Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Politics and Islam

Not only is Europe beginning to feel the effects of a low birth rate among their educated white population combined with high rates of immigration of ignorant, low-skilled Muslims, but now there’s a growing trend for those educated white women to go to the Dark Side.

The death of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert who blew herself up in a suicide attack on US troops in Iraq last month, has drawn fresh attention to the rising number of Islamic converts in Europe, most of them women.

“The phenomenon is booming, and it worries us,” the head of the French domestic intelligence agency, Pascal Mailhos, told the Paris-based newspaper Le Monde in a recent interview. “But we must absolutely avoid lumping everyone together.”

The difficulty, security experts explain, is that while the police may be alert to possible threats from young men of Middle Eastern origin, they are more relaxed about white European women. Terrorists can use converts who “have added operational benefits in very tight security situations” where they might not attract attention, says Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

Ms. Fallot, who converted to Islam three years ago after asking herself spiritual questions to which she found no answers in her childhood Catholicism, says she finds the suspicion her new religion attracts “wounding.” “For me,” she adds, “Islam is a message of love, of tolerance and peace.”

Here’s the interesting point.  Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and most of the other major religions are also about love, tolerance, and peace.  Of all these faiths, the only one which mandates that its love, tolerance, and peace be enforced at the point of a sword is Islam.  This is because Islam is not only a religion but a political system. The faith requires that politics and law be intertwined, whereas Western civilization is built on the backbone of a separation of church and state.  This is why Islam is so dangerous a force in the modern world, because for the most part they simply cannot make the distinction between politics and religion.

Fallot laughs when she is asked whether her love life had anything to do with her decision. “When I told my colleagues at work that I had converted, their first reaction was to ask whether I had a Muslim boyfriend,” she recalls. “They couldn’t believe I had done it of my own free will.”

In fact, she explains, she liked the way “Islam demands a closeness to God. Islam is simpler, more rigorous, and it’s easier because it is explicit. I was looking for a framework; man needs rules and behavior to follow. Christianity did not give me the same reference points.”

More evidence of my point above.  Christianity also provides rules which need to be followed in order to gain salvation and acceptance into God’s graces in the afterlife.  However, this choice is voluntary.  Free will is one of the hallmarks of Christian belief, it’s the origin of the concept of Original Sin.  God tells you the rules, and he tells you what you will gain by following them.  But the choice to whether or not to follow those rules is left to the individual.  Islam, on the other hand, offers no such choice.  The rules are laid out by God through the prophet Mohammed, and anyone who does not follow them is an abomination against God, and must be brought to heel by force.

Some converts give their decision a political meaning, says Stefano Allievi, a professor at Padua University in Italy. “Islam offers a spiritualization of politics, the idea of a sacred order,” he says. “But that is a very masculine way to understand the world” and rarely appeals to women, he adds.

There it is again, the concept of politics and religion being inexorably linked in the Islamic mind.

At the same time, says al-Toma, converts seeking respite in Islam from a troubled past - such as Degauque, who had reportedly drifted in and out of drugs and jobs before converting to Islam - might be persuaded that such an “ultimate action” as a suicide bomb attack offered an opportunity for salvation and forgiveness.

“The saddest conclusion” al-Toma draws from Degauque’s death in Iraq is that “a woman who set out on the road to inner peace became a victim of people who set out to use and abuse her.”

Unfortunately, this is the major dynamic we see at work in the Islamic world today.  I have never believed that Islam and democracy are inherently incompatible, but Muslims have to understand that in the Western world politics and religion are separate.  In the Muslim world this is not the case, and the radicalized, perverse elements of this religion have dominated it, to the point where blowing yourself up to kill others is seen as the ultimate act of religions piety.

Posted by Lee on 12/27/05 at 05:05 PM in The Religion of Peace™ • Permalink

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