No one should be surprised by the deaths yesterday, 9-11-2012, of Christopher Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya, and three of his colleagues. These murders, along with countless others, are part of a regular and predictable pattern of brutal behavior perpetrated upon innocent people in the name of Islam.
A brief history lesson illustrates my point.
The situation was unimaginable for our proud country. A group of Americans had been captured, paraded before jeering crowds, pelted with stones, spit upon by their captors and held hostage in squalid conditions for over a year. The leader of the captors said, “Now I have got you, you Christian dogs, you shall eat stones.” The specter of torture and death was ever present.
The American government of the time was in a quandary. Should it use force, start a war? Should it try diplomacy? Pay a ransom? Yes, emphatically: Diplomacy and ransom.
But when a representative of the captors was approached in a neutral country the American envoys were aghast at his justification for the abduction and torture of innocent American citizens:
“It is written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged the Muslim’s authority were sinners, that it was the Muslim’s right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.”
That story is not from the 21st century. Nor is it from the 20th century. It is not about the fall of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and the hostage crisis that ensued. Nor were the negotiators from the Carter administration. It is from 1786, the meeting was in London, the American negotiators were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and the kidnappers were from Tripoli, the principle city in what is now called Libya.
The reason given for the assault on the American consulate in Libya and another on the Embassy itself, in Cairo, Egypt, was the airing on YouTube of a thirteen minute trailer from a film developed by a Jewish man living in America. The film, which I do not encourage you to watch, is titled: The Innocence of Muslims. It “claims Muhammad was a fraud (and) shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons.
It depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, among other overtly insulting claims that have caused outrage.”
The film has been shown once, to a meager audience, in a small theater in Hollywood. If the murderers were really interested in squelching it the best thing they could have done was ignore it. Obviously, that wasn’t their motivation.
Rational people ask, “Why attack Americans living in Libya, who are committed to helping Libyans recover from forty years of dictatorship and a bloody civil war, for a film they had nothing to do with and would have denounced if they’d been asked?”
The philosophy that drove the murderer’s behavior is the same one that was quoted by Jefferson’s and Adam’s Tripolitan negotiator in 1786. It comes directly from the Qur’an. Here are two verses from that book among at least twenty others.
4:101 "... For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies."
4:74, 75 "Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of God whether he is slain or gets victory, soon shall we give him a reward of great (value). Those who believe fight in the cause of God and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil, so fight ye against the friends of Satan,…
Most of you are aware of my friendship with a man named Samer (I will not use his last name here for the sake of his safety). Samer was born in Iraq and as a young man was a devout Muslim on his way to becoming an Imam. He eventually converted to Christ and is now the Arabic director for the web-site Answering-Islam.org. Here is what that site says about Islam and violence.
Our point, of course, should not be taken to imply that all faithful and devout Muslims, must become violent, in order to be true to the teachings of Islam. We will not hesitate to say that the vast majority of the Muslim world condemns acts of terror and violence. There are many schools of thought in Islam with various and often conflicting interpretations of the Qur'an. However, the important distinction that we are making is this: the minority groups in Islam who resort to violence, are not an aberration to Islam, but in fact can legitimately claim to be working within the basic parameters of Islamic Jihad (and following the example of Muhammad).
Not only does the Qur’an support violence against all infidels, it also makes no distinction between the producers of a film like The Innocence of the Muslims, and the citizens of the country in which it was produced. If it was produced in America then all Americans are responsible for it.
Much, much more could be said about this murder and the other atrocities and oppressions being committed by people of the Muslim faith around the globe. But perhaps Mosab Hassan Yousef, the author of Son of Hamas, an autobiographical story about his conversion from devout Muslim and member of Palestine’s Hamas, to Christianity, sums it up best:
“What matters is not whether my father is a fanatic or not, he's doing the will of a fanatic God. It doesn't matter if he's a terrorist or a traditional Muslim. At the end of the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God. I know this is harsh to say. Most governments avoid this subject. They don't want to admit this is an ideological war.
"The problem is not in Muslims," he continues. "The problem is with their God. They need to be liberated from their God. He is their biggest enemy. It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to."
1 Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present, by Michael B. Oren. p. 27
3.Film Maker Sam Bacile in hiding…, Fox News.com / AP , Sept. 12, 2012