Questioning Seventh and Twentieth Century Religions

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by Pieder Beeli, ©2011

The word "Allah" written in Arabic. But who is Islam's God?

(Jul. 8, 2011) — By her critics — and some of her advocates — Islam is sometimes called a seventh century religion. When this remark is made, people do not generally have in mind a historical reflection as much as a moral reflection. To support such a claim, critics cite, inter alia, the Quranic doctrine of the Jizya tax (Koran 9:29). The Jizya is specifically designed to “[force non-Muslims to] pay the tax in acknowledgment of [the] superiority [of Islam over whatever religion the non-Muslims believe in] and [to insure] they [i.e., the non-Muslims] are in a state of subjection [or 'being brought low' Pickthal translation]” (Koran 9:29, Shakir translation).

Indeed it is remarkable that a religion would have as its express objective the psychological oppression of its outsiders.

Because of Koran 9:29, and many other similar Islamic verses, some have called Islam a “seventh century religion.” Such a description of Islam may sometimes have as its intention to criticise Islam as morally retrograde and encourage Muslims to leave it forthwith. Yet others employ such a phrase with the thought of coming to the aid of Islam by encouraging Islam to abandon its morally retrograde elements and to progress to greater moral heights.

Aside from the historical description, which is true enough, it is a mistake to claim that Islam is a seventh century religion. The seventh century had already enjoyed hundreds of years of moral superiority to Koran 9:29.

Therefore to call Islam’s moral stature “seventh century,” is to feign ignorance of history prior to the seventh century and to demean pre-seventh century religions and civilizations.

Well before the seventh century, the nascent Christian church revealed its posture towards those outside the faith:

But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need. (Paul’s First letter to the Thessalonians 4:10b-12, written circa 51 AD)

According to the “Islam is a seventh century religion” Republican rhetoric, Islam is thought to have been morally in line with other seventh century religions or perhaps is thought to be morally superior to earlier religions. Most importantly, this “seventh century” claim is meant to euphemistically convey that compared more contemporaneous religious developments, Islam is morally retrograde.

This seventh century claim suggests that earlier religions, like Christianity, were likewise besieged with similar moral ills and worse. But even a nominal Muslim (as opposed to a true Muslim) can admit that, all other things being equal, a religion which treats its non-adherents with kindness (like Christianity) is superior to a religion which treats its non-adherents with oppression (like Islam). It is self evident that 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 is superior to Koran 9:29. Even a nominal Muslim can admit — in the abstract — that a religion that oppresses its non-adherents is morally blemished, and cannot therefore be a true religion.

The statement, “Islam is a seventh century religion,” then mitigates Islamic moral depravity. The truth is seventh century Islam refused the prevailing moral virtue and chose evil in its stead. The seventh century religion declaration then functions to respect Islamic ideology and to protect Islamic ideology from criticism. But the cost of such Islamic homage is to stand history on her head.

The phrase, “Islam is a seventh century religion” carries with it an implied notion of evolutionary progress: Over the past 1400 years we’ve done better than that backward religion.

Certainly the passage of time reveals a technological evolution: We have internet, iphones and Starbuck’s coffee ice cream.

Yet there is evidence that the passage of time unfolds a moral devolution. How else can we understand the 20th century multiculturalist narrative whereby Hitler — who’s doctrine killed six million Jews — is bad, but Mohammad — who’s doctrine has killed 270 million over 14 centuries and still foams at the mouth with dreams of Jewish genocide — is good?

The twentieth century multiculturalist religion has declared “it is all good” (with the “all” meaning all non-Christian or non-Jewish religions, and especially Islam). Most poignantly, on dozens of occasions Barack Hussein Obama has forcefully declared that “the US is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.”

With this remark, Obama displays for us the great powers of multiculturalism over logic. Note that Obama is able to assert the compatibility of The Declaration‘s “self evident” teaching that “all men are created equal” with Islam’s “non-Muslims are inferior teaching and are required to be made to feel to be in a ‘state of subjection’ (Shakir translation) [or '{made to feel} brought low' (Pickthal translation)].” When it comes to evaluating Islam, logic, for Obama, must be jettisoned.

What is to Obama an apparently self evident declaration, is not the result of an inductive moral evaluation. Obama is a dhimmi who would not dare subject Islam to moral evaluation. Per Obama, and the erstwhile Osama bin Laden, Islam is above morality. Likewise according to the multiculturalist religious narrative, it is a given that Islam is good and compatible with America. (Curiously, to the multiculturalist “Americans,” America‘s goodness is not so clear. Witness Obama’s pastor’s infamous “God damn America” diatribe.)

According to the twentieth century religion, treason is impossible and ideological warfare in defense of America is a jingoistic cousin of “American exceptionalism.” Truly the blood of 270 million cries out from the earth to a morally tone-deaf multiculturalist priesthood.

But pre-seventh century history and logic are not the only victims of the twentieth century religion. Obama’s multiculturalist powers enable him to see the future: “the US is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.” Multiculturalism cannot only trump logic and rewrite history, but it can magically write tomorrow’s history today.

That “seventh century religion” is still able to engage in meaningful moral evaluations. That twentieth century religion is not.


Dr. Pieder Beeli, Ph.D. (Physics) is a proud homeschooling father of five beautiful children. His articles have been published at WorldNetDaily and The American Thinker.


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