“Slay the idolaters wherever you find them…”
- Quran, Ch. 9:5
“When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads until
you have made a great slaughter among them….”
- Quran, Ch. 47:4
If it was heartening yesterday to see Muslim leaders here and in Australia condemn the chocolate shop gunman, then it was sickening to be reminded overnight that mass killing in the name of 'the religion of peace' is still nonetheless very much a thing.
That we find it impossible to get ourselves inside the head of someone who is driven by their religion to murder 132 schoolchildren in the name of their religion is a very good thing -- we haven't experienced that sort of thing here in the west since Mormon militia killed 140 members of a California-bound wagon train who just happened to worship the wrong way. 1
But those condemnations and that psychological and historical distance doesn't mean the threat of this un-peaceful religion has gone away, or has in any way been neutered.
It won't go away for good until it has its own reformation. And that takes more than just condemnation. That will take real courage.
Until or unless that ever happens (and since Islam is unique among world religions in having been begun through murder and spread by the sword, that may be no more than a pipe dream), the only silver lining in the dreadfully dark cloud of this massacre in Peshawar is the hope that it might at least wake up the moderates and 'neutrals' in the region sufficiently to end their moral and logistical support for the barbarians, without which the murderers would simply be impotent.
But that may be only a pious dream.
1. Or, in the ‘Christian west,’ since Cromwell conquered Ireland’s heretics, leaving 40% of the country’s Catholics dead. As James Joyce described it in Ulysses, "What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text God is love pasted round the mouth of his cannon?"
[Video from Muslim conference in Michigan]