Ethics & Religion
Nov. 25, 2015
ISIS: A Mortal Threat to America
By Mike McManus
The Islamic State (ISIS) is a mortal threat to the United States. In just three
weeks it shot down a Russian passenger jet with 224 people; killed 40 in a
suicide bombing in Lebanon and slaughtered 130 people in six coordinated attacks
America could soon face another 9/11 attack or a string of them – unless we
A year ago, ISIS had only captured largely desert areas of Iraq and Syria. It
has "gained affiliates faster than al-Qaeda ever did. From none a year ago,
there are now militant groups that have sworn allegiance to ISIS in nearly 20
countries," argues Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA.
What drives ISIS? It is important to understand the enemy. Most Muslims desire
peace. However, there is a radical Islam strain that has developed a terrorist
agenda. Its commitment is theological, based on verses in the Quran (Koran) that
call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.
"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have
turned you out." (Quran 2:191-193).
"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike
off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. (8:12).
Verse 9:33 tells Muslims that Allah has charted them to make Islam "superior
over all religions." That chapter was one of the final "revelations" from Allah
and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad's
followers managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100
years. Islam was launched to dominate all other peoples and faiths.
"Unfortunately, there are few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even
balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until
they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam or be killed," according to one
There are 109 verses like this in the Quran, a small number compared to the
1,800+ pages of the text of my edition. But there are no comparable texts in the
Hebrew or Christian scriptures. Quite the opposite. Jesus told us to "Love your
enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for
those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27).
We know there has been conflict – even wars - between Protestants and Catholics.
Exactly 500 years ago (Oct. 31, 1517), Martin Luther set the Reformation in
motion by nailing 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. He attacked
the church's corrupt practice of selling indulgences to lessen one's time in
Purgatory, and upheld the New Testament as the church's highest authority – not
the Pope. He translated the New Testament from Latin into German, making it
accessible to common people – inspiring similar translations into English,
Wars between Christians were centuries ago. What has endured are the words of
Jesus, which helped inspire the Allies after World War II to rebuild Germany and
In considering the present challenge of ISIS, we must remember Jesus' injunction
to "Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31)."
Does that mean we should ignore ISIS? Not at all. Muslim extremists are killing
innocent people - crucifying Christians who refuse to convert, slaughtering
concert-goers, and bringing down the World Trade Center. Just as we imprison
murderers, America and its allies must crush ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The U.S.
and France must organize a working coalition that includes NATO and Arab allies
in the Middle East to defeat ISIS and recapture Mosul and other cities in the
However, we must demonstrate compassion toward Muslims as a whole, who are
mostly peaceful. Christians such as Catholic bishops and leaders of the National
Association of Evangelicals have been silent too long. They must denounce such
people as Donald Trump who "tosses hand grenades of rumor, slander and
intolerance," as columnist David Ignatius puts it.
Trump charged that "thousands and thousands of people were cheering" in Muslim
neighborhoods of New Jersey when the Trade Center towers collapsed – which is
utterly untrue. He says he would approve waterboarding ("You bet your ass I
would…If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway for what they are doing.")
When asked if all Muslims should be listed on databases, he said "certainly" and
"absolutely," adding, "We're going to have to look at the mosques."
Nonsense. That is a strategy to recruit American Muslim youth to ISIS and
Christian leaders must openly denounce those articulating similar
Copyright © 2015 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a
30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
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