Wishing a joyous and beautiful Paschal season to all those who are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ on this night.
This occasion calls for an exercise in compare-and-contrast (you remember those from school, don’t you?). Let’s take Rosie O’Donnell’s indelible formulation, “Radical Christianity Is Just As Dangerous As Radical Islam,” for a spin.
The point here is not to proselytize or engage in apologetics. At Jihad Watch from the beginning I have called for the formation of a broad coalition of all those threatened by jihad and Islamic supremacism, and I still believe such a coalition of religious believers and unbelievers of various kinds should be formed. The point here, rather, is yet another attempt to focus attention on the actual threat. Nowadays we are hearing a great deal about allegedly “Christian” violent groups, and so Rosie’s moral equivalence is alive and well — indeed, stronger than ever — despite the global distribution of armed Islamic jihad groups, and the general absence of such Christian groups.
The sooner we identify what the actual threat is, the more effectively we can counter it.
So here is the first part of the compare-and-contrast exercise:
“Yousuf Al-Sharrafi, Palestinian Legislative Council Member from Hamas, Calls for Suicide Operations in Israeli Buses and Restaurants,” from MEMRITV, March 17:
The following are excerpts from an interview with PLC member Dr. Yousef Al-Sharrafi, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on March 17, 2010.
Interviewer: There has always been killing – every occupier kills people. But the Zionist occupier [not only] kills people, but also destroys stones, destroys the Islamic holy places, destroys the trees of this land, and destroys Islamic and non-Islamic antiquities. Do they have a natural disposition towards these criminal deeds? Throughout history, these Zionists or Jews have done nothing good. […]
Imagine what tricks they play with regard to God’s decrees. God said: “Do not fish on the Sabbath.” They said: “We won’t.” But to those who violated the Sabbath, Allah said: “Be apes, despised and hated.” They cast their nets on the Friday in order to collect them on the Sunday. They specialize in deceit. […]
The apes and pigs episode can be found at Qur’an 2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166.
The enemy will be driven out by means of martyrdom operations, like the ones that were carried out from the West Bank. […] If the enemy knew that it would pay the price – especially through martyrdom operations in its buses and its restaurants – it would think a million times before taking such measures.
Yousuf Al-Sharrafi is angered. He is angered, and he is calling for the mass murder of civilians on buses and in restaurants. He is angered.
Second part of the compare-and-contrast exercise: with Yousuf Al-Sharrafi’s words in mind, and with tomorrow being Pascha, Easter, for Christians the Feast of Feasts, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I thought that an interesting comparison could be found in the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom, which will be read tonight in Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches:
Let all pious men rejoice and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord, let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward; let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the feast, and those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too late, for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him who comes on the eleventh hour as well as to him who has toiled since the first: yes, He has pity on the last and he serves the first; He rewards the one and is generous to the other; He repays the deed and praises the effort.
Come, all of you: enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward; you rich and you poor, dance together; you sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day; you who have kept the Fast and you who have not, rejoice today.
The table is richly laden; enjoy its royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one; let no one go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of faith; all of you receive the riches of His goodness. Let no one grieve over his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed; let no one weep over his sins, for pardon has shone from the grave; let no one fear death, for the death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it; He has despoiled Hades by going down into its kingdom; He has angered it by allowing it to taste of His flesh.
When Isaiah foresaw all this, he cried out: “O Hades, you have been angered by encountering Him in the nether world.” Hades is angered because it is frustrated. It is angered because it has been mocked. It is angered because it has been destroyed. It is angered because it has been reduced to naught. It is angered because it is now captive. It seized a body, and lo! It discovered God. It seized earth, and behold! It encountered heaven. It seized the visible, and was overcome by the invisible.
“O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” Christ is risen, and you are abolished! Christ is risen and the demons are cast down! Christ is risen and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen and life is freed! Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of its dead! For Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the leader and reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.