Pope Francis famously made the point that he'd punch a person who insults his mother. This is a very human and natural reaction. But it is not clear that this is an equal response - one that fits the "crime". The Muslim terrorists who killed the 12 staff of Charlie Hebdo and shot two police officers - one, a fellow Muslim brother, at point blank, certainly did not do so because their mothers had been insulted, but their Prophet. It was a heinous assassination, one that, sadly, many Muslims around the world applaud, whether quietly, or quite publicly. And that's the problem. While certain Muslim leaders stand up to condemn the action, many unknown more raise their figurative glasses (guns if they had one) in utter approval and satisfaction that their Prophet's name and honour have been defended so emphatically.
Pope Francis was making the point that we must be careful what we say or otherwise face the consequence. Unfortunately, some will read that as justification for the assassinations, and can expect more in future. As some have observed, that was not Pope Francis' finest impromptu "speech". After all, wasn't it Jesus who taught to turn the other cheek, to forgive our enemies? The King James Bible puts this very eloquently::
But I (Jesus) say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you...
God can take care of his own honour.
A person once remarked that Islam is a vicious religion. Whether we agree with that or not is obviously our personal view. But I think, in the light of the Charlie Hebdo killings and the aftermath, that many are silently agreeing with this assessment. Silently because otherwise, these innocent people will be next on the target list. The terrorists will not allow their Prophet to be talked about negatively. But they cannot prevent people to think so silently.
Monday, January 12, 2015
It happened almost half a world away, but on reflection, could have happened in my own backyard. The tentacles of Islamic extremism knows no bounds. It purportedly crusades in the name of Allah, but kills Allah's believers nevertheless. They may refer to this as collateral damage. How flippant. It has been more than 13 years since 911, two wars and countless terrorism acts, yet Islamist jihadists remain uncowed and unbeaten. This doesn't mean that its cause is right and sacred. It does mean that this world remains a dangerous place and Islam can never regain its glory days, not with so much hatred in its midst. Change can only come from within, but there has not been any action except the obligatory verbal condemnation. More needs to be done. Over to you.