Thursday, March 22, 2007

Can A Good Muslim Be A Good American?

Because I’ve recently been posting some stuff I've learned about Islam, my friend Jim decided to forward me an email “to get a rise out of me.” Which worked. The email asked the following question: Can a good Muslim be a good American? And overwhelmingly concluded “no.”

Since I can’t read the Quran in its native Arabic, I hauled out my English translation of the Quran called The Message of the Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad that I received in the mail for free from The Council on American Islamic Relations [See previous post “Christ In The Quran?” for details] and added my responses in italics which Jim said he'd look forward to reading. Can a good Muslim be a good American? What do you think?

Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia. Allah means “The God” and is the Arabic word for the monotheistic worship of the only true God in heaven that was known by the bedouin descendants of Abraham’s first son Ishmael [Genesis 16] in Arabia for thousands of years before Muhammad was even born.

Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256). That’s not what that reference says. Sura 2:256 actually says “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.”

Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran. Common sense contradicts this conclusion. Who do historians say actually protected many of the oldest manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments? Muslims. Sura 5:68 adds, “Say: ‘O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!”

Geographically - no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day. This makes very little sense. American Freemasons and their buildings always face east so they can pray toward the sun. But we don’t question the patriotism of the numerous Freemason Presidents of the United States do we?

Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews. Much of what Muhammad was taught came from Jewish and Christian friends. Sura 5:47 says, “Let, then, the followers of the Gospel judge in accordance with what God has revealed therein.”

Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan. There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world many of whom do not advocate violence. Moderate voices like Hamza Yusuf [click here to read his article “Love Even Those Who Revile You”] and Abou Fadl who wrote The Great Theft [click here or the graphic to the left for more info] could probably do a better job of getting their message out, but they often do not receive much help from the media or from Christians.

Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34). As hard as it is for us understand, Muhammad actually elevated the treatment of women in the violent 6th century. Sura 4:34 is comparing how Muslims should treat a righteous devout wife versus an unfaithful unrighteous unrepentant wife.

“Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of the possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard their intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded. And as for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them.”

Sura 4:15-16 adds, “And as for those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance]. And punish [thus] both of the guilty parties; but if they both repent and mend their ways, leave them alone: for, behold, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.”

Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt. Because Muslims believe the Quran is 1 book from a single revelation of God that Muhammad subsequently dictated to his scribes over 23 years instead of the numerous revelations they believe the 44 authors of the Bible received over 1500 years, Muslims believe the Quran and the Bible are totally different in nature making comparisons between the two fruitless. Muslims still highly respect the Bible though and don’t understand why Christians would ever leave it on the shelf or casually place anything on top of it using it as a coffee table coaster.

Sura 4:136 says, “O you who have attained faith! Hold fast unto your belief in God and His Apostle, and in the divine writ which He has bestowed from on high upon His Apostle, step by step, as well as in the revelation which He sent down aforetime [the Bible]: for he who denies God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, and the Last Day, has indeed gone astray.”

Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. We should judge an idea by its founder and its teachings not by its abuses. Muhammad and the Quran do allow for freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam can co-exist. There are moderate Muslims teaching and preaching this. Christians should help them do it.

Sura 5:48 says, “If God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.”

Spiritually - no. Because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names. I think it’s ironic that all 99 names of Allah in the Quran are also found in the Bible for God. Sura 6:59 adds, “For, with Him are the keys to the things that are beyond the reach of a created being’s perception: none knows them but He. And He knows all that is on land and in sea; and not a leaf falls but He knows it.”

Therefore after much study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Muslims and good Americans. After a little more study and deliberation, perhaps we should be suspicious of anyone who makes blanket statements about entire groups of people that are at best misleading and at worse blatantly false. Sura 5:42 says, “But if thou dost judge, judge between them with equity: verily, God loves those who act equitably.”

Call it what you's still the truth. Truth can afford to be fair. Sura 3:103 says, “And hold fast, all together, unto the bond with God, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessing you became brethren; and [how, when] you were on the brink of a fiery abyss, He saved you from it. In this way God makes clear His message unto you, so that you might find guidance.”


Kevin said...

Great Job Mike! What dedication to study of the Quran. I'm more than impressed. We as Adventists more than others should be wary of categorically classing people into a group; isn't that what others do to us?

I commend your work and passion and agree with your position. Islam isn't our enemy, the enemy is one who denies truth for all truth comes from God!

Mary and the Widow's Son said...

You wrote: "Geographically - no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day. This makes very little sense. American Freemasons and their buildings always face east so they can pray toward the sun. But we don’t question the patriotism of the numerous Freemason Presidents of the United States do we?"

I hope you know more about Islam than you do Freemasonry. Masonic buildings don't face east so we can pray to the sun; the buildings can be aligned in any direction it best fits on a parcel of land.

Masonic lodgerooms have symbolic, not necessarily actual, compass directions, and the Master of the Lodge sits in the East, representing the rising sun. The Junior Warden sits in the South, representing the sun as its zenith, and the Senior Warden sits in the symbolic West, representing the setting sun. Prayers in lodge are offered to God, the Grand Architect of the Universe, not towards a person or a direction or the Sun.

Perhaps you'd enjoy the article "Tour of a Masonic Lodge."

Widow's Son

Mike Fortune said...

Thank you for clarifying how Freemasons pray and where their lodgerooms sit. But your response simply underlines the point I was making. Namely, that it is illogical to conclude that geography plays any role in one's allegiance to their country.

Ansku said...

Great job! I appreciate your effort in learning about Islam and breaking boundaries between people.