Gary Fouse, fousesquawk
Hat tip to American Thinker
I have had the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-American apostate from Islam, who has written and spoken publicly in a critical manner regarding her former religion. It has put her in risk of her life-even living here in America. Apostasy, coupled with blasphemy, is a death sentence under Islamic law, and there is no dispute about that among Islamic experts. In the piece below, she offers her view on why Muslims have a problem with Jews. According to Darwish, it goes back to the Prophet Mohammed himself, his life history and his own wars with Jews who refused to submit to his new religion, Islam. It is sobering because it is not optimistic. Even more troubling, it implies that there is no solution to the conflict between the Israelis and their Arab neighbors.
One question is how should American (and other) diplomats react to this if it is true that the Arab/Muslim world will never accept this Jewish presence in the Middle East other than by the sheer power of Israel to defend itself? This also goes to the question of whether the Israeli issue is really about land-and which people rightfully own it- or about religion. How do the Israelis themselves and their leaders deal with this proposition? Do they really believe that a negotiated two-state treaty with the Palestinians will bring permanent peace-or just an interim peace as the Arabs continue their effort to eventually capture it all? I am reminded of the peace treaty we signed with the North Vietnamese in Paris. It didn't last long, did it?
Then you look around and see how Christian minorities are being treated in Islamic countries. The Jews are long gone. They were driven out in 1948. There are a few left in Yemen, the last of an ancient presence in that land, but they are trying to get out as well due to the harsh conditions they face. It is the Christians who are now facing the wrath of an awakened Islamic world. And yet, the Christian world remains silent-at least our leaders in Europe and America do. Instead, they pay lip service to this recently-invented term called Islamophobia, that is designed to silence people lest they be painted as bigots. The last thing we as Americans want is to be called bigots due to our own difficult history, which we have worked very hard to overcome. Similarly in Europe, Europeans are afraid to be labeled hate-mongers, which can actually bring prosecution, so they turn a blind eye as the small Jewish communities are tormented by Muslim immigrants. I call it tolerating intolerance in the name of tolerance.
This week, I posted a video by an Irish atheist named Pat Condell, who criticized President Obama for not speaking out against the persecution of Christians across the Islamic world. I think it is a valid criticism. I think aside from the president, there are many others in America who should be speaking out against religious persecution. Why are our Christian churches and our synagogues not speaking out about this campaign of hate around the world? It is largely because they don't want to attack other faiths, in this case Islam. But why should they remain silent when their co-religionists are being persecuted in other parts of the world-whether it be Jews in Europe or Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, or Nigeria? Why is our very State Department trying to cover it up when they are supposed to be issuing annual reports on religious persecution? Are we all afraid to stand up for ourselves?
The three Abrahamaic faiths face a big dilemma today in this world. Christians and Jews must decide if their faiths and their civilizations are worth standing up for. Muslims living in the West must also decide whether they want to live peacefully side by side with Jews and Christians, or whether they subscribe to the teachings of their texts as to non-Muslims and the idea that Islam must prevail world-wide over all other religions. Unlike (Protestant) Christians, who can point to the Reformation, Muslims have another dilemma when it comes to the question of "reforming" Islam. Martin Luther did not reject Jesus Christ and His teachings. He did not reject the Bible. What he rejected, at the risk of his life, was the corruption and rule of the Vatican. In doing so, he allowed Christians to have an alternative way of expressing their devotion to God and Jesus. Can Muslims reform Islam, which, by its very definition, is the perfect faith? Can they reject the Koran, which, according to their belief, is the word of God? Can they reject Mohammed and say that his example and teachings in certain areas are not relevant to the modern world, where we must learn to live together in peace?
How we Christians, Jews and Muslims answer those questions in the next few years will largely determine the fate of the world.