Who's Distorting Islam?
Daniel Greenfield at blogs at FrontPage:
We all know that the real Islam is a religion of peace. A pacifist religion which was spread by Mohammed handing out bunches of flowers to people and asking them if they wouldn't like to sit down in a circle with him and groove.
And then he chopped off their heads if they refused.
...So what does Anwar Al-Awlaki think is the real Islam that America is attempting to distort?Al Jazeera: The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have quoted CIA investigators as talking about the possibility of targeting you in a drone attack. Why do you think the Americans want to kill you?
Awlaki: Because I am a Muslim and I promote Islam. The charge is "incitement"; my relationships with Nidal Hasan, Umar Farouk and some 9/11 attackers, and now I am accused of being linked to 14 cases...
"They want to market the democratic and peaceful US Islam... they want an Islam that has no sharia ruling, no jihad and no Islamic caliphate."
"We call for the Islam that was sent by Allah to Prophet Muhammad, the Islam of jihad and sharia ruling."
I hate to say it, but the droned terrorist has a point.
American leaders fail to recognize the actual nature of Islam and of those who genuinely embrace it. As Craig Biddle explains:Many Muslims around the world aim seriously to "live" and die by Islamic law--and to force everyone else to do so too. This is the explicit goal of Muslims who take their religion seriously--because it is the central commandment of Islam: Muslims must submit to Allah, spread Islam, and, ultimately, make the whole world submit to Allah.
As to why many Americans fail to recognize these facts and thus fail to demand that our government recognize them, see Biddle's article. That many Americans do fail to recognize the facts is evident in the frequent headlines about Islamic attacks on and threats against America and Americans--including the attack in Benghazi.
A Muslim woman explains an essential difference between Islam and other religions:
Islam shows a strong resistance to progressive interpretation due to the the central belief that its holy book is always-and-ever infallible, unchanged and unchangeaable, written by God himself.
And she continues:
While I am open to being corrected, I would claim that in the West, most Christians no longer take the violently misogynistic and homophobic parts of the Bible literally, and those who do (eg: the Westboro Baptist Church) do not have the political power or legal recourse to actualize their beliefs, so if they happen to do so it is not of much consequence materially. As such, I'd argue that if it is at all coherent to claim that a religion can be characterized by certain beliefs, we cannot claim that Christianity, in the manner in which it is currently practiced and applied, is characterized by many violent Biblical edicts that have become, in practice and modern thought, no longer relevant. In addition to this, there is a strong Christian presence, normalized in mainstream media, that avidly condemns violence based on misogyny and homophobia as specifically unChristian. In light of this, it would be a gross and unfair misrepresentation to claim that Christianity is characterized by ultra misogyny and violence or that this is a common element of the thought of Christians simply because those elements are present in its core scripture. In addition to being a misrepresentation, it would not be a productive method of discourse because pointing that out has very little to do with reform when governance among Christian-majority countries happens to be secular and thus can combat the attempted legislature of Christian-based laws on secular grounds.
It's a huge problem that Islam has these failsafes built in. We want to believe (as I believed until I started educating myself about Islam after 9/11) that Islam is just another religion. But in a number of ways -- life- and freedom-threatening ways -- it is very much not.