Catholic Reverend: Not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam
By LTC ALLEN WEST (US ARMY RET)
October 7, 2014/mily Security Matters
As we sit quietly by, watching this entity called ISIS endeavor to create an Islamic caliphate or recoil at the recent beheading of an American woman, I believe it’s time to conduct a serious analysis of Islam.
I care not for the cultural jihadist apologists and their PC dismissals. The time has come for the sake of Western civilization and our Constitutional Republic to ask the hard questions and make the tough assessments.
What separates Islam from other religions is a single word – reformation. It’s interesting how so many want to play the relativism game when it comes to Christianity and Islam. First, let’s make a clear distinction: Christianity is a faith, not a religion. As a matter of fact, there can be no debate that America – if not most of Western civilization – has a Judeo-Christian faith heritage in the formulation of its foundational principles.
Religion is manmade dogma, not a faith – such as Judaism is a faith but there are many different subsets, in other words, religious practices, such as Orthodox Hasidic, Chabad Lubavitch, Conservative, and Reform. As for the Christian faith, it comes down to Catholicism and Protestantism – but there are countless subsets of religious practices in Protestantism (Calvinists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc).
Some say Christianity has fought many wars, but actually it was the clash between the traditions of Catholicism and the newly advocated Protestantism. It was Martin Luther’s 95 Theses of 1517 that was the impetus of what would become the Protestant [root word being protest] Reformation. It was a revolutionary endeavor to promote the right and freedom of the individual to have a relationship with God not requiring an intermediary – such as what the Catholic Church at the time promoted. It was this that led to the Gutenberg printing of the Bible in mass for all to read and understand. It’s critical to understand what Luther actually set in motion.
First of all, it was the beginning of individual sovereignty in challenging the prevalent belief that the collective was preeminent over the individual. It unlocked the beginning of individual enlightenment and the ability to question and reason. And most important, it challenged the ruling monarchial concept of Divine Law theory – rule being granted to Kings and such by God – and laid the seeds for the Natural Law theory, which led to the concept of unalienable individual rights from the Creator – since Luther had established this personal relationship. It was the Protestant Reformation that has led to the elevation of the individual instead of the subjugation of the collective – the seminal fundamental principle of Western civilization.
The problem we are facing today is that Islam has never been reformed and still holds onto 7th century precepts as promoted by an illiterate, violent, war lord and pedophile – who is considered the “perfect man.”
And so I found particularly relevant a recent article entitled “It’s time to take the Islamic State Seriously” posted on Crisismagazine.com by Reverend James V. Schall, S.J. Rev. Schall taught political science at Georgetown University for many years and his latest books include The Mind That Is Catholic, Remembering Belloc, and Reasonable Pleasures.
Rev Schall’s piece was thought-provoking, and theologically and historically spot on. He writes, “What I want to propose here is an opinion. An opinion is a position that sees the plausibility but not certainty of a given proposition. But I think this opinion is well-grounded and makes more sense both of historic and of present Islam than most of the other views that are prevalent. The Islamic State and the broader jihadist movements throughout the world that agree with it are, I think, correct in their basic understanding of Islam. Plenty of evidence is found, both in the long history of early Muslim military expansion and in its theoretical interpretation of the Qur’an itself, to conclude that the Islamic State and its sympathizers have it basically right. The purpose of Islam, with the often violent means it can and does use to accomplish it, is to extend its rule, in the name of Allah, to all the world. The world cannot be at “peace” until it is all Muslim.”
And we must not forget that Islam means “submission” – quite in contrast to what Luther was promoting.
Rev. Schall is saying that it’s not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam itself as that is an integral part of its calling. Islam began in 612AD and its first convert was Mohammed’s first wife Kadeisha. The so-called “peaceful verses” of the Qur’an come in the time period from 612AD-622AD. Around 622AD, Mohammed took his “night ride” to Jerusalem because he was rejected in his home tribal area of Mecca, and he enacted the Hijra to Medina. This began the second phase when Mohammed aligned himself with violent tribes and started his actions with the Nahkla raid and the verses of the Qur’an shifted to violent – but based upon the Arabic term “Nakesh” which means abrogation, the latter more violent verses supersede all those previous, but all verses have validity. This lends to the duplicity of Islam.
“In Muslim doctrine,” Rev. Schall writes, “everyone born into the world is a Muslim. No one has any right or reason not to be. Hence, everyone who is not a Muslim is to be converted or eliminated – [as we saw done to the Christian community and others in Mosul]. This is also true of the literary, monumental, and other signs of civilizations or states that are not Muslim. They are destroyed as not authorized by the Qur’an. It is the religious responsibility of Islam to carry out its assigned mission of subduing the world to Allah. It may be possible for some to read Islam as a religion of “peace.” But its “peace,” in its own terms, means the peace of Allah within its boundaries, Dar-al-Islam. With the rest of the outside world, it is at war – Dar al-Harb – in order to accomplish a religious purpose, namely, to have all submitted to Allah in the passive way that the Qur’an specifies.”
The problem Rev. Schall brings out in his piece is that we here in the West, and certainly this Obama administration, attempt to rationalize and reason the problem away. We fail to just accept what is happening, and has happened historically, before our eyes.
Now, this is not about condemning Muslims. However, it is about indicting a political-theocratic totalitarian imperialistic ideology – it ain’t workplace violence folks. We always hear about “crusades” yet no one wants to talk about how Islam sought to spread – certainly not by peaceful proselytization – as could be seen from North Africa to Spain (Al Andalusia) to France (Battle of Tours) to the Mediterranean (Battle of Lepanto) to Constantinople (Istanbul) to the Balkans to Vienna to Hindu India to China to the Phillipines and today to Ft. Hood, Texas and Moore, Oklahoma. And yet we have individuals such as CIA Director John Brennan giving us some wishy-washy definition of jihad or B. Hussein Obama telling us ISIS isn’t Islamic.
I highly encourage you all to read Rev. Schall’s entire piece. It is highly enlightening and I leave you with his conclusion, “It is easy to write this movement off as fanatical and ruthless, which it is. To the outside world, it sounds horrific, but I suspect not to those who believe its truth and see the current revival of Islam with relief. The second or third class ranking of Islam in the modern world is over. But to the degree that we misjudge what is motivating the renewal of Islam, we will never understand why it exists as it does.”
Luther’s reformation brought about great strides for the civilized world. If Islam does not undergo a reformation, there is no coexistence, only a new Dark Age.
**Lt. Col (Retired) Allen West served 22 years in the US Army and represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 2011-2013. To hear more from Col. West, visit www.allenbwest.com.