God, grant me the serenity to accept those things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I am not a religious man. However, I believe that religions serve a vital human function. They give us all hope. I will speak of Christianity primarily because I am most familiar with it, although much of what is taught is similar to that taught in many other religions. Christianity strives to bring out the best in people, as do many other religions. Christianity was spread by many means, the sword included. However, forced change of that type is inherently against many, if not all of Christianity’s teachings. Besides, it was discovered that other ways were far more effective. Christianity is focused upon the individual and how he/she can make himself and herself a stronger, more humane person. Treat others as you have them treat you. Christianity talks mainly about life. Christianity evolves because it was designed based upon human nature. We do evolve, but our nature does not. Christianity takes this into account.
Islam is about as different an approach to life as you can imagine compared to Christianity.
Hassan Nasrallah, Leader of Hezbollah "We love death more than you love life." What an example!
Christianity teaches much about life and helping others. Islam speaks of warfare, booty and dying for Jihad. How much more different can you get? No wonder the two are at war, although Islam has the upper hand simply because it is fielding an army directly into the field, whereas Christianity seeks to persuade. Remember what Osama said? "We will back the stronger horse." I can see why so many Muslims worldwide see Islam as the strongest ‘religion’. Significantly, Christianity has no authority to enact it’s own laws as compared with Islam. In a strait up fight, Islam wins hands down. This is not where the war is being fought.
The modern national government began to become common only within the past few centuries. Islamic governance is in direct conflict with so much of the basic authority of the national government that even where Islam is used as a basis for government laws, modern governance cannot be anywhere near the governance model that is set up by the Koran. This is one of the larger reasons as to why so much conflict is present throughout the Islamic world. The ‘terrorist’ enemy is seeking to establish more ‘Islamic’ governance. However, many Muslims are against it.
Even with the divisions within Islam about their own ‘religion’, what concerns me the most is that so many favor many of the Islamic teachings that are still openly hostile to just about everything that is worth fighting for, from the American point of view. This makes war inevitable. This can only end when one of two things happens. The world adopts the Islamic faith and governance, or the Islamic world terminates the concept of Islamic nationalism.
The large concern for me here is that either way, it will most likely take a World War to reach either solution. The sad part here is that if Islam won, the wars would not end. (War would not end in either case, I refer to war concerning Islamic nationalism) Islam is so divided that it would turn upon itself. One of the major structural problems within Islam is that the penalty for leaving is death. This issue is one of the major reasons why Sunni and Shiite have been unable to resolve their relative minor differences for more than 1000 years. This is another difference between Islam and Christianity. This is also another reason why I believe that Christianity will win, even if it is not as strong as Islam. Forgiveness allows humans to move past dreadful things. Islam has great difficulty with forgiveness and moving on. This is one of the reasons why Islam has such great difficulty evolving and adjusting to the modern world. And those who believe in it will fight. Like defending slavery, the people who hold these views will fight violently. This has been shown time and again throughout history.
The basic idea that I am attempting to present is that this ‘war’ is not about Islam against Christianity. It is Islamic governance against the concept and authority of the modern national government.