UI – Part 370 – Is Islam a Religion?
This is a hard question to answer as a religion is defined by Oxford Dictionary, as ‘the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.’ I emphasize ‘superhuman’ because it is essential to understand that to be a religion a supreme, unknown, incomprehensible being, is important. Groups that do not believe in God, or a life eternal, can form an association but they would not fit the definition. If that Supreme Being was not good, such as evil, the absence of good, the term is still applicable. If Islam is objectively analyzed and the violent aspects, its call to be the superior religion of all religions, its want to extirpate all non-Muslims and succeed territorially in having a world All for and Only for Allah, it may be considered a force for Satan, evil to the core, but it would be a ‘religion.’
Personally I would like the definition altered. How a group treats another group is critical. If an organization is formed for the sole purpose to kill off those who do not agree with their philosophy and thus instills fear in all others, even if they have a supreme being with whom they associate or to whom they reference as a guide, they must have their own classification. In addition as a religion it should be independent of politics, not tied together. When coupled, as a theocracy, it removes the element of choice of believing in the superhuman. It makes the belief a requirement, which is more human focused, or in effect fascist, yet the autocrat is not the focus, it is a chosen or named god. Is that god truly superhuman or a fiction created for the purpose of aligning followers? That will always remain a question.
‘Religion’ for most people aligns wholly with good and positive feelings towards others. Those who practice comport themselves to be kind and loving. They may not agree on their eternal objective or the means to attain, but they are not out to eliminate a neighbor. They allow for free choice and make no effort to exterminate those who propose, suggest, even promote a different way to achieve their life after death, which includes no life at all, just death. Proselytizing, sharing with others what they believe, their Scripture and their Lord, is not considered an affront. People can listen, ignore, or walk away. They will not consider what another believes or says as persecution towards their belief. Why should they?
Time to define what is and what is not Religion. Then apply the Constitution. Worshipping Satan is not a Religion, in my book. There is a name for an order, Wiccans, that some claim to be witches, a pagan group, but not necessarily one intent on harming others. For a short time they had a Council of American Witches. The campus of the Air Force Academy has allowed a worship center for this craft. Islam may not be a Religion either, primarily because of the hatred it preaches towards those not in accord with their beliefs, and thus subject to being killed, violently punished or harmed, with no consequences to the perpetrator if they are devout. With Islamic Law calling for death to the apostate Islam is more a prison than a world of peace, love, prosperity, freedom and independent thinking.
We need a pluralistic society wherein religions that operate are on their own, with no hatred towards others, preached, practiced or instilled into the character of the believer, and a call for love and peace in their programs. We need a society where the public forum allows opposing views to be heard and not called persecution by those who disagree or are afraid they might hear words that could alter their vision about their supernatural leader, even their mortal leader.
Grace and Peace.