A Fear of Whales

What do you know about Islam?


You know the mane of their prophet, and their holy book right?

Do you know what the central tenants of their faith are? (hint: there are 5 of them)

If you’re like most Americans your knowledge about Islam probably drops off after that, and You’ll start talking about the war in Iraq.

You aren’t so uninformed as to think Haamas and Al Queda represent the entirety of Islam. You know better. but still in your head when you think of Islam, You’re kinda thinking Al Queda.

And you’re getting this information from the news and the church foyer and the coffee shot as you talk about the war.

There’s a problem though. A very serious problem, with getting your information about Islam from the War in Iraq.

The war is not about Islam

It’s near Islam.

There are islamic people there.

But it’s not about Islam it’s about politics.

See we’ve been buying oil and a very small minority class has been benefiting from that, and while we’ve been doing things like fighting the Cold War and becoming the dominant world power, much of the middle east has been picking up the pieces from their last interaction with the west….Over and over again… for generations.

So a certain group of people got kinda annoyed about that and staged a massive protest in New York City, which we retaliated to, which they responded to and so on….

And it’s a big complicated mess because we’re kinda allies with the governments of most of these nations, but their people kinda don’t like us very much and so they are all kind of afraid of internal revolt so they are sort of only half helping us, and half covering their butts, and now there’s all sorts of independent revolts for democracy and we don’t always know what side to be on because we’re in a financial crisis and…. yeah…

But it’s not about Islam. and it’s not about Christianity.

The terrorists use Islam and adapt it to explain and respond to what they are feeling and what they want, and they talk about their political allegiances using Islamic vocabulary, but it would be very much the same if the middle east had been Zoroastrian or Hindu instead.

In the same way, we have responded in a majority christian culture, by co-opting out christian vocabulary and saying things like “God Bless America” “One Nation Under God” “Pray for the Troops” yadda yadda. But we aren’t responding to terrorism because we’re christian. We’re responding because we’re American, we’re just talking about it the way we are because we’re christian. It’s the same for them.


“Yeah, Yeah…” You’ll say. “…But it kinda IS about Islam though, isn’t it” with ears full of sawdust from having heard for 10 years that this is what Islam is about.


No it isn’t. But for the sake of argument. Let’s suppose for a second that it was. Let’s say this is a war about Christians vs Muslims not US vs Terrorists. if that’s  the case: then we are wrong!

We’re wrong!

In Islamic language they use the word “Jihad”, we have a very similar word in Christian parlance “crusade” which is a holy war against Muslims, and it hearkens back to one of the darkest times in our history when we went in and invaded the middle east trying to convert all the heathens by means of the sword and reclaim the holy land. If this is a war about religion then there is no question that it is a crusade.

And this crusade is worse than the last. After all, we already have the holy land. We gave it to the Jews and protected them with Nukes. And now what are we after? Peace? Certainty not. More like revenge.


If this war is about terror it’s justifiable. It’s a bit questionable to try to fight an idea using violence but an argument can be made in support of it.

If it’s about national defense, it’s justifiable. We need to make sure nothing like 9/11 ever happens again. It might seem counter-intuitive to do that this way. But at least it’s one way to do it

Even if it’s a war about oil it’s justifiable, It’s again questionable but hey, listen! we payed for that oil, and it’s not our problem if their government is too unstable to share the wealth. if it’s causing problems for us, we have enough money and enough guns to solve the problem. Don’t mess with us! U-S-A! U-S-A!


If this is a war about Islam than we have no recourse. Make no mistake, they did not draw first blood, we did. And even if we hadn’t Jesus doesn’t speak too highly of revenge. Crusades are terrible moral atrocities, and not a part of the way of Jesus. So if you think this war is about fighting Muslims then we need to stop right now and apologize. Otherwise we should start talking about it more as what it is.

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