In her Newsweek cover story, The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World, Ayaan Hirsi Ali forcefully states that there is “a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus” across the Muslim world. This collective hate surpasses other social, political, economic, and geographic factors. It hangs over the “Muslim World” like a dark storm cloud.
Though Tanenbaum works specifically to overcome violence based on religious identity; we do so from a more nuanced, studied perspective. Painting multifaceted issues, such as conflict, with a broad brush leaves us no room for seeing the complexity in people grouped together by identity. For example, while Tanenbaum condemns violence against Christians in Iraq, we also celebrate the individuals working for peace across religious boundaries.
We choose not to overlook Muslims working to end violence, such as the Sunni leaders who work with Canon Andrew White and who issued a Fatwa condemning violence against Christians. These individuals—and so many unknown others who work to end conflict every day—are the hope for a more peaceful tomorrow. As Canon White says, “When religion goes wrong, it goes very wrong. But if religion is part of the problem, it must form part of the solution.”
I urge you to read Ms. Ali’s article and some counterpoints:
Assistant Program Director, Conflict Resolution