If you rely on News Feed in Facebook to find my posts, you're missing most of them. On average, only 16% of updates in Facebook make it into News Feeds. Let me suggest that you subscribe to me in Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@ccengct), or use an RSS reader.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Violence begets violence

A soldier of the British Army was savagely murdered on the streets of London this month. There can be no reasonable doubt about the identities the perpetrators; they remained at the scene of the crime to boast of it. Sadly, they are Muslim and their intentions were terroristic. I was in London when it happened, although not nearby. My first reaction was to question whether the murder would trigger reprisals. It appears to have done so.

Only a very small number of Muslims in the UK or anywhere advocate violence; Islam is a religion of peace. In the aftermath of the incident, some are calling attention to radical extremists among Muslims. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has proved himself to be a balanced and mature commentator of contemporary affairs, expressed his opinion that radicalism is a particular problem in Islam these days.

Blair may be correct, but two points are worth remembering.

  • Intervention by the western world in Muslim regions throughout the last 150 years, including today, has created an environment within which radical Muslims can readily find adherents. Our colonial, mercantile, and militarist tendencies are manifest. I'm not saying that we deserve whatever is done unto us, but we cannot overlook our complicity.
  • History is replete with tragedies committed by radical Christians, as Blair noted. Don't assume that Christians have taken sufficient responsibility for those tragedies or that they will not recur.