It is curious that there is a tendency to compare our theory with someone else’s practice. Thus the act of Saudi fundamentalist practice of terrorism on the Twin Towers is seen reprehensible by most in our culture because the action targeted 3000 innocent people in a city sufficiently similar to our cities to make it personal, and many appear to believe it gives us adequate reason to distrust Islamic fundamentalism…. their practice. Their motives are beside the point according to common wisdom. It is only their practice that counts because, as is taught in the Bible, actions reveal what is in the heart. Even more curiously we see the very few who do behave in this manner as representing a vast majority who share the same faith label. When we respond to the isolated terrorist act and rise up in righteous anger based on our principles which by our definition must be Christian and drop white phosphorus on civilians in the nearest handy country containing people with roughly similar religion to those in nearby Saudi Arabia ie Iraq it is regrettable that more of their innocent die than was the case in the Twin Towers– but to our thinking our principles are too important to start worrying about how our practice might be misperceived.
Unfortunately the families of the victims in Iraq seem too unsophisticated to realise that they should not notice our actions, but rather our motives. They say they are upset by our actions and use them to judge what is really in our hearts.
Perhaps we might understand a little more of why fundamentalist Moslem terrorists appear to hate us if we were to imagine for a moment their people doing to us what we have supported doing to them in the recent past.
Let us suppose that some radical Canadians (who probably seem in Moslem eyes to have the same religion as us) were to bring down a building in a Moslem nation. Let us further suppose that the Moslem nation is infuriated with this cowardly act and decides to teach those who share the faith of the Christian Canadians who did this dastardly deed a lesson… and bombed the city of New York with white phosphorus killing thousands. If further to these acts apparent bigots in their midst burned our Bibles and religious symbols I struggle to see how this would encourage us to follow their faith. Would we be understanding and admire their principles rather than their action because this is what we expect of them. I suggest it is more likely we would try to make them suffer for what they had done to us?
As a wise man once said… “Bombing a city has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants”.
I would have thought that the reason why many in the West admire and are influenced by folk such as Mother Teresa is because of their acts of charity and love. While others like Hitler showed their attitude to those of the Jewish faith by encouraging burning their books I would have thought this had absolutely nothing to do with furthering the cause of true Christianity despite what Hitler claimed to believe.
Every religion has its sacred symbols and sacred practices. It just so happens that many Moslems consider the Koran sacred and venerate it. The act of burning their sacred book is hard to see as anything but a calculated insult and regardless of what we as followers of a related but different faith may think of the Koran, the act is clearly not designed as an act of love. If then a fundamentalist Pastor in the US did succeed in burning the Korans he has been sent by similar minded bigots, should we be surprised if Moslems are offended and look for means of adequate reprisal?