Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Muslim Reformation Is Happening Right Now

In his article, "Islam's 'Reformation' Is Already Here - and It's Called 'ISIS'," Raymond Ibrahim argues that Islam is going through a reformation, similar to Christianity moving through the Protestant Reformation, but that ISIS and other radical Muslims represent the reformative movement.

Ibrahim notes that the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to throw off the extraneous practices, teachings and beliefs that had accumulated in Catholic theology and move back to the type of Christianity, as the Reformers viewed it, practiced in the Bible. Three factors made the Protestant Reformation possible: first, the Bible had been translated into the common languages of the Christian nations; second, the invention of the printing press allowed the Bible to be translated into those languages and widely disseminated; and, third, relatively wide-spread literacy meant that many more people were able to read the Bible, instead of having to rely on the teachings and interpretations of the learned priests.

Ibrahim argues that the same three processes have been going on in Islam. The difference is the outcome based on what a study of the Islamic texts show to be the original Islam. Ibrahim writes:
How Christianity and Islam can follow similar patterns of reform but with antithetical results rests in the fact that their scriptures are often antithetical to one another. This is the key point, and one admittedly unintelligible to postmodern, secular sensibilities, which tend to lump all religious scriptures together in a melting pot of relativism without bothering to evaluate the significance of their respective words and teachings.

Obviously a point-by-point comparison of the scriptures of Islam and Christianity is inappropriate for an article of this length (see my “Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam” for a more comprehensive treatment). Suffice it to note some contradictions (which naturally will be rejected as a matter of course by the relativistic mindset):

  • The New Testament preaches peace, brotherly love, tolerance, and forgiveness – for all humans, believers and non-believers alike. Instead of combatting and converting “infidels,” Christians are called to pray for those who persecute them and turn the other cheek (which is not the same thing as passivity, for Christians are also called to be bold and unapologetic). Conversely, the Koran and Hadith call for war, or jihad, against all non-believers, until they convert, accept subjugation and discrimination, or die. 
  • The New Testament has no punishment for the apostate from Christianity. Conversely, Islam’s prophet himself decreed that “[w]hoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” 
  • The New Testament teaches monogamy, one husband and one wife, thereby dignifying the woman. The Koran allows polygamy – up to four wives – and the possession of concubines, or sex-slaves. More literalist readings treat all women as possessions. 
  • The New Testament discourages lying (e.g., Col. 3:9). The Koran permits it; the prophet himself often deceived others, and permitted lying to one’s wife, to reconcile quarreling parties, and to the “infidel” during war. 
And it is precisely because Islamic scriptural literalism is at odds with religious freedom, tolerance, and the dignity of women that Islamic civilization is the way it is – despite the nonstop propaganda campaign emanating from academia, Hollywood, and other major media that says otherwise.
There is more--read the whole thing.

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