One of the reasons tens of thousands of people belonging to minority groups in the Islamic world have been murdered in recent years is because our leaders have failed to take the necessary action to put a stop to it.
Why? Why haven't our leaders taken the necessary steps to stop this? It's because they've been misled about the nature of the problem.
The following is one example of how an influential scholar from Yale has misled much of the public and many of our leaders. It is an extract from chapter 16 of Which God? by Mark Durie. (He made the mistake of misrepresenting Durie's position so the response is warranted.) It is not wise to dress up the persecutors and make them look like saints.
One example of Volf’s blind spots –in his peripheral field of vision, one might say –is the claim that Islam rejects suicide bombing. In a brief discussion of martyrdom operations, Volf cites the Amman letter to Pope Benedict(60) as evidence that ‘normative’ Islam condemns ‘suicide terrorism’. (61) The Amman letter was written to Pope Benedict by Muslim scholars after he gave a lecture in Regensburg which criticized Islam.
Volf’s citation of the Amman letter is in spite of the fact there is no reference to or discussion of suicide terrorism in that letter.
Volf also seems to be unaware that among the Amman letter’s signatories were several eminent Muslim scholars who have endorsed what they prefer to call ‘martyrdom operations’:
- Shaikh Ali Jumu’ah, Grand Mufti of Egypt and Amman letter signatory, has stated, ‘The one who carries out Fedaii [martyrdom] operations against the Zionists and blows himself up is, without a doubt, a Shahid [martyr] because he is defending his homeland against the occupying enemy who is supported by superpowers such as the U.S. and Britain.’ (62)
- The second signatory to the Amman letter, Sheikh al-Buti of Syria, has said martyrdom operations are completely legitimate if the motive is to spite the enemy. (63)
- Another signatory, Shaykh Ahmad Al-Khalili, Grand Mufti of Oman, has made the same point: ‘We are quite sure that the Jews are in their way to extinction, this is the promise of Allah ... Suicide is human boredom of life and his intention to kill himself, those Palestinian mujahideen are not bored with life and their intention was not to kill themselves: instead, they wanted to spite their enemy.’ (64)
In reality a great many leading Muslim scholars endorse ‘martyrdom operations’, or what Volf calls ‘suicide terrorism.’ (65) They would all agree with Volf that Islam forbids suicide, but consider that if the intention of a bomber is to attack a legitimate enemy, blowing oneself up is not considered to be suicide. When Volf says that normative Islam rejects ‘suicide terrorism’ he misunderstands what Muslim scholars mean when they refer to ‘suicide’, and overlooks their glorification of ‘martyrdom operations’. ( Which God?, Mark Durie)*
Unfortunately for the persecuted, scholars like Volf have done much to help shape the opinions of many decision makers in the west.
It's good to seek peace. But it's not good to lie about the nature of the problem and the level of deception we are dealing with. If such lies are not addressed, they will lead to more tension, more violence, and a very long and bloody war of attrition.
Volf shows good will towards Muslim leaders. And that is a good thing. But he is foolish if he believes whatever they tell him. What he probably doesn't know is that the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the interfaith movement. The Brotherhood's goal in the interfaith movement is to silence those who would speak up for persecuted minorities in the Islamic world. (Some people really can get away with murder if they're nice. See Silencing the Persecuted.)
Unfortunately some ministers, priests and rabbis value friendly interaction with the local imam so much they dare not make mention of the injustices others are facing in Islamic countries. They dare not make things "uncomfortable." (One of the reasons many of our leaders are easily deceived is they are holding on to the myth of Islam's tolerant past. See The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise by Dario Fernandez-Morera and The Third Choice by Mark Durie. For more about how the Brotherhood are using the Interfaith movement see the appendix to Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin. For their political goals, see here.)
Volf calls himself a Christian; perhaps he would do well to remember the following. The early Christian apologists wrote to Roman governors and in those letters spoke out against the unjust persecution of Christians. If more of our scholars and leaders wrote to the imams who are responsible for these atrocities and demanded that they treat minorities fairly we'd all be better off.
If we ignore the cries of the oppressed, the day may come when we cry out for help and no one answers.**
*This is only one of many errors and misrepresentations by Volf. There are so many that Durie had to devote the whole of chapter 16 to addressing them. Volf is either lazy when it comes to research or he is dishonest. There are no other options.
** I’m not saying we should be fighting Islamic countries, terrorist organisations, or anything like that. What I am saying is we should at least understand what we are dealing with. That is why I recommend that Muslims and non-Muslims read the following books in this order.
The Third Choice by Mark Durie
The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer
It’s All About Muhammad by F.W. Burleigh.