Monday, December 18, 2006

A World

Alexandra Van Maltzen, of All Things Beautiful, has one of the best blogs on the net. Here, in this post, she artfully distinguishes between Islam and Christianity. These are important points. We must be clear, we are not, as Muslims and Christians, heirs of a common Abrahamic faith. To believe so, is to believe the Father of Lies himself:

There appears to be a three-part reason for Muslim outrage against the United States, and the West in general:

1. According to the Koran, any Insult to Islam is a blasphemy that is subject to severe punishment and even death.

2. According to Islam, the Koran is the inerrant, eternal, and ultimate word of Allah, issued by his final and greatest Prophet. This implies that Muslims, as followers of the Koran, are morally superior to the followers of any other religion. As such, Muslims alone are authorized by Allah to establish law. As the Koran says:

[3.110] Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong [through Islamic law], and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

3. Thus the rescue of an Islamic country’s people by a group of Infidel nations, regardless of the bloodiness of that country’s Muslim ruler, can be seen as an unwelcome exposure of Islamic weakness. Additionally, the U.S. and Coalition roles in setting up a democratic and secular form of government is, to devout Muslims, an overt usurpation of Islam’s Allah-given moral authority over mankind. To these Muslims, the “perverted transgressors,” otherwise known as “the People of the Book (Christians and Jews),” are sitting in the seat of power rightfully held by Allah, dictating terms to Allah’s people. This is the ultimate Insult to Islam, which claims to be the steward of divine laws given to Muslims by Allah himself.

More generally, Infidels insult and humiliate Muslims simply by being successful while Muslims and Islamic nations languish in poverty and chaos. Unwilling to question the usefulness of Allah’s perfect laws, the only acceptable explanation for the abject state of Muslims is that there is a vast conspiracy of Jews and Christians against them. This is the conspiracy to humiliate Muslims that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad railed against in his speech.

Our Insult to Islam is that we Infidels have not learned our proper place, in lowly submission to Muslims. Infidels are to be tolerated, the Koran says, but only on terms that the Koran sets. These terms require subservience. Any relation with an Infidel nation that does not explicitly acknowledge Islam’s superiority is, by itself, a humiliation.

Ahh, perfect time to introduce Mathew 10:34-39 [as well in part Luke 12:51-12:53 and Micah 7:6], who quotes Jesus to have said the following:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household."

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

As David tells us, "many people have accused Jesus of inciting violence because of these verses." So, what sets us apart? The context apart from just about everything else, of course....

The International Bible Society, or IBS, explain the main purpose of Matthew, "to prove to his Jewish readers that Jesus is their Messiah."

He does this primarily by showing how Jesus in his life and ministry fulfilled the OT Scriptures. Although all the Gospel writers quote the OT, Matthew includes nine proof texts unique to his Gospel (1:22–23; 2:15; 2:17–18; 2:23; 4:14–16; 8:17; 12:17–21; 13:35; 27:9–10) to drive home his basic theme: Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT predictions of the Messiah. Matthew even finds the history of God’s people in the OT recapitulated in some aspects of Jesus’ life (see, e.g., his quotation of Hos 11:1 in 2:15). To accomplish his purpose Matthew also emphasizes Jesus’ Davidic lineage (see Recipients, p. 1945).

And David continues to put Matthew's quote into the proper context, explaining that Christians "believe that these verses describe what happens when a person accepts Christ and leaves the religion of his family".

And that is the crux of it. "Islam is not a religion as we in the United States usually define it, because Islam does not consider religion to be a private matter."

Instead, Islam claims the power of law – a very public matter.

Furthermore, its laws grant legal and economic rights according to each person’s religion, and it gives Muslims political power over non-Muslims. It also gives Muslims a moral imperative to conquer all of the world’s non-Muslims and establish Islamic governance over them.

Thus Islam can be better understood as a political ideology than as a religion.

Islam feels respected only when all other powers, be they religious or political, submit to it. Islam also declares that its adherents can justly exert lethal force when they believe Islam has been insulted by a lack of proper respect for its superiority.

Nowadays, when I hear someone say that Islam is a religion of peace, it reminds me of a line from Tim Burton’s disturbing comedy, Mars Attacks: “We have come in peace, please surrender the planet immediately!”

Go read the whole thing over at All Things Beautiful.