Monday, 5 September 2011

Part of what makes Islam so dangerous as a system of ideas is that some of its most positive attributes can readily be presented in a positive light. For example, the non-extirpation of Christians and Jews can be presented as a kind of tolerance. As we have seen from some of the Muslim commentators that occasionally appear here, even Jizya can be presented as a reasonable tax surcharge paid in lieu of military service.

And, in the West at least, Muslim propagandists make much of the fact that Jesus and other Biblical figures are considered prophets within the Islamic tradition. Preposterous though it seems, Muslims actually think that, deep down, Christians and Jews are really Muslims who just haven't been set straight yet. This denial of genuine difference is actually a sinister kind of intellectual imperialism, but it is easy to see how it can be presented in a positive light. And Muslims lose no opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately, neither is there any shortage of naive Christians willing to play along with them and pretend that the Christian God is really just Allah with a different name. One of those is Miroslav Volf, a Christian theologian who has just written a book called "Allah: a Christian Response" expounding the "Same God/Different Name" hypothesis.

Mark Durie, an Australian Anglican minister, offers a crushing critique of Volf's book here and manages to retain a strange kind of Christian mercifulness while doing so. In fact the review is an excellent summary of what it is that makes Islam threatening to anyone who isn't a Muslim. It could serve as a intellectual wake-up pill to some of the happy-clappy interfaith delusionists, if only they could be made to read it.

The humanity and compassion he manages to retain in his writings about Islam is part of what makes Durie so effective as a polemicist. Many Counterjihadists, including myself, become so angry at what they see happening to their countries that they cannot refrain from expressions of scorn and outrage. But Durie shows us that projecting an unflappable Christian serenity can be extraordinarily disarming for the opposition. This is part of what makes his book The Third Choice so great too. If you want to make someone aware of why Islam is a threat to us, give them that book.

The core element of what makes Islam problematical is that it does not accept the principle of reciprocity aka The Golden Rule (do to others as you would be done by), which forms the basis for all other major ethical systems in the world. Islam applies differential moral standards to the in-group (Muslims) compared to the out-group(non-Muslims). This is why it has sown tension, conflict and violence in every part of the earth it has spread to.

Muslim apologists like Miroslav Volf or Karen Armstrong in her book "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life" like to pretend that Islam does accept this key moral principle. As Durie makes clear, however, they can only do so by quoting isolated passages of the Islamic "holy texts" out of context. When these texts exhort Muslims to benevolent behaviour, it is generally only towards other Muslims; or to non-Muslims under stringent conditions, such as their meek acceptance of Muslim rule.


Johnny Rottenborough said...

The Dean of Washington National Cathedral is still under the impression that Christians and Muslims worship the same God; he was speaking at a ‘Service of Hope and Healing’ to mark 9/11. People like him wouldn’t need to hope if they could bring themselves to look truth in the face.

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