Another Australian Imam
Another Australian Imam is raising waves with his extreme harangues. This time sermons calling for children to be taught the beauty of martyrdom, the joys of jihad, and denouncing Jews as pigs. Not having heard the sermons myself, I'm aware that things can be twisted, taken out of context, etc. Jihad can in fact be a beautiful thing... if you are speaking about the struggle against one's own demons that the Prophet called the greater jihad. But one suspects, in this case, the imam's words were not taken out of context.
I had a couple reactions when I heard of this.
1) Not again! What's up with Australia and imported imams! Why can't they find some decent Australian born imams? (The imam in question has been living in Lebanon for the past year, so calling him Australian may be a bit dubious, but it still begs the question, what happened to home-grown imams? Clearly the anti-Jewish rhetoric has to be understood in the context of the recent Lebanon-Israel war. That war doesn't justify calling Jews pigs, but it certainly goes a long way to explaining why this particular Lebanese imam might be angry at Israeli Jews.)
2) Why does this kind of thing make the news? When my Amway upline used to get up on stage and haul out his kids calling them "his little warriors for Christ," no one batted an eye. But is it really that different -- the idea that children need to be inculcated to go to battle for their religion (physical or psychological battle). When the Left Behind series describes in details the horrible sufferings the non-raptured (read Jews, Muslims and other infidels), few decry the anti-semitism inherent in that.
3) When will this sort of thing end? Do people really think we are in some monumental struggle for the soul of humanity and that by killing each other one side or the other will actually win? Don't they see that dead humans aren't going to benefit from any religion? Hello? If they're dead, the soul's already gone, you can't save it...
4) Again the big double standard. ETA terrorists blow up the parking garage at the Madrid airport and we barely hear about it in America. If they had been Muslim terrorists, it would be emblazoned on the headlines, dissected, disseminated, sensationalized, and used to instill fear of every practicing Muslim in the states.
5) What the heck can a Muslim woman living in Ohio do to stem this flood of vitriol? Gnashing one's teeth and pulling one's hair hardly seems effective. Unfortunately, writing on blogs probably isn't much better. Heck, even writing in the New York Times probably wouldn't make a dent. Guess the answer is not much. Not a very comforting thought.