February 6, 2015
As the world reacts with shock and horror at
the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—most recently the
immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama's response has been one of
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on
February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their "high horse"
and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:
Unless we get on our high horse and think this
[beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other
place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed
terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
There is so much to be said here. First, the
obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate "justified in the name of
Christ" and violence and hate "justified in the name of Muhammad"
is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.
This is not just a theoretic point; it is the
very reason that Muslims
are still committing savage atrocities. Every evil act IS commits—whether
beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents
in the deeds of Muhammad, that most "perfect" and "moral"
man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see "The
Islamic State and Islam" for parallels).
Does Obama know something about Christ—who
eschewed violence and told people to love and forgive their enemies—that we
don't? Perhaps he's clinging to that solitary
verse that academics like Philip Jenkins habitually highlight, that
Christ—who "spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable
spoke not" once said, "I come not to bring peace but a sword."
(Matt. 10:34, 13:34).
Jesus was not commanding violence
against non-Christians but rather predicting that Christians will be
persecuted, including by family members (as, for example, when a Muslim family
slaughters their child for "apostatizing" to Christianity as happens
Conversely, in its fatwa
justifying the burning of the Jordanian captive, the Islamic State cites
Muhammad putting out the eyes of some with "heated irons" (he also cut
their hands and feet off). The fatwa also cites Khalid bin al-Walid—the
heroic "Sword of Allah"—who burned apostates to death, including one
man whose head
he set on fire to cook his dinner on.
Nor is the Islamic State alone in burning
people. Recently a "mob accused of burning
alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped
a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily."
As for the Islamic "authorities," Al
Azhar—the Islamic world's oldest and most prestigious university which
cohosted Obama's 2009 "New Beginning" speech—still assigns books
every barbarity IS commits, including burning
people alive. Moreover, Al Azhar—a religious institution concerned
with what is and is not Islamic—has called for the cutting off of the hands
and feet of IS members, thereby legitimizing such acts according to Islamic law.
On the other
hand, does Obama know of some secret document in the halls of the Vatican that
calls for amputating, beheading or immolating enemies of Christ to support his
As for the much maligned Crusades, Obama
naturally follows the mainstream academic narrative that anachronistically
portrays the crusaders as greedy, white, Christian imperialists who decided to
conquer peace-loving Muslims in the Middle East.
Again, familiarity with the true sources and
causes behind the Crusades shows that they were a response to the very same
atrocities being committed by the Islamic State today.
Consider the words of Pope Urban II, spoken
almost a millennium ago, and note how well the portions in italics perfectly
mirror IS behavior:
From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of
Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been
brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians [i.e.,
Muslim Turks] … has invaded the lands of those Christians and has
depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the
captives into its own country [as slaves], and a part it has destroyed by cruel
tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated
them for the rites of its own religion …. What shall I say of the abominable
rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent…. On whom
therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory
incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred
remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength…
If the crusaders left their own lands and
families to come to the aid of persecuted Christians and to liberate Jerusalem,
here is Obama portraying them as no better than the Islamic State—which isn't
surprising considering that, far from helping persecuted Christians, Obama's
policies have significantly worsened their plight.
The true lesson of the Crusades is that
Islamic violence has been remarkably consistent, down
to its very patterns of persecution. And, according to primary historical
day fantasies peddled by the likes of Karen Armstrong—Muslim persecution
of Christians was indeed a primary impetus for the Crusades.
As for the Inquisition, this too took place in
the context of Christendom's struggle with Islam. (Isn't it curious that the
European nation most associated with the Inquisition, Spain, was also the one
ruled longest by, and heavily populated with, Muslims?) After the Christian
reconquest of Spain, Muslims, seen as untrustworthy, were ordered either to
convert to Christianity or go back to Africa whence they came. Countless Muslims
feigned conversion by practicing taqiyya
and living as moles, always trying to subvert Spain back to Islam. Hence the
extreme measures of the Inquisition—which, either way, find no support in the
teachings of Christ.
Conversely, after one of his jihads, Muhammad
had a man tortured to death with fire in order to reveal his tribe's hidden
treasure and "married" the same man's wife hours later.
Unsurprisingly, the woman, Safiya, later confessed that "Of
all men, I hated the prophet the most—for he killed my husband, my
brother, and my father," before "marrying" her.
In short, Obama's claim that there will always
be people willing to "hijack religion for their own murderous ends" is
patently false when applied to the Islamic State and like organizations and
Muhammad himself called for the murder of his
enemies; he permitted Muslims to feign friendship to his enemies in order to
assassinate them; he incited his followers to conquer and plunder non-believers,
promising them a sexual paradise if they were martyred; he kept sex slaves and
practiced pedophilia with his "child-bride," Aisha.
He, the prophet of Islam, did everything the
Islamic State is doing.
If Muslims are supposed to follow the sunna,
or example, of Muhammad, and if Muhammad engaged in and justified every
barbarity being committed by the Islamic State and other Muslims—how, exactly,
are they "hijacking" Islam?
Such is the simple logic Obama fails to grasp.
Or else he does grasp it—but hopes most Americans don't.