Islamism: Religion or Ideology?

US Israel Supporter,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
US Israel Supporter

With the sole exception of Russia's activities in Ukraine and the Crimea, almost all the world's violence and trouble is traceable to one clearly identifiable source. While genuine religions enjoy legal protections in all free nations--the First Amendment of the United States' Constitution guarantees it--and also respect and tolerance from decent human beings--a murderous ideology does not. (We call this ideology Islamism to distinguish it from Islam as practiced by genuine Muslims.) Let's consider first the role of violence in the world's major religions.

What is the role of violence in religion?

All but one major religion, as practiced in the 21st century, denounce violence for purposes other than self-defense.

  • The Old Testament acknowledges that the ancient Hebrews committed genocide and ethnic cleansing. Jews have not behaved that way for thousands of years.
  • Christianity sanctions violence only in self-defense, although mediev‎al clergy often behaved like Islamist mullahs behave today. Pope Gregory XI, to whom we owe the modern calender, advocated the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth I, and may have even issued a death fatwa against her. This played a major role in her reluctant decision to ban Catholicism from England. He also celebrated the massacre of French Huguenots. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648), however, convinced most of Christian Europe that killing one another over religion was a bad idea. The Wikipedia entry cites 8 million fatalities, which is believable because disease and starvation killed more people than actual combat in those days. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) declared that "Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will." Modern Christians do not kill other people over religion.
  • Hinduism, as shown by the Bhagavad Gita, says you must kill your own cousins and teachers if that is your duty in a war, but the story also makes it clear that Krishna did everything possible to prevent the war in question.
  • Chinese philosophy warns that "Weapons are tools of ill omen." The Chinese general Sun Tzu admonished further that the dead cannot come back to life.
  • The "Holy" Koran, Sura 9.29: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax [jizya] in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection." [47.4] "So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish."

 As stated above, Jews no longer behave as they did in the Old Testament. Christians no longer behave as they did during the Middle Ages or Renaissance, and Muslims no longer behave as they did hundreds of years ago. There is only one ideology (Islamism) that still behaves in this manner under color of religion. Muslims are good friends and neighbors; Islamists are dangerous to everybody including our Muslim friends. Violence, human trafficking, and genocide in the Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Malaysia, and countless other places shows, however, that Islamism (aka militant "Islam") is no better than Nazism. The facts speak for themselves.

The time has come for the world's civilized people to withdraw their recognition of this depraved and violent ideology as any kind of religion. It is also emphatically unfair to use "Islam" or "Muslims" when discussing it.