Contradictions between Faith & Action


Surprising contradictions between faith and action cause thousands of children to die.

According to Scott Lucas, Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA Worldview, the Yemeni population are facing devastating consequences where more than 3.2 million Yemenis are internally displaced, fourteen million people are food insecure and 370,000 children under five risk sever, acute malnutrition. In his article, Yemen Feature: The Risk of Famine Amid a Bank Crisis he discusses the use of economic hardship as a weapon for retaliation. Just last week we heard from BBC news that hunger has left one and a half million children starving in Yemen which has nearly pushed the country on the brink of famine.

BBC News – Children dying of starvation in Yemen’s conflict

In the name of Allah how does this crisis line up with the will of God? In the name of Allah how is it that military victories are more important than the starving of women and children? In the name of Allah how is it that so many faithful have been persuaded to believe that fighting for the means of power justify the suffering of thousands. Muhammad the prophet and founder of Islam did not demonstrate these war tactics. On the contrary Muhammad encouraged solidarity within the ummah. It doesn’t take long to recognize a theme of brotherhood within the Islamic faith. Although Muhammad grew up within the feuding tribes of Arabia he united the people of Arabia through the establishment of Islam. Islam’s core principle is one that is defined on the perception that Islam is a global community under God. Muhammad believed so deeply in the unification of the people that he declared amnesty among his opponents after the conquest of Mecca.

In addition, to his philosophy on brotherhood Muhammad demonstrated considerable interest in the care of the oppressed. According to author and writer Karen Armstrong in her book “Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time”, Allah reveals to Muhammad, “As for the orphan, do not oppress him, and one who asks for help, do not turn him away”. According to Muhammad Allah demands that the ummah be mindful and demonstrate mercy to the poor and the oppressed. According to Armstrong even Muhammad demonstrated this behavior by giving a high proportion of his income to the poor and took two needy boys into his family whom he treated like his own sons. If in fact this is at the heart of Islam, then how have Muslims extremists come to understand their faith as oppressors of the poor through the consequences of war? As believers in one God we are called to stand against such atrocities, for the same themes that resonate in Islam are one and the same with Judaism and Christianity.

3 thoughts on “Contradictions between Faith & Action”

  1. Your first line convicted me: contradictions between faith and action cause children to die. Is there anything more heartbreaking? Perhaps not. And to think that people of the Abrahamic faiths claim similar values of care and love, of not doing harm, of feeding the hungry and demonstrating mercy, but then people of all faiths are guilty of at least allowing these global sins to continue — and even sometimes actively causing them?! I pray that healthy interfaith work continues to grow and thrive so that people of diverse faiths are able to recognize one another as allies in love and justice.


  2. I’m so thankful that you are focusing on this issue. I was just reading about the Yemen Funeral Bombing and was horrified to read that not only was it “one of the deadliest single attacks in the country’s civil war” but also that the U.S. made some of the bombs used in the attack. Everyone has been focused the presidential election with some talk about Syria, but I haven’t heard much of anything about Yemen’s civil war. This is not discussed by Christians as they sit in the pews Sunday morning, or at least not by the majority of them. Your last line says it all for me, “As believers in one God we are called to stand against such atrocities, for the same themes that resonate in Islam are one and the same with Judaism and Christianity.” Amen.


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