While Muslim groups have issued vague condemnations of “terrorism” and the killing of “innocent civilians,” they have never bothered to define who exactly is an innocent civilian, despite the fact that jihadists have claimed that Israelis and, in some cases, Americans and Britons are neither innocent nor civilians. Yet despite the fact that there is no global network of Jewish or Christian terrorists committing violence in the name of either religion and justifying that violence by referring to its sacred texts, and Christian and Jewish leaders have quickly condemned violent acts committed by Christians and Jews, without vagueness or weasel words, the idea that all three religions are equally likely to inspire violence persists.
It persists, of course, among those who, like Jessica Stern, simply ignore or deny the facts. It is not only a falsehood, it is a dangerous falsehood, because it distracts attention from the reality and magnitude of worldwide jihad activity, and stymies efforts to deal with that activity realistically. These are the principal reasons why I have written my latest book, Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, which will be published August 13 by Regnery Publishing. This book is a realistic appraisal of the teachings, histories, and contemporary status of Christianity and Islam, an examination of the jihad threat and the “Christian theocracy” threat as imagined by Chris Hedges and others, and a call to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, secular Muslims, and everyone else who is a victim or potential victim of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism to unite together against this scourge.
And in a nutshell, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has summed up some of the differences between the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim responses to religious violence here. A press release from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
According to today”s New York Sun, Harvard professor Jessica Stern told a New York audience yesterday that criticism of Muslim clerics for not condemning Muslim violence was unwarranted. “I”ve heard a lot of bashing of Muslim clerics for not stepping up to the plate and condemning extremist violence,” she said. “But Catholic priests are not stepping up to condemn those who kill abortion doctors”¦[and] rabbis are not condemning the violent settlers” movement.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“Forced moral equivalency is immoral, and that is exactly what Jessica Stern is promoting. The silence of Muslim clerics in the face of Muslim violence is well-known. But when it comes to killing abortionists, the Catholic clergy have an impeccable record. It should be noted, too, that as the New York Sun pointed out today, rabbis everywhere condemned Yigal Amir’s 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin””the very incident that Stern cited as an example of Jewish silence.
“To begin with, there has not been a single abortionist killed in the U.S. since 1998. When there were killings in the mid-1990s, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, chairman of the Pro-Life Activities of the bishops” conference, said that such shootings make “˜a mockery of everything we stand for.” When there were two killings at Massachusetts abortion clinics, Cardinal Bernard Law not only denounced them, he ordered a moratorium on sidewalk protest vigils outside abortion clinics in Boston. Cardinal John O”Connor’s response in New York was profound: “˜If anyone has an urge to kill an abortionist, kill me instead.”
“Just this week, a report of Muslim violence against Iraqi Christians was released. The study, Incipient Genocide, describes in detail “˜the deaths of Christian children””including babies””laypeople, priests and nuns who were burned, beaten or blown up in car bombs throughout the past few years.” Moreover, Christian girls are being raped and having nitric acid thrown in their faces for not wearing veils. And the Muslim silence is deafening.”