Monday, May 9, 2011

Where is the Enemy?

Two news reports caught my attention this weekend. The first was the sectarian violence that has erupted in Cairo between Muslims and Coptic Christians. Read the story at

The second was the rape in Cairo of female Journalist, Lara Logan, during the demonstrations against Mubarak. Read the story at

The first story apparently began when Muslim men believed that Christian women converted to Islam and were held in a Christian church against their will. The Christians denied it. A dozen or so have died and over 100 were injured. Lara Logan was brutally gang-raped in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian uprising. She thought she would die slowly and painfully until rescued by some women and soldiers.

I have always maintained that people the world over have a basic desire to bring up their families in peace and safety. Many Muslim families that we know are glad to do just that in western countries. But these two stories show that men committed to radical Muslim faith believe Christian “infidels” are a threat to their faith, and that women are chattels owned by the men.

This radical belief is greatest at the Islamist terrorist threat, and decreases to still dangerous levels in some Muslim sects, until it moderates in those Muslims seeking a peaceful existence. However much we may point to the Koran, or its interpretation, in fomenting this strife, we cannot paint all Muslims with the same brush.

In fact, we experience extremes of belief in our own Christian backyard. The paradox of radical Christianity, often acclaimed as highly spiritual, can result in the grossest arrogance and destructive elitism, considering all others, Christians and non-Christians alike, as inferior—history reveals, even worthy of death.

It may be difficult to believe all others—think of bin Laden—are made in the image of God, with a dignity deserving gentleness and respect. If there is anything radical about Christianity, that is its hallmark. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

No comments: