Saturday, January 29, 2011

Free Egypt?

I have friends in Egypt who are Christian. I don't know if they are out in the streets, but they are certainly supporting the protesters. Until the blackout (Mubarek cut off cell phones and internet) they we're commenting on the revolution and hoping for Mubarek's fall from power.

Personally, this concerns me a great deal. I think they see the injustice of Mubarek's regime and they know many secular Muslims who have talked with them about democracy for years. They cannot imagine that their friends and neighbors would ever turn against them. Most middle-class Christians don't experience great persecution. The kidnapped girls are often from poorer and less influential families. I think they lose the forest for the trees.

The forest reveals the Saddam Hussein problem. Only a brutal dictator can keep Islam in check and preserve a secular society in an Islamic culture. As soon as the dictator leaves (Shah, the decay of Attaturk's successors, etc.) Islam rushes in to fill the vacuum. I am sorry for the injustice in Mubarek's regime but I fear the Muslim Brotherhood.

Secular democracy depends upon a Christian worldview, not necessarily strong Christian religion, but the worldview that it creates.

I too am frightened for Egypt's Christians.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christian Honor Killings

I am constantly surprised at the depths of absurdity Muslims will attain in their dialogue with Christians. Every time I think I've heard it all, I run across something new. Recently, I Muslim woman wrote to me that honor killing was as common among Arab Christians as Arab Muslims. Since I cannot believe that she came up with this herself based upon any kind of research, I thought some about where such a belief might come from.

In thinking about how she could possibly make that claim, the thing that occurred to me is that this is one of the stories used to cover up kidnappings of Christian women: "They converted to Islam and you can't talk to them because they are afraid of you." Christian women are regularly abducted and forcibly "converted" to Islam. The girls are kidnapped and forced into "marriage," which is actually rape and ongoing sexual abuse and domestic slavery. The girl's family goes to the police. The police go to the family that kidnapped the girl who tell the police that she converted to Islam and doesn't want to talk to her birth family. The girl gets a new identity and ceases to exist legally. Jihad Watch and International Christian Concern reports dozens of these stories every year.

The absurdity of the claim that Christians perpetrate honor killings could be answered at almost an inexhaustible length, but I'll just mention three things.

First, it is unbelievable to think that Christians would be honor killing converts to Islam in an Islamic country (which all Arab countries are). It is just not happening. Christians in Islamic countries are just trying to survive and avoid giving any excuse for Muslims to burn their churches and kill them.

Second, it would be interesting for someone to try to produce the incredible list of honor killings by Christians (even Arab ones) in non-Muslim countries. If Arab Christians are as violent as Muslims, surely they are killing women in the same numbers as Muslims. Pam Geller has an amazing (and horrific) list at Atlas Shrugs. Can anyone produce a similar list from a non-Muslim country? No? I wonder why that is? Can anyone find a single Christian country which offers reduced sentences for honor killings (as do almost all Muslim countries)? Can anyone find a SINGLE Christian honor killing confirmed by a non-Muslim? Hmmm. Thought so.

Third, honor killings are part and parcel of Islam, not Christianity. I've noticed that Muslims have a very difficult time imagining that anyone in the world thinks differently than they do. Since Muslims are a pretty violent lot, Christians must be the same. It's just not true. That doesn't mean that Christians don't commit acts of violence, but it does mean that the more religious a Christian becomes, the less violent they become. With Muslims it seems to be exactly the opposite. The most peaceful Muslims are secular.

The reason for this is pretty simple. Jesus didn't kill people. Jesus healed people. Jesus told his followers to love their enemies and pray for those that persecuted them. Then Jesus did exactly that. When Christians want to become more like Jesus they become more kind and loving towards their enemies.

Mohammed is pretty much the opposite. He was a warrior. He killed people. He had others killed. He told his followers to fight their enemies. He told them to even to fight those who insult them. And according to a hadith believed authentic by most Muslims in the world, he ordered his followers to kill anyone who left Islam.

Many Muslim women are deceived. Being deceived allows them to remain in a violent religion by telling themselves that all religions are equally bad. It would create a great deal of pain for them to know that they are trapped in a world where their families would likely seek their deaths if they leave Islam. I am very sorry for them. I am very sympathetic and don't blame them for believing the things they do. I also know that when Christian women leave the faith, they are prayed for, sometimes pleaded with, but are in no physical danger.