How Should Christians Respond to the Debate about Muslims?
There has been a lot of rhetoric around whether or not we should allow Muslims into America based partly on what Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been saying in his campaign speeches. His statements about blocking Muslims access to American soil has been met with cheers on one side and jeers on the other. One news source even compared Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler, claiming that Trump’s position and all who agree with him is one of fear and intolerance.
The comparison of Trump to Hitler ignores history, and dismisses the obvious. Hitler hated many of his own countrymen – people who were native born Germans – simply because they were Jews. The Jews were peace-loving people and were hugely beneficial to the economy of Germany. Jews on every continent throughout history have been productive and contributing members of society. They have not always been God-fearing, but they have at least been productive. There were many wealthy businessmen, artists, writers, doctors, etc, who were contributing to the economy of Germany, but who were nevertheless rounded up and sent to death camps and wiped off the face of the earth. Hitler’s hatred of the Jews made no sense except in the warped reasoning of his own twisted mind. The Jews weren’t hurting anyone, and, in fact, were contributing to society. But Hitler succeeded in turning non-Jews against them anyway.
Muslims, on the other hand, have an entirely different history compared to Jews. While not all Muslims are jihadists, it cannot be ignored that on every continent where Muslims have lived throughout the centuries jihadists have followed the command of their Quran to “kill the infidel.” Therefore, the comparison of Donald Trump to Hitler is a pathetically misinformed conclusion, and that comparison was dreamed up not by people who really care about equality, but by leftist liberals who will stop at nothing to discredit conservatives.
It should noted on this point that the same President Obama who opens the borders for Syrian Muslim refugees under the banner of humanitarianism is the same President who blocks the entrance of Syrian refugees who are Christian. So maybe the focus of the discussion should shift from Donald Trump’s comments about blocking Muslims access to America to the less-publicized efforts of our current President to block Christians from stepping foot on American soil.
But I digress.
So how should we as Christians view this topic of blocking Muslims access to America?
First of all, let it be known that profiling is not necessarily an evil practice. Let’s say, for example, you got mugged at knifepoint five different times by five different men, and each time the mugger was wearing a red ball cap. Well, you would no doubt begin profiling pretty quickly. Every time you saw a man wearing a red ball cap walking in your direction your heart would begin pounding and you might have a panic attack. Why? Because experience has taught you that men in red ball caps are evil thugs.
The reality is that not all men in red ball caps are thugs, but to you all men in red ball caps should at least be considered suspicious. And that is a reasonable conclusion based upon your experience.
The same could be said about Muslims. Not all Muslims are murderous jihadists (although all Muslims do read from the same Quran). Many Muslims are kind contributors to society. However, when shooting after shooting and bombing after bombing is discovered to be at the hands of Muslims, it is not unreasonable to begin wondering if we shouldn’t at least keep those who adhere to Islam under surveillance in order to try and prevent the next bombing or shooting or plane hijacking. Donald Trump has said that we need to know what is going on inside Muslim mosques, and that’s probably a reasonable point.
There’s a lot I don’t like about Donald Trump. I don’t agree with all his rhetoric, and I’m concerned about someone with such a gigantic ego running our Country. However, his talking points about Muslims are not out of bounds, and I appreciate the fact that he is actually brave enough to voice these kinds of opinions. I, for one, am sick and tired of politicians playing to the media and saying only that which the media deems “politically correct.” It is a breath of fresh air that someone running for office actually has the backbone to take on the media and say what he knows they will viciously vilify him for.
But beyond the bravery Trump demonstrates, we have to analyze where his comments about Muslims fall philosophically. The way I see it, the position Trump is taking could be explained with the analogy of someone robbing your house every other weekend. It would not be racially motivated to try to track down who is robbing your house and put a stop to it. That’s not profiling, and it’s not religious or racial discrimination.
And speaking of religious discrimination, let’s take a short side journey. I certainly didn’t hear anyone in the liberal media crying foul on the basis of religious discrimination when a homosexual couple sued Jack Philips, the owner of a bakery that refused to bake a cake for the couple’s gay wedding, citing religious convictions. I didn’t hear anyone in the liberal media express outrage that his bakery was closed down because of the financial expenses he was shackled with when the judge pounded the gavel and pronounced him guilty of — of all things — discrimination. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? I haven’t heard any of the talking heads in the liberal media denouncing President Obama on the grounds of humanitarian ideals when he blocked Syrian Christians from finding refuge in America. The brazen hypocrisy here is jaw dropping and almost unbelievable.
But back to the matter at hand, as Christians we are compelled by the love of Christ to love Muslims, peaceful or jihadist, as difficult as that may seem if you or a family member has been victimized by jihadists. The love of Jesus compels us to love our enemies, not murder them. However, that does not mean we are to roll over and let those who hate us destroy us and our way of life.
Let’s revisit some history to shed some additional light on this subject.
One of the terrible misrepresentations in how post-modernists have interpreted history is in regard to the Crusades, where Christian soldiers took up arms against their enemies. On one hand there is no doubt many evil things have been done in the name of Jesus Christ that Jesus would have never approved. But on the other hand, the Crusades were initiated, in part, by Christians who took up the sword against Muslim jihadists in Europe who were bent on annihilating Christians who would not convert to Islam. Christians, for the most part, are easy targets for jihadists because we are peace loving. However, one thing that is very clear about God and His character is that He is not opposed to war when it serves a greater good and serves to destroy evil. With this understanding of justified war, starting in 1095 armies of Christians from Western Europe responded to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. But truthfully, the Christian forces did not start the war with the Muslims. The war had already begun. The Muslims were already murdering Christians by the masses, and the Christians simply got organized and rallied in order to save lives and their way of life. That is not wrong.
Fast forward to the 20th Century. During World War II Japanese Americans were rounded up and placed in detention camps where they could be watched. The camps were humane, although certainly less than homey. But they at least were not labor camps that tortured, brutalized, and executed people like the Japanese were doing to American and British POWs. While rounding up Japanese Americans and placing them in detention camps sounds awful, I can certainly understand the motivation and the concern. America was at war, and one of the enemies was the Japanese Empire – the same enemy who bombed sleeping Pearl Harbor to smithereens on the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941. It is understandable that our Government wanted to keep an eye on Japanese immigrants living inside the U.S. to make sure they were not operating as secret agents feeding the Japanese Government information. War is unfortunately a nasty business, and difficult decisions have to be made when people are dying and the way of life of an entire nation is at stake. When the war was won the Japanese Americans living in the detention camps were set free to resume their lives.
The fact is, we are at war again, and this time it is with Muslim jihadists. We didn’t go looking for this war; it came looking for us. Cowardly terrorists who shoot and bomb unarmed men, women, and children are bent on a global jihad. And we don’t even know who the enemy is by looking at them. But what we do know is that they practice Islam. Why should we welcome with open arms people who practice a belief system that is decidedly anti-American and may end up in the death of more Americans? It’s crazy to suggest that this it is racially motivated or religious discrimination or whatever other reasoning people use to argue against banning Muslims access to America. No, it’s wartime. We are trying to save lives.
And if saving the lives of innocent men, women, and children means that we have to “profile” men in red ball caps, so to speak, then that’s self-preservation, not anti-humanitarian. In fact, giving the bully on the playground a good pounding is not brutish; it’s humanitarian because it seeks to protect innocent victims by putting a stop to the bullying. If you stood by and watched while a bully on the playground pounded the living daylights out of other kids day in and day out and you did nothing about it because you don’t want to be “intolerant” of other people’s beliefs, you would be just as immoral as the bully.
It’s really just common sense, folks. In spite of what left-wing news anchors like Tom Brokaw say, religious intolerance has nothing to do with this issue. Putting a stop to the senseless murders of innocent people is the issue. But somehow, some way, people want to shift the focus to one of religious intolerance in order to take the spotlight off what is really going on: Muslim jihadists are murdering people left and right, both on American soil and abroad. Even the Muslim group, ISIS, now has a presence in the U.S. according to some sources. Doing what we can to stop them is a moral obligation, and it begins by taking a closer look at the common belief system of those who are doing the murdering and preventing their access into our Country if we can.