Since George W Bush used the term religion of peace the idea of a peaceful religion has become a common topic of conversation. I suspect, however, that there is a confusion between the term peaceful and pacifist.
No major religion is pacifist. Only groups that are protected by the non-pacifists around them can be pacifist and continue to exist free from the depradation of potential enemies.
I thought of this when I read about a guy who was trying to justify a violent speech he made recently in Toronto. He said it was rhetorical but that certainly wasn't obvious. And even in excusing himself he didn't say it was outrageous and immoral.
He was identified as a Christian Palestinian and I wondered if his ideas were or were not contrary to his religion's point of view.
Here's an excerpt from The Toronto Star:
In the videotaped speech Hazineh, a Palestinian-Canadian Christian and former head of Palestine House, a group that promotes Palestinian culture and the Palestinian liberation movement, can be heard saying:
“When somebody tries to rob a bank, the police get in. They don’t negotiate. And we have been negotiating with them for 65 years. We say, ‘Get out or you are dead.’ We give them two minutes and then we start shooting, and that’s the only way they’ll understand.”
He admits the words were “inappropriate.”
“The language was used in a metaphor, it was not used in reality... It was inflammatory, I admit, but it was to make a point. I was trying to say that enough is enough.”
COMMENT: By the way, it's only because a local blogger videotaped the rally that this man's words became known to the wider public. Recently, in Toronto, a policemen shot a knife-wielding man who was standing alone in an empty streetcar. That's become a public issue, as well, and only because a bystander filmed it on their smart phone. This suggests that it will be hard for bad behaviour that is semi-public to escape censure as it has in the past. People won't be as free to spread hatred and justify violence as they were before.