I was dismayed to read about the pastor in a local area church in Dallas for using a broad brush to condemn 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and to blame Islam. I am sincerely grateful to Steve Blow (DMN, 6 September 2014) for pointing this out and to Robert Hunt of Southern Methodist Universityâ€™s Perkins School of Theology for condemning this blatant distortion in equating the atrocities of the Islamic State (ISIS) with all of Islam. These are sincere Christians like so many others with whom I interact daily.
As expressed by Nader Hashemi, Director of Josef Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver, how can we forget the great Western philosophers who were deeply interested in religion? From Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau to Hegel, Mill and Marx, all wrote extensively about the relationship between religion, politics and society. Hashemi further queries, â€œHow did the divine nexus between God, human beings and society gradually erode in the case of Latin Christendom, leading to the gradual separation of religion and state and the rise of political secularism?â€ The answer is simple. Wars. Religious wars tore the very fabric of the nascent Western civilization just coming out of dark ages.
Edmund Burke once said, â€œThose who donâ€™t know history are doomed to repeat it.â€ The West has forgotten its history. For two hundred years, Europe was bloodied by religious wars which ended only with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Part of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia was held in MÃ¼nster, Germany, a bloodied city reigned by sheer terror, all in the name of Christ, and quite reminiscent of the terror inflicted by Taliban in the past and now by ISIS.
In the last century, the soul of Europe was torn by communism, fascism and anti-Semitism. It is silly to think that Holocaust occurred in a vacuum. For 2000 years, the European Christians branded the Jews of Europe as â€œChrist killersâ€ and relegated them to â€œghettosâ€. And we remember the infamous Edict of Expulsion issued against the Jews of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella (March 31, 1492). It ordered all Jews of whatever age to leave the kingdom by the last day of July or convert. 50,000 converted, 10,000 died enroute and nearly 165,000 were relocated mostly in the Islamic countries including 90,000 alone in Turkey. And we remember the fate of 400,000 Jews in the city of Warsaw and the surrounding areas, who were literally corralled into a â€œghettoâ€ with 10 feet tall walls and barbed wires. Over 100,000 of the Ghettoâ€™s Jews died due to rampant disease or starvation, as well as random killings, even before the Nazis began massive deportations to the infamous Treblinka extermination camp. The Germans were mostly Lutherans and Catholics and all were Westerners. And finally the nine bloody crusade wars unleashed against the Muslims in the Holy Land. When Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders in 1099, Jews, Arab Christians and Muslims sought shelter in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome on the Rock, and the Temple Mount area. According to the Gesta Francorum, speaking about the Crusade army, â€œ…[our men] were killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles…â€ As a Muslim I donâ€™t blame Christianity for all the horrible things that took place in Europe and the near East in the name of Christ, so please do not blame Islam. And please let us not lecture the Muslims about the lack of religious intolerance, plurality or moderation.
Dr. Nizam Peerwani, serves Tarrant County as its medical examiner. He also serve as a Commissioner on the Stateâ€™s Forensic Science Commission. He has completed many human rights mission to troubled parts of the world on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and UN High Commission for Human Rights. firstname.lastname@example.org