Secular conservatives and secular progressives are equally obtuse when it comes to religion. Whether conservative or liberal our national leadership and the media can't make themselves understand how religious beliefs motivate those who hold them. This was brought home this week (February 15-22) by the State Department's Marie Harf and President Obama when their talking points suggested the way to deal with the ISIS threat was to provide jobs.
Secularists can't think everything can be understood by applying Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs. ISIS beheading and burning can't possibly come from religious belief. Such violence must arise from frustration due to lack of opportunity, economic hardship, or ignorance. It couldn't possibly come from any kind of religious conviction. So, the secularists hold conferences to see what can be done to raise the standard of living and provide opportunities for the downtrodden terrorists. As the well-intentioned meet the Islamic terrorists decapitate more hostages, crucify more children, or slaughter anyone who doesn't believe what they do.
The truth is, ISIS terrorists are Muslims who believe the Qur'an and take it literally. They understand Jihad is a Holy War directed toward unbelievers--anyone who does not adopt their literalistic interpretation of the Qur'an. Therefore, they are willing to take up the sword and the AK-47 and force belief on others on the pain of death. Their goal is the imposition of fundamental Islam on the world! They will not be satisfied--in their own words--until the flag of Islam flies over every world capital. Led by fanatics who believe they are preparing the world for its appointed eschatological end, these terrorists are preparing the way for the Mahdi who will rule the world and impose their vision of peace and prosperity.
The secularist replies, "Surely no one is serious about such things!"
As another head falls to the ground make that silly statement one more time!
What's worse, and no one wants to buy this either, the extremists aren't the only Muslims looking for their dream of domination to come true. Millions of Muslims who aren't in the violent ISIS Jihad agree with their efforts and support them with money and prayers. American Muslims live by Sharia law in their enclaves and would impose it upon the rest of us if they could. Not all of the American Muslims, of course, but far more than you know.
Like others before them, those not participating in the violent Jihad plead for understanding and toleration. When they become the majority, watch out! Toleration will exist, for Muslims! Jews and Christians will be tolerated as long as they pay their tax and do not "proselyte".
One of the basic problems here in America is that we expect those of other religions to be like us--uncommitted to their beliefs beyond lip service. In a poll taken years ago George Barna said only four percent of America's evangelical Christians live out their faith with any consistency. What's more, even the four percent are so steeped in worldly thinking they can hardly be identified from others.
What will stop the Jihad? It is the role of government to protect the good and punish the evil doer. (Romans 13). Governments don't "turn the other cheek!" They are "God's avenger" and "don't bear the sword for nothing." It is time to take up the sword and stop the ISIS advance and set the example for every Muslim who would impose their beliefs on others. It took Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours to stop the Muslim advance into Europe in AD 732. Martel and an army approximately 30,000 defeated the Muslim forces numbering an estimated 80,000. ISIS and fundamentalist Islam must be confronted and soundly defeated. ISIS must become an example to discourage Muslims from such violence and radical behavior in the future.