As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—in this case, the recent immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama’s response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:
Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
There is so much to be said here. First, the obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate “justified in the name of Christ” and violence and hate “justified in the name of Muhammad” is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.
This is not just a theoretic point; it is the very reason that Muslims are still committing savage atrocities. Every evil act IS commits—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents in the deeds of Muhammad, that most “perfect” and “moral” man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see “The Islamic State and Islam” for parallels).
Does Obama know something about Christ—who eschewed violence and told people to love and forgive their enemies—that we don’t? Perhaps he’s clinging to that solitary verse that academics like Philip Jenkins habitually highlight, that Christ—who “spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not” once said, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34, 13:34).
Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that Christians will be persecuted, including by family members (as, for example, when a Muslim family slaughters their child for “apostatizing” to Christianity as happens frequently).
Conversely, in its fatwa justifying the burning of the Jordanian captive, the Islamic State cites Muhammad putting out the eyes of some with “heated irons” (he also cut their hands and feet off). The fatwa also cites Khalid bin al-Walid—the heroic “Sword of Allah”—who burned apostates to death, including one man whose head he set on fire to cook his dinner on.
Nor is the Islamic State alone in burning people. Recently a “mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily.”
As for the Islamic “authorities,” Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s oldest and most prestigious university which cohosted Obama’s 2009 “New Beginning” speech—still assigns books that justify every barbarity IS commits, including burning people alive. Moreover, Al Azhar—a religiousinstitution concerned with what is and is not Islamic—has called for the cutting off of the hands and feet of IS members, thereby legitimizing such acts according to Islamic law.
On the other hand, does Obama know of some secret document in the halls of the Vatican that calls for amputating, beheading or immolating enemies of Christ to support his religious relativism?… Keep reading
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.