2014-08-11 21:38:45 UTC
The issue which has prompted this post is probably exercising the concern o=
f many Muslims worldwide - what to do when atrocities are enacted in the na=
me of Islam, and by a group who, on the face of it, may even stand a chance=
of setting up a permanent state of sorts in northern Iraq?
Personally I have hope that this group will eventually be defeated, but in =
the meantime it appears they are trying to set up the Caliphate in a truly =
Qur'anic manner (those of the book pay jizya and are protected, all others =
are not welcome), but the inevitable atrocities which go with war are happe=
ning as well.
Most of the commentators I have read do make a more nuanced reading of the =
situation, in particular because this appears to be as much a Sunni/Shia ba=
ttle as Sunni/rest of the world. It is encouraging that the western press i=
n particular appear to be less ignorant than, say, 30 years ago, when I hav=
e to say I was no better. It is also encouraging that Muslims in the area h=
ave been willing to identify with their Christian neighbours, often at thei=
r own peril. But in the final assessment this situation will need to be res=
olved, and a part of me wants to believe that the leaders of nations who su=
pport the different factions will at last understand that they can't just g=
et away with antagonising each other and attempting to undermine each other=
. Part of me knows that the current borders in the middle east are (to an e=
xtent at least) in the wrong places, and this is a major failure on the par=
t of former occupiers from Europe.
A few questions
* If ISIS do form a state and aren't crushed, should majority Muslim states=
recognise it (e.g. Pakistan, Singapore and so on)?
* Is the treatment of Christians around Mosul in line with Islamic teaching=
* Is the treatment of the Yazidis acceptable?
* How can those of us who want to live in peace with our neighbours respond=
to this seemingly intransigent and intolerant religious view without alien=
ating them at the same time?
* How do I respond, as a Christian, to those who denigrate Islam and Muslim=
s because of this?=20
In short my answers would be no, yes (ish), no, no idea, and with difficult=
y. The difficulty is not in the obvious response - that ISIS don't necessar=
ily represent Islam, but more in the fact that I can recognise much of what=
they are trying to do as being in the tradition and ancient practice of ce=
rtain Muslim groups. I don't really want to say they're simply misguided, o=
r that they haven't "grown up" somehow as Muslims. But at the same time I k=
now there are those who will use this to decry all religion and defame God'=
s purpose as a result. Are the Muslim readers here in a similar quandary?
All I can do is trust that God is sovereign and this will be resolved. Whet=
her mankind will be any wiser afterwards is sadly debatable.
"Blessed are the peacemakers...".
Peace and health to all,