Here are some discussions I had over at Billy's blog.
I thought I'd repost them for your enjoyment...
When looking at the middle east, what results of having a fully muslim country is atrocious.
Looking at David Koresh, Pat Robertson, etc. when a Christian screws up, we are quick to say, “he’s a nutball, and we don’t associate with them.”
In most of the Islamic contact I’ve had in college and otherwise, they tend to try to justify (poorly) acts of barbarism and inhumanity:
Suicide bombings in Israel? “It’s ours! They should be pushed out into the sea!”
Killing of Theo Van Gogh? “He was speaking blasphemy!”
In fact, I find it interesting that they never distance themselves from the act, they justify the reasoning.
The people in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt who were dancing in the streets, handing out free candy, etc., after 9/11 tend to make me doubt the peaceful nature of Islam.
As a Christian Counter-example, When Pat Robertson or Jerry Fallwell make their usual crack-pot denouncements, there is a quick slam from the formal church, both distancing and making it clear that there is no connection with them.
I see very little of that happening in the 10/40 window.
Where were the Christian Riots when Jeff MacDonald made his cartoon of Jesus giving oral sex to Piglet? (Note: link doesn’t actually show the image)
There weren’t. The matter was handled without deaths or destruction.
I guess the distinction I am making is in dealing with Islam as a culture or on a personal basis. I forget where I heard it, but I think this rings true: “A person is smart; people, are dumb, panicky animals”.
As for them growing so fast, I remember in the 1990s, the fear was that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormans were going to take over. “The mainstream church will be eclipsed by 20xx!”
And yet, here we are.
I do think that it is fruitless for us to sit here in our Christian-advantaged surroundings and postulate about “reaching out” to Muslim people when there is no threat of reprisal.
Living inside the 10/40 window, such an invitation would have to be kept in secret, and invites the possibility of death or permanent ban from the country.
My only fear is that the Muslim community will become a “squeeky wheel” to badger people into submission. People will voluntarily self-censor themselves out of fear.
I like Piglet. I like people questioning my religon. I like freedom to question any religon. Having a “dialogue” with another religon is kinda limiting if it means you can’t question any of their precepts or perceptions.
The recent “Cartoon riots” show, in my mind, a willingness to resort to violence when something is critical of their religious perception. Yet, I don’t think anyone of us would feel any hesitancy to field questions about priest and altar boys.
And this behavior is the point I am trying to make: Having a “dialogue” with an American Muslim is not as you would have with a 10/40 Muslim.
I guess what I am looking at is the fruit of a mostly-muslim nation. When Muslims are allowed to run the entire show (Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc.), human rights go out the window. We are dealing with a conquering enemy, something our generation has not had to contend with.
In my mind, this is not Britain and Brussels getting together to talk over a border dispute. Imagine, as Alexander was approaching India, the leaders of the Kambojas asked him to “dialogue”.
As you stated, correctly, I think, “in Islam she[christianity] has her only rival for the conquest of the world.” You are right there. They are attempting to take over the world. And as I was saying before, I suspect that their attempts in the US will not be successful due to existing laws and attitudes that will make things difficult. If anything, they will have to dillute the anti-Jewish/Christian/infidel retoric here.
The American Muslims here might be nice, pleasant, what have you. However, the 10/40 muslims show nowhere near the same amount of tolerance.
But what happens if they decide not to tone it down? How do we respond? If they gain sufficient numbers that the more radical Mullahs/Imams/whatever come over, what do we do at that point? What if, while attempting to hold them on hate-crime charges, we encounter riots? It’s a scenario I see happening all too easily.
I am a WWII warfare buff. I think it was fascinating how the world came together to combat a true evil, and (barely) came out victorious.
Reading Steven Ambrose’s books (Citizen Soldier, Band Of Brothers, etc.), which are biographical accounts of WWII’s european campaigns, the soldiers were amazed how they travelled up and down Germany, but never found a nazi. (Imagine that).
Yet, the culture is what allowed for Auschwitz, Chełmno, etc. It wasn’t that the whole of the population was active in the Extermination camps, but because they were hardened, even if it didn’t lead to ACTIVE agression towards jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc., the culture they contributed to allowed these atrocities to occur.
In Islam, we see much of the same.
No, the vast majority of muslims will not attempt to suicide Israeli malls. However, when it happens, they will not think it a tragedy. When Iran calls for Israel to be “pushed into the sea”, they may not march in support, but they don't consider it a disgrace.
That is where I find the most difference. Any Christian who firebombs an abortion clinic in the name of Christ will find himself shunned and decried by all but the most extreme of screwballs. Heck, a Secret Serviceman who made anti-Muslim slurs is being charged.
If it happened in Iran, and it were anti-Israeli slurs, how much of an investigation do you think there would have been?
My fear is not the Muslims actively committing acts of violence. It’s the many many more Muslims supporting these acts of violence passively.
And sure, there are the few who are willing to stand up against them, but they are in the minority.
Billy, you mentioned about the people talking about the active cheering on the part of Christians inside the church. My response is that their impulses were that of Americans, not as Christians. This makes them not acting right as Christians.
With Muslims, well, the ones I have come into contact with anyway, are very emphatic that their anti-west, anti-Israel attitudes are part of their religious fervor, not out of any nationalistic pride. Indeed, it is amazing how Imans are the firebrands that tend to whip up a country, whereas over here, it’s more the politicians that have to motivate people to action.
I have no problems with reaching out to Muslims over here in the US. The governing laws and its enforcement make it next to impossible for them to use religious excuses to exact Sharia law.
A discussion amongst some of my friends overseas sparked an interesting point:
The key to unravelling the Muslim thread could lie in their women.
Inside the 10/40 window, especially in the lesser rich areas, women are almost property. After one of my friends (who is a red-cross nurse in Qatar), witnessed how they are treated, she said they are pretty much “brood bitches” I.E. they are there to make a nest, and crank out more soldiers for the fight against Israel and the west. (There is even a phrase: "Women are for children, men are for fun" Yes, closeted homosexuality is rampant there)
She suggested exposure to the freedoms that are available to women at a younger age could cause many of them to not wish to tow the religious line, resulting in a more moderate female population.