Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, June 29, 2012

On the Dearborn Incident

There was a tweet circulating around a couple of days ago showing a video of Christians being stoned by Muslims.... IN AMERICA! the headline screamed.

That tweet was of a link from FrontPage online (whatever that is). I want to say I saw a Drudge headline, as well as a link at Glenn Beck's site.

The video showed what were a group of street evangelists standing outside the Arab festival in Dearborn, MI, when Muslim's begin pelting them with rocks and debris. The police arrive and tell the Christians to move along, and I think some of them get threatened with arrest or were arrested.

However, the Christ and Pop Culture blog had contentions with what really happened. According to them, it was a group of ultra-fundamentalist KJV-only street preachers led by Reuben Israel. Reuben has had run-ins with James White, btw.

They were being insulting to the Muslims at the Dearborn Arab Festival including waving a pig's head on a stake. (Insults are always worthy of stoning). Additionally, older Muslim men were trying to calm down the younger men to keep them from responding with violence. Though Christ and Pop Culture blogger opines that such behavior never justifies violence, the fact of the matter is the Christians were the aggressors and the Muslims were just minding their own business until they were forced to react, so we really shouldn't blame them for their trash throwing.

Now David Wood has posted his remarks on the Muslim stoning of Christians.

I agree with Wood. I'm certainly not a fan of Reuben Israel and his crowd of street screeching trouble-makers. And I appreciate the Christ and Pop Culture blogger for drawing out the clearer picture of the events. But the reaction the Muslims had to a group of wackos only goes to show you the deficiency of the Islamic faith to deal with those who oppose it. The immediate reaction when they are mocked is to respond in violence?

This is especially true when Mohammad is defamed in some way. It's bizarre.

A couple of points of contrast.

First. Reuben and his boys are notorious for going to Salt Lake City to hassle Mormons at their annual conventions. He stands outside with signs condemning Joseph Smith and waving the Mormon sacred underwear at the crowds. The Mormons are obviously upset at such foolishness, but to my knowledge, none of them have resorted violently to such antics.

Second point. Do you know how cruelly mocked Jesus is by the homosexual community in San Francisco? Every Easter Sunday, a group of sodomites put on a hunky Jesus contest in a public park that involves some of the vilest satanic, sexually perverted acts you can imagine. Do a search on the subject if you think I'm making it up.

Though it would be an amazing spectacle to behold watching Reuben and his band of miscreants "screech" at one of these events, no Christians have ever shown up to throw stones at the sodomites.

What if the sodomites did a hunky Mohammad contest? What would be the response by the Muslim "youth"?

The older Muslims can cry shame on the younger people for responding in such ways, but the response of violence is intrinsic to the core Islamic faith. Islam does not tolerate dissent, so it won't tolerate free speech in a free society even if it is coming from crack pots.

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Blogger noneuclidean said...

Fred (sorry if I posted multiple times. Blogger confuses me, I'm ashamed to admit),

Thanks for the link. A couple of responses:

The two examples you give are not quite analogous. Remember, this is an Arab Festival, not a specifically religious event. And keep in mind the history of tension between Arabs and the US in the last decade in particular. Let me offer what I think is a better analogy.

Let's imagine that Ruben Israel and his crew went to an Irish cultural festival in the US. And that the US was currently at war with Irish Catholic terrorists, resulting in not a small number of civilian deaths. And that the US was currently occupying large portions of Ireland (regardless of whether or not US occupation of the Middle East is warranted). At this Irish culture festival, attended by around 100,000 Irish men, women and children (I believe that's the figure for the Arab festival), Ruben Israel and his gang walk around screaming at people that they are going to hell, that God hates them. And his carrying an offensive image of Mary on a stick, with the explicit believe that the Irish are "petrified" of such an image.

Now, imagine that out of those 100,000 festival goers, a few dozen start to yell at Ruben et al. They are almost all under the age of 16, with only a couple adults. Some adults actually work to calm the kids and get them to leave, but they keep coming back. Because they are kids. And kids are stupid sometimes.

Now, if you've ever worked with a good number of high school students, you should know that it doesn't take much at all for them to turn into a mob and start acting stupid. And if they aren't stopped quickly, things escalate (in my experience as a high school sub).

Now, none, I mean none of what I just said excuses any violence. However, I do think that it means that we cannot draw the conclusion based on this event, as you do, that Islam is therefore unable to deal with those who oppose it except with violence. This is just bad logic. And, I believe, dangerous, as it often leads to the conclusion that Muslims should not be tolerated in our country since they are so inherently violent.

In fact, some news reports have stated that there were other, actually peaceful Christian groups at the festival and that they had no trouble, even though they were witnessing.

So, did those kids react to opposition to Islam, or a bunch of hateful, burly white men who treated them as foreign invaders?

12:04 PM, June 29, 2012  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

You are probably correct with your overall assessment, but I am not sure your analogy is the best either. The reason being is that Catholics don't tend towards violence in such a way either. The reason I say that is because there have been protests like the one you imagine in your comment and no Catholics reacted in the way you suggest. At least to my knowledge.

I understand the reaction by younger Muslims, but again, they are youths. That is what should be concerning, because they represent an up and coming generation of Muslims who no longer share the "Americanized" idea of their parents and older relatives. The same situation is taking place in Europe as well. I think Mark Steyn has reported well on this.

I understand the context of the events should not be described in as hysterical fashion as some bloggers reported them. However, I think David Wood's post sheds some insight as to how our culture is accommodating such behavior, particularly there in Dearborn, and there is a slow creep of it taking root.

8:01 PM, June 29, 2012  

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