Source: John L Hancock
After 9/11, it was difficult to convince people that Islam was not a peaceful religion. Defenders of Islam said that the attacks such as those on 9/11 were the result of a few extremists. Some liberals even went so far as to equate Islam to Christianity. After all, while Islam had the 9/11 hijackers, Christianity had its own extremists such as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Their argument rested on the American value of not judging a group by the actions of a few individuals and the good-hearted American people were willing to give Islam the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, recent events in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, have demonstrated the error of such benevolent thinking and the difference between the violence committed by Islam and the violence that is done in by Christians.
In 1914, as historian Max Hastings writes, both sides committed atrocities against civilians, crimes against enemy soldiers, and other actions “unworthy of a civilized society.” The difference is that the crimes committed by Allied (French/Belgian/British) soldiers were done on a local level and by small groups of individual soldiers. More importantly, such actions were roundly condemned by the civilian and military leadership as well as the populations of all Allied nations. As a result, those who committed such crimes found themselves as pariahs in their own armies and often facing criminal charges. For the Germans, atrocities were not only seen as a regrettable and unavoidable product of modern warfare, but was considered an acceptable tactic to be used to control the populations of occupied land. As such, Germans turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by their soldiers on innocent Belgian and French civilians. Additionally, German leadership, both civilian and military, encouraged the use of terror in order to achieve their military objectives. In other words, the German use of atrocities was institutional; not individual as it was for the allies.
This is the difference between the violence committed by Islam and by Christians. Christians, including the dreaded Evangelicals, strongly condemn the violent acts of other Christians. This is especially true when innocent people are victims of such crimes. They do not hide the perpetrators of these crimes nor do they see them as martyrs or heroes. In fact, just like the allied soldiers who committed atrocities in 1914, their actions are reviled and the individuals are seen as pariahs; their names becoming synonymous with infamy.
Islam, on the other hand, glorifies adherents that commit atrocities in the name of Jihad. The leadership of the faith, who are ever so vigilant of any criticism of their “peaceful” religion,
remain silent when it comes to condemning the use of terror as a tactic. They organize protests to quash any criticism and demonize the critics as “Islamophobes.” Yet, they claim to be incapable of doing the same when it comes to condemning the atrocities committed by their fellow Muslims. To see the veracity of this statement all one needs to do is to compare the worldwide protest that were organized to denounce the Israeli actions in Gaza with the complete silence by the same people when it comes to the genocide being committed by their fellow Muslims in Iraq. They cry, “What about the children of Gaza?!” while remaining silent on the massacre of Christian and Kurdish children by Muslims in Iraq. Are not all children worth protecting or is it just when they are Muslim and the perpetrators are non-believers? I think the deafening silence coming from Muslims worldwide is providing the answer. This is because, while the majority of Muslims may not feel comfortable condoning such crimes, they are more than willing to tolerate it as an acceptable tactic of the holy war that is being waged against those who oppose the “true religion.”
It was not until ISIS started committing atrocities against the Christian and Kurdish populations of Iraq that the veil of the ‘religion of peace’ was tossed aside and the institutionalized violence and hatred of Islam came out into the open. For it is impossible for a few extremists to commit such atrocities on such a scale all while fighting to take over two relatively large countries; Iraq and Syria. This can only be accomplished with the support of a global institution that funds and, more importantly, supplies men for the struggle. And that institution is based on a hateful and violent religion of Islam.