According to Christianity Today, “the trimmed-down 72nd annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), held virtually this week, usually welcomes up to 2,000 top scholars to present on the most salient issues facing evangelical scholarship.” And as far as Christianity Today is concerned, one of those salient issues this year, oddly enough, was President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” a staple of Leftist rhetoric that is more fiction than reality, and that Joe Biden has pledged to do away with on the first day of his presidency (if that terrible day actually arrives). The venerable evangelical publication also thought it salient to denounce another fictional bogeyman of the Left, the “Islamophobia network.” Cutting edge!
“It is not often that a Muslim appears at an evangelical theological gathering,” Christianity Today noted happily of this year’s Evangelical Theological Society conference, but “Al Mohler invited three.” Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and vice president of the ETS, did this for love. As John Hartley, a research fellow at Yale, explained it, “We don’t resist the idea we must love Muslims, but we hesitate and keep silent, because the politics is so messy. This leaves the field open for those who spread hate.”
To counter that hate, Christianity Today went to Asma Uddin, whom it identified as a “religious liberty lawyer (previously interviewed by CT) and a fellow with the Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute.” In order to explain why the Evangelical Theological Society thought it necessary to engage in this outreach to Muslims, Uddin “described the well-funded Islamophobia network that tars Muslims and the political left in a joint conspiracy to take over the world.”
Even worse, “the effort seems to be working.” As proof of the success of this nefarious, hateful initiative, Uddin “cited Pew Research Center statistics that found white evangelicals to be twice as likely as Americans overall (76% vs. 38%) to support President Donald Trump’s 2017 ‘Muslim ban.’ And according to the 2019 American Muslim Poll, only 20 percent of white evangelicals had a positive opinion of Muslims, with 44 percent feeling unfavorable.”
If evangelicals or anyone else have a low opinion of Muslims, it is at least arguable that this is because of ongoing jihad terror attacks, such as the ones that took place recently in France and Austria, and not because of some irrational prejudice or “racism” (for the millionth time, Islam is not a race). Christianity Today’s slant is unfortunate, but not in the least surprising.
“Islamophobia” is a smear propaganda neologism designed to intimidate people into thinking that it is wrong to oppose jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others.
There is no “Islamophobia network.” There is, however, a concerted effort by several Leftist and Islamic organizations to group together several distinct and disparate organizations that oppose jihad terror, add up the funding they have received over a period of many years, and present it as a well-funded “hate” machine, when actually, when the total is divided among the various organizations and the years represented, it amounts to little going to any of them, and the amounts are dwarfed by the lavish funding enjoyed by the Leftist and Islamic groups producing these skewed and intentionally misleading “studies.”
There is no “Muslim ban,” but a ban on travel from several Muslim and non-Muslim countries that would not or could not provide adequate information about those wishing to enter the country. To repeal this will mean that people about whom nothing is known will be able to enter the country freely, often from jihadi hotspots and other areas where criminal activity is rife. What could possibly go wrong?
It has for years been a constant claim of Leftists and Islamic supremacists that opposing jihad violence and Sharia oppression constitutes “hate,” and this has been so frequently repeated that, like Goebbels’ Big Lie, it has become widely accepted solely by dint of that repetition. It is a shame to see Christianity Today accepting this uncritically, but because this acceptance is so ubiquitous, it is, once again, not surprising.
Would the Evangelical Theological Society ever invite an actual opponent of jihad violence to speak at their conference? Not on your life. And for Asma Uddin and her ilk, that means Mission Accomplished.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.