Thursday, May 14, 2015

Still no answers on how to deal with Radical Islam

In the next few weeks the international blight known as ISIS will most likely be in control of an ancient city named Palmyra.  It is one of the archaeological jewels of the Middle East.  And if past behavior is any indication, ISIS will destroy it.  

That means thousands of years of history will be lost to a group of people who think it is God's will to take over the world by force and make everyone submit to their version of truth.

This kind of activity has made it popular to shake our heads and pronounce religion and faith as divisive and destructive pursuits that sour everything.  I agree that ISIS is a cancer on humanity that needs to be stopped, but to lump it in with religion everywhere is wrong.

There is a big difference between someone who is pushy with their faith and takes up your lunch break quoting scripture and a group of people who march dozens of individuals onto a beach and videotape their beheading.

Big difference between the guy who wears a T-shirt that reads, "Turn or Burn" and a group of people whose aim is to kill people who draw cartoons of their religious leader.

Let's face it, people are weird no matter what their flavor is.  Watch the upcoming political conventions.  Crackpot democrats with their tree-hugging t-shirts and hats are in the same stream as the republicans who carry signs about their right to own guns.  So it stands to reason you are going to have religious nuts who get carried away with their faith.  That is part of learning how to navigate through life.  You put up with some weirdos and you get on with things.

But how do you get on with life when you have rocks thrown at you because you are not wearing a burqa?  How do we as a society put arms around a religion that says it is okay to kill someone out of honor?  Christianity may have the goal of 'reaching the whole world for Christ' but it is reaching the whole world with 'the Word of God.'  You have the choice to accept it or reject it.

How do we accommodate a faith whose aim is to have the whole world submit?

This is not to say that every Muslim has this aim.  Indeed the majority of Muslims I have met seem fine to talk with me about their faith and if I choose or reject it I don't suffer harm.  

Of course that could be because 70% of the American public is Christian and less than 1% is Muslim.  In Europe they are dealing with very radical sects of Islam whose aim is to forcefully convert municipalities to more radical Muslim ideas.

In just a few weeks we will lose a very valuable piece of history in the Middle East.  

What will it take for us to figure out how to stop the advancement of radical Islam?

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