If you had no prior indoctrination, reading the Quran for the first time would be eye-opening: not because of its spiritual depth (it has none) but, rather, because of it’s entrenched, self-reinforcing, fundamentalism. It represents the most totalitarian foundation of any religion I’ve ever looked into. To me, this is THE most notable thing about the Quran.
Many of us who have read the Quran are alarmed by it. It’s hard to see how any religion based on it can have moderate adherents . . . unless they are simply ignorant of what is in the Quran (in the same way so many Christians are ignorant of what’s in the Bible). If I were to beat a drum against one religion, it would be Islam. It’s a major mind-fuck. No question about it.
I don’t care what all those “religion of peace” liars claim; the Quran promotes an intolerant us-versus-them mindset at every turn. Don’t get me wrong . . . Islam’s adherents determine, individually, how they integrate their religion into their lives. Just as with Christians, Muslims practice their religion selectively: cherry-picking what they will and won’t adhere to. I claim only that, if understood and taken seriously, the Quran — on which Islam is based — promotes a totalitarian, xenophobic, worldview. However, I recognize that some adherents aren’t really practicing Muslims and that many just want to live their lives in peace, like most of us do.
But the more you adhere to the Quran, the more totalitarian, intolerant and xenophobic you must be. And, of course, this rabid dogma gives license to anybody who would abuse the Quran to justify their own agendas. From Jihad recruiters, to the fatwas of Islamic clerics, to Iran’s bad-faith nuclear negotiations: Islamism represents a value system diametrically opposed to Western values. Indeed, human rights, protection of minorities, and other democratic values are seen as weaknesses to Islamists. Liberal-minded apologists for Islam fail to grasp this central reality. Their commendable desire for open-mindedness, acceptance and inclusion plays right into the hands of Islamists. Unfortunately, they simply don’t think like we do. They were raised on different values and principles.
These facts are disconcerting when you consider the demographics of Islamic regions of the world. Although education levels are climbing in most of these regions, the illiteracy rate is still alarmingly high and tends to accompany both a high poverty rate and a high birth rate. This is fertile ground for Islamists to pursue their extremist agendas and recruit Jihadis.
We need to keep in mind that the source of Islam is Allah and that we only know him via the Quran. And in the Quran, Allah repeatedly makes it abundantly clear that if you shirk the battle for Jihad, you’re a scum-ball in his omniscient eyes.
This does not portend well for the West.
Let’s imagine that you’re an illiterate but Allah-fearing Muslim. Moderate Muslims tell you that Islam is a religion of peace. Fundamentalist Muslims tell you that Islam can only be at peace AFTER infidels are silenced (converted or killed). You don’t know who to believe.
So you learn to read. You find some (but not many) commendable, tolerant, suras in the Quran but you also read the unrelenting harangue exhorting believers to keep believing and vilifying unbelievers, misbelievers, disbelievers, nonbelievers and ex-believers. You read that you shouldn’t associate with, or give any credence whatsoever, to infidels. As Muhammad was fond of saying, “We bring you glad tidings of grievous woe.” Because of your prior indoctrination, you probably won’t realize that if you removed such harangues from the Quran, there wouldn’t be much left. You probably won’t recognize that xenophobia is woven into and throughout the Quran. But you will recognize that Allah really, really, wants infidels to go extinct and that Jihad is your moral and spiritual responsibility.
What do you do? What do you believe after reading the Quran for yourself? Prior indoctrination would surely play a large part in your response. Which is why the spread of extremism in Islam is so toxic. BECAUSE THE QURAN BACKS UP EXTREMISM. The Islamists, fundamentalists, militants, and even terrorists are actually practicing what the Quran preaches. We can’t really get rid of Islam, so we should counter Islamism by promoting progressive, moderate, Islam. And Islamic terrorism should be prosecuted as the murderous crime that it is . . . whether or not it pleases Allah.
The “religion of peace” mantra is a propaganda ploy that well-intentioned but clueless apologists mindlessly repeat. Islam is not peaceful or tolerant and won’t be as long as extremists control the Islamic agenda. But it could be reasonably peaceful and tolerant if Muslims decide to reform their religion and reject Islamism by ejecting Sharia and Jihad. If you value human rights and democratic values, nothing less will do.
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