Sunday, March 8, 2015
Thoughts on Prayer Breakfast - part 3
Continued from last week
Scroll down a few centuries to 1398 and we find Timur destroying the city of Delhi, but before the battle, Timur executed more than 100,000 captives from the city of Tulamba. A century later, Timur’s descendant, Babur, founded the Mogul dynasty that ruled most of India as a Muslim domain until 1862.
Certainly such wholesale slaughters are a thing of the past! Look again. In 1971 well after independence and the partition of India, West Pakistan tried to stamp out an independence movement in East Pakistan by initiating a crackdown on Bangladesh’s aspirations for independence. Pakistani military and supporting militias killed as many as 3,000,000 people and raped as many as 400,000 Bangladeshi women. One million fled to India. This is admittedly political violence, but can you conceive of a current western army raping 400,000 women?
These are certainly not isolated incidents. Just three months before this writing, in November 2014, Jihadists killed around 5,000 people in Syria, Africa and elsewhere, according to best estimates. THAT’S FIVE THOUSAND (5,000) IN ONE MONTH. ONE MONTH!!! A good rule of thumb is that Muslim armies and individuals kill 170 people a day in obedience to what they claim is the command of God. There are about 25 wars currently raging; 21 involve Muslims. These things are all easily verifiable. Look it up. Let’s look at the score.
There has been only one Islamic war against the rest of the world. It has lasted 1,400 years. In the 1,400 years of continuous Jihad 80 million Hindus, 60 million Christians, 10 million Buddhists and 120 million Africans have perished for a grand Islamic total of 270 million.
In the Crusades 1096 - 1272, perhaps 3 million died. That’s it, 3,000,000 in 2,000 years. These are the only wars waged by Christians as religious wars against non-Christians. The other wars of Christianity have been mostly directed against fellow Christians and have been largely political. In the peasants’ revolt in reformation Germany approximately 150,000. In the Thirty Years war between German Protestants and German Catholics, maybe 6 million died. The French wars of religion killed just short of 3 million. In the English Puritan war against fellow Protestant and the Catholics of Ireland (1642–1651) about 700,000 died and let’s throw in the witch burnings for good measure (about 50,000 in the 1600’s) and the ever popular Spanish Inquisition which comes in at a disappointing 3,000 in the four centuries of its existence between 1478 and 1834. Incidentally the Spanish Inquisition burned almost no witches. They mostly thought it was nonsense. (I have not included the Indigenous American Holocaust in the total. It is impossible to sort out the horrific death toll, but the vast majority of it was due to disease brought by European contact with indigenous Americans who had no resistance to European disease. It can be argued that, in most cases, in Latin America, Catholic missionaries struggled to save the indigenous populations from economic and political oppression. The same cannot be said of English speaking America. So the death toll of all Christian religious wars whether waged against non-Christians or fellow Christians comes to a grand total of 12,953,000.
So, by the numbers it seems that Islam is 20 times more violent than Christianity. I am not trying to say that we Christians, having the lower score have won as if in a horrific game of golf. I am horrified that almost 13 million people have been killed to defend a religion that had no armies and fought no wars for its first four centuries. These numbers horrify me because I am a Christian and I deplore unnecessary violence. The Gospel of Christ was spread very successfully by an evangelism that involved preaching, teaching, exorcisms and charismatic healings. Violence was abhorrent to the first followers of Jesus and was never part of the first spreading of the Gospel. It was most certainly NOT abhorrent to the first followers of Mohammed. Religiously motivated violence seems integral to the development of Islam. Muhammad had about 100 followers until he took up the sword in Medina to spread his new faith.
I resent being told that Christianity is as violent as Islam. It just isn’t true. Muhammad was a conqueror. Jesus was a carpenter. I suspect that non-Muslim apologists for Islam say what they wish were true, as if saying it made it so. When will we stop kidding ourselves?
P.S. As to the general horribleness of the human species I refer you to: “Rev. Know-it-all “Isn't religion the reason for war?”
Next week: a handy guide to Christian wars of religion