Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Clinton have made a point of distinguishing between Islam and Muslim terrorists, saying it is the latter who are the enemy. After US embassies were bombed in August, Clinton pointed to the millions of ordinary, non-violent Muslims in the world and said that they, not the bombers, represent the true face of Islam.
How then, one could ask, does one identify who the true Muslims—or for that matter, who the true Christians—are? Are they not those who most precisely adhere to the teachings of the founders of their faith? Surely if we are to know what Christianity and Islam are meant to be we should look at how Yeshua and Mohammed lived, listen to what they taught, and note how they admonished mankind to live?
Surely it is against these standards that followers of a faith, and the faith itself, must be measured?
Such reasoning leads the honest Christian to some sobering conclusions. For while Yeshua taught, and practised, "love your enemies", within 150 years of His earthly lifetime His followers were doing just the opposite. For hundreds of years those bearing His name bathed Europe in the blood of those who refused to accept Him. It is because of its shameful history that Jews largely regard Christianity as their adversary. If we had practised what Yeshua preached, this would never have been the case.
Unlike Yeshua, Mohammed was a man of violence who unleashed the sword that spread Islam across most of the "civilised" world. The Koran instructs violence against Jews and Christians, and all other "infidels" who resist submission to Allah. And it prophesies the eventual forceful bringing of the entire world into the "House of Islam".
Had President Clinton said that the millions of peacefully living Muslims represented a new, or changed, face of Islam, he would have been a little more correct. Would that it were so.
But the Islam of Osama bin Laden, the Ayatollah Khomeini and Omar al-Bashir, the Islam of Iran, Sudan, Egypt, and Pakistan, this is Islam, pure and fundamental. And this Islam is Israel's, and the Christian world's, enemy number one.