Monday, May 29, 2017

Calling Islamic Extremist "Fundementalist" and "Born Again" is not fair>

Recently is HA'ARETZ there was a fine article on why young muslim are becoming radicalized. (It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains characterizes extremist Muslims as "fundementalist" and "born again."  If one understands where these terms come from, one would recognize that their use in this context is not fair.  So I responded to the article with the following post:

Thanks to Mr. Lerner for the informative article.  This research cited is helpful. By including the thoughts of Mr. Roy Mr. Lerner gives good credence to the thesis. However, I must take exception to Lerner quoting Roy using the words "fundementalist" and "born again."  These characterizations make an unfair connection to Christianity.  The early Christian fundamentalist movement was call to return to the foundational beliefs of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.  It was only later that "fundamentalists" became militant in their separatism.  But Christian fundamentalism never rose to the use of violence to which Muslim Extremists have resorted. So on those two counts, the use of "fundamentalism" to characterize extremist muslims is inaccurate nor fair.

Equally the use of "born again" simply is not applicable to radicalized muslims and is not a fair characterization.  Spiritual rebirth is a core part of how a person becomes a Christian.  Being "born again" does lead to a radical change in a person's life and a radical life style.  But this radical lifestyle is characterize by love.  Nowhere are "born again" Christians called to use violence to defend God or their faith.  In fact Jesus told his closest followers to "put the sword away...for all who draw the sword die by the sword (Matthew 26.52)

So in the interest of accuracy and fairness, I would ask Mr Lerner and Mr. Roy to not call Muslim extremists "fundamentalist" nor "born again."  It is simply intellectual laziness at best and unjust to Christians at worst. 

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