It’s a theory but Islam may be stuck in a siege mentality. Religions, cultures, and societies can develop a siege mentality. When sociological groups of peoples, cultures, religions or societies believe itself to be constantly attacked, oppressed or isolated, they retreat inward or fight for survival. Islam has felt like a defeated underdog for centuries and has a hard time to forget.
Since 9-11 and the war on Iraq, perhaps Islam has been reminded of such emotions on a societal level. It has felt defeated since… and perhaps ever since the crusaders defeated the Islamic empires in the 12th century (watch 1300 Years of Islamic History below). The war between the crusaders and Islamic empires were bloody and violent. The crusaders ended up pillaging and destroying the Islamic empire and relinquished the Holy Land and Jerusalem from the hands of the Islamic Empire–but in the end, shed a lot of blood. It’s nothing Christians are proud of. But I wonder and ask myself the question, “What if the west did not do anything in retaliation after 9-11?”
Islam does have a dark and evil past. Its historic Middle Eastern caliphates eventually morphed into other caliphates and empires. The former Christian church of Asia Minor (of New Testament times) (which is modern-day Turkey) was eliminated by bloody violent force and was forcibly wiped-out by Islam. These were historic cities of the Church mentioned in the New Testament: Antioch, Thessalonica, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Philadelphia, Tarsus, Laodicea, etc. However, we as Christians haven’t develop a siege mentality, or at least we’ve already moved past our loss centuries ago and made new history. But not so with radical Islam. ISIS has been arrogant enough to verbally threaten to attack Rome one day and take over the Vatican. This is not the first time Islam has tried to dominate the world and destroy Christianity. Where are we supposed to go from here? As Christians, we don’t want to provoke violence, and are called to love our neighbor. But what do we do when our neighbors don’t reciprocate love for their neighbors?