Why Won’t the Church Use the G-Word?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/10/17/why-wont-the-church-use-the-g-word/

Religious leaders from the Pope to television evangelists keep insisting that Islam is a religion of peace. We are told that Islam advocates many of the same life-sustaining rules and ideas as Christianity and Judaism. That most Muslims are peace-loving, are children of God and want the same things out of life we do.

We are told that we have a religious duty … and an American duty … to open our hearts and our borders to Muslims fleeing from the violence that is tearing their national homes to shreds. We are told we should treat them with justice and charity.

Most people get that, but what so many church leaders are not confronting is a larger reality. While limiting our attention to individual acts of violence, we are missing Islam’s true intention:  genocide. “Genocide,” according to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, means “killing and certain acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

As you read this, a clear and obvious genocide is going on. In a time-honored and Quran-sanctioned method, Christians throughout the Mideast and across North Africa are being “put to the sword.” The ISIS Caliphate, although now reduced to a handful of all-but-destroyed cities, is the most dramatic example. For centuries, Christians and Muslims lived side by side in relative harmony. However, when the recent jihadist fever hit the area, Christians and Jews were targeted for “conversion or death.”

Contrary to the message coming from so many pulpits, Islam historically has not been a religion of peace. It was born out of military campaign and spread rapidly by means of the bloody sword. Thirteen centuries ago, almost immediately after its birth, Islam was divided into two warring sects, Sunnis and Shiites. That internal struggle for power continues to this day. It fuels the call to jihad, the call to martyrdom in the ranks of Isis and Al Qaeda. It is the call that today is transforming born-and-bred-in-England high school boys into Islamic terrorists.

The counterfactual, sentimental view of Islam has not only distorted its true nature as a force in the world, it is promoting a false understanding of the history of other religions. For example, ask a Catholic what he thinks of medieval Christian Crusaders? If he or she has any understanding of what was behind the Crusades, it will be something on the order of a foolish and mercenary adventure, masquerading as a religion-inspired cause, to brutally conquer the peace-loving Muslims of North Africa. The fact that the various crusades were religiously motivated campaigns to reclaim the Holy Land and to rescue enslaved Christians is, as we now say, “not part of the current narrative.”

Today, the West is the target of Muslim Crusaders. Today, Christians and Jews throughout Europe, North America, and particularly Africa are targets not merely of the desire for land or to take our wealth. The soldiers of Islam are not satisfied by acts of mass murder, like 9/11 or the Paris massacre. 

Not only are jihadists given a pass to murder, in some places it has become a high-paying job. In Israel, the PLO has instituted a program that goes by the name “pay-to-slay.” This year, on July 21, 19-year-old terrorist Omar al-Abed broke into the residence of a Jewish family in Halamish, a settlement in the West Bank, and proceeded to slaughter Yosef Salomon, his daughter Chaya, and his son Elad. For this the young terrorist was put on the payroll enabling him to earn up to $3,100 a month.

Much of what these jihadists are doing is worse than mere murder. Recent books by first-hand reporters overflow with mind-numbing stories, such as that of a Syrian Christian pastor refusing to convert to Islam and having to watch the crucifixion of his 12-year-old son, to be followed by his own crucifixion. Of Christian women, ripped from the arms of their helpless husbands and imprisoned in sex slave “detention centers” and raped at will by cadres of jihadists as often as forty or fifty times in a day. On our TV sets, we have witnessed on a beach in Libya the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. And the kidnapping and sexual enslavement of 276 Nigerian school girls by Isis-related Boko Haram into sexual slavery.

These religious and often state-sponsored atrocities are all part of a real-time genocide. It is being done by friends and enemies. Egypt, our ally and annual recipient of billions of dollars of aid, turns its back on the daily oppression of its eight million Copts and the burning and desecration of their churches. Saudi Arabia, a fabulously wealthy nation that just weeks ago belatedly entered the Twentieth Century and announced its intention to permit its women to drive, is another example. As a nation, we have turned our backs on the Saudis’ exporting of Wahhabism, the most virulent and dangerous form of Islam.

Our church leaders need to realize that those in their congregations can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can treat individual Muslims with charity and respect and at the same time have a realistic grasp of Islam’s “convert or die” dogma. Instead of using the pulpit to promote the lie that Islam is, like Christianity and Judaism, a religion of peace, they should be warning us that Islam is a take-no-prisoners religion that is in no way desirous of co-existing with non-Muslims. Islam’s leaders are teaching their people that the only success will be complete conquest on the non-Islamic world.

Our churches need to get over our paralysis. Instead of being self-conscious and downplaying efforts at conversation, we need a different strategy … and a stronger will. 

What should a Christian’s game plan for Muslims be?

We need to convert them. Thereby saving them and saving ourselves.

 

Kevin Ryan is a Boston University emeritus professor and Marilyn Ryan is a political scientist and writer.  The Ryans live in Brookline. Read their past columns here.

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