OK, OK, not all Muslims are terrorists. Hopefully, in increasing numbers these peace-loving Muslims will speak out against their errant brothers.
The dictionary offers this definition: “Jihad, a holy war undertaken as a sacred duty by Muslims; any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle.”
It is hard to read writings by or listen to Muslim clerics such as the Australian Sheik Feiz Mohammad and not see a link. Their names are Legion for there are many such clerics. They consider jihad “a sacred duty.” This adds zeal to their devotion.
They have clearly identified the target of their “holy war.” It is Jews, Christians and other “infidels.” Sheik Feiz encouraged children to have a zeal for jihad and become martyrs for Islam, according to the New York Post.
In light of the Boston bombing, attention has been focused of Chechnya, land of the birth of Tamerlan and Dzohkhar Tsarnaev. It is a small country in the Caucasus Mountains in the south-eastern corner of Europe. There are two groups of radicals in the Muslim community of that country. One is a separatist group desiring full independence from Russia and the other consists of jihadists who have fought along with other jihadists against Americans in such places as Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The atrocities perpetuated in Chechnya against Christians is chronicled as some of the most ghastly and ghoulish of any war. Chechnya has a history of horror. They are engaged in a brutal policy of evangelical cleansing in their country. In 1999 they displayed the severed head of Baptist Pastor Alexander Kulakov in a market.
All of this is considered by the jihadists as doing a favor for God. Virtually all Christians and Jews have been forced out of the capital, Grozny, into southern Russia. The Tsarnaev brothers grew up in a culture where snuffing out the lives of 8-year olds, blowing off body parts and maiming many was common.
It would be interesting to know what the basis was for the Tsarnaev family being granted asylum in America.
America, the land of liberty, is the best nation on earth with more to offer than any other. The blessing of freedom is rare and to be cherished. However, we are lacking some things that can help perpetuate our blessed heritage.
One, we are not teaching the native born or immigrant youth reasons to appreciate and perpetuate our advantages. Israel has thousands of youth immigrate into the country every year. Having visited there many times, we have observed large groups of youth being escorted to various scenes and taught the history of the sight. They build a pride among their youth.
The other asset we are lacking is a strong, well-informed spiritual faith among our youth that espouses love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is an old aphorism that is still true: “If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.”
Of all assets that make us one nation under God, these two are elemental.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.