Cal  Thomas

Christianity and Judaism - at least as practiced in the West - believe in separation of church and state. While these faiths see the state as having been instituted by God, they do not universally view the state as a means by which God accomplishes His will. Islamic eschatology is somewhat different. Many Muslims believe the state is an arm of God that He uses to achieve His will. That includes, they believe, forcing those who do not believe to submit to those who do.

Many Muslims are taught that land once possessed by Islam - even if it was taken by force from others - remains holy Islamic territory. Such "lost lands" are to be restored to their "rightful rule." These doctrines suggest that not only is Israel in jeopardy but also large parts of Southern Europe, Spain and North Africa, which were once dominated by Islam.

If these are no longer prevailing Islamic beliefs (as forceful dominance of the Middle East or any other part of the world was long ago rejected by Christians), then let leading Islamic clerics and theologians say so. They should initiate conferences to "tone down " the rhetoric coming from the mouths and writings of their fellow Muslims.

The NAE leaders make a classic Western mistake. They believe that what they say and do shapes the thinking and behavior of those who regard them as infidels. For centuries Christian missionaries have been murdered by religious and political terrorists. That risk goes with the job. They are not likely to be in less danger because of the rhetoric of certain American preachers.

Christians and Jews aren't declaring war on the world, and they are not hijacking airplanes to fly into buildings or blowing themselves up among civilians. Those who do claim their mandate is from Islam. The shoe is on the wrong foot.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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