Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Christian reaction to the Ground Zero Mosque?

I have, in the main, seen two reaction to the Ground Zero Mosque. The conservatives, generally more security-minded than liberals, are aware of the triumphalist message this sends to people who endorsed, applauded, or otherwise expressed sympathies with the 9/11 attacks against America, a group that reportedly includes the intended imam of the proposed mosque. The liberals, generally more multi-cultural minded than conservatives, want to send a welcoming message -- one that makes it clear that such attacks are not necessary because we in America mean no harm to the Muslim world, and that we can overlook the people who sympathize with that type of attack in order to welcome the Muslim community at large.

Both of those political responses have components of Christian thought in them. The liberals have tended towards love for enemies (though possibly at the expense of love for neighbor, if the neighbors are the thousands of families who lost loved ones to terrorist attacks that day, or simply people who do not feel safe with a religious leader who reportedly expressed some sympathies with those attacks setting up camp a stone's throw away). The conservatives have tended towards love for neighbor (though, as far as I can tell, without any recognition that love for enemies should factor into the thinking, or that American Muslim communities include many people who do not, at the present time, endorse attacking America and have not joined the call for open military jihad against us).

It's tempting to get wrapped up in the political and secular end of the question. If I had been a Muslim, good conscience would forbid me to ever set foot in the Ground Zero Mosque because it would give the appearance of endorsing terrorist attacks. This does not seem to be a concern in the Muslim community. I can't imagine Germans building a business-as-usual government building next to the remains of Auschwitz, or the U.S. building a "military technology" museum at Hiroshima. So I do think that, regardless of our own personal reactions to the mosque, we need to notice the lack of that kind of outcry in the Muslim community. What happened at Ground Zero should make them want to reject that site for "business as usual" for their own reasons, if they do not intend to endorse what happened there. It is one thing to debate whether the New Yorkers have a right to object; but like Sherlock Holmes and the dog barking in the night, it is easy to overlook what you're not hearing. A group opposed to what happened there would not want to build a mosque there if they saw that place as the ultimate shame of their religion, that their co-religionists perpetrated such an outrage against humanity. A group that was solidly opposed to what happened there would have its own people screaming out in protest at the choice of the site. The Muslim community knows how to do a protest; why is this passing in relative silence?

But it is at times like this, when the political stakes look to be very high, that it is tempting to stay on that level. As far as the U.S. reaction goes, none of it is surprising. After all, "liberal" and "conservative" are primarily political or ideological identifications, not religious ones and not specifically Christian ones. So the risk is, when the political and ideological stakes are that high, that we lose our specifically Christian identities. We cease being primarily followers of Christ and end up becoming partisans tossed about by every wind of current events. As Christians, we love our neighbors -- and want to keep them safe, and want to heal their wounds. As Christians, we love our enemies -- not just the "safe" ones who don't sympathize with terrorists, either. Most of the political groups are already missing one or the other of those. But the missing piece: as Christians, we proclaim Jesus as the true way to God. No one who takes Jesus' words to heart can endorse a terrorist attack; it is impossible.

Friends, if we really want everyone to live together in peace, the name of Christ is the only thing that will do it. Secularism and goodwill aren't actually strong enough for the job. And regardless of whether we are granted times of peace or not, the love of God in Christ is our message. The politically-minded will see this as hopelessly naive. I suppose we're even; I see faith in politics as hopelessly naive. There is no political answer for how to turn a terrorist into a friend; terrorists either die or become oppressors, unless they have a change of heart so that their hatred dies. Christ is that change of heart. We fail to recognize that at our own risk.


trencherbone said...

The Muslims have made a major tactical blunder with the Ground Zero Victory Mosque, and we Islamically-aware counterjihadists need to use it and strike while the iron is hot. The Muslim grand strategy requires incremental creeping Sharia and supremacism, where Islam insidiously takes over and slowly destroys Western civilization by a thousand cuts. Every advance should be so small that the 'najis kafir sons of pigs and monkeys' (that's us, folks!) either don't notice it, or can't be bothered to oppose such a minor irritation.

But this abomination has half awoken the sleeping giant of American Public Opinion. We need to keep prodding the giant to prevent him falling back to sleep, and hopefully get him to awake fully. To do this we need to spread our message beyond the counter-jihadist blogosphere, using local media and social networks etc.

We also need to link the Mosque issue to the general problems of Islamic supremacism in as many ways as possible, a full list of topics can be found here.

A particular example that most Americans will be unaware of is the Islamic motivation for the Beslan child-rape orgy and massacre, the sixth anniversary of which approaches. The MSM went to great lengths to cover up both the vileness of the sexual tortures, and the Muslim involvement and Islamic doctrinal basis of this attack on kafir children

Although Beslan did not produce the greatest number of casualties of the current jihad, it exceeds all others in its sadism and depravity, and graphically illustrates what we have allowed into the West. Please ensure through your blogs and forums that the anniversary of Beslan is not forgotten this year.

Weekend Fisher said...

Mm, I'm wondering whether you're here for a conversation or if you're one of the various drive-by spammers that I get whenever my topic line is controversial.

Here's the thing: when it comes to Islam, most people are either determinedly naive or alarmist. Good, solid information -- without making a good story better and without playing down the horror -- is thin on the ground.

For example, on the alarmist side, I've heard some call Mohammed a child rapist over his marriage to Aisha. (Some of the links on your blog looked like they were going that direction, is why I mention it.) I consider this to be nonsense because by all records, Aisha was perfectly willing and she was happy, not traumatized. (In some of the hadiths, she comes across as sharper than her husband, even if a mere fraction of his age.) It really doesn't help the people trying to raise an alarm when someone raises a false alarm. It just gives credibility to people who say there's no cause for alarm because look at the nonsense being spewed by the alarmists.

If you're interested in raising an alarm, please stick very solidly to indisputable facts.

Most people are completely sure that, if the truth were actually horrifying, someone they trusted would have told them, and it would be common knowledge.

I still remember back when I was absolutely sure that the person who was trying to tell me was a liar (and a bigoted liar, while we're at it) until I did some fact-checking and found that Mohammed really was ... different in ethics ... from anyone else we call a founder of a religion (and I don't mean that as a compliment).

I wonder very much if the Muslims know that the founders of other religions didn't order the assassinations of their critics? Or the massacre/enslavement of entire tribes? I wonder if they have grasped the fact that the reason most westerners are so surprised that devout Muslims want to kill Danish cartoonists is because no other "founder of a great religion" resorted to that kind of tactic, which we find low and cowardly and evil, and all the proof we'd ever need that someone *wasn't* holy.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

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Howard said...

Some very key observations here regarding the fractured nature of modern society and how secularism and ideology in general - whatever the outcome on this particular matter - fails to truly heal us. Only the true revelation of Jesus Christ can truly make the deep change required there. By His stripes, our shredded race and broken existence is granted health.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi Howard

Good to see you again. Hope all is going well. :)

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF