Because Christianity and Judaism also proclaim one God and base their theology and moral teachings on the authority of divinely inspired Scripture, many media, educational, and liberal religious commentators present Islam as one of three branches of a single religion hardly more distinctive than Christian church denominations. This misunderstanding of Islam has been furthered by at least three American Presidents and numerous other Western political leaders. This is a colossal theological error with extremely dangerous spiritual, cultural, political, public safety, national security ramifications.
The Bible was written over many centuries by men who are considered to have been divinely inspired. The traditional Christian view is that their writings may reflect various literary styles, personalities, and historical contexts, but that they impart infallible divine truth as the authors were moved by God in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Jewish view is similar but pertains only to the Old Testament and, of course, does not embrace the Christian view of God as a Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Muslim view of the Christian Trinity is that it is blasphemy punishable by death.
Islam’s view of the Quran goes far beyond the Judeo-Christian concept of divine inspiration. Muslins believe that the Quran was written by Allah (Arabic for God) and already existed in heaven before the Angel Gabriel gave it piecemeal to Muhammad, who faithfully revealed its passages to his followers as they were given to him over a period of 22 years. Shortly after his death in 632, Muhammad’s followers compiled these revelations into a perfectly accurate rendering of the heavenly Quran.
The Quran is a little smaller than the New Testament and contains considerable repetition. For example, the story of the Exodus is repeated 27 times. Eliminating the repetitions in the Quran would make it only about 40 percent as big as the New Testament. Because the Quran’s verses often neglect to give the full context of its revelations, other records of Muhammad’s teachings, sayings, deeds, and example are critical to its interpretation. These are called collectively the Sunnah. The separate reports making up the Sunnah are called Hadiths. The Hadiths which Muslim scholars consider most reliable are regarded as truth only slightly less sacred and significant than the Quran itself. These collections are especially important because they help fill in the context and meaning of Quranic verses. To illustrate their importance, many objective Western scholars of the Quran consider about 20 percent of its verses to make little sense. Much Muslim scholarship goes into tracing and determining the authority and reliability of the Hadiths. Together, the Quran and the Sunnah are the foundations of Islamic theology and Islamic Law (Sharia), but the Quran itself is not open to different interpretations. In a society dominated by Islamic Law (Sharia), the penalty for doubting standard interpretations of the Quran is death.
The Quran’s many repetitions are often inaccurate borrowings from the Old Testament and other Jewish writings. Of the 27 repetitions of the Exodus story, the Passover—a very important part to Jews and Christians—is consistently left out. The Quran also contains some confused Christian history and theology. For example, Isa (apparently Jesus) is said to be the son of Mary (confused with Miriam), the sister of Mosses and Aaron. Isa, the Jesus of Islam, is not the Son of God but only a Prophet and did not die on the cross or save anybody from their sins. He comes back at the end of time to destroy Christianity and convert people to Islam. Despite these obvious (and often distorted) borrowings, Muslims do not consider Islam to be a derivative of Judaism or Christianity. They consider Islam to be the original faith of Abraham of which Judaism and Christianity are corruptions.
Although “Allah” is a monotheistic god with many characteristics common to the Lord God of the Bible—all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign over all nature and mankind—their personalities as painted by the Quran and the Bible respectively are quite different. Muslims insist that Allah and the Lord God of Judeo-Christianity are the same, but many Christians strongly disagree. Most Muslims who have converted to Christianity, however, consider that Allah is God, but that the Quran and Islam have badly distorted his true nature and personality.
One of the problems of mankind in general is that they tend to create god in their own image. Most recently in the West, it is frequently a god who will accommodate their desires and fashionable tastes in theology and morality. Thus the authority of Scripture has become an unpopular doctrine.
One of the great concerns about Islam to the West is its violent nature. For 1400 years its principal way of spreading the Muslim faith has been the sword. No less than 109 verses of the Koran call for violent Holy War to make Islam the dominant religion of the world. So much that Jihad must be considered a cardinal pillar of Islam. It seems secondary in importance only to the proclamation that Allah is the only god and Muhammad is his prophet. The deceptive initial stages of Jihad often involve the strategic doctrine of Hijra—immigration and infiltration.
The call to Jihad is closely connected to another cardinal principle of Muslim theology—the Supremacy of Islam. Chapter 9, verse 33 of the Quran establishes its supremacy doctrine and condemns the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (“assigning partners to God).
“He it is who hath sent his Apostle with the Guidance and a religion of truth, that He may make it victorious over every other religion, albeit they who assign partners to God be averse from it.”
There seem to be many contradictions in the Quran. Many seem to stem transparently from Muhammad’s personal desires or political expediency. Muslims believe Allah can change his mind, which seemed to happen coincidentally with Muhammad’s need to justify a change in his policies, such as the number of allowable wives, taking concubines, the relationship of female slaves to their master, and other conveniences. Thus was revealed the doctrine of Abrogation in interpreting contradictions. The last thing said on a subject effectively replaces previous things said. Most or perhaps all of the early peaceful verses in the Quran were thus abrogated—reduced to having no significance—by verses advocating Jihad or Holy War against any who oppose Islam. Refusing to convert to Islam results in a choice of humiliating subordination or death.
I often hear people claiming that moderating influences could reform Islam and make it into a more peaceful religion more compatible with the West. This is close to being nonsense. Muslim scholars consider Islam to be a divinely revealed religion not subject to change or pacification by majority vote or the influence of the West, women, or “moderates.” The problem is in the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. You cannot make Islam into a religion of peace without removing both the Quran and Muhammad. That would be like removing the Bible and Jesus from Christianity, which seems to be a long-standing objective of the Left.
Islam is completely incompatible with Judaism, Christianity, or any other non-Islamic religion or secularist creed. Inviting vast numbers of Muslim immigrants or refugees into a Western country is risking a high level of public disorder, terrorist violence, and political subversion that could lead to eventual government overthrows, civil war, and even widespread genocidal conflict.