IN THE FRAY OF CLASHING WORLDVIEWS
PART 1 of 4
By Debra Rae
In 21st century America, four major worldviews at play are Secular- and/or Cosmic- Humanism, Marxism-Leninism, and traditional Christianity. Each defines an ultimate point of reference—be it the Imperial Self, the cosmos, the State or Jesus Christ, Jewish Messiah.
There is yet another world view fast gaining preeminence in the West. For nearly one-in-five people in the world today, Islam offers their “overarching approach” to understanding God, the world and man’s relationship to both. Although Islam is often associated with the Middle East, in reality, less than fifteen percent of Muslims are Arab. Seventy countries are considered part of the House of Islam, and over fifty of them have Muslim-majority populations. Alarmingly, it is estimated that about 10-15 percent of Muslims worldwide are given over to militancy.
Islam is a form of cultural imperialism in that, as a matter of divine law, imposes the religion and culture of seventh-century Arabia wherever it sets foot. A prominent Islamic scholar rightly calls Islam “a revolt against the modern world,” yet Islam is arguably among the most powerful forces shaping contemporary global policy.
Holding a doctorate in Islamic Studies, Dr. Robert Morey predicts that by the year 2020, over twenty-five million Muslims in the United States alone will push hard for Islamic law. By 2025, the world’s Muslim population could well jump to two billion. For any number of good reasons, it behooves us to pay attention to tenets and practices of the Islamic worldview.
Islam’s Overarching Approach to Understanding God
Like the Jews, Arabs regard themselves as a Semitic people. With Hagar, Abraham fathered Ishmael and with Sarah, Isaac. According to the Quran, Ishmael went to Mecca; his descendants in Arabia are Muslims while descendants of Isaac remained in Palestine as Jews.
The earthly cornerstone of the Muslim faith is the Quran, as presented in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammed by the angel Gabriel. Consisting of 114 books, called suras, the Quran is said to be Muhammed’s one and only “standing miracle.” No translation of it is authorized.
Islam is derived from the word salam (meaning “peace” and, in a secondary sense, “surrender” or “in subjection to”). The term’s full connotation is “the perfect peace that comes when one’s life is surrendered to God”—if not achieved by choice, then by force. In no uncertain terms, Muslims are called to “fight those who do not believe in Allah … until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority, and they are in a state of subjection” (Al-Tauba 9:29, Quran).
Muhammed’s Call (more than 600 years after Christ)
In the caravan business, Muhammed met and married a wealthy widow fifteen years his senior. Over the fifteen years he visited a cave outside of Mecca, Muhammed ostensibly came to know “the one and only God without rival”—namely, Al-Lat, the Moon God, one of many revered by the Quarish tribe in Mecca from whence Muhammed came. It wasn’t until 227 years after the prophet’s death that scholars changed Al-Lat to Allah.
On the so-called Night of Power and Excellence, God commissioned Muhammed to service. Once aroused from a trance, he was a changed man. Proclaiming her husband to be “the Prophet”—more accurately “Seal of Prophets”—Khadija became his first convert. For twenty-three years thereafter, God reiterated his mission to Muhammed (which means “highly praised”): to preach and, in so doing, to appeal to man’s reason.
Islam’s Overarching Approach to Understanding the World
In the latter half of the sixth century A.D., this unschooled preacher became a masterful politician-statesman and yet, it was said, he magnanimously refused the key to treasures of this world. For the next ten years, Muhammed welded into an orderly confederation five heterogeneous and conflicting tribes of Medina (two of which were Jewish).
Although Muhammed was said to be gentle and merciful even to his enemies, this feat was accomplished with considerable bloodshed. There followed a struggle with Meccans for the very heart of Arabia. In time, the tide turned in Muhammed’s favor. The former fugitive returned to Mecca as unopposed conqueror and made his way to yet another Quarish tribal god rededicated to Allah—namely, the Kaaba (black) stone. There, Muhammed witnessed an almost mass conversion of the city before returning to Medina.
Two years later, when Muhammed died, all of Arabia was under his control. But for defeat at the Battle of Tours (A.D. 732) the entire Western world might well be Muslim today.
Man’s Relationship to God and the World
Five pillars of Islam follow: (1) proclamation that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammed is His Prophet; (2) prayer five times daily on a rug facing Mecca; (3) mandated acts of charity; (4) observing a month of fasting, Ramadan (inclusive of the Night of Power); and (5) once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.
Clearly, Islam purports to embrace racial equality and principles of fairness in economics although it likewise advances plurality of wives and holy-war politics (jihad). The kinder, gentler Islam fabricated by the politically correct crowd does not necessarily ring true.
It is alleged that Islam is an angry religion in search of a fight. The fatwa pronounces death to non-Muslims (i.e., infidels, likewise known as “cows”). Indeed, the Quran urges believers to war, fight, seize and kill (Al-Tauba 9:29; Al-Nisa 4:89; Al-Anfal 8:65, Quran).
Islam from a Female’s Perspective
Especially regarding women, Islam stands in stark contrast to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Muhammed himself referred to women as “toys.” What is contracted in marriage is for the specific benefit of men; sex is his right, not hers. Wives even eat remains off of a common plate once the men are finished with it.
With impunity, irate Muslim husbands may beat their wives for the flimsiest of reasons (Al-Nisa 4:34, Quran). If she converts to Christ, a Muslim wife faces death at her husband’s hand. Even so, fabulous rewards in Paradise await such men. On the other hand, Quranic teaching is unclear as to a Muslim woman’s eternal state—perhaps because, in Islam, “the male has the equal of the portion of two females” (Al-Nisa 4:129, Quran).
My Personal Testimony
A young woman, fresh out of college, I set off in 1971 for the Arabian Gulf. For two years at the American School of Kuwait, I taught children of the royal family and embassy kids, among others representing some forty-four nationalities. While living abroad, I traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and explored numbers of countries steeped in the Islamic worldview. Among them were Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.
One summer I drove by VW “bug” from Kuwait to London; and years later, I traveled throughout Asia and visited Russia, India, Kenya, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. On several occasions, I’ve visited Israel. It’s fair to say that, over the course of several decades, I’ve had considerable exposure to Islamic culture and beliefs.
That being said, my heart is open wide to the Middle East, Arabs, the culture and followers of Islam. For ten years I prayed weekly for them in a small, but passionate group of like-minded Christians. Even so, as Bible-believing Christians, we accept that God brought salvation to a lost world through “prevailers” and “princes” with God—whom to bless is to be blessed and, conversely, whom to curse is to be cursed. Like it or not, it was God’s prerogative to call Israel, to impart land and promise according to His purposes, and to honor a people whom He called His own.
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A daughter of promise by way of the Cross, I count myself among “spiritual Israel.” Also a student of globalism, I concede that opportunistic men and women of any and every ethnic background, creed and religious leaning work hard, often clandestinely, to bring about a long-anticipated, one-world order politically, economically and, yes, religiously.
Contrary to claims of conspiratorial theorists, no one scapegoat—be it “the Great Satan,” “Zion imperialists” or Muslim extremists—bears sole guilt for the world’s woes. For part two click below.