“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” – President Barack Hussein Obama
By Morgan Norval l February 11, 2015
On February 5th, President Obama addressed the annual National Day of Prayer breakfast in Washington, DC. His remarks represented a thinly disguised attack on Christianity, a religious belief held by the vast majority of Americans. In the process, he insulted all Christians by trying to equate Islamic terrorism to “terrible deeds” committed by Christians during the Crusades centuries ago.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama proclaimed dismissively. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
“No God condones terror,” he said. I beg your pardon, Mr. President, but Islam certainly does.
Obama’s remarks came a few days after the Islamic terrorist group ISIS released a video of the execution by immolation of a captured Jordanian pilot. While condemning the act, many commentators claimed such an act is not permitted by Islam. They are wrong.
That gruesome murder was not only a punishment sanctioned by the Koran, Islam’s holy book, it was designed to intimidate enemies of Islam – all who are not followers of its faith. The heinous act was also committed to extract retribution for the “Crusaders,” the catch-all term for ISIS’ foes, and their coalition allies for dropping bombs on targets that consumed Muslims in their flames. Retribution was to be handed out in a similar manner. With this in mind, the Jordanian pilot had to be burned to death, not decapitated, as in prior ISIS executions.
Koranic justification can be found in Koran Sura 4:56: “Those who reject Our signs, we shall soon cast into Fire. As often as their skin is roasted though, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the chastisement for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
This view is also sustained by Sura 5:45: “We ordained therein from them ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds for wounds equal for equal.” In short, you killed our faithful followers by burning, we’ll kill you in the same manner. A famous Middle Age Islamic cleric, Ibn Taymiyya, who died in 1328, justified the desecration of bodies if it horrified unbelievers, which the execution of the Jordanian pilot certainly did.
In his speech, Obama blasted Christianity for both the Crusades and allowing slavery. Long before the Crusade, Islam conquered and colonized wide swaths of territory over the centuries. During this period, Muslim forces had conquered all of North Africa, the Middle East and Spain – two thirds of the then-Christen world. In addition, they seized parts of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Persia, and parts of India, and extended their sway into the Malayan Peninsula and the islands to current day Indonesia. Islam was the superpower of the era. The remaining one-third of the Christian world faced two choices: 1) defend itself; or, 2) succumb to Islamic conquest. Fortunately for us today, they chose to defend.
“. . .The crusades were in every way a defensive” action said Thomas Madden, a history professor and head of St. Louis University’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, ‘they were the West’s belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world.”
He continued: “. . .The truth is that the crusades had nothing to do with colonialism or unprovoked aggression. They were a desperate and largely unsuccessful attempt to defend against a powerful enemy.”
“Colonialism” and “unprovoked aggression” are terms of endearment boasted by Obama and his left-wing allies in their hatred of the West. However, you don’t hear a peep out of them regarding Islam’s “colonialism” and “unprovoked aggression.”
Yes, slavery existed here and abroad but it was the Christian West, not Islam, that led the effort, successful in the main, to abolish it. An English evangelical Christian politician, William Wilberforce, led the movement to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. The passage in 1833 of the Slavery Abolition Act culminated his decades-long effort. Wilberforce died three days after he had heard that the Act, his lifetime crusade, if you will, had passed. He went to his grave with the satisfaction that his effort wasn’t in vain.
Obama tries to exploit the legacy of slavery in the U.S., while advancing his left-wing agenda. But Obama ignores slavery’s history in the Muslim world. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. One-hundred years later, Saudi Arabia, under pressure from the Kennedy Administration, in the days before Saudi oil became such a potent political force, grudgedly abolsihed slavery in 1962.
However, in 2003, Saudi Sheik Salih al-Fawzan issued a fatwa stating: “Slavery is a part of Islam. It is a part of jihad and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam.” At the time he issued the fatwa, al-Fawzan was a member of the Saudi’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars.
Both ISIS and Boko Haram enslave captives, especially women.
ISIS runs slave markets in Raqqah, the current capital of ISIS, and in Mosul, both in Iraq. Young women who are virgins can be purchased for $100. Married women who have had children have a much lower price – $10.
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, told CNN they had abducted 200 girls. “I abducted your girls,” he told Nigeria and the world via CNN. “I will sell them in the market by Allah.”
“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell women.”.
It is well to remember that for more than a thousand years, Muslims enslaved more Christians than Europeans took from Africa and transported to North and South America.
Islam is a material and political religion, where the goal is to control people and societies through conquest and the enforcement of Islam’s Shari’a law. The answer for Islam is Shari’a law which is to live one’s life imposed through force and terror. That is totally ignored by people such as George W. Bush, Barack Hussein Obama, and others proclaiming Islam as the religion of peace. Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and the first Secretary of Homeland Security, takes a similar position, in a Washington Times article entitled: “An overdue awakening of Moderate Muslims.” In it he claimed the solution to the problem posed by ISIS and al-Qaeda “. . .exists within the Muslim world itself, in the form of the many progressive voices that share our values of tolerance and secular policies . . .”
Dream on Mr. Ridge and like-minded individuals – if Islam was to become secular, it would undermine and destroy itself as a religion, not likely to appeal to the Muslim faithful.
The liberal-left excuses Muslim jihadis by blaming their violence on Western colonialism, which caused them to react against it by taking revenge through acts of terror against the West. These critics ignore the millennium-and-a-half history when Muslim countries tried to conquer Europe, Africa, Asia and India by the sword — killing, raping, and taking slaves during their marauding.
Muslim forces today are on a “crusade,” if you will, and have occupied every city that was an important part of Christianity’s formation, except one – Jerusalem. In these cities, they are wiping out anything that is today tied to Christianity, as we sit idly by and watch.
Yes, one could say Islam is the religion of peace imposed and enforced by the sword or, recently, by the burning of its foes who don’t toe the line.
Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.