...in the end,
nothing but total capitulation will do
I think they are examples to Christians like me who like to get all cosy and forget that following Jesus means taking some lumps at times. Sometimes those lumps are very big indeed. I honour my persecuted brothers & sisters as very ordinary, flawed people (just like me) who speak out for Jesus & his gospel when the bullies are doing their best to shut them up. They are beaten, their churches & houses are burned; their families are brutalised and they themselves are tortured and even killed. Yet they love their Lord more than they fear the pain.
Furthermore regarding Islam we have to be aware that the religion was formed in a tribal context. I was chatting to a lovely couple the other day who had been missionaries in Papua New Guinea. They had been admitted into one of the Clans as, they said, it simply wasn't possible for the larger tribe to relate to them unless they could be identified as part of a group. If they weren't clearly part of a Clan the entire Tribe didn't know where they fitted or who they were accountable to. In a way they were non-persons unless they were part of a Clan.
The Clan looks after each other with food & other assistance - nothing was considered a personal possession. Members always supported the leaders of the Clan and above that the Tribe in any disputes. Members of the Clan also unquestioningly come to the aid of their fellows in the event of a fight. It's just a given. I see one of my group in a fight and I join in regardless of the realities of the problem. From what I was told there is little time given to analysis of the differences and the merits of contrary arguments - maybe my guy is in error this time, maybe we can compromise - no, my clan, my family, gets my total support. Full stop.
This way of viewing the world is a part of the very DNA of Islam.
How do you think democracy would work in this context? You've nailed it - it wouldn't. Think of the lines drawn on the map of Africa by the Old Powers to create one People out of groups who had only historic animosity for each other - how has Rwanda worked? Or Nigeria? Or Sudan? Ancient tribal allegiances are extremely difficult to dislodge especially when those differences are exacerbated by the tribes following different religions. It is the Fulani tribe who converted to war-like Islam who are attacking their Christian and pagan neighbours.
This is also why when democracy was introduced to Iraq after the war people voted along religious and tribal lines and the place fractured.
Increasingly we see this in the West too and not just in the retreat of individuals into like-minded groups. It also manifests itself when the "mob mentality" takes over and people stop thinking all together and start becoming violent.
Perhaps this is one reason why it is so very difficult to reason with many Muslims - at least with those who have not become largely Westernised and can manage critical self-reflection and awkward questions. Our own culture's devolution into the tribal mentality - with its rejection of critical thought and its willingness to hear people out because "my group is always right" - is producing a catastrophic feedback loop of white noise.
At what point do we sit back, look at the bigger picture and make a decision based on the long term good of the whole group? And failing that - at what point does our own democracy simply have to fail?
Robert Spencer introduces the following article regarding some Ugandan Christian preachers saying some things which some Muslims took to be a virtual declaration of war and so declared a real war in response. This is why I post about things like the trouble arising from the various Muhammad cartoon "controversies" and why I continue to post the videos in David Wood's Islamicize me series.
Are they offensive to some? Well OK, so be offended.
But answer words with words, arguments with arguments. Not with violence.
And make sure you're clear on the principles and not just unthinkingly contributing to a gangland war.
Ramadan in Uganda: Muslims declare jihad, attack Christian preachers, accuse them of “despising Islamic teachings”
Mr Spencer's introduction
“Mr Swaibu Malinzi, another Muslim, said since the preachers had ‘waged a war on Muslims’, they had also been forced to declare a Jihad against them.”
Last month, on May 3, the third anniversary passed of our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest that was attacked by jihadis in Garland, Texas. In the wake of the attack, not a few Christians told me that I had done a terrible thing in co-organizing and speaking at the event. They claimed that Pamela Geller and I were gratuitously provoking Muslims, and brushed aside our response, which was that to bow to intimidation, in that case the threat of violence against those who drew Muhammad, would only encourage more intimidation.
Very well. But those Christians should take careful note of this incident. They thought that Pamela Geller and I were poking Muslims in the eye by holding our event in defense of the freedom of speech, and that we should have been more respectful. But these preachers in Uganda were simply preaching the Christian faith, and comparing it favorably to Islam, as Islamic preachers routinely compare Islam favorably to Christianity. Yet they still ended up being accused by enraged Muslims of “despising Islamic teachings at their crusade,” and ended up having a jihad declared against them.
The lesson is clear: some Muslims consider any expression of the Christian faith (as well as any expression of other non-Muslim religions) as provoking to Muslims. So all the good Christians who castigated us for holding our free speech event in Garland should be consistent. If their intention is to avoid provoking Muslims at all costs, they should close down their churches now and convert to Islam. It would be the tolerant thing to do.
“Police foil Christian, Muslim bloody fight,”
by Yazid Yolisigira, Daily Monitor, June 4, 2018 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
IGANGA- A group on Muslims have attacked Christians [sic] preachers, accusing them of “despising Islamic teachings at their crusade”.
The crusade that was presided over by Pastor Moses Saku, was organised by the Bible Evangelism Ministry, at Kigobero Grounds in Iganga Town.
It degenerated into chaos when a group of Muslims said the Born Again preachers were using the platform to ‘demoralise Islam’.
Pastor Saku, the Muslims alleged, told his congregation that ‘Christianity was far better than Islam’, to the irritation of some Muslims who were in attendance.
This prompted Police from Iganga Central Police Station to intervene.
Mr Ayub Waiswa, one of the Muslims, said they had from the onset of the crusade, warned the Christian preachers against making provocative statements.
Mr Swaibu Malinzi, another Muslim, said since the preachers had ‘waged a war on Muslims’, they had also been forced to declare a Jihad against them.
The preachers, however, dismissed the allegations as untrue and accused their Muslim counterparts of gagging them from telling people the ‘truth’.
“We have never abused Muslims or Allah but it seems they [Muslims] are concerned by the way we were highlighting the contradictions in the Koran,” Pastor Saku said….