Two days after the atrocities in Paris (with at least 129 dead), Jay Smith and Hatun Tash (from the ‘Pfander Centre for Apologetics’) went to Speaker’s Corner, in London, to talk about it. To their astonishment, they found that no one at the Corner was even mentioning the killings. So Jay and Hatun decided to begin the discussion themselves, and gathered a large crowd.
Jay began by suggesting that we not blame Muslims, or even Islam for these atrocities, since that is what everyone wants. So he asked the large crowd who had gathered who they thought these men were, and what their agenda and motivations were, if they weren’t Muslims?
Some in the crowd suggested they were reactionaries to the 2003 attack by the US against Iraq, or that they were extremists who were created by the US, and now had come ‘home to roost’.
When Jay asked why they chose Paris and not the USA, a lady named Alicia said it was because Paris represented the clearest example of a secular, Western, humanistic model, whose aspirations were based on ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’, the very principles against which ISIS is fighting; thus, it was not for religious reasons.
Jay suggested that if we really wanted to know what their motivation was, it might be helpful to go to them, and read what they wrote in their ‘communique’ the day before.
Hatun read out the entire communique, which centred on two passages from the Qur’an: Surah 59:2 (a verse that confronts the ‘people of the Book’ = Christians and Jews), and Surah 63:8 (a verse that confronts the ‘Hypocrites’ = nominal Muslims & Shi’ites).
If we looked at these two verses, Jay continued, than it is pretty clear that ISIS aimed these attacks against Christians and Jews (which for ISIS, would include every European, especially those who ‘spent their time’ in sports, eating, drinking, and listening to Rock music), as well as nominal Muslims (for ISIS, that would include any Muslims who lived like a Parisian, or those Muslims who were not orthodox like them).
Jay and Hatun then looked at other verses from the Qur’an which ISIS had used earlier to support their violent atrocities, including:
Surah 9:5 (This verse confronts the ‘Mushrikoun’, i.e. those who commited ‘Shirk’, those who equated anyone with God; such as the Christians, according to many Muslims)
Surah 9:29 (‘make war on the ‘people of the Book’ = the Christians and Jews)
Surah 47:4 (behead the ‘unbelievers’ = those who didn’t believe in Islam, so not combatants, as many modern Muslims like to believe)
Surah 8:38-39 (‘make war against those who commit ‘fitna’ = unbelief, until all submit to Allah’)
Surah 5:33 (‘and to those who do mischief in the land, crucify them and cut off their hands and feet on opposite sides’).
By this time the Muslims, and others, became quite angry, and began mocking Jay and Hatun for making this into a religious discussion.
There is a deep reticence in Europe to introduce religion into the picture, not only because of the overwhelming desire by the government and the press that Islam simply has to be a religion of peace, but a gross ignorance by almost everyone (even moderate Muslims) concerning what the Qur’an actually says, or what Muhammad actually did.
To suggest that ISIS may have a religious agenda was just too much for the crowd, which you can see in their reactions in this video. They were so sure that ISIS had a political grievance with the USA, and nothing more.
When Jay asked one irate woman what her solution would be, she responded that ‘we were all f…..’, not much hope there.
So Jay and Hatun then began to introduce what they believed was the only solution to such violent verses, which authorized such a violent ideology; the example of Jesus Christ Himself, and His gospel of peace.
They dealt with the violent passages in the Old Testament, as well as some seemingly violent verses in the New Testament, and then ended by telling the crowd, who, by now, were standing in almost complete darkness (smart phone lights spotlighted Jay and Hatun for the filming), that if they really wanted to know who these men were they needed to pay attention to what they were saying, and then confront them at their ideological foundation; which would entail confronting the Qur’an and their prophet.
People with no belief would not understand the motivation of those with a strong belief, as almost every radical Muslim has. To really understand these Muslims, you need to begin from the same paradigm, you need to understand the power of their ‘book’ and their ‘man’; and then you need to not just confront that book and that man, but provide a viable alternative, one which the secular world simply doesn’t have.
Indeed, the only alternative to that book and that man is the bigger and better BOOK and the bigger and better MAN, Jesus Christ, and His gospel of peace.
If you really want peace, then Jesus is the only real solution for today, or for any day.