Ishmael, the Bible says would be “a wild donkey of a man.” The attitude of Islamists the world over, and their actions in killing and destroying anything that disagrees with the Quran, forcefully fulfill that prediction.
Yet, Ishmael was cared for by God, as He cares for all humanity. The conflict that resulted and continues today was the result of Abram and Sarai’s momentary lack of faith in the promise of God for a son. Whatever shenanigans brought him to be, God cared for Ishmael as He did for Isaac
That does not mean that God approves of Abram’s or Ishmael’s actions then or their descendants now. It simply means that He has no favourites. The nation of Israel is not “teacher’s pet,” but a chosen vehicle to proclaim His glory—which Israel has failed to do much of the time.
The problem now is how to deal with the conflict so produced: by lack of faith in God on the one hand and the ongoing resentment and enmity it causes on the other. But this scenario is not limited to that between Israel and Islam which continues to plague the world.
In fact, Canada is facing the same dilemma. The treatment of Indians by so-called “Christians” and the stigma attached to natives is the root cause of the current conflict between natives and Canada. Now, native resentment outlasts any reparations Canada might make to them.
Although some attempts at reconciliation have been made by both sides, recent actions reveal smouldering anger continues to dominate First Nations’ approach to Canada. It is doubtful that appeasement will placate this. Both anger and its cure come from within.
As long as an aggrieved party considers itself victimised, it justifies its actions, absorbing and demanding ever more to rectify the pain. It will also turn inward, hurting the very people reparations are meant to help.
The fact that hundreds of millions of dollars given to the Indians was not used to improve their living standards is designed to maintain a victimised appearance, which can be used to exact more concessions—something they have learned from Ishmael’s descendants.
A better lesson can be learned from South Africa, where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu formed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring healing after a period of violent apartheid. Is it possible this can happen here? I pray so.