War against Terrorism
In Defense of Christianity
Michael W. Johnson, Ph.D.
With the permission of the Author,
TIA reproduces excerpts of his paper published in
The Geopolitical Strategist Bulletin (January 12, 2003)
War | International Affairs | Hot Topics | Home | Books | CDs | Search | Contact Us
An Open Letter to Osama bin Laden|
You are naïve to believe that no one will arise to defend Christianity with the same fervor that you display in advancing Islam. Sadly, Christianity is currently suffering a dearth of defenders at the governmental or organized religious levels ...., but you would be sorely mistaken to conclude that Christianity is no longer worthy of defense. Your consummate arrogance and invincible ignorance are most deserving of a response.
In the waning years of WW II, Hitler sought to replenish his severely depleted SS ranks with a conquered people of unparallel wickedness. He finally settled upon Muslims. It took 56-plus years, but you validate his choice. Still it is not my present style as an enfeebled cripple to defend Christianity militarily despite several decades spent learning precisely how to do just that. Rather, let us struggle for the theological high ground by exposing the myths and contradictions of Islam and considering their practical political science ramifications.
FIRST ISLAMIC MYTH: REVENGE IS THE SAME AS JUSTICE
Regardless of the type of political system (monarchy, tyranny, oligarchy, democracy or whatsoever), there exist two, and only two, system of criminal justice.
The first and older of the two is known as the judicial system of collective responsibility. The second such system is one based upon sole (or unitary) responsibility.
Collective revenge: a characteristic
of the Islamic mentality.
Time, March 17, 2003
Collective responsibility [the first system] holds the family and friends of the criminal equally as liable for a criminal’s crime as the criminal himself. It therefore permits retaliatory attacks against any of these people. These are commonly called revenge attacks. They in turn propagate what are known as blood feuds.
Revenge attacks arise historically from the ancient Law of the Caravan of the Third Millennium B.C. and were mentioned in writing in the Code of Hammurabi during the Eighteenth Century B.C. No finer examples exist in History than the monumentally devastating attack upon the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the increased intensity of the decades old Arab-Israeli conflict. These attacks are indicative of an Eastern Hemispheric revengist ideology masquerading as a religion with an ideology being defined as a set of ideas with action consequences.
The second system of unitary responsibility holds only the criminal guilty for the crime. Society purposely strengthens the law to make it probable that the criminal will be caught. However, it has very strict laws prohibiting the victim or the victims’ relations and friends from taking the law into their own hands. Once the criminal is finally brought to justice, that person is presumably punished and rehabilitated. Upon release, at this point in the judicial cycle, the crime is supposed to be forgotten and the criminal forgiven. Only one world religion preaches unitary responsibility today, and that is Christianity.
May I remind you, however, that judicial justice is defined as the virtue of fairly administering punishment for the purpose of reforming human conduct to perform actions acceptable to the common good. Collective responsibility falls short of this definition on three counts:
First, it is hardly fair when administering punishment to attack an innocent bystander simply because that person is either by chance related to the criminal or is the friend of the latter.
Thus, revenge is an act of indiscriminate violence intended to destroy property or maim and kill innocent and guilty victims alike. It is the definitional opposite of justice and the sure sign that one is a moral pigmy!
Second, inherent in the concept of administering justice is the question as to who may execute it. It is likely that this person is neither the victim not the victim’s family nor the victim’s friends. To allow them to take revenge is a prescription for societal paralysis.
Third, revenge violates the essence of justice – performing actions acceptable to the common good. It is to no one’s good, let alone the common good, that citizens should be killed at random (1).
(1) The foregoing paragraphs were first published as “Forgiveness – Yes; Revenge – No!” The Geopolitical Strategist, January 3, 1994.
A. The Koran encourages revenge
It is undeniable that The Koran (2) encourages revenge. It is the most fundamental concept of Islam: “In retaliation you have a safeguard for your lives” (Sura 2, The Cow, verse 179) (3).
It appeals immediately to every Muslim because it is permitted to everyone: “If a man is slain, his heir is entitled to satisfaction” (Sura 17, The Night Journey, verse 33). In case one is dubious as to appropriateness of the acting out of revenge, one is absolved of all guilt: “Those who avenge themselves when wronged incur no guilt” (Sura 42, Counsel, verse 41). Best of all, one need not worry about being successfully satisfied simply because one may kill the guilty or innocent.
Sons inherit the feuds of the fathers, and are commanded by The Koran to take satisfaction for past crimes.
Catholic World Report, November 2001
(2) There are as many translations of The Koran a there are of The Holy Bible. One English translation is by N.J. Dawood, The Koran, New York: Penguin Books, 1983. All scripture quotes will be taken from this translation of The Koran. The standard Islamic protest is that any translation of The Koran is unworthy. It is interesting that Islam, which seeks to spread the truth through the world, actively tries to hide the truth of The Koran from the world. This fact alone should elicit warning signals concerning the true purpose of Islam.
There are only a few rules that apply: “Believers, retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed: a free man for a free man, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female” (Sura II, Women, verse 34). ….
(3) Suras in The Koran are the same as chapters and are identified by name. The number indicates the chapter number. However, there are translations discrepancies among chapter titles and verses depending upon the versions used.
Herein lies the first contradiction. One of the precursors to Islam was the Prophet Moses: “Yet before it [The Koran], the Book of Moses was revealed, a guide and a blessing to all men” (Sura 46, Al-Ahqaf, verse 12). For Muslims, the first five books of The Holy Bible, the Pentateuch, are what are being referred to as the Book of Moses. However, the overriding social purpose of the Pentateuch was to prepare mankind to replace revenge by divine justice: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children for their fathers; only for his own guilt should a man be put to death” (Deuteronomy 24:16).
Historically, the role of the prophet is to relay the word of God. Then it would seem that God first, through Moses, declares Himself against revenge and later for it, through Mohammed. One would think that God is Truth. And since truth cannot change, then God should not either. He so states Himself: “Surely I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6). So which is it? Does God change or not? If He changes, then is He God? [No, He is not.] ….
B. Revenge must be tied to justice
There is no question that the power to retaliate, which mankind calls revenge, is a deterrent to violence. The question is who may administer it. Revenge is workable only if it is tied directly to justice.
Leave revenge to the Lord God Most High: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). There is a definitional difference here. Vengeance is an act of proportionate punishment, whereas revenge is an act of disproportionate punishment. In human hands, revenge is merely the trademark manifestation of the devil. Your surprise attack upon the World Trade Center was nothing if it was not diabolical.
Following religious orientation, militants of the Palestinian
Hamas wear dynamite around their waists to manifest
their desire to continue terrorist acts.
Actualite des Religions, December 2001
Revenge has had a singularly deleterious effect upon Islamic economic development since the beginning of Islam in 622 A.D. …. Revenge guarantees the continued economic inferiority of the Islamic world because it creates uncertainty.
Modern political scientists love to cite Islamic inheritance laws as a major stumbling block to Islamic economic development. But a far greater barricade is fundamental societal instability contained in the knowledge that no matter how virtuous you personally lead your life, you are still liable to be the victim of a revenge attack for something that one of your relatives or friends did.
The commission of revenge attacks is not a sign of masculinity, but a mark of immaturity; nor is it a sign of femininity, but a mark of stupidity. Americans will find that supporting the cause of collective responsibility is not without effects. The more that they support this Eastern Hemispherical judicial system, the more they will find it directly proportional to the agony and pain, the carnage and death they will suffer.
SECOND ISLAMIC MYTH: ISLAM CAN LEAVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL
Islam is extremely militant. Let us begin with the worldview of The Koran: “The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell.
They are the vilest of creatures” (Sura 48, The Proof, verse 6). There is no doubt as to what the true Muslim must do in this situation: “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you” (Sura 9, Repentance, verse 123). And again: “Fight against such as those to whom the scriptures were given as believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day …. (ibid., verse 29).
Numerous Muslim factions openly supported the attacks of September 11 against the United States. Above, an angry demonstration in Pakistan ten days after.
Inside the Vatican, November 2001
Islamic admirers glorify Bin Laden after September 11.
Actualite des Religions, January 2002
Indeed, killing the unbelievers is more important than any religious virtues they might display: “Kill them [the unbelievers] wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage (Sura 2, The Cow, verse 191). Note that this injunction is prominently placed in the second chapter at the beginning of The Koran.
The argument has been made that the preceding verse enjoins Muslims to refrain from initiating violence: “Fight for the sake of Allah those who fight against you, but do not attack them first (Sura 2, The Cow, verse 190).
This verse would seem to enjoin only self-defense. Yet, it is interesting that Muslims uniformly disregard this verse around the world, be they in Kashmir, Palestine, Indonesia or wherever. The attacks of Muslims throughout the world and your unconscionable, horrific attack against the World Trade Center appear justifiable only if you believe in the superiority of Islam. This is because: “The unbelievers are your sworn enemies (Sura 4, Women, verse 102). Consequently, “those who follow Him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” (Sura 48, Victory, verse 48). Why is this so? Because “Allah loves those who fight for His cause in ranks as firm as a mighty edifice” (Sura 41, Battle Array, verse 4).
Additionally, it is very informative that no prominent Muslim cleric has issued an ad hoc religious ruling (fatwa) banning revenge attacks or excommunicating their perpetrators. A few editorials by Muslim clerics condemning the WTC bombing in The New York Times do not constitute a fatwa. Their silence upon the issue of revenge attacks is deafening. It is obvious that the Muslim clerical world considers them fundamental to the Islamic faith or it would act energetically to repress them.
No matter how distasteful, every Muslim must participate: “Fighting is obligatory for you, much as dislike it” (Sura 2, The Cow, verse 216). In fact, you are compelled to fight at the risk of eternal doom: “If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly and replace you by other men” (Sura 9, Repentance, verse 39).
Given these repeated Organic calls for violence against unbelievers to include a personal threat of Hell, is there any wonder that your violence ran madly astray on September 11? ….
Just as you crashed with total surprise into the twin World Trade Center towers and wreaked unfathomable destruction and despair, so too will I seek to crash into the twin pillars of your faith with an intellectual surprise attack. Your twin pillars of faith are
1. Allah is God;
My rejoinder is that Allah is not god nor is Islam a religion for the arguments given above. Revenge is an intellectual regression to man’s Neanderthal past. ….
2. Islam is a religion.
For the complete text of this paper,
you may contact the Author at:
P.O. Box 319, Fairlee, VT, 05045.
About the Author: Michael W. Johnson is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Thomas Military Academy in St. Paul, MN. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. He received his Master’s Degree as a distinguished graduate in International Relations from the University of Southern California. He obtained his Doctoral Degree in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Until 1987 he continued his post-doctoral work at Harvard University.
He studied Russian language in West Point and attended the U.S. Army Advanced Russian Language Institute in West Germany. He retired as a Captain in U.S. Army Military Intelligence and a Senior Middle East Analyst for Forces Command Intelligence Center. He holds the Bronze Star with an oak leaf cluster. He is an International Relations Specialist and the publisher of The Geopolitical Strategist. He holds more than 100 copyrights. For additional information, check Who’s Who in the World.
© 2002- Tradition in Action, Inc. All Rights Reserved