Religion: A Political Weapon

By Summar Shoaib

Sen. Rand PauIn a recent speech at the Values Voters Summit, a conservative political conference, Rand Paul spoke about a “war on Christianity,” citing the Boston Marathon bombing as proof. Acknowledging that some may not see this as evidence, he emphasizes that “they certainly didn’t target a mosque.” Paul utilizes an insider-outsider dichotomy in stressing that Islamic radicals have an agenda “against us as a people, as a Christian people.”

Perhaps even more troubling in this sort of us-versus-them rhetoric is the idea that Muslims do not condemn such acts, claiming, “Where’s the rest of Islam? Why don’t they stand up and condemn this?” Muslims have not only condemned such acts of terror, but even published refutations of it based on Islamic religious doctrine. Dr. Tahir ul Qadri, a renowned scholar, political leader and Sufi sheikh from Pakistan, issued an over 500 page fatwa, or legal ruling, against terrorism. After a horrific attack on a church in Peshawar, Pakistani Muslims joined hands with their Christian compatriots this past week, holding signs stating, “I am not silent,” “This country is yours, you are its defender” and “Many Faiths, One God.”

Although Paul claims that this global war on Christianity is “not something you’ll hear about on the evening news,” it appears that Muslim responses and refutations to and against violence likewise are not privileged in media coverage.

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