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Friday, May 24, 2013

Why Islam is Not a Religion

by Rebecca Bynum (Nov. 2011)

Speech delivered October 18th to ACT! for America Chapter in Memphis Tennessee
 
Good Evening. I’m here to talk about a subject no one wants to discuss – religion. Many people in our post-Christian society (especially journalists) are afraid of it, misinformed about it and ignorant of the most basic theological concepts. And our theologians are often too specialized in their work to be able to discuss religion in its broadest outlines or our Churchmen are often soo concerned with finding common ground that they gloss over and ignore the theology of Islam.

Our greatest Islam critics confine their attack to the non-religious aspects of Islam, either its political side or its judicial side. But when we discuss political Islam or Sharia law alone, we imply that there is a religious Islam that is perfectly fine, that we don’t have to worry about. And we leave the major problems of Islamization – Muslim immigration, mosque building, the proselytizing in our prisons and military and the infiltration of our governmental institutions completely untouched and indeed untouchable.
So I think we need to take a few steps back to examine Islam as a whole and to broadly define the outlines of Islam – what it is and what it isn’t.
One thing we can definitely say about Islam is that is it not solely confined to a belief system. If it is a religion it is not a religion only. Islam is a total system of life and contains within itself a particular social system, judicial system, and political system which includes geo-political aspirations - the conquest and administration of territory.

I often liken Islam to a duck-billed platypus which superficially resembles an otter. Upon closer examination, one finds this animal has a duck-like bill, lays eggs, and has many other characteristics which are not otter-like. So it cannot therefore remain in the biological category containing otters. It is simply too different and has to have its own category. I believe the same thing is true of Islam. It is much too different from the other religions to remain in the religion category, it should be uniquely classified in its own category.
Secondly, I think it is obvious to Christians that Islam is its polar opposite and I believe nihilism lies between Christianity and Islam and that the morality of Islam is inverted.

Let me explain: religion supplies our basic world-view concerning the nature of reality. If we were to plot belief systems on a graph – on one side are religions which view God as good and the universe as a benevolent place – in the middle we have the view that there is no God and the universe is a pitiless and indifferent place, the view of material determinism which is the direction toward which our society is tending. On the other side of the view of God as malevolent and the universe is a vicious and unpredictable place – that God enjoys our suffering. This is where Islam lies.

The reason we can assert that the morality of Islam is inverted is that Islam consistently elevates material over spiritual considerations. That is, it elevates the material obedience to the dictates of the Islamic doctrine above all consideration of Truth or Goodness. Morality, conformity and even legality are all one and the same in Islam. Let me give you an example: The following are the words of the father of a failed female suicide bomber:

“'If I had known what [my daughter] was planning I would have told the Jews. I would have stopped her.”
In our religion it is forbidden for a girl's body to be uncovered even at home. How could a girl allow her body to be smashed to pieces and then collected up by Jews? This is absolutely forbidden.”

Though this is an extreme circumstance, we see this pattern play out over and over again. Women are treated as if they were property because that is how they are defined by Islam.

For example, if a young girl runs away from home to marry her true love, she has in effect stolen the property that is herself from her family and the family will often try to kill her to negate the theft and to assuage the shame and humiliation suffered by the family for not to being in full control of their daughter’s body as is required by Islam. In this way, Islam is utterly materialistic – control of the body is everything. And the Muslim mind is focused fully on the material world.

I further contend that Islam has become a substitute God for Muslims. Worship is defined as obedience to Islam and Islam represents the entire will of God for all men through all time. God’s will is also every single thing that happens. So even if one disobeys Islam, it is still God’s will that he did so.
If there is no difference between man’s will and God’s will, there is no God to seek. In Islam God is unknowable – he is completely transcendent and his will is all things. Theologically this is the equivalent to saying there is no God.
Furthermore, when a religion becomes completely reduced to a doctrine and only a doctrine, it is no longer a living faith. It is dead. Islam may be complex and it maybe logical, but it is logic in the absence of living truth.

Religion in its broadest sense must be about the pursuit of higher value – of Truth Beauty and Goodness. As we learned in philosophy class, the thinking used to be that these values stand apart from the world and evaluate the world. Truth is the measure of man, man is not the measure of truth. That is the essence of religious thought. And the interesting thing is that when we pursue value, as all true religions encourage, we incorporate those values into our selves – as we pursue goodness, we become good, as we pursue truth we reflect truth in ourselves and we appreciate the beauty of God’s creation more and more – this is commonly called spiritual growth. All religion as we have known it facilitates this process – its goal is to lead men to God and lead them to experience God’s love.

Islam on the other hand, subordinates everything to itself. Islam is the highest value and the spiritual values we just mentioned are thought to be entirely contained within Islam, even to be entirely contained within the Koran. Which is why after a rumor about Korans being flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo was started by Newsweek in May 2005, scores were killed and hundreds injured in rioting all over the Muslim world. Lives were sacrificed over paper and ink. We saw the same pattern play out with the Muhammad cartoons over a supposed religious principle which concerns only the material world.

There is no higher truth than Islam, no higher good than Islam and nothing more beautiful than Islam. Islam has replaced God, you see, and its ultimate goal is not to lead men to seek those higher values. Islam exists simply to perpetuate itself.

Let’s take three simple religious concepts and look at how they are subordinated under Islam.

The first one is Faith. When we use the word faith, we mean a growing trust in a loving, fatherly God – a God who can be known, a God who can be approached. In Islam, God cannot be known, there is no bridge to him. What Muslims mean by faith is faith in the truth and rightness of Islam itself. Intellectual assent to a doctrine has replaced living faith – man’s relationship with a higher reality.

The second is prayer. When we pray we open our inner life to God – it is an intimate and personal communication and is often a petition for God to strengthen us in virtue so we will be better prepared to meet the problems of our lives.

There is nothing personal or intimate about Muslim prayer. It is communal and a rote formula. Everyone prays the same prayers at the same time facing the same direction, while performing the same muscular movements. Just like military drills, these so called prayers have the effect of cementing communal solidarity, but not of increasing intimate contact with God. Personal petitions must be addressed correctly to one of the 99 names of God, otherwise the prayer is lost as though God were some kind of giant post office. There is no intimacy between man and God in Islamic prayer because there cannot be.
The third is worship by which we mean love, adoration, awe and gratitude all being expressed to God. Often this is done in the form of song. In Islam, worship is defined as obedience to Islam and since God is transcendent and we cannot know him, loving him is beside the point and is certainly not essential. Obedience is everything.

This concept is also a major stumbling block to democracy because to obey man’s law in Islamic thought is equivalent to the worship of man. Now, while I would agree that the worship of man is broadly a characteristic of the modern world, especially if we look at the rise of science and its promise of omniscience and even omnipotence – that all things can be known and done through the agency of science. I vehemently disagree that the Islamic total belief system and total regulation of life is the answer to anything. It is certainly not a way to grow closer to God. It leads men away from God and focuses the mind on the material world alone from morning till night, day in and day out..

Islam is not the answer – Islam is the problem.

Now for those who still insist that Islam remain in the religion category, they will eventually have to concede that Islam is either a false religion or an evil religion because it leads men to evil action, even toward their own families. Of course there is no rule stating all religions must be good or lead to good actions.

Islam is false because it is built on the fundamental lie that Muhammad was a real prophet, rather than a man simply pretending to be a prophet in order to gain power over people. Of course one can make the same claim about Joseph Smith or L Ron Hubbard or any number of other founders of man-made religions which have been created from time to time throughout history. A religion which venerates an evil man and raises him to the level of the perfect model for human conduct, cannot help but lead men to evil action – even jihad.

This brings us back to the crux of our problem. Should an evil religion, which functions in exactly the opposite way from religion as we have known it, receive the same benefits and consideration as religion which is beneficial to society?

Essentially our secular society has a contract with religion. It says, the state will not interfere with religious practice so long as it is within the law and the state will extend benefits in the form of tax breaks and other considerations so that religious institutions can flourish freely with our boundaries. In exchange, religion has strengthened the family, produced honest hard working citizens with a high degree of personal self-control so that people behave ethically and charitably toward each other and can function with a minimum of external social control.
Religion as we have known it has been good for society. It has nurtured morality, strengthened the family, fostered public service and encouraged social harmony. Islam, on the other hand, is self-segregating and fosters ideas of Muslim supremacy and thereby sows seeds of social discord. Even its tradition of charitable giving is solely for the benefit of fellow Muslims and it utterly destroys the nuclear family through its adoption of polygamy. Polygamous marriage is not marriage. It reduces women to the status of property. Even Mormon polygamy eventually does this.

With the Arab spring we can clearly see that when the governing police state is suddenly removed, Muslim societies across the board descend into violence and chaos – religious sects fight other sects, tribes fight other tribes, looting is rampant and men are reduced to defending their families against their neighbors. Needless to say, this is not what we expect from religion. We expect religion to uphold morality and civilizational standards. It is clear Islam doesn’t do that.

Now despite all the evidence that Islam is an immoral religion, there is a current of modern thought seeking to elevate a laudable personal virtue, that of tolerance, over the greater social principle of justice.

But is it just to tolerate polygamy in the name of religious freedom? The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1878 that it is not. Is it just to tolerate the unequal right to inheritance for women? Is it just to tolerate forced marriage? Is it just to tolerate antisemitism? Is it just to tolerate the preaching of hatred toward non-Muslims? Is it just to tolerate the teaching that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims or that men are superior to women? Is it just to tolerate a parallel legal system based on inequality? 
There are things that our society cannot tolerate and expect to survive. Justice must take its rightful place above tolerance.
So to reiterate – Islam is not a religion because:
  1. It is an amalgam of social, political and judicial systems as well as a belief system. It is neither one thing nor the other – Islam is unique
  2. Philosophically it is as far from other religions as it is possible to be. It lies beyond nihilism and its morality is inverted.
  3. In society Islam functions in the opposite manner from all other religions. Rather than producing peace and social harmony, it sows violence and social disruption.
Therefore, I believe it would be wise to reconsider Islam’s inclusion as a religion at least as far as the First Amendment is concerned. I understand the difficulties with this approach, and I know many have and will reject it, but I also think it is necessary to raise the question about what Islam really is and what it isn’t.

When you consider the effort that went into arguing whether Pluto should be considered a planet or not, or how a newly discovered insect should be classified, or what constitutes organic produce, I really don’t think the ability to classify belief systems is beyond us. At the very least we must call into question this Islam-is-a-religion trump card that its defenders have been playing so successfully. And I think it could help remove the confusion in our own ranks and allow Islam to be criticized in its entirety, not just as a political or judicial system.

We cannot fight a lie of this magnitude with half the truth.

History of Jihad against Nigeria, Mauritania, Chad, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Central Africa (1784 – Ongoing)


This site brings you the history of the Islamic Jihad from its beginnings at Mecca in 620 C.E. up to 9/11, and the lessons it has for us in today's challenging times. If we are to understand Islam, we need to understand the temperament of its founder Mohammed (PBUH*), the way victorious Muslims have treated the subject people, and above all the reasons for the victory of Islam. 
 
How the animistic tribes of Central Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Mauritania and Nigeria fell prey to the Jihadis. And how their struggle continues even today in the conflicts of the Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Eretria, Somalia and between the Arabized Northern Sudanese with the Christian Dinka tribesmen of Southern Sudan and the Muslim but non-Arabized, darker-skinned tribesmen of Darfur who were forcibly converted to Islam late in the 18th century Areadi Gaya, the non-Muslim ruler of Futa Bandu State in West Sudan was forced to embrace Islam after he was defeated by the Mamelukes of Egypt.


Central Africa was a poor semi-arid land with scrub vegetation, and there was nothing therein worth fighting for and holding the land and population under Muslim tyranny. As there were no major cities worth the name, and most of the population lived in migratory groups as hunter, food gatherers and cattle herders, there was precious little to tempt the invading Muslims by way of booty. Hence there was no sustained Muslim invasion of Africa proper. Muslim raids were confined to the Mediterranean coastline in the North and along the Nile Valley in Egypt.

This also speaks the mind of the Muslims to raid non-Muslim lands not only for spreading Islam but to loot, plunder, rape. In the absence of any significant wealth, the lands were not subject to occupation, although there were continuing raids through the millennium from the 7th up to the 18th centuries. But during these raids the aggressors did use force to compel the African (Bantu, Bushmen, Masai and other Negro clans), to join the Muslim Ummah, by embracing Islam at the point of the sword as commanded by the Quran.

This difference was because the Muslims could not hold the converted African tribal populations to Islam, due to the victims being migratory in their utterly frugal and substance based lifestyle
Migratory Tribal populations living at sustenance levels dissuaded the Muslims from concentrating on Africa up to the 18th century.When the Jihadis attacked Central Africa, South Central Africa, up to the Atlantic shore in Ghana, the people of that region were divided in to independent tribes. Each tribe worshipped its own tribal god. Witchcraft and Shamanism were prevalent. Many of the tribes were engaged in internecine warfare for cattle, control over grazing pastures and hunting grounds. There was no unity among the tribes. And till the Mameluke led Muslim invasion, no invader had ever penetrated in to the heartland of Africa.


Riots in Sweden: Cars burn in fourth night of Muslim violence

Riots continued for the fourth straight night in Sweden Wednesday, as youth set fire to cars and threw stones at police in immigrant suburbs of Stockholm and the southern Swedish city of Malmo.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has appealed for calm in the wake of the violence, which appears to have been instigated by the police shooting of a machete-wielding 69-year-old man in the Stockholm suburb of Husby this month. Police said the shooting was an act of self-defense, but it has triggered accusations of police brutality.
Riots began in Husby, which has a large immigrant population, on Sunday night and have spread to other locations, including the southern suburb of Fittja.
A police station in another southern suburb was set on fire, but no one was injured in the attack and the fire was quickly extinguished, according to media reports. Dozens of cars have been set ablaze during the riots, testing the resources of the local fire departments, according to the police.

The London horror and Jihad denial

It began on Tuesday in Woolwich, London, when two young men in a car deliberately ran over an off-duty British soldier who was walking to a nearby military installation, then “hacked and chopped” at his body and attempted to decapitate him as they shouted “Allah akbar!” They forced witnesses to film the scene, saying: “We swear by Almightly Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day.” When police arrived, the murderers “charged at them wielding firearms, knives and a machete.” They were apprehended alive, and are now in hospital. It has since emerged that one of them, a son of Nigerian immigrants, was born in Britain as Michael Olumide Adebolajo, converted to Islam in 2003, changed his name to Mujaahid (i.e., jihadist), and for several years attended meetings of the group Al-Muhajiroun, founded by terrorist preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed. Late Thursday afternoon, U.K. time, the murdered soldier was identified as 25-year-old Lee Rigby, a drummer in the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the father of a two-year-old son.

Just like this week’s nightly riots by “youths” in Stockholm, the brutal slaughter in Woolwich was plainly a jihadist act. Yet just as the Swedish elites are continuing to dance around that uncomfortable core truth, their British counterparts are engaged in some fancy footwork of their own – led by Prime Minister David Cameron, who described Tuesday’s atrocity as “not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life” but “also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.” (Does it need to be said that for a British leader to haul out this ragged, repulsive lie in the year 2013 is itself a betrayal – a shameless, craven betrayal of precisely what Cameron pretends to be standing up for, namely “Britain and…the British way of life”?)