Earlier today, I wrote a little piece about Islam, and one of the many reasons I distrust it. And, as is often the case when one singles out Islam for criticism, the detractors decided to play a little “tit for tat” and cite portions of the Bible that call for things we now consider unacceptable or reprehensible.
I don’t care for that particular tactic. For one, as Bill O’Reilly is fond of saying, “you don’t excuse bad behavior by citing other bad behavior.” (I don’t care much for the blowhard, but that particular aphorism has a hell of a lot of truth behind it.) It’s a slightly more advanced version of “you can’t punish me for slamming the door, because Billy broke a window,” and good parents quickly learn to slap down that particular evasion.
But more importantly, it doesn’t address a fundamental issue: we’re dealing with the here and now.
And in the here and now, there is only one major religion that is being used to justify and rationalize massive atrocities — and it ain’t Christianity or Judaism.
I’d like to challenge all those “Bible-thumpers” (you know, the ones who can quote scripture to suit their own ends, which is in denigrating the Bible) to cite a few concrete examples of religiously-inspired atrocities committed in the past three hundred years, atrocities committed in the name of G-d or Jesus or Yahweh or Joseph Smith or Moses or Abraham — and done with the support (tacit or explicit) of a large number of co-religionists.
And for every one they might be able to find, I’m sure I can find at least a dozen committed in the name of Allah — and I’ll even limit myself to one century.
Yes, it does seem that most religions go through aggressive, expansionist, brutal phases. But Judaism and Christianity seem to have outgrown theirs, while Islam is still in its throes.
Some people seem content to just say “they’ll get over it,” and wring their hands at the senseless carnage, while pointing fingers at the Crusades or the Inquisition. I simply can’t understand that. How many deaths are they willing to overlook until the Muslims have their own Enlightenment?
I find myself cynically wondering if the fact that the vast majority of those being killed by fanatical Muslims are, themselves, other Muslims somehow diminishes the outrage. After all, if they’re mainly they’re killing their own, why should we worry?
Well, for one, while they mainly kill each other, they still enjoy killing non-Muslims quite thoroughly. For another, if there’s ever going to be a Muslim Martin Luther, he’ll first have to survive his own nutcases.
And for a third, I would rather we actually worked on stopping the psycho fanatic Islamists who are committing merry mayhem and carnage, instead of worrying about how many people were killed by Christians or Jews centuries ago.
I guess I’m just not sophisticated and educated enough to be past that.
Update: Adam Lawson has inspired me to update my challenge. Could folks also name a few significant contributions to the world (arts, sciences, culture, etc. etc.) to come out of the Muslim world in the past couple hundred years?