Friday, September 10, 2010
Why do Christians Hate Muslims?
I found this question on a Yahoo forum. It was asked, apparently sincerely, by someone in Iran, who says she does not understand why Christians hate Muslims. She says, " We respect all religions. All divine religions.Including Christianism.We don't want to kill you or anything ! Where did you get this rubbish from?"
Sadly we get it from Muslims. Muslims on television, Muslims on radio in their own country, Muslim terrorists who blow themselves up on the outside chance they'll take a few of us with them and Muslims on the Internet who broadcast the beheading of a young American engineer live and in color and shouted "Death to America!"
Here is my answer to her question:
First, your question assumes a falsehood. Christians do not hate Muslims. God forbids us to. Here's the problem.
Your faith seems to many Christian observers to have been co-opted by the Mullahs, fanatics and terrorists in your ranks. They have done a systematic and thorough public relations job over the past two decades to convince others that we must needs fear the wrath of Islam and have proclaimed "Jihad" against us. It has, unfortunately, achieved its purpose. We fear Islam. If by Christians you are talking about American Christians, we really don't hate the Muslim people. Our country is open to Muslims and they are allowed to worship as they see fit. In the wake of 9/11, it was the main body of Christians who called for calm and asked people not to persecute Muslims in our midst. But there is a disconnect here. There doesn't appear to be a corresponding call for tolerance from the Muslim community. Terror and horror by Islamic fanatics is greeted with a resounding silence from the Muslim community, other than a few scattered spokesmen for Islamic "protection" organizations who seemed more frightened than outraged by the 9/11 attacks.
Were we not at risk of our very lives just by traveling to the Middle East, most of us would love to travel in the part of the world that was the cradle of Western Civilization. I'd love to see the pyramids, but I'd rather not be blown up or beheaded for my troubles.
As the bully on the playground soon discovers, if you make people fear you, they will not like you for it. I had a child in counseling once at a children's mental health center who wanted to be elected dorm captain by his peers. He came to me complaining because nobody would vote for him. "I've beat up everyone in the dorm," he explained, "And they still won't make me captain."
That's what the fanatic element of Islam has done. They want to be leaders of the Muslim world apparently (we've read about the Caliphate) and they go around blowing people up to prove their worth as leaders. Then, they cannot seem to understand why nobody, even their own people, like them very much. I know that ordinary Muslims deplore the violence and bloodshed. So do Christians.
Unfortunately, we have members of the Christian community who are just as fanatic as your own terrorists. One blew up a building in Oklahoma and killed a bunch of people. Isn't it odd how these folks do more killing of their own people than they do of the "infidels" and "pagans" they oppose?
Ultimately, no decent Christian hates Muslims, whatever we think of Islam as a religion. Christ forbids us to do so. We disagree among ourselves as a faith and have fractured into dozens of denominations, as a result, so we can obey Christ's command and worship according to the dictates of our own consciences without fighting amongst ourselves. We'd rather be smaller and peaceful than to have a massively large and powerful church that is at war with itself. The opposite seems to be the case with Islam.
We, Christians, actually love peace. It takes a whole lot of provocation to get us into a war most of the time - like attacking Pearl Harbor without warning or blowing up the World Trade Center (and even then we didn't start anything till the second attempt succeeded). We got into it with Saddam Hussein because he attacked and conquered Kuwait, a sovereign nation and even then we restrained our hand from finishing Saddam once we liberated Kuwait, which is again a sovereign nation. If we hadn't feared he was trying to get weapons of mass destruction, we'd have probably let things go. Despite propaganda to the contrary, his unwillingness to let us freely examine his weapons programs was what led us to the second Iraq war. You don't walk around with your hand in your bulging pocket threatening people, unless you expect them to think you've got a gun. And you shouldn't be surprised if someone shoots you because they are afraid of you. It's a lesson Iranian leaders should have learned. Nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists could start a nuclear holocaust and Iran's willingness to supply arms to terrorists gives us more cause to fear.
Our country has made mistakes in the Middle-East, no question, but that's our nation, not our faith. Nations are run by men and men make mistakes. Our faith says treat all men as you would have them treat you and the majority of Christians do that. Please do not blame the hate speech that gets reported on endlessly by the media on all Christians. These people are our particular fanatics and we oppose them up front and loudly.
If Islam would proclaim that we have the right to live and worship as we see fit, I promise you Christian America will support the same for you - in fact, WE ALREADY DO. If we were to stop having to rescue Arab Christian converts from Middle-Eastern countries who have a death sentence on them for converting, maybe we wouldn't be so afraid of Muslims. We grant Muslims freedom to worship in our own homeland even to the extent that nobody really wants to force the Imam in New York to move the mosque elsewhere - we'd rather he just respect our feelings and move it voluntarily. When is Christianity and Judaism ever going to be tolerated to the same extent by Islam?
We do not pretend to understand the endless squabbles you guys get into over patches of dirt, holy and otherwise. We do not understand why so many Muslims want the Jews dead and pushed into the sea and the nation of Israel eliminated from the face of the Earth. Christians have not demanded that you to return all the ancient Christian and Jewish holy sites over which your faith has built mosques (St. Sophia, The Church of Job and the temple mound in Jerusalem are all Christian holy sites where conquering Islamic nations have erected mosques to celebrate victory over the infidels. The Christian faith sprang from the Middle-East. We count Abraham as our father just as Jews and Muslims do. Why can we not share access to the holy ground we all share in common?
I will tell you why.
Islamic leaders call us infidels and deny us access for that reason alone. According to even tolerant Muslims, a Christian or Jew would, by mere presence, pollute those holy places. Now, a Muslim could freely walk into almost any Christian church or cathedral in the world so long as he or she is respectful without fear. You cannot say that is true for any mosque - at least that is not the impression I have been given by your leaders, apologists and by tourist guidebooks which warn Christians sternly against "violating" Muslim sacred sites.
If you treat people like they are unclean, how can you expect them to love you for it? There are certain Christian churches I have no patience for because of attitudes like that. I stay away from them. I publicly disagree with them if they spew such venom in the press or on-line.
The only hope of friendship between Christian and Muslim is for the mass of believers to come together to oppose evil on both sides. As a Christian I do. When a terrorist claims to be a Christian, the true Christian community rises up and denounces their evil deeds. We do that because in our country, we will not lose our heads for doing so.
One of the things we Christians do not understand is why Muslims do not publicly oppose the fanatics that you claim are not true Muslims, but some kind of fringe group that we should not judge you by. And yet the silence from the Muslim community in the wake of their continued outrages is deafening.
Why is that, if I may ask a question myself? If it is fear of terrorists? Your leaders? The disapproval of your neighbors? I do not understand why the body of Islam remains silent and the mullahs do not speak against such evil-doings. In my country and in my faith, we believe that to see injustice in your own house and in your own neighborhood and to remain silent is to condone that injustice.
There are plenty of times that Christians have remained silent because of fear. We think it's shameful when they do. There are also plenty of Christians who have died or suffered persecution for standing against evil too. It's a hard world and not one in which you can have principles without risk.
Maybe if Muslims and Christians who believe every man has a right to worship as he pleases were to join forces, we could stop some of the foolishness. We shouted down the misguided Preacher who wants to burn the Koran - Christians did that! We do not believe it is right to intentionally offend people of other faiths.
So when do we hear outrage from Muslims about the proposed Mosque that overlooks the site of the World Trade Center? It offends many Americans, Christians or otherwise, not because we hate Muslims, but because, like the construction of the Mosques at the Dome of the Rock, St. Sophia and the Church of Job, this Mosque cannot help but look like another incidence of Islam celebrating a victory over the infidel (us) - especially when so many Muslims danced in the street throughout the Middle-East in celebration on 9/11. How can it hurt to move the site as a gesture of peace to Americans whose lives and families were shattered by a group of madmen flying the flag of Islam? Out of respect.....
We went first and raised our voices against the Koran burning and persecution of Muslims. It's your turn. We love you guys. It's what Christians do.
Tom King - Tyler, Texas