One Difference Between Islam and Christianity

As I write this, there has been almost a week of violent protests across the Muslim world. The ambassador to Libya has been killed, the US embassy in Cairo was invaded, the US flag removed and destroyed, replaced by a Muslim flag. One news article (which you can find here), says the following:

Anti-U.S. protests spread to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Britain, East Jerusalem, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, the West Bank and Yemen, according to U.S. officials and news reports, with many protesters chanting religious slogans and railing against the denigration of Islam in the obscure low-budget video.

The same article says that in Sydney, Australia, where the cultural self-humor would normally have people partying through any disaster, the riot police had to move in and squash an angry protest. The Lebanese were burning the American-originated fast food places KFC and Hardees, resulting in shootouts with police. In Cairo, riot police finally cleared the square after four straight days of protests. There were more, but you get the point.

Why all the violence? Apparently someone in the US has created a low-budget film that 1) depicts the Mohammed, and 2) does so in a way that the Muslims have become insulted. So far the movie has not been released, but a brief promo on Youtube has been published. So people have died and we have had massive riots and protests over a youtube promo that insults Mohammed.

I am reminded of the newspaper political cartoons that sparked similar widespread rioting and death threats. I am also reminded of author Salmon Rushdie, whose novel Satanic Verses garnered him death threats so severe that he stayed in hiding for over 10 years.

By contrast, what have we seen from Christianity? We have seen a photograph called Piss Christ which has a crucifix, complete with Jesus, in a glass of urine. This, by the way, won an award in a US art competition. We have also seen the film The Life of Brian which is a parody of Jesus, where the Christ character is the comedic baffoon. We have also seen repeated, ongoing, mass-scale ridicule of Jesus, Christian ideas in particular, and Christianity in general, done by the likes of the popular atheists of our day. You want anti-Jesus Youtube videos? You could spend the rest of the month watching them. Even this lowly blog has had a few blasphemous comments, one so vulgar about Jesus mother that I had to delete it. Further, almost every Christian has to endure, on a daily basis, the use of God’s name as a curse word, something most of us find to be very insulting. Compared to what the Muslims have seen, Christians are insulted to a point that is off the scale.

What do we see from the Christians? An occasional boycott, a few letters to the editor, a handful of people on rare occasions carrying signs on the sidewalk. Mostly, from the Christians, we have nothing. As far as I know, all the insults to Jesus have not resulted in any ambassadors killed, no riot police, no torching of fast food restaurants, no shootouts, and no one who has to hide in fear for most of their lives, worried that crazed church goers will suddenly rush out of the church building on Sunday morning, skip the line at the cafeteria, and go kill a bunch of people.

Yet we routinely have this from the Muslim world.  With all of the American focus on tolerance and pluralism, it is amazing that there is not more negative reaction to the violence that follows the Muslim religion.

Why is this so? Jesus told His followers to love our enemies, while Mohammed told his to kill them.

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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7 Responses to One Difference Between Islam and Christianity

  1. rosross says:

    With all of the American focus on tolerance and pluralism many Moslems quite rightly ask why the US and allies spend so much time invading, occupying, bombing and killing Muslims more than any other and why the US supports Israel in its war crimes and human rights abuses against Muslims?
    More to the point, one might need to take into account the overlooked fact that most Moslems, like most Christians, Jews, Hindus etc., are not the least bit violent but there are extremists, just as there are extremists in all religions. If there are more extremists in Islam it is because they are, in the main, crushed beneath the boots of oppression, poverty and as often as not, Western exploitation if not occupation.
    The sad irony is that articles like this incite bigotry and hatred and seek to make a case that Christians are somehow ‘better’ or ‘more civilized’ which hardly helps and in fact only hurts.
    Your position here is facile and superficial and does you no credit. If you were true to the creed you espouse here as taught by Jesus – love thine enemies – you would not have written this post. There is nothing here that Jesus would ever teach, say or promote. Perhaps you might reflect a little further on LOVE THINE ENEMY!

  2. humblesmith says:

    You’re right, what was I thinking. The ambassador to Libya must have caused his own death due to the guilt of being American. He should have known better than to be a citizen of a country with free speech. It was his own fault. And the 45 Christians who were killed and 73 wounded when the Muslims set off a bomb last year on Christmas day, inside a Nigerian church during mass, it was their faults, too. They should have known better.

  3. rosross says:

    It is not about fault, it is about reality. The ambassador would have known full well he was working in a dangerous zone – all diplomats know the realities of their posts. It was a risk he took, as do many others, from all nations. However, his risk factor was increased by the fact that the US is the world’s biggest warmonger at this point in history and has been for nearly half a century. As long as American bombs and bullets are killing Moslems you will have Moslems who are angry. The iniquitous, cowardly and truly evil drones are killing innocent civilians every day – just today eight Afghan women were killed when a drone dropped a bomb, supposedly on insurgents, otherwise known as freedom fighters, and surprise, surprise, no fighters, just helpless women. As to the politics and dynamics of Nigeria I suggest you study a little more closely the tribal and racial divisions and the political structure if you want any true understanding of relations between Christians and Moslems. Or you can continue to resort to bigotry and propaganda, seeking to encourage hatred and fear of Moslems in a way which is both backward and destructive.

    • humblesmith says:

      The US is by no means righteous. The country has turned its back on God, and will therefore make mistakes and suffer the consequences.

      But the US is not the subject of the post. The post did not give any bigotry, but merely stated facts.

      • rosross says:

        No, the post was completely bigoted suggesting that Christians were superior to Moslems because of their teachings. It was a crass comparison inciting not compassion and loving one’s enemies but prejudice and hatred. If you have the courage of your convictions and integrity of belief you will post my comments.

        After the 9/11 tragedy, American politics is obsessed with anti-Islamic hatred and Islamophobia has assumed to become an industry to be used by the neoconservatives and continued proponents of the war on terrorism.

  4. J Speeze says:

    I’ve read both responses and I think the bottom line is- the ideals, moral teachings and positions of religion are noble and true- but men and in some cases women, have used those teachings to promote their own ends/needs/ wants/ power/ and control over others.
    Study history and you will find that more wars have been waged, more people have been killed and suppresses in the name of religion. Religion has been used to justify and evoke emotionalize responses and reactions. Maybe we would be better off with no religion?? At least opportunist wouldn’t also be hypocrites.

    • humblesmith says:

      Actually, other than violence from specific religious groups, there have been relatively few wars between nations over religious reasons. In the last 100 years, there have been close to 100 million people killed in wars, with the vast majority being non-religious. In fact, the countries which have specifically denied religion have caused the most violent deaths: Soviet Union and China.

      By contrast, the hospitals, relief organizations, homeless shelters, and third-world mission work are done by religious people…..and not all religions at that, but mainly the ones who have an ethic to reach out to underprivileged.

      For more info, see the book “Darwin Day In America” by John West, who shows that atheist ideology has been the direct cause of 60 to 80 million deaths in the last 100 years. By comparision, the inquisition killed less than 5000 over several centuries.

      Religions have certainly been guilty, and any unjustified deaths are too many, but history has shown that banishing religion has not had a positive effect.

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