Friction between Christians and Muslims is growing, as the world’s two largest religions – with a long history of conflict and animosity – collide in a shrinking world. The Rev. Howard Bess sees some of that friction as unavoidable but urges dialogue and understanding to avert the worst.
Some of our special stories in August explored stubborn conflicts raging from Libya to Afghanistan, reported on social upheavals within Western societies, reflected on the hypocrisy of Christian violence, and more.
At the United Nations, President Barack Obama tried to square the circle of U.S. support for democracy and freedom across the Middle East with his threat to veto statehood for the Palestinians, a cause he championed just last year. In an open letter to the President, author Marc H. Ellis critiques Obama’s depressing double talk.
The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks stirred up some powerful and painful memories of that day and the 3,000 victims. But the Rev. Howard Bess says his Christian faith has compelled him to think also about the carnage that followed – and whether any war is “just.”
After the 9/11 attacks when many Americans wondered “why do they hate us?” they were fed pabulum by President George W. Bush about them “hating our freedoms,” as a frightened (or complicit) U.S. news media didn’t dare contradict. That has left a confused American people, writes Lawrence Davidson.
The terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, sent the United States into a 10-year downward spiral, not because of the attacks themselves but because of disastrous political judgments that followed. In recognition of the tenth anniversary, we have compiled six articles by Robert Parry, chronicling this decade of descent, starting just two weeks after 9/11.
If Christian conservatives truly understood and accepted the teachings of Jesus, they would not be at the Tea Party barricades fighting to protect the money, power and privileges of the rich; they would be demanding what Jesus wanted, a radical redistribution of wealth and decent treatment of all, as the Rev. Howard Bess notes.
One neoconservative argument against American Muslims is that there is a correlation between mosques and FBI terror investigations. But that may be circular logic since the FBI targets mosques with paid informants trying to detect potential “lone wolves” and lure them into terrorist acts, as Lawrence Davidson observes.
Hard-line Israeli defenders have tried to shut down protests over how the Palestinians have been treated by accusing critics of “anti-Semitism” and by labeling dissenting Jews as “self-hating.” These intimidating tactics are now common on U.S. college campuses, Lawrence Davidson writes.
The clock is ticking on what could be the next explosion in the Middle East, if Palestinians press their demand for United Nations recognition as a state and the United States and Israel continue to spurn this acknowledgement of Palestinian rights. But Adil E. Shamoo says this political bomb can be defused.