The following is a conversation between myself and a Muslim friend, that grew out of the recent arrest of Tommy Robinson, in which I had posted my own support in a petition for his release, and a Muslim friend responded, asking how he could help, perhaps thinking this was my own legal case, somehow. What I see happening, quite honestly, concerning the Tommy Robinson case, is nationalist movements that are beginning to form in response with average citizens in the West, who are seeing the affects of radical Islam on the ground, who aren't separated from the realities of Islam anymore, with mass immigration. And yet we have elitist ideologues, frankly, who have control of media and Western governments and institutions, and are determined to cling to their sunshine and roses assumptions about an ideology that I see as being rooted in the Arab conquests. With this in mind, and due to the totalitarian nature of Islam, it being an all-consuming ideology with no concept of separation between church and state, and Islamic sources that again, I see as a reflection of a time and place - but do Muslims? Why would they see the Quran as simply a product of a time and place, if these are the direct instructions and commands of God? The question becomes, how do we, without stripping the Quran of it's religious claims, begin to confront the violent content of much of the later and more authoritative passages of the Quran? Do you see what I'm getting at? Why wouldn't a devout Muslim, sincerely desiring to be faithful to Allah, take the Quran at face value, which reads, to me at least, as an open-ended call to arms? I think there's a reason why the directives of the Quran appear very open-ended and without context, just taking the Quran alone without later, supporting Islamic literature. I think the Quran presents in this way because the Quran itself was political propaganda of the early Arab state, with other materials developing over time, to support the continued political and economic interests of the early Arab state. These sources may have some historical merit, to be fair. I am simply acknowledging a fact of history, it seems to me, in noting that this material was written with clear political and economic motivations at play in the background. I'll leave it there with those opening thoughts, and continue with a portion of a recent conversation with the same Muslim friend. His name has been changed. My understanding Ismail, speaking generally, is that Salafism and Wahhabism are representative of a Reformation movement within Sunni Islam, seeing the early generations of Islam, represented in the earliest and most authoritative texts of Islam, as being that which Muslims should strive to emulate. Can you see how I, as a Reformation minded Christian, see that these are the folks that have the highest regard for these earliest and most authoritative sources, while it is often liberal or westernized or other branches of Islam that represent later cultural or interpretative adaptations of Islam?
See, that's why Reformation minded Christians like myself are the cure for radical Islam. lol. We think exactly like they do haha. The difference is my friend, is that when you go back to the earliest texts of Christianity, you get an apolitical religious movement that stressed overcoming evil with good, loving and serving your enemies, and when you go back to the earliest sources of Islam, I see the Arab conquests, which were extremely violent and imperialistic, supremacist, and so forth, sadly. Again, I don't say this to belittle or make modern Muslims feel guilty. I know how that feels as a Christian, being blamed for things I had no control over, and I don't desire to do that to anyone. I want to understand Islam in it's historical context, so as to be able to minister to Muslims. That's my heart in this, Ismail.
Concerning the hadiths, they are 200-300 years after the death of Muhammad. That's why I'm very suspicious of this material on the whole. There were political motivations for writings such material. Anyway, feel free to respond Ismail, but even basing such discussion on the Quran, as you point out, would be the most authoritative source for all Muslims, there is plenty of support for violent opposition in the Quran. I'm surprised I even have to argue for that. There are many, many verses which call for very violent opposition of non-believers. Why doesn't that make perfect sense if really, Islam is a politically rooted ideology, and the Arabs were simply asserting their dominance over the conquered people of these regions?
How do we make sense of all this Ismail, that's what I'm trying to get at here. Again, I have no desire to blame or marginalize Muslims for this material. I desire for this material to be understood in it's proper historical context, which is the Arab conquests. Unfortunately, the fact that Muslims see these words as the literal word and command of God, for all time -that makes that rather difficult, doesn't it? So how do we move forward? I don't want violence, you don't want violence. How do we, while respecting freedom of religion, begin to see these texts as simply a product of their time? How do we get beyond the violent commands that are there, without an acknowledgement that these sources are simply a product of a time and place? Can you begin to see why I see the need to challenge Islam at it's roots? Sincerely, Margaret Harvey Matthew 5: 43-48. From the 'Sermon on the Mount': You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus.