Mr. Ibrahim Hooper with the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) performs a rather odd pirouette attempting to link the teachings of Jesus Christ to those of a peaceful, tolerant Mohammed (Jesus and Mohammed are Brothers, December 7th, 2012). Instead of navel-gazing on possibilities, one might suggest Mr. Hooper simply open a newspaper to find out how amazingly inaccurate this spin truly is.
For example, I wonder if the Egyptian Copts currently living under the threat of shariah law, forced upon them by their own government, would agree that the Islamist view of Jesus the prophet reconciles with the Christian idea of Jesus the Christ?
What was probably the most outrageous statement from Mr. Hooper was the line “(d)isrespect towards Jesus is very offensive to Muslims.”
An interesting statement, considering that when Jesus is maligned in the Middle East, there are no riots, no embassies burning, no protests erupting in violence occur.
This lack of violence in response to the offense of Islamists and others isn’t because Christians are not deeply offended when Jesus Christ is maligned — in fact, the outrage is all the more sincere because who Christians believe Jesus is.
Yet the Islamic experience is far different. When Pope Benedict XVI quoted a Byzantine scholar who reflected on this tradition of force and violence in Islam back in 2006, how did the Islamist main street respond? With force and violence.
When the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, what was their response to pro-democracy movements after Morsi was elected? Force and violence.
Where in the Quran does it proscribe throwing acid into the faces of Christians, denying women their basic human rights, or throwing homosexuals from rooftops? Again, more force and violence.
The Arab Spring, the attacks in Benghazi, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, domestic terror attacks by Iraqi nationals on Social Security buildings in Arizona, the radicalization of American mosques and the creation of “no-go” zones for infidels right here on American soil — are any of these examples of the teachings of Christ?
Or are they examples of the force and violence deeply embedded within Islam?
Mr. Hooper and CAIR aren’t exactly paragons of virtue in this regard. Indicted as co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation’s smuggling of funds to Islamist terror group Hamas, CAIR has participated in the very acts of violence Mr. Hooper today claims to deplore.
Which CAIR are we supposed to believe today?
Western Civilization and the Christian traditions that informed its rise have a very different understanding of the concepts of reason, faith, force and violence than today’s Islamists and their representations of the prophet Mohammed.
In the Christian West, God acts according to His own nature. That nature is reasonable, patient, charitable, and kind even to those seeking to harm Christians.
Those are the teachings of Christ. When such teachings are held in contrast to the practices of Islam both abroad and at home here in the United States, a sharp division is drawn.
But not at the fault of the Christian West.
There are many voices in the United States calling for the same militant brand of Islam we see sprouting like so many weeds in the Arab Spring. Few are the voices calling for moderation, and even fewer still are the voices that call for such reformation among the Islamist worldview.
Robert Reilly’s The Closing of the Muslim Mind talks about the Islamist reformation of the 11th and 12th centuries as an experiment gone horribly wrong. In simple raw terms of cause and effect, while Christians understand God acts according to reason and love, Islam allows Allah to act beyond those boundaries of faith, love, reason, and existence — even in defiance of those concepts.
The profound subtleties behind this are simple: while the Christian God behaves according to reason, the Islamist God cannot be confined as such. Allah may exhibit the qualities of love, compassion and mercy. But he is not bound to them.
Acts of force and violence within Islam — should they have the unfortunate happenstance to occur — are therefore all captured under the umbrella of the will of Allah. Should Allah choose to stop it, he may. Or he may not.
If this strikes the Western readers as unreasonable, that is because such a position is the very definition of anti-reason. It is precisely why Islamists such as Mr. Hooper speak of a brotherhood between Jesus and Mohammed, but the relationship is mere form rather than true essence.
Defenders of the Christian West must remain absolutely vigilant against the force and violence of Islam and in defense of the open public square. It is both a sacred moral duty and a necessary requirement of representative government as Islam seeks to shame and silence opposition to its creed.
CAIR and other Islamist organizations operating in the United States may profess a desire for understanding, but at the end of the day it will only be on their terms.
The Quran merely cheats the reputation of Jesus by offering a cameo appearance — and little else. Islam allows Jesus a few mentions, but not because Islam embraces the teachings of Christ in the slightest — borrowing the reputation of the greatest figure in human history in order to embellish the reputation of Mohammed and Islam.
No Christian would recognize the Jesus of the Quran. Certainly no Muslim recognizes the Jesus of Holy Scripture.