One of the biggest issues of debate in the West is “is Islam a peaceful religion?” as many of our leaders have told us it is. Now this is not a question about Muslims per se, we know there are certainly millions of nice, pleasant, peaceful Muslims. But, the question is not about the individuals, but rather about the belief system itself. And if Islam is not a “peaceful religion” that is a serious problem for Western civilization and those who have to protect the lives of their citizens in Western countries.
The Arab Muslim world is in meltdown. There are currently civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, and all the major Sunni Muslim states have cut off ties with Qatar, as well as the more familiar Sunni-Shia schism that goes back to the origins of Islam. The social fabric of Islam has broken down. In so many of these countries there were dictators, and this comes from the fact that in Islam there is no distinction between religious and the secular power. From the beginning there was one leader, Mohammed and he led both the religion and the army and controlled the state. This was continued in the various Muslim empires that developed (Ummayad, Abbassid, Fatimid and Turkish). All of them had Caliphs that controlled both state and religion, there was no separation of the two as in Western Christian civilization, that led eventually to a complete separation as in the USA.
If we judge by the degree of violence related to where-ever Islam exists, we can see an arc of war that stretches form Nigeria in the west thru Africa (N. Africa, and Somalia) thru to the Philippines in the east. Case in point, the uprising of Muslims in the southern island of Mindanao, which is largely inhabited by Muslims. There has been an on-going war there for generations due to the Muslim attempt to secede from the Philippines to form their own Muslim state. Three days ago the Muslim militias (including Abu Sayyaf) invaded the town of Marawi, causing ca. 50,000 Muslims to flee. The fighting has barely concluded, with the Philippine Army retaking the town.
Now it may be that the extremists, militants and armed elements are a minority within each Muslim country or ethnic minority, but the fact is that where-ever there is Islam there is an armed uprising that seeks to destroy the current government and take it over in the name of Islam. We can trace this tendency to two causes:
- Jihad. It is incumbent on every Muslim to carry out jihad or holy war to fight for Islam to be dominant in the governance of the State where he/she lives. This would result in the imposition of Muslim Sharia law, that requires everyone in the State to follow the Muslim religion, infidels and heretics would either convert or be murdered.
- Modern Political Islam. This was initiated in 1928 when Hassan al Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in order to reassert Muslim control of power in Muslim/Arab countries. It included a hatred for the West and all it stood for (democracy, liberalism, secularism) that was considered to have infiltrated and influenced Muslim society. In order to remove this influence and return Islamic society to its original form such groups as Hamas, al Qaeda and ISIS wage ferocious wars of destruction.
The reason “homegrown” Muslim terrorists wreak havoc and murder in their home countries is due to these two influences, spread by Islamic preachers in Mosques and through the internet via web-sites and videos. Such avenues have hardly been touched by the Western powers-that-be due to concern for freedom of expression and individual rights. These considerations must be overcome in order that the threat of jihadi Islam be defeated.
It is believed by Muslims that the world is divided into two regions, Dar al Harb, the region of war (or Dar al Kufr, the region of infidels) and Dar al Islam, the region of Islam (or Dar al Salam, the region of peace). Looked at rationally, the opposite is in fact true, the region of Islam is the most war-torn violent region in the world, while the West is largely a region of peace (apart from Muslim terrorism and domestic violence). The West does not seek to attack Muslim regions, only in response and in defense against attacks initiated by Muslim terrorists. So there is something fundamentally wrong and perverse about the Muslim religion and it needs fixing if the Muslim world is to enter the 21st century. But, it is not our job to fix it, it is theirs.