The recent attacks on USA embassies by Islamists who cannot handle the thought that someone might <gasp> mock their irrational beliefs in a <gasp> film without being shot made me wonder: maybe we should just settle this by the traditional means.
Islam is an Abrahamic religion so the Old Testament of the Bible is part of their religious tradition. I am reminded of the story of Elijah and the priests of Baal from 1 Kings 18:16-46:
Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then the prophets of Baal called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made…
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”… Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
Then Elijah built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it [and they poured water over the sacrifice, the wood, enough to fill the trench as well].
Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
So here is my simple proposal. Let’s pit a division of the best armed division of the USA against the best the Islamists can come up with, and they can fight out it. Winner takes all. If Allah is really the supreme God, how could the Islamists fail to win? Unless of course he’s sleeping or on holiday (this is not blasphemy, it is irony sanctioned by Elijah himself). If on the other hand a secular philosophy of reason, individual rights and capitalism is the truth: why, I imagine the USA will win. Now to make it really fair, the Islamists should just dance around unarmed calling down fire from Heaven, but somehow I doubt they have that level of faith – though I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
Let’s settle it once and for all by the God-sanctioned method. Hilary? Barack? Are you listening? Over to you.