Leaving Islam



 The downside of monotheism is that it imparts a black and white view of the world. This explains the witch hunts and the Inquisition. There is God and Satan and nothing in between. If it is not from God, it must be from the devil. If monotheism gives rise to witch-hunts when there are no witches, then secularism blinds you to witches even when one is about to throw you into the boiling cauldron as what these Islamists are now trying to do.

It should also be noted that secular ideologies can result in intolerance and bloodshed as well. Communism and Nazism are secular ideologies that caused purges and massacres. I believe more people were killed by these two secular ideologies than in the witch-hunts and the Inquisition. Think of Cambodia 's killing fields. The Communists, being atheists did not feel restrained by fear of a God that prohibits murder.

Democracy is also a secular ideology and its proponents can be as intolerant as any religious fanatic. Other forms of government are viewed as illegitimate and ought to be converted into democracies. Many democrats cannot tolerate any kind of dictatorship – not the fascist kind nor the communist kind or the Islamist kind like what you see in Iran and Saudi Arabia . The Islamists think that the only legitimate form of government is an Islamic state and therefore oppose Bush's plans with suicide bombers.

Thus two intolerant ideologies, one secular and the other religious are fighting it out in the sands of Iraq . However, I believe that democracy is not the end of history. Francis Fukuyama is wrong. Democracy will one day be replaced by something else. Perhaps, in a thousand years' time, people will view democrats of our present era as being intolerant of other forms of governments like people of our era view medieval Christians as intolerant of other religions.

Finally, what about the Crusades? In these politically correct times, the Crusades have become a symbol of religious bigotry. It should be remembered that for the first 1,000 years of Christian history, there was no crusade. The Crusades happened after more than half of Christiandom was conquered by Muslims who were trying to take over the rest. It was only then that the church decided to put aside Christ's teachings of turning the other cheek to save the west. Holy war was an innovation, an alien concept probably imported from Islam.

Going on Crusade was made a form of penance. This was something new. Prior to the Crusades, doing penance to atone for one's sins was by going on pilgrimage or spending time praying in an austere monastery or even carrying a heavy load up a mountain as in the movie, “The Mission”. This shows that Christianity is basically a peaceful religion that acquired its sword only under threat of conquest and destruction.

Some Crusaders went for spiritual reasons while others went to seek their fortunes. Whatever the reasons, they did the world a service. Without the Crusades, Islam would probably have dominated the world by now. There would have been no Scientific Revolution, no Enlightenment and no democracy. We would all be living in poverty and under dictatorships like most of the Muslim world today.

Its true that the Crusades failed to permanently recapture the Holy Land . But it did delay the Fall of Constantinople by another 350 years and therefore the invasion of Central Europe , allowing Christiandom time to strengthen itself.

It should also not to be forgotten that the Reconquest of Spain after the 11th century was also officially part of the Crusades. Here in the Iberian Peninsula, the Crusade was a success because Spain and Portugal became permanently part of the west. The Iberian Peninsula was a far more strategic piece of land than the Holy Land because it was from here (being closest of the European land mass to America ) that Europe discovered America . Christopher Columbus's voyage was only possible after the Fall of Granada, the last Moorish kingdom in Spain .

The settlement and conquest of America by Christians and the resulting prosperity that the trans-Atlantic trade brought, tipped the balance against Islam. For that we owe a huge debt to the Crusaders especially those who fought in Spain and Portugal . If not for that united effort from otherwise warring European monarchs, it is likely that Europe would have been conquered. When the Crusade was first declared, Islam held sway from Spain to India .

A Muslim Christopher Columbus sailing from a Muslim Spain would have resulted in the conquest and settlement of America by Muslims. Thus it would be a matter of time before the rest of the world falls to Islam. The blood, sweat and tears of the Crusaders not only saved Christiandom but also the world.

To sum up, in the current war against terrorism, secularism is a hindrance. It encourages political correctness, low birth rates (fatal against the high birth rate of Muslims), self-doubts and apathy. The west, especially Europe , is in a deep spiritual crisis. Secularism could be a fatal weakness in its body politic against a resurgent Islam as polytheism probably was in 7th century Mecca . Modern Europeans are the lucky heirs of Christian civilization which has contributed so much to human progress. It has brought on the scientific revolution, abolition of slavery and human rights. The separation of Church and State also created the space for democracy to take root.

Christianity has benefited mankind well in the past and it can do so again. It has valuable services to render, especially in helping to defeat the Islamic threat. But for it to be useful, Christianity needs to be revived, particularly in very secular Europe which was once part of Christiandom. Bring back that Old Time Religion.

(1) http://www.christiantraveler.com/Destinations/Archives/Cologne_Cathedral/cologne_cathedral.html

(2) See the book, "The Empty Cradle", by Longman.

(3) http://ladyhedgehog.hedgie.com/antinous.html

(4) http://www.semarang.nl/chinees/150.html



(7)The Bible, Genesis 1:28

(8)See the book, “For the Glory of God” by Rodney Stark


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