Which of the following three headlines is most difficult for the media—including the usual array of liberal pundits, apologists, academics, and politicians—to whitewash or rationalize away? Which most exposes Islam’s inherent intolerance?
A) “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims fire rockets into Israel
B) “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims riot and commit acts of violence in Europe
C) “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims torch a Christian church in a Muslim country
The answer is C—Christian persecution.
Because in both scenarios A and B, Muslims will always be portrayed and seen as the “underdogs”—and hence always exonerated for their behavior. No matter how violent or ugly, no matter how many Islamic slogans are shrieked—thus placing their behavior in a purely Islamic context—Muslim violence against the West and Israel will always be dismissed as a product of the weak and outnumbered status of Muslims—their status as underdogs, which the West tends to romanticize. And so they will always get a free pass, without further ado.
They may be screaming and rioting, firing rockets and destroying property—all while calling for the death and destruction of the “infidel” West and/or Israel to cries of “Allahu Akbar!” Still, no problem. According to the aforementioned array of pundits, apologists, academics, and politicians, such bloodlust is a natural byproduct of the frustration Muslims feel as an oppressed minority, “rightfully” angry with the “colonial” West and its Israeli proxy. Indeed, that is precisely how even the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. by al-Qaeda were rationalized away by many “experts”—even as al-Qaeda’s own words exposed their animus as a direct product of Muslim doctrine not temporal grievances.
Most recently, the New York Times, in the context of the rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, asserted that Israel “needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances,” thus taking all blame off the “aggrieved” and “underdog” Muslims and Palestinians.
But if Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those currently stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them, those who have no political influence whatsoever? Consider the most obvious of these scenarios, the growing epidemic of Muslim persecution of Christians. From one end of the Islamic world to the other—whether in Arab lands, African lands, Asian lands, or Sinic lands, wherever Muslims are a majority—the largest non-Muslim religious group, Christians, suffer untold atrocities.
The rationalizations used to minimize Muslim violence against the West and Israel simply cannot work here—for now Muslims are the majority, and they are the ones violent and oppressive to their minorities, often in ways that would make the worst Israeli treatment of Muslims look kind and benevolent.
In short, Christian persecution is one of, if not the clearest reflections of Islamic supremacism. Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians simply wish to worship in peace, and yet still are they hounded and attacked, their churches burned and destroyed, their women and children enslaved and raped (see monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” reports for an example).
These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens in race, ethnicity, national identity, and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute. The only problem is that they are Christian—they are the other—and so must be subjugated, according to Sharia’s position for all “others,” for all infidels—including Israel and the West.
Such is the true nature of Muslim rage throughout the world: it is a byproduct of doctrinal intolerance if not downright hatred for the other, who must always be kept in a state of subjugation and humiliation, according to the letter of the Quran.
Accordingly, while Christian persecution is the clearest example of this hate, it also explains why others are so despised, for example, Israel.
Consider: Christians and Jews are both constantly castigated in the Quran: Muslims are admonished not to befriend either of them (5:51) and to fight and subjugate them “until they pay tribute with willing submission and feel themselves brought low” (9:29). Christians under Islam are suffering accordingly—as despised dhimmis, abused and “brought low,” routinely plundered of their lives, dignity, and possessions.
On the other hand, Israel—the dhimmi that got away—actually has authority and power over Muslims. Now, if dhimmis are supposed to be kept in total submission to Muslims, how then when one of them actually lords over Muslims?
Hence Islam’s immense and existential rage against the Jewish state.
Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the DHFC, is a widely published author on Islam, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Join him as he explores the “Intersection”—the pivotal but ignored point where Islam and Christianity meet—including by examining the latest on Christian persecution, translating important Arabic news that never reaches the West, and much more.