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Jamie Johnson
22 January 2010

Naive

I am often amazed at the na´vetÚ of those who would rather be politically correct than to protect this country. I recall in March 2009 sharing with someone well-versed with security and counter-terrorism a video from a terrorist on how to kill Americans with anthrax. The only thing I typed about it was "This is disturbing." However, it did have the subject line "Subject: Re: Fwd: Video: The chilling message of an Islamist." The word Islamist set off something in the man I e-mailed. While, I could see some his points (below) with regards to use of that word, I expected a simple agreement that the video was disturbing and encouraging news about the fight against such terror. Instead I got a mention of the video being disturbing and a lecture on how to ensure Islam was regarded positively (along with a misinformed view of Christianity). What I got was the following response:

I agree it is very disturbing on multiple levels.

1. The speaker in the video is a recognized terrorist and preaches of hate rather than the faith of Islam. Likewise, the mere title of the e-mail from Act for America: "The chilling message of an Islamist" also breeds ignorance and implies this person is speaking on behalf of Islam. The speaker is not as much a follower of Islam as someone spreading hate in the name of Islam. Many evil people have spread evil and hate in the name of their religion. Terrorist breed hate and fear regardless of the religion or ideology they claim allegiance to. They attempt to dehumanize those perceived as the enemy.

The faith of Islam recognizes and honors its ties with Judaism and Christianity through common prophets and One God. Corrupt teachers of Islam claim that Christianity is polytheism and do not understand the Christian belief in One God. The fundamental message in the three religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Worship, love, and honor God with all your being and be equitable, charitable, and loving to your fellow man.

2. Act for America is very concerned about raising money for themselves rather than helping others. I suggest you read the book "Three Cups of Tea" and compare the actions of those behind "Act for America" with those of the American behind the "Three Cups of Tea" story.



Some food for thought

Now, some of his message was very well put and I'd even agree with some of it. However, he sides with the Three Cups of Tea approach and assumes I ascribe only to the Act for America approach. He is wrong. It is a 2-sided coin. We need to BOTH promote peace AND to eliminate the terrorists. We need people who will build civility in places like Afghanistan AND we need people who will stand on the watchtower and speak out against the debilitating political correctness that makes us vulnerable. More on that later. I must share my response to him (to which he never responded, claiming he lost my e-mail):

Thanks for the reply.  I saw the e-mail and was more focused on the video than Act for America. … The video is quite disturbing and I hope that those like this man who preach hate and terrorism (or as one actually used political correctness - and ignorance - to call "man caused destruction") will fail. 

I do know that Islam, Judaism and Christianity share a history, but I also know that Jesus is God Incarnate. Even if He is mentioned as a prophet in Islam, based on Muslim beliefs (not the beliefs per se of radicals who spread hate in the name of Islam, but beliefs of the kind and well-meaning Muslims like my friend [name not disclosed], his family, and Kurdish refugees I've met in the area) which I have encountered for myself in Muslim people, the Quran and other sources (and yes, I've heard the Christians are polytheists argument just as much as I've heard Western=Christian argument), there is a consideration: If Jesus is a prophet and we consider the claims of Jesus,  either Islam has a prophet in Jesus who is a liar (because His claims to be God -- His own words on multiple accounts in the Bible -- are denied in Islam) or Islam is not telling the full truth about Him or even lying about Him (claiming He is a minor prophet after Mohammad, claiming He did not die on the cross, etc.). Judaism doesn't quite have that dilemma as they only claim He was a rabbi who was crucified (even documented by the Roman/Jewish historian Josephus if one wants to consider extrabibilical sources), not a prophet. True, all 3 religions have had acts of violence and hatred done in their name.  My Muslim friend [name not disclosed] and his family are not like the idiots who preach terrorism, but in recent times it does seem that the majority of such talk (and acts) are done in the name of (radical) Islam.

Worship, love, and honoring God with all one's being, and being equitable, charitable, and loving your fellow man are all great things to strive for, but we all fail because of our sinfulness and they alone will not get a person into Heaven.  That's no excuse to not be or do those things. Jesus calls us to be as such and only by His Spirit can we have any hope of demonstrating them. None of us are good enough and none of us can work our way out of the fallenness in and of ourselves (If we were/could, then there would be no need for the cross).  Whether we roll around in a mud puddle or just have a few splatters on the suit, we are all dirty and need to be cleansed.  And if we are to stand in the presence of a holy God, then who can stand?  In and of ourselves, not one of us can (the Bible says our good works are as "filthy rags" to God). Only the great swap of resumes at the cross will allow that.  Jesus cleanses us and gives us His righteousness. 

There are things to be said of the contributions of other belief systems.  However, we also have to consider the fact of humanity's fallenness and the truths of a holy God from the One who claimed to be God. If that is ignorance, then may I be a fool for sake of Christ. In the meantime, I enjoy the discourses I have with folks different from me.  The "Three Cups of Tea" sounds like an interesting read if I can ever stop reading 3 books at once and pick up a new one! :)

I think some key questions to consider are as follows?  What about mankind's sin problem if our works (even religious and good ones) are tainted (as also taught in the Bible)?
If Jesus is not the only way to God, then why did He claim to be? Was He a liar? Was He a lunatic? Or was He Lord? Also, if He is not the only way to God, then why did He bother dying on the cross (and even predicting it)? And do you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

-Jamie

These are the important internal questions that must be answered. I never received a response except something about misplacing my e-mail. That is not very encouraging to think that a well-educated counter-terrorism expert is more interested in ensuring a politically correct view of Islam than profiling those who act hatefully in its name. On to the external questions. Does Islam really teach to act loving to your fellow man? How about to your fellow woman? What about Shariah law? Why are there mosques in American and Muslims who worship freely, but you rarely see Christians worshiping freely in churches in Islamic countries? Why is that?

In early December 2009, I was in a discussion with a woman about some of this. She said that the answer was in the book "Three Cups of Tea" There's that title again. That must be like a Bible to some! Granted, I haven't read it and probably should. What I have read about it is good. Its premise is to promote peace by building schools in places like Afghanistan. I agree that is a good and noble goal. However, she thinks that is the solution. I asked her about the Taliban and Al-Qaeda murdering principals in schools that educate girls, even in front of their families or cutting their faces off with piano wire. Her response was astounding! It was as if she did not hear what I said and mentioned how village elders watched over the schools. Does she not realize the Taliban are the ones who make women wear blue tarps and then beat them with rods if they show their ankles? Does she not know that they practice Shariah law (which supports terrorism, female genital mutilation, crucifixion of Christians, polygamy, beheadings, honor killings of daughters, women having half the rights of men, and a one-world Islam)? Yet, the woman with whom I spoke with already had her mind made up. She even claims to support women's rights, but apparently the rights of women under Islam is not a concern. Another question: Would a village elder be able to stand up against a Taliban/Al-Qaeda onslaught?

On Christmas Day in 2009, an evil man tried to detonate a bomb in an airplane over Detroit to kill nearly 300 people in the name of Islam. I am not saying he is representative of all Muslims, but he did the attack in the name of Islam. Gizmodo reported that archaic software and a misspelling of the perpetrator's name helped him get on the plane. Fortunately, the terrorist did not succeed because he botched it up and a dutch passenger stopped him. Foolishly, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the system worked. No, ma'am! What worked was the flying dutchman! Ms. Napolitano, the system miserably failed. And fixing a software glitch or spelling is not the answer! Further, the State Department failed to confirm his visa AND his father had given warning.

What might help with security? Profiling. Okay, so profiling might be deemed offensive or even *gasp* hateful to some. Here's a question: Are you willing to offend a few to protect the many? I will volunteer to be strip-searched if it means saving lives. If that offends you, get a backbone! People are offended daily, including me. Yet, the world does not stop. Have we reached the point of depraved thinking that suggests that we can no longer disagree, offend or be offended, or have discourse? Have we? Clearly, not all Muslims are terrorists. Yet, most modern terrorists attacking America directly or indirectly are young to middle-aged men claiming Islam as their religion and jihad as their motivation. You can misspell Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab's name and profiling will still work because he meets the criteria of the profiling. So did the men who conspired in the 9-11 bombings, the shoe bomber, etc.

Some argue about how we got into the war and talk about blaming Bush, etc. What a waste of time! It is absolutely fruitless at this point to be debating how we got into the war. The fact is we are at war and what are we going to do about it? Are we going to have a rose-colored picture of those who act hatefully in the name of Islam or are we going to take this problem seriously? Three Cups of Tea may very well be part of the solution, but it is only part. It's a 2-sided coin. We must do for them while eliminating the hate-mongers. We are not dealing with a crowd that will say, "Oh, thanks for building a school. We'll stop attacking." That may be true in a small circle, but that won't fly with Al-Qaeda or Iran. The radicalism our enemies is clearly seen in that when Salman Rushdie said he embraced Islam, the Ayatollah said that was great, but that they were still going to kill him.

So, if you think we can pacify our enemies with political correctness, then you are clearly naive.

On the political front, there are questions: Are you being naive and politically correct in thinking pacifying our enemies will work? Or are you willing to say, "Enough!" and speak the facts as the historical patterns support, politically correct or not? Are you willing to do the right thing (even if politically incorrect), come what may? Are you willing to question creeds that easily lend themselves towards violence? Those are the external questions

Important questions! However, there are much more important questions -- internal questions. I leave you with these questions I had sent via e-mail to the counter-terrorism expert:

"I think some key questions to consider are as follows? What about mankind's sin problem if our works (even religious and good ones) are tainted (as also taught in the Bible)? If Jesus is not the only way to God, then why did He claim to be? Was He a liar? Was He a lunatic? Or was He Lord? Also, if He is not the only way to God, then why did He bother dying on the cross (and even predicting it)? And do you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?"

Consider those questions seriously or continue to be naive.


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