What to do about Islam

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on November 9, 2006

I finished reading Robert Spencer's latest book, "The Truth About Muhammed," last week. (His Web site is www.jihadwatch.org for those who are interested.)I consider myself better informed than most about Islam, but Spencer's primer on the religion's founder taught me quite a bit that I didn't know before.

I was rather roughly aware of Islam's misconceptions about Christianity after I attended a Muslim Friday prayer service more than a decade ago as a student at Cal Poly. What I didn't know was how much of Islam is based on perverted understandings of Judaism and Christianity.

The book is also a real eye-opener when it comes to understanding exactly what the Koran is. For the most part, I perceived the Koran as analagous to the Bible, but it's not. Whereas the Bible can be understood merely by reading the Bible, the Koran, in numerous places, cannot be understood without referring to secondary sources. There are parts of the Koran where you are simply dumped into the middle of a conversation without knowing what's at issue. For those of you with a Biblical background, imagine Jesus telling the story of the prodigal son, but not knowing that it is only a story. You might easily assume that the people were real, rather than fiction intended to convey a message.

The most troubling part of Spencer's book comes with understanding the Koran and the place of Mohammed in the Islamic faith. Evil has been done in the name of Christianity (e.g. the Spanish Inquisition, Salem witch trials, etc.), but a thorough study of the Bible provides overwhelming evidence that those sorts of behaviors were not what Jesus Christ preached.

Muslims -- and the rest of the world -- aren't so lucky. Muhammed is the best example of how to live your life, according to Islam. Muhammed wasn't a good guy. He was a murderer. A warlord. A conquerer. A hedonist. Is Islam a religion of peace? Not how it is understood by the vast majority of the world's Muslims -- and certainly not its scholars.

Non-Muslims have called for an Islamic reformation -- but there's nothing to reform without ditching the Koran and other explanatory secondary texts (known as Hadiths). The Muslims who chop off heads of Christians and Jews; the Muslims who blow themselves up to kill "infidels"; the Muslims who persecute Christians, Jews and other faiths -- they've all got their religion right.

I don't think that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., want a war with Islam -- but that may very well be beyond our control. The best we may be able to hope for is an increasing secularization within Islam through democracy and economic development. We need more Muslims who don't go to mosque every Friday and who don't pray five times a day, but when they fill out their census form they check the box next to "Muslim."

0 comments on “What to do about Islam”

  1. Welcome to the good side of the Force, my talented young friend! I'd like to refer you to my 18 Nov 02 entry on my old blog. I wrote that before I'd ever heard of Robert Spencer or JihadWatch.

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