CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 2, 2014 — Islam is a religion that is, by definition, extreme. What is regarded as extreme by Western standards is, more often than not, considered normal in the Muslim world.
The word “Islam” means “submission.” A “Muslim” is translated as “one who submits.” Now add in the holy book of Islam, the Koran, which, though filled with many contradictions, is believed by Muslims to be perfect because it is “the revealed word of God (Allah) through the Prophet Muhammad.”
The Koran is more than a holy book. It is the ultimate guidebook; it specifically tells Muslims how to conduct their lives.
There is another major Islamic book of teachings that is second only to the Koran, the Hadith. The difference between the two is that the Koran lays out the “rules” that are to be followed while the Hadith provides specific examples as demonstrated by Muhammad himself.
If Muhammad was the “perfect man” and the Koran is the “perfect book” — handed down to the prophet by God to be a roadmap for how to live your life — then reason demands that the only way to be a true believer is to follow its tenets exactly. Islam does not provide for variations from the text, so moderation is not an option.
Islam in its purest sense is comprised of five pillars: declaration that there is no god except God and Muhammad is His messenger; prayer, which is performed five times each day; fasting during the holy month of Ramadan; tithing; and pilgrimage to Mecca, which must be done at least once in the lifetime of anyone physically able to do so who can afford it.
Islam is not a passive religion. For example, Surah 9:29 of the Koran says, “Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe in neither God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and his Apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.”
Sharia Law is the moral code by which Islam is governed. It is a legal system that condones beheadings, stonings, severing of limbs from opposite sides of the body, and even honor killings. To Western standards, such atrocities would certainly be considered extreme, but to many in the Islamic world they are every day practices.
As Islamic expert Raymond Ibrahim points out, “if a self-professed Muslim does not uphold Islamic teachings — including prayer, fasting, paying zakat etc. — how is he being a ‘moderate’? Seems more logical to say that he is not much of a Muslim at all — that is, he is not submitting to Allah, the very definition of ‘Muslim.’”
Media love the term “Islamophobia” because it gives them a neat little word to categorize those who reject the concept that Islam is a “religion of peace.”
The time has come to take our heads out of the sand and stop pandering to those who would choose to do us harm. Wake up Mr. Beckel. Moderate Muslims will not speak out. They cannot do it because they simply do not exist.
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 (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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