Is Islam a peaceful and tolerant religion?
For all the debate over Islam and its growing presence in the world, one thing is often overlooked: Islam is not a religion in the sanitized Western sense. It is, in contrast, an all-encompassing sociopolitical legal matrix that has bred a worldview antagonistic to anything but itself. While there may be millions of peaceful and tolerant Muslims, many of them our neighbors, Islam itself is hardly peaceful and tolerant.
Islam is the only significant religious system in the history of the human race with a sociopolitical structure of laws that mandate violence against the infidel. The current narrative is that to tell the truth in this regard is tantamount to radicalizing Muslims and exacerbating hostilities that may otherwise lie dormant. A common refrain has reverberated throughout the West: “Islam is not our enemy.” As well-intentioned as this mantra may be, it is a potentially dangerous stance once someone understands Islam in full.
Despite its incoherence, Islam—one billion six hundred million strong and growing—is poised to fill the vacuum left by a Western culture slouching inexorably towards Gomorrah. Demographics alone are alarming. While polygamist Muslims boast a robust birth rate, native Westerners are moving rapidly toward self-extinction. Filling the void are multiplied millions of Muslims who have no intention of assimilating into Western culture.
Equally grave is the specter of global Islamic jihadism now exacting mass genocide on Christians in the East and ever-multiplying terrorist attacks throughout the West. We are also witnessing the co-belligerency of fantastically wealthy Saudis spending multiplied billions of dollars exporting virulent Wahhabism to the West. Worse still, Western governments, academic institutions, and media outlets seem bent on exporting a false narrative respecting the religious animus animating global Islamic jihadism.
In MUSLIM: What You Need to Know about the World’s Fastest Growing Religion, Hanegraaff not only outlines the problems in accessible and memorable fashion, but moves toward potential solutions in the clash of civilizations.
This is the first book on Islam that I have ever read. I didn’t really know what to expect. What I found was a book that was terrifying in scope and concept. If 15% of this is absolute truth and an accurate representation of this Middle Eastern religion, then it is too much to accept. How is it that nothing like this has been presented to our public, but rather we are fed helping after helping of a peaceful disguise. This book will make you look into additional resources, and no apologetics library would be complete without it.
In addition to a thorough and thoughtful text, this book includes a lot of nice extras. For example, there is a glossary for understanding the language relative to the topic. There is also an appendix, reference notes, an index. There is also a list of recommended reading, so that you don’t have to take the author at face value. You are being encouraged to keep reading and studying. You cannot bring the Gospel to a people, if you don’t understand the culture that you are presenting to.
Finally, I appreciate the introduction, where the author makes it clear, that Islam is not representative of all Muslims. A person can be a peace, loving neighbor and not reflect the religion that is represented here. This is an analysis of a religion, a cultural system, and a rule of government, it is not a personal representation of each adherent. People are not always reflective of the system they support.
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