Last month, during a speech given at the annual Iftar dinner at the White House (Washington's recognition marking the end of Ramadan), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice referred to Islam as "a religion of peace and love."
In a GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary, Don Feder said of Rice's speech: "In all of existence, there is no greater dichotomy than between the way Islam is portrayed by western admirers and the way it's practiced by its more enthusiastic adherents. Wherever large numbers of Muslims come in contact with 'infidels,' all jihad breaks loose. That's as true on the West Bank as it is in the Kashmir, as much a reality in the Philippines as the Balkans and as sure in West Africa as it is in Indonesia .... Yet, reality notwithstanding, western elites insist on seeing Islam through Condi-colored glasses. No amount of suicide bombing, anti-Semitic agitation, rampant misogyny, persecution of Christians or slaughter of innocents is allowed to penetrate this mindset."
Certainly every Muslim is not a terrorist -- every Arab or Pakistani convenience store clerk is not plotting the overthrow of America. But neither has a tiny minority of extremists hijacked Islam. The fact of the matter is that violent jihad warfare against non-Muslims is at the heart of Islamic theology. And it is the mother of all politically correct myths to believe otherwise.
Joseph Schacht, in his book An Introduction to Islamic Law, notes: "The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war; they must either be converted or subjugated or killed." There's your Islamic definition of peace -- bow or die!
Rice also said in her speech: "We in America know the benevolence that is in the heart of Islam. We've seen it in many ways. And most recently, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Muslim nations extended some of the most generous offers of support that we received." Yes, indeed moderate Muslims have performed such good works. Nevertheless, their motives should always be suspect.
For instance, Robert Spencer contends in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) that prominent American Muslim spokesman Siraj Wahaj "is often presented as a moderate" Muslim. In 1991, he was the first Muslim to ever give an invocation to Congress. After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Wahaj declared: "I now feel responsible to preach, actually to get on a jihad against extremism." However, "[w]hether his true thoughts are more extreme remains unclear," says Spencer. "[A]fter all, he has also warned that the United States will fall unless it 'accepts the Islamic agenda.' He has lamented that 'if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.' In the early 1990s, he sponsored talks by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in mosques in New York City and New Jersey. Rahman was later convicted for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, and Wahaj was designated a 'potential unindicted co-conspirator.'"
Spencer also points out that "moderate Islam does not exist to any significant extent in the world today." He writes: "Where Muslims do coexist peacefully with non-Muslims, as in Central Asia and elsewhere, it is not because the teachings of jihad have been reformed or rejected; they have simply been ignored, and history teaches that they can be remembered at any time."
What is more, Islamic doctrine teaches that lying is perfectly acceptable for jihads warring against unbelievers. Qur'an 3:28 reads: "Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them." In other words, the text prohibits Muslims from making friends with non-Muslims unless it's for the purpose of "guarding yourselves from them." Which is to say, it's permissible for Muslims to pretend they are the friends of non-believers, if it's so Islam may eventually reign over them.
Rice also mentioned in her remarks that "after the recent earthquake in South Asia, the entire world watched as thousands of Muslims, deep in the observance of Ramadan, led the relief effort without breaking their fast." Well duh! What's so great about that? In that case, Muslims were simply following their religion and in part by helping other Muslims. The epicenter of that great quake, where the worst damage was sustained, occurred in Pakistan -- an Islamic State. Other places largely affected were Afghanistan, where 99 percent of the people are Muslim, and northern India, which is the main center for Islam in that country.
If one really wants to understand the "love" -- "the heart of Islam" -- consider this: According to a National Review Online article by Deroy Murdock, after the tsunami devastated the South Pacific last year, the United States raised over $350 million in government aid. Australia donated $810 million, Germany $680 million, and Japan $500 million. Even actress Sandra Bullock managed to give a million dollars of her own money. But the vastly rich oil countries -- Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, and Libya -- made a combined pledge of less than a hundred million. Why? One Saudi cleric summed up the reason given by the Islamic clerics in those countries: "It happened at Christmas when fornicators and corrupt people from all over the world come to commit fornication and sexual perversion." Wow, can't you just feel the embrace -- the warmth of that Islamic love -- reaching out in compassion, offering great hope to the hurting masses. Granted, God at times does punish sin with natural calamities, but even when He does that doesn't mean we shouldn't reach out generously with aid and support.
No! Islam is neither a religion characteristic of peace or love. It is, in fact, a false religion. It makes a show of righteousness, but it is wicked to the core. Alexis de Tocqueville once said of Islam: "I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad .... Its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress ...."
Obviously, de Tocqueville didn't see Islam through "Condi-colored glasses." And neither should we!
[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 8, 2005.]
Rev. Mark H. Creech (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.