Throughout world history, some of the worst atrocities known to mankind were committed in the name of religion going all the way back to Christian bible’s Old Testament. There are instances of ancient Israelites following god’s command to kill every man, woman, child, slave, and animal in a kingdom simply because the vanquished failed to abandon their religion and follow the Israelites’ god. The idea of Holy War did not end with the Old Testament, and the practice of shedding blood for the Lord became the rallying cry for the Crusades that pitted Christians against Muslims throughout the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries in several Christian military campaigns. Most Christians are aware that their religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, taught his followers to pursue peace, and it is likely they can recite verbatim his admonition that if one “lives by the sword, they will perish be the sword,” and yet Christian religious leaders have been some of the most outspoken advocates for war.
America has avoided Holy Wars because the Founders kept a wall of separation between religion and the government, and one founder told Muslims America was not a Christian nation and had no enmity against Muslim laws or their religion. All that changed with the terror attacks of 9/11, and despite statements by George W. Bush that America was not at war with Islam in Afghanistan and Iraq, he often referred to those conflicts as Crusades. For Muslims, it is hard not to view Bush’s imperialism as anything other than a war against their religion, and after an American’s offensive video portraying the prophet Muhammad negatively, they must feel put upon by a so-called Christian nation that openly mocks their religion in front of the entire world.
At the Values Voter Summit last weekend, the Republican presidential ticket attached themselves to a religious hate fest that was contrived to demonize Muslims as liars and infiltrators, and called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strike Iran before November 6 to begin a 21st Century Holy War. There is a concerted effort by Bush neo-conservatives serving as Willard Romney’s foreign policy advisors to entice Israel to strike Iran to begin what one Romney advisor calls “a very substantial war,” and their goal is not to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, but to begin a Holy War between Christianity and Islam. There has been a persistent push in America by Islamophpobes to demean the Muslim faith, and without exception it is the purview of Christian conservatives and religious leaders.
The current unrest aimed at America is being used by the Romney campaign to portray President Obama’s Mid-East policy as weak for not stopping the outrage caused by the anti-Islam video. In characterizing the upheaval against America, Joe Scarborough denied Muslims were raging at a film, and according to him it was merely an excuse. Scarborough said, “You know why they hate us? They hate us because of their religion, they hate us because of their culture,” but he fails to comprehend that the reason they hate us is because of the time and energy Christian conservatives have spent denigrating Islam knowing full well it results in outrage and violence. One can imagine the Christian outrage if Muslim’s demeaned Jesus Christ, especially in light of the recent outrage at other Americans who are unwilling to follow their biblical edicts.
When the controversy over a mosque being built near Ground Zero was raging, Republicans lined up to condemn the project as a recruitment center for Islamic extremists as well as an insult to those who perished in the attacks. In 2010, Romney joined a chorus of Islamophpobes by issuing a statement opposing it because of “the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda.” One of the speakers at the Values Voter Summit said, “Islam’s number one enemy is the truth! America’s number one virtue is the truth! Islam obliges Muslims to lie,” and that “it’s a daily thing to lie about America.” It was a classic case of projection for Christians to impugn Muslims for allegedly doing precisely what Republicans have been doing with impunity since 9/11, and at a panel entitled “Israel, Iran, and the Future of Western Civilization,” attendees were told Christians were under attack by Muslims to convince evangelical fanatics to vote out President Obama who they claim is letting it happen.
One Islamophobe, retired general Jerry Boykin, called for Israel to run a “pre-election strike” to assure Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has U.S. support, implying a war with Iran will guarantee a victory for Willard Romney. The retired general said such a strike will “have impact globally because the Iranians will unleash a reign of terror on America.” There is a large contingent of evangelical Christians and Mormons who believe retaliation by Muslims on America is one of the consequences of God’s plan, and a requirement for a war known as Armageddon in the Middle East before Jesus can return to earth. Boykin said, “Every Iranian, every Shia, every Muslim that is killed in a return nuclear strike becomes a martyr and goes straight to heaven,” and it is the same theology Christians count on to bring a quick rapture to heaven for the evangelical faithful.
The Christian fanatics seeking global Holy War with Islam are being bolstered by Israel’s prime minister who said, “Iran is guided by a leadership with an unbelievable fanaticism. It’s the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today. Do you want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?” It is sheer hypocrisy for Netanyahu who leads a country that has killed Muslims by the thousands, developed nuclear weapons, bombed Iraq and Syria to destroy their nuclear programs, and is making plans to start a Holy War with a sovereign Muslim nation that America will end up paying for in lives and money. It must be the first time in American history that a foreign leader is campaigning for a presidential candidate to drive this country into a war that will certainly engulf the entire region, if not the entire world.
Romney has been warmongering for the past six months, and as his electoral support wanes, there can be little doubt he and Netanyahu are using Middle East violence to affect the upcoming election. The neo-con warmongers and Christian conservatives could not care less about the state of Israel, because the impending Holy War is not about Israel’s existence, but about killing Muslims and bringing about end times. The violence targeting America started with the release of a YouTube video because Christians hate Muslims. Muslims do not hate Americans; they hate Christians who are provoking violence to spark a war to wipe Muslims off the face of the Earth. It is a 21st Century Crusade, and Americans must understand that Romney and his neo-con acolytes are not panting for war between America and Iran, but a war between Christians and Muslims to incite the battle of Armageddon and a quick rapture to heaven. For Israel, it is another opportunity to revisit an Old Testament extermination of a people based on their failure to obey the god of Abraham, and like the god of the Old Testament, they will settle for nothing less than the total annihilation of every man, woman, child, and animal associated with the Muslim faith and it is tragic that the lion’s share of the destruction will come from a country that claims the religion whose namesake preached tolerance and peace.