From reading books and seeing the news I often get the impression that Muslims take very seriously any attacks on "their brothers" especially when it is outsiders who do it. Perhaps it's not such a big deal if it's sectarian fighting (e.g. Shia Muslims vs. Sunni Muslims), but when it's the "Christian" West (and I use that term Christian extremely loosely) then it's for sure the Crusade days all over again.
Again, this is my impression. I could be completely wrong.
So I was wondering when is it ever okay for Westerners to fight people in Muslim countries? It seems many Muslims are fine with our bombing in Libya since Gaddafi isn't a favored Muslim with his silly Green Book, inflated ego and love of power. But one of the things I hesitated on from the beginning of this imposed no-fly zone was that it would be turned into some propaganda of the Christians again hurting the Muslims. Seems perfect recruiting material for Al Qaeda. I think even Gaddafi tried to use it to his advantage.
I mentioned I was reading Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World by Akbar S. Ahmed and in the preface he talked about former United States President Bill Clinton. The author was giving an example of Muslim perspective on the West and - like it or not - the USA often represents "the West" to the Muslim world. So what about Clinton?
In August 1998 he admitted to an affair with Monica Lewinsky and followed this by bombing on two continents, in Muslim countries. Mr. Ahmed said this confirmed "what Muslims widely believed...about American society: that it has little to offer the world except sex and violence."
Also President Clinton demonstrated his lack of honor: "a man caught telling lies to his nation, his supporters and colleagues, and above all to his family. A man who had no honor was not a worthy man and could not be trusted."
He continues: "Interestingly the fact that most Americans, through the polls, continued to support Clinton despite his lying and deceiving convinced the Muslim world that economic prosperity was more important than honor and morality to the Americans. The polls were showing that separation of Clinton's private morals from his public office. This was a division that could not be accepted in a society which cherished honor." (pg. xiii)
So do you agree that we value economic prosperity more than demanding morality in our leaders and in ourselves? Do you? Is this a good thing according to your perspective or not? I must say that I heard plenty of people here argue about the value of demanding moral behavior from our President so while the wider American opinion may have been "who cares what people do in their private lives?", I know many people did have huge problems with our Commander in Chief doing such things.
Also since I brought up the topic, when is it permissible for the United States and other Western countries to fight in Muslim countries? Honestly I hate the distinctions that we are fighting Muslims as if our fight is always about a religion and not criminals who happen to call themselves Muslim, ya know? But it seems many enjoy labeling it such and I wonder if it has roots in that Dar al-Islam stuff which pits Muslims against the rest of the world.
Sadly there are times when secular nations and those with more Christians than Muslims have conflict with nations where the majority are Muslims. What should the criteria be? We can only fight against predominantly Muslim countries when the Arab League and the UN Security Council give their thumbs up to it?
I wish there were no reasons to fight. I'm getting very weary of it and wish we could all just
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." (ESV, Romans 12:10)