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Thursday, August 28, 2014

What would Gandhi do? MLK?

It is 05:00 on 28 August here in New Hampshire.  I am awake this early thanks to an early bed last night.  I had an injection in my right eye yesterday afternoon. Once I got myself home safely from Lebanon, staying awake was futile. Now, the eye is beginning to work a bit, and I see this opening paragraph in Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including recruiting partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday.
In the Ophthalmology Clinic's waiting room at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center yesterday, I sat with a man, 77, who had recently gone blind.  He identified himself to me as "a member of a group called the Twelve Tribes of Israel."  He and I spoke for only a few minutes.  He told me that he had been told that he would see far more clearly once he went blind, and that it was proving true. We also talked a bit about religion, and religiosity, and the pros and cons thereof.

This morning, I awoke with this question in my mind: What is the appropriate response to the newly renamed Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL and ISIS?

The challenge that these radicals pose to the civilized world is daunting. They see martyrdom in the name of Allah as their highest purpose.  They believe that all who do not see Allah as they see Him, nor worship according to their clerics' prescriptions, as infidels deserving only death. They are heavily armed, well financed, fanatical and merciless in their mission: to convert all mankind to Islam, by force and slaughter. Convert, or die.

How does a believer in Christ deal with such a group, and such an ethos? How might the legendary Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King have dealt with them?


I wish I had the vision to see how that powerful means of persuasion could be brought to bear in this case.

Turn the other cheek?

I have a number of friends who happen to be Muslims.  I am nervous for them, for they are tolerant, loving, caring human beings, and highly civilized.  If the I.S. continues to expand, they will face persecution for their "mainstream" Islamic faith.

Dear God, Thou of many names, please help your human children in this time of trial. Please give us the wisdom to know Thy Will, and the strength to do Thy Will. Amin. Amen. 

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