How a Catholic fails to understand the issue of Islamic violence


In a post over in Public Catholic, fellow Patheos blogger Rebecca Hamilton discusses the Oklahoma beheading and what she thinks she knows about the situation and apparently about Islam in general. Here are her 8 things and my comments on each.

1. Islam has a problem, and its [sic] a big, bad violent problem. Violence against innocent people in the name of Islam is happening all over the world. It is so widespread and so intractable that it does not give credence to the notion that it is caused by the societies in which it is happening. It appears, at least at first glance, to be something in Islam itself that is causing this.

It may appear so, but is rather unlikely, in the case of ISIS or terrorism, these are thoughts I have already outlined, but in the case of the Oklahoma beheading, it would appear Islam has little to nothing to do the violence. The man was fired and “went postal”, there is a reason we have this term in vocabulary. It is very likely that this young man who had just recently turned to radical Islam chose a beheading when he snapped because of recent news reports, but I would place my bets on a much deeper mental illness that caused him to lose control and not so much Islam.

2. This is not ubiquitous within Islam. I think the people who commit these dastardly acts (many of which are committed against other Muslims) are a minority of Muslims.

I agree with this statement.

3. However, the peaceable majority does not appear to be able to control the violent ones in their midst. If anything, I get the sense that they are more afraid them than anyone else.

While the majority of moderates could, in my opinion, be speaking out more, they are not really in a position to “control” the violent ones. Is Hamilton then responsible for not controlling the pedophilia in her own religion?

It is not that they are “more afraid” it is that they have zero control over extremism, or at least no more control than anyone else.

4. I think this problem stems from the bad leadership of some Islamic religious leaders. I think it gains traction because of the factionalism within Islam.

This seems to be a lack of understanding about how Islam works; there is no Vatican and Pope who simply speaks on behalf of the entire religion. Religious leaders inside Islam vary from liberal to the most extreme.

5. Whatever the reason, this situation is real, and taking some pie-in-the-sky wing-nut position that anyone who talks about what is happening is a Muslim hater not only doesn’t help, it becomes a form of enabling to those who murder. From Jeffrey Dahmer, to ISIS, to Alton Nolen, murderers of innocent people do not need and should not have apologists flapping their yaps on the nightly news.

This isn’t very coherent, what about Dahmer? Yes, Islamic apologists exist, but I don’t know what nightly news she is watching, Fox is ready to nuke the whole country and CNN is convinced your neighbor is already an ISIS member.

6. Oklahoma City was subjected to a black mass on September 21. Those who know about these things warned about the effect this might have on the community. Does this have anything to do with this beheading and the subsequent threat of beheading by Muslims in our community? I don’t know.

Seriously? No, a bunch of a people playing make believe didn’t have anything to do with this event. Did an adult really write this?

7. Whether the black mass contributed to this situation or not doesn’t matter in terms of what we do about it. What we do about it is put these two men before the law and let the law work.

Wait, what? What two men? The leaders who led the black mass? You want to hold them accountable? I mean, this is getting more batshit crazy by the second.

8. What we do about the larger question of Islamic violence against innocent people is another question. I think the first thing we need to do is ask the Muslim community if they are willing and ready to stand against the preaching of violence in their places of worship, if they are willing to turn their backs on religious leaders who preach death and destruction.

From someone who defends the religion guilty of the worlds largest child sex abuse ring this is rich. I agree that Muslim leaders and groups should be speaking out loudly against Islamic fundamentalists, but pot, meet kettle. When is the Catholic Church going to stop covering up sex crimes or arresting their own Cardinals and let the real police and law deal with these issues? When is the Catholic Church going to turn over its records?

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