Dealing with Islamic Persecution
“But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now. But what does the Scripture say? Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman.” (Galatians 4:29–30, HCSB)
There has been many news reports about the backlash by followers of Islam to a cartoon that depicts Muhammud with a bomb on his turban. You can see the cartoon here.
I link to this site, not because I am in favor of this cartoon. I do it because I think we need to see something important here. What is the best way to respond to this cartoon? Is it to resort to violence? Some Christians may be astounded that some Muslims were respond in anger to a simple cartoon like this.
To tell the truth, it is an insult to Islam. Muhammud is one of their greatest prophet and most holy figure. So it their tradition, Muhammud should not even be put into picture form – much less a cartoon.
But their reaction to this cartoon astounds us as Westerners. But it should not surprise us. The Bible speaks of this persecution in Galatians. We should not be surprised as Christians that Muslims who react against this cartoon would call the Holocaust fiction. Of course they are going to attack Jews. They have been attacking Jews since the time of Abraham.
Some of this persecution however is geared to Western civilization, and the belief within Western civilization that is tied to Christian beliefs. So some of this persecution is pointed at nations that claim to be Christian. Should we be surprised at this? Of course not.
The Bible speaks of this type of persecution. Judaism and Christianity will always be linked because of Jesus Christ. So when one group of people persecute Jews (an excellent analysis can be found on this blog), they will naturally turn to persecutre Christians.
What should we do about this? With respect to the freedom of the press, we should stand up to this persecution. Many people have (including myself) by writing and commenting about it (you can some examples here and here.) We shouldn’t let this attack stop people from addressing some of the elements of Islam that are very violent.
War is necessary sometimes, and religion does talk about war. But we are called as Christians to respond in love. Adherants to the Islamic faith claim that Islam is a faith of peace. So in a loving manner, Christians should expect Muslims to act out their faith in peace. We should not tolerate this intolerance that comes from people of the Muslim faith.
In a world of multi-culturalism, with a variety of faiths, intolerance is evil. Christians should tolerate the freedom for others to express their faith in a peaceful manner. Other faiths should be just as tolerant.
UPDATE: I found this comment on someone’s blog. You can read it here. Apparently, as Christians we should not be surprised that the world is getting a little bit more dangerous each and every day.