I seem to be on a run of posting about Islam this week. It was not intentional, I just keep stumbling across new and interesting tidbits. I think I’ve alluded to the fact in my first post about The Last Patriot, that I don’t think there can ever really be a “reformed” or moderate Islam. I guess the primary reason for that is that it’s not based on grace the way Christianity and even true Judaism (two sides of the same coin; or maybe two stages in the same continuum) are. Both Christianity and Judaism are based on the fact that man is depraved and can never do anything to achieve a relationship with God on his own. The Law was not given to man so he could follow it and be saved, but to demonstrate the fact that he couldn’t follow it and needed a savior.
There is no savior who died for all in Islam, only a bunch of rules for men to follow to please Allah – a lifting and corrupting of elements of both Christianity and Judaism (probably more of the latter than the former). In a sense it’s more an extension of what the Pharisees thought the Law was about than what the Bible says it was.
There is no “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of works lest any man should boast.” It’s all about following the rules. Being obedient. Punishing those who don’t comply. Everyone should get what they deserve, and if there is any mercy, it is thin, indeed.
Islam is a perfect, clear example of religion. And religion is a system of bondage whereby men can be controlled, ostensibly by other men, but in reality by the unseen “rulers” and “powers” and “world forces of darkness.” (True Christianity is not a religion, as I’ve said before, but a relationship). Religion is a system whereby men seek to impress or please God by their own good deeds and personal “righteousness”. It is a system that promotes creature credit rather than God-credit.
Kill the Infidel, go to heaven. Question Islam, be executed and go to eternal damnation…
In addition to this, as with those elements of the Mosaic Law given to the Jews as a nation to guide them in how a nation should be run, the tenets of Islam are intertwined with matters of state. So on the one hand Islam is a system of worship and on the other hand a system of law/legislation.
There is no “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” in the Koran. Mohammed’s kingdom was very much of this earth, as were the kingdoms of the sultans who followed him, and followers were required by their faith to render unto them. Nor are there commands like “Do not speak evil of your rulers,” the latter written at the time when the evil, heathenish Nero ruled over Rome. Rather there is Sharia, which would like to kill the evil, Satanic Infidel George Bush. Sharia is supposed to be Allah’s guidance and injunctions regarding matters of state and public affairs, and if it’s straight from Allah, how can it be ignored or “reformed?”
I’m sure there are muslims who choose from the religion what they like and discard the parts they don’t, just as there are Christians who do the same with the Bible. And there are no doubt many who would like to do away with some of the more restrictive and draconian elements of the muslim faith. But for true and fundamental reform among those who take their faith seriously… I just don’t see it as realistic. As I said in a previous post, why would Allah change his mind after having set down the only true, proper and pure way to do things?
I’m not alone in my questioning whether there can truly be a “moderate” Islam. Recently National Review Online published an article by Andrew McCarthy called “Inventing Moderate Islam (It can’t be done without confronting mainstream Islam and its sharia agenda)” The piece starts thus:
“Secularism can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society.” The writer was not one of those sulfurous Islamophobes decried by CAIR and the professional Left. Quite the opposite: It was Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide and a favorite of the Saudi royal family. He made this assertion in his book, How the Imported Solutions Disastrously Affected Our Ummah, an excerpt of which was published by the Saudi Gazette just a couple of months ago.
It is also worth understanding why Qaradawi says Islam and secularism cannot co-exist. The excerpt from his book continues:
“As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions. It is indeed a false claim that Shari’ah is not proper to the requirements of the present age. The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (Qur’an, 2:140) For this reason, the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari’ah is downright apostasy.
And apostasy, says Mr. McCarthy, is a dire accusation since the punishment for apostates is death. As long as there remain a substantial number of people in power who believe in the rightness of Sharia and are ready and willing to exterminate any apostates who seek to modify it, whatever moderate muslims there may be out there will remain hesitant to express that apostasy. Thus, as McCarthy concludes,
When you capitulate to the authority and influence of Qaradawi and [Ground Zero mosque project imam Feisal] Rauf, you kill meaningful Islamic reform.
There is no moderate Islam in the mainstream of Muslim life, not in the doctrinal sense. There are millions of moderate Muslims who crave reform. Yet the fact that they seek real reform, rather than what Georgetown [University] is content to call reform, means they are trying to invent something that does not currently exist.
You can read the entire article HERE.
Exactly right, Karen. To “reform” Islam would be to “reinvent” it and that is not going to happen. The only “reinventing” being done is the spin-factor CAIR gives on Islam to the MSM.
WORLD magazine, February 27, 2010 issue had some interesting articles contrasting “reform” in Christianity to “reform” in Islam. I was hoping to link to an article, but it looks like the archived ones can only be seen in full if you’ve got a subscription…. I remember the discussion delving into the fact that when Christians reform, have a revival, etc., it means going to the truth of Scripture and our roots in Christ–which ends up with people becoming more Christlike. In Islam, if you have reform, or a getting back to the “truth” of the Koran, or trying to be more like the original Mohammad…well, that’s an entirely different result! Anyway, interesting.
I was reminded by one of your posts earlier, of one of my most fascinating life experiences: Ten years ago my husband and I were able to go to Timbuktu, Mali, a city steeped in animistic Islam. We were given a tour of the city by a native of it, an evangelical pastor who had been raised Muslim. He told us that in Islam there are a few things that are actual “sins” (I have them written down in a journal somewhere, but would have to dig it out); everything else is an “error” and so not “wrong.” Lying is an error, stealing…you get the picture. There may be a consequence or punishment, but you won’t lose your chance at paradise if you do them.
Scary stuff, that’s for sure!
As with all things, be it Islam or any other religion being a moderate usually means you know very little about the religion. How many Christians say they love God, but cannot name two or more of His attributes? You cannot love what you do not know.