I still remember the first time I read the Koran, and thinking “wow, if this is what we’re up against, we’re in real trouble”.
The Koran raised the hairs on the back of my neck. It is not peaceable, but violent. Not every single word and sentence, to be sure, but the overall impression you have when you read it is of unremitting violence and hatred of non-Muslims.
I’ve since grown my library on Islam to several hundred volumes and nothing I’ve read has caused me to be any more sanguine about the "Religion of Peace".
I’ve been careful to read on both sides of the story: the apologist side, by Muslims and non-Muslims, and the critical side from non-Muslims and apostates.
Even the best of the apologists are, on careful reading, unconvincing in defence of the "religion", the ideology of Islam.
Islam is in its own words and on its own insistence, an ideology that is supremacist, anti-semitic, sectarian, homophobic, misogynist and backwards looking.
Islam could be all of these things, apart from "supremacist" and it would be fine by me. That is, if it practiced its beliefs, like all other religions, in private, as a relationship between the person and their God and they could be as homophobic or misogynist as they wished. But the defining thing about Islam is its supremacism: it seeks to dominate all other religions and become “victorious” throughout the world.
As Robert Spencer has noted:
Islam is unique among the religions of the world in having a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers.
I've "fact-checked" each of those claims and each is literally true. "Doctrine" is the codified beliefs, which are in the Koran, the Hadith and the life of Muhammad (the Sirah). "Theology" is the study of these doctrines. And the "legal system" is the Sharia. Study of these areas will quickly reveal to the interested reader, that Islam requires warfare against unbelievers; it is a core belief. The Pakistani Islamic scholar Abul a'la Maudidi, winner of the King Faisal Prize for "Services to Islam", summarises it best in this simple statement from his book "Jihad in Islam":
Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam....[p6]
Not much doubt or ambiguity there.
The “Battle of Tours” came to mind as I read more about Islam and learnt of the earlier battles between the west and a westward advancing Islam.
That battle in 732 stopped the spread of Islam into Western Europe. Had it not been stopped, we could have a very different Europe today, arguably with no Enlightenment, no Reformation, and no Renaissance.
President Teddy Roosevelt, always amongst lists of America's greatest presidents, mentions the hero of that Battle, in his anti-pacifism book "Fear God and Take Your Own part":
The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia exists to-day at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization, because of victories stretching through the centuries from the days of Miltiades and Themistocles to those of Charles Martel [The Battle of Tours] in the eighth century and those of John Sobiesky in the seventeenth century. [p70-71]
.... Wherever the Mohammadenas have had complete sway, wherever the Christian have been ubable to resit them by the sword, Christianity has ulitmately disapperated. From the hammer of Charles Martel [The Battle of Tours] to the sword of Sobiesky, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could and would fight as well as the Mohammedan agressor. [p197]
Pretty robust stuff! We can argue around the edges of this, and about the extent of "social values" after Islamic conquest; but we can't doubt the thrust. That militant and aggressive Islam (Teddy's "Mohammadans" or "Moselm invaders") has to be confronted if the meaning, substance and core of the west is to be retained; and that today the invasion is not by direct military conflict, but by the asymmetric "jihad of the womb"....(Muslim scholar's words, not mine).
I subtitle it “the Battle of Today” because there is, today, in Nonie Darwish’s words, “a battle for the soul of the world” between western tradition and a radical backward-looking version of Islam.
Sam Harris puts it more bluntly in "The End of Faith": "We are at war with Islam".
The battle of ideas goes on globally now. Not just, or even mainly, through wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but more importantly by the “stealth Jihad” – demands by Islamists in western countries for accommodation to Islamic values and Sharia law.
There are many examples of the stealth jihad, which one can find from even a cursory study. The pressure grows for ever more accommodation, from Sharia courts in the UK, to demands for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan.
There are many in the “blogosphere” who reject these pressures, in defence of time-honoured western values: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and respect for the rights of women and minorities.
In all these areas, Sharia stands in stark and negative contrast. And that is why we must continue the "Battle of Today".
I'm also posting on other bits and pieces that grab my interest, such as on China and Hong Kong, climate change, the war on drugs, and general miscellanea and ephemera.
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