I get the warning and humor of this line, but frankly I’m tired of it. Prof. Reynolds needs to hit the books.
THE ANSWER TO THE EXAMINER’S QUESTION IS SIMPLE: It’s because people are afraid they’ll blow things up.
Sooner or later, you know, fundamentalist Christians are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.
He’s right that the credible threat of violence drives people all over the world to bow to unreasonable Muslim demands, demands they would laugh off if they came from Christians or members of any other faith. Demands like this, and this, and situations like this. But he’s wrong that “fundamentalist Christians” are going to take this as a cue to start up their own terrorism to get what they want. And he’s wrong because he starts with an error on the basics: Namely, that Christianity and Islam aren’t the same thing, don’t believe the same things and don’t teach the same things. The foundational texts of the two faiths are very different, and the differences make all the difference in the world.
The New Testament doesn’t teach that violence against non-Christians is ok. The Koran, especially the second half of it, does indeed teach that violence against non-Muslims is ok. In fact, it commands violence against infidels in certain circumstances.
If you want to talk about the Crusades, well, they were defensive wars against imperialist Muslims who were spreading Islam by the sword. If you want to talk about the conquistadors or the Inquisition, go ahead. Those actions were done in the name of God, true, but entirely outside any actual New Testament teaching. Tim McVeigh? Agnostic who had more in common with the Luddite Unabomber than any Christian. Eric Rudolph? Agnostic who preferred Nietzsche to the Bible. Three of the most murderous men of the last century — Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin — were all atheists/occultists. Should we start expecting effette latte-drinking Utne reader types to start engaging in terrorism if they don’t get their way? Perhaps, and leftwing ecoterrorism doesn’t get nearly enough coverage, but InstaPundit never makes that argument — he always draws the false parallel from Muslims to Christians as though they’re two sides of the same coin when they’re not. Bin Laden and Zawahiri and Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad constantly quote the Koran to justify their global jihad, itself a dual Islamic concept that includes both internal and external warfare. Saladin’s jihad followed Muhammad’s example. Christianity has no such concept and Christ provided no similar warlike example.
It’s a pity that five years into this war, or nearly 30 if you’re dating its beginning to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, so few people actually understand this. Most of our political leaders in both parties don’t understand it, secular humanists constantly conflate Pat Robertson with the Taliban thereby demonstrating that they don’t get it, and most of our pundits and most of our major bloggers obviously don’t understand it either. Our dominant strains of voluntary ignorance may literally kill us.