About R. Scott Clark
R. Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association
, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books
and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. Read more»
He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.
There are problems with Shapiro’s analysis here. The first problem is the definition of ‘radical muslim.’ Considering that those who are considered to be ‘radical’ include those who believe Shariah law should be the law in Muslim countries, those who believe that honor killings can sometimes be justified, those who believe that suicide bombings can sometimes be justified, and even those who believe that those who make cartoons with Mohammad the Prophet should be killed, we see the term become an umbrella term. But that is not all, he tries to use this umbrella term to paint Radical Islam as a monolith. And he does this by implying that all of those radical muslims are a threat to the rest of us.
Here is the second problem. How many Israelis support the violence perpetrated on Palestinians by Jewish Settlers? Or how many Jews support the IDF’s attacks on Palestinian civilians? Or how many Americans supported George Bush’s invasion of Iraq? Or how many Americans support President Obama’s drone attacks where he gets to choose the target while being accountable to no one? See, there may not be that much differene between Jews, Christians, and Muslims today except that some wash their hands of the violence they perpetrate by using proxies (a.k.a., the military or militant fighters).
Or how about the third problem? What about all of the western interventions in the Middle East with the primary intention of benefiting financially? The Iran Coup in ’53, the support for Iraq’s B’aath Party in the 60s and support for Saddam Hussein in the 80s until he invaded Kuwait, the support for Bin Laden as long as he attacked the Russians, the support fo dictators like the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and Mubarak in Egypt, and of course Israel’s violent occupation of the the Palestinian territories as Israel continues to confiscate land. BTW, I have it on first hand info that Israeli settlers call the land they steal their inheritance. BTW, not included in this paragraph are the interventions of the British and the French.
This pointing out the evils of others without regard for either one’s own sins or how one may have contributed to the evil in others is simply not scriptural. But lest those who want to stir trouble become dismayed at that pronouncement, we should note that it part of tribalism and for those who, like some in radical Muslim countries, have merged their national identity with their religion and personal piety, that’s good enough.
1. I caught the use of Sharia. He didn’t define it but I most of his criteria seem valid and, had he defined what everyone means by Sharia, his case would have been stronger. Still, even omitting 20 million, the surveys still support his claim. Those who believe in honor killings, suicide bombings, genital mutilation etc are quite reasonably called “radical.” Those who support the 9/11 attacks are quite reasonably called “radical.” Remember, the claim is that a tiny minority of the world Islamic population is “radical.” With Shapiro, I doubt that claim.
2. I don’t see any Israelis cutting off heads of Christians etc. I doubt that one can compare the Israeli relation to the Palestinians with what the Islamic State (ISIS) et al are doing across the globe. My sympathies are with the Israelis. The Palestinian crisis is tragic because Islamic powers are using the Palestinians as a weapon with which to punish the Israelis. They’re pawns.
3. Again, Western interventions in the Middle East hardly compare to the violence perpetrated by global Islam since the late 70s.
Amen on Shapiro’s comment concerning Ben Affleck as the new Batman! When I heard he was going to be Batman, I could not believe it. And then to make things worse, I noticed that actor that played Mark Zuckerberg is Lex Luthor. In the words of Charles Barkley: That is turrible.