The Proper Response

by Rebecca Bynum (Dec. 2006)

 

“When one shakes the hand of a Kafir, and smiles in their face, it takes away a part of their [sic] al-Walaa wal Baraa; it weakens their [sic] hatred against the Shirk of the Kafir. Nowadays, for Muslims in the West, they have total love for the Kafireen by showing it in their expressions and actions. They are a people who are strangers to the ‘Aqeeda of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah since we are required to show open hatred for the Shirk of the Kuffar." --from this Muslim website

 

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” – Matthew 5:44

 

 

What is the proper response to the institutionalized hatred of non-Muslims promoted by Islam? How do we do as Jesus commanded and love our enemies while at the same time preventing our culture and civilization from being destroyed? How do we return good for evil and repay hatred with love? Can it be done? Or even more urgently, should it be done?

 

The attempt by Muslims to equate Islam with a perceived inherent “muslimness,” that is in turn derived from the idea of superiority/inferiority of men and even of "souls" that is central to Islam, has caused a great deal of confusion. In Western culture the equality of souls before God is now taken for granted and indeed forms the basis for our concept of equality before the law. The metaphysical is the only sense in which equality exists in Western thought regardless of the attempt by some to substitute equalitarianism for the idea of democracy. Nonetheless, equality before the law underlies all our ideas of social fairness.

 

Islamic law, needless to say, is built upon the idea of the inequality of men; that there is an inherent difference between the Muslim and the non-Muslim at the deepest level, and these must be treated differently in order for society to be fair and just. This concept forms the basis of Muslim social thought and is also the basis for Muslim supremacism, which then forms the basis of Muslim social cohesion.

 

The root of Western social cohesion lies in the idea of the Fatherhood of God and its corollary concept of the Brotherhood of Man. Though not unique to Jesus, this Judaic concept formed the basis of his teaching, that all men are sons of God and therefore all men are brothers in the spiritual sense. We owe a duty to our brothers above and beyond that owed to other relationships. And by serving our brethren we thereby serve God.

 

So the question becomes, how do we best serve our Muslim brethren? Are they served by our failure to acknowledge what to us are the obvious errors and shortcomings of Islam? Are they served by allowing the barbarism enshrined in Sharia Law to spread in the world so that more and more human beings are trapped within it? Are they served when we allow Muslim women and girls to be handled as property? Are they served by allowing the essentially materialistic nature of Islam to trump the imperatives of value? Are they served when we dispense with honest judgments under the guise of impartiality?

 

Compassion demands that we see Muslims as human beings first, and if we acknowledge them as children of God, we must acknowledge that God’s love for Muslims is in every way equal to His love for us, for God’s love is infinite and indivisible. That love then places certain demands upon us. Should we not then thoroughly examine the fundamental error of Islam, that is, of seeing the world’s peoples as divided and fundamentally separate, that Muslims and non-Muslims are different, but not only are they different, Muslims are more and non-Muslims less. If God's love is divided, then God who is love must be divided, and though Muslims claim otherwise, that they worship "one God," their theology in this regard is contradictory and insupportable.

 

Judged in this light, is it not incumbent upon us to seek to free individual Muslims from the totalitarian thought-system of Islam, just as we once sought to free Eastern Europeans from the totalitarian system of communism on the basis that it is fundamentally in error? And are not Muslims triply enslaved, in body, in thought and in spirit by the incessant demands of Islam? It should be obvious peace does not come from living in a spiritual prison. Peace in the spirit can only be attained by the active seeking of a new and better way, not by fatalistic submission to the only way.

 

Muslims know, and expressly let us know, that our beliefs and even our very existence form a threat to Islam because we represent freedom of thought and believe ourselves perfectly free to declare Muhammad was not a prophet and is not now nor ever has been, a figure fit for emulation. This is psychologically intolerable to Muslims who cannot admit such thoughts for then they come to the realization that everything they have “known” all their lives is erroneous. Previously solid ground turns to quicksand, and so they attempt to destroy the source or sources of that admission, and see threats to Islam closing in from all directions, so great is their fear. Put simply, any criticism of Islam is a threat to Islam.

 

On our side a clear distinction must be made between Muslims as individual human beings and Islam as a belief system. Opposing communism was never equated with hatred of the people living under communist rule and so it must be understood with Islam as well. There is no reason opposition to Islam should be equated with any form of hatred, for we understand Muslims are truly an enslaved people. We seek only to free them from this tyranny and allay the deep spiritual suffering caused by Islam, and we do this from the most altruistic of motives, that of love and concern for Muslims as human beings. Human beings trapped, through no fault of their own, in a totalitarian system of physical, mental and spiritual repression. We should seek to break the hold Islam has on the Muslim mind.

 

Leadership in this vein is difficult if not impossible to find, however. “We need to forsake the Christendom model and shed the idea that [Christians] need to promulgate a worldwide Christianity,” said Lee Camp, theologian at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN on Nov. 28. “The most basic Christian commitment…is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or a Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?”

 

“The claim of the Lordship of Jesus has often been divorced from Jesus' call to be merciful to those with whom we differ. In fact, the claim has often served as a battle-cry, an imperialistic profession used to destroy Jews and Muslims. In view of this history, Jews and Muslims have good reasons for not trusting those who wear the name Christian,” Professor Camp said in this essay meant to clarify his remarks after a firestorm of protest broke out in response to what he said earlier. The public essentially required Professor Camp write "I believe Jesus is Lord" fifty times on the blackboard.  

 

However, it is perfectly clear many people (including this theologian) fear a resurgent Christianity as much or more than they fear a resurgent Islam, but it is dismaying to observe a Christian theologian proposing the preemptive surrender of the right to define God in Christian terms, for as I have argued before, the definition of God goes to the very core of this war, for it in turn defines the nature of civilization. The question is: shall we allow Christ to define himself as the historical record of his life and teachings indicate, or shall we allow Muslims to define him for us as Isa, the “Palestinian Muslim,” divorced from Judaism, with no historical foundation for this assertion whatsoever? And furthermore, should we allow Muslims to define themselves as part of the Abrahamic tradition that links Judaism and Chistianity when the entire doctrine of Islam repudiates that tradition and fabricates its own history, a replacement history of pure fantasy? I think not. Even Professor Camp in his clarifying essay remarked, “I have long disagreed with those who say that Jews, Muslims and Christians are all ‘saying the same thing.’ Serious adherents of their respective faiths know this is not the case.”

 

Thus we cannot allow Christ’s historical Jewishness to be removed, nor the fact that Christ did not repudiate the Jewish scriptures, but rather spiritualized and expanded them so that Jews and gentiles now share a common heritage, a heritage that forms the basis of Western Civilization, and even that they share hope for the realization of the Brotherhood of Man, the Kingdom of Heaven as realized on earth. The prayer the Master left us includes the words, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and this in turn is based on the understanding that God’s will is good, something utterly foreign to Islam, which doctrine would simply proclaim God’s will is. The two are entirely different concepts with entirely different consequences for civilizational progress. What purpose does it serve to pretend otherwise? Moreover, it seems obvious to me that the more religious Muslims become, the further enter a state of being cut off from the God of tender feelings, those feelings of love for life and appreciation of beauty that make life worth living, that cause us to feel at home in the universe and part of humanity.

 

On the contrary, Muslims seem to withdraw more and more from reality the more religious they become (dressing in 7th century Bedouin garb, observing 7th century manners etc.), until the most religious of them offer up the ultimate act of worship and commit murder or murder/suicide in the name of Allah without feeling any compassion for their victims or for themselves - the ultimate divorce from humanity.

 

Despite the claim of Islam as being Abrahamic, it is not a religion that teaches that the highest commandment is to love God with all one's heart and one's neighbor as oneself, which also comprises the essential morality and forms the basis for western social cohesion. The highest commandment in Islam is to obey Islam, as worship and obedience are one and the same. The reason Islam exists is not to enhance morality or to make life better for its adherents. Rather, Islam seemingly exists only to propagate itself.

 

One might observe that if a belief system does not enhance morality, true morality, not seen mainly as the regulation of sexual relations (controlled as another aspect of tyranny), it cannot be a religion in the sense we know religion in the west and we are not obligated therefore to treat it as true religion. A moral system not based on love is not true morality, but only a list of arbitrary rules.

 

Thus, I believe the proper Christian response toward Muslims is to love them as ourselves, but to act on that love by opposing Islam with all our hearts and minds. Furthermore, we must just as vigorously oppose all Christian leaders who counsel the surrender of Christianity for "peace." If we surrender the historic Jesus, whether we believe him to be divine of not, we surrender truth.

 

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Rebecca Bynum contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all her contributions, on which comments are welcome.


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