The New Savages: Barbarians of the Current World Disorder

Note: I don't claim to be an expert on early American colonial and settler life and the conflict with Native Americans.  If my history is at all off, alert me to it and understand that I am seeking to make a comparison with the current conflict, not to demean, diminish or alter history to my own ends.  

In the early period of American history, colonialists and settlers had two different types of Native Americans to deal with. There were the ones who sought to peacefully co-exist with the pale-faces and yet have a land for themselves that had been theirs for centuries. In addition, there were those who were rightly called savages. Warring tribes without regard for age or gender would assault the pale-faced intruders with stealth and severity. One of the most feared techniques was the scalping of their victims. As word spread, fear did too and all Native Americans got lumped in with their savage counterparts. Slanderous generalizations caused much death, destruction and ill-feelings that are still present to this day.

History has repeated itself and the new savages are militant Muslims. Not that long ago, we remember the method used to decapitate; a swift motion of the sword and it was all over. It was savage but the radicals have new methods that make that one look incredibly merciful. From Daniel Pearl’s murder to news out of Syria of crucifixions of Christians and decapitations occurring via combat knife, the radicals have become the new savages, instilling fear upon the general populace but most especially anyone not beholden to their ideology. In Zanzibar, Afghanistan and other places, schoolgirls, clergy and even tourists are victims to acid attacks that come without warning, defacing and disfiguring their targets to a devastating degree. 

So what do we do? One thing we can do is to remember that not all Muslims are involved in this horror. Repeated reports have come in of Muslims seeking to protect their Egyptian Coptic neighbors and property from the reprisals of the Muslim Brotherhood. Coptic Christians and their leaders urged their neighbors not to endanger themselves as buildings could be replaced by not human lives (see my earlier posts on Egypt for examples). Avoid repeating the mistake early European-Americans made with Native Americans by lumping all Muslims in with the radical ideology and methods of the jihadists. 

Another thing we can do is pray. This is a spiritual battle and Satan is seeking to destroy the Middle East. He surmises that one of the best ways to be rid of Israel is through the rise of a radical Islamist caliphate that can war against the Jewish state and win the conflict. Not knowing the spiritual nature of the conflicts there, the West is ignorant and ironically complicit. For instance, nearly every American intervention of recent years (most especially Libya and Egypt but Afghanistan and Iraq look headed this way too) has led to the opposite of order and peace and to the benefit of the radicals. Pray that Western leaders, most especially American political leaders, will wise up. Continue your prayers for Christians and the innocents in these lands who just want to live in peace. 

Political pressure still works. Phone calls, e-mails, and the like are persuasive, especially in large numbers. These leaders want to be re-elected. Though they often have an agenda that is decidedly unfriendly to Christian ideals, they are swayed by a flood of input from their constituents.

Giving to Christian ministries working with refugees and Christians on the ground is most helpful. How good can triumph over evil is for God’s people to do something. Check out my earlier post on ministries like Samaritan’s Purse, Baptist Global Response, Trans World Radio and SAT-7 with links for how you can be part of the solution.

Another overlooked way to respond is to pray, study up on and actively pursue the evangelization of Muslims. This can be done on a one-on-one basis in your home country or even by contributing to efforts to reach Muslims for Jesus where you live and abroad. Respectful, peaceful dialogue may lead to questions and give you an opportunity to provide answers for your faith. Even if your Muslim friends don’t convert, one of the best ways to combat extremism is by demonstrating, one relationship at a time, that Christians are good, decent people that Muslims would love to have as neighbors and friends. Learn about their beliefs, their customs and their values and share yours. And be a good neighbor to them.  

Watch and pray because my feeling is that the West will eventually have to confront this beast of radical Islam in a regional, if not world-wide, conflict. Strategically, I think it is wise to allow the Sunni radicals and the Shiite radicals to pummel each other while helping the innocents. Once a victor emerges, though, we will have no choice, I believe, but to engage them in a battle for freedom. I don’t think we should go looking for it but we need to be prepared for it. World War III may very well be a conflict between Western civilization and radical Islam. The only way to avoid that is if a moderate, effective Arab army or coalition emerges in the Middle East to combat the forces of evil that we can back and thereby avoid unnecessary atrocities and a world-wide conflict.

What do you think?

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