Another Reason to Kill Us?

In a recent Washington Post story about Abdul Rahman, the Afghan whose Christian conversion almost earned him a death penalty, reporter Pamela Constable wrote that Afghans are grateful to the United States for its economic support. But, she added, many Afghans “remain leery of Western values and associate Christianity with fornication and drunkenness.” Clearly, Afghans link Christianity with America, and link America with decadence. But why would they do that? Well, let’s see. In the news this week, we have stories of Duke University lacrosse players accused of getting drunk and raping an exotic dancer. Pictures of two unmarried and very pregnant American actresses, Angelina Jolie and Katie Holmes, have been splashed across the tabloids. A DVD about homosexual lovers, Brokeback Mountain, is selling briskly. Meanwhile, our lawmakers continue to discuss legalizing gay “marriage” and even polygamy. And gambling interests continue to buy political favors. Decadent? Us? Now, why would Muslims think that? The story about the Afghans is a sobering reminder that the Muslim world watches everything America does—and often resents our influence. Especially do they resent the pornography, lewd music, and trashy films that make their way into Muslim homes. Well, I resent them too. We know what damage pornography does to those who consume it, and it leads to crimes against women and children. We know that kids are better off in married families, and we know, from the evidence coming out of Scandinavia, that same-sex “marriage” destroys traditional marriage. This is why we ought to continue fighting the culture war—restricting pornography and protecting marriage—because to do so is good for our society. But fighting these battles will help us in another way, as well. As Charles Krauthammer noted in, one of the reasons Islam is fighting “the great jihad” against America has to do with sexual depravity. The jihadists claim that wherever freedom travels—“especially in America and Europe—it brings sexual license and corruption, decadence and depravity.” This is what so affected Sayyid Qutb, whose radical writings I’ve talked about earlier on this program and whose teachings influenced Osama bin Laden. Jihadists, like bin Laden, view themselves as holy warriors fighting a holy war against Western decadence. Now, we have got to be careful not to blame innocent Americans for murderous attacks against them. At the same time, we need to understand how America’s increasing decadence is helping Islamic fanatics recruit more foot soldiers. No, of course I’m not suggesting that we try to accommodate or adopt Islamic beliefs about sexuality and women. I am saying, however, that we ought to realize and help our neighbors realize that living up to the tenets of our own faith, and the tenets of Western civilization, will take away one of radical Islam’s best weapons. And at the same time we would be helping Christian missionaries to win the hearts of Muslims around the world. Muslims, who, not surprisingly, associate the Christian West with drunkenness and fornication, want nothing to do with our Gospel, as we’ve discovered in our work in the prisons. So I say it’s time for us to get smart and to do good at the same time. This is part three in a four-part series on Islam.


Chuck Colson


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