“This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in
Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders.”
Is such an indictment of Islam unfair? Not at all, writes Charles Krauthammer: “Is Islam an inherently violent religion? And there is no denying the fact, stated most boldly by Samuel Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations? From Nigeria to Sudan to Pakistan to Indonesia to the Philippines, some of the worst, most hate-driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims and in the name of Islam.
“In Pakistan, Muslim extremists have attacked Christian churches, killing every parishioner they could. Just last month in Lebanon, an evangelical Christian nurse, who had devoted her life to caring for the sick, was shot three times through the head, presumably, for ‘proselytizing.’
“On the northern tier of the Islamic world, even more blood flows – in Pakistani-Kashmiri terrorism against Hindu India, Chechen terrorism in Russian-Orthodox Moscow and Palestinian terrorism against the Jews. (The Albanian Muslim campaign against Orthodox Macedonia is now on hold.) And then of course there was Sept. 11 – Islamic terrorism reaching far beyond its borders to strike at the heart of the satanic ‘Crusaders.’”
Recently, the secular humanist magazine Free Inquiry, attempted to tar all people of faith with the same brush in an article “The Intimate Dance of Religion and Nationalism.” But just as all African-Americans do not have rhythm and all Chinese students are not Einsteins, all people of faith are not murderers. Furthermore, as Huntington pointed out in the 1990s, nationalism faded decades ago as the issue confronting today’s world peace.
Nowhere is this seen more vividly than in Sudan, a nation as ancient as Egypt. There, a 40-year conflict has not been fed by any nationalistic fervor to expand Sudan’s borders nor any nationalistic call to “liberate” or “restore to the motherland” those ethnic Sudanese living in neighboring Ethiopia or Uganda.
Instead Sudan’s conflict has been a vicious ethnic cleansing in which the Muslim north, populated by white Arabs, has attempted for decades to eliminate the southern blacks, who have lived there since the dawn of time – long before the Arab invasion that began in the 7th Century. The Arabs’ determination to grab the south’s rich oilfields has spawned some of the most horrific genocide in the history of mankind, particularly in the Darfur region – prompting unprecedented United Nations intervention.
“UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was plunged into the chaos of war-torn Darfur on Saturday when he was greeted in a western Sudan refugee camp by accounts of rape and murder and civilians venting their anger,” reports a 2005 article in the Pakistan Daily Times.
Some of the “lost boys of Sudan”
Stories coming out of Darfur strain the imagination – such as the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” many as young as five, who escaped attacks on their villages since they were playing in the bush or herding goats – but who watched in horror as gangs in helicopters and jeeps raided their villages, hacking their fathers to death with machetes, then raping their mothers and sisters before dragging them off to be sold in slave markets. Thousands of the boys began showing up at refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, some walking more than 1,000 miles across the desert – blurting out nightmarish stories. Some told of being forced to serve as child soldiers – pumped full of drugs and turned loose with automatic weapons on rival tribes, told to take vengeance on the enemies who had killed their families and destroyed their villages.
Others had been sold and treated worse than cattle. One ten-year-old ex-slave told of refusing to recant his Christian faith and being crucified – nailed to a wooden cross – by his Muslim owner, then rescued by a kindly Muslim neighbor who helped him escape in the night to a refugee camp, where starvation was rampant and survival difficult.