Islam: the adolescent faith
Salim Mansur has an interesting observation on the ages of religions:
Why, then, is there such a disconnect between what Muslims insist their faith represents and the conduct of some Muslims, as we witness it in recent times?
For a plausible figurative explanation consider the following: Chronologically speaking Islam is in its 15th century, Christianity in its 21st and Judaism in its 58th.
We might express the ages of these three faith-traditions in terms of human life span, with Islam being in its adolescent years, Christianity having entered into its adult years and Judaism being well past its middle age.
Several centuries ago when Christianity was about the same age as Islam is today, it too often showed characteristics of adolescents lacking in introspection, readily prone to committing violence and in taking offence, behaving uncharitably toward others and being self-righteous.
The remarkable achievement of Judaism, from the perspective of its relatively long life, is survival against terrible odds.
This has provided Judaism with the wisdom of respectful coexistence with other faith traditions.
What we view in the behaviour of radical Muslims as bewildering -- people who have, for instance, dynamited the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, gutted churches, repeatedly insulted people of other faiths -- is consistent with the conduct of an adolescent, yet to grow up and understand that actions have consequences.