My brother Bill sent me an interesting email he got from a friend; it was titled “Islam is Not a Religion.” I don’t profess to know what a religion is but after reading the email I have to agree that Islam doesn’t seem to be like any religion that I recognize.
The email quotes Theologian Peter Hammond, who argues that:
Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components.
You might respond that America’s Religious Right shares this approach to Christianity. And cults like Scientology also attempt to dictate every aspect of your daily life.
But even the most extreme Christian or Scientologist stops far short of the goals that Islam establishes for its followers.
Yes, there are Christians who use their religion as a political platform. Yes, there are Christians who would – if they could – establish a theocracy in America.
But their efforts pale in comparison with the organized crusade that many Muslims are embarking upon around the globe. And it seems that this commitment to attaining political, social, judicial and political power is an integral element of Islam.
I hesitate to join any kind of religious crusade. I think we should all worry about the log in our own eye before pointing out the speck of dust in someone else’s eye.
Obviously, stirring up resentment and fear of Muslims is a frighteningly bad idea.
But we must be careful to protect our own liberties and defend ourselves against zealots of any kind.
If Islam is indeed a peaceful, non-threatening kind of faith, then we should welcome followers of that faith. But if it is a mask for a political power grab, we should be on our guard.
How do we tell the difference?
I guess “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s a duck.”
After reading what Dr. Hammond has to say, I can only pray that the governments of the free world will be watchful. They could possibly be clasping a serpent to their bosom.
And as Dr. Hammond points out:
Today’s 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world’s population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world’s population by the end of this century.
I won’t be around to see what happens then, but I worry for those who will be.