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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fruit of Islam

“From Mecca to Cairo, the Middle East is a shining example of freedom and equality. Women have the same rights as men, the arts and sciences are advancing swiftly, and all in a region of peace and tolerance.”

The above, as you have probably figured out already, is not a modern quote, at least not by any sane person on the face of the planet. It is a statement about the Middle East during the years 300-400 AD, before Islam was invented.

It is a sad fact that while the Middle East was once the most enlightened part of the world it was all destroyed with the rise of Islam. As the Jihadis swept across the region killing or converting everyone they met, they left behind a wake of ignorance and oppression. Women were swiftly relegated to the status of near-slavery. Books were burned as being contrary to the Muslim faith. Dissenting voices were silenced in blood. Sadly, this trend continues even to this day.

It is said that you can judge a man by his fruits. That you can see whether there is good or evil in the hearts of men by what they bring about. By this standard I can only conclude that Mohammed was lacking. Muslims would disagree vehemently with this statement, and they are welcome to do so. They would argue that Mohammed brought Islam, and, therefore, salvation and comfort to the world. I disagree.

Islam has brought tyranny and oppression to a place that was once free. It has brought ignorance and illiteracy where once science and literature abounded. It has brought anti-Semitism to the Jewish homeland. It has brought Terrorism and wonton destruction throughout the world. It has done so by following the teachings and example of its founder, Mohammed.

This is not good fruit, and worse, it is exactly what the religion’s founder did.

When Christians or Buddhists engage in hatred, tyranny, or other crimes against humanity it is done CONTRARY to the teachings of those religion’s founders. This is actually true for many religions, but not for Islam. Islam is so unique in its violent heritage that it has the distinction of being the only religion in the world to have rules for conducting wars. Only a religion with violence at its core would put such a thing in its holy doctrines.

Considering this history, considering the fruit that Islam has borne into the world, is it any wonder that the worm of terrorism has emerged from it?

18 Comments:

  • While reading that first paragraph I thought you had lost your mind!!! Glad I was wrong.. :)

    Good post with good points. I only disagree with one statement: "Women were swiftly relegated to the status of near-slavery." IMO women were relegated to the status "of slavery." They were "owned" and thought to be less valuable than livestock. Other than that, I'm in complete agreement especially about Mohammed being "lacking." Violence is at the very core of Islam, but that is not to say all Islam's are fundamentalists. Trouble is, the ones who are sure are screwing up this world.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 8:14 AM  

  • Liberals, thanks to political correctness, refuse to acknowledge the true, evil, roots of Islam. They simply do not want to hear that another religion could be based on hate and tyranny. All in the name of being "tolerant," they deny the realities of our nation's greatest security threat: Islam.

    By Blogger Kevin W., at 11:13 AM  

  • Interesting. So at least one religion causes harm. This is something you shied away from admitting in your Testimony post comments in December. Insolublog also vehemently denied that religions cause harm. I wonder if he’ll disagree with you on this one…

    By Anonymous cjb, at 12:13 PM  

  • CJB,

    Being a realatively new reader here you have not seen some older posts where I have blasted extremists of all stripes, including religious, for the harm they cause. My arguments to you in the past were that religion, in and of itself, is not a harmful thing, but the nature and interperetation of a reliion can make individual religions, and sects within a religion very harmful indeed. I remain true to my assertion that religion itself is not harmful.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 3:02 PM  

  • Daniel: It is a sad fact that while the Middle East was once the most enlightened part of the world it was all destroyed with the rise of Islam…
    Books were burned as being contrary to the Muslim faith…
    Islam has brought tyranny and oppression to a place that was once free…
    It has done so by following the teachings and example of its founder, Mohammed…
    Only a religion with violence at its core would put such a thing in its holy doctrines.


    It seems to me that you are condemning the Islamic religion as a whole here, not just a few extremists. Unless, of course, you consider all Muslims to be extremists because they follow Islam. I think what you’ve done is to give a perfect example of a religion causing harm.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 4:23 PM  

  • I think a good example of what you were saying is what happened to Iran after the revolution. Before the Islamic takeover of everything, Iran was nearly western, and making great strides economically, socially, etc. Now they're stuck in the dark ages(the age of consent, I think, is nine, women can be arrested for being seen with a man, or attacked because of painted nails.) and a danger not only to their people but to everyone else.
    Islam isn't completely bad, but fundamentalist Islam is, and fundamentalism has taken over Islam.

    By Blogger Rebekah, at 4:58 PM  

  • Great post Daniel .. and so bloody true... you would think the Dems and LIEberals would at least investigate what their supporting...

    By Blogger ABFreedom, at 5:36 PM  

  • "...distinction of being the only religion in the world to have rules for conducting wars"

    Seems like if your religion is going to allow for wars, then having some rules for conducting them would be wise. This is why Augustine offered the Just War Theory, is it not?

    What sort of rules are we talking about? The ones like in the OT where your god tells Israel to clearly go and kill every man, woman and child?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 3:02 AM  

  • CJB,

    You keep missing the distinction between A religion, and religion in generl. Yes I do believe that Islam is a harmful religion.

    Dan T,
    Find any other holy book in th eworld that orders people to wage unceasing war against nonbeliveres (not spiritual warfare, like constant prayer, but actually killing and bloodshed). Find any other Holy book that promotes the pleasures of taking plunder from your conquored enemies.

    You mentioned Saint Augustine, but there is a problem in your comparison. Augustine did not found Christianity, nor is the Just War Theory in the Bible. Jesus tells us to be peacemakers and to love our enemies, not to kill them for being unchristian. Personally, I'm just glad he didn't command us to be absolute pacifists in the face of an enemy who has been repeatedly agressive and violent.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 6:00 AM  

  • Twas just an honest question: What's wrong with having rules on how to wage war? I honestly don't know what the Koran says on this matter.

    And needless to say, Jesus DID give us a command: Love our enemies. Your comment: "Personally, I'm just glad he didn't command us to be absolute pacifists" is more your own reasoning despite what Jesus says, not in support of what Jesus says.

    But we've already covered that, haven't we?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:33 AM  

  • Dan T,

    You miss the point. Religion and war should not go together. Islam as a religion is so enamored of war, requiring unceasing war against all non-Muslims, that as a religion it needed to set out rules for the slaughter.

    Rules for war are neccessary, but only a horribly violent religion would need to lay out thesse rules to guide its followers.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 9:51 AM  

  • Forgive me brother, but that's nuts.

    If you're going to engage in something that is as fraught with immorality as war, then by God, you better have some rules guiding you.

    Of course, I agree with you that Jesus' teachings and war do not belong together, but IF you're going to engage in war and believe it to be a morally correct thing to do, how are you going to know HOW to wage war morally unless your religion tells you?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 12:36 PM  

  • Interesting point Dan, let's examine this, shall we?

    The Bible contains no overt rules for warfare. In the Old Testament there are instances where God commanded genocide, but these instances are only in the most ancient era of Irseali history. Folowing that era the majority of wars that have their origins explained are either defensive or in support of an ally.

    This provides rule #1, and yes I do believe it: War should be conducted as a means of national defense and defense of allies. (At this point the debate opens up as to what constitues national defense, please withold that for Monday's post as it will delve into this topic in greater detail as it regards to Iraq.)

    Now jump to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus. What principles can we draw from His teachings that might guide us in creating morally sound rules of war? Let's go with love, charity, and mercy.

    So we can extrapolate the following rules:

    #2: Avoid cruelty. It is unnecessay to torture our opponents or kill them in an inhumane fasion, and it is not a very merciful thing to do.

    #3: Render medical aid to enemy wounded and treat POW's humanely. This follows the ideals of love and mercy.

    #4: Asist your defeated enemy in restuctuing as a more friendly nation, and provide humanitarian relief to the population as needed. This falls under charity.

    I could go on and extrapolate more rules of warfare based on the life priciples taught in th ebible, but I will leave it at this sampling. Th epoint is to prove that, without expressly laying out religious laws of war, we can still seek out the guiding principles of our faith to decide what the best rules to follow in war are.

    Did you notice how all 4 of the rules for warfare I laid out are currently being followed by the US as national policy?

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 5:12 PM  

  • "What principles can we draw from [Jesus'] teachings that might guide us in creating morally sound rules of war? Let's go with love, charity, and mercy."

    Yes, by all means, let's go with abstract notions that allow us to forgo the clear command to love our enemies. You and I really see Jesus' teachings differently.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:23 PM  

  • Again you have overlooked the point in favor of a strange set of semantics.

    What you rsarcastic response has demonstarted is that you don't believe that the rules I have laid out are a loving way to treat our enemies. Would you call this an accurate assesment of your words?

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:11 PM  

  • Yes, dropping bombs in the vicinity of our enemies, killing innocent neighbors in the process is, in fact, no way to love our enemies OR our neighbors.

    As for your rules, they are fine as far as they go. Not necessarily Christian, but IF you're going to conduct war, then those are some basic components of what a Just War might look like.

    But, for instance, your 3 rule (render aid to enemy wounded) overlooks a prime Christian rule: You're assuming that you're going to shoot, maim and wound your enemy (as well as bystanders). This goes against the Command to love our enemies, do good to those who hate you.

    If you want to try to construct rules for reasonable behavior to expect during war-making, that's fine. We ought to.

    BUT, we must begin with the acknowledgement that War is Hell. War is of Hell. War is not a component of loving one's enemies. It's anti-Christian.

    From that point, if you want to try to construct rules of less offensive behavior, I'm all for it.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 5:04 AM  

  • Dan T,

    And now you have come full circle to contradicting your initial statements where you appeared to approve of religious sponshorship of war by having that religion's holy book lay out the rules of warfare while calling for war against all unbeleivers.

    Peace, love, and forgiveness are at the core of Christianity. Unfortunately, in this fallen world it is not always possible to handle our enemies with only those 3 actions. Sometimes we are forcced to give them a military pounding and try to do it as humanely as possible. What so many opponents of the current war in Iraq is the fact that it is the most humane war with the lowest loss of non-combatant life in history. (Proportionately speaking, of course, to adjust for population differences.) We are doing our best, but we must acknowlege our best will never be good enough in that arena.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 6:22 AM  

  • "in this fallen world it is not always possible to handle our enemies with only those 3 actions."

    THIS is the core of our disagreement. I think Jesus' teaching directly contradicts this statement. It is entirely possible. I do it all the time. Now it may result in a busted nose or death, but it is possible and it is our calling.

    Argue if you wish about the state's duty to bear the sword, but Christian duty is to Christ, not the state. WE ARE TOLD IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, "LOVE OUR ENEMIES. DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU."

    And on and on we go. You'll say, but the bible has examples of... or that the bible teaches the state... But Jesus says to Daniel Levesque:

    "Daniel, what I'm commanding YOU is to love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. I understand there is a risk in so doing (believe me!), but this is your calling in this world. Join Dan and others in radically following My teachings. Life is a great adventure and My teachings are good and just. Believe Me."

    I'll avoid restating my position on this in the future, DL, as we are clearly at an impasse. I'll only speak up maybe occasionally when you're making misleading statements (as the repeated claims that Jesus and I would "do nothing" in face of terrorism or brutality) but I'll try to avoid repeating this same conversation henceforth.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:41 AM  

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