That has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
This week's violent attacks on American embassies do not make sense to me. I know its easy to dismiss this violence as simply out-of-control religious fanatics who are lead by zealous militants who despise the United States. Yet, there is something missing. It does not make sense. Allow me to postulate a couple of things that I think will give clarity to this mess:
1. Muslims, like other peoples of the world, are intelligent people who desire significance, security, and acceptance. In this manner, we are all alike.
2. All faiths that are exclusive, by nature, are an offense to the world around them. In Christianity, this is openly acknowledged (I Corinthians 1:18-2:16 for instance). Muslims readily understand that they are misunderstood and that a majority of the world is not Muslim. While they may be offended, this offense is hardly new.
3. The internet is not the official domain of any nation or entity. Things published and shared on the internet are not the official publications of the United States or any nation unless they specifically say they are.
4. An obscure ten minute film that is published on the internet is not the official propaganda of the United States or its people. Its a film produced and directed by one man and his intentions are known to him only.
5. The attacks on the embassies were coordinated, well planned attacks by people with a specific agenda.
The idea that a video that was floating on the internet that offended Muslims so badly that it gave rise to a transnational, highly organized global attack on US embassies makes no sense. It actually insults the intelligence of Muslims everywhere.
I think, due to the organization of this, that there is something more. I believe there is something deeper going on here. Videos have come and gone that were offensive to Muslims, but we have not witnessed the outrage and violence that we are experiencing in the Mideast. I am not condoning the video (as I have not even seen it) and as a Pastor, I deeply understand the insult of blasphemy, however, this just makes no sense.
Anytime politics are given a religious dimension, it becomes irrational and dialogue-resistant. That is what we are seeing. A political move (attacking a governmental entity) disguised in a religious movement (Islam is offended). We must separate the two to understand what is the motivation.
I pray that there is an outbreak of peace and that the real causes of the violence are revealed. I pray that we will develop greater tolerance, thicker skins, and a deeper level of understanding in our dealings with others.
Pastor M Traylor