As the world shudders at talk of a possible nuclear war, it’s worth pointing out that the real confrontation is, as ever, a spiritual one.
And as the battle between light and darkness rages on, a high-tech media with global reach has the potential to influence as never before. But in this brave new upside-down world, truth is so often turned on its head.
The horrific Paris massacre naturally focused media attention, yet there has been relatively little coverage of the almost daily terror in Israel – some 800 attacks in the past couple of months – where Palestinian perpetrators have been portrayed as underdogs with a just cause while the real victims of these unprovoked stabbing and shooting attacks were innocent Jews.
It is not about allegedly stolen land or oppressive occupation; it is sheer hatred of Jews that is behind every attack, with social and other media fanning the flames of incitement. PA president Mahmoud Abbas calls on the UN to “protect Palestinians from Israeli aggression” while at the same time calling on Palestinians to take up knives against Israelis.
In the latest incident, two teenage Palestinian girls viciously attacked a 70-year-old man with scissors right beside a bustling open-air market in Jerusalem. And yet the victim, Yussuf Alharoub, is not Jewish, but a Palestinian from Bethlehem. And one of his assailants was shot dead by security police. Yussuf told the Ynet news service: “Both the Jews and the Palestinians are suffering because of what’s happening now and no-one benefits.”
Jesus declared unequivocally that he was “the truth” (John 14.6) and his beloved disciple John said that whoever hates his brother is in darkness (1 John 2.10), adding that those who denied that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Messiah were liars. (1 John 2.22) Jesus further claimed to be the gate to salvation, the Good Shepherd, and that all who came before him were thieves and robbers. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (sound familiar?); I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10.10)
What we are witnessing across our warring world – from the new atheists and secular humanists in England to the Islamic fanatics in the Middle East – is a common thread of hatred for the God of Israel, whom Christians worship. The shocking truth is that in England, as in Saudi Arabia and Islamic State-controlled territory, there is no protection for Muslims who have found Jesus to be the true Shepherd.
Nissar Hussain, a British man of Pakistani descent, was brutally beaten outside his home in Bradford, Yorkshire. This followed nearly 20 years of harassment, intimidation, insults and physical abuse along with attacks on his property and family members at the hands of the Muslim community. And in all of this he has been betrayed time and again by those who are there to protect him. Police, church leaders and political authorities have rigidly refused to concede that it is his status as a convert from Islam that has made him a target. Apparently none of them wanted to compromise their relationship with Muslims.
Now a British court has committed a travesty of justice in the case of appalling anti-Semitic abuse against a Jewish man at London’s famous Speakers’ Corner – a long-time icon to freedom of speech. Despite clear evidence of a whole gamut of racial abuse (which is illegal in Britain as a ‘hate’ crime), the perpetrator was found guilty only for damage to the victim’s mobile phone which was knocked to the ground in the scuffle created by the incident. Yet in Northern Ireland (also part of the UK), Pastor Jim McConnell is facing trial for saying that Islam is ‘Satanic’.
As I said, it’s a battle between light and darkness. Whose side are you on?