Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maher, Muslims, & Myopia

Only under the rarest of circumstances will you hear me say this: I agree with Bill Maher 

However, an atheist acquaintance of mine disagrees with him (which just goes to show that atheist fundamentalists—like religious fundamentalists—don’t always see eye-to-eye.) 

She actually compares ISIS and Islam to “The Lord’s Resistance Army” and Christianity. And she isn’t trying to be funny. Still, I find the comparison laughable. Like Charlie Rose (see the video above), she is firmly committed to the notion that all religions are the same and that when it comes to violence there is no real difference between Christianity and Islam, or the Bible and the Qur’an.  

She offers: “If I were to highlight the violence in the Bible, I'd need a new highlighter.” While such a statement is red meat to likeminded atheist fundamentalists, it lacks serious thought and is utterly devoid of nuance.  

The Bible does indeed contain a lot of horrific violence. However, there is a universe of difference between that which is descriptive and that which is prescriptive. I am unaware of a single biblical passage which calls individual Christians to practice physical violence.  

Such cannot be said of the Qur’an and Islam. Many if not most Imams, past and present, understand Jihad to be prescriptive in the Qur’an. That is, the Qur’an—from start to finish—calls Muslims to strive for Allah. This striving, this Jihad, includes (though it is by no means limited to) physical violence. 

Even so, my atheist friend clings to her beliefs regarding Islam and the Qur’an despite a world of evidence—past and present—to the contrary. If such blind devotion to belief doesn’t evince fundamentalism, what does?

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