How Should We Respond to Sonia Kruger and Waleed Aly ?

Social Media Firestorms, Islam, and #SendingForgivenessViral.

A firestorm erupted on Social Media last week.

Sonia Kruger, Channel Nine TV show personality, made provocative comments about Islamic Immigration and  terrorism:

There is a correlation between the number of people in a country who are Muslim and the number of terrorist attacks…Personally, I would like to see [Islamic immigration] stop now for Australia. I want to feel safe…” [emphasis added].

Unsurprisingly, social media went into meltdown.

An ‘I stand with Sonia Kruger’ FB page was set up, gathering 17, 000 likes. Twitter comments flew thick and fast, both supporting and condemning.

Even PM Malcolm Turnbull got drawn into the debate.

The Project’s Waleed Aly, eloquent as always, chimed in and his response went viral. Speaking of the hate that Sonia received for her comments, Waleed said:

Sonia Kruger isn’t evil. She’s scared and she’s trying to make sense of the world. Yesterday, she admitted to not feeling safe. How do you think she feels now? And how do you expect her to react?”

Waleed Aly and Sonia Kruger. Courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au

Waleed Aly and Sonia Kruger. Courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au

So how should Christians respond to Sonia’s comments?

Whatever our views,  we need to resist the temptation to respond emotionally. Instead, here are  5 thoughts to help us think through this issue:

1) We Must Reject False and Simplistic Narratives:

The false narratives of  “all Muslims are terrorists”, or “Islam has nothing to do with Terrorism”.

The first narrative is easy to shoot down: just spend time with some decent Muslims. The majority of Muslims don’t want anything to do with terrorism . Out of love for our Muslim neighbours, Christians must reject any such false stereotyping, and speak up against it when it occurs. Not all Muslims are terrorists.

But the second narrative, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, is also simplistic. If Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, then why do so many terrorist organisations identify as Islamic?  Why aren’t there similar numbers of terrorists identifying as other religions?

It’s a thorny question, particularly in the current climate. But it’s one we need to explore if we’re to understand the complex issue of Islamist terrorism.

One way to explore this issue is to see when Waleed Aly (almost) agreed with Sonia Kruger:

2) When Waleed Aly Almost Agreed with Sonia Kruger About Islam and Terrorism:

‘If you upset Muslims, they can become terrorists.’

After the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, Waleed Aly gave another viral speech on The Project TV show about ISIL.  He said:

‘[ISIL] wants countries like our’s to reject their Muslims and vilify them…if [ISIL] can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France and England and America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn but to ISIL.’ [emphasis added].

Fairfax columnist John Birmingham recently made the same point.

Now God forbid that innocent Muslim citizens are rejected and vilified. As Christians, we must stand up for our Muslim neighbours.   

But do you see Waleed’s argument? It boils down to this:

IF we alienate and demonise Muslims, they’ll join ISIS,  and become terrorists.

Sounds logical, doesn’t it?

If we alienate and demonise this particular (Muslim) minority, they’ll become terrorists.

But here’s my question.

What about the (many) other alienated and demonised minorities in our society – why aren’t they in danger of becoming terrorists?

For example:

  • The LGBTI minority: LGBTI people (especially youth) are reported to be severely at risk from demonization and alienation – leading to an increased risk of suicide. But we’re never warned about them taking up arms and committing terrorism. Why not?
  • Persecuted Religious minorities overseas, namely Christians. Christians are one of the most persecuted minority groups in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Yet where are the Christian terrorist organisations,  responding to their unjust persecution with terrorism? 
  • Western Christians: Where are the outraged western Christians, who terrorise western Muslims for the ‘Imperialistic Islamic oppression’ of Christians overseas?

I could go on, but you get the point:

Alienation alone does not automatically a terrorist make. 

Islam is clearly a factor in Islamic terrorism.

Again, this doesn’t mean all Muslim’s are terrorists (or even could be terrorists).

But we need a more nuanced discussion about the relationship between Islam, and terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. Otherwise,  we’ll prescribe solutions to terrorism that don’t treat the actual cause.

3)  If We Genuinely Care About Our Muslim Neighbour, We’ll Care About Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is not just a ‘Christian’ issue: it’s a justice issue that affects non-Christians.

Waleed Aly expressed grave concern in his recent video for the future of Australian Muslims:

“I see such hostility and aggression and I’m afraid… I’m terrified about what it’s doing to my friends and my family. Honestly, I’m scared about where I belong”

I share Waleed’s concern.

When people openly advocate detaining all Muslims in response to Islamic terrorism –  as Waleed mentions in his video –  you know that fear is pushing us to places a civilised society must never go.

And so out of love for our Muslim neighbour, Christians must speak up for Muslim civil rights – and their religious rights.

These rights will come under increasing pressure if (or when) Australia gets hit by a terrorist attack. But taking away civil and religious freedoms without due cause would only harm our Muslim neighbour.

Which is another reason why Christians should be at the front of the debates over religious freedom – a freedom that’s for all people.

4)  The “Problem” of Democracy: Free Speech

Should Kruger’s comments be banned?  

The ABC’s Scott Stevens recently said:

Whether it be Sonia Kruger, Donald Trump or Pauline Hanson, there’s a toxic language that’s becoming incredibly prevalent within our public culture…and because of that I’m wondering whether we…can still be trusted with the privilege of freedom of speech.  [emphasis added]

Stevens thinks the government should further restrict free speech, making Kruger’s comments illegal.

But I think increased government regulation of speech would do more damage than it solves: After all, who gets to decide what’s ‘offensive’, and what’s not?

Furthermore, a  functioning democracy assumes that people are able to think for themselves – including discussing contentious issues – otherwise,  why trust them with a vote every 3-4 years?

Without robust freedom of speech – including the freedom for  Sonia Kruger to make her comments – our democracy would inevitably grow weaker.

5) Using our Free Speech Well

The best way to counter bad speech is with better speech – mixed with mercy. 

Thomas Jefferson declared:

‘Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it’.

Free speech leaves reason ‘free’ to combat error of opinion – which is why we should keep it- whatever your view of Kruger’s comments.

But from  a Christian perspective, we don’t just have a right to free speech (from undue government interference), we also have a moral obligation to speak lovingly to others.

Waleed Aly says it well:

I’m talking about assuming the best in people; showing others radical generosity in the face of their hostility even when it hurts. This is the much harder choice because it demands much more restraint, patience and so much more strength. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen outrage go viral. Wouldn’t it be amazing if just once we could send forgiveness viral? [emphasis added].

So whenever we hear or read something we disagree with, let’s not ‘pile on’.

Or vilify.

Instead, let’s respond in a reasonable and loving way.

Conclusion: Christians must be the ones who reach out to Muslim neighbours.

Sonia Kruger is afraid. She’s afraid of having more Muslims in our country. But she’s also afraid of the Muslims already here.

Now whatever your views on Islamic immigration, Christians aren’t to live in fear.

Instead, we’re to reach out. We must follow in the footsteps of our Messiah, who put his life on the line for the sake of others. This will mean taking the initiative as Churches, Campus Christian groups, and as individuals, to build relationships with our Muslim neighbours.

Helping them feel welcome.

Sharing our lives with them.

Sharing the gospel with them.

How beautiful would it be, if in this time of fear and anxiety, Christians would be the ones to model love – costly, Christ-like love – that builds bridges with our Muslim neighbours?

 

 

What about you? What are your thoughts about Sonia Kruger’s comments? 

 

Leave a Reply

20 thoughts on “How Should We Respond to Sonia Kruger and Waleed Aly ?

  1. Akos, I have only recently discovered your blogs and am enjoying your thinking. Jut a comment on one line if I may on this one. In section 4 you use the line ‘offensive comments like Kruger’s’. While her comment may be ill-considered, it is an opinion, expressed genuinely and honestly. In what way is it offensive? Given recent events is it not unreasonable to exercise greater care about importing an ideology that as you put it is a factor in violent terrorism? After all, who get to decide what is offensive? In this case it seems you do?

  2. Yes I think blanket banning, while reasonable and based on fact (not hatred), does not allow for love, forgiveness and grace. But on the other hand, being so self-righteous that you can’t hear (won’t allow) someone who wants a blanket ban is also not very loving. We need to hear where Sonia is coming from, but then present some alternative options that would not disaffect and disadvantage all those Muslims who are doing the right thing.

  3. Free speech cannot be curtailed or it will be a censored life for everyone living in Australia, with many progressive and detrimental repercussions into the future. What really needs to happen, and I know it is idealistic, is that radical and hate speaking people need to be healed of their destructive thinking by being educated, not hurled abuse and returning their hate in their faces. Unfortunately, so many people just tell lies these days to ‘support’ their cause including politicians, and so it is increasingly hard to trust anyone in leadership who has not ‘proved’ themselves somehow. But this is sorely needed, and hate speeches will become more differences of opinion and rational debates can really be held on many issues. Abusing and calling names is so childish and immature.

    It is what people are thinking that they are tweeting or posting on social media. It also seems an extremely high number of people are just venting their strong opinion, rather than having a debate as such – it is one way diatribe with the intention of belittling the ‘opposition’. When we are bombarded with news that is always negative, sad, reporting bad things including blowing up things and killing people, replaying social media things that ISIL say or intend doing or have done, it is really easy to become discouraged, to become afraid of many things and people. It is slow and insidious, but repetition is breeding the reactions by ordinary citizens. The media are actually helping promote the evil acts by reporting them in detail, and they are advertising ISIL freely, doing their dirty work for them.

    I am a Grandmother, and I have watched over the decades, the degradation of home life through absence of parents, usurping parental standards by different people in child minding institutions that bring up children while the parents work (this is my personal observation NOT an attack on working parents!). The slow creep of allowing the TV to baby sit children, of technology of all kinds and now social media keeping children from being ‘bored’ has eroded the family ideal, structure, training and relationships so that one generation has managed to change the way families co-exist.

    When no nurturing as a family unit takes place, children, youth and young people in particular grow apart, become self independent and at the mercy of whatever fear factors latch on and take them hostage. I’m not immune and have worked hard at keeping my family grounded and looking at both sides of an ‘argument’ – I’m fearful, but I try to determine both sides, to give every person the ‘not guilty’ approach, and ‘what makes them tick’. I dislike the hatred being speared at anyone who speaks their mind. In Sonia Kruger’s case, she simply answered a question honestly, and I saw no hatred in her words at all. She is scared, and having been asked, she replied honestly. I admire that. It is refreshing in this abuse age.

  4. I am seeing Western society slipping downhill faster and faster. And I am seeing commercial electronic media slipping away from standards formerly held. And the ABC just sculls along with the crowd since they love audience counts and don’t want to be “out of step” It seems these days that scandal sells advertising. Real life horror also sells ad space. It’s become hard to find anything which is uplifting. And society is busy watching and soaking up these things. Aussie attitudes have been shaped by such programming. This probably has happened in other countries too. It’s not so easy to detach oneself from community views, unless you hold other standards strongly. So I suspect most folk simply go along with the crowd.

    Leadership on moral issues is absent as is public moral perspective. When people live without Christ and without hope, fear comes in. Kruger is not alone in fear. Our communities must begin to hear the hope of Christ’s rule, And we, the people of God must make the efforts to communicate Jesus’ message effectively. For too long the church has sat on it’s hands entertained by speculative theologies and weak preaching. Even radical Islamists cannot all resist the real power of Christ in His gospel.

    • Thanks Phil!

      ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. There’s much about the media – and ultimately about us – that means we hear negative stories more than positive ones.

      And yes, what an urgent need our world has for the gospel!

      God bless,

      Akos

  5. Let us not deny we do have a problem in this country when people driving through a particular suburb do not feel safe.

    There are young and not so young men who do not respect the road rules, who do not respect a person’s right of carriage on a main road and whose stance and attitude exude a certain power that grows in a group.

    Yes, many if not most Muslims are wanting to live, work and raise their families in pleasantness and safey and they are not the ones creating the fear. It is the groups like the one I just described. How do we, as a community, handle this?

    Alok, this is not a situation that lends itself to getting to know and understand the other.

    Years ago I attended a meeting of Vietnamese mothers who were concerned about their children. The issue was how to teach the young ones a different way of living to that they had seen and experienced before they made the boat trip here. At the time there was a lot of trouble but it was the mums who got together and worked with the Police and others in the community to bring about the change they could see was needed. That worked!

    If we can find a way to teach newcomers about our way of life and law (currently we seem to be heading down a two law path) and the expectation for them to accept the need to work and contribute to this country as all migrants, including the Muslims who have come to this country since its early days, then, then, we may be able to make headway. Yes, and we do need interaction with each other but this won’t happen if people remain in their own little groups (regardless of which one) and refuse to connect with the other except on their specific ground.

    The other thing that really bugs me in all of this, is the media’s attitude to the people of Australia and the results of the recent vote. People voted as they did because they can see and know there is a problem and are looking to people with guts to at least make it known. The media make a mockery of our democracy by belittling the people that their fellow citizens have elected just because they don’t agree with their view or points. Instead of pulling down any one of those legitimately elected, we are called to pray for them so that their decisions will be wise and we can live in peace.

    Thank you for your blog.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Thankyou for your comment!

      There is much that resonated there with me, particularly the part about interacting with each other, rather than staying in our own little ghettos. Oh, and media bias was also a good point!

      God bless,

      Akos

  6. We have a Lebanese Christian minister out at the moment who is ministering to alienated Moslems in Lebanon fleeing IS. His ministry is showing practical love and concern for his neighbour who has been rejected by many Lebanese Christians due to historical enmity.

  7. Hi Akos……Really great thoughts on this blog (as always). I really do appreciate your insights and enjoy receiving your emails. As a Christian I understand and agree with what you are saying on the whole. However, as a mother, I watched Sonia’s expression of anxiety and heard her voice falter as she described her grief at seeing that innocent little child’s body covered and alone on the road with a doll next to it. I completely understand her expressed distress, because my heart broke the moment I saw that also, and then heard of how many children, women, young adults and even the elderly were killed or injured…..how many precious young lives were maimed and emotionally/psychologically fragmented. I imagined my own children being there that night in Nice, and wept for those families.
    In this sense, Sonia expressed the very real concern and feeling of increasing urgency that thousands upon thousands of families feel every time we see these news reports. We say to ourselves, “Not again…….there has been enough violence…….why can’t civilised nations get tough about all terrorism to protect children and innocent families?”.
    It just feels like common sense has gone out the window and a greater fear has taken hold of westernised nations and their leaders………a fear of being labelled a heretic, bigot, hater or racist etc……. We must be seen as being ‘tolerant’ and ‘rational’.
    I saw the same thing when ordinary, decent parents (who did their research and tried their best to be fair) expressed a concern over what was actually being taught in schools by the Safe Schools Coalition (especially in the light of very real evidence that many of the authors and creators of the program have an agenda to deconstruct all traditional christian understanding of sexuality, marriage and gender). I was one of many parents who were demonised and attacked viciously on social media for wanting greater transparency and accountability when it comes to these type of programs aimed at our children. The onslaught is vicious towards anyone who expresses their concerns……but it won’t stop me protecting decent family values.
    Can I share my heart with you so you can see a picture of where I am coming from before I ask some questions below? I understand that this is wordy……but I feel a need to discuss this. Is that ok?
    I am a mother of three children with challenges. One is older, but still needs much support. He is still very traumatised from an abusive experience relating to a paedophile who was never prosecuted, and also physical and verbal abuse from the alcoholic father (my ex-husband) who allowed this to happen…..(incidentally both men are now dead from alcoholism and cancer). My middle child is very bright in IT and media, but has struggled in school with ADD and executive functioning problems. My youngest has Tourette Syndrome, Asperger’s and ADHD with other health issues. I struggled with OCD for years following my previously abusive marriage and have done a lot of very hard work to regain stability and security in my family with my very supportive second husband. Christ has transformed our lives and our children are getting much more support in the health sector, at school and particularly now that I home-school my youngest. Last year was very hard after my sister suddenly died and then my father passed away only six weeks later. This took its toll on all of us….especially my two younger children. But Father God is faithful and finally we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as we learn to trust Him daily for wisdom, strength and financially.
    Having explained all of this…….here is my point:
    I do not mind believing the best of others, reaching out to people of all faiths, beliefs, ideologies and sharing love and hope. I am very bold in sharing my faith and try to be generous with grace, love and an abundance of hugs. Honestly, if I was single, and had no children, I would be doing a refresher course in my nursing from years ago, and gladly volunteering full-time in one of the many Refugee Camps for Syrian and Iraqi families.
    So, like you, I agree with Waleed’s statement –
    ” I’m talking about assuming the best in people; showing others radical generosity in the face of their hostility even when it hurts. This is the much harder choice because it demands much more restraint, patience and so much more strength”.
    BUT, there is another side of love……a very Biblical aspect of love that shows strength in the face of those that violate our personal and social boundaries. This love seeks to kindly, but firmly enforce goodness, truth, honesty, integrity, values and safety – so that the freedom that so many fought for will not be simply given away to bullies. Real love is NOT weak.
    Can we in good conscience make decisions to not act and to tolerate certain violations today on behalf of our children’s tomorrow? We have all heard the saying about evil triumphing when good men do nothing. History has taught us time and time again where believing the best, tolerance and love alone has been trampled over by dictators and war-mongers.
    There MUST be a balance! There must be voices that can declare………”the Emperor has no clothes!” Christians and even more importantly our nation’s leaders need to have the bravery to say. Here is the line….DON’T CROSS IT! (Just like good parents need to do everyday…..especially with sons with behaviour problems LOL).
    As a parent, I have a duty to protect and be vigilant on behalf of my children. My youngest with special needs would be terrified and would probably refuse to ever go anywhere in a public event again if I let him see what happened in Nice. He lives in a world where sensory issues that others wouldn’t even think about can throw his sense of security. He sees things in a very narrow and naive way and believes with all his heart that superhero’s will protect him. His world and reality are so far apart that I am careful to shield him from certain news and to be honest would no longer want to take him to Australia Day and ANZAC events etc. This is my reality and the reality of many families of children with autism, sensory issues or other conditions leading to anxiety and meltdowns. I want to be able to believe that his future will be more safe and terrorism will be a thing of the past. But this is never going to happen if we all refuse to (or are intimidated to even attempt to) talk about what is happening around the world with this religion/ideology called Islam.
    You said –
    “But we need a more nuanced discussion about the relationship between Islam, and terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. Otherwise, we’ll prescribe solutions to terrorism that don’t treat the actual cause”.
    I totally agree! But I suspect that ‘discussion’ will not be enough.
    For me,……and maybe I am way to simplistic,…….we need to respond to violent words and dangerous behaviours that display hatred. Behaviour is not ‘freedom of speech’.
    ‘Behaviour’ is the KKK members putting on white cloaks and meeting together with dangerous agenda’s.
    ‘Behaviour’ is the vile Westboro Baptist Church protesting outside funerals (something that ALL real Christians need to discuss and stop once and for all). We know that they are NOT true believers and do not represent Christ. We need to stop that evil behaviour from hurting others.
    ‘Behaviour’ is also Islamic mosques and leaders in THIS nation inviting radical speakers to preach to their people. This is happening and must be rooted out now!
    ‘Behaviour’ is when certain Muslim families and leaders see their young men becoming radicalised and hide this knowledge or privately are proud of their religious fervour.
    Anyway I have raved on enough. You get the point!
    Many of us want to see more action (not just rhetoric) from the Islamic Community to change this problem. They need to own the problem and deal with it with us openly NOW! They need to show they are honestly with Australians, and not against us……in a tangible way.

  8. I wonder if point 2 could do with some further nuance, so that, as you say, we don’t end up prescribing solutions to terrorism that don’t treat the actual cause.

    It seems to me like the strand of Islamist thought that leads to terrorism is fairly fringe, and has consistently been rejected by serious Muslim scholarship (not to mention the non-terrorist lives of almost all Muslims). So it may be a bit misleading to say “Islam is clearly a factor in Islamic terrorism”.

    I think of Christian analogues, like the IRA in Ireland and white supremacists and libertarians/anarchists in the US, who have a long history of terrorism against non-whites and against the government, respectively. These groups often ground their mission in Biblical language, but I suspect we would shy away from saying something bald like, “Christianity is clearly a factor in white supremacist terrorism.”

    (And of course, there are other causes of terrorism in the west, like the nationalist doctrines of ETA or the FLNC. Part of the focus on alienation and disempowerment arises from finding common factors that drive people to terrorism across various ideological backgrounds.)

    • Hi Stuart!

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate what you say – and I’m all for more nuance.

      However, I hesitate to use Christian terrorist analogies for 2 main reasons:

      1) The number of self-identified Islamic terrorists, and terrorist organisations in the world compared to the number of self-identified Christian terrorists and terrorist organisations.

      Why the *massive* discrepancy?

      Considering the bulk of Christians now live in the poorer global south, where they are often alienated (particularly in the middle east), and yet don’t have terrorist organisations (or any worth noting), it begs the question as to why the difference?

      It can’t be just alienation, and it can’t just be that extremists are found in every religion. Otherwise, with the number of Christians in the world, wouldn’t you expect to find similar, or more – there are 800 million more self-identified Christians in the world than Muslims – terrorist organisations?

      2) How many mainstream Christians would support groups like the IRA, or KKK, compared to Muslim support for Al Quaeda, IS, Hamas, Hizb’allah etc?

      Yes, thankfully, the number of total Muslims that overtly support these terrorist groups is small.

      But for the Christian analogy to be valid, there would have to be similar percentages of Christians that support extremist Christian groups.

      For these reasons, I think any recourse to Christian analogies breaks down. We’re comparing apples with oranges at that point.

      Second, Waleed Aly warned us about mainstream, moderate western Muslims turning to terrorism. These are presumably Muslims who don’t currently subscribe to fringe terrorist beliefs, but are in danger of doing so.

      Why is that?

      We would never dream of saying that alienated mainstream western Christians are in serious danger of turning to terrorism, or to groups like the KKK, IRA, Westboro etc.

      Why the discrepancy?

      What it comes down to, I think, is that Islam – or at least it’s Holy books – for any Muslim who cares to read them – provide the *plausibility structures* for using violence against non-Muslims (or against Muslims perceived to be unfaithful to ‘true Islam’).

      Traditional Islamic teaching provides an open door to violence, as it were, in a way that traditional Christian teaching does not.

      Does that mean that all Muslims will ‘walk through the door’ to violence? Of course not.

      But according to Waleed Aly, given the right conditions, they probably will.

      Thoughts?

      • Sorry, I’m not trying to say that all religions or all ideologies are equally likely to produce violence, nor that alienation alone is a sufficient factor. (I should’ve been more explicit in my reference to ETA and the FLNC: I think nationalism is also an important factor. Many strands of Islam contain within them something like nationalism — much more than has been the case in Christianity recently. But go back to the Reformation, and there are plenty of examples of a potent combination of nationalism, marginalization, and adherence to either Protestantism or Catholicism which led to both war and terrorism.)

        Anyway, it’s really just the bald use of ‘Islam’ that I’m querying.

        That is, I assume that you have a clearly delineated sense of the variety of beliefs that might be held by self-described Christians. A similar sort of variety exists among self-described Muslims. To the point where discussion of ‘global Christianity’ or ‘global Islam’ might be almost meaningless in some contexts: it’s not current beliefs, but historical roots, which tie Sydney evangelicals together with, say, Russian Orthodox or Coptic Christians under the umbrella of the term ‘Christian’. We might say the same for disparate Muslim groups.

        (And of course there *are* Christian terrorist groups, like the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Holy Spirit Movement, several in India, and probably others…but I’m too lazy to do a proper search 🙂 In my original comment, I was focused on terrorism that affects the west, and it remains that the vast majority of terrorism in the US is perpetrated by white people, and much of it religiously — ‘Christianly’ — justified.)

        From your response, I feel like we probably have different weightings on the potential for radicalization of different people. You say, “We would never dream of saying that alienated mainstream western Christians are in serious danger of turning to terrorism, or to groups like the KKK, IRA”. But there was a time in the US where a lot of mainstream white Christians were deeply antipathetic towards (and at least condoning of violence towards) African Americans (and there remains in American evangelicalism significant strains of both aggressive militarism and libertarianism/anarchism). For the IRA, it was precisely the brutal treatment of ordinary people that led to their radicalization.

        And this points to another reason I’m not convinced by the counter that “We would never dream of saying that alienated mainstream western Christians are in serious danger of turning to terrorism”. It’s an entirely different context: the level of alienation or persecution that Christians in the west face hardly seems potent enough to generate the motivation for violence.

        Anyway, to return to the original point: I think we need a more variegated view of which kinds of Islamic traditions are likely to lead to violence; I don’t think these can be blanketed as ‘Islam’ in a way that (a) helps us understand the problem or (b) avoids tainting our Muslim neighbours who abhor violence.

  9. I reject your premises on so many levels. First and foremost, Islam rejects the Son, so they do not have the Father. Islam is a theocracy, posing as a religion. As a government unto itself, there is curiously missing an order to bring terrorists, that supposedly do not represent Allah, to justice. A Koran description of Allah portrays him more like the Biblical anti-Christ than the our Messiah. The Koran encourages lying to non Muslims, to advance Islam.
    The only way to love them, is to give them Jesus. What do we do if they reject that gift? The disciples were taught to shake the sand from their sandals, as they walked away. These that reject Jesus, are in our homeland. Are we called to leave our home? The sheep that we are called to be, have rams, that defend the herd, along with the shepherd. Biblical sheep had horns for this purpose(look up Jacob sheep)
    Did you miss Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wrote about the full armor of God? Why is this in the Bible and why are we to put it on, if our defense is in God’s hands alone? One of the pieces is the Belt of Truth. If we don’t have the whole truth, it is like having a belt too short to go around our waist. Our pants are still going to fall down. The shoes of the Gospel of Peace were modeled after Roman shoes that had cleats. By not understanding this, we have allowed ourselves to be pushed at the enemy’s will. Just because this is what we are used to, does not make it God’s will.