This was a comment on a blog that I found interesting.
"Jimmy: Your jaundiced perspective on Islam illustrates the dangers of relying on inflammatory negative sources like Craig Winn for information about something as difficult as religion."
I had never heard of Craig Winn. I looked him up and found that he researched Islam and has self-published a number of books on-line. From the little that I have seen, he is as anti Islam as I have seen anywhere else. This does not concern me as much as this comment assumption that Islam is a religion, as we know them in the United States.
A great deal of confusion seems to exist here. We in the United States tend to assume that religion is not able to enforce it’s own rules and laws. This is because all of the religions that we know have long since gotten out of the government business. Islam and Islamic law is an extreme exception. Maybe some people just don’t want to change their views. (An easy enough habit to fall into) Maybe some are afraid. (As they should be) A certain amount of people will notice that it is to their political advantage. And we all know that religions are peaceful and submissive to government control. I accepted President Bush’s comment as true when he said that Islam is a peaceful religion. A really good thing that I went ahead and studied Islam anyway. I did find that a certain part of Islam is peaceful.
I don’t have a problem with the religious side of Islam. If they need to fast every day for a month, that is their problem. If Muslims need to pray 5 times a day, that is their lookout. If they need to eat certain types of food, go ahead. (As long as it is not cruel to animals) This is religion, as we know it. My problem is with Islamic law.
Islamic law has been and is being enforced in many parts of the world today. This law is hostile to just about everything that I stand for as an American. Another way of looking at it: The Pope can’t enforce the Catholic Church’s prohibition on abortion. Islamic law has people stoned to death. And this is only the beginning.
Want to start a war? Give priests the authority to field and lead militias. This was how armies were fielded back before the rise of the modern nation-state. Islam is still doing it. The authority for this originates in the Koran. Islam was designed as a government, complete with a legal system, a foreign policy and an economic policy. It fields it’s own armies and defends it’s ‘occupied’ land and wages war to protect it’s ‘waters’.
I use the example of a Catholic Church in Chicago. If armed people take it over; the responsibility for handing this is the United States government. (Or some branch, like the city or state. This can take the form of police or National Guard) Catholics do not build an armed organization to throw them out. Catholics do not negotiate with a foreign government to obtain armed help in throwing out the ‘occupiers’ of their ‘land’. Islam is actually able to mobilize its own forces. These armed Islamic organizations are able to negotiate with foreign governments and obtain armed support. This qualifies as acts of war against the parent government. The idea that the "Nation of Islam" can act as a government does not have any similarity with religion as we in the United States think of religion.
The idea of Muslim ‘waters’ is alive and well. One sample of proof is that statement in 2008 by the imams in Istanbul that spoke of the Israeli blockade as being illegal because it is operating in Muslim ‘waters’. They spoke of the "Nation of Islam" as a government.
Remember the Barbary pirates? The Mediterranean was considered to be "Muslim waters". Our ships were passing through and we owed them money. This was an extension of the concept of Islamic Tribute.
Tribute is payment of a ‘poll tax’ by non-Muslims to Muslim authorities in order to live in Islamic controlled land. This payment exempts them from military service. Taxation and conscription are two functions of a modern government.These are only some of the issues that I have found that will cause open warfare. The U.S. Civil War was fought to eliminate slavery. (And to defend slavery) All it takes is one good issue to cause a war like the U.S. Civil War. I have identified 7 issues of this type concerning Islamic governance. No wonder wars are all over the world where Islam is attempting to establish its legal system. Islam is in direct conflict with the concept, responsibilities and authority of the modern government.
This is not religion, as I understand religion. This is not a "Jaundiced" point of view. It is human nature.