When others hurt us, or we feel threatened, it is our first reaction to strike back. For most, we want to say that we would turn the check. But, if it had been our country, how would we react. And, unfortunately, it usually does not come down to who is guilty, but who is visible. We lash out in an effort to stave off our feelings of helplessness.
This is why God gave our government the administration of justice. If left to us, we, blinded by our hurt, fear, and anger will wind up punishing the innocent. It is the enemy we see who is the easiest and best target, rather than the enemy who is unseen, dead, or out of reach.
This seems to be the trend in France. Fox is reporting that the violence and threats against Muslims have increased sharply since the Charlie Hebdo attack. They report:
The French Council for the Muslim Religion said Friday 128 anti-Muslim actions or threats were reported from Jan. 7-20 — a number that does not include the densely populated Paris region. That’s compared to 133 in all of France, including Paris, in 2014.
The numbers mean that in less than 14 days, there have been more anti-Muslim incidents than the whole of last year.
Fox went on to report:
Since then, mosques have suffered a grenade attack, shots and repeated vandalism, and stores owned by Muslims have been burned. At least one person was assaulted and hospitalized, said Abdallah Zekri, of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, which worked with the group to produce the total.
This points to a disturbing trend that may lead the country to more violence.
If the Islamic terror groups are recruiting from the poor and disenfranchised Muslims of France and other European countries, then this rise in violence could only make things worse. If young Muslims already felt they were unwanted and without equal advantage, this violence could then push them even further in the terror groups’ direction.
I know that this sounds like I am making excuses for these young men. That is the furthest thing from what I intend. It is irrefutable that this religion contains all the seeds of the murder that these people perpetrate. At the same time, we have to understand that there are two additional causes of the rise in recruitment for ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Europe.
First, the Muslim population in Europe is mostly poor. They are much like our illegal immigrant population here in America. They have a harder time getting higher paying jobs. This causes many, especially the young men, to feel hopeless and oppressed.
The second is the violence and hatred that is shown them by their European neighbors. Threats and violence tend to push people to act in a threatening or violent way. These feelings and the religious aspect make these men ripe for terrorism.
Just like the jack-booted brown shirts of the fascist in Germany in the 1920’s and 30’s, these Islamic fascists draw those who are impoverished and hopeless: The young unemployed, those who are looking for a place to belong and without family, those who have been hurt, perceived or actual, physically or emotionally, by the society in which they live. This kind of violence by the French and others will work to create more people who fit into this category.
If we want to see an end to such vicious cycles, the only hope is the Gospel. Only in the Gospel do we see forgiveness for perceived and actual wrong. Only in the Gospel do we have the removal of guilt, shame, hatred, malice, and revenge. The only thing that reconciles enemies and makes them brothers is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 11:6-9 gives us the promise that this not only can, but will happen.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
May God bring this to pass!