I'm not convinced my Muslim friends will agree with what I'm about to write, but I want them to know that my friendship is not on the line. I write what I perceive to be truth. I will not be silent in order to not jeopardize my friendships. What I write is not about my Muslim friends personally, but it is about the Muslim religion philosophically. I do not consider my friends "devout" Muslims in the same manner growing numbers of Muslims around the world consider real "devotion" to their religion.
The ABC News headline about the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California states that the Islamic woman involved in the California shooting had become "more devout". Think about that headline. The Muslim woman had become "more devout." Those two words are chilling. Our President and other "politically correct" Americans want us to believe that this 21st century war on Islamic terrorism is not about religion. They are wrong.
This war is with a people who believe in their religion so devoutly that they believe anyone who refuses to submit to their god, to their law, and to their authority should be killed. ABC got it right; the California terrorists had become "more devout" in their Islamic faith.
An Atlantic Monthly reporter spent several months embedded in ISIS and writes that American politicians have misled the American people.
We are misled ... by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. The religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Pretending that ISIS isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. Excluding ideology in explaining ISIS presents a Western bias. "If religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul." When a masked executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, sometimes he’s doing so for religious reasons.My Muslim friends have told me that ISIS, Islamic terrorists, and other Muslims who kill are un-Islamic. Not so says the Atlantic Monthly (and I agree):
Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”Of course, after the appearance of the Atlantic Monthly article, progressives immediately went on the offensive, doing all they could to repudiate the conclusions drawn by the Atlantic Monthly and Muslim scholar Bernard Haykel. The major argument against the California husband and wife team being "more devout" Muslims as they brutally killed and maimed three dozen Americans is that "they don't represent the Muslim faith."
That's a weak argument. Do you know why? Those two killers - and other ISIS' terrorists - are telling Muslims who disagree with killing infidels that they are not devout enough in their Muslim faith.
In the Christian faith, if you lack devotion, you lack love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Why is it in the Muslim faith (at least in the eyes of the California killers and ISIS terrorists) the lack of devotion means the unwillingness to kill, torture, and maim non-believers?
I believe it is the unwillingness of American leaders to acknowledge the religious devotion and philosophical ideology of the Islamic terrorists that makes our government weak and ineffective in its response to the modern-day terrorism all Americans are now facing.
To my Muslim friends: Please, for the sake of civilization, remain less devoted than your ISIS counterparts . I also urge you to speak out loudly and clearly to the self-radicalization that is happening within our borders among Muslims. The better Way is to love others, express grace and forgiveness, and unconditionally accept people of all faiths because of their intrinsic worth as those created in the image of God.
I have no problem with my friends who are Muslim. It's the way some Muslims are becoming "more devout" that is chilling.