The Only Thing to Fear is Islam Itself

By Patricia Sauthoff

In the early 700s, approximately 100 years after Muhammad first heard the voice of God as he meditated in the Arabian Peninsula, Islam came to Spain. Since that time much of Europe has spent untold amount of money fighting Islamic rulers and the residual fear of all things Muslim has spread to the United States.

That fear revolves around one single idea: conquest. In the last 22 years of Muhammad’s life, he went from a preacher to a small band of followers to the ruler of the Arabian Peninsula. From there, after the Prophet’s death, Islam continued to spread and, to this day, has not ceased to influence the world far-and-wide.

From 711 to 1492, a year engrained in the minds of every American schooled child, Muslim rulers controlled Spain. For two hundred years, from the 11th to 13th centuries, European Christian armies fought Crusades in the Holy Land, In the early 1200s the Mongolian rulers began to accept the religion as their own, with three of the four khanates embracing Islam. The end of that century, in 1299, saw the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, which would last until the end of World War I and, in the 1500s, which stretched north almost to Vienna. Also during the 16th century, the Mughal Empire rose in India, where it lasted until the introduction on the British Empire in the 19th century.

For European descended Americans, there has been no enemy as consistent as Muslims throughout history. Current American propaganda often uses vague terms to describe the men behind the 9/11 attacks, Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath government, Iranian leadership, and tribal communities opposed to U.S. action in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though these groups share a religion, they are often politically and nearly always ethnically, different from one another. Taliban and al-Qaeda are often used interchangeably, though the former is an AfPak political party and the latter a loosely organized, multinational and stateless army.

So, what is so frightening about Islam itself? Nothing really. It’s a misunderstood religion, thought by many to be Eastern but having closer ties to Judaism and Christianity than to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism or the rest. Even Sikhism is more closely related to Hindu philosophy than to Muslim beliefs.

It seems that often Islam becomes a scapegoat because it is, and has been, thought of as bad for so long by Northern Europeans and Americans. One can easily look at an Islamic country and blame anything he or she wants on the religion without looking at the remainder of the culture around it. Perhaps poverty, lack of resources and a different history affects a culture as much as its religion.

The argument of “fundamentalism” is interesting, as the word originated as a term to describe an exclusively Christian movement. And it is this movement today, in America, that most fears and rejects Islam. What both religions share, beyond religious links that go all the way back to Abraham, is a belief that scripture is the word of God. Because of this view Biblical or Quranic law is divine and cannot be argued against. This is where the confusion comes in. By this definition, all Islam would be labeled fundamentalist because it is part of the doctrine that the Qur’an was revealed by Allah to Muhammad and those revelations include many guidelines for behavior. That doesn’t mean, however, that Islam universally requires those Quranic laws to be governmental law.

What’s fascinating about the current American debate is that the very people who use Christian morality as their platform, when opposing gay marriage or abortion for example, are the ones most concerned that Muslims will try to impose their religious beliefs upon the country. The fear that is spreading is familiar to many liberal Americans, who have feared the Christian imposition on their private lives for years. Now those who believe in a certain religious moral code for all now understand that threat for themselves.

The belief that the moral code is divine is so deep-seeded the assumption becomes that all religious and political beliefs are thought to be from God, therefore making those in opposition of the greatest danger.

There are, of course, Muslims who do believe that divine law should rule all aspects of government and life, but those, like the Christians who believe similarly of their dogma, not the majority. To assume the other is the evil mirror image of oneself is to transfer what one most fears about himself onto the world and to spread that fear beyond the rational.

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8 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Not all muslims are evil, the problem is Islam itself. Founded by an evil insane man it has forced itself on millions of people; their only choice being join or die.

    Many ‘moderate’ muslims dont actually believe anything about their religion, but cannot leave or convert away for fear of being tortured and murdered by their own families in the name of Islam’s ‘honour’.

    • Obaid says:

      mark, mate islam is not the problem. the problem is muslims. by this i mean islam is perfect but muslims aren’t and you do know what i mean by that if u dont uve problems. islam is the most complete religion and it tells you about everything and has an answer to any of your questions so you cannot blame islam unless youre an idiot that hears something from some pagan and wouldn’t even give it a second thought and would start pointing fingers at people. im not one of those people who would give a damn about what you think or what you want of me. all i care about is that whether the creator, the only God (Allaah) cares or not. am i doing something right/wrong? etc.
      yeah so the point is that islam is perfect and complete its the muslims that aren’t perfect and complete of the knowledge of islam if they were they will be like the companions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). they wouldn’t do what they aren’t allowed to do. they wouldn’t commit sins. they wouldn’t do anything bad. but since theres not much practice of the religion (because of the “west” i’ll give u so many reasons for this (saying west)) and not everyone has knowledge, some people dont even know the basics so how can you expect them to be good? (or even muslims).
      if someone doesnt know about the religion and doesnt follow the commandments then that person is not from that religion…………..

      too much to talk about…….
      you do know that islam is the truth, stop hiding cos one day you’ll be saying, this, that and the other but that’ll b too late and you’ll be thrown to hell like the other ignorant people.

      let me know if theres any other problems. ill b happy to help.

      and yeah do think about whatever you want to post/say.

  2. Many people feel the same way about Christianity, Mark. Sadly, neither you or they are correct, only ignorant and full of fear and hatred.

    • Obaid says:

      i agree with you Miss Patricia Sauthoff. no one is perfect. some people misread, some are ignorant. some dont care. some just care about money. some care about name, fame, business, popularity etc. but at the end of the day it comes to their religion for some reason. any good thing happens is ignored by people theyre like just another good person and they dont even give it a 2nd look but if someone does something wrong theyre like, “OHH OMG ……..” and they just blame it on the religion instead of blaming it on that person.
      this is ignorance

  3. Gurthang says:

    Many of these could also be said about Christianity. We all know of witch hunts and crusades. Ignorance is the enemy, not the belief itself.

  4. stacey says:

    If you ask me and I am by no means an expert. The bible and the Koran speak of the same things. And people in the bible and the Koran and Jewish literature had more than one wife married young girls because that is the times and ways of when all these books were written. I think the problem on all sides is violence, religious intolerance, fanatics and not allowing women equality. I think this is a Christian, Islamic, Catholic, and Jewish problem. This area of the world has been a hot bed for violence over these things always and now you have oil in the mix too. I am sure not all Islamic people are fanatics or violent just as all Christian are not. The books are talking about the same things in many instances.

  5. stacey says:

    I am also sure there are Islamic, Christian, and all the other religions have men that are kind to women and their wives do not want violence and men of of all religions that are and women too. I think the focus should be religious tolerance and catching violent criminals and racists of whatever religion

  6. The3rdpower says:

    I like the study into the reality of what is. The duality is reasoning… Realizing that which is opposite is only the manifestation of the opposite. Fighting and friction gives us something worth living for. We are here to sanitize and cleanse the ears or what was. We are here to challenge what is… But stop and pause. Right brain…. Left brain…. Word versus picture. What you see is the simple hangings of the revolving door of life. The ululating relentless pulse of life. The fight of the too and frow. Religion is not the enemy. Spirituality is not… The system is not… It is the duality that is. The fixation on the opposite and the push against the system. We are one.

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