A Letter to a Liberal about the Muslim Faith
(please read the footnotes)
I would like to share a correspondence that I had with a person about a number of issues pertaining to Islam and the liberal Western response to it. I have found it difficult to find a general expression that would tell the reader where that person was coming from, e.g., liberal, conservative, or progressive. So, let me just give you some facts about her. She is middle-aged, white, middle-class, well-educated with at least a Master’s degree and not overly religious. These are the facts. It is my opinion that she is probably a conservative liberal in her political and social philosophy.
Our correspondence began when I sent her a well-documented article (by someone else)on the violence committed by some of those who claim to be Muslim. The article was tasteful with full documentation which was beyond question. In response to my letter, I received a short, curt reply which simply compared what the article showed about the numerous acts of terrorism committed by those affiliated with the Muslim faith with two acts of violence done by Christians in the United States. Of course, it was completely overlooked by the person that the two acts of violence by so-called Christians had nothing to do with their religion and the acts of violence were not done in the name of God. The following is my response to my middle-class, white American conservative liberal:
“You said you were surprised that I would tolerate what you call ‘that stuff.’ Well, I’m equally surprised how tolerant you seem to be of the Muslim religion. Would you be as tolerant if it were the Christian religion doing the killing and suppressing people’s rights around the world? I did note some prejudice toward Christianity in your short remarks. I also noted a judgment made without any evidence on what you call ‘that stuff.’ Now is that tolerance? If a man is wrong, tell me how he is wrong, and I will consider the evidence. To belittle someone’s thinking by calling it ‘that stuff’ would presuppose that you have a great number of facts to back up your opinion. I would sincerely be interested in seeing those facts. I’m very much into facts.
I would like to refer you to the meaning of tolerance in the dictionary. Tolerance by its very nature includes a negative judgment on the subject in view. I tolerate people who I disagree with, yet because of other principles or considerations, I remain in a relationship with them. A good friend of mine is a womanizer, and yet I tolerate him hoping he will change through my influence on him. The time might come when my tolerance wears thin, and I tell him to take a hike. Today when people use the word tolerance, they have taken the idea of a negative judgment out of it, which means that what they’re talking about is no longer tolerance but something else. If you can articulate what that something else is, please let me know (sincerely). When it comes to Muslims, I can tolerate some easier than others. My level of tolerance depends on their level of commitment to their faith, that is, their prophet and their book. I’ll say more about this later. (If you are reading this and fancy yourself as a progressive, I really would like your definition of tolerance. My friend never answered.)
I personally have done a good deal of research on the subject of Islam. My conclusion is that it is a bad religion. Therefore, I have an obligation to speak out against it. However, I still tolerate the Muslim people in the true sense of the word. I wish the Muslim people only the best, which would entail their deliverance from their bad religion. As a true liberal America, I do not tolerate the Muslim prejudice and hate speech toward the Jews or other religious groups, nor their practice of polygamy, as well as much of their cultural view of women in general. Their lack of tolerance for religious freedom and free speech borders on that of the Nazis and Communists. I have little tolerance for such behavior. On the other hand, I can tolerate and even agree with some of their religious beliefs, traditions, and culture and at the same time disagree with them on other things. Tolerance does not mean that one has to pretend that you accept everyone’s beliefs as equal to your own. This includes religious beliefs. In order to do that, you would have to be a complete relativist and a perfect egalitarian. I am neither.
From your remarks, it seems that you believe that Muslim terrorism is a small isolated problem similar to that of Tim McVey and Waco. I’d have to agree that Waco was an act of terrorism, but I’m not sure who the terrorists were, the cult or the government. I respectively disagree with your comparison of Tim McVey, Christianity, and Muslim extremists. There is absolutely no comparison to a few acts of violence committed by a handful of men in a small cult, with what is happening throughout the world by the hands of thousands of Muslims, possibly hundreds of thousands or even millions. If you’re worried about offending people, I would worry about offending Christians with that comparison. You cannot point to one predominantly Muslim country where Christians and Jews are not being persecuted by Muslims. In India, they seem to like to target Buddhists and Hindus as well. By the way, this information is suppressed to a large degree by the media in the West. It would make an interesting intellectual pursuit to understand why the media is so blind to the violence of this religion. Could it be a progressive ideology that blinds them to the fact that pluralism is nothing more than a myth? Of course, the media and academia were blind to Hitler and the Communists, as well.
In fact, the only places that have true religious freedom are Western Europe and the United States, countries that have been influenced by Christianity and classic liberalism and have not yet been brought under the spell of atheistic communism and Islam. I say this to point out that freedom is rare and should be protected from all that would destroy it. It is quite obvious that the common denominator among the nations where people are persecuted for their religious faith and speaking out for freedom is where either the majority is Muslim or the oligarchy is atheist. There is every reason to believe that when the numbers of Muslims or atheists reach a large enough number in any country, persecution of other religions and beliefs will start. In Europe where Muslims number 15% to 20% of the population, people are already being intimidated by threats of death if they speak out against Islam. There’s no reason to think it will not happen in our future. In fact, at their present birth rate Muslims will be one of the biggest political groups in the country by 2050. Some estimate the number as high as 40 to 50 million.
I have read the Koran and found the flaws in Islam are not so much in its followers as in its founder and its holy Book. There are at least 100 verses in the Koran telling Muslims to kill the people of the Book (Christians and Jews). These passages have been softened in some English versions of the Koran. Mohammad himself was a polygamist, pedophile, and a terrorist (of course, you may try to excuse this on cultural grounds). To say this in any Muslim country publicly would cost me my life. For a Muslim to build bridges with Christians and Jews, it would involve them denying their own Holy Book and their prophet. Now that is a real possibility. We have an example of this happening with numerous Christians who deny much of the New Testament because of the secular brainwashing they have received in our public schools. I personally don’t think the Muslim community is going to buy into that brainwashing; one thing that I respect about Muslims is the level of their commitment to their faith. I based the above opinion on the fact that they have not assimilated into Western culture in Europe.
Let me also point out that there is a huge difference between Christianity and the Muslim faith. In Christianity, the flaw is with the followers and not with the leader (Jesus) or with the message of the book (New Testament). However, the very opposite is true of the Muslim faith. The flaw is not only in some of the disciples or followers but rather with the prophet and the revelation (the book).
Let me hasten to point out that I am no more friendly toward some Christian sects than I am toward some of the Muslim sects. The Calvinists of the Middle Ages were a mean lot and some Roman Catholics did some harm during the Inquisition. However, most of this abuse has been greatly embellished by atheists and secular folks to bring reproach on Christianity. I would also say that most organized religion is a form of idolatry, and I include the Christian religion. Therefore, I have very little love for most organized religion. Jesus said the truth will set you free. He did not say that religion would set you free. All religions should be watched for abuses; this includes the Christian religion. One sect of the Muslim faith, the Baha’i is a very peaceful religious sect, and I can fully tolerate their beliefs and would, from a human point of view, grade their religion as being good. However, they have been viciously persecuted by their own Muslim brothers in every country where they exist.
Before we start building bridges, I think it would be good to do some real research and have some real debate on where we are building those bridges to. In the 1930s, many were saying that we should be building bridges with the Nazis and then in the 1940s they were saying we should be building bridges with the communists. If the 30s and 40s proved anything, they demonstrated that Americans are naïve and gullible. We should learn from history to watch ourselves. Bridge building is fine if you mean by it a dialogue. I’ll dialogue with anyone who will speak in good faith and carry on an honest debate, but at the same time I’ll be watching what they do and not just listening to what they say.
Now, in this I am not saying that the Muslim people as a whole are evil. I have a number of Muslim friends who are good people. However, like most ethnic groups and ideological groups, they all tend to support the same ethnic and ideological groups that they are members of. Most of the Germans in the 30s and 40s were not Nazis and by human standards the majority of them were nice people. Nevertheless, when it came to the war, they supported the Nazis. Most people are like sheep that will follow the leader. Many of the Muslim leaders have a will to power and are evil. Yes, I still believe in evil. Because people are like sheep and follow their leaders, you should not judge a movement, ideology, or a religion by what the average person believes or does, but rather by the foundational beliefs and the goals of its leadership. In the case of the Muslim faith, there are a large number of their leaders who want to destroy the Jews and every other religious faith that will not bow the knee to Mohammad. I personally don’t feel any obligation to tolerate these leaders, to accept them, or to ignore their behavior or speech. To me, this would border on insanity.
It is extremely important for our culture in order to stay free to label and resist any religion or ideology that would rob us of freedom. Just because a group calls itself a religion does not give it the right to be insensitive to the feelings and emotions of others. They may have a right under the Constitution to build a mosque on Ground Zero, but the same Constitution gives those whom their offending the right to protest their building of that mosque. I find it very strange that a religion, which says it wants to build bridges of peace and healing, would be so insensitive that when hearing that 70% of the people don’t want that mosque built there, would not immediately change their plans.
I would invite you to read and study some good books on the Muslim faith before building too many bridges. I purposely did not use the Bible to discredit the Muslim faith because I believe that it is self-evident that Muslim beliefs contradict much of the teachings of Jesus. Please excuse me for any “rambling on” that may be in this letter. I realize there are many other points that I could expound on that would clarify my beliefs on this topic even more, if time would allow. If you cannot tolerate my opinions, I will take you off my mailing list if that is your wish. It is not my purpose to offend or upset people but just to present facts to thoughtful people who may be seeking the truth.”
Following is a list of a few books you might be interested in:
The Hidden Origins of Islam (An academic book that researches the origin of Islam)
Islam and Terrorism (by Mark A. Gabriel Ph.D., former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University Cairo, Egypt.)
The Unseen Face of Islam.(by Bill Musk)
The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran (by Robert Spencer. This book is a critique of the Koran in comparison to the teachings of the Bible and Christianity.)
The Koran (Islam’s Holy Book)
 When I use the word liberal I am using it to denote those people that have embraced the ideology of liberalism.
 This is a typical response of the liberals I have encountered. Not much content.
 Liberals in general have a negative biased towards Christianity. One reason for this is that Christianity rivals Liberalism for the high ground of morals and ethics and is it sole competitor on the stage of ethics and intellectual rigor. In essence, Christianity is liberalism’s chief competitor in the world of ideas.
 I do not consider myself an expert on Islam. However, I have read a number books on Islam and the Koran.
 Sometimes it is hard to determine who the Koran is referring to as unbelievers. Some Moslems believe that it is only talking about people who attack Islam.
 Mohammed married a nine-year-old girl and consummated the relationship. For some this can be justified culturally. I leave it up to the reader.
 In contrast Christianity has tolerated attacks on its belief system and its founding documents since the time of the Enlightenment. They have defended themselves not with violence but with intellectual argument.
The One True Heaven
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth. “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel–because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. Gen 11:3-9
The intellectuals of the Renaissance were made up basically of two groups of thinkers, those which were atheists who rejected the idea of God and organized religion and those that maintain their faith in God and yet rejected the corrupted forms of religion. The former evolved into what we call the enlightenment and the latter evolved into the Reformation movement. Looking back on these developments, we see these two movements traveling along through time side-by-side yet with an increasingly greater gulf growing between them.
In the beginning of the Renaissance, there was an emphasis placed on a return to reason and freedom. In order to accomplish this goal the old authorities of dogma, tradition and church had to be overthrown and replaced with the concepts of reason and freedom. However, the two different branches of the Renaissance, the enlightenment and Reformation would develop these two concepts of reason and freedom differently. The enlightenment side would enshrine reason and human knowledge as the ultimate authority, reason and science would become God and bring heaven down to earth. Man would be free from all authority and be self-directed. Out of this, thinking came the later systems of philosophies known as humanism, liberalism and communism.
The other branch of the Renaissance, the Reformation, believed that there were limits to reason and knowledge and that in order for man to be truly human he must live within those limits. They believed, without limits mans freedom would generate into chaos and the loss of freedom to his uncontrolled passions and his own finiteness. They believe that those limits were set forth in the revelation of God in Christ. The Reformation, therefore, believed that there were limits to the development of culture and that any attempts to bring heaven to earth would only end in misery. They were skeptical about the enlightenment’s blind faith in progress and in human goodness. In this, they rejected the twin myths of unlimited progress and the innate goodness of humanity; myths that still shape the vision of liberals and progressives to this very day.
After hundreds of years, we can clearly see the movement of both groups. The reformation group has lost its hold on Europe, symbolized by the French revolution that had its slogan “No God No king” which could be interpreted as no authority other than the individual. The failure of the Reformation in Europe could be largely contributed to its association with the ruling class and its failure to follow through on its attempt to reform organized religion and the culture. Its failures allowed the men of the enlightenment to hold out a secular hope to the people and actually create a brand-new faith, a faith in progress (heaven on earth) and human knowledge (science). The populace which had already lost their faith in religion were eager to accept this new faith even though there was no historical grounds or empirical evidence for it.
The question arises, How did the enlightenment thinkers believe they would accomplish bringing heaven down to earth? Well, it’s not a hard question, they simply had to bring God down to earth. That is exactly what the thinkers of the enlightenment did. They created the modern state. As one of them said,” the state is God walking on the earth.” This idea was set forth in varying degrees by a number of enlightenment thinkers and perfected in the writings of Karl Marx. In Marx, you see the state exalted to the place of God and the animosity of the enlightenment towards religion and any moral authority other than the state (human authority). For in the new heaven, no other authority can exist but that of the state which is nothing more than a human oligarch of authority. Of course, that authority should be based on reason alone and science, the two demon gods of the enlightenment. However, we also see in this system of unbelief a denial of free will and of human dignity. Man is nothing more than an animal predetermined by biological forces; life is not scared but is expendable for the higher good. Of course, the state is the higher good.
We now know that reason is never alone, and that science is limited and controlled by many things other than reason, such as money and the ideological taint. We also know from experience that the state never really promotes individual freedom, but rather it oppresses freedom. Though history has shown us the failure of the secular movement; those that have placed their faith in it continually are on the same course today, just as their ancestors of the enlightenment did. How do you explain this blind faith? I personally believe that it all comes back to their first presupposition of unbelief. Once you get on the road of unbelief, there is nowhere to go other than statism (God walking on the earth).
It only takes a glimpse of the last century to see what this new heaven on earth looks like. It looks like Russia and communist China. Where 100,000,000 people have been killed, and untold numbers persecuted for not bowing down to the new God of the state. Could it be that the materialist of the enlightenment promised one thing (heaven) and created the very opposite on earth? If we are the heirs of the enlightenment, what do we have to look forward to? It seems, if we continue on the same course of the enlightenment, there can only be one end; the ultimate state, a one-world government and George Orwell’s 1984.