Editor's Note: Brian D. McLaren is author of "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group).
By Brian McLaren, Special to CNN
I was raised as an evangelical Christian in America, and any discussion of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations around the world must include the phenomenon of American Islamophobia, for which large sectors of evangelical Christianity in America serve as a greenhouse.
At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed over an offensive, adolescent and puerile film targeting Islam - beyond pathetic in its tawdriness – we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia.
Many of my own relatives receive and forward pious-sounding and alarm-bell-ringing e-mails that trumpet (IN LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!) the evils of Islam, that call their fellow evangelicals and charismatics to prayer and “spiritual warfare” against those alleged evils, and that often - truth be told - contain lots of downright lies.
For example, one recent e-mail claimed “Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents." Of course, that claim has been thoroughly debunked, but the sender’s website still (as of Friday) claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing" Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy "naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”
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Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio.
Janet Parshall, for example, a popular talk show host on the Moody Radio Network, frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned. John Hagee, a popular televangelist, also hosts Shoebat as an expert on Islam, as does the 700 Club.
Many Christian bookstores that (used to) sell my books, still sell books such as Paul Sperry’s "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington" (Thomas Nelson, 2008). In so doing, they fuel conspiracy theories such as the ones U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, promoted earlier this year.
In recent days, we’ve seen how irresponsible Muslim media outlets used the tawdry 13-minute video created by a tiny handful of fringe Christian extremists to create a disgusting caricature of all Christians - and all Americans - in Muslim minds. But too few Americans realize how frequently American Christian media personalities in the U.S. similarly prejudice their hearers’ minds with mirror-image stereotypes of Muslims.
Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed
Meanwhile, many who are pastors and leaders in evangelicalism hide their heads in the current issue of Christianity Today or World Magazine, acting as if the kinds of people who host Islamophobic sentiments swim in a tiny sidestream, not in the mainstream, of our common heritage. I wish that were true.
The events of this past week, if we let them, could mark a turning point - a hitting bottom, if you will - in the complicity of evangelicalism in Islamophobia. If enough evangelicals watch or try to watch the film trailer that has sparked such outrage in the Middle East, they may move beyond the tipping point.
I tried to watch it, but I couldn’t make it halfway to the 13-minute mark. Everything about it was tawdry, pathetic, even pornographic. All but the most fundamentalist believers from my evangelical Christian tribe who watch that video will be appalled and ashamed to be associated with it.
It is hate speech. It is no different from the anti-Semitic garbage that has been all too common in Western Christian history. It is sub-Christian - beneath the dignity of anyone with a functioning moral compass.
Islamophobic evangelical Christians - and the neo-conservative Catholics and even some Jewish folks who are their unlikely political bedfellows of late - must choose.
Will they press on in their current path, letting Islamophobia spread even further amongst them? Or will they stop, rethink and seek to a more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors? Will they realize that evangelical religious identity is under assault, not by Shariah law, not by the liberal media, not by secular humanism from the outside, but by forces within the evangelical community that infect that religious identity with hostility?
If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety.
No one can serve two masters. You can’t serve God and greed, nor can you serve God and fear, nor God and hate.
The broad highway of us-them thinking and the offense-outrage-revenge reaction cycle leads to self-destruction. There is a better way, the way of Christ who, when reviled, did not revile in return, who when insulted, did not insult in return, and who taught his followers to love even those who define themselves as enemies.
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Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. But the way of Christ requires all who claim to be Christians to examine our own eyes for planks before trying to perform first aid on the eyes of others. We must admit that we have our own tiny minority whose message and methods we have not firmly, unitedly and publicly repudiated and rejected.
To choose the way of Christ is not appeasement. It is not being a “sympathizer.”
The way of Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Brian D. McLaren.
It's not a phobia when it's real. Islamic extremism is not a figment of our imagination. This mealy-mouthed liberalism has to be stopped.
not to mention head-up-the-a$$ partisanship
I bet u he belongs 2 Obamas Mosque!
those who studied the religion should not allow our religion to be misrepresented to fit into a scheme that wants to paint the religion of Islam as non-violent. Islam is not non-violent.
MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN
PARK 51 – the mosque at Ground Zero
Raymond Ibrahim, a former associate director of the Middle East Forum, said the project and name were not "a gesture of peace and interfaith dialogue" but were "allusive of Islamic conquest and consolidation" and that Americans should realize that mosques are not "Muslim counterparts to Christian churches" but rather, "are symbols of domination and centers of radicalization."
"There is no real dialogue, since Muslims never reciprocate the goodwill gestures made by the Christians. The result is we sit down together, and the Christians say what a wonderful religion Islam is, and the Muslims say what a wonderful religion Islam is."
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (Imam of Park 51)
"There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it."
– Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey (since March 14, 2003)
I dont hear christians say "we're moderate christians, we're extremists christisns"
Christianity is christianity. Islam is Islam. To say that either have a moderate, means there is an extreme.
Extremism is person oriented. NOT religion. You can be an extremist about anything.
Sadly those who are labeled "extremists" in Islam are those that are actually doing what the Qur'an and Hadiths say.
I refer to the Mosque built following the 911 attack on New York City, the "Victory Mosque".
It is a tradition to build a mosque after a great Muslim Military Victory. They did.
They think we're all stupid. Only the people who are purposely blind to these schemes is stupid.
There is no need for non-Muslims to fear Islam. It is the religion of peace. Just because they kill those who do not follow Islam, destroy embassies, kill and rappe ambassadors, shoot girls trying to attend school, throw acid on women and behead people. But because of your Islamaphobia you are missing the real message of peace in all of this.
So that means they're religious and correct? What about those who, for example, have jobs in the US, pray in mosques, have families, go on vacations, read the qur'an. So they arent muslims? Are muslims what you are describing and only that? Have you even MET a muslim?
How many Jewish Synagogues are in Saudi Arabia? Buddhist temples? Hindu temples? None you say? And why is that?
Islam is the most intolerant "religion" in the world. Hitler would be proud of what Saudi Arabia has accomplished.
Instead of being on the computer don't you have a little girl to flog to death for no reason
I'm a little late to the dance, but I think Akmed was being facetious.
Prayer changes things .
Curb your God.
Thank you, I have recently been searching for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I've found out till now. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i don't realize is actually how you are no longer really much more smartly-appreciated than you may be right now. You're very intelligent.
Christianic-phobolists have no religious Godliness nor social goodness in which to show their inward sensualisms regarding the loves of neighbors let alone a righteous ounce of forgiveness toward others who fall by the waysides of societal dung-heeps.
Do you often make up words?
It's quite amusing, but hardly effective.
"Heeps" isn't a word. Go sit on the stupid bench with Too-Dumb Turd.
If all you can do is belittle my written phoneticisms I have nothing much to worry about,,,,,
wow, boulderdash, you sure have us atheists nailed.
no societal goodness, no forgiveness.....
you are a pompous a$$
This is my experience... Thank you.
MY personal testimony.
A thought to consider without an ego response
I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.
After reading most of the comments I am even more scared.
All this fanatism by so called Christians is very worrying. Just as Islamic fundamentalism is.
Obviously IGNORANCE is what is winning.
Ignorant people has always been easier to manipulate with promises from a Deity and a "heaven" or "paradise".
Please think!! Don't let your "preacher" or "mullah" or "priest" fill your head with nonsense!
Find the facts and decide for yourself!!
Perhaps you could share the facts with us???
was blind: all you offer is your own subjective experience and then you ask for "FACTS"?
@sam stone: "all you offer is your own subjective experience and then you ask for "FACTS"? What arrogance"
The facts are not difficult to find. I have posted many throughout the years. On this ocassion, I was responding to a different question. That is, "how can these believers be so sure" (paraphrasing). That is what I responded to. Your ilk kills me. You have the audacity to call us hypocrites and/or sheep!
@Is still blind: If the foo sh!ts, wear it, dumbfvck.
The pompousness of the outwardly faithful, such as you Was Blind is clear to see. You confuse your opinion with fact
i called you neither a hypocrite nor a sheep.
@sam stone "The pompousness of the outwardly faithful, such as you Was Blind is clear to see. You confuse your opinion with fact"
No, Mr Stone. Wrong again (still). When you see a pink elephant face to face, it is no longer opinion that there is such a thing as a pink elephant.
still blind: or, it is a hallucination
Before a friend started going to AA, he saw plenty of pink elephants. Does that mean they were real, Still Blind?
Your first incorrect assumpiton is that people were killed over a video. That is totally inaccurate. They were killed in a planned coordinated attack on the anniversary of 9/11.
GOD is real, and His Promises are absolutely True!
Jesus and Muhammad thus clearly foretold about It here:
*****UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES*****
The "promises" were written by Iron Age man.
True Christianity is a relationship with Christ and the heart. As a Christian, I am to love the sinner, hate the sin. Any religion that condones killing or destroying anyone in the name of their religion, is a religion from hell!! Do I believe that Islam is a religion from hell, you bet I do!! Will anyone practicing Islam upon the return of Christ go to heaven..........absolutely NOT! Faith in Christ is not about any religion; I do not subscribe to any religion, I only subscribe to Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins, and now is in heaven with His Father. I believe in the death, the blood, and the resurrection of Jesus who saves man from his sins; anything else is NOT of God! John 3:16 & 17
The Big Lie as practiced by the modern faux Christian – "love the sinner, hate the sin". Interesting that it's a concept first stolen from Gandhi, then corrupted as soon as possible.
It just cracks me up when fundies state as fact things which they have no way of proving, or even knowing.
@Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "It just cracks me up when fundies state as fact things which they have no way of proving, or even knowing."
This won't mean anything to you (it wouldn't have meant anything to me either prior to it happening), but some of us do know Him. Once you see/touch/feel/smell/whatever somthing, it is real.
jim: do you love the sinner by denying them equal rights, or is that just some sinners?
soooo, jimbo....christianity is not a religion?
@was blind, but now I see,
Ah, so you are less blessed than your doubting Thomas character then? So sorry.
What I find more amazing, is those who have not experienced "something" being so persuaded that it does not exist.
That would be akin to (and I shudder to use this analogy) if somebody saw a UFO fly over their head, they would be persuaded that it exits. Now, they could go and tell 100 people that it was real, but most likely the vast majority of those told who still say that these things most assuredly do not exist. Certainly that is there "right". By why are they so amazed that somebody else(who actually experienced it for themselves) would feel just as strongly that it does exist??? This, is what does not make any rational sense!!!
According to you, this "God" knew exactly how to convince doubting Thomas... and knew exactly how to convince you. What about the rest of us doubters - what are we... chopped liver?!
@Condolences "According to you, this "God" knew exactly how to convince doubting Thomas... and knew exactly how to convince you. What about the rest of us doubters – what are we... chopped liver?!"
Did you ever ask Him??? If you TRULY ask Him from the bottom of your heart (and He knows if you are serious or not), I guarantee you that He will answer you.. Guarantee. Matthew 7:7
@was blind, but now I see,
"Did you ever ask Him??? If you TRULY ask Him from the bottom of your heart (and He knows if you are serious or not), I guarantee you that He will answer you"
Yes, I asked. I was a devout believer for many, many years. As I began to see that I was only talking to myself, I asked quite fervently and quite often. No answer. Ever.
@Condolences "Yes, I asked. I was a devout believer for many, many years. As I began to see that I was only talking to myself, I asked quite fervently and quite often. No answer. Ever."
I cannot speak for every one. Most people do not have a Damascus Road (in your face) experience. Many do, but most Hear Him via His still small voice. It takes "practise" to learn to recognise His voice, but it gets easier and easier. God Speed to you.
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
-1 Kings 19:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." -Hebrews 11:6
Christians Islamophobic? If a dog barks every time it bites u then u know it`s a dog.If Allah Akbar is what we hear every time terrorists attack,then we know it`s a Muslim.A tree is known by the fruit it bears and Islam is bearing ROTTEN fruit!
Henry Ward Beecher would be proud of this article.... (that is not a compliment)..
Looking at these it seem a lit
STOP Obama's terrorism against Medical Marijuana cancer patients.
The history of Christianity is at least as bloody as that of any other religion on earth, so I find their sanctimonious hypocricy simply offensive. Classic case of pot calling the kettle black. Please line up below with completely-lacking-in-historical-context-and-proving-my-point rebuttals.
You'd be hard pressed to find a population of any humans that doesn't have a bloody history. In fact you'd find none.
Two wrongs don't make a right, PG.
None of the people you're talking about are alive anymore. Does it make you a hypocrite for being against volence if your great grandad was murderer? Of course not.
Why the argument that "Christians are as bloody as anyone else is/has been" always fails: those people who claim to be "christians", but commit violence in the "name" of christianity are acting in opposition to what they claim to believe.
They may call themselves "christians" all they want...and we all know there are countless examples...but that doesn't mean they actually were chriistians. In fact, the opposite is true. If they committed violence, they were NOT acting according to what they claimed to believe.
After all, if I claim to be a toaster...but I do not do the things that define what a toaster is, and. in fact, rather than actually toasting bread, I take bread that has already been toasted and turn it into chewed up mush, and can't turn a single piece of bread into toast...am I really a toaster? Just because I say I am?
That will always be the answer to those who claim that "christianity is just as bloody as every other religion." ISomeone who commits violence in the "name" of christianity is acting CONTRARY to what they claim to believe. On the other hand, someone who commits violence in the name of Islam is acting IN CONCERT with what they claim to believe.
Brian D McClaren is naive. It is mot 'Islamophobia' that should be worried about, it is the ohamedan's 'Infidelohobiia' that he ought to focus on. As a liberal, he does not even recognise the Islamites rabid hatred of 'Infidels' that is a core tenet of the Koran.The Mohammedan's use of polygamy to wage demographic warfare on the populations of the 'welfare countries' of the West, the Mohammedan's use of 'Suicide bombers', Shaheeds, Taqfir (deliberate lying), its misogyny and its stance on pluralism (in a nutshell Islam is against pluralism), its approach to womens rights and gay rights (for examples) ought to be a focus of Brian D McClarens concern. He is a dupe promoting the 'brown supremacism' of the islamite caucus and will be welcomed by Mohammedans worlwide as a 'useful idiot'.
and then killed because the conquerors always kill collaborators first, reasoning that if you betrayed your own people, eventually you will betray them
The term "Islamaphobia" was created by the radical left to silence any rational critique of Islam. Read the booklet "Islamaphobia: The Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future" published by the Freedom Center (wwwfrontpagemag.com)
I'm an atheist, but I too fear moslems much more than christian extremists. I see what they do in Europe, taking more and more political power away from the indigenous peoples and forcing the European governments to rule more and more in their favor. I don't want to see that happen here. Am I islamophobic? Hell yes I am! And with good reason. Moslems are to be feared and I pity the fool who does not see this and wants to cuddle up with them.
Good to hear that even though you're an atheist you still get it.
Here's something to contemplate: The only way for someone to know there is no all-knowing, all-powerful being would be for them to be all-knowing and all-powerful themselves. Therefore they would have to BE God to prove there is no God. (Paraphrased from "The God Who Dared" by Dr. Douglas Jacoby)
Break up families and abort viable offspring and you get out populated by people who don't. Charles Darwin could have told you this.
Religion is a horrid disease. Some strains are more virulent, and more violent and lethal, than others. Islam and Christianity are two of the more violent ones. Let's work to rid the world of them.
How about just ending religion?
While we're at it, let's outlaw atheism and humanism
notraitors: how do you outlaw a philosophy?
Religion will eventually end. But, today the masses are hammered religion from birth to death by whatever religion their parents and location dictate. Most people believe and stay with their teachings. The computer age is helping people to now find the truth, whatever that turns out to be. Personally, I am a Deist. God gave man religion, man gave man religion.
Sorry, God gave man reason, man gave man religion.
@old golfer "Sorry, God gave man reason..."
Yea. It is so clearly displayed all around the world now isn't it?????
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