Fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear.
I say we either drop the "we love democracy everywhere in the world" spiel or we back it up by encouraging people who are trying to dispose of autocrats who have histories of rigged elections and oppression against their own people! This playing both sides is hypocritical and - really - who are we fooling? It just makes us look even more idiotic to the rest of the world! (To which some Americans will say they don't care and that's fine, but some of us care when America equals Christian nation to a lot of people. Do we want Christ to be dragged into it because we are poor examples of him? All righty then.)
So anyway, I ended up chatting off and on for a few days with someone whom I will call E to protect his identity.
Eventually the conversation got to this with E asking,
"Susanne, do you support the islamic jihad?"
Nope, not a fan of the extremists' version of jihad which most Muslims do not agree with either. Jihad (which means struggle) for most Muslims is first an inner struggle to do what is right in order to please God (e.g. the five prayers, fasting, almsgiving, dressing modestly). Similar to our "good fight of faith." This is the greater jihad.
The lesser jihad is defensive wars or wars against oppressors. For example fighting against occupying Americans who invaded and killed is legitimate. (If someone invaded America, you'd feel this 'jihad' was legit too.)
The extremists' version of jihad is the one even most Muslims despise. The extremists wrongly think they can fight *anyone* who does not agree with their version of Islam which is vile, hateful and which I too will reject with everything in me.
Good question! Now you know how I feel about jihad. :) Any others?
So he asked:
"Do you support sharia law?"
Nope. If you have a Muslim-only country and want sharia (which they believe is God's law kind of like the Children of Israel thought of the Mosaic Law), then fine. But it's not for me since, well, I don't believe it's from God or else I'd be a Muslim. And really a number of Muslims don't want all aspects of sharia enforced because whose interpretation of sharia do they use? The conservatives, the moderates or the progressives? It's kind of like applying God's laws to the US and how the variety of opinions within Christianity would make that a nightmare for many.
Feel free to share your own thoughts. Maybe you think I am simplistic and plain old wrong in my thoughts. So tell me. Shape and/or change my views. Tell me why I should believe differently.
E also asked something that lead me to share my thoughts on Israel. I'll do that in another post as it may take more explaining. Plus it was a longer reply.