I watched a very interesting documentary last night called Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West.
I think since 9/11 everyone has been aware of a link between Islam Extremism and terrorism, but I'm not sure everyone is aware of the gravity of this movement. What I liked about the film was that just about everyone interviewed was a Muslim (one person was a former PLO agent). This diminished the notion that the movie was a biased message from non-Muslim groups (i.e. Jedeo-Christian). And, of course, the first point made was that Islam Extremism is a view only held by a small percentage of practicing Muslims (something like 10 to 15%). However, that number is getting bigger as the "movement" is being very effective in recruiting non-Extremists to their cause - especially the youth.
The scary thing is the end goal of Radical Islam: to take over the world (by force) and make everyone Islam, killing everyone who apposes. A lot of people, including myself, questioned why Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center. Why do they hate us so much? Why were they willing to kill Americans, including Muslims? The answer, according to the film, is that they will kill anyone who apposes their mission of world domination. Right now, Western Civilization, is a huge target since it apposes this world view.
The movie also drew a very interesting parallel between Islam Extremism and the Nazi movement in WWII. Hitler's end goal was similar: to take over the world and eradicate anyone who didn't fit his world view, his primary target being the Jews. An interesting point was made that the current Radical Islam movement is potentially more dangerous than the Nazi movement because the Nazis fought because Hitler told them to; Islam Extremists fight because they believe God is telling them too.
Taking all this into account, puts a new spin on the War in Iraq, at least for me. Like most Americans right now, I'm getting weary of this conflict: the money being spent, the lives lost, yada yada. Up until the last few years, I've considered myself a conservative. I voted for Bush. However, these days its been tough to understand and support what he's doing. After all, wasn't it Osama bin Laden who attacked us, not Iraq? There were no WMD's. It just seems like we're there now because we opened a can of worms and can't get out.
Well, if what this movie says is true, then there is some logic for being in Iraq. Assuming the US government realized the real threat of Islam Extremism (world take-over), they had two options: build US defenses and just wait for the movement to grow and attack us or be proactive and attempt to stabilize the region where most of the Islam Extremism was coming from. At the time we invaded Iraq, everyone, left and right was certain that Saddam Hussein had WMD's. And if he was in on this movement, there was a huge threat here. Well, he didn't (at least we didn't find any). So we finally took him out only to find that removing him destabilized the country even more. But given the threat of Radical Islam, did we have any choice? Had we just sat back and let the movement take over the rest of world, we would have had very little chance of effectively defending ourselves in the future. Tough call. I'm glad I'm not the President of the Unites States.
As a Christian, I'm still not sure where I stand on the War in Iraq. I guess from a strategic standpoint, it makes sense. But as far as showing the love of Christ, I'm not so sure. War is never a black and white issue.
A final point. About a month ago I watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. This movie openned my eyes as well. I find it interesting that both the left and right have a doomsday prophecy: the left thinks the polar ice caps will melt within 50 years and the right thinks a global Jehad will take over the world. Both sides say we need to take action now to prevent the end of the world as we know it.
Wouldn't it be ironic if both sides were true.