How Powerful is Islam?

Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror who lived during the days when Islam was very powerful

I have often criticized fellow Christians and conservatives in my country and other Western countries for blaming societal problems on Islam and Muslims.  I have often expressed anger at this because it is in my opinion an abdication of responsibility.  Muslims aren’t the reason that Western countries have homosexual “marriage”, sky high abortion rates, sky high divorce rates, euthanasia, feminism, or Darwinism taught in our schools.

But what about Sharia?  Don’t a majority of Muslims want Sharia in the West?  To be honest, I find most Muslims in the West to either be completely secularized, or ignorant of Islam.  Sadly, it’s no different than most Christians or Jews in the West.  They’re Christian or Jewish in name and may even be proud of it, but their knowledge of their faith is limited.  I recently talked to a 19 year old Jewish girl.  She was a proud Jew, but didn’t seem to know anything about the faith.  She didn’t regularly attend services, her boyfriend was a gentile and she claimed that homosexuality was not a sin in Judaism.  To back this up she didn’t quote the Bible or Talmud, but simply stated that Tel Aviv was the most homosexual friendly city in the world.  Shouldn’t Scripture dictate what a religion believes and not social life in a secular Jewish city?  This just proves that our new generation can’t think.

Most religious Muslims in the West know their faith as well as this Jewish girl knows Judaism.  Very few of them study the Quran and the Hadith.  In my research, England is the only country with an organized group of Muslims promoting Sharia.  They’re the exception, not the rule.  France and Sweden have no-go zones but these are mostly slums that have been infected with gang violence.  The threat comes from poor teenagers, not Quranic students or scholars.

The truth is, that Islam is not very powerful in the world today.  They have numbers no doubt, but that’s about it.  Many of the Muslims in the world are secularized.  It seems that the most religious Muslims live in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Arab Muslims are hit or miss.  A lot of them are devout but many have secularized as well, even when living in their own countries, let alone when they move to the West.  I have known over two dozen Turks in my life.  None have been religious.  I’ve known about a dozen Iranians.  One of them has been religious.  Indonesians are the same story.  The largest Muslim country in the world by population but not much practicing of their faith.  I’ve met a few religious Egyptians but they’re in the minority of the Egyptian Muslims that I’ve met.

Also, in terms of apologetics, there is not much of a threat.  Probably 95% of Muslim apologetics is just quoting liberal Bible scholarship.  I’m not saying this isn’t a threat to Christianity, but I’m saying that it’s not an Islamic threat.  It’s a secular threat that Islamic apologists are using for apologetic purposes.  The fact that Muslims have to use secular liberal Biblical scholarship shows that there isn’t an effective Islamic critique of Christianity so they need to dabble in secularism for a critique.

It is true that Saudi has traditionally funded Islamic projects around the world with their oil money.  However, I don’t think that this has much effect.  Sure, they’ll get a big mosque built in a Western city or a secular Muslim city but a lot of those mosques remain empty.  When I was in the Balkans I saw many mosques.  Some were of Traditional Ottoman architecture and some looked like a more Arab design.  Saudi funded perhaps?  Regardless, these mosques were empty.  You can build a mosque but people will only pray in it if they’re religious, let alone support Jihad or Sharia.  Also, with the new leadership in Saudi, I don’t know how much more mosque financing will happen in the future.  The new King seems pretty liberal.

Basically they have strength in numbers.  That’s it.  In centuries past, Islam was very powerful and did pose a threat.  In the days of Charles Martel, Skanderbeg and Don John of Austria, Islam was extremely powerful.  It still is a threat today, but not nearly as much as it was before.  In fact, I would say the biggest threat that Islam poses is being a red herring and a scapegoat.  We’ll blame everything on Islam while the real enemy runs havoc and tries to destroy our faith and civilization.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “How Powerful is Islam?

  1. Your perspective in interesting. It is good to make sure that we are fighting on the right front. The first battle is against the fall of our Christian civilization. But you can’t ignore the fact that as our civilization crumbles we are letting in the same element we fought off in various skirmishes and wars for about a 600 years starting around 700.

    Too many attacks have been made in the name of the muslim faith to leave your piece without comment on that horrible reality. Just reading about the pipe bomb under Times Square makes me question if I want to New York city ever again. I love going there, but this is just too much.

    I think you are trying to make an important point though. I was thinking along similar lines today. I was thinking that as Christianity had barely arrived in Europe, the new Christian nations had to immediately either fight off invaders in Spain or protect Christian pilgrims in areas that had been the cradle of Christianity. Could it be said that muslims rise up to spur us on as we need to become more strident in our faith?

    • I just wish that modern Christians didn’t have to concern themselves with Islam.

      Well, don’t, it’s weak, as Allan Ruhl said. Allan would say that one should only concern themselves with Islam to the extent that one needs to counter their Biblical polemics which are based on liberal scholarship.

      I actually think brother Ijaz Ahmad, radhiallahu anhu (may Allah be pleased with him), has some excellent original material criticizing Christianity.

      Sure, they’ll get a big mosque built in a Western city or a secular Muslim city but a lot of those mosques remain empty.

      I don’t live near a big masjid (and I’ll call it that).

      I went to a masjid a few times. The men’s section was full for jummah, although the masjid was small. I sort of envy the men who can go when it is not jummah and pray in such a vast and open space, while the women’s section was considerably small. I am saying this because a Muslim professor (a fairly liberal man) said that masjid architecture is designed to feel open. It is amazing what a lack of furniture and an open space can make a small area appear large.

      It makes being a woman suck a little more.

      The khutba (the homily), which I liked, on Friday was about Jerusalem (al-Quds) and how sacred it is for Muslims and the deen.

      Is it possible for a Muslim who says less than 60% of the five daily salat and does not attend jummah, support imposing sharia, or only a subset of devout Muslims support imposing sharia?

      Yes, many of the MSAers that I know don’t seem to have an agenda of promoting sharia even in the back of their mind. One MSA leader is fairly conservative in the sense that she, relative to other female Muslims, does not flirt with men, eats zabihah (as opposed to avoiding only pork), and actually defended the role of women in Islam by saying that she doesn’t oppose masjid partitions and does not support women imams (being responsible for a masjid), but she still listens to music though. But she doesn’t seem to be type of person who would rail against Western liberalism or wants to overthrow the US government BECAUSE it doesn’t implement sharia domestically. I mean to say that she seems to be conservative (in religious practice) compared to many university aged Muslims who attend a fairly liberal university, but probably rather liberal compared to other Muslims. Or maybe she is not that conservative at all, since most female Muslims, myself included, would not vehemently criticize the role of women in the masjid. Only a small proportion of liberal provocateurs do that.

      • Thank you for your comments Latias. They’re always thorough and interesting.

        I’d like to inquire about one thing that you said. You said:

        “Or maybe she is not that conservative at all, since most female Muslims, myself included, would not vehemently criticize the role of women in the masjid. Only a small proportion of liberal provocateurs do that.”

        I’m curious, would you consider yourself a liberal Muslim? The way you worded that seems to hint that you are.

        Also, I’ve noticed the same thing that you have about the Muslim population in the city in which I live and the city in which I grew up. None are interested in the West adopting Sharia. Most just want to get on with their lives and practice the faith. The more secular ones just want to get on with their lives. That’s how it is where I’m from which is Western Canada. I don’t know where you’re from but I would guess Canada or the USA.

        God Bless,

        • as salamu alaykum,

          I am certainly more liberal than Daniel Haqiqatjou. LOL.

          I live in So Cal. One of the worst parts of being a Muslim here is that when facing the qibla, I fear facing Maidan Nezalezhnosti at Kyiv, the place of the recrudescence of fascism in Ukraine. That place is the anti-kabaa, a place of sacrilege and debauchery. (I actually do not about Ukraine during my salat, thankfully.)

          I would say that I am not really a liberal. I am strongly by two fairly unliberal philosophies. I was a fairly anti-liberal, far-leftist, since I was a Marxist-Leninist and still retain sympathies for that. I was also exposed to a positive portrayal of Confucianism. Believe me, the far-left is not liberal, and the mainstream left is not Marxist.

          I am much more interested in foreign policy and anti-imperialism, than promoting liberal gender ideology and condoning homosexuality.

          I am not the type of person, for those reasons, would give ideologically assent to Western liberal democracy. However, MLism and Confucianism are strongly secular.

          I am extremely liberal on gender segregation. I think the only things that are actually haram for me are zina (physical intercourse) and physical contact with a non-mahram man who is alone in a room. (I sometimes hug Catholic men, although not alone.) If I know a Muslim or (non-Muslim) man who likes baseball (particularly pitching), empiricist philosophy, opposes the fascist regime in Kyiv, or a far-leftist, I will talk to him, even alone.

          I also listen to music (with profanity), such as listening to the background of this video, now:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC4slu1CgPU

          (I Need A Doctor- Dr. Dre ft. Eminem and Skylar Grey)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzalCDv7woM (it has the lyrics “turn that s*** up”)

          I tend to be conservative on graven images, since I largely oppose portraits now and have my Pikachu plush covered in a plastic bag. I public use of profanity has also dropped.

        • I honestly don’t think I would convert if I had been exposed to highly conservative Muslims. I don’t want to be exposed to the culture war, and I want my political energy to be focused more on anti-imperialism.

          I think listening to some Jonathan Brown videos made my sympathetic. If he is defending Islam from the West, he usually resorts to some tu quoque.

          • It’s always interesting to know where people come from. Most converts are ultrazealous. I’m not saying that you’re not but I think you’re more zealous in a personal faith kind of way. Internal as opposed to external. That’s at least the vibe I’m feeling. Thanks for sharing Latias.

    • I’m posting this as a reply to myself because I don’t wish to appear to be attacking anyone, or start an argument, nor discourage someone like Latias for making such interesting contributions to this blog’s comments. I just need to answer the expressed opinion that Islam is weak, and after that I would prefer not to post anything else on this article. (I’m only a guest and do not wish to appear rude.)

      I would say that those Christians that have fled the Middle East or are trying to remain there would disagree that Islam was weak. I would also say that those English people like me who have seen their home towns and parts of their cities turned into colonies of Pakistan would also disagree. The influence of Mohammedanism increases year on year. My experience of Muslims is different from that expressed in this article and in its comments.

      One thing makes Islam less of a threat than secularism is that at least it is medium by which Man’s desire to know God is expressed. That said, Islam also gives religion a bad name in the modern world and other faiths get tarred with the same brush. Modern secularism is hostile to religion and Muslims are obviously not, so if they can overcome the risks of leaving their false religion (and its a big risk, particularly in Islamic countries) then they may be won over for Christ and the Truth.

  2. I think this is why I am highly conservative towards aniconism. And I first read this about two years BEFORE I became a Muslim. This conservatism does not transfer towards music and gender separation. I suppose my point is that my Islam is immensely influenced by my previous background and certain aspects of it dovetail with my previous sentiments.

    From Sea of Thunder. I would say that that book has made a positive impression me on how I view life and morality. I often become lachrymose when I read and think about some of its scenes and when I meditate on the character of one its subjects, who had exhibited exemplary moral fortitude, benevolence, persistence, and faithfulness to duty (to a certain extent). I would say that he gave me something to believe in during my period of disillusionment as a Catholic, although he would be a bad Muslim since he drank prodigiously (but it did not seem to harm him) and did not have a beard.

    [October 24, 1944

    After American carrier planes, consisting of 259 sorties, attacked a Imperial Japanese Naval force in the Sibuyan Sea at 10:30 AM, mortally wounding the battleship Musashi.

    Admiral Kurita’s orders was to led his Center Force, a powerful surface force, initially possessing five battleships, including Yamato and Musashi, ten heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and fifteen destroys, to be beaches of Leyte Gulf and to bombard the landing forces and destroy the ships there. Kurita’s command post was on the Yamato.]

    Once more heading eastward [from the Sibuyan Sea to the San Bernardino Strait] [Vice Admiral Takeo] Kurita’s ships filed past the striken Musashi [a 65,000 ton battleship] one last time. She was in her death throes. High in the pagoda superstructure, Admiral Inoguchi was writing a letter of apology to the emperor. It had been a mistake, he wrote, to believe in the gun power of battleships [as opposed to aircraft carriers]. Inoguchi’s executive officer wanted to stay and die with his commander, but Inoguichi ordered him off the ship so that he could live to seek revenge. As the ship began to settle for its final plunge, Inoguchi gave the order to abandon ship. A sailor named Kiyoshi Wantabe was scrambling up from his duty station below deck when he heard a shout. “The Emperor’s portrait! Move aside!” Two petty officers carrying the portrait, draped in a white sheet, pushed him out of the way. Watanabe was bitter; he hated the petty officers for regularly beating him, and he had no more reverence left. He angrily thought to himself that he might die because he had to get out of the way for a picture.

    • Thanks for sharing Latias,

      That is a very interesting passage. I think you’ve inspired me to pick up Sea of Thunder, though I have a long reading list right now.

      I’m curious, are you from a Ukrainian background? I ask this because you mentioned the Ukrainian fascism situation in a previous post. If you’re uncomfortable posting this, you could also email me at alruhl25@gmail.com.

      God Bless,

      • As salamu alaykum,

        I.

        I would say that just learning about the Battle of Leyte Gulf (as in the movement of ships and the strategic objectives of each side) is not satisfactory in the sense that one would not appreciate the characters there. This article seems to be a brief summary of the book, which was written by the author two years before it was published.

        http://www.aviewofwwii.net/articles/kuritaschoice.pdf

        II. As a Muslim, I would say it is easier to prove the existence of shaytan as opposed to God. The Euromaidan seems to be evidence of Satan’s work and influence.

        Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised
        As they start to cry hands held to the sky
        In the night the fires are burning bright
        The ritual has begun, Satan’s work is done

        From Iron Maiden, the “Number of the Beast”

        The seems to describe the Euromaidan, not to mention the name “Euromaidan” reminds me of “Iron Maiden”. Satan’s work was done on February 23, 2014 when Vikor Yanukovych was illegally and unconstitutional overthrown.

        No, I am not Ukrainian. I actually learned about it in 2015, more than a year after the baleful events transpired. During that period, I also became interested in the Eastern Front and geopolitics again. I recently posted this.

        I really do not know what is happening in Ukraine currently since the media is not covering it, and if there was such coverage by the media, it would almost certainly advance an anti-Russian line.

        I actually didn’t follow geopolitical news around 2013-14, and I only learned about the implications of the Euromaidan in summer of 2015. What I found after reading about it somewhat surprised me. I was first disgusted when the conservative part of the mainstream media praised the lawless rioters and thugs who were against Yanukovych, while there was higher moral outrage about the considerably less violent Black Lives Matter protests, which did not occupy government buildings unlike the Maidan thugs. There were “democracy” movements elsewhere in the world, such as in Bahrain and Egypt, but the US media didn’t portray them positively. This should make anyone suspicious as to why the opposition to Yanukovych is being portrayed positively; only the extremely naive would believe that the US acts out of some principle of human rights and democracy. This brought me to the ineluctable conclusion that the Euromaidan is nothing more than a vicious movement with a strong inveterate element of fascism.

        The US not only backed the wrong people; they plotted who was going to be in the administration in the post-coup government. Listen to the phone call of Nuland and Pyatt, the one that had “f*** the EU”. The US has immense control over the Ukrainian government.

        The new Ukrainian government portrays those who have died as “martyrs”. For example, Lenin Square in Dnipropetrovsk was remained “Heroes of Maidan Square”. Yes, their deaths are tragic, but they are not heroes. They died for nothing, actually, which is the real tragedy. It would be easier if Ukrainians could just admit that and stop being deluded.

        Serhiy shifts his weight on his crutch, takes a deep breath, and starts to explain how Ukraine has changed since its pro-western revolution ended in carnage on Kiev’s Maidan square three years ago.

        “Almost everything is worse,” says the former soldier, who was wounded fighting Russian-led separatists near their stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

        “People are too poor to pay their rent and bills. As a veteran with invalid status I get about 1,700 hryvnia (€59), but soon they’ll stop paying it and I can’t find any
        work. But I’m not just talking about soldiers – for a grandmother on a pension of 1,200 hryvnia (€42) it’s even worse.”

        Serhiy was among hundreds of servicemen and their supporters who attended a concert near Maidan this weekend, to pay tribute to soldiers killed in February 2015 during a heavy defeat at the strategic eastern town of Debaltseve.

        […]“We all supported Maidan, many of us were on the square, and we still support what it stood for,” says a former soldier from 12th battalion of Ukraine’s territorial defence force, who would only give his nom de guerre, Volk (Wolf).

        “But we see oligarchs and thieves still in power, and that’s not what we want.”

        “There are some small improvements, but the system is still the same,” says another soldier, nicknamed Tank.

        “We don’t have any trust in our so-called leaders – none of them have earned the right to be called leaders.”

        ‘We can’t give up’ Among thousands of Ukrainians visiting Maidan to honour more than 100 protesters killed there three years ago, there was the same disappointment over continuing poverty and corruption, mixed with a refusal to abandon hope.

        “We can’t give up,” says Nadia, a student laying flowers before a memorial to the so-called “Heavenly Hundred” of slain protesters.

        “For those who died here, for those fighting and dying defending us against Russia, for the honest people trying to stop corruption. We have no right to say we are tired of this. We have to keep going, despite the problems.”

        https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/maidan-dream-still-burns-in-beleaguered-ukraine-1.2981174

        I only learned about the events in Ukraine about a year after it
        happened, but it was immediately clear to me that the US media dissimulated and omitted information in order to sell the coup to the American public.
        More conservative elements of the media used the background of
        anti-communism to support it.

        Yes, I think most people should realize the Ukraine is just a geopolitical pawn of the West. So what did the West give them, beside more debt to the IMF and austerity?

        My thoughts were fairly independent and I did not buy the line of the media. However, I should be humble, because I only appreciated the consequences about a year after the coup, and I could not have been prescient.

        Insha’Allah that there would be a free, anti-Maidan Ukraine.

        • Thanks for the input on the Ukraine situation.

          This is interesting stuff. I was thinking about going to Ukraine next year. My maternal background is Ukrainian and my mom really cares about what is going on there.

          Every Saturday I Skype a friend in Eastern Ukraine to practice my Russian. Sometimes she’ll fill me in on the current events but we don’t talk about it much.

          I agree with you in hoping for a free anti-Maidan Ukraine.

          Blessings,

          • I don’t know. I like to avoid political discussion like the plague when I talk with her. She just throws in little bits of information here or there. Usually it has to do with how the unstable political situation is affecting things in her city which is not very much at this time. She does live in the East but not in the unstable areas, so no, Euromaidan has not come up.

            Another reason that I don’t talk about it with her is that I’m not a native Russian speaker. It’s my third language and so my vocabulary on certain specific topics is not fully up to date. It’s getting better though because I’ve been reading Russian articles about Euromaidan published in both Ukrainian and Russian newspapers.