Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where is the outrage?

The world is upside down. One man threatens to burn copies of the Koran and the Islamic world is outraged and threatens violence. Saudi Arabia burns confiscated copies of The Holy Bible, and the silence is deafening. One cartoonist creates a drawing portraying the violence of Muhammad's followers, and the Islamic world explodes in riots with Imams issuing fatwahs which call for "good" Muslims to kill him. An "artist" places a crucifix in a jar of urine and the silence is deafening. If one dares to speak in less than flattering terms about Muhammad in an Islamic country, one is subject to death (although how one can blaspheme a man is beyond me). If one curses the name of Christ, he is viewed as enlightened.

Muslim controlled nations see their own style of government and attempt to impose it on the United States. Although mosque and state may be one in their view, church and state are separate in the United States. Government may impose its will in Muslim controlled countries. Government may not impose its will in the United States. Calls from Muslim run countries for the US government to stop the Koran burning by the organization claiming to be a Christian church are useless. The government does not have the constitutional authority to do so. Leaders in government can attempt to persuade the group that this action would not be good, but it cannot be imposed.

Muhammad was a man who said he received the Koran from the Angel Gabriel and wrote it down word-for-word. Paul, in Galatians, said that if anyone, even an angel from heaven came preaching any other gospel than what he had proclaimed to them, let him be accursed. The Muslim seeks to save himself by his works. The Christian is saved by God through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Muslims circle around and bow toward a rock in Mecca. How is that not idolatry? Why is it that they who claim to be submissive to God do not accept God manifest in the flesh? Muhammad died and was buried. Jesus died and arose from the dead. Muhammad, and all his followers will bow the knee to Jesus Christ. It is not at the name of Muhammad, nor at the name of the moon god Allah that every knee will bow. It is at the name of Jesus Christ that every knee will bow, whether in heaven above, on the earth, or under the earth (see Philippians 2:5-11).

Muslims come here and enjoy tolerance and acceptance. Americans do not accuse all Muslims of the crimes of the few who perpetrated the attacks on September 11, 2001. Christians are not welcome, and are persecuted in many Muslim countries. Why is there no outrage over this? Where is the equity? Why would a Muslim want to come here and enjoy the freedoms that America offers and then turn around and seek to change America into the very countries they fled? God forbid that this should happen.

Is it legal to burn copies of the Koran? Yes, but it is not wise to do so. Is it legal for Imam Rauf to promote building an Islamic cultural center and mosque near the site of the terrorist attack perpetrated on September 11, 2001? Yes, but it is not wise to do so. Both men insist on their "right" to do what they want. Neither is willing to listen to and be sensitive to others who view these actions as wrong. Muslims worldwide demand that all others be sensitive to and yield to their demands that their prophet be recognized and honored. Yet, the tolerance they demand is one way. They do not show nor practice the tolerance they demand for themselves. Let tolerance become a two-way street. Let the message of Islam compete freely with the good news of Jesus Christ. When it freely does so, then I would support the building of this "cultural center" at this site. Until then, it remains a painful reminder of the triumphalism displayed by Muslim conquerors who built mosques on the sites of churches as they expanded. The name "Cordoba House" is a deliberate provocation as it is a reminder of this practice. The claim that it comes from a tolerant policy that allowed Cordoba to later become a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews could work together does not lessen the symbolic significance of the initial destruction of Christian places of worship and building of mosques in their place.

Don't burn Korans and don't build the Cordoba Center at Park51!