I am reading a fascinating book by Robert Spencer.
Ever since Jihad came to America on September 11, 2001 I have been mystified by jihadist Muslim’s murderous hatred of Westerners. My knowledge of the Muslim religion was not enlightened, at all, by 12 years of American media explanations of events. The intricacies of any religion cannot be explained in soundbites. The American Media, in general, do not get Christianity, which is right here in their own backyard, let alone the mysteries of Islam shrouded by the centuries and thousands of miles. I hope this book will give me some more insight. Not Peace but a Sword is published by Catholic Answers; an organization I trust.
I In looking for a few pics for this post I ran across this quote:
“There was no clash of civilizations until the Jews took over Israel.”
Was this what set off the raging jihad against the West? In the book Spencer talks about how Vatican II portrays Islam charitably as opposed to popes in earlier ages who spoke of Muslim enmity against Christianity. So, there certainly was a clash of civilization at various times in history. But, for decades, and during the 60’s Islam was at peace with the West and even becoming westernized, in many respects. But seemingly this may have been a historically unprecedented calm before the storm, between the three great world religions. And do not forget, there were alliances between Hitler and some devout Muslim sects in their hatred of the Jews. So, in spite of apparent peace, religious intolerance was very much alive and well at least, in some pockets of Islam.
Israel was re-established in 1948. Muslims were displaced. No doubt the rage began to bubble to the surface of those pockets and seep ever outward. But, by 1962-1965 when Vatican II took place Islam was still apparently at peace and the Catholic Church’s charitable mention of Islam was deserved; with a hoped for, increase of good will. But this peace was not to last. Two years after the close of Vatican II, The Muslim Arab cry Itbah Al-Yahud, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews,” was spewing from every Arab regime’s controlled radio and television station.
Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdul Nasser, who at the time was also president of the United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria, said: “I announce on behalf of the United Arab Republic that we will exterminate Israel.”
Beginning in late May and early June 1967, Nasser sent 80,000 Egyptian troops and 900 tanks across the Sinai Desert to attack Israel, with air cover provided by 400 jet aircraft. Soviet-made Syrian guns and artillery on the Syrian-occupied Golan Heights were already pounding Israeli farmers and villagers in the valley below and firing on Israeli fishermen in the Sea of Galilee.
At the same time, indiscriminate shelling of Jerusalem by the Arab Legion from the Jordanian-occupied West Bank had killed scores of Israeli civilians and wounded 1,000 despite pleas from Israel to Jordan to stay out of the war.
Faced with all this, Israel struck back — and won a stunning victory.
In a surprise move, the Israeli Air Force attacked while the Egyptian pilots were having breakfast and destroyed all 400 Egyptian planes on the ground. The Israeli armored and infantry units, though outnumbered, rolled up the huge Egyptian army, forcing it back to the Suez Canal; drove the Syrian forces from the Golan Heights; and reunited divided Jerusalem, liberating all the Jewish holy places in the Old City, which the Jordanians had desecrated and destroyed.
A mere 10 years later, in 1977, the Iranian Revolution began with the eventual overthrow of the Shah (who was backed by the US) and the resurgence of conservative Islam with the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Then in 2001, no doubt, after many failed attempt, the Muslim Jihad against the west came crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Why?
I do not mean to imply here that all Muslims kill in the name of Allah. I am pro-life and understand how irritating it is to be lumped together with “Christians” who assassinate abortionists. So, I am not talking about Muslims who are loving, kind, and peaceful. But, why do the self-proclained, devout and pious Muslims hate us so? The idea that the most devout Muslims are the most deadly is counterintuitive. They always claim to do the violence in the name of Allah. So there is no doubt that it is their religion that inspires their actions. I don’t know yet, why they do what they do. But as a devout Protestant turned devout Catholic I do understand devotion to God and the sacrifice of my will in submission to Our Lord. But I don’t understand the killing. Perhaps I never will.
But first I need to have a better understanding of Islam. Next post—>