A friend of mine brought this meme to my attention by posting it and it should be noted that my friend is a liberal and a Democrat. Hey, when you a libertarian you can be friends with anyone, it is just highly likely that you will disagree at some point with everyone. In any case, the question does come up if the criticism against moderate Muslims is justified if Christians really haven’t taken a stand against their radical groups either. Now I could have just dove into what was sure to be an interesting Facebook conversation but I decided to take a step back and do some research. In the center of the conversation my friend made this statement and I wanted to examine it for truth content:
Here is my point. So much of the media everywhere continues to suggest that the recent bigotry throughout the world against Islam is their own fault because no Muslim group will take a stand AS A UNIFIED MUSLIM GROUP to denounce the extremists within Islam. And that if they are not against it, then they must be for or it. I believe that Muslims have denounced ALL religious extremism, including ISIS, even more so than Christians AS A UNIFIED CHRISTIAN GROUP have denounced the KKK. Civil Rights groups do not qualify as they were not exclusively Christian. I am not aware of any Christian denomination taking a firm stand in their doctrine or the denominations elected leadership against the KKK. And no state in the union, and especially the US Government qualify on any unified Christian stand against the KKK because of the First Amendment. In contrast, our NATO Allied Turkey’s official religion is Muslim. And Turkey has denounced ISIS specifically, as well as all forms of religious extremism and terrorism. They are armed and ready to deploy and war against ISIS, BUT NOT UNILATERALLY. Also, MANY Muslims throughout the world have denounced all religious extremism, terrorism and advocated peace as individuals, as mosque leaders, and advocated peace within human rights organizations, just as Christians have through civil rights organizations. And also, I think it’s a little hypocritical to shed light on any part of a different doctrine’s message about treatment of non believers when we know what God ordered the Hebrew Army to do to the inhabitants of the Promised Land, just because they where not Hebrew.
I am going to do what I normally do here and break it down piece by piece.
Here is my point. So much of the media everywhere continues to suggest that the recent bigotry throughout the world against Islam is their own fault because no Muslim group will take a stand AS A UNIFIED MUSLIM GROUP to denounce the extremists within Islam. And that if they are not against it, then they must be for or it.
I am going to acknowledge that my friend has a point here. Just because people do not make statements against something does not mean that they support it. Some people prefer to live and let live so they don’t get involved and so they say nothing. The bigotry against Muslims though might still remain partly their fault at this point not because of other reasons but I don’t think we can simply make the statement that they are not against Islamic extremists simply because they don’t speak against ISIS as much as we would like.
I believe that Muslims have denounced ALL religious extremism, including ISIS, even more so than Christians AS A UNIFIED CHRISTIAN GROUP have denounced the KKK.
- Citation please. I mean how do you measure how much a group has denounced something against another group denouncing something else quantitatively? It really does become a matter of opinion at that point and belief. Belief as we know is a very slippery thing. I mean it really becomes a comparison of apples to oranges thing and a matter of faith that your anecdotal observations are true when you make this type of argument.
- I have to admit as I tried to search various search engines I couldn’t find an open statement against the KKK specifically by any Christian denomination, however what I did find is multiple statements by many denominations against racism and being a part of racist organizations. The United Church of Christ makes the bold statement that they are an anti-racist organization thus taking a very active stand against racism and I would then assume the KKK would be included in that. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s statement on racism probably takes a tack that is reflective of the majority of Christian denominations which is to celebrate the diversity of races and then further in a more complete statement they take a more active stance to oppose it. Link: FREED IN CHRIST: RACE, ETHNICITY, AND CULTURE.
- So then what we could ask then is do Islamic ‘denominations’ have similar statement? Well as a matter of fact many do. There is a story of 70,000 Muslim Clerics doing so. Honestly, what I see here is both side do denounce their more bigoted and violent segments but the opposite side very rarely gives them credit for it.
Civil Rights groups do not qualify as they were not exclusively Christian.
I am going to call BS on this because this is a response to my invoking MLK. MLK was not just a civil rights leader but a leader in his denomination and thus cannot be exclusively said to be a civil rights leader but a Christian one as well.
I am not aware of any Christian denomination taking a firm stand in their doctrine or the denominations elected leadership against the KKK. And no state in the union, and especially the US Government qualify on any unified Christian stand against the KKK because of the First Amendment.
So all these denominations making a stand against racism and racist organizations doesn’t count? BS again, a stand against racist organizations counts as a stand against the KKK as the KKK is a racist organization. Agreed that invoking the government as a standard of morality or Christianity is a bad idea and shouldn’t be counted. I am going to get to the end of my friends’ argument because this is what we really need to talk about.
And also, I think it’s a little hypocritical to shed light on any part of a different doctrine’s message about treatment of non believers when we know what God ordered the Hebrew Army to do to the inhabitants of the Promised Land, just because they where not Hebrew.
Isn’t it also a little hypocritical to attack Christianity for many decades because it is ‘religious nonsense’ and then accept the religious nonsense that could also possibly be in the Islamic faith? I have seen for years the constant droning of those who oppose Christianity about how we are too controlling and trying to force our beliefs on others and now liberals treat Islam with kids gloves? Its inconsistent at the best and hypocritical at worst.
That said this statement about Holy Books brings up the only real question which group is being true to its founder the best. I mean in each religion who is the apostate based on a clear reading of their respective Scriptures. Now my friend makes the mistake of invoking a story that may involve Judaism at a point in their history but is from a stand point of the history of the Bible long before the existence of either Christianity or Islam. When we examine this question we really have to look at the founder of Christianity and Islam – Jesus Christ and Mohammed respectfully.
Jesus’ simple admonition – love your neighbor as yourself probably sums it up best which indicates a change in the way Christianity deals with people around them. Neighbor being defined later in the story of the Good Samaritan as anyone human being that you come across. While the apostles later tell you later as much as possible to live at peace with all men but not to really have fellowship with unbelievers. So then the KKK is based on this simple analysis apostate to Christianity.
So what about Mohammed? What does he say to about those who don’t believe? Well, the simple truth is he is far less kind both in the Koran and his statements to others that are recorded to others. This site chronicles most of them and to be honest given that Mohammed spread his religion in large part by the sword, we would have to conclude that the more moderate Muslims are apostate to their founder. Some have argued that some of these are taken out of context and that may be true for a few but others are not. The fact is Mohammed was an advocate of violence to bring about the ends of his religion being dominate both in his writings and actions.
Now I am not saying that my response to these beliefs should be return violence for violence. I have mixed views about the Crusades – 1) The crusades were mostly a response to Islamic aggression and in a sense self-preservation in their nature. 2) At the same time would Christ have advocated war to defend the faith he founded? What i am saying is as an interpreter of religious literature for many years is that Islam’s Koran is far more advocating of initiating of violence than the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Since the Old Testament counts for all three religions it really stands for all three in whatever it advocates.
As a libertarian, I don’t care in one sense what people believe as it should be a free will choice. The only problem I have is when someone wants to impose their religion on my by force. If your religion has any merit, it should be able to show that merit by reason and not force of any kind. That goes for whatever version of Christianity or Islam you hold. If you can’t convince me of the truth of your religion by reason and have to resort to violence or threat of violence in any form to force it on me – it probably doesn’t have much truth to it after all.