Skip to comments.Heart problems: Iraqi looting illustrates moral, political crisis that plagues Islamic world
Posted on 04/25/2003 10:51:35 AM PDT by Caleb1411
No sooner were the Iraqis freed from the subjugation of Saddam Hussein than they went right to the opposite extreme: a frenzy of looting, pillaging, andwere it not for coalition troops finally enforcing ordersocial anarchy.
The plundering of government offices might be excused as signs of the public's hatred of the Baath Party police state. But then the looting spread to banks, shops, and other private property. Some of the destructionlike burning the contents of the national librarywas sheer vandalism. Somelike stealing animals from the zoowas theft for theft's sake.
The pillaging of the National Museum was a tragedy for biblical archeology. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers originally flowed, according to Genesis 2:14, out of the Garden of Eden. Nineveh, where Jonah was called to bring the message of the Lord, is in present-day Iraq, as are the sites of the great empires Assyria and Babylon. Not only the city of exile but the city of origin for the Israelites is in Iraq: Ur of the Chaldees, the home of Abraham, from which he was called out to another land that God would give him.
Among the holdings in the National Museum currently missing and feared stolen or destroyed by looters is Hammurabi's Code, the first humanly devised written legal system, which was set forth by a Babylonian king, carved onto tablets reminiscent of the Ten Commandments. (What Moses received on Mt. Sinai, of course, is much older.) Also unaccounted for is a carving from ancient Ur known as "The Ram in the Thicket," reminiscent of the sacrifice God provided as a substitution for Isaac (Genesis 22:13), an Old Testament image that prophesies Christ.
Thousands of ancient coins, pottery, inscriptions on clay tablets, and other artifacts were lost. A golden harp from Ur around the time of Abraham was ruined, as looters tried to scrape off the precious metal, leaving only a pile of broken wood.
Incredibly, Iraqisand Western opponents of the warblamed not the looters but the United States! The Americans should have stopped it, go the accusations. So the destruction is America's fault.
This rejection of personal responsibility is at the heart of the moral and political crisis that plagues the Middle East. The looters for the most part were presumably pious Muslims. (The women carting off furniture and TV sets were wearing their veils.) Islam teaches that stealing is wrong.
In fact, the Quran teaches what many Arab countries apply, that thieves should have their hands cut off. The penalty is both a harsh punishment and an attempt to prevent further transgressions: A thief would be hard pressed to steal again if he doesn't have a hand to snatch something that doesn't belong to him.
Islam tends to set up external controls, establishing righteousness not by converting the heart but by making it as difficult or as costly as possible for someone to do anything wrong. Christianity, on the other hand, tries to internalize the moral law. The gospel grants forgiveness for sins, whereupon the Holy Spirit, in conflict with our sinful nature, changes the heart so that we do not want to do what is wrong. The conscience is sensitized. Virtue becomes voluntary.
When dealing with the moral problem of lust, the Christian approach is to cultivate the inner disciplines of self-control and the spiritual strength to resist temptation. The Muslim approach is to swathe women in yards of cloth so that it is impossible for a man to see the woman's body.
In Islam, morality is forced from the outside. In Christianity, morality comes from within the individual.
This is why, historically, Christianity is associated with political freedom. Those who can govern themselves morally do not need a strong central governmental power to maintain social order. Conversely, Islam, for all its high moral teachings, enforces them with coercive external power. For that, it needs a strong authoritarian government. Whether this government is religious, as in the theocracy of Iran, or secular, as in the Arabic fascism of the Baath Party, the habits of mind and the political repression are the same.
And when that external coercive power is removed, if only for a moment, what Christians recognize as the sinful human nature will break out.
After the American revolution, when the colonists were liberated from their tyrant, they did not loot and pillage their own cities. This is not just a cultural difference. When the French had their revolution, which was grounded in a repudiation of Christianity, they acted even worse than their current Iraqi allies.
And if it will be difficult for the Iraqis to have freedom without anarchy, it may prove just as difficult for Americans who think they can do without their Christian heritage.
And the Cincinnati riots?
And the Newark riots?
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera . . .
And if it will be difficult for the Iraqis to have freedom without anarchy, it may prove just as difficult for Americans who think they can do without their Christian heritage
That's an unsubstantiated hypothesis which immediately reduces or eliminates the plausibility of the author's argument.
I am second to none in my disdain for the Islamic heresy. However, the author's unsubstantiated assumption that the looters were pious 'Muslims' seriously undercuts his arguments.
There is no factual evidence that Islam caused the looting. There are criminals is every society. Their actions cannot be attributed to the religion they embrace.
Liberty requires personal accountability and adherence to the laws of God. It's been true since I Samuel, Chapter 8.
Precisely, and I am no friend to the demonic fraud that is Islam.
|And if it will be difficult for the Iraqis to have freedom without anarchy, it may prove just as difficult for Americans who think they can do without their Christian heritage.
Yes! And it is curiously enough some of the most vocally Christian among us who seem to have lost sight of that.
There must be thousands of notes by now in the various Santorum threads. Damned few of them point out that the whole debate over these various laws people are arguing about would not exist except that our other system, the internal system for controlling behavior (and the one that actually works), has broken down.
There is a whole class of actions that, illegal or not, are simply and widely known to be wrong. Nobody knows why, they just are. Americans do not cook and eat dogs or cats. We will buy ground-up cattle and feed it to dogs and cats, but we will not eat dogs and cats themselves. Why? We just don't.
There is always the occasional Jeffrey Dahmer to whom eating even people is not wrong, and so we have laws to deal with those few, but cannibalism is not considered a law enforcement problem in the United States. People just don't do it; most people are repulsed by the very idea.
And so it was, for a long time, with some of these sex acts. If we actually have to turn to the police and the courts to handle our incest and bestiality problems, something has gone very wrong. In particular, we are experiencing widespread failure to transmit the values of our culture to our young. No amount of police and courts can fix that. As the manufacturing quality gurus say, you can't "inspect" quality into a product. You either control your process so as to produce good stuff to begin with, or you're hosed.
In the same way, Christianity has never relied on coercive force (i.e. " behavior inspectors") to maintain the social order. And in that, it has been superior to Islam in creating societies that work.
I can't believe how many people I see in those Santorum threads who are looking to law enforcement to solve what is really a failure in the process by which we socialize children. If people don't have the little "cop in their head" that tells them that certain things are just not done, then the society can neither work, nor be free. Only a cop behind every tree -- like they had in Iraq -- can maintain order in such a place.
Is that really the kind of society we want? To keep the gays out of our faces, are we really willing to have the police peeking in people's bedrooms? Most folks on this forum go nuts if the FBI wants to peek at their bank records, but then they'll go to the next thread and patiently explain that yes, it's regrettable but necessary that the police peek in bedroom windows.
That's Islam. Let's leave it in the Middle East. And in France.
Interesting. Do you have a citation for that?
Even if there is a scintilla of truth in the observers' reports, the "religious fervor" would be exactly that type of carnal sensuality the apostle Paul condemned as being antithetical to true Christianity (1 Corinthians 5-6, among other passages).
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