The Pyramid of Hate in the Muslim World
This article gives some statistics about the atmosphere of hate in the Muslim world, and it illustrates the difficulty we face in disentangling the Islamic religion from Islamic culture.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is graciously optimistic about the religion of Islam, but in the inter faith section it doesn’t speak of the culture of the Islamic world.
Because the Koran addresses every aspect of life with legalistic precision it becomes very difficult to extricate the “religion of peace” from the “culture of hate.”
Last Sunday at Mass I spoke about Islam and explained how the Koran is believed to be a literal, word for word dictation from the angel Gabriel to Mohammad and how this differs from the Catholic understanding of the Bible. The Bible is the witness to God’s primary revelation: Jesus Christ. It is not a rule book dictated to a prophet by an angel.
Afterwards a bright spark–a young convert girl said, “But what about the Ten Commandments?” She had her head in gear and understood that the Ten Commandments (and by extension the whole Mosaic law) is presented as a Divinely dictated law code for humanity. Wasn’t this like the Koran?
Yes and no. The Mosaic Law does come across as a divinely dictated law code, and if so, then Mohammad is like Moses. However, the New Testament rightly teaches that the old law has been fulfilled in Christ and is therefore no longer strictly in effect. What we conclude is that the basic principles expressed in the Ten Commandments provide the basis from which we develop a Christian code of conduct.
This is very, very different from a law code dictated to a prophet of an Arabian tribe in the seventh century which fundamentalist Muslims then apply to all people at all times.
Because Mohammad’s law code touches on every aspect of life–from politics, government, rules of war, marriage, sexuality, jurisprudence, dress codes and how to go to the toilet–it is practically impossible to separate the “religion of peace” from Islamic culture. Furthermore, it is my impression that most Muslims do not want to see a separation between their religion and their way of life. I can understand that. If you think your religion teaches you what to believe, then it ought also to teach you how to behave.
This difficulty becomes most acute when the religion not only labels other believers as infidels and apostates but also specifies how they are to be either converted or persecuted. Moderate Muslims may re-interpret these strictures in light of other verses in the Koran which forbid cruelty and co-ercion and they are right to do so. However, fundamentalist interpretations too often prevail in the popular mindset and David French’s article shows just how widespread these attitudes are in the Muslim world, and shows especially how virulent and widespread the anti-Semitism is among Muslims worldwide.
While everyone acknowledges that all Muslims are not terrorists, it is also true that there are very significant numbers who are sympathetic to terrorism, even more who are sympathetic to a strict interpretation of Sharia law, and an even larger number who are sympathetic in general to the idea of a caliphate and Muslim domination.
Does this mean we have to hate all Muslims? No. Of course not. That’s not only not Christian. It’s stupid.
However, we can get our heads out of the sand and dispel the myth that there are only two kinds of Muslims: a few fanatical terrorists and all the rest peace loving, enlightened people who embrace Western liberal values. This is untrue. It is much more complicated than that.
Many Muslim leaders themselves (both political and religious) are working for a reformed attitude within the Islamic religion and culture–in which the truly peaceful and tolerant values inherent in some Islamic teachings can be brought to the foreground and the necessity to enforce a bellicose, seventh century Arabian law code become increasingly subordinate.
I might add that while we hope Muslim leaders continue to work to eradicate negative fundamentalism through education, preaching and good example, we Christians should do the same. I don’t for a moment believe that Christian fundamentalism is on the scale of Islamic–either by levels of danger or numbers, but people tend to slip into fundamentalist attitudes when threatened and ignorant. I can see a trend within American Protestantism (and in some corners of Catholicism) where we are in danger of drifting into a violent, intolerant and ignorant kind of Christian fundamentalism…
…and that ain’t gonna get us nowhere fast.
Read the source & comments: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2015/12/the-pyramid-of-hate-in-the-muslim-world.html
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