On Tuesday evening, CNN will debut a three-part series called God’s Warriors. The series, devoted to an examination of “religious fundamentalism,” is created and hosted by Christiane Amanpour; the first segment, to be aired Tuesday, is called “Jewish Warriors;” Wednesday’s show is “Muslim Warriors,” followed by “Christian Warriors” on Thursday.
While these three topics are treated as though they were on a par, there are some obvious distinctions. Like, the Christian “warriors” are home-schooling their children, while the Muslim “warriors” are blowing people up. If this Associated Press account is accurate, CNN’s series is devoted to obfuscating such obvious differences rather than elucidating them.
Another segment tried to explain why so many devout Muslims are willing to give their lives to a cause.
“To the West, martyrdom has a really bad connotation because of suicide bombers who call themselves martyrs,” [Amanpour] said. “Really, martyrdom is actually something that historically was quite noble, because it was about standing up and rejecting tyranny, rejecting injustice and rejecting oppression and, if necessary, dying for that.”
Actually, though, the problem with today’s Islamic “martyrs” is not that its adherents are “willing to give their lives,” it is that they want to kill non-Muslims. It isn’t really a mystery why martyrdom was once considered noble; Christian martyrs like Saints Stephen and Sebastian didn’t kill anyone. Whereas today, “martyrdom” in much of the Islamic world is a euphemism for mass murder. Hence the “really bad connotation.”
Of course, everyone knows this. It’s hardly worth the trouble to point out the stupidity of confounding Christian “fundamentalism”–the most commonly accepted definition of which is a belief in the literal truth of the Bible–with Islamic “fundamentalism,” whose distinguishing characteristic is a desire to impose Sharia on the world, and kill everyone who resists.
We do get, though, a glimmer of illumination from the AP’s interview with Ms. Amanpour:
Finishing the project didn’t leave [Amanpour] with a sense of fear over the implications of stronger fundamentalist movements.
“I did come away with a sense that we
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