Did Kenya bring religion into disrepute?

I was trolling through Facebook, where one of my friends posted this article about last weekend’s events in Kenya.  (Read only if you have a very strong stomach or, if you don’t, are willing to be sick to yours.)  One of his friends, in turn, commented that Al Shabab’s acts are the kind of things that give religion a bad reputation.  I thought that was a surprisingly ecumenical comment.* I sat for quite a while afterwards trying to think of a single religion other than Islam that has, in the last, say 300 years, done anything even remotely like that.  I came up empty.

Until people are willing to admit that the problem isn’t religion, or even some generic “extremism,” but is, in fact, Islam, I don’t see us making any progress whatsoever in pushing back the barbarian onslaught.

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*I know “ecumenical” isn’t quite the right word, since it pertains to all Christians faiths, not all faiths, but I’m tired, and it was the best I could come up with.

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Comments

  1. lee says

    I din’t read very far before I realized I had read it almost all before: the terrorist attack in India where the rabbi and his wife were murdered by Moslem terrorists. They were horribly, brutally, terribly tortured. In ways that make the metaphor “going  all medieval” seem like a playdate. 
     
    They are brutish animals.

  2. says

     
    In fairness….some pretty horrendous things done by Hindu fundamentalists, too.  Against Muslims as well as Christians.
     
    Going back to 1700…..probably the Catholic-Protestant thing had settled down pretty significantly by that time.  Any genuine atrocities attributed to Christians since then were (I believe) the eruptions of one or a few individuals, and were condemned by the church at large.

  3. jhstuart says

    Engaging in moral equivalence like comment 2 is not only unproductive but suicidal. Jihadists, according to the four main Islamic schools, are obligated to perform such acts as seen at the Westgate Mall and prime examples of all that is wrong, evil and dangerous with fundamentalist Islam. To non-Muslim infidels you have three options: convert, submit and pay a tax (jizya) or die. Nice and tidy.
     
    As to the degree of evil the Jihadists exhibited consider the atrocities outlined in the following link:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2434278/Kenya-mall-attack-torture-claims-emerge-soldiers-Eyes-gouged-bodies-hooks-fingers-removed.html
     
    I have often said that Islam is not a Religion of Peace; rather, it is a Religion of Pieces. Based on the Kenya experience, need I say more?

  4. Libby says

    When will they tire of claiming that attacks like the Kenya mall massacre & the Boston Marathon bombing are not an anomaly but in line with what their Imams are preaching?
    The difference between Islam and other religions is that while other religions inspire their followers to control themselves to avoid sin, the followers of Islam seek to control their environment to avoid sin. How can we co-habitate with people who are given a free pass to act out their basest desires simply because the temptation exists (e.g. non-burka’d women=unwrapped meat)? Just our existence as infidels is reason enough for them to attack. What other religion preaches that?

  5. michal says

    this was not an eye opener but she summed up the difference between our cultures so well. The last line gets it all.
     
    One of the most significant differences between Islamists and Westerners is the distinction between what cultural anthropologists refer to as “shame cultures” and “guilt cultures.” A shame culture is defined as “a culture in which conformity of behavior is maintained through the individual’s fear of being shamed.”[17] A shame culture puts high emphasis on preserving honor and on not being publicly disgraced. A guilt culture is defined as “a culture in which conformity of behavior is maintained through the individual’s internalization of a moral code.”[18] In shame societies, symbolic expressions ranging from simple mannerisms to acts of violence revolve around avoiding shame and acquiring or restoring honor. Status, appearances, reputation, and honor are more important than notions of right and wrong. In a guilt culture, a transgression is always felt as a wrong, or even a sin, whether others witnessed it or not. In a shame culture, if no one witnesses the transgression, it is not felt or perceived as wrong. Significantly, there is no concept of sin, hence no guilty conscience and no remorse for what Westerners perceive as wrongful acts, including murder. In fact, deception and pretense are acceptable in order to avoid shame and maintain face.

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