Is Islam a Religion, a Political Ideology, or Both?

The video below records Islamic speakers during the Muslim Day Parade held recently in New York City. They argue that the United Nations should pass blasphemy laws protecting Islam. It also shows a New York state senator who could not take the assault against free speech and religion and walked out.

Democratic values grew in the soil of Christendom, especially religious tolerance. That’s because the knowledge that man was born to be free is inherently a Christian insight. Secularists have appropriated the insight as their own and turn it against religious faith, but their notions of freedom are skewed and thus they are powerless to answer the challenges posed by the Islamic speakers with any coherence.

Islam can’t harbor the insight because they cannot perceive of a God who allows man the freedom to reject his own Creator. This rejection is not without consequences of course, but that is the risk inherent in love. If God truly loves man and desires that the love be returned, then man must be free to give it which means he has the freedom to refuse God’s love as well. The Islamic rejection of this insight is why the clash between Islamic and Christian culture is irreconcilable in the end, and why the secularist who fundamentally denies (is blind to) the religious dimension of life cannot comprehend why that clash exists. They think Islam can be mollified and appeased. It can’t. That would require the Muslim to give up his faith.


  1. macedonianreader :

    And this evil is troubling. What is more troubling is that this sort of ‘ideology’ has penetrated the United States. Ironically, we fight tyranny with tyranny. We fight the calls to scale back free speech, by scaling back free speech and closing down our own society and destruction of our Constitution. In many ways, the creators of this parade have won.

    The way we win this war is through the pulpit, by more freedom, not by nation-building and preemptive wars.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      Yes. We have to recover what I call the “prophetic dimension” of the Gospel, that unleashing of power that transforms the heart and mind of the hearer because it reveals Him who is Truth when the words of truth are preached. It is the only word that can penetrate the fog of moral relativism and also expose the inversion of values that justifies the destruction of liberty in the name of freedom you touch on above.

      I wrote an essay on this a while back: One Word of Truth Outweighs the Whole World.

  2. V. Rev. James Bernstein :

    It seems to me that Jesus clearly taught that God unconditionally loves us. That the core of our faith is not obedience to God – but love that leads to obedience. Christian cultures have had to wrestle with this concept – that God is Love, loves His enemies and that we should as well. Because it is so hard – Christians have compromised and lessened that ideal. BUT the reality of what Jesus taught remains and is a “thorn in our side.” Islam I understand does not teach that God is Love (is not one of the 99 names of Allah) and that we should love as He does – and even be Humble as He is. For the Moslem I believe that it is all about obedience and not about having a relationship WITH God who loves unconditionally or being IN God. So being tolerant towards others IS Christian because God is tolerant towards us. I think this is what Fr Johannes is getting at. That that concept of tolerance which respects and honors personal freedom – even to reject God – is Christian based and has provided a foundation that our secular society essentially took from us – without accepting all of the rest (Christianity).

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      I think this is what Fr Johannes is getting at. That that concept of tolerance which respects and honors personal freedom – even to reject God – is Christian based and has provided a foundation that our secular society essentially took from us – without accepting all of the rest (Christianity).

      Yes. That is the point.

    • Maybe in less ‘grand cosmic scheme of things’ ‘intellectual God categories and word images’ terms what we see is that by it’s inner nature Islam is much easier to co-opt by the politically ambitious. Christians who can say ‘no’ to God aren’t going to put up with a civil tyrant for too long. But if you can’t say ‘no’ to God and if you leave the religion says to kill you— accept that’s how the world is and your choices are to be on the menu or at the table. Accept that’s how the world is and we look forward to warring tyrants forever.

      Is it not the essential characteristic of a cult that to leave means severe reprisals? Leave a Christian church (redundancy for emphasis) for a while and you get letters asking you to consider returning and invitations to bake sales.

      The project then is to erase the credible threat of murder for choosing not to live according to the wishes of the Islamic leader and/or his secular tyrant counterpart. Remove extortion from the decision to stay or not stay.

      I can’t believe the either men or women will put up with the Islamic enshrined, even required, second class female status for much longer, as education increases. Either Islam will moderate or folk will leave it. The question is will the radical-Islam tyrant types kill thousands or millions before that happens?

      • Harry, right again. Islam has always favored the hothead and bigot, placing him in the seat of most influence. Other cultures, times and places, some Christian, have the same bad trait. But so many people, especially women, are already coming out from under the ‘hot shadow of Islam’ by the droves these days. I think of courageous young Egyptians who explore a revolutionary ethos similar to Sorbonne ’68 in the face of Salafist threat, and all the Iranian youth who absolutely abhor the mullahs. Everwhere the young Arabs speak up, it is in secular voices. The Arab spring was pretty well co-opted by islamist turds but not by the consent of the youth who largely fought it for secular goals. And every day thousands quietly convert to Christ, even in that cesspool of intolerance, Saudi Arabia.
        I met Coptic youth here who tell me many Egyptian muslims in the US are converting to Coptic Christianity. It’s a tidal wave gaining speed. The older generation is struggling desperately to keep a lid on the demographic preponderance of secular and otherwise de-islamizing youth. The pathetic maundering of the hothead old fart above and that cute but deluded twist of a she-rapper notwithstanding, these idiots are on the way out. We need to tell them very loudly where to get off, that we will not respect their pathetic emotional tantrums as deserving our sacrifice of an open society.

    • V. Rev. James Bernstein :

      A clarification: I said, “Islam I understand does not teach that God is Love (is not one of the 99 names of Allah) and that we should love as He does – and even be Humble as He is.” To be more accurate what I meant was that Christianity teaches that God IS Love whereas Islam teaches that Allah loves – but is not Love. The 99 names of Allah includes Al-Wadud “The Loving One.” We believe that God expresses His love to us in humility. So we say that God is humble – He is as Humble as He is Almighty. The 99 names of Allah do not include the name, “The most Humble.”

      • I appreciate your expounding on islam, etc. etc., but we all need to take a good look at this moon god religion based on a pedophile and murderer (mohammed) and call it for what it is and call “a spade a spade.” Islam is from the pit of hell, is not a religion of peace, and has a history full of subjugation, murder, pedophilia, and destruction. We need to speak this truth in love, though, and not dance around what we think it is. If the United States were following the tenets of the Scriptures thoroughly and were carrying out our business in a purely Christian way, the “religion of peace” would still hate us because we are the infidel. It is my firm conviction and hope that all muslims convert to Christianity, the true religion par excellence, and that we look to fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and fervent church attendance to see this through.

  3. Wesley J. Smith :

    It is my understanding that Islam does not distinguish between the religious and political realms. Islam is a total way of life without division or segregation of, say, secular and religious, or education and religious. That is why separation between mosque and state is a nonsensical concept to the devout Muslim.

  4. macedonianreader :

    As dangerous as Islam is, I do not find it more dangerous as secularism. In fact, based on this video we see that Islam is playing right in the hands of secularists and Statist fascists.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      Actually, secularism plays into the hands of Islam. I debated an Islamic “scholar” (that is how he was billed anyway) at a private high school in Naples, FL a few years back. He played to every liberal sympathy in the book (tolerance, victimhood, etc.). The verdict was split 50-50 after the debate. Half the room hated me, the other half loved me.

      The “haters” were most offended I think that in my responses, I did not take the putative moral weight of the liberal appeals into account at all. They seemed to believe that my Muslim opponent would respond to those secularized virtues if presumably he understood them. He understood them all right. I think this is how he got previous debaters on the ropes judging how facile he was in delivering them. I think the “haters” were angry I did not show the requisite contriteness when he made his charges.

  5. I agree with on Islam here, some Muslems want a more modern religon which doesn’t punished people over blasphemy. Anway, Islam uses some very old attacks on Eastern Orthodoxy like Byzantium killed thousands of Paulicans who were allied sometimes with Islam. Some Byzantine emperors were married to children but the general rule was not to sexaul relations until 12. 12 is a child today but legality in Byzantine times it was 12 for a girl and 14 for a boy to get married.


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