As a Christian there are issues I have with Sam Harris. I am concerned that love and hope are not part of his life. His life is only what it is; and he is doing it his way. But on the issue of Islam and the threat it poses to the world I am in total accord. Even the most vile Christian, the most fundamental, will not threaten a take over of other countries. Christians are not building theocracies. There is greater tolerance on the part of the most fundamental Christian than exists in the most moderate Muslim. If the Quran is their manifesto, then the hate that exists for anyone that does not believe in the Quran and Islam is doomed if they have their way – or they make their way and simply attack. They can increase their numbers by decreasing the numbers of non-believers using machetes, swords, guns and nuclear weapons. Should the non-Muslim world be on guard? From my vantage point – the answer is ‘Yes!’
Comments from avowed atheist Sam Harris.
Sam Harris on the Reality of Islam – (Posted on the website above on Feb 7, 2006)
Anyone familiar with my work knows that I am extremely critical of all religious faiths. I have argued elsewhere that the ascendancy of Christian conservatism in American politics should terrify and embarrass us. I have argued that the religious dogmatism of the Jewish settlers could well be the cause of World War III. And yet, there are gradations to the evil that is done in name of God, and these gradations must be honestly observed. So let us now acknowledge the obvious:
1.) there is a direct link between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim violence.
Acknowledging this link remains especially taboo among political liberals. While liberals are leery of religious fundamentalism in general, they consistently imagine that all religions at their core teach the same thing and teach it equally well. This is one of the many delusions borne of political correctness. Rather than continue to squander precious time, energy, and good will by denying the role that Islam now plays in perpetuating Muslim violence, we should urge Muslim communities, East and West, to reform the ideology of their religion. This will not be easy, as the Koran and hadith offer precious little basis for a Muslim Enlightenment, but it is necessary.
2.) The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence.
Unless the world’s Muslims can find some way of expunging the metaphysics that is fast turning their religion into a cult of death, we will ultimately face the same perversely destructive behavior throughout much of the world. It should be clear that I am not speaking about a race or an ethnicity here; I am speaking about the logical consequences of specific ideas.
Anyone who imagines that terrestrial concerns account for Muslim terrorism must answer questions of the following sort: Where are the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers? The Tibetans have suffered an occupation far more brutal, and far more cynical, than any that Britain, the United States, or Israel have ever imposed upon the Muslim world. Where are the throngs of Tibetans ready to perpetrate suicidal atrocities against Chinese noncombatants? They do not exist. What is the difference that makes the difference? The difference lies in the specific tenets of Islam. This is not to say that Buddhism could not help inspire suicidal violence. It can, and it has (Japan, World War II). But this concedes absolutely nothing to the apologists for Islam. As a Buddhist, one has to work extremely hard to justify such barbarism. One need not work nearly so hard as a Muslim. If you doubt whether the comparison is valid, ask yourself where the Palestinian Christian suicide bombers are. Palestinian Christians also suffer the indignity of the Israeli occupation. This is practically a science experiment: take the same people, speaking the same language, put them in the same horrendous circumstance, but give them slightly different religious beliefs—and then watch what happens. What happens is, they behave differently.
While the other major world religions have been fertile sources of intolerance, it is clear that:
3.) the doctrine of Islam poses unique problems for the emergence of a global civilization.
The world, from the point of view of Islam, is divided into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War,” and this latter designation should indicate how Muslims believe their differences with those who do not share their faith will be ultimately resolved. While there are undoubtedly some moderate Muslims who have decided to overlook the irrescindable militancy of their religion,
4.) Islam is undeniably a religion of conquest.
The only future devout Muslims can envisage—as Muslims—is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed. The tenets of Islam simply do not admit of anything but a temporary sharing of power with the “enemies of God.” Devout Muslims can have no doubt about the reality of Paradise or about the efficacy of martyrdom as a means of getting there. Nor can they question the wisdom and reasonableness of killing people for what amount to theological grievances. In Islam, it is the moderate who is left to split hairs, because the basic thrust of the doctrine is undeniable: convert, subjugate, or kill unbelievers; kill apostates; and conquer the world.
It should be of particular concern to us that:
5.) the beliefs of devout Muslims pose a special problem for nuclear deterrence.
There is, after all, little possibility of our having a cold war with an Islamist regime armed with long-range nuclear weapons. A cold war requires that the parties be mutually deterred by the threat of death. Notions of martyrdom and jihad run roughshod over the logic that allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to pass half a century perched, more or less stably, on the brink of Armageddon. We must come to terms with the possibility that men who are every bit as zealous to die as the September 11th hijackers may one day get their hands on nuclear weaponry. As Martin Rees, Britain’s Royal astronomer, has pointed out, there is no reason to expect that we will be any more successful at stopping nuclear proliferation, in small quantities, than we have been with respect to illegal drugs. If this is true, weapons of mass destruction will eventually be available to anyone who wants them. It seems a truism to say that:
6.) there is no possible future in which aspiring martyrs will make good neighbors for us.
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My concern is that Islam is fomenting an attitude of hatred towards those do not accept Allah or the messages of Muhammad. The history of the growth of this religion is one of conquest, the killing of conservative and moderate Muslims that have altered the radical tenants expressed in the Quran, and clearly the killing of non-Muslims, especially Christians. Christians in Muslim countries are under attack daily. To kill is to demonstrate hatred. Muslims hate the infidel and the message of the Quran and Muhammad is death to the infidel. Cultural modification of this religion is not on the agenda of Islamic leaders. It will remain in an age of control by the sword. My personal opinion is leaders of countries in the free world need to suppress this vile hatred, not recognize it as a religion, not consider it as anything more than a gang intended to take-over by brute force and impose the will of Allah. Man, as Allahs, are becoming Gods, imposing judgment on the world, and making all areas not under their full authority killing fields. This encroaching blight on freedom needs to be stopped.
Comments are welcomed from anyone that can tell me what I am missing.
May grace and peace, the blessings of the Lord fall upon all who believe in the Risen Lord, and may the eyes of those that have not accepted Christ have the opportunity to get to know him, be exposed, have their heart and mind and soul opened, and find that the light he shines can guide the world to peace. His light is not that of an atom bomb blast, but one of love, hope, charity and kindness.