Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, July 11, 2005

Refuting Secular Myths About Islam and Terrorism.

Welp, the religion of peace has struck again. The name of Allah was praised this time by seven bombings in various areas through out London. The latest death toll at this writing is 49, but that figure could possibly rise. As I caught updates over the weekend, the talking heads of mainstream media, along with the pundits of talk radio, are still misinformed as to the true nature of these satanic acts. I believe I heard the top three myths about Islam and terrorism mentioned on numerous occasions being passed along by the host or hostette with the same amount of earnestness as a high school sophomore repeating the current urban legend of the week.

Let’s review them here just so we can be straight on the facts:

Myth One: These terrorists do not represent true Islam, but have perverted the true teaching of the religion.

It is commonly believed that genuine Qur’an loving Muslims would never seek the death of innocent civilians with mass suicidal bombings. I hear this myth repeated all over the place. One of the worst culprits is right wing talk radio. True Islam, it is argued, seeks to live in peace with all its non-Islamic neighbors. These Jihadists who incite death and destruction on a grand scale represent extremists who practice Islamic fundamentalism and read the Qur’an and other Islamic literature too literally. Secular experts are called upon to provide the public with an analysis as to the “who” and “why” of the bombings and they identify the terrorists with Wahabbism. This is a fundamental sect whose principle leader was Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab. He was considered a puritan of sorts whose desire was to return Islam back to its original roots. The conclusion drawn by the experts is these Wahabbists don’t represent true Islam, but rather a radical cultic form.

The populace of secular America who feed upon a steady diet of pop culture supplied by television, mass media and an assortment of entertainments, may find comfort with such contrived distinctions, but they remain in a forced myopia. The student of history and theology knows better than to embrace such stupidity. Saying Wahabbists don’t represent true Islam would be similar to saying the KKK doesn’t represent true racism.

The Muslims presented to us in the media outlets are a distorted caricature of the truth. Americans have been painted a picture of a benign, misunderstood religion with its practitioners being amazingly similar to American Christians. Muslims, we are told, believed in the same God as the Christians and Jews, they just worship Him differently. The violent, repressive Islam was something of ancient history. All of that crusade and Jihad stuff was done away with hundreds of years ago and Americans, as well as all non-Muslims, have nothing to worry about. These mean terrorists are just a small minority who has a twisted view of Islam.

The truth of matter, though, is the Muslims paraded before the American public as the true representatives of Islam, are in fact secular, westernized, liberal minded versions of Islam. They no more represent Qur’anic Islam as Unitarians represent biblical Christianity. They maybe pay lip service to their religion, perhaps knowing the basic, surface level beliefs of their faith, but they should not be thought of as genuine Muslims.

It is the terroristic Jihadists who represent genuine Islam. They rightly recognize Mohammed’s original Islam was abandoned by these liberal Muslims who have become secularized by western values. This was Wahab’s original complaint with Islam way back in the 1700s. Osama and his boys recognize the same problem with their religion and hence the reason why they do what they do. Their goal is to not only push out westerners from the holy land of Arabia, but to overthrow and crush any other worldviews that oppose Islam. Granted, Islam is a religion of peace, but one is only at peace when he or she is inside Islam’s “house of peace.” Anyone outside the house of peace lives in the "house of war," and will never experience peace until he or she submits to Allah and Islam. Those who refuse are killed, because Allah demands absolute obedience and commitment, or you die.

Myth Two: The God of Judaism and Christianity is the same as Islam.

It is believed that because Islam is considered monotheistic, the Qur’an quotes from the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and Muslims claim Abraham as their progenitor, then the three religions must be inter-related and the followers from the three faiths worship the same God in their own way. This is entirely false.

The subject is way too vast for just a brief blog entry, but I would encourage all the readers to check out Answering Islam and read the variety of posted articles. The site provides a great amount of resources comparing Islam to Christianity and the fact of the matter is that the god of Islam, Allah, in no way resembles the God of the OT and who is fully revealed in the NT in the person of Christ. Simply put, the God of the Holy Bible is both transcendent and personal. He is sovereign, but has revealed Himself to His people. He is a covenant making God, with the purpose of those covenants being the establishment of His relationship with sinful mankind. Islam does not know the true God in any fashion. Allah is malicious, can lie, break his promises, is misogynistic, and offers no grace or hope for sinners, in fact, Islam does not even recognize man’s sin nature. The God of scripture, on the other hand, does not lie, because He has told us of our innate spiritual rebellion and moreover, He has taken it upon Himself to make us right before Him so that men can be saved, despite our sin. Islam knows nothing of this kind of grace, but insists upon the faithful to work their way to Allah’s favor. Sadly, no matter how well a Muslim will work, the person still has no hope of salvation, because in the end he or she may not be good enough for Allah. Moreover, there is no guarantee Allah will keep his word. He may change the rules of entry once a person reaches paradise.

Myth Three: The God of the Bible told Israel to kill innocent people and make war on His enemies just like Allah tells Muslims to do. In reality, the Bible is no different from the Qur’an.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this charge raised by callers calling into one of my favored radio talk shows. The answers provided are boringly lame and leave me bumping my head on the top of my desk over and over.

The myth is built upon passages, for example Deuteronomy 31 and Joshua 1, describing God’s charge to Israel to enter the promise land and destroy its inhabitants. Sometimes God’s command to Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15 is cited. It is believed that the Bible is no better than the Qur’an in sanctioning the death of innocent people, and so it is concluded that the God of the Bible is just as blood thirsty as Allah of the Qur’an.

Two key points are often ignored in this discussion:

First, God specifically gave the land to His chosen people by promising it to Abraham in a covenant He made with him in Genesis 15. When the Jews arrived after being freed from Egypt a thousand years later, God is keeping His end of the covenant by helping Israel kick out the squatters.

Second, these were not peace loving, innocent, noble cultures, but wicked societies whose moral evil was matched by the cruelty they inflicted upon others and themselves. They performed all sorts of perverse and bloody religious practices including forced, sexual enslavement, homosexuality and child sacrifice. The Lord was merely using Israel as the instrument of His divine judgment against these debase and depraved peoples. In 1 Samuel 15, God specifically states the reason why He wanted the entire society destroyed is because of the way they attacked Israel when they were in the wilderness as recorded in Deuteronomy 25:17ff. It would had been unjust of God to allow the wickedness to continue unchallenged and unjudged.

I am sure I could say more in response to these myths, but unfortunately, they have found a permanent place in the thinking of uninformed, secular minds. But, we have the truth. Let us who know it be quick to offer a corrective when the opportunity allows.


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