Reality confirms the horror of war.
The Middle East is a cauldron of conflict. The Gaza-Israel conflict is a boil that has erupted.
Hundreds of innocent children and uninvolved people have died. The value of personal property destroyed is inestimable. The horror of war has shown its ugly face. The good have suffered with the bad.
No, that is not a reference to the Gaza-Israel conflict, though it is true of it.
My reference is to the hundreds who have died at the hands of Jihadists in Iraq, Syria and Libya at the same time as the Gaza incursion.
The war is much broader than Gaza. Kindred extremist groups are waging war against governments other than Israel. Under different names are zealous Jihad groups motivated by the same ideology, such as, ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban.
These are but a few of the many. They have a kindred cause and are zealously dedicated to it.
Their ultimate goal is the overthrow of local governments and the establishment of Islamic states governed by Sharia Law.
There are 2.3 million Muslims in America. It is estimated that, based on the present growth of the Muslim population in America, within 20 years, they will have sufficient numbers to elect members to public office in America and most European countries.
In the countries mentioned, there are large populations as opposed to the extremists as is Israel. They are suffering and dying at the hands of extremist Muslims just as some citizens in Gaza.
In Gaza, Hamas has been opposed by a large part of the Palestinian population. They dislike Hamas as much as they do Israel. However, they have been dominated and controlled by Hamas.
There is a growing concern and opposition in the Muslim world to Hamas. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have formed a coalition opposing them.
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. It is estimated that between 16 and 25 percent are radical. That is between 180 and 300 million radicals. The other 75 percent are peaceful, but unfortunately not vocal in opposing radicalism.
This is an ideological war for the minds, as well as a physical war. As long as we are opposing radicalism from a politically correct posture, we are sure to lose. Peaceful Muslims and all Americans are needed in this contest for conscience.
Civilian suffering and death in Gaza is horrible and heartless. However, Israel knows Hamas has, as the “Covenant of Hamas” states: “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” The annihilation of Israel is a primary goal. Look it up, “to annihilate” means to reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; to vanquish; to wipe out.
That would not be bloodless and non-destructive. The basic attitude in Israel is we will not do it to them unless provoked, and we will not allow them to do it to us.
Having visited the Bible Land 42 times and planning to go back in March, we have friends who are Israelis and some Palestinians. There are good people on both sides.
Many live compatibly, some as neighbors having a live-and-let-live attitude.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.