Radical Islam is far more pervasive in Islam than defenders want to admit.
“The truth is that ISIS is to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity. It is long past time for those Christians so busy beating up Muslims with their Bibles to go re-read the part where Jesus called us to love – not to demonize – our neighbors.” – Reverend Susan Russell
I’ve been writing a lot recently about the politically correct blindness that has consumed our culture regarding the pervasiveness of radical Islam. More, and more, there seems to be a total disregard for the truth. Instead of seeing the world as it really is, many have taken to disparaging those who dare to tell the truth. If you mention Islam, and ISIS in the same sentence, you’re labeled a hysterical bigot. This label is used to shut down debate, and is an insult to the intelligence of those who believe, rightfully, that radical Islam is an existential threat to the western world. Reverend Susan Russell is another in a long line of leftists who believe that radical Islam must not be slandered, because that may lead to persecution of peaceful Muslims.
In her latest piece on Huffington Post, Reverend Susan Russell discussed the recent Islamic worship service held at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, quoting both Gary Hall, the Dean of the National Cathedral, and Ebrahim Rasool, a Muslim preacher who presided over services.
Rasool condemned the actions of ISIS, while calling for peace, and unity:
“We explore in this cathedral together the omnipresent face of God…for the more bridges that are built the less room there is for fear and prejudice between us…This is the time for good people to make common cause to end the mischief of violence in our world as we stand together to defeat the extremes.”
Gary Hall echoed Rasool, saying:
“We start today with prayer and hospitality as a way to build a new way of being together. For we find ourselves in a new moment in interfaith relations – a moment where we can stand confident in our own tradition as we reach out to each other.“
Russell then went on to describe the hateful remarks she read on Facebook, and Twitter after the service, by which she was surely disgusted. Up until this point, it was just the usual liberal clap-trap regarding the oft-repeated “Islam is peace” meme, but going forward, she began to unfavorably compare radical Islam with Christianity. For the rest of the article, Russell tries to make the claim that Christianity is just as violent as radical Islam, and is as easily, and as commonly distorted.
“Yes, there are texts in the Koran that condone violence. I’ll see you and raise you a boatload of texts in the Bible. (Start with 2 Samuel – but only if you have a really strong stomach.)”
This argument—though I’m hard pressed to call something so weak an “argument”—is one of the most frequently used among the leftist defenders of radical Islam. Yeah, well, the Koran may condone violence, but so did the bible!
In this argument, Russell fails to recognize a key point. The violence “condoned” in the Christian Bible is contextual, meaning that it remains within the stories in which it takes place. It is not open ended, to be interpreted to mean that we, in modern times, should takes swords against others. If you look at a particularly violent text from 2 Samuel (which she directly mentions), you can see this contextual understanding.
2 Samuel 4: 5-12 “Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night, and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.”
This is quite a violent passage out of 2 Samuel, but the violence is contained within the context of the story. It is not open ended. The violence condoned in the Koran is, in fact, open ended.
Koran 5:33 “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.”
This is one example of an open ended passage which promotes violence against those who don’t subscribe to the beliefs of Islam. A chronicle of Koranic versus like the one above can be found at TheReligionofPeace.com, and numerous other sources.
Russell equates violence in the bible with violence in the Koran, but fails to mention the very important distinction of context. Russell then goes on to make a much more egregious error.
“Yes, there are Muslims who advocate murder for ‘infidels,’ behead journalists and discriminate against minorities – using their religion as an excuse for their violent extremism. There are also Christians who blow up women’s health clinics, burn crosses on lawns and lynch their African-American neighbors – using their religion as an excuse for their violent extremism.“
With this argument, Russell is attempting to make equal the violent acts of a handful of modern alleged Christians with the pervasive violent acts of radical Muslim extremists. Not to dive too deeply into the numbers, but just for reference, let’s take a look at the number of violent acts perpetrated on abortion clinics, and doctors compared to the number of radical Islamic terror attacks.
Violence against abortion clinics since 1977: 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 181 arsons (statistics from NAF, the National Abortion Federation). In all, 248 acts of violence, causing 8 deaths.
Radical Islamic violence during the month of October, 2014: 292 incidents of radical Islamist violence worldwide, leading to the deaths of 2,724 people (statistics from Religion Of Peace).
It seems to me that there is a substantial difference in the number of violent incidents between the two examples. One month of radical Islamic violence caused 340 times more death than over 30 years of anti-abortion violence. I’m not arguing that it’s right to bomb an abortion clinic, but if Russell is making comparisons, she might want to try again.
Russell is comparing apples, and oranges (a favorite phrase used by the left whenever they are losing an argument). Her arguments are misguided, and wildly misleading. Russell seems to believe that we, as a society, have no ability to discern radical Islam from peaceful Islam. She has no confidence in our collective intelligence. Because of that, she—and many like her—feel the intense need to diminish the impact that radical Islamic violence has had on the world. However, to do so, she must find something equally compelling, so she brings up the favorite punching bag of the left: Christians! But she fails miserably, as the numbers showed so brilliantly.
Her assertion that ISIS is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity is a false comparison on numerous grounds, but particularly because the sheer volume of radical Islamists greatly outweighs the number of KKK “Christian radicals” (which is even assuming that every single member of the KKK is a self-proclaimed Christian). According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are between 5,000, and 8,000 members of the KKK in the United States today. ISIS alone is estimated to have between 30,000 and 50,000 members, according to Dr. Hisham Al-Hashimi (an estimation from August, 2014). Just to take a look at some other numbers to show just how dense the radicalization of Islam is, let’s look at Pew research per country. These percentage are taken from various surveys of Muslims from around the world. The following quotes are from Politifact.
Egypt: “29% say suicide bombing can sometimes be justified.” That’s 23.2 million Muslims.
Bangladesh: “26% say suicide bombing can sometimes be justified.” That’s 38.7 million Muslims.
Palestinian areas: “40% say suicide bombing can sometimes be justified.” That’s 1.7 million Muslims.
United States: “In 2009, 8% said suicide bombings could sometimes be justified” that’s 0.2 million Muslims.
In the United States alone, there are approximately 200,000 Muslims who believe suicide bombings are sometimes justifiable. If we’re comparing that number to the KKK, it’s not even close.
My point is this: radical Islam is pervasive, and we must acknowledge that. We cannot look the other way simply out of an unnecessary political correctness. We are not so stupid as to believe that radical Muslims are the same as peaceful Muslims. We will not start burning mosques, and executing Muslims in the street vigilante style, because we’re not complete idiots. Reverend Russell seems to believe that “radical Christianity” is even remotely comparable to radical Islam. Her assertion is patently false, and ultimately extremely dangerous.