Though often viewed as a rising threat it must be remembered that about a century ago, the Ottoman Empire was on its knees, the Persians were subjugated, the Arabs long subject to the Turks had lost their former Abbasid and Umayyad glory. The sumptuous and cosmopolitan Mughal Empire of the Subcontinent had been vanquished by Victorian armies. Not long before that the Mamluks had been crushed by Napoleon and though the French walked away from Egypt the British would not until well into the 20th century.
We haven't even touched the Islamic culture of the southern Sahara where Islam stretches toward the frontiers of the Sub-Saharan plains and jungles. It was in Sudan that the Mahdi (another protest against Western Imperialism) was defeated by the English.
Nor have we discussed the complex forms of Islam that appear in South-East Asia as it interacts with Hinduism, Buddhism, and other traditional religions throughout the Subcontinent and the great archipelago that stretches from China to Australia.
I could go on and on. It's complicated. There are many groups, and just like in Europe they've all been at each other's throats and they all have their own cultures and ideas. They all have their own nationalisms and cultural biases. To understand Islam today, these things must be taken into account as well as their complex historical relations with the West, especially during the Colonial and post-Colonial period.
I have just scratched the surface. I can go much deeper, but I wouldn't dare consider myself some kind of expert. Yet, I'm confident that most readers of these posts are already lost. I don't say that to belittle anyone, rather to make a point. The point is that Islam is every bit as complicated as Western Christendom. There are many interpretations, and most have some merit. But to take one interpretation and run with it is a mistake.
Don't throw your hands up in the air. Try and learn something. But don’t listen to Hal Lindsey, Joel Rosenberg and Pat Robertson as they sit on the television and attempt to explain it all for you in five minutes. The best thing to do is not to read just them or me, but read a lot of different sources. If you don't have the interest or the time, I understand.
But don't just accept what these commentators and prophecy experts say! Often their statements are patently wrong if not ridiculous to anyone who has bothered to read even a basic history.
In their case, their theological commitments to Dispensationalism drive the interpretation. And as adherents and proponents of American Conservatism this too shapes their thinking.
I know they would say they're just giving you the Biblical view of things, but don't be fooled. If their theology is wrong then their whole way of thinking about these issues is wrong.
For them it's America (the Holy Christian Nation) and Israel (the Holy Jewish Nation) against the world. They start there and it is through that lens that they see everything. Any attempt to make peace in the Middle East will harm Israel's claims by binding them to treaties that stop short of Dispensationalism's expectations for the Jews. Any attempt by an American leader or diplomat to try and resolve the issue means they're selling out Israel and thus are immediately suspect.
What's the Biblical view of Islam? They're lost people trying to build the Tower of Babel, just like everyone. The whole notion that they're the Global Religion of the End is driven more by Dispensational error and American agendas than Scripture.
It's a false religion to be sure, but so is Judaism. Don't be fooled, there are next to no examples of true Old Testament Judaism. The small sect that attempts to do this is reckoned non-Jewish by most Jews today. In fact the Hasidic and Orthodox Jews that many find to be so interesting are often more influenced by the Gnostic Kabbalah than Moses. Nevertheless, they are interesting and their history is more than a little moving…but they're not God's people. They are not in any way the theological children of Moses.
Americanism is another false religion mixing New Testament Christianity with Enlightenment ideals, and pagan notions of government, economics, and goods that cannot be found in Scripture. This religion looks as much to Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith and often Abraham Lincoln as it does to Christ. Nowadays the level of adherence to the ideas of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan practically determines one's orthodoxy.
How should we as Christians respond to Islam? Learn the truth about it and understand they're lost and that like all people they have good and bad aspects to their culture.
There are aspects to certain forms of Islam that are wretched. Sometimes they result directly from Islam, sometimes they result from Islam interacting with a particular culture. Many seem to think that burqas where some sort of Taliban invention. Hardly. You can't understand the Taliban without first looking to Pashtun culture. And long before and after the Taliban lost power, women in that part of the world, especially Pashtun women were wearing burqas.
Some Kurdish groups practice female circumcision as do many groups Islamic and non-Islamic peoples in Africa. It has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with their culture. Of course they think in doing so they're being good Muslims…just like Americans believe certain aspects of their culture are Christian, much to the surprise of Christians living in other parts of the world!
But they're conquering Europe, soon they'll conquer the world!
First of all, I don't agree with this. I'm well aware of the silly propaganda videos floating around the Internet that are meant to make white conservatives tremble. There's no doubt that Europe has demographic problems. Of course, these things have never happened before right? There's never been a decline in population? There have never been population shifts and nations changing their composition?
Has anyone ever read a history book?
What's the concern here? Will the Church be conquered? Let's assume their argument for a moment. Let's say Islam will outbreed and take over Europe by 2050 or so. Will the Church fail or disappear? Will the Gospel be stopped?
Christendom will disappear. While I enjoy the history as much as anyone, in light of eternity does it somehow harm the Church? Will the legacy of 1700 years of Sacralism being lost somehow mean that God has been defeated?
As I've said before, Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries found it better to live under a Turk than a Habsburg. The Turks left them alone if they paid their tax. The Catholic Habsburgs took their children, burned their pastors and destroyed their lands. And as I've also mentioned before when the Turks besieged Vienna in 1683, there were Protestants standing with them as allies. I'm not saying it was right, not at all, but it demonstrates that not everyone was thrilled with Christendom. Of course as I've also written earlier, the Hungarians learned nothing from this and like every other people in history, once they had power they didn't hesitate to put their boot in the face of others. No one learns from history, not even their own experience. Look at the nation of Israel today. You would think with their history they might treat the Palestinians with more humanity? Think again.
So what if Islam wins? I'm not sure what someone would mean by that, that is, I'm not sure if they understand the nature of the Gospel and the Kingdom. But all I can say is…So what?
Will God's plan be somehow thwarted? What God do these people worship that they think His plans go astray and His people will someone be stricken from the earth? Is the Church about steeples in Devonshire, monastic buildings in Burgundy, relics in Thuringia, or a university in the Veneto? These things are all interesting because they're part of history and I can appreciate the history, architecture and all that as much as anyone.
But these things have nothing to do with Christ's Kingdom. If they're gone has Christianity been defeated? Hardly. Some history has been lost. I can lament that, but as far as I'm concerned the Church for centuries lived underground and the steeple, monastery, relics, and university all represented the system of antichrist. The medieval heretic (often a Bible Christian) would not have lamented the passing of these symbols or institutions. They were the tokens of the enemy.
The reality is this generation growing up right now is a critical one. If these Muslim immigrants don't assimilate there will be violence…on both sides.
What sometimes looks like appeasement is in reality a desperate attempt by the architects of Europe to try and assimilate these people before there's a complete outbreak of Right-Wing politics and the violence that will bring to the European street. The storm hasn't arrived, but you can hear the thunder. It certainly is on the horizon.
Sometimes like in Britain the societal architects have gone too far, they've stretched themselves in a self-sure confidence that I think will blow up in their face. Not from the Muslim population but the English natives. I fear that someday David Cameron might look like a tolerant liberal, an appeaser. Not that I would recommend the movie to a Christian audience, but V for Vendetta in a semi-serious dystopian way looked at some of these ideas…what the Right-wing backlash might look like.
Europe is turning more racist and consequently the Muslim youth are in a hole they cannot escape. They can't get jobs, they have no future and they watch in frustration as their relatives, friends, and themselves become Westernized. Some turn away and embrace political Islam. Others turn to crime and despair. And thus the native populations grow more angry, bitter, and soon violent. They start looking to the British National Party, the Le Pen's in France, Wilders in the Netherlands, and we've also seen the rise of the Right in Sweden and other countries as well. It's not quite the 1930's, but this decade may prove as critical for Europe's future. I'm not suggesting another World War, but I am suggesting a cultural watershed.
First generation immigrants rarely assimilate very well, but if their grandchildren haven't blended in pretty well, then something is wrong and it will lead to trouble.
We're pretty much there or soon will be. By now (from the standpoint of the architects) the Muslim youth should be apathetic or at least moderate in religion and having a pint while they watch the football match. Their wives should be hitting the shops.
Instead, they are increasingly living in ghettos and growing angry and/or despondent. In desperation the powers that be are trying to bring them along before the Geert Wilders types get into power. I'm afraid they're running out of time.
Greed and a certain type of lifestyle have its consequences. White Europe doesn't want to get their hands dirty anymore, they want to live a certain way. They have cultural expectations about parenting, childrearing, education, and normalcy. It's harder to live the good life and enjoy holidays on the Greek Isles when you've got three or four kids. It was easier to import NATO member Turks and Kurds, or former colonials like the Pakistanis and Indians.
You want them to leave? Then quit destabilizing their countries and regions and perhaps their countries will improve and they'll go home. Of course in the case of Pakistan and India as well as many other places, some of the contemporary tensions find their origin in the Age of Empire, the colonial age which in reality never quite ended. Instead the nature of colonialism changed.
Importing immigrants for work, that's been the plan for about forty years now. It won't help Europe though. The post-War miracle is over. The costs and consequences have caught up.
America is having to deal with this as well with the influx of Mexicans and Central Americans. Here the greed has led to a Roman-reminiscent decadence and White Anglo-Saxon Protestant kids can't do math or read, let alone work or grow up. American corporations are looking outside for new talent, but much of Middle America is racist and they don't like people who come here and don't speak 'American' as one put it to me the other day.
Japan has been dealing with this as well. They've long been anti-immigration, because they know it will change your society. It will be interesting to see if this changes at all in light of the recent devastation.
It's no surprise that Christians are increasingly turning to the Right, to Nationalism for answers. Wilders is something of a hero here among Conservative Protestant circles. Most Christians being complete ignorant of history would be utterly baffled that many find Wilders to be the equivalent of a modern day Hitler. American Christians think he's standing for Christian values.
History repeats itself. I heard that somewhere.
Christians should be the last people buying into Right-wing fear mongering, but sadly generations of Sacralism have blunted the Christian mind, and prevented both a historical and Christian perspective from governing their thoughts. And the Church of our day is doing its best to create a vibrant new generation of brainwashed Constantinians who just like the Roman Catholics of the Middle Ages believe God is on their side.