Muslim persecution of Christians continues to increase worldwide, as does the phenomenon of Muslims in the West claiming victimhood in order to deflect attention away from the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. The contrast is piquant: Muslims acting in the name of Allah murder Christians in Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere, simply because they are Christians, and then complain in the Judeo-Christian West about not being able to wear hijab in violation of some company’s policy, or about someone saying rude things to them in a supermarket — or speaking honestly about how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism. Liars with power, and position, and prestige spread their lies far and wide, while truth-tellers are silenced, demonized, smeared, ignored.And the “global human rights community” rushes to condemn the “Islamophobia,” while remaining silent about the persecution and the steady erosion of the freedom of speech.
Whether you are a Christian or a believer in any other religion or no religion at all, this should concern you, and will have impact upon you, whether or not you’re aware of it. The victimhood game is part of a larger strategy. And so is the persecution of Christians, and the violence against Jews in Israel, and against unbelievers of various creeds and belief-systems worldwide. They are both part of a larger war that the Ayatollah Khomeini memorably articulated:
Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. . . . But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]”¦. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.
With Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians all celebrating today what is for Christians the Feast of Feasts, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is illuminating to contrast the spirit of Khomeini’s famous remarks with the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom, which is read on this day in Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches. (Please note that my posting this does not constitute a blanket endorsement of everything Chrysostom ever said. In fact, I discuss some of his outrageously uncharitable, un-Christian and deeply disturbing utterances at length in my 2007 book Religion of Peace?, which you can get here.)
If anything illuminates why Muslims are victimizing Christians throughout the world, it is the difference between Khomeini’s words and Chrysostom’s. Khomeini’s repudiation of the “foolish souls” who reject Islamic jihad warfare manifests an understanding of Islam that looks with resentment and hatred at non-Muslims and wills to conquer and subjugate and kill them.
Chrysostom’s homily, by contrast, is expansive, generous, open-hearted, and otherworldly. Above all, it is hopeful. Death is robbed of its sting. Evil does not prevail forever. As the days get darker and freedom (especially the freedom of speech) gets more precarious in the West, and Islamic supremacists (who, like DHS official Mohamed Elibiary, revere Khomeini) grow ever bolder in the West, it is a good message for non-Christians as well as Christians: the boot on the face does not and cannot prevail indefinitely. Blades of grass inevitably grow through the concrete. Khomeini says that “whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword” and that “people cannot be made obedient except with the sword,” but ultimately people grow weary of living constantly in terror of the sword, and throw off the tyrant’s chains. The human spirit cannot be enslaved indefinitely.
And so even in these difficult days, there is hope: every time the Islamic supremacists advance, they simultaneously retreat, because more and more people wake up to what they’re doing and to the need to resist.
They are angered (angered!), increasingly angered, because they know they can’t continue to advance under cover of darkness. People are on to them. The truth about Islam and jihad is known to vast numbers of people in the West, much as our government and media elites continue to ignore it and/or downplay and obfuscate it. The enemies of freedom are being exposed, and will ultimately be cast down, and they know it — hence the increasingly brutal and vicious manner in which they enforce their tattered and cheap hegemony. They will lash out more furiously than ever as the truth continues to get out. But it it is getting out. And it will be victorious.
And so here is St. John Chrysostom’s homily:
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.