Ever since last year’s Norway massacre, when Anders Breivik killed some 70 people, the relativists and Muslim apologists of the world felt exonerated: for here at last, thought they, was proof positive that terrorism had nothing to do with Islamic teachings per se. If Christianity cannot be blamed for Breivik, why blame Islam for al-Qaeda?
This question was restated in a recent email to me from Gehan D. Sabry, editor of Cross Cultures, a website dedicated to “Promoting Harmony Through Knowledge and Better Understanding.” Regarding my recent article “A Tale of Two American Martyrs,” where I discussed the slayings of two American Christians in the Muslim world due to allegations of proselytizing, she wrote:
[…] I know enough fellow Christians who agree with me that the majority of Muslims and Christians, in fact the moderates of ALL religions … get along just fine, and only the radicals of each are the ones who make the news, and cause turmoil and tragedy in this world … when I read this article of yours, I immediately remembered the psycho from Norway who killed over 70 youth recently … why don’t you try to explain that away for me?
My explanation, which may be of general interest—this question of moral equivalency plagues the many who think on superficial terms—follows:
First, the two murdered American teachers were killed by Muslims under accusations of proselytism. As it happens, according to mainstream Islamic interpretations of Sharia, proselytizing Muslims is a capital offence. In fact, it is mentioned as far back as the so-called Pact of Omar, which Muslim doctrinaires still quote from, and which delineates what non-Muslims (it was first made with Christians in Syria) must—and must not—do to safeguard their blood.
One of the stipulations they had to agree to was, “We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it.” At the very end of the pact, they had to agree that “If we in any way violate these undertakings for which we ourselves stand surety, we forfeit our covenant, and we become liable to the penalties for contumacy and sedition,” which is death.
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