Why is this religion different from all other religions?

I want to recommend two interesting things to read as a prelude to my core post.  The first read comes from a reliably good source:  Rusty Shackleford.  Over at The Jawa Report, he looks at the banality that exists side by side with the evil that is North Carolina’s recently arrested home grown jihadists.  It makes for chilling read.

The second good read, again about Islam, comes, most surprisingly, from a normally terrible source on the subject:  The New York Times.  There, in today’s book review pages, you will find an honest and admiring review of Christopher Caldwell’s carefully researched Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, about the Islamisization of Europe. I hope the paper’s editors read their own book reviews. They might learn something from this one, especially when it comes to the dangers of stifling discourse through a rancid combination of politically correct thought and fear of Muslims.

As to both of these, I’d like to make a larger point.  During Passover, Jews ask the question “Why is this night different from all other nights?”  At this juncture in history, it’s very important to ask a similar question:  “Why is this religion different from all other religions?”

Why, when religious Jewish women cover their heads, do I shrug and say, “Well, that’s their religion,” while when more and more Muslim women show up with heads covered, I get a frisson of fear?  The answer is not that I’m a philo-Semite or an Islamaphobe (although both statements are probably true).  Instead, it lies in the fact that the Jews do not have as their goal a world in which all women are forced to wear head coverings.  Even if Jews reached critical mass in America, they would not do what is done in countries in which Muslims have reached critical mass:  throw acid in the faces of or rape or murder women who don’t conform to their religious dress codes.

Why, when Hispanics sneak into this country illegally am I merely upset about their breaking the law and sucking up resources, while even legal Muslim immigrants frighten me?  The answer is not that I have an unreasoning fear of Muslims, while I’m willing to give Hispanics a pass.  There’s nothing unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that does not desire to assimilate into American society but wants, instead, to destroy it.  Nor is there anything unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that, when it achieves critical mass, engages in religiously driven violence against the others in the society. Nor are either of those fears fantasies.  The point of my reference to the Caldwell books is that those fears, which are still abstract in America, are fact in Europe.

Why, when certain immigrants cling to their unique cultures, do I think it’s charming or irrelevant, but when Muslims cling to their unique cultures it frightens me?  Could it be because Muslim doctors refuse to wash their hands, either because women aren’t supposed to show their arms or because none of them are supposed to touch (although I’m sure Mohammed meant “imbibe”) alcohol — a problem becoming increasingly chronic in the British health care system?  Or could it be because Muslim grocery store clerks, rather than getting a more religiously appropriate job, sue that they won’t have to handle ham, which is an American cultural staple?  Or could it be because Muslim culture is deeply misoygynistic, something that reveals itself in honor killings all over the globe — not to mention a desire to make women, all women, not just Muslim women, wear tents.  I’m sure you have examples in stored in your own memory banks so I won’t go on.  The point is that this is a religion that, once it enteres a country, wants things done it’s own way.  Rather than seeking to benefit from the host country’s good qualities, it seeks to destroy those things and subordinate everything to Islam.

Thinking about it, to call Islam just a religion is almost a misnomer.  Islam is a way of life and politics that transcends mere worship.  When Islam takes over, every facet of life is subject to its dictates.  One is either a slave to Allah, or a slave to Allah’s worshippers.  Islam does not accept pluralism.  Things that are quaint or bizarre in other religions are deeply threatening when the religion is Islam.

Keep yourself educated.  Hate-filled rhetoric is counterproductive.  But fact-filled rhetoric is something one hopes will help innoculate us against the deadly scourge of an Islamic takeover — because Islam is not a religion like any other.

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  • SADIE

    “The point is that this is a religion that, once it enters a country, wants things done it’s own way. Rather than seeking to benefit from the host country’s good qualities, it seeks to destroy those things and subordinate everything to Islam.”

    Which got me thinking in biological terms …
    which got me to the definition below…
    which only reinforces the obvious, that Muslim immigration has given them broad swath to maintain their rules while using a Western system to protect it at the expense of ‘host’.

    Host Organism Defined:
    any organism on or in which a parasitic organism lives for nourishment or protection

  • SADIE

    (snip) from the NYT Book Review:

    Just this past Sunday, The Guardian newspaper in London published the results of a new Gallup poll taken in the European Union, one whose findings seemed to show that a mass radicalization of the continent’s Muslims is not taking place, as was feared from 2004 to 2006, in the wake of terrorist attacks in London and Madrid.

    I am just as dubious of the Guardian as I am from most polls.

    Facts on the ground speak for themselves. If Europe is deaf to the sounds of the imams and the rhetoric, America is hard of hearing currently. It may be the grand size of this country that makes some feel insulated, but the 20 Somalis from Minneapolis, the 7 from N.C. the foot baths at State Colleges, Jihadists from Buffalo, too long of list to go on here and one all ready sees the threads being sewn into a blanket of danger.

    Only the myopic and hearing impaired should be surprised to future headlines.

  • suek
  • SADIE

    The incursion also export and in this case, it’s the British Government. Lovely, and why exactly did we save their royal arses…?

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1248277926821&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

  • pst314

    If Islam is a parasite, then, to extend the metaphor, is multi-culturalism an auto-immune disease?

  • SADIE

    Good metaphor pst314.

    It got me thinking about all the press and posts here and elsewhere when the subject of health care arises. I’d have to quibble with the word ‘mistakenly’ below in the definition, since I see actions with intent to destroy the healthy parts of the system.

    An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

  • Charles Martel

    As a Christian I have often wondered what religion I would adopt if somehow Xianity were to disappear.

    When I first asked the question, I examined several religions, from Zoroastrianism to Hinduism to Buddhism to the other two monotheisms, Judaism and Islam.

    I quickly dismissed the eastern religions for various reasons, including their passivity and anti-intellectualism, as well as their very cold regard for the actual sufferings of human beings. (The Brahmins of Calcutta hated Mother Theresa for rescuing dying people from the dung heaps where they had been tossed or gone to die, reasoning that it was their karmic reward to die in such a heartless, debased manner. Mother T was interfering with the sacred workings of karma when she bathed and fed them, and tenderly held their hands as they died.)

    So, it was down to Judaism and Islam.

    That was a quick decision, too.

    I have never encountered a more arid, hateful, spiteful “religion” than Islam. Allah is very much like that Billy Mumy character in the old Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” about a 5 year old kid who has total power over the town he lives in. Somehow the town and the people in it have been removed from the rest of the world, and he’s the absolute ruler of it. He can dictate reality according to the whim of the moment, and everybody has to praise anything he does. At night he conjures up TV shows, usually bloody, gory, artless dinosaur duels that everybody has to pretend to like. And if anybody disputes him, or shows less than total enthusiasm or irritates him with logic, he will kill or maim that person.

    The kid is Allah. Pure will, pure whim, pure disdain for anything not himself.

    Feh.

    So, if I were not a Christian, I would quickly, gladly and easily be a Jew.

    Just wanted to be clear about what I think of Islam.

  • SADIE

    How on earth did you recall in such vivid detail that episode from the Twilight Zone. Have you been watching reruns, Charles?

    I actually remember that episode and how terribly disturbing it was. What a nasty horrid child, much like the film, The Bad Seed. That wretched little girl kept smiling each time she murdered someone. I have seen that smile on the faces of the Islamic talking heads, it smiles but the intent is evil.

    Come to think of it…the ‘One’ wears an eerily similar grin at the most inappropriate time and far too often. It is culturally a very Arab gesture and is used to divert and throw off attention from the realities at hand.

  • Mike Devx

    Charles M #7:
    > As a Christian I have often wondered what religion I would adopt if somehow Xianity were to disappear.

    Does anyone know the origin of using “X” to denote Xianity, and of its use in “Merry X-mas”?

    The “Merry X-mas” has always bugged me as being less than respectful (even though I am agnostic as I’ve said before, having lost my faith in high school). But if the origins of the use of “X” are spiritual and not secular, then I should never have been bugged by it…

    I never have studied Islam, nor the Koran, nor the evolution of the Hadiths. I really ought to. Because Islam seems to me to be the only religion that in its written text mandates a theocracy. Is this really explicit in the texts? That’s the real nature of the problem to me. There are many fine, upstanding peaceful Muslims in the world, but they seem constantly hamstrung in reforming their religion because the texts seem to give so much ammunition to the hard-liners and the jihadists. I’m speaking from second-hand information and therefore ignorance, so any assistance on what’s really in the texts would be helpful!

  • suek

    Actually, I think it’s derived from the Greek “Chi”. You see it used a lot in Catholic art. The fish, too is a christian symbol, but the fish is also derived from the greek lettering, I think. Something to do with acronyms and homonyms, I think. I took a year of Greek, but it was a very long time ago, and I have a hard time now even remembering the alphabet.

    You’re both right and wrong about the Xmas…in the sense of Chi representing Christ, it’s religious in derivation, but I think you’re also right – it has always been something less than respectful for those who use it.

    I read this in the sense of scanning it – but it will have to wait till a weekend for thoughtful reading:
    http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=5218
    since it has lots of links to past articles and it’s some heavy thoughtful stuff. It’s written about a book that looks like yet another one I should read. And maybe give to my atheist son to read. He too gives a quick bypass to the Eastern religions.

    Mike, there are so many blogs about islam…granted that most of them address the issues of conflict, but many do discuss the various tenets of islam and the ways in which some have been perverted or mistranslated. Would you like some links? My guess is that you probably should start off with the basic history of islam…how the koran was assembled. It’s clear that it wasn’t written as a book – like the bible, it was assembled from different sources who claimed to remember it as told to them by mohammed. Mohammed didn’t write – he narrated. The theory I’ve read is that islam combines the prior religious worship of the moon goddess with various beliefs of Judaism and Christianity.

  • SADIE

    Mike Devx

    One of the more entangled aspects of Islam is that there is no single source for clarity, explanations, interpretations of the 3 branches, Sunni, Shi’ite, Wahabi.

    Robert Spencer of JihadWatch has written a book called Islam 101. Spencer is bi-lingual and often quotes from the Hadith/Sura on his site to give the reader the exact words and meaning when covering a specific comment from an imam. It seems like a good place to start.

  • Charles Martel

    What suek said about “Chi” (X), the first syllable of Christos, is correct. It has never been used or intended as something disrespectful, although I can see how in these hateful days where every statist dimwit in sight likes to take cheap shots at Xianity it might seem so.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Is this really explicit in the texts?

    Read the history of Islamic conquests. That’ll give you a good idea of what the religion was formed from. Go back from the fall of Constantinople to the early days of the fall of the Arabs and Persians to Islam.

    Yes, Arabs weren’t always Islamic.

  • Ariel

    Charles Martel #12,

    A quote from the Wiki, “”Christ” was often written as “XP” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as AD 1021″. It derives as you wrote and likely goes back to very early times, Constantine used the chi rho, as Wiki explains. The “X” has never been a symbol for the Cross itself, other than possibly in the chi rho symbol. One thing though, there are a lot of Christians who get irate about the use of “X” because of a lack of knowledge, or from the “cheap shots”. I think the belief that it is disrespectful is fairly recent, a century or so.

    suek #10,

    “The theory I’ve read is that islam combines the prior religious worship of the moon goddess with various beliefs of Judaism and Christianity.” I think it’s pretty clear that it did, given that it has from what I’ve seen a number of passages, highly modified, pulled from the Judeo-Christian texts.

    Sadie #11,

    You also have Sufi (the mystical sect and I believe it intertwines with the others) and Ahmadiya (spelling) which I know nothing about whatsoever.

    Besides the flat hierarchy of Islam, which makes things confusing as there is no ultimate interpreter per se(ct), it has never separated the political from the religious in the same way Christianity did, or for that matter, Judaism. When Islam swept the Arabian Peninsula around AD 635, it certainly didn’t spread by proselytizing, it spread as a military political force.