The children of Muslim immigrants to France are facing painful personal problems. As France faces periodic mass murders by Muslim fundamentalists – those who believe in violent use of force for jihad – the innocent Muslims in France are experiencing increasing hostility and discrimination.
The most recent case of this discrimination is a law passed in France to ban the burkini. The burkini is a full length bathing suit wore by Muslim women so they can swim in public and still obey the fundamentalist Islam belief that they should not display their bodies in public.
Politicians and others, however, see the burkini as a religious symbol, one wore to help advertise and spread the Islamic faith.
In the face of the continuing mass killings by Muslim extremists, what is France to do?
Islam presents a new challenge to the whole concept of religious freedom, to the concept of equality of all citizens, and to the concept of individual freedom.
One way of understanding this problem is with the dialectic. In France there are two opposing forces, we can call them the thesis and antithesis. It is helpful if we look clearly at these two opposites and see them clearly.
Muslim immigrants have come to France, many as refugees. Most are devout Muslims, which means they believe in the central tenets of Islam. Here is one of the main tenets — and the cause of much of the conflict between Islam and Western civilization:
The Koran was dictated from Allah, through an angel, Gabriel, to Mohammed. The words in the Koran are an accurate description of Allah’s ideas. They are absolutely infallible and literally true. They cannot be improved upon or modified in any way. They are meant to be applied to all people.
Allah has sent prophets to humanity before – including Moses, Isaiah, and Jesus – and Mohammed is Allah’s last messenger. The commands given to Mohammed – stated in the Koran – overrule any of the statements of past prophets, and there cannot be any future prophets who overrule Mohammed’s messages.
Here is an antithesis to the above core beliefs of Islam. This antithesis is believed by many of the mainline religions, including Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and many mainline Protestant denominations:
God reveals his truths in many different ways. He has been revealing his truths throughout history to many different peoples. And He continues to reveal His truths – in fact, He is revealing them every day to each person who is open to receiving his messages.
Thus there is no absolute, concrete, unchangeable, literal book. Believing in such a book is considered Fundamentalism, and this doctrine has been conclusively disproved by history and by the miracle of authentic human reasoning. For example, the New Testament, as well as the Koran and other religious books, state that owning a slave is moral. They also state that women should be subordinate to men. However, through historical experience and the miracle of human reasoning about this experience, it has been revealed that owning a slave is now a serious sin and suppressing women is wrong.
The Koran states that there is nothing wrong with conversion by force, nor forcing a Muslim to remain in his religion and forcing him not to choose another religion (be an apostate). However, history and human reasoning has revealed that it is a superior belief that man has a basic right to freedom of religion.
The Koran also mandates that all aspects of a society should be ruled by the guidelines in the Koran. However, history and human reasoning has revealed that the ruling of a society by a religion results in dysfunctional oppression. The separation of church and state works the best. This idea was revealed by Jesus when he said to “Give onto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give onto God what is God’s.”
The innocent Muslim
Most Muslims immigrate to Western countries because they really don’t want their lives being dictated by religious leaders. Many are escaping the existential logical consequences of their dysfunctional beliefs.
These Muslims don’t want to convert anyone, nor change the Western country into an Islamic one. They just want to have a better life for themselves and their families, and they are willing to work for this goal, contribute to the Western country, and obey all the laws of their new country.
But they still remain devout Muslims and they still believe in the literal interpretation of the Koran. However, they make their own decisions on how to live out the religious mandates and how to raise their families.
Fine so far……….everything seems innocent and good. Western countries should immigrate as many of these good Muslims as possible, especially those who are in need.
We can look at the above description of the good Muslim as a thesis, and the below idea as an antithesis:
Even though these good Muslims obey all the laws of their new home and are committed to contributing to their new country, they remain faithful to the core beliefs of Islam and they believe in following the example of the life of their prophet, Mohammed.
Thus, at any time in their life, or in one of their children’s lives, they can decide to accept some of the tenets of Islam and put them into practice. These tenets are held by all Muslims to be infallible, since they were given directly from Allah.
Here are some of these tenets:
It is permissible to:
Hate and kill Jews
Hate and kill infidels
Hate and kill homosexuals
Kill Muslims who convert to another religion
Kill Muslims who fight for the infidel against fellow Muslims
Kill a Muslim who marries an infidel
Commit mass murder in the name of jihad
Impose the rules of the Koran (Sharia) by force
Marry girls under age of 16 with a marriage arranged by their parents
Thus the Western country has a conflict. On one hand they are mandated by reason and civility – and even laws – to treat all Muslims as equal, with equal freedom and dignity. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings nor cause unneeded suffering.
But on the other hand, they are dealing with a group of people who believe the Koran is literally and absolutely true and must be practiced. These Muslims also believe that they should follow the example of Mohammed’s life, who was a successful warrior and converted thousands to Islam by force. Islam is a religion that doesn’t believe in the freedom of religion and, in the long run, that all other religions should be eventually suppressed or eliminated. Islam doesn’t believe in democracy either, the foundation of Western civilization.
Thus, at any time one of the good Muslims can decide to dedicate their life to violent jihad, much as the early Muslims did; much as the Muslims have done throughout history; much as some Muslims are doing today; and much as some Muslims will do in the forseeable future. These fundamentalist Muslims can commit mass murder; can kill homosexuals; can kill infidels; can kill a Muslim who joins another religion; can kill a Muslim who marries an infidel; can kill a Muslim who fights on the side of infidels against fellow Muslims; and can defend — or refuse to actively oppose or criticize — all Muslims engaged in violent jihad.
As recent history has proven, this is exactly what has happened. In fact, those countries that have been most open and friendly to new Muslim immigrants – good Muslims – have been the target of the most mass murders and other jihad crimes. Consider France and Germany.
Most believing Muslims – including the good Muslims – believe in some form of jihad – that is, eventually submitting the whole world to the will of Allah, as stated in the Koran and interpreted by the Imams, either by peaceful means or by force.
So, here is the conflict: the thesis and the antithesis. Hopefully somewhere down the line in history there will be a resolution – the synthesis.