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[COMMENT: This is the kind of title which inspires many to see "extremists" behind the scenes -- i.e. the writers of such "foolishness". But the facts are the facts. I hope and pray that the title is wrong, but I believe it has a good chance of being right.
The writer is on target about Islam, but off the mark on Christianity. See comments below in text. E. Fox]
Civil war is coming to Europe
Posted: October 31, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Editor's note: Gregory M. Davis is the author of "Religion of Peace? Islam's War Against the World," now available at Shop.WND.com.
By Gregory M. Davis, Ph.D.
At a recent meeting of senior members of the British government, John Reid, the home secretary, warned that Britain risked losing the war of ideas with al-Qaida's "single extremist narrative." It seems that "radical" Islam is increasingly attractive to Britain's Muslim youth, who, according to Secretary Reid's Conservative counterpart, David Davis, are creating a system of "voluntary apartheid" rather than assimilating into British society. Similar sentiments are being expressed by the French as we approach the first anniversary of the riots by young Muslims that sent 300 of their cities into weeks of car-burning chaos.
While the news is grave, it can only be surprising to people unfamiliar with the basic tenets of Islam. Despite routinely spouting off the bromide that Islam is "a religion of peace" and blaming Muslim violence on "extremists," European statesmen (and American) clearly have yet to take the time to acquaint themselves with what Islam actually says about itself. How many of them have actually read the Quran? How many know how to read the Quran? How many are familiar with the other canonical Islamic texts, the hadiths and the Sira? How many have any idea what the Prophet Muhammad really did or what he instructed his followers to do? This may sound like an unpleasant academic exercise, but with the Muslim populations of Europe rapidly expanding, it is now of the utmost practical importance.
The mistake Westerners make when they think about Islam is that they impose their own views of religion onto something decidedly outside Western tradition. Because violence done in the name of God is "extreme" from a Western/Christian point of view, they imagine that it must be so from an Islamic one. But unlike Christianity, which recognizes a separate sphere for secular politics ("Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's"), Islam has never distinguished between faith and power. While Christianity is doctrinally concerned primarily with the salvation of souls, Islam seeks to remake the world in its image. According to orthodox Islam, Shariah law – the codified commandments of the Quran and precedents of the Prophet Muhammad – is the only legitimate basis of government. Islam is in fact an expansionary social and political system more akin to National Socialism and Communism than any "religion" familiar to Westerners. Islamic politics is inevitably an all-or-nothing affair in which the stakes are salvation or damnation, and the aim is to not to beat one's opponent at the polls but to destroy him – literally as well as politically.
[COMMENT: (My emphasis above.) It is bad enough to misunderstand Islam, but it is a lot worse and more destructive to so badly misunderstand Christianity.
The above comments about Christianity are terribly misguided and not true, but sadly believed by most Western Christians. Biblical religion does NOT recognize the "separation of Church and State" popularly abroad today. God owns the whole world, including the political part of it. "Jesus is Lord" is a political statement.
Rendering unto God what is God's includes rendering Caesar unto God -- whose image is stamped on Caesar. Caesar (civil government) belongs to God. Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's depends on what God chooses to give Caesar. Caesar has no authority whatsoever apart from the law and grace of God.
Click here for those concerned about theocracy, We have scared ourselves to death over religion in politics. Theocracy! Theocracy (rule by God, not by the Church) is no more dangerous than rule by secular government. Indeed, in the case of Biblical religion, far less so. (Read "Death by Government".) And theocracy is the only way to establish a legitimate government. That point is made right in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence. Though the word 'theocracy' was not used, it was a commonly held belief in both Britain and America at that time. If civil government, not God, grants our freedoms, then they are not unalienable. What government grants, government can (and routinely does) take away. What God grants is guaranteed for eternity. Guaranteed.
Theocracy is not the problem. The problem is just the opposite -- any form of civil government which has no authority higher than itself, and is thus responsible and accountable to no one. Certainly not to the people.
The same is true of "democracy", rule by the majority. The majority, even a 100% majority, is not a valid source of authority. A majority, as the founding fathers said over and over, can tyrannize a minority just a much as a legislature or a king. They rejected it, and instituted a democratic republic under God. The "democratic" element in our government is that the people, not the elected officials, are the final arbiter of what God is saying to us. But "we, the people" are responsible to God. We are able to choose (or unchoose) our rulers, and are thus, humanly speaking, the final arbiters of the will of God. But it is the will of God which we are to interpret. The Church's task is to educate the people about God in an open and free marketplace of ideas, no gun in hand. That is genuine Jeffersonian liberalism.
Legitimate politics is thus the art of ensuring that the use of coercive force is placed under the law and grace of God. Politics is not a secular enterprise.
Life without God is a continual power struggle with no possible resolution. God, and God alone, can protect us from tyranny and guarantee our freedom. Our freedom does not reside in ourselves by some independent, autonomous right (as the Enlightenment came to imagine). It comes as a gift guaranteed by God -- or it does not come with any stability at all.
Christianity is indeed concerned with the salvation of souls. But that is in no way disconnected from life here and now. The here and now is to be saved as well -- because the flesh is the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual.
The whole of creation fell (read the newspapers!), and the very structure of nature is fallen. But (see Romans 8:19 ff.), God will redeem the whole works. Our political freedom is just as dependent on the law and grace of God as our personal salvation. The two are part and parcel of each other. Only a morally and spiritually mature people can maintain their political freedom. The founding fathers routinely recognized that fact. We are fast losing our freedom because we are destroying our Biblical foundations.
The attitude of separating the spiritual from the temporal is not Biblical, it is pagan and secular. That attitude has been the downfall of Christendom since the conquest by the "Enlightenment", which was actually a descent into a new Dark Age. Is that not obvious by now? Which of its promises has secularism fulfilled?
Secular people have pushed Christianity out of the public arena largely because Christians began to behave as though reason and revelation were opposed to each other, and hence rejected reason. We deserved to be pushed out. On the other hand, secular folks have more than equaled our own ineptly Christian unreasonableness. They just knew better how to fake it.
The Pope's comments about the irrationality of Islam were well taken, but Christians have not done much better for the last several centuries. That is why we have failed so badly for so long. We can do better, and we will. God will not have it any other way.
The truth is that the Biblical worldview is the only worldview which is both logically consistent and which can account for the empirical world and evidence. It is the only worldview which can unite spiritual with material, and which can legitimately say that this world of time and space is both orderly and good. E. Fox]
The riots in France of last fall and the widespread Muslim protests that now occur on the slightest pretext (cartoons of Muhammad, rumors that U.S. personnel mishandled a Quran, etc.) are the opening shots in Europe's 21st century civil war. It is anybody's guess when the real shooting will start, but start it will. So far, the European governments are doing nothing to forestall the coming disaster. Europe's bland materialism is no match for a resurgent Islam confident that Allah has ordained its ultimate triumph. Why should Europe's Muslims assimilate when their numbers and confidence steadily increase and European politicians offer nothing more that a steady stream of apologies and appeasement?
[COMMENT: Gregory Davis is right. The mushy materialism of Europe (see Mark Steyn article) will be eaten up by the militant Muslims. The only player in the field which can counter militant Islam is a renewed Christendom and the Way of the Cross -- but Christians are hardly yet in the field.
Christians are s-l-o-w-l-y getting back their intellectual, moral, and spiritual credibility. That presages a renewed Christianity over the next century. There is nothing in heaven or earth which can stand against a mature, healthy, and well-discipled Judeo-Christian community. Ask Rome. Deo Gratia! E. Fox]
Europe's plight should be a cautionary tale for America, but unfortunately her leaders seem just as unwilling to confront the true nature of Islam. Somebody needs to point out to them that wishing that Islam is "a religion of peace," however earnestly, does not make it so. Whatever America's current problems with the Islamic world today, they will pale in comparison to what she is going to face in Europe – and eventually in America herself – if her leaders remain unwilling to recognize Islam for what it is.
Gregory Davis received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. He is the author of "Religion of Peace? Islam's War Against the World," from World Ahead Publishing. He is also managing director of Quixotic Media and producer of the feature documentary "Islam: What the West Needs to Know," now on DVD.
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