News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Are Christians or Jews any more righteous than extremist Moslems when it comes to carrying out holy wars and killing infidels? I think not. ...

There are places in the Hebrew Testament that call for holy war and genocide. While it is true that the exhortations are not to take over the world--as some extremist Moslems seem to preach--they do fit in with an "expansionist" ideology which emphasizes subjugation and taking of territory.

I agree that there are Moslems who call for world conversion. The vast majority--except for the extremists--believe this should be done via proselytizing, as does Christianity, BTW.

Some extremist Christians think that infidel Moslems should be killed. Again, "some" extremist Christians see the current "war on terror" as a kind of mission to convert the nations to Christianity. Whether or not it's "suicide jihad" is perhaps a matter for debate. While the Christian proselytizers do not go to "jihad" camp and schools, they do attend camps and schools to prepare for the Christian form of "jihad," ie, evangelization.

On the other hand, we in the US have a self-proclaimed Christian as President who has mired us in a war that is hitting the sheiss-end of the stick. For what? Well, according to the End-time Christians whom he consults, it is in the name of Christ. The way I see it, the entire fiasco of sending troops to Iraq was a suicide mission--at least for nearly 3,000 young men and women.

As far as "jihad" and Christianity, I suggest that one could interpret the exhortation--which some Christians understand as a commandment--to spread the Gospel to all the nations as a kind of jihad. In the past, I believe this has been done via war and/or colonialist methods.

I have never said there are not extremist interpreters of Islam's sacred texts. That's too obvious. Whether those extremists reflect all possible interpretations is what's in question.

As you might know, many Moslems find themselves attracted to the Sufi, pacifist interpretations of Koran. Those Moslems who haven't yet given in to secularizing trends in Arab or other media find themselves stressing the jihad of inner struggle.

The extremists are the minority--both in their understanding of Koran, as well as in their representation of what "most" Moslems think or believe.

On the issue of how evangelicals "demonize" Islam,see my posting. You will find there a link to a study by an evangelical professor who's done some great work on documenting this phenomenon.
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