Thursday, January 29, 2015

That Which Shall Not Be Named

The White House refuses to call Islamic terrorism "Islamic terrorism", on the (convoluted) grounds that it isn't "accurate". As their story goes, "These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam in their own deviant view of it."

Well, sort of. Actually, there are only two possibilities:
  1. These terrorists are taking the name of Allah in vain, and in so doing, besmirching an entire religion, and their God. 
  2. The Islamic doctrine really does teach that violence in the creation of a worldwide caliphate is justified. 
I don't think it is too illogical to assume that someone taking the name of someone's God in vain ("Allahu ackbar!") and besmirching their entire religion would make the devoted followers of that religion rise up in great anger, denouncing these barbarians. The fact that there is no such blowback suggests to me that option 2 is more likely. This is consistent with what I have learned about Islam and the Koran in the years following 9/11/2001. 

Islam has no concept of the separation of church and state. Islam is more like the Holy Roman Empire, where the Catholic church ruled most of Europe in the Middle Ages and died out in early part of the Age of Enlightenment. The key word is "enlightenment". Clearly, the Obama Administration is unaware of this detail. A political movement doesn't need to justify its actions by invoking a religion when the religion is the political movement!

The founders of the American form of government included the non-establishment clause in the Bill of Rights, to avoid something like the Holy Roman Empire, or even the Church of England from ever occurring in America. Simultaneously, they also provided the free exercise clause, subject to the non-establishment clause. This makes Islam fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution of the United States, because to freely exercise Islam requires Shariah law, which would be an establishment of Islam, in much the same way that prayer in schools has been deemed unconstitutional. 

We westerners are hesitant to judge other people, races, cultures and religions, although self-loathing is a national pastime. There's a big difference between judging a person or race, and identifying flawed doctrines in a culture or religion. Even a non-religious person can make an objective decision about which religion he would rather associate with. Even a non-believer can compare the life and lifestyle of Mohammad vs. Jesus; the Koran vs. the Bible; Allah vs. Yahweh. Atheists tend to think Allah and Yahweh are basically interchangeable. Nope. They're polar opposites*. Jesus said, "Judge not, lest you be judged." However, Jesus certainly expected us to recognize the difference between good and evil. We absolutely must call evil by its real name. We cannot defend against an enemy we cannot name. 

Now, am I saying that 1.6 billion people in the world are murderous monsters? No. I think they simply are not devout Muslims, just as a great many people in America who call themselves Christians have no real personal attachment to any Christian denomination. They just think it's good to be a Christian, so they say they are one. They've never really read or studied the Bible. Muslims are probably no different. But the fundamentalists are a different story. It is rare for Christian fundamentalists to go on a murderous rampage (it does happen rarely). It is quite common for Muslim fundamentalists to go on a murderous rampage. So much so that it is a worldwide problem. We absolutely must call evil by its real name.

*Some scholars maintain that the etymology of the two names are similar, and that the Koran claims that Allah is Yahweh. That is not sufficient to establish an identity. Allah is a generic word for God; Yahweh is the Hebrew name that God called himself. One also must study the actions and motivations ascribed to Allah and Yahweh in the Koran vs. the Bible. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but a dispassionate study of both works reveals that by Biblical standards, the Muslim Allah's behavior would be more closely attributed to Satan of the Bible. 

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