The Norwegian newspaper VG quoted Faten Mehdi Al-Hussaini who said that ISIS and their sympathizers do not follow Islam, but the devil.
I like what is happening these days. I’m thinking about the mobilizing against the terrorist organization ISIS we see in Norway, especially the big demonstration in Oslo recently. Many high profile Norwegian Muslims have spoken out against ISIS and the main message is that ISIS does not represent them, and that they are not proponents of Islam.
I have suspected this for a long time. I have only superficial knowledge of Islam, but if I use what I know, and the Muslims I have met over the years as an indication, we are talking about a religion that is more peaceful than we get the impression of in the media. It does not mean that I accept Islam, because we are stilling talking about a religion that has not changed since the 600s, and there were not many back then who could say that life was good. One can only read what Human Rights Watch writes on its website in order to get an impression of it. There are many secular countries that struggle with human rights too, but it seems to be especially hard in Muslim countries. Much of what has caused controversy within Islam since the Prophet Muhammad died has to do with power, and who is going to lead the Muslims.
But this is still a digression. My point is that there has been much to criticize. This is not the first terrorist organization that has been operating without being contradicted. Muslims in Norway have remained silent as Taliban and Al Qaida have slaughtered people, both in Europa/USA and in Muslim countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, but it had to be something as extreme as ISIS to bring the team of Norwegian celebrity Muslims together. Many Norwegians have praised the Muslim after this demonstration, but I have a feeling we have been standing on the sideline wondering why Muslims wouldn’t stick their heads out and risk getting their own fatwa.
I wonder, what do we do when we get the chance? There are some Christians who choose to protest against things they believe is contrary to the Bible. Among the major issues raised, we find homosexuality and abortion. The consequences to us Norwegians aren’t that great. There have been some priests who refused to give up, and ended up being fired, while others have allowed themselves to be pressured into giving up.
I wonder, however, if we have any reason to criticize them. There is currently a massive and quite judgmental pressure against Christians who refer to the Bible when they say that they can not defend a certain thing, everything from referring to abortion to homosexuality. We are the authority that tells the Bible what is right, not vice versa. It is very difficult to speak out against this tyranny, though we don’t risk being killed.
That might give us some perspective. Maybe we can use Faten Al-Mehdi Hussainis quote on ourselves too. I wonder sometimes if we believe in anything at all, and what kind of society we, in that case, are headed for. The new religion or authority may be human rights, but if we allow our government or our allied governments to break them, I do not think the question is so unfair. Do we believe in something that is worth fighting for? I wish there was someone I felt represented Christianity. The values we as Christians once exported to other countries, are no longer seen as relevant for us. I think this is a mistake.
I conclude with another quote. The Irish politician Edmund Burke, who lived in the 1700’s, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Fortunately, we have someone who is willing to act, but I wish there were more people. This doesn’t only apply to religion. Those who have followed my blog know of my involvement in relation to the child welfare services..
Just make a choice. There are plenty of things to pick from if you want to oppose the evil forces in Norway.