I saw it play out over several days. People were spewing hateful speech about Islam and that all-Muslims should be killed. I’m not kidding.
“The religion of Islam is evil and Muslims are evil,” vomited one “good Christian” man on Facebook. It was 9/11 again, this time with French subtitles.
Of course, we grieve and weep with the victims in Paris and their families. The world does. But what about Mumbai in 2008? The dead and wounded numbers were almost the same as Paris. But the victims were Hindus, mostly, and didn’t look like us. We barely paid attention.
In 2013, at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, 67 people were killed by Al Shabaab terrorists with over 175 wounded. But these were Africans, mostly, and didn’t look like us. Nobody on Facebook changed their profile picture to be shaded with the Kenyan flag.
So, for us to care, the victims apparently need to be white and/or Christian. But enough with comparative suffering.
But through all of that hate-mongering about Muslims, we forget that other religions—yes, even Christianity—has done the same…or worse. But we never seem to connect the dots between violence and our own religions. When Jihadis of radical and militant Islam attack a beloved city like Paris, we cry out that all of Islam is wicked.
But when the IRA (Irish Republican Army) was blowing up bandstands, did we blame all of Catholicism? Of course not. It was rightfully seen as a struggle against a colonial power.
Sort of like when David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin and the others were carrying out terrorist attacks against the Arab states in Israel’s War of Liberation in 1948. Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel before the British mandate had expired. The Israelis took and kept large portions of the territory that had been set aside for the Arab state under the United Nations guidelines.
But did the West decry the religion of Judaism because Jewish forces engaged in terrorist activities? Did we spew hate on all of Judaism because of the actions of some? Of course not.
There are no more heinous (and I’m including ISIS/ISIL in this) actions than those perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Their website reads: “Our children, our race, and our Nation have no future unless we unite and organize White Christian Patriots.”
Christians? So they claim.
But does any thinking person (and the KKK does not include thinking persons) truly believe that the Klan represents true Christianity? I hope not. The words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer resound powerfully. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
To not speak up for well-meaning and compassionate Muslims make us as guilty as the Klan who is so very “Christian” because, after all, our inaction is an action.
We would readily say that the KKK has departed the true path of the teachings of Jesus. The same can be said of Zionist terrorists—departing from the true teachings of Judaism. Why can’t this be acknowledged regarding the radical Muslim Jihadis? They have departed from the true teachings of the Qur'an which prohibits murder of the innocent.
If we refuse to speak up for those who have done no wrong and if we refuse to mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep no matter their belief or non-belief and no matter their ethnicity, perhaps we have departed from our true path, as well.