THE AGENDA OF ISLAM -- A WAR BETWEEN
by Professor Moshe Sharon
There is no Fundamental Islam. "Fundamentalism" is a word that came from the heart of the Christian religion. It means faith that goes by the word of the Bible. Fundamental Christianity, or going with the Bible, does not mean going around and killing people. There is no fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop. The question is how the Koran is interpreted. All of a sudden we see that the greatest interpreters of Islam are politicians in the western world. They know better than all the speak- ers in the mosques, all those who deliver terrible ser- mons against anything that is either Christian or Jew- ish. These western politicians know that there is good Islam and bad Islam. They know even how to differen- tiate between the two, except that none of them know how to read a word of Arabic.
The Language of Islam. You see, so much is covered by politically correct language that, in fact, the truth has been lost. For example, when we speak about Islam in the west, we try to use our own language and terminology. We speak about Islam in terms of de- mocracy and fundamentalism, in terms of parliamenta- rism and all kinds of terms, which we take from our own dictionary. One of my professors and one of the greatest orientalists in the world says that doing this is like a cricket reporter describing a cricket game in baseball terms. We cannot use for one culture or civili- zation the language of another. For Islam, you've got to use the language of Islam.
Driving Principles of Islam. Let me explain the principles that are driving the religion of Islam. Of course, every Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that there is only one God. But it's not enough to say that there is only one God. A Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that there is one God and Mohammed is his prophet. These are the fundamentals of the religion that without them, one cannot be a Moslem. But be- yond that, Islam is a civilization. It is a religion that gave first and foremost a wide and unique legal system that engulfs the individual, society and nations with rules of behavior. If you are Moslem, you have to be- have according to the rules of Islam which are set down in the Koran and which are very different than the teachings of the Bible.
The Bible. Let me explain the difference. The Bible is the creation of the spirit of a nation over a very, very long period, if we talk from the point of view of the scholar, and let me remain scholarly. But there is one thing that is important in the Bible. It leads to salvation. It leads to salvation in two ways. In Judaism, it leads to national salvation - not just a nation that wants to have a state, but a nation that wants to serve God. That's the idea behind the Hebrew text of the Bible. The New Testament that took the Hebrew Bible moves us toward personal salvation. So we have got these two kinds of salvation, which, from time to time, meet each other.
But the key word is salvation. Personal salvation means that each individual is looked after by God, Himself, who leads a person through His word to sal- vation. This is the idea in the Bible, whether we are talking about the Old or the New Testament. All of the laws in the Bible, even to the minutest ones, are, in fact directed toward this fact of salvation. Secondly, there is another point in the Bible, which is highly important. This is the idea that man was created in the image of God. Therefore, you don't just walk around and oblit- erate the image of God. Many people, of course, used Biblical rules and turned them upside down. History has seen a lot of massacres in the name of God and in the name of Jesus. But as religions, both Judaism and Christianity in their fundamentals speak about honor- ing the image of God and the hope of salvation. These are the two basic fundamentals.
The Essence of Islam. Now let's move to the es- sence of Islam. Islam was born with the idea that it should rule the world. Let's look, then, at the differ- ence between these three religions. Judaism speaks about national salvation - namely that at the end of the story, when the world becomes a better place, Israel will be in its own land, ruled by its own king and serv- ing God. Christianity speaks about the idea that every single person in the world can be saved from his sins, while Islam speaks about ruling the world. I can quote here in Arabic, but there is no point in quoting Arabic, so let me quote a verse in English. "Allah sent Moham- med with the true religion so that it should rule over all the religions." The idea, then, is not that the whole world would become a Moslem world at this time, but that the whole world would be subdued under the rule of Islam.
When the Islamic empire was established in 634
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