Islam as a World Power. Michael Goheen Trinity Western University Langley, B.C. Importance of Understanding Islam. Size: 1.2 billion; 2025 1.8 billion Growth: fastest growing religion in world (percentage-wise) History of animosity between Christianity and Islam, and West and Islam
Trinity Western University
“Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted meaning of the word, confining its scope to the private life of man. It is a complete way of life, catering for all the fields of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all walks of life . . . The Qu’ran enjoins man to enter the fold of Islam without any reservation and to follow God’s guidance in all fields of life.” (Ahmed)
“I don’t think there is a conflict between religions. There is a conflict between civilizations.” (Muslim lawyer from Tunisia)
‘Mohammed was possessed by two great religious aims--to proclaim God as the sole, almighty God, the Creator and the King of the day of judgement; to found a community, in Arabic called umma, ruled by the Law of God and His Apostle. These two objects constitute the core of Islam, its strength and its weaknesses’ (Hendrik Kraemer).
“The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed by the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not the CIA or the U.S. department of defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredients that fuel conflict between Islam and the West.” (Huntington).
To escape anomy, Muslims have but one choice, for modernization requires Westernization. . . Islam does not offer an alternative to modernize . . . Secularism cannot be avoided. Modern science and technology require an absorption of the thought processes [religious beliefs] which accompany them. . . . Only when Muslims explicitly accept the Western model will they be in a position to develop (Daniel Pipes).
The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depolitization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern. . . . If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist- humanist principles [religion . . . in other words convert!] on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries’ freedom will remain a distant dream (Salman Rushdie).
Islam and modernization do not clash. Pious Muslims can cultivate sciences, work efficiently in factories, or utilize advanced weapons. Modernization requires no one political ideology, or set of institutions . . . The Shari’a has nothing to say about the changes that accompany modernization . . . (Daniel Pipes).
“. . . a comprehensive system that tends to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and enforce its own program. . . . a revolutionary concept and ideology which seeks to change and revolutionize the world social order and reshape it according to its own concept and ideals.” (Mawlana Abul A’la Mawdudi 1903-1979)
Primary purpose “is not to defeat or even weaken the enemy militarily but to gain publicity and to inspire fear—a psychological victory.” (Bernard Lewis)
“Allah has answered our prayers.” (Hamas Weekly, 13 September 2001)
“Our driving motivation does not come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God, Allah, and follow in the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger Muhammad” (Mohammad Sidique Khan)
“Those who plan and carry out such acts are condemned by Islam, and the massacre of thousands, whoever perpetrated it, is a crime against God as well as humanity.” (Zaki Badawi, Muslim College, London, UK)
“Muslim jurists saw jihad as a requirement in a world divided between what they called dar al-islam and the dar al-harb. The Muslim community was required to engage in the struggle to expand the dar al islam throughout the world so that all of humankind would have the opportunity to live within a just political and social order.” (John Esposito, on way jihad has been understood for centuries)
“ . . . a defining concept or belief in Islam, a key element in what it means to be a believer and follower of God’s will . . . A universal religious obligation for all true Muslimas to join the jihad to promote a global Islamic revolution.” (John Esposito)
“For most of the fourteen centuries of recorded Muslim history, jihad was most commonly interpreted to mean armed struggle for the defence or advancement of Muslim power.” (Bernard Lewis)
“Is Islam a religion of peace, as Muslim moderates (and Tony Blair and George W. Bush) say, or is it a religion prone to violence and holy war, as statements by radical groups suggest? . . . The answer lies not in an either/or response, but rather in a both…and response. The Islamic texts offer the potential for being interpreted in both ways. It depends on how individual Muslims wish to read them.” (Riddell and Cotterell)
“. . . there is a titanic struggle taking place between moderates and radicals for the hearts and minds of the Muslim masses in the middle.” (Riddell and Cotterell)
“What is unique about the Christian gospel is that those who are called to be its witnesses are committed to the public affirmation that it is true—true for all people at all times—and are at the same time forbidden to use coercion to enforce it. They are therefore required to be tolerant of denial . . . not in the sense that we must tolerate all beliefs because truth is unknowable and all have equal rights. The toleration which a Christian is required to exercise is not something which he must exercise in spite of his or her belief that the gospel is true, but precisely because of this belief. This marks one of the very important points of difference between Islam and Christianity.” (Lesslie Newbigin)