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It’s the religion, stupid

18 June 2016

9:00 AM

18 June 2016

9:00 AM

Predictably, the perverse hopes of a few so-called ‘commentators’ that the Orlando nightclub shooter would be a white, conservative Christian have been dashed. The insensitivity was a repeat of that on display immediately after the Boston Marathon bombing, when the same people fantasised that the perpetrator might be a Tea Party member, angry about having to pay the tax that fell due that day. Alas, their dreams got the better of them; their twitter feeds bore witness to their own hubris, cultural ignorance, and hatred of the West. As they have again.

The shooter was quickly identified as Omar Mateen, an American-born security guard and, believe it or not, a devout Muslim. But of course you believe it! Even those who obtusely tweet the aforementioned foolishness, and the politicians they inexplicably influence, believe it. And so their mission changes from clumsily predicting the unlikely scenario of a Christian terrorist, to discrediting the very real, very obvious link between an incredibly violent Muslim, and the (fictional) peaceful religion of Islam.

This is no easy task when, along with details of relationship and work history, a picture is emerging of Mateen as a particularly pious Muslim. The basic rule of thumb for commentators and politicians when pressed for a statement, or when moved by emotion or vanity to broadcast their unsolicited musings on social media, is to tread the well-worn path to the Religion of Peace via an oft-repeated mantra such as ‘nothing to do with Islam’. Such is the inquisitiveness of our media that what should be the very next question – ‘On what authority do you make that claim?’ or ‘Where does your knowledge of Islam come from?’ – is never asked or answered.

This journalistic neglect prompts Internet searching by the citizenry who go online and inform themselves on Islam, often with attendant horror as they discover a clear link between this growing religion and increasingly frequent terror attacks in the West. The evidence is plain, convincing, and (unfortunately for the media/political elites who have become Islam’s useful idiots) rather accessible. When clicking hyperlinks, one may stumble upon the two points of revelation to Mohammad: Mecca (where he understood Christians and Jews to be Islam’s natural, monotheistic allies) and Medina (where enmity developed between Islam and the other two Abrahamic religions, and where the Religion of Peace, frankly, stopped being peaceful). While there is certainly no Old/New Testament divide in Islam, the latter revelation of Medina – where Muslims were commanded to convince and coerce infidels, by all kinds of means, up to and including some of the most gruesome deaths imaginable – abrogates whatever tolerance might be found in Koranic Mecca. The result is a consistent Islamic ethic and the foundations of a consistent Islamic approach to proselytisation, jurisprudence, and punishment.

Not that this gives those Islamic scholars that occupy our parliaments and newsrooms any pause for thought. To them ‘radical Islam’ or Islamism has nothing whatsoever to do with common or garden Islam. However, these are thoroughly Western categories unknown in Islamic religious and legal thought until the last few years. Islam and Islamism are inextricably linked, a point Turkish president Erdogan has been very clear on recently. But back to the great bi-partisan fraud perpetrated on the West by its own political and intellectual gatekeepers…

The deception works because it employs the notion of religious equivalence. The whole charade is predicated on blurting out seemingly random examples of unchristian Christianity. ‘The Inquisition’, one of our corps of theologian-journalists will scream, usually accompanied by an inability to recite even its most basic historical data. ‘Abortion Clinic Bombings’, another might cry out, completely unaware that the last such attack positively linked to Christians was in 1996. ‘Srebrenica’, a politician will mention, referring to the 1995 genocide in Bosnia. And there is Obama’s favourite: ‘the Crusades’ (not that he’s interested in the contemporary scholarship that suggests the rescue of Christians in Jerusalem under attack by – ahem – Muslims was at least as much a motivation as the promise of a holy adventure). All of these events were deplorable, or had many deplorable aspects. But there is no comparison to Christianity. Not only are they historical, isolated, and usually intertwined in the messiness of the geo-politics of the day, they are also unchristian. This is not to say that Christians didn’t commit the atrocities, but that when they did, they did so erroneously, sinfully, and without the sanction of the Bible or the God of it.

As a regular Bible reader (and indeed as someone with a couple of degrees in theology), I am often amused when people who are at best irregular Bible readers lecture me on its contents. ‘What about Leviticus?’ comes the familiar rhetorical question, along with a vague reference to ‘executing people like Isis do.’ But this is not the ‘gotcha moment’ many non-Christians, politicians, commentators, and others who couldn’t find Leviticus in their Bible think that it is. For about two thousand years the Christian church has had a consistent understanding of how the Law of Moses (which includes the dastardly-sounding Leviticus) now applies. Suffice to say the ‘civil’ laws of the theocratic nation of Israel (including the judicial punishments) no longer apply because there is no theocratic nation of Israel. This isn’t an outlier theological position, nor is it textual gymnastics to explain away an embarrassing imperative. It’s what Christians have believed since New Testament times, proven by their relative peacefulness, especially today.

The attack on the Pulse nightclub was an attack on the homosexual community – there must be no hesitation in acknowledging that. But it was also an attack on the US, and on Western civilisation and freedoms. We fall into the trap of identity politics if we see it only as a ‘gay hate’ crime. It is a deceit to say that it was Islamism rather than a manifestation of Islam. And it is a lie to pretend that gays, America, or the West have as much to fear from conservatism, guns, Christianity, Trump, or whatever else we are being fed to distract us from the uncomfortable truth of Islam.

The post It’s the religion, stupid appeared first on The Spectator.

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