Digging Deeper…

Doubts that yet remain in my thinking concerning things Islamic are rising to the surface and urging reconsideration. Earlier conclusions, eclipsed by stronger evidence (I thought) and so revised, now reappear with more current evidence in tow. I find myself in that, ‘maybe I was right the first time’ mode. Or at least, maybe I was not completely wrong…

The Ground Zero mosque, for instance.

Just typing those infamous words, inner revulsion erupted. An emotional, knee-jerk reaction dominated, hands down. No contest. If the call was mine to make, it would be ‘Good-bye, Park 51 – and don’t come back.’ Despite what I’m going to write next, there is no way I would allow that mosque to be built. How could I?

When we first began hearing & reading about this project, reactions overall were certainly very similar. Some, though, including myself, offered other perspectives. “I briefly wondered if the idea was to somehow promote a side-by-side harmony, replac{ing} great suffering…{I} considered the possibility of proximity eventually engendering forgiveness. Even if the proximity was a forced one. Ultimately, could healing through acceptance prevail ?” Those were my words, found in ‘…but What is our Goal? (concerning the Ground Zero Mosque)’. Sentiments such as former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean’s : “…ending the poisonous atmosphere engendered by fear and hate, and in order to do that there has to be genuine listening, hearing and willingness to compromise on both sides.” (Salon) and the suggestion of a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times that America be the bigger man, so to speak, aligned with my outside-the-box ponderings.

In my search for answers, I began to accumulate knowledge of Muslim invasions & conquests in the past. By now most of us know what was news to me then, that the erection of a mosque on conquered land symbolized Muslim victory. In your face, we won, you lost victory. Hard not too see the proposed Ground Zero mosque in that light now, right? And though I had researched the imam behind it all, Abdul Feisal Rauf, and learned of some surprisingly benevolent actions on his part, still…the discovery of  a) the very existence of shariah law in the first place, and  b) certain Islamic schemes to infiltrate the American legal system with it, in persistent attempts to neutralize our wonderful Constitution and subjugate Americans to Islamic rule!!! pretty much invalidated any good feelings I may have had about the construction of this Islamic dwelling on grounds that should always be revered for the tragedy that occurred there on September 11, 2001.

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An unresolved issue for me, though, and a cause of necessary doubt, is the place of the ‘moderate Muslim’ in all this. In fact, let’s jump back and preface that with the question, ultimately, can a Muslim truly remain ‘moderate’? Based on my admittedly minimal knowledge of Quranic writings, I wasn’t so sure he/she could. Yet, I work with a young Muslim girl and for the life of me, I cannot see or perceive even an iota of radical Islam in her. Nor can I imagine the possibility of it developing there any time soon. On the other hand, years back I used to come into pleasant contact with a bearded, rather solemn Muslim man on a regular basis, that I thought I knew fairly well – we even had a rapport – and the day that I first heard anti-American rhetoric that jolted me to my core, and exposed me to my first terrorist-sounding individual – well, it came from him.

So you can see how this creates a quandary for me.

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My research & readings in this area have taught me that an Islamist practice is to fit in, adapt, gain strength and numbers, then strike. A wolf-in-sheep’s clothing approach – not just found in fairytales! And a pillar of certain Islamic teaching is that of taqiyyah, whereby Muslims are allowed to deceive others concerning their true religious beliefs. In other words, lie…in word or deed. Bear false witness.

When I first learned of this practice, it was within a context of Islamic domination intent, born out of hate. Anything goes to advance the cause. And certainly what we see going on in so many parts of the world today seems to bear that out. But further research, going back in time,  has shown me a deeper, survival-oriented intent. Literally meaning ‘caution’, the Arabic root of taqiyyah denotes piety, devotion, uprightness and such, also. From this definition we can conclude an Islamic principle of caution in one’s spiritual life & practices. It is a Shi’a Muslim ‘legal dispensation’ allowing them to “…conceal their religion when they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion”, even to the point of denying it.   

Sooo…..

Let me not be naive here. But let me question, was the ancient root of the violence and bloodshed we see erupting and exploding in, and outside of, Middle Eastern hotbeds more motivated by survival than domination in and of itself? In the minds of Islamic radicals, perhaps domination insures survival. Perhaps that psychic, ancestral root goes so far back, and down so deep, in history, the flesh & the spirit that its true and genuine origin has become almost fully concealed,  having evolved and mutated into the extremist ideology we see today.

Though I haven’t read this book (yet), its title would appear to answer at least part of my question: (Virani, Shafique N. (2009). The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, a Search for Salvation. New York: Oxford University Press.)

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Central to the understanding of taqiyyah is an awareness of the existence of the two major divisions of Muslim belief, Sunni and Shi’a. If you’ve done even minimal reading about the Muslim world, you’ve seen these words. But you may not realize that the Sunni/Shi’a split in the Muslim belief system, not too far down the road after the death of Muhammed, has proven to have been the incubation chamber for centuries of war & strife. (Leading right up to our doorstep.) But the point I want to make here is that the need for deception, for pretense and misleading came about as a direct result of this split. Sunnis, the majority, persecuted their minority brethren, the Shi’a. Shi’a defense was taqiyyah. Shi’a scholar Muhammad Husain Javari Sabinal believes that this aspect of Muslim faith would not even exist today, but for taqiyyah, which allowed for “the careful safeguarding of the beliefs and teachings of the Imams during…periods of persecution.” A Shi’a tradition declares “taqiyya is the believers shield, but for taqiyya, God would not have been worshipped”.

Sunni Muslims, being the powerful majority, rarely needed to hide their beliefs in order to survive. However, and although they have a different word for it, such a practice is, in certain circumstances, allowed.

~~~~~~

Not being a student of world history, and having forgotten that which I once knew, it came as a shock to me that sixteenth century Jews & Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition. In those circumstances, taqiyyah served Muslims well. I cannot fault them. Within their own system of beliefs, they found a way to save their lives & their faith. Ubayd Allah al-Wahrani, a Maliki mufti at that time, allowed Muslims to make extensive use of taqiyya to maintain their faith. Contrary to the teaching of the day, he counseled an inner rather than outer jihad.

I am highlighting these facts & events because, in my exposure to radical Islam, I have NOT been exposed to these particular aspects. We hear about the lies designed to advance the cause of Islam, which cause is to infiltrate and dominate the West – and by West I mean the United States of America. We hear about the ‘moderate’, everyday Muslim (maybe your neighbor) who, though he/she may not practice violence, might be supporting it one way or another. But have we heard much, if anything, regarding from whence this cause, these possible behaviors, may have sprung so far back in time?  I do not say something foul is not afoot – never, EVER forget 9/11 – eternal vigilance is the price of freedom – but it may well behoove   us, in this place on history’s timeline, to learn a little more than we may currently know.

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…just scratching the surface here, more to come…

Source materialWikipedia , Islam for Today

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5 responses to “Digging Deeper…

  1. The enmity between Isaac and Ishmael is still with us in 2011. Those of the flesh are still persecuting those of the Spirit. It is not just between Muslims and non-Muslims: there are Isaac Christians and Ishmael Christians–spiritual Christians and carnal Christians. “Those who are led by the Spirit shall be called sons.”

    It is interesting that the Muslim countries are dominated by desert landscapes because they are living in a land that is cursed. If you want to sin against God, your sin will poison the earth. When you surrender to Christ, the fruit of the womb shall be blessed and the fruit of the earth/your labors shall be blessed.

    I remember talking with this Christian years ago. He met these Christian missionaries who walked for miles along this river in Afghanistan: they saw NOT ONE single blade of grass. This journalist once interviewed a Muslim in Afghanistan and he said that God had cursed Afghanistan.

    Repentance and surrendering to Christ is the cure.

    • I’ve done a couple posts on that Isaac/Ishmael issue, that I intend to eventually tie in to a 3 or 4 part ‘series’. No doubt about that enmity.

      But I want to point out that, tho it’s true that those who are ‘Spirit-led’ shall be called sons, it’s also true that as many as receive Jesus, as believe on His name, are given power to bcome sons of God also. I’ve known people that believe that Jesus is Lord of all, but I wouldn’t call them spiritual. On the whole, it seems to me that it’s a matter of growth, which God gives, and growth takes time usually. Putting labels on Christians doesn’t help, it only emphasizes division, and the goal is healing, wholeness & unity. You know…salvation!

      Interesting point about the arid lands. Jeremiah 12:4.

      The kindness of God leads to repentance, it springs from Him and leads back to Him. Alpha & Omega.

  2. Pingback: …still Digging…taqiyyah & Christianity | Jesus, the Revolution & You

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