Islam is one of three religions, Judaism and Christianity being the other two which believe there is only one God. It was founded in the 7th century AD by Muhammad. The first recorded comment about Islam and its prophet from a Christian source was the following, roughly a century after Muhammad’s death.
‘From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven… and he gave it to them as an object of veneration… But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up?’ – they are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ (the incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: ‘How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty?’ They answer that God does as He pleases. ‘This,’ we say, ‘We know, but we are asking how the book came down to your prophet.’ Then they reply that the book came down to him while he was asleep.’
John of Damascus.
It seems obvious that the first impressions of Islam from a Christian perspective were dismissive and entirely negative. And John was a man who would have known that Muhammad was advancing his religion by force and conquest. Jesus Christ, spoke and acted in peace. He did not strike out at or hurt or kill anyone. He died for us and his kingdom while Mohammad initiated centuries and arguably a millennia of warfare. The Islamic empire at various times encompassed most of North Africa, Arabia, the Middle East including Jerusalem. His forces over the succeeding centuries invaded huge parts of Europe which at one time included all of Spain, parts of France, Sicily, parts of southern Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia (modern Turkey, once a Christian country) and all of the old Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire including Constantinople). Look up Wikipedia, and you find it concentrates on the first couple of hundred years following Muhammad’s death. But these conquests endured remorselessly, century after century and even into relatively recent times up to the demise of the Ottoman empire. This was not accomplished by peaceful evangalisation. It was an often brutal, convert or die policy moderated by a third alternative, demonstrate your submission to Islam by paying the Jizya or jizyah; an annual tax levied on non-Muslim subjects permanently residing in Muslim lands governed by Islamic Law.
It is strange that if this were the history of Britain then the liberals and the left would be demanding we denounced our imperial history with a modern equivalent of sackcloth and ashes. But no, there is nothing but silence because this history belongs to a favoured group and an oppressed minority. We are nevertheless expected to acknowledge shame about our imperial history.
If you were to accept the traditional accounts of Muhammad’s life then in the early days he was a man of peace. The story of Islam’s early roots may well be fundamentally untrue at the historical level. Nevertheless the accounts state that while at Mecca Muhammad had respected and honoured the people of the Book; Jews and Christians. This is unsurprising, since as John of Damascus stated he used the Old and New Testaments repeatedly to substantiate his teachings. But in Mecca Muhammad’s words fell on a largely uninterested audience. He moved to Medina and once there he began preaching with more success. It was during this period that he became a warlord and his revelations turned from a message of peace to one of jihad: either a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam: “he declared a jihad against the infidels, or the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.
This is why teachings devoted to peace which originated from Mecca, became warlike and expansionist following his attack on the people at Medina. This led to the doctrine of Jihad. Holy war against those that did not submit. Jews, Christians and others became enemies of the truth: infidels. You may say, but surely things are very different now? Well they may appear to be so in the West, if you are prepared to put aside occasional acts of terrorism by small groups of fanatics. There is no reason to doubt that the vast majority of Muslims who have come to the West have done so primarily to improve their lives and prospects, and live in peace. But the teachings of Muhammad are Islam, and Islam is a paradox.
For a start Islam is a faith whose teachings and practises directly conflict with British Values. A few examples: the subordination of women to the rule of men, anti-Semitism, polygamy, honour killing, forced marriages, the killing of apostates, female genital mutilation and a hatred of homosexuals. This list makes Christian concerns about behaviour and moral standards seem more like a benediction. Whenever Islam is mentioned the main fear among the non-Muslim population is terrorism. However, the perpetrators of these acts are a tiny minority. I tend to think the litany of oppression against so many individuals and groups, when gathered together under a semi legal umbrella like Sharia law could be of greater concern. It is remarkable that even though it is known that Sharia Law is part of Islam little is said in opposition to this list of what can only be described as hate crimes. If these were part of Christian creeds all hell would break loose in opposition to a faith that endorsed such a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic agenda. But scare a whisper of protest is heard. And the greatest victims of these laws? Muslim women and their female children! The fact so few publicly complain is perhaps a measure of male dominance and the culture that permits it to continue largely unchallenged.
Often forgotten or ignored are the well justified fears of what is most likely the great majority of Muslims. Mostly peace seeking moderates who perhaps hoped for protection from western democracies. Longing for British values to be applied and upheld across the board without fear or favour. In other words, freedom from the forms of Sharia Law condoned or enforced in the countries from which they emigrated. In our blind rush to abandon the guidance of our former religion, Christianity, we have fallen foul of another much more legalistic and dictatorial. A religion at odds with all our natural instincts and culture. Protections for one religion to follow religious laws abhorrent to even our secular law books, and open season, like a non stop grouse shoot on the one that defined those moral virtues our nation once lived by. If you disliked historic Christian views on homosexuality then at least face the reality that they were, even at their most extreme, mild in comparison to those that apply under Sharia law in Islamic states. They were not for instance thrown off tower blocks with the approval of clerics or hung until dead from cranes in public squares. Those really are hate crimes. The video is one of many much longer and more graphic which can be found on YouTube.
In a multi-faith environment we are all supposed to get on. That sentiment is very British, but in this case wilfully naive. What follows is a Christian view that many, possibly most Christians would not support. Certainly not the current head of the Church of England: Archbishop Welby.
The god of Islam, Allah, has no link to the God of the Jews and Christians. Muhammad is not a prophet known to either Judaism or Christianity. I realise nothing I am saying in defence of Christianity would not be in some manner thrown back at us by devout Muslims. They believe in their faith and in its doctrines. To them Christianity is a false and corrupted religion, following corrupted scriptures. Many Christians think Islam and Christianity share the same God. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Islam Jesus (Isa) is subordinate to Muhammad. Jesus is not God’s Son because Allah has no Son. There is no Trinity. Jesus did not die on the cross. Neither did he rise from the dead via resurrection three days after his crucifixion. St Paul said that if Jesus did not rise from the dead then our Christian faith is in vain. So if Muhammad is correct and the Quran is true Christianity has lost its entire foundation, which is the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you are Christian and think there can be fellowship in doctrine then you are terribly deceived. Archbishop Welby pleads for peace, which is a noble and Christian ambition; but not in all cases, as he must know from the teachings and prophecies found in the Bible.
The fact that Islam and Christianity are two faiths set up as equals by our state machinery does not mean that the enmity between them ceases or that peace breaks out. No such peace exists when it comes to the salvation of souls, and if that objective does not drive a Christian like the archbishop as much as it does a Muslim, then what are we about? Truth used to matter, truth divides as did Jesus who is the truth. But truth so defined has all but vanished into clouds of mist arising from the social and religious cohesion preached by British values. We must, so the state informs us always remember to make every effort to embrace the multi-faith agenda. I am afraid to write or comment on this topic. It would be safer to say nothing and preach social and religious cohesion. But I cannot take that pledge. I should not feel fear in expressing a view held in good conscience in a country that avowedly supports free speech, but I do.
I regret that much this will be hurtful to many good people, but what is evidence based should not be ignored because it hurts. And never because it offends against that most ill thought through of all laws: hate crime. These miss some targets altogether while hitting those entirely innocent of intending harm. As stated in an earlier article on this subject, not to face problems solves nothing and can lead to greater injury. Sadly, Islam is in my estimation deserving that part of the definition of a phobia which states: an extreme fear of or aversion to something. That I believe is fully justified. Islam is a religion and a culture with a political dimension. You could argue that political and religious Islam are one and the same. Islam unlike early Christianity won its ground by conquest, a warfare that some historians believe has continued unabated in one form or another for close to 1400 years. The Western civilisation under Christianity has been under almost continual attack because Islam has a call based on the words of its prophet Muhammad to jihad and the mission to create a global caliphate. In this caliphate non Muslims, as inferiors, infidels or kaffirs must pay an annual tax which symbolises their submission. Failure to pay this had very serious consequences. The Quran says terrible things about how this category of human is to be treated. Sharia law is harsh almost beyond measure to those who fall short of Allah’s standards. These laws are the outworking of Muhammad’s revelations.
These factors now play out in Western societies and the effects are there to be seen and documented. It is undeniable that a major effort to minimise the mounting evidence pointing towards the negative impact of Islam in the West is happening all over Europe. Read the book titled: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray and you will find it difficult to deny either his research or his conclusions.
There is much more to be said, and it concerns how the religion of Islam draws its inspiration from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Three hundred years after Christianity had become the dominant faith in the Roman Empire, and six hundred years after the ministry of Jesus and close to three thousand years after Abraham, Mohammad concluded that the biblical scriptures were corrupted. The proof being that he, a prophet greater than Jesus, is not clearly foreshadowed in the Bible due to these corruptions. These missing confirmations of the coming prophet of Islam had presumably been mischievously removed by Jews and Christians from the original scripts. Mohammad is chosen by Allah to be the last prophet of God, the one who will set things right and straight. His corrections and revelations led to the birth of the Quran and Islam. He probably had no idea that the ways Jewish scribes copied their scriptures was just about the most foolproof and scrupulous method ever devised by man. Mistakes other than of the most insignificant kind, like a small error in punctuation, caused an entire manuscript to be rewritten. Jewish scribes had supervisors who checked their work. Errors on the scale required by Muhammad were inconceivable. Where that leaves Islam is for you to judge, I have long since made my decision.
Below is the testimony of two young women whose accounts are very difficult to ignore.