Analysts unfriendly to the Muslim world speak of a "pride-and-honor culture", in which the prickliness of the Arab street regarding the Palestine issue and so-called honor killings are supposed manifestations of the same social traits. There is another way to look at the matter. Among the world's religions Christianity and Islam alone have the capacity for mass absorption of converts from different races and ethnic groups. It is hard to tell which of the two is growing faster. One of them will be the world's dominant religion in the 21st century. There is a radical difference between Islamic and Christian conversion. Both seek to supercede Judaism, but in different ways. Christianity offers a New Israel, called out from among the nations by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Because God's love for mankind is the premise of the New Israel, there is a limit to Christian tolerance for bloodshed. To propose open genocide, the Nazis had to repudiate Christianity and embrace paganism only.The areligious are the worst for spending their time reading about religion! I am no exception. Wanting to understand how people tick and knowing so many people are religious in one form or another.....
The Christian's participation in the vicarious sacrifice of the Cross offers salvation at the end of the soul's journey. Christian practice puts enormous effort into sustaining the conviction of the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven: prayers, hymns, cathedrals, paintings, and so forth. No such concept of individual spiritual transformation exists in mainstream Islam. The individual submits wholly to Allah, who controls all things without qualification. That is Islam's enormous strength; the individual believer can leave behind the carping self-doubt of the Christians. For the same reason, however, setbacks to the Ummah are a challenge to the faith of every believer, for all events are in the hands of Allah, not those who have submitted to His will. Success therefore is a theological necessity for Islam. Humiliation for Jews and Christians is a chastisement from God; did not Christ accept His humiliation on the cross? For Islam, humiliation is a refutation of the faith itself.
expatriot in Middle East as child, retired teacher.