It’s (past) time to have a national conversation about faith, truth, and eternity
I want to talk about Islam. I acknowledge but don’t want to discuss the presence in this country and others of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims. They do exist, I know. But the more important reality that we must address is one that is endangering our existence…at the very least, the continued existence of our hard-fought-for and closely-held freedoms.
We have been watching as Islamic militants forcibly take control of huge sections of Iraq and Syria in order to establish an Islamic state. Make no mistake, they have no intention of stopping there. It sounds alarmist, I know, but alarms are inappropriate and unwarranted only when they are false, or sounded too early. How long do we wait to warn of impending danger? When it’s at the door? Is that wise? Would that we had heard one on September 10, 2001.
Islam was birthed as a religion of conquest and it continues to grow as one. You don’t have to search long nor hard to find evidence of a vibrant, strategic, Muslim “underworld” of sorts, in this country and others, bent on world domination. It certainly doesn’t have the support of all Muslims, and many will claim that it’s not supported by the Qur’an neither. But the underworld certainly believes it does, and here are a few reasons why:
- “Fight those who believe not in Allah…until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” – Surah 9:29
- “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain. – Surah 9:111
- “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.” – Surah 48:29
- “Muhammad said: ‘I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.’” – Sahih Muslim 30 (from the Hadith, a collection of sayings, teachings, and deeds of Muhammad)
So mostly unsuspecting people in all parts of the world, including the United States, are threatened by an ideology that has as its goal bringing them under submission to their god, Allah. Now, immediately many of my atheist readers will see a correlation to the Christian’s desire to see the world believe in and submit to the God of the Bible. I can affirm that desire. But there are a number of huge differences, not the least of which is a complete lack of a credible defense from the Christian holy book for forced submission. And we have not been confronted on a regular basis with news of Christians blowing themselves up for Jesus. The Crusaders of the Middle Ages were motivated in part by a desire to honor God, but their murderous actions were wholly unsupported by Scripture.
If we find this threat troubling and wish to see it eradicated, AND have no belief in any god, on what basis can we judge it? The Islamists are doing what they think is right and just. And if we DO believe in a spirit being we call God, how do we know that Allah is not the true god after all?
The time is now – we cannot wait any longer – to courageously confront the Islamic ideology that motivates terrorism, examine its truth claims, expose its deficiencies, and have some open and honest dialogue about the God that many of us claim to believe in, as we seek after what is really true. Those who acknowledge a spiritual dimension must recognize that this is a spiritual issue. Those who don’t, or won’t, will not understand it and will not be able to adequately meet the challenge it represents.
Lets not just coexist, though that’s desirable, of course, as far as it goes, and as long as everyone, including Muslim fundamentalists, valued true tolerance and eschewed hostility and conquest in the name of religion. But let’s also engage each other in a noble and necessary endeavor to discern truth about our selves, our origin, our purpose, and our destiny. Because our lives and freedoms, and more so, the same of our children and grandchildren depend on it.
“but their murderous actions were wholly unsupported by Scripture.”
The point is, that they were, for example Leviticus 24:16. You may now start arguing against that, but now you are in the same space as the Muslims who claim that the whole Jihad-Thing is purely meant spiritually, etc. Your particular interpretation of the bible doesn’t support the crusades. But other interpretations obviously support the murdering of gay people (and witches). The problem is not that one of you is “obviously” wrong, the problem is, that none of you is. These holy books were written by savages, let’s be honest here. They didn’t foresee that many possible interpretations (and didn’t care, as they knew how THEY wanted it interpreted, who cares about people 2.000 years later?).
If I have an explanation for Leviticus 24:16 (which I do – God’s commandments for the Israelites were for them only because they were a “peculiar” people, as his representatives and chosen nation), the fact that Muslims would also argue their views, unconvincingly to both of us, does nothing to disprove my point. An argument should be evaluated on its merits, regardless of how other arguments are defended.
Your assertion that “these holy books were written by savages” betrays a real lack of understanding of the historical validations for the Bible, which, it seems obvious to me, you are merely interested in denigrating.
So, do I get this right, you are saying, that it was ok, when the Hebrews did it, because their god told them to, but it is not ok if the Muslims do it, because their god tells them to?
Oh, that’s even worse than what I wrote. Honestly, I just said that the bible (as any other book) can be interpreted differently, so judging all followers of a religion by the worst possible interpretation while judging yourself by the best, is simply unfair.
And if you have a look at these books, looking at the murders, the genocides, the rapes, the slavery, etc. can you really disagree that the authors were savages? Look at the book, these authors make god kill 42 CHILDREN because they laugh at a guy. If that’s not barbaric to you, then you seem to have a strange definition of the word.
The 42 that were mauled by bears after Elisha cursed them were probably young men, as the word is translated elsewhere. A large gang of men (there were more than 42) threatening a prophet of God.
The point of my post is that we need to consider the truth claims made by Islam, as well as Christianity and other faiths, in order to discern which is valid. Because it’s a matter of life and death, now and for eternity. Your claim that all people of faith are wrong is a bold statement which requires considerable knowledge about all faiths, and some solid evidence to back it up.
Ah, so it’s really threatening now to call someone a “baldhead”. Yes, a horrible sin and they totally deserved being murdered horribly for that… Sorry, no.
And you are right, we have to consider all truth claims made by any religion. As of now, not one religion has managed to put any evidence behind them, so we continue waiting because it’s not our job to disprove all of them. Instead, it’s their job to prove themselves. Unfortunately, as 2.000 years have gone by and the best the religions can come up are more claims and convoluted arguments, I’m not very optimistic about that…
Personally, if I see various religions and denominations that all disagree with each other, my first thought is not “One of them must be true, but which details are true and which details aren’t?” but much more simple: “Perhaps they all just got one basic idea wrong?”.
Understanding why the 42 were torn (it doesn’t say murdered) requires more than a cursory reading of the text. Your claim that, “not one religion has managed to put any evidence behind them” demonstrates that you have not truly investigated whether or not any has. For your own sake…you really should.
Oh, you have it? Please, bring it forward. The peace nobel prize will surely be yours, no doubt about that. Who knew that is was so easy? Studying the bible and literature by Christians and Atheists alike, everything totally wasted, I just had to ask Caroline. Well, that’s great news, I am really looking forward to your next posting where you will, without doubt, be presenting this flawless evidence.
Sarcasm is often an indicator of a weak argument. (It is hard to resist though, isn’t it?) I gave evidences for the validity of the Bible in a recent post here. And here is an excellent site that has lots of information. There are plenty of others if you are willing to look.
You would be surprised as to how distorted some make Islam out to be. Islamic militants you say? Ever heard of Boko Haram? Supposedly Muslim. What you probably didn’t know was that they were funded by the American government in 2011 and probably still are. Al Qaida were trained by the Americans as well and left unsupervised and to do what they wish. Please please read the Qur’an carefully before taking things out of context. It is a book of Truth and will always be. No matter how much people try to spread hate, some fall in love with our religion and for a good reason. I hope you take actions to change your views and I pray Allah guides you.
Thank you for reading and commenting, Shahida. Are you implying that Boko Haram is not an Islamic group? And whether or not Americans had anything to do with them or Al Qaida is beside the point.
I can certainly believe that “some fall in love with” Islam. I wish more of them would stand up and decry the activities of militant Islamist groups like Al Qaida. Unfortunately, I have heard and read of too much deception by some Muslims in positions of influence, to be able to trust what any of them might say now.
You’re welcome. This is very well written. What struck me was the fact that the words ‘Islamic militants’ and ‘extremists’ are used way too often in connection with Islam. And yes, I am implying that Boko Haram members are indeed not Muslim. I don’t think a person is allowed to call themselves Muslim and carry out the activities these animals did, but that’s my opinion. I was using America as an example to show how this religion is being demonised.
The quotes you have used in your piece are out of context. Only if a non-Muslim is residing in an Islamic state can these be carried out, for example, paying jizya (tax). I agree on coexisting, but what I don’t agree is people seeing religion as nonsensical and living without it. There seems to be a widespread view that religion is an evil concept and a way to control people and I’m afraid this will create even more hate in the world.
I know quite a few fellow Muslims who are trying their best to spread awareness about groups such as ISIS and many other so-called Muslims who are contributing to the unrest in countries all over the world. I can only pray that they are destroyed soon.
Thank you for the compliment. So, it sounds like you’re saying that anyone who kills and terrorizes in the name of Islam is not really Muslim. Is that correct? How does one determine who is a true Muslim? And how do you defend the multiple passages in the Qur’an and the Hadith that seem to support what these terrorists are doing by teaching forced submission?
To paraphrase, the Qur’an states that Allah does not like transgressors (2:190) and violence is not permitted unless we are being attacked etc, so terrorists are definitely disliked by Allah. Islam is a religion of peace. Even when Muhammad’s PBUH life was in danger, he treated his enemies with love and never retaliated. But that does not mean we Muslims should sit back and wait to die when we are being attacked. We have the right to defend ourselves. As for determining who is a Muslim and non-Muslim, I don’t think I should be making the decision as to who lies in which category. However I think it’s clear that those who are going around shedding the innocent blood of Muslims do not fall into the category of Islam, as the blood of a Muslim is more dear to Allah than the Ka’bah (house of Allah in Saudi Arabia) (Hadith).
But not the innocent blood of non-Muslims?
Not at the expense of Muslims, no.
LOL…Pot meet kettle…Islam is indeed a problem but in my neck of the woods, I am dealing with your rabid brand of drooling, Fundamngelical Christoholics, who justify the STONING of homosexuals because Baby Jesus. Please take a look at Scott Esk, the Tea Party candidate running for House District 91 in Oklahoma. More? I am dealing with open-mouthed Christ-sniffers who want to promote illiteracy and eviscerate science education. Please take a look at the current commissioner of education in Texas and the Texas GOP’s platform on teaching critical thinking to K-12 students. I think your Jeezus said something about correcting your own behavior before you judge others. Good advice. Take it.
Carmelita, I’m glad you’re reading my blog…I really am. But your pejorative comments are obviously meant to get a reaction instead of facilitating any kind of rational discussion. So don’t expect there to be any between us.