Stop calling us ‘Islamophobes’!
Foreign Policy magazine has unloaded both barrels at those of us who ask questions and raise concerns about Islam.
First, Lawrence Pintak in his article "The Muslims Are Coming! The Muslims are coming!" runs down a list of various Americans, from Cotton Mather to Donald Trump, who have used harsh language against Muslims. While I can't vouch for every word Americans have spoken for four hundred years, the gist of his piece is, America the Intolerant or "America the Suckiful," a standard theme of the left.
However, Andrew G. Bostom, all the way in 2006 (we were on the same path in our articles back then), wrote a piece titled "America's First War on Terror," about Adams and Jefferson and their view on Islam. They were not very "tolerant" because the Barbary States in North Africa were attacking American merchant ships and enslaving the crews.
After a meeting between Jefferson, Adams and Tripoli's ambassador to London, the two Americans reported to the Continental Congress about Muhammad and Islam, as follows:
… that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Adams wrote of Muhammad and Islam:
…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God…the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.
Those assessments come in a context: unprovoked jihad. After 9/11, the modern comments from Christian leaders and Trump come in the context of a modern jihad.
As far as early American or modern Christians seeing Muhammad or this or that Muslim as the Anti-Christ, Islam has a more authoritative, troubling view of Christianity. With the backing of the Quranic verse 4:159 (see it in four orthodox Sunni translations), the Traditions say that Anti-Christ is Jewish who will return to break the Cross, kill pigs, banish the jizyah tax and call all people to Islam. Then a bush or rock will cry out to the jihadist to come over there because there's Jew hiding behind it. Kill him!
It would be helpful if Mr. Pintak would research Islam and find out the context of why Americans throughout our history had doubts about it.
But Foreign Policy magazine doesn't stop there. In a piece titled, "If Islam Is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity," by Julia Ioffe, she brings up the Crusades. They were equally violent as Jihad.
If that was a perversion of Christianity, as many argue, or a fluke, then why can we not extend the same thinking toward, say, the Muslim conquests of the Middle East, or, dare I say it, the Islamic State? You cannot argue that one religion is inherently violent because of the following historical examples, and then wave away the violent history of Christianity and say the exception proves the rule.
Before I get to the main point, it should be pointed out that the Church responded to four hundred years of Islamic aggression, as Muslim armies waged jihad throughout the Mediterranean world, even all the way to Iran and India (see the Truth about Islamic Jihad and Imperialism: A Timeline). So it was a defensive war -- certainly not initiated by the Church in a vacuum -- to allow Christians free trade and access to pilgrimage spots. Also, the Church and State in the Medieval Age were fused together (though some forward-thinking believers tried to keep them separate). The Kings and Emperors saw themselves much as Old Testament Kings did -- God's anointed. Ideally, however, the Church and State should gave been kept separate, when the Pope asked for help from the Kings.
The main point is that while Christian warfare in the name of Christ indeed deviates from the New Testament, Islamic violence in the name of Allah does not deviate from the Quran. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say the Church as the Church should raise an army and attack people who refuse to convert. But surely Ms. Joffe knows that the Quran everywhere affirms jihad or qital (warfare only) against the infidel.
Thus Muslims obey their sacred text when they commit acts of violence in warfare, while Christians disobey theirs, if they form a church militia or army and declare war. Islam fuses together mosque and state, even today. In America today, we don't allow any ecclesiastical control over the military. Our soldiers do their duty for their country and the Constitution.
Then can Christians join the military and police force? Short answer: yes, but when they have to discharge their weapons, they shouldn't yell "Christ akbar!" or other such things. However, following the example of Muhammad who shouted "Allahu Akbar!" when he attacked a city, Muslims do the same.
A complete picture of the historical facts goes a long way in dispelling the myths that circulate around the web. It is misguided to equate Christianity and Islam and their conformity to their sacred texts in acts of violence.
As for the nonsense terms "Islamophobia" or "Islamophobe," we either laugh at it or reply to it, as done here. Setting aside shrill rhetoric from bloggers and one or two politicians, all we're doing is asking questions and raising concerns about Islam. Please stop calling us silly names for doing so.
James Arlandson's website is Live As Free People, where he has posted The West's Civilizational Struggle with Islam, The Truth about Islamic Jihad and Imperialism: A Timeline, Jihad and Qital in the Quran, the Traditions, and Islamic Law, Can Christians Join the Military or Police Force? and The Gospels: Was Jesus a Pacifist?