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Islam Under Scrutiny

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The Denial Game Continues

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GRASPING AT PEACE THREADS – THE DENIAL GAME WITH ISLAM CONTINUES

On Sunday 20th May I had the opportunity to observe yet another well-meaning attempt to understand Islam and for Christians and Jews to live happily ever after with Muslims.

This was a lecture given by Grace Sharon, an Australian Christian, on behalf of the Council of Christians and Jews. Grace was a vivacious, friendly and positive person, giving an account of a course she did last year. This had been entitled “Conflict Resolution from the Religious Traditions”, held at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It had included 23 students, mostly Jewish, but several Christians and only three Muslims. Maybe the Muslims were not interested.

I went along expecting to see another of the never-ending line of Islam-appeasement exercises that seem to be all the rage today. This lecture did not let down my expectations, even though I have an open mind to any reasonable and practical ideas on the world-wide “Muslim problem”.
Corporal Shalit
Which stage of the conflict resolution does Corporal Shalit fit into? 

We heard all about the Six Stages of Conflict and how we can all resolve conflict because God has given us choices. We heard how we need “awareness of other religions” (I couldn’t agree more), and skills and “adaptability” to other religions. We heard how conflict is due to: one’s dignity being threatened (eg. with one’s religion being pulled down); a lack of identity; a lack of sense of community; and loss of traditions. We heard how with conflict we need to talk, then resist all use of force when the temptation arises, then talk yet again as the final stage! And so it went on for nearly two hours.
I have no objection to these ideas and agree with many of them. However, the overall emphasis of the lecture was about historic tensions between Christians and Jews (including the Spanish Crusades, the Christian silence during the Holocaust, and most of the “Christian world’s” lack of support for Israel today). I believe that ultimately these are all resolvable.

Where was the serious discussion of Islam and the brutal way it is treating non-Muslims in so-called Islamic countries, and its violent ideology written into the Koran and the Hadith? The concepts of the Caliphat, Sharia Law being imposed on the entire population, and dhimmitude (ultimate domination and subjugation of non-Muslims) was never mentioned. This is very typical of these attempts at Muslim appeasement!

Instead, Christianity and Judaism were lumped together with Islam in the numerous reflections about how monotheism can be such a terrible thing (talk about putting down your OWN faiths!). That is, violent and destructive extremists exist in ALL the monotheistic religions! Pardon me, but I don’t actually remember the last case of Christians threatening to slit the throats of pilots who refused to fly their planes into skyscrapers in Muslim countries.
Palestinians for Peace
Palestinian conflict resolution - Palestinian crowd waves entrails of butchered Israeli victims in Ramala 

Then came the clanger. One of the few times that Islam in the Middle East (Israel specifically) was mentioned concerned when Hamas kidnapped some westerners, including Americans, in the Palestinian territories. A little while into their forced incarceration, the hostages exercised their free choice and converted to Islam! So then some other well-meaning Muslims implored the kidnappers to release these unfortunates because “they are your friends and partners when they walk into your room”. Now, this concept fits into the generous spirit and culture of Arab Muslims. By the next day the hostages were freed! This was praised as a great example of peaceful conflict resolution, by understanding an issue from the other side’s point of view!

Mind-boggling though this example was, and so totally irrelevant to everything else that is happening or has happened in the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East, I still didn’t walk out in disgust there and then.

I stayed on to later hear nice words about the good side of each of the three religions, their positive “world view”. For example, Allah teaches “the brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity” and “is benevolent and merciful” (some of the first words in the Koran). Obviously Sharon knows nothing of the Islamic teaching of “abrogation”, in which the super-violent and intolerant later parts of the “holy” teachings override these earlier parts. Yet I stayed on in the lecture.  

I heard another clanger, about how terrorism is in fact an act of defence(!), never offending, merely defending against the secular world that these Muslims so fear. Ahem!!..... but pardon me, isn’t this just in the ultra-paranoid eyes of those brainwashed by an evil cult-like ideology that inspires its followers by telling them that everyone else is out to get them and so we must dominate and even kill them all? Regardless of the real world around them? Justifying killing Jews, Christians and Hindus, simply because they are Jews, Christians, Hindus?

Isn’t this what Hitler preached, that Aryans must kill Jews, Poles, etc, because they are oppressing Aryans? And while we are at it, Britons and Americans, too, because we are victims of them, too? The victim mentality justifying every obscenity against humanity ……

And Sharon wants us to “understand” this way of thinking instead of exposing and confronting it?

Like so many others in today’s world, Sharon and the 70 or so mostly older members of the audience are good and well-meaning people. However, I believe they are seriously erred and either ignorant or in denial, possibly through fear of the intractability and unending violence in the Islamic issue.

Anyway, to me it was much more interesting to hear that the Muslim 20% of Israel’s population is growing much faster than the rest of the Israeli population. This is despite the ultra-orthodox Jews also having a very high birth rate. I pondered on the future fate of the great and democratic state of Israel, given this creeping demographic change that is happening everywhere else that Muslims have settled.

I can really see a future Israel dominated by Arab Muslims, where these Muslims are well-versed in conflict resolution and want to really understand the Jews and treat them as equals and brothers……..
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 August 2008 09:07  

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