Osama bin Laden, meet Mother Teresa. Salvation Army, meet the Taliban. After all, you’re just different sides of the same coin anyway, or so says President Obama essentially.
Last week, Obama famously used the National Prayer Breakfast to scold Christians for having
more than their fair share of scalawags who have “hijacked” their religion, lest we judge these professed Muslims who are killing, raping, and pillaging all over the world.
Thus, there is a moral equivalence between Islam and Christianity. We all have our good and our bad apples.
He said, “Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ….In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
But does the Qur’an teach that the faithful Muslim should “slay the infidel”? Yes, this is in Surah 9:29. Did Jesus tell us to slay our foes? No, He told us to love our enemies. That’s in Matthew 5:44. Of course, Christians haven’t always lived up to that. That’s part of Obama’s point.
But it does seem odd when discussing the evil deeds of IS (Islamic State) in 2015—like burning a man alive in a cage as reported last week—that Obama brings up the Crusades that effectively ended in c. 1300.
Of course, this general idea is not completely unique to Barack Hussein Obama. Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said a few months ago of IS: “They’re not Muslims. They’re murderers.”
I remember within a relatively short time after 9/11 when former President Clinton spoke at Georgetown about the attack, and he basically blamed the Crusades.
One of my favorite books on the subject is Robert Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). I re-interviewed Robert who runs the site jihadwatch.org recently for my radio show. I asked him to comment on portions of the president’s speech.
Says Spencer: “One of the things I thought most noteworthy about it was that in trying to make his moral equivalence argument and give people the impression Islam is not in the least different from Christianity in being able to inspire its adherents to violence is that he had to go back 800 years to the Crusades. The glaring gap there is that you can’t point to any Christian group around the world today or in recent memory that are committing violence in the name of Christianity and trying to justify that violence on the basis of Christian teaching…”
In great contrast, notes Spencer, is Islam: “Whereas, there are hundreds of armed Muslim groups around the world that are condoning violence in the name of Islam and justifying that violence on the basis of Islamic texts and teaching.”
But what about the Crusades, Robert? “The Crusades are nothing like Islamic Jihad. They were late, tardy small-scale defensive reactions to 450 years of Islamic Jihad that had actually rolled up and conquered and Islamized what had been up to that time half of the Christian world. The Crusades were not based on any teaching about making war against and subjugating unbelievers, which is what Jihad is all about.”
I would add: in short, no Islam, no Crusades.
I also asked Spencer about Obama’s reference to slavery and Jim Crow, which at least brings us up to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Says Spencer: “There he’s got a point. Slavery certainly was justified by Southern slave owners and defenders of slaver on the basis of the Old Testament and on the basis of passages of the New Testament as well.”
He also says, “And yet what [Obama] also leaves out here is that the anti-slavery forces were also Christian, were also in many cases, pastors—people who knew the Scriptures very well. They understood that working out from St. Paul’s letter to Philemon and going from there to the idea that…[people] had equal dignity before God and thus to have one person enslave another is contrary to these understandings.”
And Spencer adds, “There was never an abolitionist movement in Islam because Islam does not teach that the unbelievers are equal in dignity before God…Mohammed owned slaves…so it’s very hard to mount any cry against [slavery].” Indeed, slavery is a major problem even today in many Islamic countries.
Every Muslim you see in America is a reminder of the freedom our Judeo-Christian heritage has afforded to people of all faiths or of no faiths. Regardless of the president’s moral equivalence, many Muslims are voting with their feet as to which type of system they would like to live under. You can’t possibly equate Mother Teresa with Osama bin Laden.