Mikey Weinstein thinks ISIS Attacks over Christianity
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has famously claimed that Islamic militants are motivated to attack because they feel they are fighting a crusading Christianity. For example, while military imagery has historically been rife with references to knighthood, Weinstein has focused particular energy on military units with things that he declares will be perceived as “crusading,” not unlike the 8th Special Troops Battalion Warrior Training Center in Fort Shafter, Hawaii:
Weinstein needs this narrative because his foundation is premised on convincing the American public that Christianity is dangerous. Only by convincing society that Christianity is dangerous can he even begin to justify his calls for governmental restrictions on religious exercise — something otherwise protected by the US Constitution.
The problem is how easily Weinstein’s narrative is proven false: In no place in its “propaganda” does ISIS, al Qaeda, et al decry Christians or religious imagery in the US military. al Qaeda routinely explained its motivations very clearly — and they had nothing to do with the fact members of the US military were known to be Christians. Similarly, ISIS (or ISIL, or IS, or Daesh) never mentioned Christianity after its recent attacks in Paris:
An online statement said [ISIS] attacked carefully chosen targets in the “capital of adultery and vice…” and “hundreds of apostates were attending an adulterous party…”
Adultery, vice, apostasy? Not only do their accusations have nothing to do with Christianity, those issues are the opposite of Christianity. The statement continued:
“The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders’ campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris,” it said.
“Crusaders” could have been a term of Christian militancy, except the statement explicitly connects to the bombings in Syria — a secular, not sectarian, battle. Nowhere do they accuse France or the West of attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity or any other actual “holy war.” Similarly, “curs[ing] the prophet” is the practice praised by militant secularists in America — not Christians.
The “war on Islam in France” is an interesting reference with which some Americans may not be familiar. France has become increasingly secular — not Christian — over the years. This aggressive secularism has even targeted what French society has declared repressive religious practices…like wear of the Islamic burqa, which is banned in France.
The Islamic extremism on display in the attacks in Paris is abhorrent to humanity writ large. Unfortunately, militant anti-Christian activists like Mikey Weinstein have explicitly used the fear of attacks like these in ill-conceived attempts to inspire action against the religious freedom of Christians with whom they disagree.
Weinstein is wrong to do so, of course. The groups behind these terrorist attacks have made their motivations clear, and despite Weinstein’s claims to the contrary, these attacks have nothing to do with members of the US military (or any other military, or society) being Christians. Unfortunately, Mikey Weinstein’s animus toward Christianity is so great it blinds him to the concepts of tolerance, human liberty, and religious freedom.