Islam is pragmatic, but first we must understand it

Many aspects of Islam are not difficult to grasp if we analyze them logically.


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec, 7, 2015 – Until the West stops trying to understand our differences with the Islamic world by using Western morality, we will never reach a solution.

First, forget President Barack Obama as a source for answers. He will never do what is necessary to combat the global threat of terrorism, nor will he ever alter his thinking.

Next, we must consider the riddle from their perspective rather than ours, and that requires in-depth comprehension of the way they view the world.

In the words of Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, many aspects of Islam are not difficult to grasp if we analyze them rationally.

When confronted with the question as to why Saudi Arabia does not allow churches to be constructed in the country when mosques can be found throughout the United States, the sheikh simply replies, “So we allow them this (to build churches) in return for that (constructing mosques in the U.S.)? Do you want another other than Allah to be worshipped?”

Al-Munajjid’s answer is simple and pragmatic.

True Muslims are devoted to their beliefs. Therefore, allowing a church to be built in Saudi Arabia would be an admission that there is a God other than Allah. Such a concept is unthinkable to a Muslim, even so-called “peaceful” Muslims.

In other words, even if a Muslim wanted to consider such tolerance, he could not without refuting his own beliefs.

“Oh! Unbelievable, for he who equates between Islam and kufr (non-Islam), and Allah said, ‘Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers’ (Koran 3:85),” says al-Munajjid.

Considering that some Islamists are so devout that they will kill themselves as martyrs for what they believe, does it not make sense that they would be unwilling to abandon their beliefs by the acknowledgement of another religion?

In the West we overuse the term “radicalization” to describe converts to Islamic jihad. Islam is by definition “radical.” A devout Muslim is automatically “radicalized” by accepting the faith. Whether or not he or she acts on those teachings is a matter of personal choice, but a Muslim cannot be a “good” Muslim without thinking “radically.” It is not possible.

In Saudi Arabia, if a person hires a taxi and the cab driver has an accident, the fault lies with the passenger. Why? Because the taxi would not have been at the site of the crash had it not been hired by the rider.

While that defies Western logic, it is how the Islamic mind views the world. There is an Arabic term known as Inshallah, which means “it is God’s will.” True believers accept virtually anything that happens, good or bad, as Inshallah.

In the West we might call it “fate,” but we would not always equate it as the will of God.

Convoluted as it may seem to Western minds, a true Muslim cannot honestly accept non-Muslims if he believes that Islam is the only true religion. That fact alone “justifies” the way ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram et al think. Their job is to convert the rest of the world into accepting the truth as they know it. If that means beheadings, stabbings, stonings or any other inhumane brutality, so be it.

Go ahead. Shake your head and say “that doesn’t make sense.” It doesn’t matter whether you are right. It only matters that Islamists believe it, and until we accept that they think this way, we cannot begin to deal with their ideologies.

Much debate has swirled around the Syrian refugees in recent weeks. When the Prophet Muhammad left Mecca on the Hijrah  (migration) to Medina in 622, his followers were in essence Islamic “refugees.” The number was small, only about 100 people, but the event was not unlike what we are witnessing today throughout Europe and the United States.

During the next century, following Muhammad’s death, the beliefs of those 100 people spread to conquer most of the land to the west, including much of Europe. We are still battling the problems today that began with just 100 devotees some 1,400 years ago.

The parallels with the present are staring us in the face, yet we fail to see them because we do not understand them and because we do not have leaders willing to accept them.

Hillary Clinton says she will not use the term “Islamic extremism” because it would mean we are at war with a religion.

Does Hillary not recognize that Islam is at war with Christianity and Judaism? Ms. Clinton can sugarcoat it anyway she wants, but reality is reality.

Until we admit we do not know how to confront Islam and its way of life, and until we begin to battle the situation from THEIR perspective, we cannot win.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

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Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.