Is Islam a Religion?

President Obama recently supported the erection of a mosque near ground zero because they have “the right to practice their religion as everyone else.”  With due regard to the President, I question his identification of the Muslim belief system as a religion entitled to the same privileges afforded legitimate faiths.  They aren’t like everyone else.  Calling Islam a religion doesn’t make it one.  Before it can be considered a religion, it first needs to act like one.  The following manifestations of Islamic culture, as expressed in one area or another of its multifaceted sphere, are clearly unacceptable in today’s world under any guise-religious or otherwise:

  •  embittered intolerance toward all other faiths
  • ingraining that intolerance in Muslim children
  • uncompromising prohibition against apostasy
  • unconscionable neglect of the welfare of its own followers despite vast oil wealth
  • barbaric torture, including stoning, as punishment for violations of its ancient code
  • exacting cruel punishment in the form of chopping off hands and other mutilations
  • indefinite imprisonment without a fair trial
  • insistence of the supremacy of shariah over civil law
  • violent suppression of political demonstrations by the opposition
  • general indifference toward human rights
  • maltreatment and subordination of women
  • aggressive militarism supported by a determined buildup of armament
  • exportation of violence through funding of insurgencies and shipment of arms
  • instituting dictatorial forms of government
  • brainwashing and recruiting young terrorists
  • financing their murderous activities
  • spreading their hatred of other peoples worldwide through the Internet
  • prohibition of music and dance
  • destruction of irreplacable art from antiquity
  • total disregard of truth whenever an apparent advantage can thereby be gained

Yes, of course, there are fine, patriotic, well-intentioned, hard-working Muslim citizens just like there were good men in the Wehrmacht and idealistic Communist devotees.  And yes, at one time or another, the Muslims, Germans, and Russians each contributed enormously to the progress of civilization.  But, tragically, entire peoples can go wrong.  We ended up fighting the Nazis to the death, struggling mightily against the USSR during the cold war, and denying Communists accreditation as a political party.  Sadly, over recent decades, the Muslim faith has been radicalized.  We should recognize them not for what they say they are, not for what we would like them to be, but simply for what they are.

As nothing more than a thought experiment, imagine the entire 1.3 billion Muslim adherents reduced, let’s say, to a band of one-hundred people.  They would, I have no doubt, be labeled a dangerous cult and their leadership jailed.

Am I being too judgmental?  Perhaps, but consider this analogy.  Imagine that the Amish (a peaceable sect to whom I apologize beforehand for the misuse of their identity for the sake of making an argumentative comparison) become incensed on account of the repeated occasions in which their buggies had been violently-sometimes fatally-rear ended by cars and trucks driven by heathen drivers.  Imagine, too, that the sect’s religious leaders utilize these incidents to convince their flock that such accidents were purposeful acts indicative of the outer world’s threat to their Christian beliefs and their very way of life.  Amish people have no other choice, contend these leaders, but to defend themselves by launching a jihad that will punish the outsiders so severely that, thereafter, the chastened heathens will surrender their highways exclusively to buggy traffic.  Until that time, terror must reign in the name of Jesus.  Thus blood must be indiscriminately shed, buildings destroyed, marketplaces blown up, and commerce disrupted.  Thereupon Amish men armed with submachine guns and Amish women corseted with explosives wantonly slaughter as many innocent men, women, and children as possible in York, Lancaster, Hershey, Gettysburg, and other nearby cities.  Improvised explosive devices are planted throughout nearby roadways to remind motorists that men in buggies can retaliate.  More ambitious projects along the same lines are planned for New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles once the movement gains strength.

In this hypothetical scenario, leaders of other Christian denominations would be faced with a dilemma as to how to react to the acts of this radicalized sect within their broad umbrella.  Essentially, they would have two options.

Their first option would be to follow the example of their Muslim counterparts and take a safe, passive approach.  This would oblige them to do no more than deplore the violence and sanctimoniously remind one and all that the Amish represent but a tiny minority of the generally peace-loving Christian brotherhood.  And let it go at that.  Nothing would be gained, after all, by calling attention to such contentious matters as:

  • the vast flow of contributions supporting the Amish cause by wealthy Christian sympathizers worldwide
  • nor to their Amish-leaning media’s bias in favor of the jihad
  • nor to the Amish use of the Internet to recruit thousands of foreign volunteers to enlist as jihadists
  • nor to the total devotion of millions in the “Christian street” to the Amish cause.

Such unfortunate choices, it could be argued, are made by individual Christians and what can the church fathers do to prevent sincere people from supporting fellow believers in the name of Jesus?

I am convinced that the Christian leadership community would not dream of tolerating such infamy within their midst and would take forceful measures to rid themselves of it such as:

  •  The unequivocal, unqualified, forthright denunciation of Amish fanaticism
  • The excommunication of Amish adherents
  • The marshalling of all the intellectual forces at its command to drive home its opposition to Amish radicalism
  • The advocacy of strong military action against Amish terrorists by every country in which the Christian church has a presence
  • The disclosure to civil authorities about the financial support being surreptitiously given to the Amish

Needless to add, wild-eyed Muslim insurgents are a far cry from solid Amish farmers; Kandahar, Afghanistan is thankfully miles apart from York, Pennsylvania; and, alas, Muslim mullahs are not Christian clergymen.

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Comments

One Response to “Is Islam a Religion?”
  1. steve kurtin says:

    this comment neither denies or affirms existence of any supreme being greater than what we, on earth, call human.

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