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July 30, 2007

Islam in the Spotlight

The Washington Post and Newsweek have undertaken an interesting project: to dissect the often uneasy relationship between Islam and Western ideals. This has included a magazine cover story and a week-long discussion on the On Faith blog site (to which Chuck Colson contributed).

This is as relevant and necessary a topic to address as there could be on this multimedia stage. But it's hard not to notice that most of the voices in these features address Islam from a moderate, liberal, perhaps even secular viewpoint. What is largely missing is a doctrinal defense or apologetic of the tenets of the Muslim religion, or any support for the violent strain of the faith that has made its presence so maddeningly known.

The absence of the latter isn't so bad, perhaps -- after all, we all want the condemnation of "moderate" Muslims to drown out the insane actions of the radicals. Yet it's not always made clear why Islam is so incompatible with acts of terrorism. As Chuck asks, "Why is there not a more concerted effort to take back the Muslim faith from those who use it for ideological gain -- in my opinion, the advancement of fascism?"

The Newsweek story, on the other hand, seems to focus primarily on the quest of American Muslims to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the public -- a quest made more difficult following September 11. Again, however, this approach draws more upon cultural or ethnic differences than the religion that creates them, and its foundational worldview or truth claims.

So while this is a debate that is worth presenting in national publications and websites, has it really told us anything about Islam? Or is it just another reminder that, by the way, most Muslims aren't terrorists? A fair point, but it doesn't explore the nuances of the belief system held by terrorists, or the belief system held by non-violent believers.

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The thing is, the "islamists" are the faithful, Qur'an-believing Muslims. The "moderates" are the apostates who are afraid to leave Islam////get their heads chopped off, but don't really believe in all that stuff, or at least, want to live lives of "personal peace and prosperity" (to quote Schaeffer)

Anyone who says differently is quite frankly, trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Ideas have consequences.


islam is misfit in today's world as it does not admit of multiple interpretations . its violence derives from its social, political, intellectual and economic backwardness. democracy that glorifies diologes and negotiations can alone make it beautiful.

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