The best response to Islamism is Christianity

Nov 6, 2020 by

Christian freedom of conscience results in the value of free speech; to say what is in our minds and hearts.

By Michael Nazir-Ali, Spectator US:

It has become normal to think of the Islamist attacks in Europe as attacks on a secular way of life. The beheading of the teacher in Paris, the murders in Notre-Dame in Nice and the shootings in Vienna are presented as a struggle between radical Islamism and a particular kind of enlightened secularism born of the French Revolution. That’s the way Emmanuel Macron sees it; that’s the way most educated atheists across Europe see it. But what they forget is that Enlightenment ethics — the ideas of tolerance and fairness — have their foundation in Christianity. And the best response to violent Islamism isn’t humanism, but the idea of a loving, merciful Christian God.

As Jonathan Miller says, secularism simply doesn’t have the spiritual and moral resources to tackle a comprehensive social, political, economic and religious ideology like Islamism. To begin with, liberte, egalite and fraternite, the values of French secularism, are not self-explanatory or self-evident. For most of human history, most people have not been free or equal. Brotherhood is, around the world, most often seen as tribal, limited to one’s kinship or ethnic group. In Islam it’s the brotherhood of fellow believers that counts.

Freedom, liberty and the brotherhood of all men, precious not only in France but throughout the western world, flow from Christianity. It’s Christianity’s insistence on a personal relationship with God and an internalizing of his moral demand on us that led to the primacy of the person and of conscience in western thought — this is Larry Siedentop’s insight in his Inventing the Individual.

Christian freedom of conscience results in the value of free speech; to say what is in our minds and hearts — within reason. Equality, as a value, arises from the Judaeo-Christian teaching that all human beings have a common origin and equal dignity because they have been made in the divine image…

…The West needs to recover its nerve and to acknowledge that its values are not freestanding but arise from the Judeo-Christian tradition. The situation in France and in Austria is a wake-up call for the West. We must reexamine the basis of our life together and remember our past, in order to have a future.

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The Right Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali is a former Bishop of Rochester. This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine.

Hat -tip to Virtueonline 

See also: The Church’s Islam Problemby William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Losing or keeping your head? Free Speech, the Terror and the Religion of Peaceby Gavin Ashenden

West counts on modernisation of Islam yet insulates it from criticism for fear of ‘racism’Roger Boyes writes an insightful piece in the Times

Report Warns of Islamic Radicalization in Franceby Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute

Sheikh: The Beheading Of French Teacher Paty Is A Great Honor For All Muslimsfrom Memri

The age-old tension between Islam and Franceby Tom Holland, UnHerd

The shameful silence on Franceby Brendan O’Neill, spiked

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