Contact: Christian Communication Network, 202-546-0054
OPINION, Sept. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is offered as an opinion from Gary McCullough, the director of the Christian Communication Network, in regard to recent discussions on the criteria to define a religion as peaceful and statements made by Pope Benedict XVI:
Is there not an Arabic version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Suit?
“How dare you say Mohammad was violent – I, as a devout and faithful follower of the peaceful religion of Islam, will kill you Christians and destroy your religious sites until your Pope apologizes.” – A hypothetical but apparently accurate position of many Muslims
The actions and teachings of Mohammad were evil and inhumane (my words, not the Holy Father’s). This was recently illustrated by the televised beheading of Nick Berg when one of the murderers put a blade to Berg’s neck and said, "Allah has left us an example in the blessed Prophet with the slow cutting of the prisoners’ necks, and the cutting off of their heads."
Faithful followers of Mohammad are destine for eternal damnation--and while living out their faith on earth will make life like hell for those whom they are able to impact. Their only salvation is repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord, (yes, the one born of the Jews).
Our Christian desire is that the followers of Islam renounce faith in Mohammad, but not because we wish you death or will punish you. Our desire is out of love for you, even while you wish us harm—even while you do us harm. This offer is made with the unconditional promise that we will never force you to accept our proposition. This position on force is what defines a religion as peaceful. This position on force is what allows Muslims and a multitude of other religions to peacefully coexist with Christians in western countries. When Christians have the rule of law and the majority in a democracy, there is true freedom to worship as you choose.
What we will force upon Islam and its followers is punishment for enforcing Mohammad’s faith or laws upon others. This punishment will be meted out only in a just and measured response.
Such a response of force is not revenge. Such a response is not contrary to peace. It is a response in defense of life and in defense of our families’ and neighbors’ freedom. Individual Christians, as has been demonstrated throughout history, may refuse to defend themselves as a manifestation of God’s love for all—including violent Islamic aggressors. After all, we are commanded to “turn the other cheek.” But as a whole, as nations, and as families, we are not commanded to “turn the other cheek” of our neighbors, our wives, husbands, parents, or children.
A religion should be judged by its fruit. In countries under Islamic rule – violence against individuals who practice other religions is common. In the war raging in southern Sudan – when Islamic forces take control of an area, Christians have been killed when they refuse to convert to Islam and the Christian churches are burned. Yet when control of an area is taken by the southern rebel Christian army, mosques are left standing and Muslims are allowed to continue to practice their faith. I have traveled to Africa and spoken to the soldiers and survivors. This is just one example of what defines a religion as peaceful. This is one more example that defines Islam as a religion of the sword.
To claim Islam is a peaceful religion is a lie of whole cloth similar to the fabric of The Emperor’s New Suit. Perhaps I am naïve as a child, but I am no longer willing to be silent and gawk at Mohammad’s nakedness. – Gary McCullough, director of the Christian Communication Network
Here is what Pope Benedict XVI said:
"The emperor certainly knew that Sura 2, 256, reads: 'No force in matters of faith'. It is one of the early suras, from a time -- as experts say -- in which Mohammed himself was still powerless and threatened.
"However, the emperor of course also knew the requirements about the holy war that were later formulated in the Quran. Without going into details like the handling of the owners of the scriptures, or non-believers, he (the emperor) turned to his interlocutors -- in a surprisingly brusque way -- with the central question after the relationship between religion and violence.
"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
Follow-up press release from the Holy See: http://126.96.36.199/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/c3_en.htm
Also see: Mohammed, Assassinations, and Beheadings
Also see: Death Threats From Muslim Extremists