Ten Things to Understand about Islam

6. Islam Demands Jihad – Jihad is “the struggle”. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion from a literal reading of the Koran that Islam is about global domination through stealth and force. However “Jihad” is interpreted in different ways by Islamic scholars. Many say the greatest “jihad” is with oneself–to over come evil and become a good person. Another level of jihad is the struggle to patiently bear the evils and troubles that face you. Then a third level of jihad is the spiritual battle against Satan and temptation. The fourth level of jihad is to correct hypocrites and infidels and radical Muslims take this fourth level of jihad to mean armed violence. When you learn that Islam demands Jihad you might assume it means that all Muslims are on the warpath, bristling with weapons of terror. But that would be like assuming all Christians are armed and ready for war because we sing “Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching As To War” and talk about “spiritual warfare.”

7. Islam demands Sharia Law – Sharia law is the law which governs all aspects of life which is based on the Koran. Some interpreters of the Koran say that it demands eventual imposition of Sharia law on the whole world. While some, no doubt, hold to that fundamentalist interpretation, many Muslims say they only want sharia law within their own communities–kind of like the way Catholics exercise canon law for their own religious regulations and principles. Again, what worries most Westerners are not the moderate Muslims who only want freedom to practice their religion in Western countries, but the extreme Muslims who want to impose Sharia law on everyone. Whether the extreme views are “true Islam” or not is what is debated.

8. Islam is Aiming for World Conquest – This is true, but we have to ask what “world conquest” means. This webpage explains the four fold process for Islamic conquest of a non Muslim country. Other Muslims would deny that the aim of Islam is geopolitical conquest and would say they simply want the whole world to follow Islam in the same way that Christians wish that all people would come to know and love Jesus Christ. World events certainly point to a strong element within Middle Eastern Islam who believe their religion is about literal world conquest, and we should have our eyes wide open about this form of aggressive supremacist fascism.

9. Most Muslims are Not Terrorists – Just like most Christians are not Irish Republican Army bombers, most Muslims are not terrorists. However, it is also true to point out that not all Nazis were mass murderers and not all Germans were Nazis. The German fascist threat to take over the world and impose their ideology on everyone, and exterminate their enemies through genocide had to be stopped. Just because we admit that most Muslims are not terrorists does not mean that we should be blind and dismissive of those who are.

10. The Penalties in Islam are Cruel and Unforgiving – Sharia law is certainly cruel and unforgiving. Thieves are to have hands amputated. Adulterers are to be stoned. Homosexuals are to be tortured and executed, and so the list goes on. However, while there are some Muslims who want the literal penalties prescribed in the Koran there are others who want Islam to move away from such primitive and barbaric practices and use more humane forms of justice. While we should be thankful for the moderate Muslims who want to temper the cruelty of the penalties we should be aware that there are too many regions of Islam who want to spread the barbaric penalties and see them as an integral part of the Koran, Sharia law and the Islamic religion.Their understanding of Islam is less of a religion and more of a political ideology, and just as we eventually got rid of the aggressive ideologues of Europe, we will also have to face the aggressive ideologues of the Middle East.

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