If one were to ask these questions and apply Cone’s analysis to the plight of Christians living in Muslim-majority countries, the conclusion would be similar to what he said about the god worshipped by white Christians who oppressed blacks in the United States: If God (Allah) is not for Christians suffering under Muslim rule, if God is not against Muslims who oppress them, then God (Allah) is a murderer and we had better kill him.
What is remarkable is that liberation theology — which was so readily used to highlight the suffering of blacks in the U.S. and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — has not been used by its adherents to highlight the suffering of Christians under Muslim rule.
Instead of challenging Islamic doctrine regarding the status of non-Muslims, Christian leaders, particularly those from the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and mainline churches in the U.S. — all of which have assailed white supremacy and imperialism — have engaged in mealy-mouthed dialogue with Muslim leaders. Instead of raising the issue of Muslim oppression of Christians and other minorities forcefully with their dialogue partners, they talk about the theological similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam and then blame whatever difficulties there are between Christians and Muslims on Christian support for Israel.
Churches that have screamed bloody murder on behalf of Palestinian Christians have remained silent about the mistreatment of Christians under Muslim rule. The justification for their silence? Speaking up on behalf of Christians under Muslim rule will only make things worse and provoke more violence against Christians in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt where Coptic leaders have asked that outsiders leave well enough alone. Hostage taking on a grand scale has become a tool of statecraft for religious and political leaders in the Middle East.
This is not a heckler’s veto, this is a murderer’s veto. Have we no outrage?