In a startling confession of faith, Prince Charles stated, “I am a Christian.” His comments are part of a special recorded message coinciding with the publication of a new report. He speaks of the “indescribable tragedy” of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Seeking to present a rational tone within an arena of madness, Prince Charles signalled a willingness to “defend” members of faith groups other than his own.
Ahh, Islam. I cannot bring myself to defend it. Islam must be brought to account for the atrocities committed in the 21st century. Christians hold an unenviable status as the most persecuted minority across the globe. Members of my faith are subjected to intense persecution in non-western nations. Pakistan is part of the infamous pack. And the innovative means of killing Pakistani Christians has a new addition to the list: roasting Christian flesh. Move over, Reverend Terry Jones. Tammy Swofford has taken over the duties. Read my lips. I have never burned a Quran. It is an exercise in futility. Burning a few molecules does not address the problem of Islam and a penchant for persecution of non-Muslims. But with Mr Jones vilified and marginalised, let me take up the caterwauling.
I will no longer join the chorus of inter-faith dialogue. I have done so and it is a lose-lose proposition. We cower with a smile and Islam bites us in the hindquarters. We break bread with the ultimate shape-shifters: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), you name it. I tire of the coy deception. Let us move through the bramble patch of your faith and rip up a few prickly shrubs. Let me rip-snort through books in my personal library and expose the thicket. My hand is reaching for the bookshelf even now.
This historical vignette caught my eyes years ago: “Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas beat a polytheist and shed his blood and thus recorded the first instance of bloodshed in the history of Islam.” Here is the deal: about one-third of the world’s inhabitants claim Christianity, hence polytheism as faith. A more modern term used by some Islamic scholars is “Trinitarians”. We are, in fact, monotheists who believe in one God. We merely believe that God has an expressive function as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We understand God in this manner because we are created beings who also show different expressive functions as part of our unified whole. But we do not want to be beaten to death for our belief. Reject our message of a Triune God. You can do that. But do not kill us for rejecting your message and the message of Islam.
“...Jahiliyyah wants to find an excuse to reject the Divine system...It is the duty of Muslims to expose these tactics and reduce them to dust, to reject this ridiculous proposal of the reconstruction of Islamic law for a society, which is neither willing to submit to the law of God nor expresses any wariness with laws emanating from sources other than God.” What you have just read was written by geopolitical chess master Sayyid Qutb. But what he considered the law of God and what Christians consider the law of God are based on disparate doctrines. Get over it. We do not think like you think.
Let us ponder the belief of Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. His beliefs are in overdrive against the Christian faith. In his book, Fundamentals of Tawheed, he boldly states that children born into non-Muslim homes are mutilated by their parents. One cannot make this stuff up. My sons roll like tanks across the landscape but have warm and open personalities. I am still trying to figure out how we mutilated them. They are psychologically integrated humans and a lot of fun.
Pakistani Muslims believe in Maaliki yawmiddeen. It is an opening volley in Surah al-Fatiha, a belief that there is a Master of the Day of Requital. Christians also believe the same. But how it plays out on an eternal stage is imagined differently for us than it is imagined by you. We will all die but please do not entertain the thought that it is your duty to dispatch ‘unbelievers’ based on your own timetable. The timetable belongs to God. Quit playing the Angel of Death. Do not kill us, vandalise our property or deprive us of human rights. Do not lie in wait, beleaguer, ambush, or throw us into brick kilns. I can still hear the snap, crackle and pop of the bones of a Christian couple. Leave us alone.
You really do not want a ‘Christian Spring’, a move to politically marginalise Muslims in the west. Just as I monitored the movement toward an Arab Spring a solid four years before it happened, I am monitoring the rise of a Christian Spring. Populating a blog or two with my comments, checking for emotional pulse and speaking with others gives me a glimpse of the horizon. Christians are taking note of the intense animosity and unusual cruelty meted out to our own. We realise that what we see is not a 21st century anomaly. It is a deliberate pattern of behaviour. It is hatemongering bigotry against Christians.
Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama were falsely accused of desecrating a Quran. It is the usual miserable state of affairs. A local cleric cranked up the microphone, sent out a message blast and a mob quickly formed. The Christians were stripped naked, beaten and burned alive. Whilst Allah may be as close as your jugular vein, you have touched my bone marrow. Shama was pregnant. I will not stand aside.
Carry on beating Christians and tossing them into brick kilns. We are aware of it. Our response will be non-violent. However, that does not mean the response will lack political impact. We are thinking about our own policy bricks. I am mixing mortar.
I am done caterwauling.
The writer is a freelance journalist and author of the novel Arsenal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org