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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Don't Point to the Cartoon Reaction

Ever since 9/11, we’ve been inundated with the declaration “Islam is a religion of peace.” Recently, the riots in response to the cartoons depicting Mohammed have called that claim into question. Should the reaction of some be regarded as the standard for their religion?

I remember when Shareef Abdur-Rahim fought with a guy. Comments were made questioning whether Islam is really peaceful with Rahim out there throwing punches. I felt that accusation was quite unfair. Though Rahim seems to be the classic player that puts up great stats on terrible teams, he has been a model citizen off the court. Should we consider every believer in the NBA who’s been in a scuffle to be proof that Christianity is not a religion of peace?

We are appalled when professing believers bomb an abortion clinic. We blush when a popular Christian figure says something completely callous about homosexuality. We sigh when a group of believers choose to make a major fuss about a movie produced by the world. But these examples don’t define Christianity.

Your doctrine defines your faith. I still don’t buy that Islam is a religion of peace, but not because of the cartoon riots. There are deeper issues to expose:

1.) The Qu’ran regularly calls for violence to be imposed upon those who refuse to submit. Comments suggesting physical force are peppered throughout the book, without any explanation for not taking those orders literally.
2.) Their religion includes politics. One thing that shocked the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus was that He did not focus on the government. He instructed, as does Paul, that we should submit to the government we are placed under. Islam, however, calls for the merging of faith and politics. Therefore, issues of political power, war, crime and punishment are brought right to the fore in their faith. Violence cannot be avoided, and even must be imposed to continue order and avoid anarchy.
3.) Mohammed and his disciples killed thousands. “Ah, but Christians killed during the crusades,” you say. However, there are a couple things to consider.
a. Those who claimed they were representing Christianity in the crusades would not have our endorsement. We can find no support for the actions of those who claimed to be fighting a Holy War. Believers may have participated, but we would argue they were deceived if they thought it was a war for our faith. You will not hear a Muslim make a similar concession.
b. The Crusades happened well after the life of Mohammed and even further from the time of Christ. Both groups had the potential to see their faith system corrupted. Again, we claim that is the case. Islam does not.
c. Christ died on a cross. Each of the disciples suffered for their faith and all but John were killed for it (and John didn’t experience a picnic.) Mohammed and his disciples killed others. We can’t say the Islamic disciples were acting outside of what their faith accepts, for their own leader responded the same way.
If a Christian were to act out in violence over outrage of the way any member of the Trinity was portrayed, I could easily point to Scripture to expose the error of the person’s ways. I could condemn them, not because it’s uncivil, but because it’s against our Holy Book.

The Muslim may be horrified at the lack of civility of those outraged over Mohammed’s portrayal, but he does not have the luxury of confronting his brother on the basis of his holy book.

The cartoon riots only point to a greater problem, they need to meet the Prince of Peace.


  • At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I dare Kanye West to pose on the cover of Rolling Stone dressed as Muhammed. How do you think the "religion of peace" would respond?

  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    I dare Kanye West to pose on the cover of SLAM magazine dressed as Shareef Abdur-Rahim. How do you think the "Kings fan club" would respond?

  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    who's kanye west?

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger danny2 said…


    i'm dating myself...never the real culturally savvy guy, but i don't know who kanye is.

    i assume from steve's post that kanye posed at Jesus Christ on rollling stone? was that a fair guess? am i right?

    again, i wouldn't point to the response of Islam if kanye did that. i'd point to the fact their religion allows (even calls for) action to be taken.

  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    one only needs to look to the history of Islam to understand why it has become such a violent religion. of all the major world religions, Islam is the only one (as far as i know) who's leader was also a conqueror. aside from founding a religion, Muhammed is remembered for uniting a people under a political system of his making. once he died, a power struggle developed as to who should be his successor, and thus, Islam broke into many sects and has been fighting within itself and with others ever since (i.e. Sunni Muslims blowing themselves up in Shiite Muslim mosques in Iraq while at the same time fighting the Americans or infidels)

  • At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know who Kanye West is!!! :):) LG


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