Tuesday, May 27, 2003

From the NYT: Seeing Islam as 'Evil' Faith, Evangelicals Seek Converts. The holier-than-all-of-thous are organizing and coordinating their underhanded attacks on Islam. Before, it was just an evangelist here and there, flying off the handle. But the Southern Baptists are nothing if not organized.

Evangelical Christians are hosting seminars "on how to woo Muslims away from Islam."
But although the teacher, an evangelical preacher from Beirut, stressed the need to avoid offending Muslims, he projected a snappy PowerPoint presentation showing passages from the Koran that he said proved Islam was regressive, fraudulent and violent.

"Here in the Koran, it says slay them, slay the infidels!" said the teacher, who said he did not want to be identified because being a missionary to Muslims put his life at risk. "In the Bible there are no words from Jesus saying we should kill innocent people."

I'm not biblical scholar, but it seems to me that there was some nasty violence in the OT. Maybe nothing so blunt as "kill the innocent," but I imagine there was some "defend the faith by any means necessary" kind of action, which is pretty much what the Koran is getting at.

But as is usual for these bastions of cultural sensitivity, they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot:
Akbar Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic studies department at American University, said he grew up attending Catholic and Protestant missionary schools in Pakistan, but never heard a negative word about Islam from the missionaries. Now, he said, the new hostility to Islam and, in particular, the insults to the prophet Muhammad have outraged the Muslim world.

"The whole range of Muslims, from orthodox to liberal secularists, are all lined up against these attacks coming from the American evangelists," said Mr. Ahmed, the author of a new book "Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World" (Polity Press). "Unwittingly, these evangelists have unleashed a consolidation of sentiments for Islam. Even the most moderate Muslims have been upset by this."

Pat McEvoy, high school secretary from Ohio and Christian Warrior, says "she felt an obligation to save them from an eternity in Hell" via chocolate chip cookies and invitations to home-cooked meals. "Our job," says one teacher, "is not to make the Muslim a Christian. Our job is to show them the love of Christ." You know what he means. It's lip service to cultural sensitivity, when what he *really* wants to say is, "Our job is not to make them vegetarians. Our job is to keep them from eating meat." This is, like everything Evangelical Christians do, an outrageous spasm of self-righteousness and hypocrisy, but as an advocate of anything that keeps them from bothering me, I'm all for it.


Post a Comment

<< Home