Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Insider's Look at the Peaceable Religion of Islam

The following is excerpted from an e-mail correspondence with LCMS Chaplain (MAJ) James Lucas (used with permission) about the real and religious threat that all Christians are faced with the “peaceful” attention of Islam turned toward us.

I found it very enlightening and frightening. Let us pray, as worshippers of the cross and Jesus, the Christ who gave His holy life that we might live on that cross, that God would melt the wicked hearts of stone of these enemies of the true, Triune God.

I am a Missouri Synod Lutheran chaplain. I have been on Active duty almost continuously since May of '04, first in Baghdad, then New Orleans, and now back in Baghdad (with a few months off for good behavior). Before that I was a dual parish pastor in Kansas for seven years, and before that for a dual parish in Nebraska for over 16 years.

I can footnote many of the comments I made, although I did not bring my library of books with me that contains some of the information that shaped my critique. However, I can assure you, that if a Muslim reads what I wrote, you can expect passionate denial or scorching invective. The denial may be honest, because many Muslims are as knowledgeable about Islam as many Christians are about Christianity. Also, since most cannot read the Koran (it must be read in Arabic to be authentic), they must rely on what their imams or mullahs tell them. On the other hand, the denial may be just another example of what I mentioned in my response: that a Muslim can look you in the eye and lie or twist what is true and think nothing of it.

I won't speak for the Jews here, but I can assert unequivocally that Muslims do, by and large, claim that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. I am in Iraq, where I rub elbows with Muslims. Spent some time in Jordan also . I have read hundreds of pages of Muslim propaganda and dogma. Almost every Muslim with whom I have a lengthy and serious discussion will bring up "how close we Muslims and you Christians really are in what we believe about God." One of their claims for authenticity and respect is just that they are just another brand of Abrahamic faith, chips off the same monotheistic block.

Popes, presidents, reporters, and politicians have bought that sale of goods in the interest of fostering good will with a religion that has pledged the destruction of all that which these new found friends of Islam hold dear. I suspect that many Muslims laugh in their sleeves at how gullible politically correct westerners are. One thing is for sure. In Islamic dogma it is not only permissible, but advisable, to lie to the "dogs" who desecrate Allah's world and dishonor Allah's faithful followers. So, they can look you in the eye, say with a straight face, "Allah and Jehovah are just two names for the same merciful and compassionate Lord," and "Islam means you no harm. Instead, we bring a fresh choice for world peace."

Mohammed, in the grand tradition of Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Judge Rutherford, and, my favorite, L. Ron Hubbard, invented his "god" and theology out of scrap parts he found in theological junk yards. There is money to be made hawking "the better life," as his Allah sanctioned raids on helpless villages and caravans later proved. After all, who can argue with a bank robber and rapist whom God has certified as a faithful servant and confidant? Of course, to appeal to a somewhat Christian audience, one must incorporate just enough Jesus and Bible lingo and pious sounding schmooze to be minimally attractive. The historical records about Mohammed show that he tried a rapprochement with [heretical, no less] Nestorian Christians, using that canard about "we all worship the same, one, true God." In cosmic irony, they threw him out as a heretic (hence future surahs from "God" would revoke (abrogate is the word they use) his earlier benign tolerance of Christians.) Islam is, in my professional judgment, and shared by many, a Christian heresy, along the lines of Arianism: jam the "desirable" aspects of Christianity through a meat grinder, along with heavenly sounding spices and some "high-fallutin'" philosophical fillers to make sausage that is neither Christian nor honest.

By the way, "Allah" was a junior god in the Arab pantheon, one of many gods Mohammed and his family worshipped until he saw how the worship of one god had apparently unified the west (he was not a good historian either). Allah was his particular favorite. (Fun fact: Allah had two daughters that Mohammed almost entirely removed from his "revelations" from Allah, that did, however survive in the infamous "Satanic Verses.") The rest of the family didn't appreciate his rejection of their favorite gods, nor his goofy half-baked theory of monotheism, so they threw him out on his ear (which then led "God" to reveal some surahs to Mohammed in the Medinan exile to curse those idol worshipping miscreants of Mecca and doom them to the typical Muslim "peace" process.)

Also, Muslims like to use the old "King James Bible Trick" when you quote the Koran. If you say, "The Koran says such and such," they will always categorically, and again, with a straight face, say that it does not. Only a few might explain. "Allah didn't speak English." (That corresponds to, "If it ain't in the King James Bible or said with King James thee's and thou's, it ain't authentic."). So, the only way you can say that the Koran says this or that is if you actually use Arabic vocables.

But even then you are not home free, because the interpretation of the Koran is fraught with many grammar and document errors (which, again, a Muslim will categorically deny is possible,) that has resulted down through the years in some entertaining or confusing interpretation possibilities.

Then, just to make things fun in a debate, if you get across the first two moats, most Muslims will be quick to point you to passages in the "Meccan" surahs, which are, indeed, irenic, while downplaying the strident "Medinan" surahs about cutting necks and other acts of brutal public service performed on behalf of Allah, the merciful and compassionate, on folks that don't see things his way--much like the "modernist" liberal Christian crowd downplays "embarrassing" portions of Scriptures, such as Jehovah commanding Joshua to slaughter the Palestinians--man, woman and child, or the sayings "attributed" to Jesus that denounce Jews, or Paul denouncing homosexuality.

Then, just when it seems you are making headway, it turns out that the Koran isn't what drives most of Muslim faith and life anyways (which reads about as well as the Book of Mormon), but rather the sayings of Mohammed (May He Rest In Peace.) That's a roller coaster ride that makes Cedar Pointe a schoolyard playground by comparison. In many ways, debating with a Muslim is as exhilarating as an afternoon with five Jehovah's Witnesses or following Alice through the looking glass!