I grew up on a remote cattle ranch with no phone or tv. So as kids we played games with each other. One was called “Would you push a button?”. Well, the game didn’t have an actual name, but one of us kids would ask another kid a question like “Would you push a button that would painlessly kill some unknown person in order to collect a million dollars? Then we’d go for variations. “Would you push a button that would deliver an incredibly painful electric shock to collect a million dollars?” Hey, there was no entertainment, and you can’t talk to the chickens …
Anyhow, watching the news lately, I was reminded of that game. Here are the questions for today:
Would you push a button that would blast dozens of innocent civilian women and children to bits with a nail bomb, and wound dozens more, in order to save your own life?
Now me, I hope and pray that if I ever had the bad luck to be facing that horrible quandary, the answer I would give would be no, I couldn’t bomb them. I can’t think of anything that I hold so dear that I’d be willing to blow up women and children with a nail bomb to save it. Even my own life. I simply could not live with myself afterward. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I were to commit such an atrocity.
And I suggest that the overwhelming majority of people living in the industrialized world would feel the same way. Deliberately bombing young girls is never justified.
OK, that was the hard question. The next question is much easier.
Would you publicly blast dozens of innocent civilian women and children to bits with a nail bomb, and wound dozens more, in order to defend, not your own life, but your own religion?
I know of no Christians, no Buddhists, no Hindus, no Jews who would ever do that to defend their religion. Certainly no Baha’i, they actually are a religion of peace. And no Sikh would do that, they are a proud and honorable people. Mormons wouldn’t dream of it, they’re too busy provisioning their basements. And Zen Buddhists, as they say, don’t even think about it …
I know of only one religion where that kind of murderous behavior is not only tolerated but is openly encouraged and supported by religious leaders.
Only Muslims are getting cheered for bombing people for their religion.
Now, folks always say that suicide bombing represents an “extreme” interpretation of Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Pew Trust people asked Muslims, both in the US and around the world, whether blasting dozens of innocent civilian women and children to bits with a nail bomb in order to defend your own religion is ever justified. What was most surprising to me was their finding about US Muslims. One out of eight Muslims living in the US said that “suicide bombing and other forms of violence” at certain times is “justified to defend Islam”. ONE OUT OF EIGHT! That’s not “extreme”, that’s depressingly common. One in eight is far too prevalent for such a vicious and brutal belief.
So please … spare me the nonsense about how Islam is “just another religion”, or how “we all worship the same God”, or how Islam is the “Religion of Peace”. None of those are true. Far too many Muslims worship a God who thinks using nail bombs on women and children is just dandy. And more to the point, in the year 2017 NOBODY BUT MUSLIMS WORSHIPS THAT GOD!
Finally, bear in mind that these are US Muslims, presumably some of the worlds’ most sophisticated and liberal. Worldwide it is much worse in many countries. In Palestine, the people committing these atrocities have streets named after them and their families are paid a pension in their honor. Another Pew Trust poll shows that on the West Bank, 59% say there are times when suicide bombing is justified. And this is widespread. In Bangladesh it is 61%; Tanzania, 45%; Egypt, 59%. Even in so-called “liberal” Indonesia, 22% of the Muslims, almost a quarter, say blowing up civilian women and children is sometimes justified.
So no, the bombing in Manchester is not a result of “extremism”. It is the result of a far-too-prevalent Islamic belief that killing women and children, as long as they are Christians and Jews, is justified for religious reasons. That is not religion. That is terrorism.
Finally, the blood was hardly dry in Manchester before we heard the first cries that we need to watch out for Islamophobia. This is a blatant attempt to deflect responsibility. When something like a quarter of the Muslims worldwide think that blowing up my wife and daughter is OK, being afraid of that group of people is not “Islamophobia”. It is reasonable concern about widespread murderous criminal madness.
The problem is not Islamophobia.
The problem is Islamists, people who think Islam should rule the world and are happy to kill anyone to achieve that … and unfortunately, the Koran itself is Islamist.
I see no simple solution to this, other than to fight it at all levels—military, legal, intellectual, and in the realm of ideas. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the answer has to come from Muslims. Our challenge is to fight this 7th-century horror without losing our own humanity in the process. We need to hate the sin and love the sinners, and that’s no easy task.
However, I figure we’re up to the challenge …
My best regards to all,
My first post on this subject, complete with cartoons, was
The Problem With Islam 2017/03/10
I’ll say something that is not politically correct in the slightest, something that a number of people may disagree with, and then I’ll take a bit of time to explain why I think it is true. Let me invite you to set aside all of your current conceptions about Islam for a few moments—you can easily…
This was followed by a companion piece:
The Forever Wars 2017/03/11
In furtherance of the discussion begun in my previous post, The Problem With Islam, I wanted to take a look at the two Islamic forever wars. If you haven’t read that post please do so, as it forms a necessary prelude to these war stories. While many people are aware that Mohammed was the Prophet of Allah…
Finally, I wrote about the idea of Islamists:
Islamics, Islamists, and Scotsmen 2017/04/05
Maajid Nawaz is an interesting guy trying to make sense out of his own religion, Islam. Wikipedia notes that he was imprisoned for five years for being a member of Hib ut-Tahrir, a violent Egyptian Muslim group. During that time he had a change of heart, and he renounced his violent and divisive past. As…