In a move of unprecedented celerity and international cooperation, the Summit Against Violent Extremism launched a worldwide counterattack on the recruiting methods and radicalization techniques used by the Islamic State and other extremists. Recognizing that the threat must be neutralized on all fronts, the summit presents a comprehensive approach, from building awareness through education, to destroying extremist narratives online with facts and larger counternarratives, to empowering community efforts to disrupt radicalization before the damage is done. Specific attention was given to the role of religious leaders. From the press release:
“The United States works with religious leaders and faith communities around the world to address both religious and non-religious causes of violence and extremism, including by working with religious leaders on projects emphasizing peace, tolerance, and coexistence at the community level and training religious leaders on outreach to at-risk youth.”
Apparently the 700 Club wants nothing to do with peace, tolerance, and coexistence, because Gordon Robertson (presumably Pat’s son) broadcasts pure hate on Fox networks, calling Islam a religion of war, calling the leader of ISIS a direct descendant of Muhammad, and calling on all Christians “to know the truth about Islam and be able to speak confidently regarding the issues of our day.”
Then they present “Islam: Religion of Peace or War,” forty pages of misinformation that would make the CIA proud. It attempts to blame Muhammad for the subjugation of women. In the book of Genesis, Abraham’s slave woman Hagar has no rights and is left to die, indicating that the subjugation of women is at least as old as Hebrew writing, thousands of years before Muhammad. It attempts to blame Muhammad for monomaniacal proselytization, despite the fact that Christians have been jailed, tortured, executed, and exiled from day one (circa 30 AD, 500 years before Muhammad) and still today prefer death to renouncing their faith.
Then, it attempts to hang the idea of holy war on Muhammad, because as everyone knows, the Canaanites just handed over the land of milk and honey. It’s true that early Muslims took control of vast sections of the fragmented Mediterranean region formerly known as the Roman Empire, but power vacuums attract power, and Islam was on the rise in that regard. And this alarmist misinformation pamphlet makes no mention of the fact that Christianity strikes back hard.
The term Crusade is based on the fact that warriors bore the cross, the symbol of Christianity, as their flag when they marched on Damascus and Jerusalem to kill the infidels, aka the locals. Also, there were fifteen crusades, spanning seven hundred years, and the reason they stopped was because colonialism powered up, and the battle for gold and souls turned global. None of this is important to tell the American Christians audience as context for the prominent role that war plays in the writings and tradition of Islam, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network, which produces The 700 Club. Instead, let’s play up the Antichrist angle.
First John 2:18 says, “As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists.” This appears to be a warning against heresy and the influence of heretics. CBN’s interpretation is that John is warning us against Muslims, which did not exist at the time. Either no one at CBN has read John, the only author in the bible who ever mentions “antichrist,” or they are deliberately misrepresenting the concept to stir up hatred against Muslims.
What do you think the reaction would be if a Muslim “religious leader” was on a major television network spreading lies and hatred for Christians by deliberately misinterpreting and misrepresenting his religious texts? Honestly, I just wanted to get Uni-vision working so I could watch Liga MX soccer, and this drooling warmonger was the only thing my antenna could pick up. Perhaps the United States should work with religious leaders and faith communities here at home to emphasize peace, tolerance and coexistence.
Categories: American Culture, History, War/Security, World
I have a post in the pipeline that disagrees with you strongly. I agree that historical arguments about Islam or Christianity being a religion of peace or a religion of war are nonsense and inaccurate. I also agree that whenever religious nutcases like Robertson or Krauthammer or Jindahl or the others who’ve said Islam is the problem, it certainly is very hard to take them seriously. Having said that, just because they’re idiots and their arguments are wrong, doesn’t mean their conclusions are.
All religions are to some extent anti-progress. Islam is especially so, and that’s the problem. Now, that has nothing to do with the basic tenets of the religion or what’s in the Koran or any of those silly debates, but rather is more about where the religion is in its life-cycle. Christianity was very anti-progress 600 years ago, indeed progress was considered a sin because you were supposed to be worrying about the next life rather than this one. As it matured, it has become softer and more accomodating (however strident the language of the 700 Club.) Islam is today where Christianity was 600 years ago–young, aggressive, inflexible and truculent. And that’s a problem.
To argue that it’s not Islam may be politically correct, but it’s empirically wrong–just look at the statistics of terrorist attacks in the name of religion–and it’s not very pragmatic. I get the idea of decoupling “terror” and “Islam.” Supposedly it will allow the emergence of a liberal, moderate Islamic mainstream that will disavow the terrorists and be more amenable to coexistence. Sadly, I’m afraid, that’s wishful thinking. The religion is just not mature enough to allow its adherents to do that.
So interesting post. Just wrong.
Even where “to emphasize peace, tolerance and coexistence” exists, it is no more than lip service to a necessary political correctness. For all three of the mono-theisms are at their foundation, in standing denial of the legitimacy of each other. So however unattractive Mr. Robertson may be, and he is, at least uncomfortably honest . . . except with himself!
The whole of Christianity is founded upon interpretation, called theology. And whether or not that all too human, intellectual process is itself valid, history as yet to judge. But when it does, I would expect gnashing of teeth all around from religious leaders representing all traditions.
Otherwise, I look forward to reading your post. You may have a difficult time proving that different religions follow the same trajectory. Marx was wrong about nations. H.G. Wells was wrong about civilizations. Every critic since ancient Greece has hypothesized a known trajectory for art, drama, literature, etc. And every single one has been proven wrong every single time. Still, it’s worth a shot, and if you can pull it off you’ll probably never have to work another day in your life.
Mr. Landbeck, if interpretation is not a valid intellectual process, then academia has conned centuries of bright young minds out of their time and money, and we should immediately set out to discover from whence all those academics are getting all their brilliant and profitable ideas. Certainly, it’s not perfect. Neither is every scientific hypothesis proven correct. But it has afforded us a greater understanding of ourselves and our world, and I for one do not expect history, which is itself a hybrid of scientific method and the method of critical thinking known as interpretation, to destroy its own underpinnings for the sake of discrediting the scribes, priests, and other religious and cultural guardians who generated the vast majority of history’s early source material.
I’m going to ignore what I assume was a deliberate attempt to patronize me and answer you as I would a peer.
Where cyclical arguments fail is in their predictive ability at the granular level, not in their value as a tool to analyze history. Islam is (roughly) 600 years younger than Christianity. When we look at Christianity in the 1400’s, when it was the same age as Islam is now, we observe a lot of similarities–violent, aggressive, strident, inflexible, intolerant of women and minorities.
Think of it as analyzing adolescents. No, every teen-ager won’t conform to every characteristic of adolescence, and people dont follow the same trajectory through life, however when we see impulsiveness, rebelliousness, and sarcasm, it’s fair to note that it’s a characteristic of that age.
I find all the article and the coments very interesting..Only will like to add..that we should not overlook the motives behind (the so call religious intentions)
it seem to me that specially in the past 2000 years of world darkness ..since the Roman Empire fused the early Christian belives with their own power interest and gave birth to the socall civilize society….allmost all actions against or in favor of any doctrine have been back by ..economic interest..
In the present world situation, specially in the Midle East…..who is behind…who would really have an interst in perpetuating …vilonce The mayor suspect is …the Arm industry…..to me it is not a matter of goverments ..or countries ..or even Reglions …it is about ..making money …and who is interested inperpetuating the war…
.Lets look who are the share holders of the mayor arm manufactures..and we can find the responsable for …calling young people to extreme positions…manly because society as a whole does not provide many altenatives that are equaly interesting as given ones life for an altruistic cause that could free humanity of this no so prolife existence the planet is presently in.