Monday, October 18, 2010

Islamic Fundamentalism: Puritanism and Evangelicalism Revisited

They say that America was founded upon many tenants, of which the escape from religious persecution in Europe was one. As a result, where we live today has become the most religious diverse nation in the world. But insofar that this is historic truth, the query remains, is such our strength or weakness?

I make this assertion as a form of observation rooted both in historic accuracy and human action. The latter in many respects being feculent and absurd, in particular if what people display reflects what they actually think and feel. Especially as it regards the practice of Islam in modern America.

Personally, modern day Islam, or really I should state Islamic fundamentalism is equal too or the same as the Christianity that was presented that found and established this nation. This is why I am confused by protesting against an Islamic community center in NYC near or around ground zero, or anywhere in America to the proposed burning of books by zealots. This to me reaffirms the selfish edict, that we alone, are the chosen people of God – a lesson refuted via the practice of slavery and cemented via the blood of many before, and during the civil war.

The simple summary is that Islam is no more or less violent than Christianity. Just like some in Islam believe all outside of their belief are infidels, so was the view of the Spanish, who came to the new world, and forced with the Bible and threat of death the native Americans to accept Christianity (Catholicism) without question. But this lead to war and they eventually left New Mexico in 1680. This is one reason Pope Alexander VI in 1493, decreed that it was alright for Europeans to use non-whites in the name of God. Which was good for Bartolome de Las Casas, a Christian who came to the conclusion that African slaves were needed in Hispaniola after he had killed many of the indigenous people.

The lesson learned was that we cannot use political machinery to force our beliefs on others. A lesson the puritans would learn, albeit in theory it is purported that they left Europe to save Christianity from the politics of the European Church. Another reason for them as now. I can not discern any difference between Christianity during the founding of America for a group of people who saw themselves as the chosen people of God, or the fervor that arose out of the protestant reformation or evangelicals, or fundamentalist Islam and its predilection for Shari law.
Yep, the actions of John Winthrop are just like those of Osama Bin Laden. They both say the same thing: that if we are good by our God, that God will bless us. Just Like Billy Graham, for it was the Reverend Billy Graham and other white ministers who told Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights bus boycott that his actions were “not Christian and ungodly.”

The aforementioned examples tell me that all, regardless of religious affiliation are off base – for intolerance and absolute conformity is never good or godly. Unfortunately, this is what defines both Islam and Christianity historically globally. Yes the intolerance of Islam by American Christians and fundamentalist Muslims hatred of the West are the same. Just as slavery showed that whites perceived themselves selfishly as the chosen people of God, I see the same today. How the perspicacity of scripture is used to suggest how some selected few, if different is less than others. Unfortunately regardless of what men say, no God would assert such a premise. The bottom line is that truth fears no light and no man can love God yet orate hate for his brother at the same time, for it is written that he that lives by the sword, shall die by the sword, and both Christianity and Islam should take note.


Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Well written!!

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