If the Planned Parenthood Shooter Was Not a “Faithful” Christian, the San Bernardino Shooters Were Not “Faithful” Muslims

If the Planned Parenthood Shooter Was Not a “Faithful” Christian, the San Bernardino Shooters Were Not “Faithful” Muslims December 10, 2015

I recently came upon some rather fascinating statements by conservative commentator Matt Barber. Here is what Barber had to say:

Muhammad taught, and the Quran stresses, that a central tenet of Islam is to convert, enslave or kill the infidel. An infidel is anyone who is not Muslim or, depending on who’s doing the killing, belongs to a different sect of Islam. Those who fall into that elusive, perpetually mute category tagged “moderate Muslim” are also infidels or “idolaters.” They’re bad Muslims, and, so, according to the Quran, not Muslims at all.

. . .

. . . it’s no surprise that there have been nearly 27,500 terrorist attacks worldwide committed by faithful Muslims since 9/11.

There have been zero committed by faithful Christians.

. . .

Indeed, while many may claim to be “Christian,” the word only applies to those who are justified in Christ, spiritually reborn and regenerated through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. The true Christian walks in Christ’s steps through faith and obedience.

Terrorism is in direct disobedience to Christ.

Barber claims that there are no acts of terrorism committed by “faithful Christians” because “terrorism is in direct disobedience to Christ,” but that there have been thousands of acts of terrorism committed by “faithful Muslims” because “a central tenet of Islam is to convert, enslave or kill the infidel.”

I found Barber’s claim fascinating because I read it after reading an article that quoted from a Muslim survivor of the San Bernardino shootings. Take a look:

A San Bernardino, California, shooting survivor and her husband are calling last week’s attack “anti-Islamic.”

Anies Kondoker, who is Muslim, is now recovering after she was shot three times during the shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured, ABC station KABC reported. She hid in a bathroom with coworkers until help arrived, the station said.

Kondoker’s husband, Salihin, told KABC he and his wife are concerned American Muslims could face backlash by those connecting the Islamic faith to terror. The couple wants to remind the public that the attack was “anti-Islamic” and that the shooters were not true believers of the Islamic faith, he said.

. . .

Salihin Kondoker, citing the Koran, explained how the attack was against Muslim beliefs, saying, “If you kill one innocent human being you will be charged as if you have killed entire humanity.”

Salihin Kondoker also pointed out that the attack last week and other terror attacks like 9/11 wounded and killed innocent people of all religions, including Muslims like his wife.

The logic here is identical to the logic Barber uses to claim that individuals like the Planned Parenthood shooter are not truly Christian—a true believer in Islam, Kondoker explains, would never kill innocents, and the San Bernardino shooters were therefore by definition not true believers in Islam.

While I appreciate that both Barber and Kondoker oppose violence, I have a problem with the idea that they or anyone else can determine what makes a person a “true” Christian or a “real” Muslim. The reality is that religious traditions like Christianity and Islam are incredibly varied and encompass a wide range of beliefs and practices.

I’m not saying religious believers should never say that others in their religious tradition are practicing or believing incorrectly. Far from it! I think it’s often completely worthwhile and reasonable for a religious believer to work to change the beliefs or practices of others in their tradition. What’s not so reasonable, from my point of view, is to claim that you’re the “real” Christian or Muslim or what have you, and those who practice or believe differently are not actually Christians or Muslims.

But let’s lay all of that aside for a moment and hone in on Barber’s comments. Barber claims that “faithful Muslims” by definition will believe in and practice acts of terror, and that moderate Muslims—i.e. those who, like Kondoker, believe that terrorism is against the Koran—are not in fact “faithful Muslims.” This moves way beyond simply defining your own religion and deciding who should or should not be allowed to wear your religion’s label.

Barber’s insistence that he understands Islam better than Muslims like Kondoker is a growing problem in America today. Too many Americans, especially political conservatives, claim to know what Islam teaches when they clearly don’t. This in turn gives traction to remarks like those made recently by Donald Trump, who called for barring Muslims from entry to the U.S. Too many Americans believe that “true” Islam is violent and medieval and that any claims to the contrary are false and an attempt to mislead.

Having read Barber and Kondoker’s remarks in concert with each other, this is what I’ve learned: If the Planned Parenthood shooter was not a “faithful” Christian, then the San Bernardino shooters were not “faithful” Muslims. I’m sorry, Barber, but you can’t have it both ways.

And I’ll leave you with this, because it seems appropriate:

"Lol I’m trying to convince her."

A Blogger’s Farewell
"Again, Libby Anne:Thank you for your writing these past ten years, and for hosting the ..."

A Blogger’s Farewell
"If we join this discord, what happens on the 8th day?"

A Blogger’s Farewell
"DRONE RIOTS! Production has ceased."

A Blogger’s Farewell

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad