In the past decade I’ve addressed Islam, terror and radical ideology uncounted times. A year after 9/11 my little voice spoke; “your newspapers and TV are not getting you the whole story.” A self-directed promise was made; no novels, no Science Fiction, no fun reading: nothing until you have engaged serious sources and wrapped your head around what happened on 9/11 and why. Seven years after the promise I picked up my first novel.
I wrote of what I had learned, standing on the shoulders of Steve Emerson, Lawrence Wright, Robert Spencer, Raymond Ibrahim and Bernard Lewis among others. The menu included English translations from MEMRI, hundreds of Fatwa’s as well as Islamic writing on jurisprudence. Over that seven years one thing led to another including Islamic history, the Koran, Bukhari’s life of Mohammed and the Hadiths.
As readers responded, the issue of Christian violence was a frequent rebuke, an attempt at modern moral equivalency. Those comments, absent the realities of historical context were not dissimilar to the President’s comments this week. Is there a history of Christian violence, yes of course; nearly a thousand years ago, at its peak during the Crusades which was at its core a response to Islamic expansionism and violence. What about the Inquisition? Yes, 800 years ago, during the Middle Ages as the Church attempted to eliminate what they considered heretical movements and to maintain the power of the Papacy.
Simple questions directed at the current day serve to regain historical context and a degree of intellectual integrity. Are there roving bands of Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus or Buddhists wielding AK 47s engaged in genocide against Muslims? Are there Armies of non-Muslim religious fanatics roaming the globe in pursuit of global dominance? Can over 95% of terror attacks be attributed to non-Muslim faiths? Have there been over 27,000 terror attacks since 9/11 attributed to non-Muslims?
The obvious answer is a resounding no! To conflate century’s old behaviors with today’s world is an argument made only by those absent the ability to view history in context or with a view of history so polluted by shallow ideology as to proudly deny the obvious. The argument made by the President and others is an argument one might encounter in the fifth week of World History 101!