Islam is not the “peace loving” religion that you have been told it is time and again since 9/11. The only peace that is loved by true Muslims is the kind that involves the eradication of infidels (that’s us!). The press, and anyone whose livelihood is decided by votes, tries to separate Fundamentalist Islam from the “mainstream” variant, but this separation is imagined. Instead of two kinds of Islam, there are varying degrees of belief.
You have some Muslims that are INO (in name only). These are the most “mainstream” as they pick and choose which tenets they will follow. They like to belong to something or social pressures require it. They probably go to a mosque that is very self-help-y. They know little of the Qur’an or what their religion actually stands for.
The next degree of Muslims are the largest group both here and abroad. They have studied the Qur’an and know, at least partly, what the goals of their religion are. Most of them believe what they are taught in their “real” mosques. They, either secretly or overtly, believe that Islam must conquer the rest of the world. Most of them do not, however, go around killing infidels. They leave that to others, but support the mission fully. They undoubtedly feel some guilt for not joining the “jihad” themselves. You can see examples of this by the celebrations that take place when someone is “martyred” while trying to kill infidels. These murderers are made into heroes.
The last group is often referred to as Fundamentalist Islam, Militant Islam, or, as I like to say, terrorists. These Muslims are die hard adherents to the tenets of Islam. They are daily in the mosques and consider us to be nothing more than filthy animals for the slaughter. They are ready and willing to support or join the jihad in any way they can.
The term “Fundamentalist” has a negative connotation especially in today’s mainstream culture. This age of tolerance does not allow room for concrete belief or absolutism. It’s OK to be a Muslim, but not a Fundamentalist Muslim. Just as it is permissible to say that your a Christian as long as you are not a Fundamentalist one. Bernard Lewis, a leading historian of Islam, has this to say of Islamic Fundamentalism:
The use of this term is established and must be accepted, but it remains unfortunate and can be misleading. “Fundamentalist” is a Christian term. It seems to have come into use in the early years of this century, and denotes certain Protestant churches and organizations, more particularly those that maintain the literal divine origin and inerrancy of the Bible. In this they oppose the liberal and modernist theologians, who tend to a more critical, historical view of Scripture. Among Muslim theologians there is as yet no such liberal or modernist approach to the Qur’an, and all Muslims, in their attitude to the text of the Qur’an, are in principle at least Fundamentalists.
Since old Bernard brought Christianity into this debate, let’s begin to draw the parallels between Islam and Christianity. A lot of people that call themselves Christians today are INO. They don’t fully buy the atheism argument, but don’t, really, follow Christianity either. They believe what they want, when they want. They pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow. Thou shalt not kill is an obvious one that all can agree to, but what about adultery, homosexuality, or idol worship (materialism)? What’s their view on evolution?
Next we have Christians who believe, but fail to act. They (I should say WE) know the truth yet continue to make the wrong decisions regarding it. These Christians are so disenfranchised by the first group that they are starting to abandon the name “Christians”. Most of my readers fall into this category. We are regular Christians. We believe the right things, we even say the right things, but we make little or no impact on the world. We exist merely as spectators who may want to do what God says, but are cowards when our faith is tested.
The last group of Christians, as in Islam, is the Fundamentalists. These Christians set aside the things of this world for the things of God. Instead of terror, they bring a message of love and hope. In the place of Sharia law, they offer the grace of God through His son Jesus Christ. Fundamentalist are not wackos or extremists, they simply maintain the beliefs that the rest have cast aside.
In light of this, I draw two very different conclusions.
(1) Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. When Europe abandoned the crusades, the Muslims merely switched tactics. They are conquering Europe through emigration. Their “Fundamentalist” leaders have repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel and the United States and the only Muslims who are peaceful towards us are those who don’t, truly, believe. We can no longer view Islam with curiosity, we must educate ourselves about it. We need to respond to this threat, through evangelizing, voting, and fighting if necessary.
(2)I want to be a Fundamentalist Christian. I am sick of the media referring to Christian Fundamentalists as some back-woods, redneck militia group. Christian Fundamentalist should be those of us who live and die for Jesus Christ. I dare you to find someone who has made a great impact for God that wasn’t fundamentalist. You won’t be able to because the core beliefs, or fundamentals, of Christianity are just that: core and fundamental!
Are you willing to be a Fundamentalist Christian? Will you give up acceptance for persecution? It’s coming regardless of what we do, but how awesome will it be to seek it out and overcome it instead of hiding in a corner hoping that no one notices that we are Christians?