Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Praying through the ’Film Riots’
By Elizabeth Kendal
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) 177
Special to ASSIST News Service
(ANS) -- The current 'Film riots' bear many similarities to the 'Cartoon Intifada' of February 2006. The Danish cartoons had been published months earlier -- even republished in Cairo during Ramadan (Nov 2005) -- to no effect. Similarly, the offensive film, 'Innocence of Muslims', has been available on Youtube for many months.
As with the cartoons, the film is far less offensive than much of the anti-Christian material that offends, hurts and sickens Christians -- who do not riot. Indeed, the internet is full of anti-Islamic material that is far more offensive than the Danish cartoons or 'Innocence of Muslims'. For rioters, this is less about offence and more about the fact that Islam demands universal respect and criminalises non-submission. Meanwhile fear motivates the appeasers.
In praying through this crisis, there are three things we should particularly remember.
1. CHRISTIAN SECURITY
2. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
The Grand Sheikh of Cairo's al-Azhar University, Professor Dr Ahmad at-Tayyib, has already released a statement calling on the UN to enact international laws that will punish those who insult or defame Islam. Egypt has issued arrest warrants for eight Americans (including seven Copts) who they charge have defamed Islam. They will be tried in absentia and may well be sentenced to death, possibly heralding a new wave of 'Salman Rushdies'. (On 16 September, Iran increased the bounty on Rushdie's head by half a million dollars to $US 3.3 million.) Egypt wants Interpol to issue wanted notices for the accused. Pakistan also has appealed to Interpol: for legislation that would ban 'sacrilegious [specifically anti-Islamic] materials' from the Internet. Pakistan aims to present draft legislation to the forthcoming UN General Assembly. We can also expect to see renewed efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) for implementation of UN Resolution 16/18, 'Combating intolerance . . . ', which equates 'defamation' with 'incitement'.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT --
'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest'. (Matthew 9:37,38 ESV)
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
Whilst the 'Film riots' may well have been incited by Islamists as a cover for planned 9/11 revenge attacks on US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, they have spread around the world like 'fire'. For the rioters, this is less about offence and more about the fact that Islam demands universal respect and criminalises non-submission. Meanwhile fear motivates their appeasers. In this climate, Christian minorities are profoundly at risk. Freedom of speech is also at risk. We should expect to see efforts being made to punish those who have offended Islam, and to criminalise criticism of Islam internationally. Most critically, we must pray for an awakening amongst nominal Muslims who are appalled by the hysteria and uncivilised behaviour of hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the world.
To view this RLPB with all hyperlinks, visit the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin blog
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Send this story to a friend. Share