As noted in a previous post the Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, Dr Andrew McLellan, thinks that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with religion. In this non-religious motivated activity he includes the murderous attack on a Church in Peshawar and the deliberate slaughter of non-Muslims by terrorists who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they selected non-Muslims, including little children, to murder.

In this Dr McLellan echoes Prime Minister David Cameron who, following the Kenyan shopping mall massacre said:

These appalling terrorist attacks that take place where the perpetrators claim they do it in the name of a religion: They don’t. They do it in the name of terror, violence and extremism and their warped view of the world. They don’t represent Islam, or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world.

Likewise when adherents of the religion of peace ran over and then hacked to death Drummer Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a London street our PM solemnly assured us that the incident was ‘a betrayal of Islam. . . . There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.’

Presuming that neither Dr McLellan nor David Cameron are practicing Muslims we are forced to ask; How do they know? When terrorists attacked a shopping mall full of people whose biggest problem was which shoes to buy they selected their victims by asking them to recite passages from the Koran or Muslim prayers. Those who could do so walked free, those who couldn’t were murdered in cold blood. Could the Presbyterian Dr MacLellan or the ‘vaguely Anglican’ David Cameron have passed the test? After all they both proclaim that they are able to discern what is genuinely Islamic and what is delusional.

The perpetrators of this atrocity who have spent an inordinate amount of time studying the Koran seem to have thought that it had something to do with Islam. Those who plan and have carried out terrorist attacks in the UK seem to think it has something to do with Islam, and that is a position of shared by many Muslims in the UK, and Iraq, and Somalia, and anywhere else where Muslims live.

Last Sunday what proportion of Scotland’s Presbyterian churches or England’s Anglican churches had large enough congregations for 85 worshipers to be killed in one blast? Yet in Peshawar, a city which is 99% Muslim and where Christians are discriminated against, there were enough Christians of a deeply committed character to make it a reality. There are very few Christians of the ‘vaguely Anglican’ variety in Peshawar.

Soon enough there will be very few Christians of any variety in Peshawar. It is the aim of Islamists to cleanse Pakistan of Christians; just as they are doing in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and the Philippines. This may be ‘nothing to do with Islam’ but that is what is happening throughout the Muslim world and will continue to happen until we begin to be honest enough to discuss the reality which MacLellan and Cameron studiously try to avoid.

We have a church with no appetite to speak out for the faithful and a political class which has no fixed principle. When there is a clash of belief systems don’t bet on the one which sticks its head in the sand.


4 thoughts on “HOW DO THEY KNOW?

  1. Thoroughly agree with this point of view. Glad to read boldly expressed views on an area many choose to duck.

  2. You say we have a political class without a fixed principle. While from a Christian point of view this might seem to be so, I think if we dig a little below the apparent contradictions of our politicians’ beliefs, there emerges a consistent and over-riding concern. It is the principle of secularism. There is a fear of religion, any religion – a fear of it intruding into the public realm; a fear that their citizens might be motivated by some other “ideal” than the pursuit of wealth, convenience and happiness. They don’t understand religious motivation and they don’t see (or want to see) much difference between one religion and another.
    That, I think, is why so many of them are uncomfortable dealing with any of these matters. They suffer from what you might call religious illiteracy. It leads them not only to deny any religious motivation in Islamic violence but also to ignore the huge offence caused to Christians by the same-sex marriage law. They just don’t “get it”. They are hoping their gospel of tolerance will prevail, but don’t understand that secular religion has no answer to fundamentalism, whether of the Islamic or Christian variety.

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