UI – Part 352 – Why Can’t Islamists Be Happy?
To Muslims in the EU, America & other Free societies. You can now find the answer.
Definitions are always helpful.
Merriam-Webster defines ISLAMISM: 1. the faith, doctrine, or cause of Islam, 2. a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam.
The Free Dictionary defines ISLAMIST: 1. (Islam) supporting or advocating Islamic fundamentalism, 2. (Islam) a supporter or advocate of Islamic fundamentalism
From the Thesaurus an Islamist is a scholar knowledgeable in Islamic studies and an orthodox Muslim. Orthodoxy is the adherence to specified norms or creeds of a religion.
Islamic Fundamentalism is often referred to as radical Islam. The real question is can there be fundamentalists as well as moderates within the framework of Islam. The concern I often have is in defining ‘True Islam.’ Leading Fundamentalists include Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966, Egyptian), Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi [1904-1979, Pakistan (Urdu)], Israr Ahmed (1932-2010, Pakistan) and Wahhabism [established in the Arabian Peninsula in the 1700’s by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792)]. All espouse a Caliphate structure and insist the strictest interpretation of the Quran and Muhammad, as the example, dictates the life of a Muslim. Any deviation is a distortion and not ‘true Islam.’ Wahhab was closely associated with the Saud family who in time became the monarchy of Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formed in 1932). Salafi is another term for Wahhabism, preferred by many. Also there is Muwahhids. All seek to restore Islam to an emphasis on Tawhid, or the Oneness of Allah (monotheism). Wahhabism is the key element in understanding the fundamentalist and those noted as leaders in the field. The foundation they have established, written extensively about, preached and trained scholars, is considered the gospel of Islam by the most ardent followers.
Political Islam is important to understand as well. Defined also as ‘Islamism’, which is interesting, it is a theocratic way of life. It seeks to establish societies under the fundamental elements of Islam, to include the leaders being Islamists guided by Imams as religious counselors. The traditions, creeds and practices of Islam become part and parcel to the law that governs society. All residents are to be adherents of Islam. There is no deviation, no desire for plurality or other forms of believing, and no allowance for proselytizing, except for Islam. Political Islam is the objective of the fundamentalist. All Muslims are called to seek to establish societies that comply fully with the principles and practices of Islamism. Called a police state, when political Islam is firmly entrenched, the cops on the beat maintain a watchful eye, with clubs ready, for those, men or women, who violate the rules. Dress codes, hair and beard styles, any form of open affection, people speaking ill against Allah or Muhammad, and so much more are monitored with immediate action taken to chastise (punish) the violators.
Bernard Lewis (1916 – ), a leading historian on Islam has written, “Among Muslim theologians there is as yet no … liberal or modernist approach to the Qur’an, and all Muslims, in their attitude to the text of the Qur’an, are in principle at least fundamentalists. Where the so-called Muslim fundamentalists differ from other Muslims … is in their scholasticism and their legalism. They base themselves not only on the Qur’an, but also on the Traditions of the Prophet, and on the corpus of transmitted theological and legal learning.” (Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.) From the age of its foundation, the 7th century, the world has changed and attitudes and thinking have morphed to accommodate a more modern era. However that evolution is not to be applied to Islam, according to the standards of the Islamist.
Returning to the basics of Islam is the movement (7th Century thinking, but with modern weapons), the revolution as it may be viewed, being conducted in a violent fashion to restore ‘true Islam’ as defined by the fundamentalists mentioned. It is a movement intended for all Muslims. By their definition there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. All must adhere to the text of their Scripture and find in Muhammad answers on how to conduct themselves. A moderate, or modified, version of Islam is denied by a vast majority of Islamic world leaders, and contradicted by Islamic scripture. Often quoted is the President of Turkey (12th), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made it clear, “There is no ‘moderate’ Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s that..” He likens democracy to a train or a trolley traveling through societies with Muslims aboard, the stopping off point, final destination, of which is a world All for Allah.
Now, back to the question – Why Can’t Islamists Be Happy? Answer, because they are taught to hate, resist and fight. Hate infidels, non-believers, anyone not a Muslim, to include heretics, that is Muslim heretics. Hatred is a vile cancer. It infects the heart and the soul. It is readily triggered. A comment, an ill-timed rebuke, a drawing or cartoon can ignite the fire of hatred that smolders within the human Muslim cavity whose mind is reminded in their Madrases, mosques and by activist peers and scholars they are Muslim and what that must mean. As if standing before the hearth with a poker in hand, the slightest disturbance to the countenance of the Islamist will justify a thrust. His right hand tightly gripping the shaft of the poker, his veins rising, a stab into the resting ashes will attempt to ignite what lies below.
Battle Cry of Islam
Here are verses from the Quran (paraphrased) that provide the constant din of a battle cry.
Sura 2.120 – Make no friend of the infidel.
Sura 2.190-195 – Fight those who resist Islam. Kill them. Stop when religion is only for Allah and there is no persecution of Muslims whatsoever.
Sura 4.36 – Be good to your neighbor, do not love neighbor, until the time is right.
Sura 4.71 – Remain as a group (do not assimilate)
Sura 4.76 – fight the friends of the devil (infidels)
Sura 4.104 – Be not weak-hearted in pursuit of the enemy
Sura 5.33 – Wage war against the infidel. Those who discredit Allah or Muhammad
Sura 6.21 – It is unjust to interpret Quran wrongly.
Sura 7.51 – Take Islam seriously – or be forsaken.
Sura 8.39 – Fight them (infidels) until they are no more.
Sura 8.69 – Enjoy the spoils of war.
Sura 9.3 – Lying to idolaters is allowed. (Takiyya).
Sura 9.9 – Infidels are evil.
Sura 9.14 – Fight them. Chastise them at your hands (the hands of man)
Sura 9.29 – Muslims are superior. Subject infidels.
Sura 9.52 – Punishment can be carried out at the hands of the Muslim.
Sura 10.21 – Make plans against the Infidels. Prepare. Deceive.
Sura 10.99 – Force men to believe, as necessary
Sura 11.27 – Infidels that do not see Muslims as superior are liars.
Sura 14.13 – Drive non-Muslims out of Muslim lands.
Sura 14.14 – Imperialism OK – Muslims to settle in the land of the Infidels.
Sura 23.34 – Obedience to a mortal, not Allah, makes a Muslim a loser.
Sura 24.52 – Strive (fight – jihad) against infidels to the death. Do not obey non-believers.
Sura 32.18 – Believer and infidel are not equal.
Sura 33.21 – Muhammad is to be the example to follow.
Sura 47.4 – In battle, behead disbelievers, make them prisoners, set them free for ransom.
Sura 47.34 – No forgiveness for those that hinder Islam’s progress. They are the aggressors.
Sura 49.11 – No humor is Islam.
Sura 60.4 – Hatred towards the infidel forever until belief is in Allah alone.
This summary from the Quran provides a basis to consider the laws of Islam. There are parts of Sharia not in the Quran, such as the 5 Pillars, or praying 5 times each day. Another read relied upon for Islamic Law is The Reliance of the Traveller (a standard Islamic legal reference). Just from those verses noted (and many more could be included) there is no let up in enmity towards non-Muslims. The call is to fight, fight, fight. War dominates. Hatred prevails. Persecution of any kind, even expressing doubts as to the ideology, being critical, or sharing one’s faith (proselytizing) is a trigger for the heart hardened by hatred, over and over, and thus reactions of a violent nature, as punishment to be served, as would the example Muhammad, is allowed. This speaks more of a demon than a god, in my view.
Moderates and Islamists
By the definition and this discussion the focus is on the extreme elements of Islam. Most Muslims have not grown up or lived in a politically Islamic police state, but they exist. Saudi Arabia is probably the largest. There are pockets within a Muslim country, areas where Islamist volunteers, you might say, take it upon themselves to insure the strictest of Islam is overseen. The Taliban did that in Afghanistan transforming it after the Russians were expelled. Prior it was a modern (in thinking, not as a productive nation), more humane (woman went to school and were not required to wear hi-jabs or burkas) and secular country. Iran went through a similar transition after the the 1979 Iranian revolution brought with it the arrival of the Khomeini. Areas such as Somalia, Mali, Morocco and parts of Pakistan and so on, are Muslim. The residents embrace their culture, the sounds, the smells and the respect for god, but are not necessarily strict in their religious practices. They work to survive and if they must they keep working through the hours of required prayer and devotion. In many locations the people are only aware of Islam, knowing little or nothing at all about the Bible, unaware of the world around them. A visitor, missionary, shared with me a story. He was in an isolated area of Pakistan. He was introduced to a local leader as an ‘American.’ He was then asked the question, “What is an American?”
Prior to the discovery of oil, in the early 1900’s in Iran, the mid-30’s in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and other Muslim countries were extremely poor. Many today, those without oil, remain so. When impoverished as they are there is less education and more attempts to simply survive harsh conditions with minimal infrastructure. Care packages from giving nations and people may arrive to ease the burden of daily living that even the most poor in the USA never experience. These people are seldom Islamists.
Emigrants into Europe and the United States find early peace in a refuge where freedom exists. They can hold hands, even hug in public. Mosque attendance declines, as well as daily prayer rituals. Many men shave and adopt the modern styles of dress and grooming, as well and through exposure to media, TV primarily, alter their lives. Many woman abandon the Islamic dress code and some continue, but volunteering to cover as opposed to being required. These Muslims modernize and become moderate. They may have been moderates when they emigrated, escaping the oppression in their homeland. But in time, in some locales, the minions that choose to act as the Islamist-cop react violently to the attempts to modernize. Oil dollars from Wahhabist cultures build mosques, schools (Madrasses) and Islamic Cultural Centers and try to bring the homeland and thinking left behind into this new world. This is an effort to avoid Muslims leaving the ideological structure once they are exposed to the freedoms offered in secular and Christian societies. The ability to read, learn, even express doubts about Islam provide the keys to escape the cage of Islam which is problematic for the keepers of this ideological mantra.
Infidels and Heretics
The 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world, so identified, are not a majority Islamist fundamentalist cabal. Moderates are in the majority. They are silent. But they will suffer just like Christians, Jews and the generic infidel, called heretics instead, at the hands of the Islamists. At the highest levels of governance in Muslim dominated lands the influence of the fundamentalist is the greatest. If it were a pyramid, the poor at the base and the rich and authorities at the top, the extremes of Islam would rise from the base to the peak. It is the overseers that control the population that want the majority kept at bay, no dissent, no ability to rise up against the establishment and change the order of things. This may have been the example of Muhammad.
The example of Muhammad is oxymoronic. For the authorities at the pinnacle they can make exceptions for themselves, as did Muhammad, to the laws of Islam. Enforcers however take umbrage to any error is the practice of Islam and impose their will (and that of the authorities), under cover of Allah, upon the citizenry that lives within the boundaries of Islam. The enforcers are employed by the authorities. Such an inconsistency belies whatever truth is expressed in Sharia.
My guess is there is more happiness at the bottom than at the top of the Islamic pyramid, because until they experience the effects of the radicals those at the lowest levels are most innocent. In that innocence is less talk of hatred towards the infidel and more a bond of family and love of children. Few at the lowest levels are even able to read the Quran, and never see or hear discussions about the saving grace of Christ. In fact discussions about Christ are monitored and the authorities that do appear will ask locals about who is saying what and if anyone is sharing a faith other than Islam. The mini-police of Islam are everywhere. In free nations they cannot punish, but they can apply pressure and inflict punishment within zones they may establish based upon moral codes written by the Imam’s. Such punishment is hidden, when indeed it conflicts with the common law of the land in which they reside, and the companions are instilled, scared into, not telling the secular authorities of the crimes being committed.
In Europe some zones have become so insulated and patrolled by the internal Islamic enforcers they have inhibited host country’s police forces from entering. These ‘no-go’ areas have laws of Islam upon which their judgment and punishment is meted, indifferent to the common law of the land. Those Muslims living within the zones, having sought freedom, have been in effect captured, as dogs being sought by the catchers, and caged anew by the boundaries of Islam. They must somehow free themselves, but many become Islamized and hatred overcomes their heart. The infidel lives outside the zone and those within are reminded by their educators, scholars, teachers, and Imam’s they are to despise the pagan decadent lifestyle and focus only on Muhammad and Allah. The benefits they receive, entitlements, are referred to as the jizya tax paid by the infidel, acknowledging the superiority of Islam, enabling the Muslim to pursue their ideology alone. Daily and total devotion is thus possible by the largesse of the host, and in some cases supplemented by funding from the oil-rich Muslim countries.
The moderates who by nature are seemingly silent towards the violence committed by the Islamists are confused and conflicted. Do they leave Islam? Do they fear the death nell of becoming an apostate, even when they disagree with or abhor Islamism? If they speak-up are they then to be condemned or simply disappear as have many dissidents. Or must they succumb to the strident committed Islamists and accept their interpretation of the Quran, Hadiths and example of Muhammad as the dogma, the true Islam. Are they to be re-Islamized or strong enough to break the chains that bind them to an ideology of hatred.
I fear and pray for the moderate Muslim. I call on them to see the light of Christ that provided a pathway to salvation through truth and love. Read the Word of God. Even Muhammad contradicted himself when he said the Quran corrected the Bible, knowing that the source code of moral and ethical values came from the Biblical God. Love is unconditional from God only. Allah, by the statements made in the Quran, only loves when first loved by the believer. Cleary hatred directed at the non-believer prevails, thus no love, until, yes until, they believe in Allah. Sura 22.38 states that Allah’s love is conditional. “Surely Allah loves NOT anyone who is unfaithful, ungrateful.” The love of God (Biblical) is unfailing, undeserved and unilateral. However God’s love does not assure one of Salvation, that comes from knowing Christ (God incarnate). God’s wrath will be poured out on Judgment Day upon those who have not believed, but until that time He patiently awaits for the truth to be heard, understood and accepted, not with sword in hand to behead anyone. The truth he shared was a relationship with God was possible, just as a father-son, mother-daughter, parent-child.
The phrase, “The truth will set you free,” expressed by Jesus and noted in John 8:32, is important to know. That truth is the teaching of Jesus. That teaching is available in the New Testament. The freedom is knowing God’s wrath will not be upon those who have truly believed. You are forgiven. Who is to be punished on Judgment Day is not determined by any human but by God alone. If you have Christ as your advocate you will find a life everlasting. The Holy Spirit, the voice of God, is indwelling in those who belong to God and thus hear God. There are moderate Muslims if they listen to their heart will hear God, not Allah, not their Imam, but God. It is the spirit of the Lord that will fill them with abundance. Listen to His voice, not those outside influences attempting to spoil you with the blackness of hatred.
Temptations abound, they can never be avoided or removed from anyone’s surroundings. Nothing can eradicate the potential to sin. Islam cannot do it. The opportunities are there. God placed them before us as a test. It is the individual that can with prayer and prudence make his way through this world by following the beacon of truth that lights the way. Jesus was without sin, but he was tempted. No authority, no country, no theocracy can eradicate the chances to do wrong in God’s eyes. Covering a woman does not alter the thoughts a man might have towards her sexuality. Women too have desires that a man can stir. It is self-control, not a black board without anything on it that holds us back from the evil in this world that as a vortex wants to draw us into a bottomless chasm of destruction. If you see the vortex you can avoid it. Obey the words of the Lord and you will avoid calamity. “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”, spoken by Jesus. John 8:51.
Romans 2:5,8 (NIV) reads, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed…. for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Give in not to temptation but to what the Lord has provided – His love and Truth. Go thru life, living as you prefer, embracing a ‘me’ nature and nothing will befall you that can be directly attributed to the wrath of God at anytime, except when you pass away, leave this world for his, and meet the judge. Then you will know vengeance is his. He provided an open door and if you refused to go in, remaining outside, he will treat you accordingly. Know this, though, if you seek God in the now, your life will change and hope and joy will follow. His light will be upon you. You will bear fruit, the fruit of the Spirit – “…joy, peace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22.
The filling of the mind, body and spirit with hatred, an angry heart, brings nothing but darkness and despair. It is a desperate way to live. Hatred is as a drug more debilitating than heroin. The drug merchants are those who entice with Quranic capsules. They allow for no re-habilitation establishments in their dominion. Yet – there is no need to live that way.
God’s two most important commandments are to Love God and Love you neighbor. Love people. But the Quran does not allow for love of neighbor. Sura 4:36 says “do good…to the near neighbor.” Why is that? It allows for being a good person in the eyes of another, deception permitted, as to not reveal the heart of blackness that my exist within. Sura 10:21 suggests planning against the infidel, knowing that Allah is the best at it, thus prepare and deceive, as necessary. Is that truly what is in the heart of a moderate Muslim? Is it a latent ember awaiting encouragement to rise up as a flame, or is it to be snuffed out by the living water and lead to an eternal life with God.
For those who have emigrated and immigrated into a free country, take this opportunity to be truly free. You can now learn and discover as never before alternatives to the burdens of Islam that will make your life joyous. Sing, dance, and be happy. There are no restrictions on what you can ask, say, believe, or seek. There is much to understand and know. Do not let yourself be constrained by a force that does not permit your God given gifts to be brought forth. Seek out a copy of the Bible. Find a friend to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ. Visit a church. Learn about salvation. From Romans 8.28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Be justified, Be glorified. You can now freely access the Book of the People. Do so. It will enlighten your soul and allow the sunshine, and the son to shine, on you.
Only by knowing Christ can the internal fire of hatred be calmed and happiness discovered.
It may not be possible for an Islamist to be happy. The Khomeini freely admits there is no joy in Islam, saying, “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy…whatsoever….” It may not be permitted by the laws of Islam for a moderate Muslim to be happy. But as a follower of Christ you will find happiness. You can remove the sour taste of Islam by drinking the fine wine of Christ and singing hymns of praise. Escape and find freedom. In fact for many Muslims you have escaped, and now is your chance, your chance to find the freedom you may have never known was possible. Eradicate hatred from your being and live the life God intended for you.
Grace and Peace.