ON OCTOBER 17, bombs killed 6 people and wounded 143 in Zamboanga, the Philippines. While press accounts mentioned in passing that the victims were Christians, few conveyed to the reader that these were people assaulted by Muslim extremists because of their religion. On September 25, militant Muslims shot dead 7 Christian Pakistanis execution style in Karachi. Most of the media failed to report this at all, though it was at least the fifth bloody attack on Christians in Pakistan in the last twelve months.

    And the media almost never point out that Christians are being killed, often at places of worship, in several countries with Islamic majorities or governments, not because they are Westerners or Americans (many are neither) but because they are Christians. Nor is the White House or Congress nearly as attentive--to put it mildly--to this pattern of killing as it is to any injury on either side of the conflict in Israel.

    People who follow international news are aware that a civil war raged in Ethiopia for more than 30 years. But few realize that it was a religious war--between Muslim Eritrea and Christian Ethiopia--in which tens of thousands perished. Many know that the people of East Timor were savaged, but it is rarely mentioned that most East Timorese are Christian, while the Indonesian militants who killed many of them and brutalized the refugees in West Timor are Muslim. Indeed, Christians in other parts of Indonesia have hardly fared better; for instance, thousands died during riots in the Moluccan Islands in 2000.

    The bloody war in the Sudan, similarly, pits the Muslim government in the North against the Christian and animist South. And in Nigeria, as Muslims try to impose a strict version of the legal code called sharia in several provinces, armed conflicts between Muslims and Christians have erupted and thousands have died. Just lately, in the Ivory Coast, Muslims in the North have been attacking Christians in the South. On a smaller scale but very much along the same lines, scores of Coptic Christians were killed in Egypt in January 2000; several churches were burned in Kenya the following year.

    It seems somehow inflammatory to point to the religious element of these and many other conflicts. Nearly every day, meanwhile, some scholar assures us that Islam is a peaceable and loving religion. What is going on here?

    From the beginning, Islam drew a distinction between Christians and Jews and other non-Muslims. The former were "people of the book." They had to pay special taxes and wear identifying clothing, yet their status reflected a certain respect for what Muslims saw as the earlier but incomplete and corrupted revelation recorded in the Bible. In the modern period, Christians and Jews are typically called Kuffr, or infidels. In countries under strict sharia, apostasy is a capital crime, and in the minds of extremists like Osama bin Laden, infidels too deserve death. While Muslim societies differ widely in their levels of tolerance, pluralism, and religious freedom, full respect for Christianity is virtually absent.

    This matter came up last spring at a conference held by Iranian reformers in Isfahan. The gathering brought together a number of Islamic and Western intellectuals in opposition to the thesis advanced by Samuel Huntington of Harvard University that Western and Islamic civilizations are bound to clash. During his presentation, Ebrahim Moosa, an imam from South Africa now teaching at Duke University, urged that Islam be recast so as to accommodate liberal attitudes. He stressed the need for three changes: recognition of women's equality with men; toleration of capitalism; and recognition of the full dignity and humanity of nonbelievers. But we are still waiting to hear from many other Muslim leaders as to whether they wish to move Islam in this direction.

    The White House has solid tactical reasons for stating and restating that our fight is only with terrorists, not Muslims. We must face the fact, however, that while the prophet has many moderate followers, the terrorists command great sympathy in the Islamic world not only because Islamic populations are anti-American or anti-Western, but also because the terrorists are attacking infidels. An elderly Afghan freed from detention at Guantanamo last week made a telling statement to a Washington Post reporter: "The Americans treated me well, but they were not Muslims, so I didn't like them."
    It is true that other religions have passed through violent and intolerant phases. And it is possible that moderate interpretations of Islam may again come to predominate. But we shall be unable to recognize and foster that development if we refuse to acknowledge that the violence currently erupting in many parts of the Islamic world is aimed not simply at the political and economic leadership of the West but also at its Judeo-Christian tradition. When Christians and Jews are no longer characterized as Kuffr, we shall know we have turned a corner.

DISCLAIMER:
Before making any financial decisions based on what you read, always consult an advisor or expert.

The HotCopper website is operated by Report Card Pty Ltd. Any information posted on the website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and as such, you should before acting on the information or advice, consider the appropriateness of the information or advice in relation to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please be aware that any information posted on this site should not be considered to be financial product advice.

From time to time comments aimed at manipulating other investors may appear on these forums. Posters may post overly optimistic or pessimistic comments on particular stocks, in an attempt to influence other investors. It is not possible for management to moderate all posts so some misleading and inaccurate posts may still appear on these forums. If you do have serious concerns with a post or posts you should report a Terms of Use Violation (TOU) on the link above. Unless specifically stated persons posting on this site are NOT investment advisors and do NOT hold the necessary licence, or have any formal training, to give investment advice.

Top