After the bombing in Paris, Ron Paul said the following:
“I put blame on bad policy that we don’t fully understand, and we don’t understand what they’re doing because the people who are objecting to the foreign policy that we pursue, they do it from a different perspective. . . They see us as attacking them, and killing innocent people, so yes, they, they have — this doesn’t justify, so don’t put those words in my mouth — it doesn’t justify, but it explains it.” (H/T: Washington Post)
I do understand why Muslims might see the United States as the enemy and would want to retaliate in a violent way if we killed many innocent people in their countries. Millions of Americans were ready to go to war after 9-11. The same was true after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941.
I’m no expert on foreign policy, but it’s a bit naïve to claim that the reason Islamists are killing people around the world is because of our nation’s foreign policy objectives and actions. America’s actions overseas do not explain why on Easter Sunday Islamists bombed “crowds of families celebrating Easter at a park in the city of Lahore on Sunday, killing at least 60 people and injuring an additional 300 in an attack the jihadists said had deliberately targeted Christians.”
The Rev. Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest and native of India, “was kidnapped in Yemen in early March during a raid on a nursing home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.” He was crucified on Easter day. (Source) This mocking murder followed the murder of four nuns who were “executed by gunmen in Yemen at a home where they cared for elderly and disabled residents.” (Source)
If anything, the people who are being murdered are a symbolic threat to an ideology that has world conquest as the ultimate goal. For centuries, Muslims have believed that the greatest threat to Islamic world domination was Christianity. This was before a preoccupation by Christians with the any-moment “rapture” (escape) of the church from planet earth became the operating end-time paradigm among Christians. There was no reason to get involved in “worldly” issues since Jesus was coming soon because all of the signs are in the place as evidence that we are the “terminal generation.” You don’t rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking ship, and the world is a sinking ship.
Bernard Lewis explains why he believes Christianity was viewed by Islamists as their chief rival:
“[T]hey are far more concerned with the Christians who, as the bearers of a competing proselytizing religion and the masters of a rival universal empire, offered a serious alternative and therefore a potential threat to the Muslim dispensation and the Islamic [inhabited world].”1
There are at least a billion Christians worldwide. Islamists still view Europe as Christian territory. Christian missionaries are always in danger of being found out in Islamist nations. Churches have been razed and burned. Christians have been beheaded. Christian children have been sold into slavery. It’s Islam’s way of proselytizing and striking fear in its enemies.
What did the United States do that warranted the murder of Asad Shah in Scotland?:
“A popular shopkeeper who wished Christians a happy Easter on Facebook was stabbed to death in what police in Scotland say was a ‘religiously prejudiced’ attack carried out by a fellow Muslim. . . .
“A vigil was held Friday night in Glasgow’s Shawlands neighborhood in memory of Asad Shah who was killed the day before — a few hours after he apparently posted messages on Facebook that said ‘Good Friday and very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.’
“‘Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds,’ one of the messages said.”
In the long run, Christianity is the last bastion of opposition to a world-wide Islamic caliphate. Secularism cannot defeat Islam. It believes in an internal change made by God through the Holy Spirit. Islam knows no such internal transformation. There is no way to relieve the consequences of sin in Islam. Islam is a religion of perpetual works. God’s kingdom advances through proclamation and reclamation. Islam advances through the power of the sword and intimidation.
In order to protect the inadequacies of Islam, all competitors must be eradicated. Of course, if this ever happens, Islam will destroy itself because it will turn on any Muslim who does not measure up to the strictest of Muslim concerns.
Quoted in Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 153. ↩