What is the reason behind September 11th? Was it merely a group of fanatical individuals perpetuating extremist Islamic terrorist Muslim atrocities? Or is it due to the basic beliefs of Muslim peoples? In trying to discover the problems and solutions of September 11, 2001, Mark Ritchie, who lived in Afghanistan for several years, speaks to the core differences between Christians and Muslims:
Asian men are taught to abhor permissive decadence. And anyone inclined to hate permissive decadence is going to hate us. But for my purpose, I wish to understand the Islamic thinking behind September eleven; this will require us to understand when it is right for a Moslem to kill.
If you are a member of my American audience, your first grade teacher taught you that if you have a problem on the playground with someone who is very different, you should treat them the same way you would like to be treated. She might have asked you, "How would you like it if someone did that to you?" Our culture values the golden rule whether we follow Jesus or not. We have so inculcated the concept of love into our social consciousness that the nonviolent teachings of Jesus are a part of the unwritten fabric that makes us who we are. In the Moslem world things are different. In their world the very discussion of Jesus is often illegal.
I recently encountered a friend who had secured an autograph from Heather Mercer. Above her name she wrote, "It's all about Jesus." My initial reaction was, sounds like a slogan of the religious right. Then I pondered what it might have been like to consider these issues from an Afghan jail. Mercer spent three months in an Afghan prison for discussing with an Afghan the forbidden subject: Jesus.
You see, it is right for a Moslem to kill to protect his spiritual world. And discussions of Jesus are a threat to that world. To understand 9/11, one must appreciate this vast difference of background. We teach our youth that the right and the good are associated with love. The Islamic world teaches their youth that righteousness is associated with power.
The very foundations of democracy are based on our love affair with love. In our country, we are led by the leaders we love. I concede to the expansion of the word love at this point. Obviously, we don't all love all our leaders. But we do choose to be led by them. In Islamic countries, leadership is held by those with the power to maintain control. We understand the power of love; they understand the love of power.
Even those of us who weren't taught anything about Jesus, were taught that love works better than hate. Martin Luther King modeled and proved the power of love and non-violence. He was merely following Jesus.
The nineteen hijackers had no such teaching and no such example. Their only means of combating evil was with power.
I have no intention of defending in any way the action of the nineteen hijackers on September 11th, 2001. My goal is to help us in the West to see how easy it was for nineteen men who had never once been exposed to the love and the teachings of Jesus to be seduced into violence.
In our love of diversity, we have participated in keeping the Islamic world in this state. When my father went to Afghanistan in the fifties, he was asked to sign a contract stating that he would never tell an Afghan about Jesus. This contract was not required of him by the Afghan government. It was required by the United States. Therefore, why should we be surprised when we see nineteen men do the only thing they have been taught? No one has ever told them about love. No one has ever told them about the golden rule. And certainly no one has ever told them about Jesus.
Who are the Islamic Jihad
The prohibition against speaking about the non-violent teachings of Jesus has done more to perpetrate the attack of 9/11 than any other single factor. It is a waste of a human mind to deny it this choice. Yet that is precisely what America has done. We criticize Saudi Arabia for not allowing a woman to drive. But I've never heard the slightest criticism for their refusal to allow a church to be built. Nor have I ever heard anyone either in the state department or the press ever mention that the introduction of missionaries, a mission school for poor children, for example, would be a progressive step for an Islamic country. Our willingness to restrict the teachings of Jesus in Islamic countries was a major factor in the 9/11 attacks.
Excerpt from God in the Pits, The Enron-Jihad Edition, by Mark Andrew Ritchie
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