This article is based on TV News 11/22/15, posted 7/20/16 and updated 10/20/17.
Muslims, Jews, and Christians got together not only in New York, but also in Paris. They gathered together to feed the hungry and celebrate Thanksgiving so as to not let the hate of ISIS destroy the love between peoples in different religions. The desire for peace and love was authentic.
The same belief in love and peace holds true with most of the refugees from Syria and other Muslim countries. These refugees are good people and good Muslims, and the war has destroyed all they have. They are only looking for a better life and they are peaceful people and have nothing but good intentions for their host country.
But there is one problem: they belong to – and believe in – an untrue and dysfunctional religion. They believe in the Koran. They believe in Mohammed.
One aspect of this belief is that they believe the Koran contains words directly from God, and thus it is infallible and unchangeable. These words cannot be synthesized with the wisdom gained in 1500 years of Western civilization since the Koran was created. (1)
Granted that the Koran has some modern ideas, such as “Faith should never be forced.” However, the Koran contains many other ideas that are over 1,000 years out of date and contradictory to modern political wisdom — and much of this wisdom has come from secular sources. (2) This wisdom contains such beliefs as: freedom of thought, speech, press, and religion, and respect for human rights as stated in the UN Declaration human rights.
In a contradiction to this evolved wisdom (3), The Koran contains explicit, clear and incontrovertible ideas such as:
1) It is all right to kill homosexuals.
2) A person caught in adultery or fornication can be stoned to death.
3) Any Muslim that converts to another religion can be killed.
4) Any Muslim who dies in the fight to convert the world to Islam will immediately go to eternal paradise.
5) Democracy, free speech and free thought must be eliminated.
6) The state should be controlled by an Imam (an authoritative Muslim leader) and Sharia. The laws of the Koran should be the law of the land.
7) Women are not equal to men.
8) Muslims have the right to convert people by force.
9) A person caught in theft can have his hand cut off;
10) A Muslim man can marry a girl as young as twelve years old in a pre-arranged marriage by her parents.
11) Every Muslim must have the goal of the whole world being submissive to the ideas of Islam. This is called jihad.
12) A Muslim fighting on the side of an infidel (a non-Muslim) can be – and should be – killed.
13) Jews are evil and can be killed. All non-Muslims who refuse to convert (kafirs) are basically evil.
14) Jesus did not die on the cross, and certainly didn’t rise from the dead. This was a deception created by the apostles. Mohammed has superior wisdom than Jesus — he is the last and highest prophet. The Koran has superior wisdom than the New Testament.
And on and on.
(Let their be no mistake: there are serious contradictions between the Koran and the New Testament. There are serious contradictions between the life of Mohammed, as a model to be followed, and Jesus, as another example on what is the best way to live.)
All of the good and peaceful Muslims believe in most of the above ideas, since they believe — and are commanded to believe — in the Koran. They want to live in peace and love with the infidels, but they will usually not fight against the violent jihadists – it is against the Koran. They will play the good cops in the good cop/bad cop political strategy.
Thus, we can also divide Muslims into two general groups: good Muslims and bad Muslims.
Good Muslims will live in peace, obey the laws of the land, have many children — and vote for a Muslim takeover if they have a chance. They will demand equal rights of Muslims and oppose any efforts of infidels to protect their society, if these efforts interfere with the rights of Muslims to practice their religion. They will label all efforts of infidels to fight against subordination to Islam as religious hatred, racism, and Islamophobia.
They will oppose surveillance of mosques and any watch list of suspected jihadists. They will refuse to fight against other Muslims. Even when they do agree to join an infidel army, they will be dangerous to fellow soldiers because at any moment they could change their hearts and turn their guns around at the infidel, as happened recently at Fort Hood. They will denounce bad Muslims, but do little against them. After all, they both have the same goal: obeying the commands of the Koran.
In the end, both the good Muslims and the bad Muslims believe in the ultimate goal of the Koran: all peoples must submit to Allah, and Allah’s authority on earth is represented by the Imams. All people must, in the end, subordinate their lives to the Koran. Even if Muslims are passive and peaceful, they will not fight against this goal. It is their religion.
In the end, the infidels accepting the Syrian refugees are aiding the ultimate goal of most believing Muslims. Sure, the infidels can keep their faith…..until the Muslims become the dominant majority.
Christians also believe in conquering the world
Christians believe in a similar goal. After all, Jesus did say: “I have conquered the world.” Jesus also said that his followers should spread his message to the whole world until “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
However there is a difference between Christianity and Islam. It is the difference between love and hate. Even though there have been serious historical flaws in the Christian movement to conquer the world, it has been generally a work of love, peace, and charity.
In fact the Catholic concept of “love” is a synonym for the word “charity.” One of the main strategies to covert people to Christianity has been – and still is – charity. Christians try to encourage people to accept Jesus by being a good example how to be a Christian. They open hospitals, they feed the hungry, and they visit prisoners. They establish schools and universities and they help the poor economically.
Compare this strategy to conquer the world with the strategy of ISIS, and even the strategy of the good Muslims. How many Islam universities and hospitals are there in the world that serve non-Muslims?
The following beliefs are false; they have been disproven by history:
All faiths are equal in their effects on history.
All religions are equally true.
The ultimate goal of authentic Christians is to love God and love one another (which includes loving one’s enemy).
The first 300 years of Christian evangelization were marked by pacifism, works of charity, and martyrdom. Compare this with the first 600 years of Islam: military conquest, with a pattern of brutality and terror.
If fact, the whole history of Islam is one of military conquest, until they are stopped. This jihad will start again if given a chance, as is happening in contemporary history.
The Muslim community recently discovered the power of the suicide bomber, the power of the internet, and the richness of oil. These discoveries gave the international Muslim community incentive to again begin their jihad. Some Muslims participate in jihad as passive bystanders (good cops) and some participate as aggressive soldiers and terrorists (bad cops).
Mohammed and Jesus
We can also compare the Christian founder, Jesus, who was a pacifist and was crucified while asking for forgiveness to his enemies, with Mohammed who was a skilled military leader, who conquered many tribes while alive.
Many modern philosophers say that philosophy cannot make any statements about morality or ethics. Many modern thinkers believe in this moral relativity: that there is no way to discern between good and evil, between love and hate. They argue that there is no way to tell the moral difference between helping an elderly lady cross the street and kicking her in the face.
This relativism may be the basis of the weakness of the West. They don’t know what is right and wrong. But many fundamentalist Muslims are absolutely certain that evil is good and good is evil. Cutting a Christian’s head off or bombing an innocent infidel child is good, while a Christian talking about Jesus is bad.
It is interesting that the very acts of the terrorists (mass murder) is the seen by Westerners as the very worst of crimes. However, many fundamentalist Muslims believe that if a Muslim kills a mass of infidels by blowing himself up, he goes straight to heaven.
In a Western society such a person is defined as the worst of criminals, and is punished as such.
In the same way, many Muslim fundamentalists believe that forcing a pre-teen to marry an older man is good, and in the Western society, this is seen as the worst of sins.
It is important to know the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong. It may be just as important to point out what is wrong as it is to point out what is right.
Contemporary Progressives and liberals believe that the Koran and the New Testament have equal validity — because they often don’t believe in either. Then they conclude that all the acts of terror cannot be an authentic interpretation of the Koran — since it only preaches peace — and the jihadists are deluded and deranged people, rather than authentic Muslims.
These false hypotheses can lead to a higher probability of dysfunctional policies concerning the resistance to jihad. And this is exactly what the jihadists want.
(1) In fairness to the ordinary “good” Muslims, many of them have no idea what the Koran actually says — just as most non-Muslims don’t. The Koran is difficult — if not impossible — to understand. Plus, it is usually read, memorized, and practiced in Arabic, and most Muslims don’t speak Arabic.
This is unlike the New Testament. Jesus spoke mostly to uneducated peasants and thus spoke in clear and easy to understand — even if mystical — ideas and parables. The New Testament has been translated, and used, in virtually every major language.
Thus ordinary Muslims are at the mercy of their teachers to tell them what the Koran actually says, and often these teachings are modified to be socially and politically acceptable.
(2) It is interesting that much of our current enlightenment has come from secular sources, rather than “infallible” teachings and policies of religious institutions and leaders. For instance, the ideas of religious liberty and individual rights in the U.S. came from the founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Washington, etc.
Most mainline churches have a long history of opposition to individual freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. (Ok, I acknowledge that there is a contradiction between tolerance of other religions and the spirit of this article. Perhaps this thesis and antithesis will be worked out in the near future.)
(3) Many theologians and philosophers — Hegel included — believe that God’s revelations work through secular people — even non-believing scientists and writers — as well as religious people. History seems to support this hypothesis. Certainly, history disproves the hypothesis that religious people and religious institutions have a monopoly on moral truths.