Islam and the spirit of the age

Islam is causing a fair amount of controversy in America, as Muslims across the nation seek to claim strategic sites for mosques, including the hallowed “Ground Zero” location in lower Manhattan.

Newsweek front page 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Newsweek front page 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Islam is causing a fair amount of controversy in America, as Muslims across the nation seek to claim strategic sites for mosques, including the hallowed “Ground Zero” location in lower Manhattan. Americans are being divided, in some instances even turning against each other.
The arguments on both sides carry validity. Those opposed cite the negative outcomes a mosque may produce, be it to offend people like those who lost loved ones in 9/11, or to bring a counter-cultural influence into the community that may affect such rights as those enjoyed by most women in Western societies.
Those supporting the mosques say the issue is simply a matter of religious freedom, as protected in the Bill of Rights appended to the US Constitution.
Each side also has potential weaknesses. Those against the mosques run the risk of being called bigots. Those in favor ignore the potential dangers of Islam, since it is a religion that cannot be easily divorced from its oppressive system of Sharia law.
Many in the Christian community understand the dangers of radical Islam, and are willing to take a stand against it, but who are the people on the other side?
My home town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee has also been the scene of a much-publicized debate over plans to build a 52,000-square-foot Islamic Center. Early in the debate, a group in support of the center was formed called Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom. It was later discovered that the founders of this group were members of a socialist/Marxist revolutionary organization called Solidarity, based in Detroit.
One immediately wonders why liberal socialists would be supporting a religion that has the potential to deprive citizens of the individual rights and liberties they so strongly advocate. For instance, Solidarity claims to defend the rights of women and homosexuals, but both groups are targeted for severe discrimination under Islam.
So what makes these people support the rights of Muslims, possibly to their own detriment, especially when they are never seen supporting the rights of other religious groups, such as the tens of thousands of persecuted Christians around the globe?
What unites them is not so much what they are for, but what they are against – the Church and Israel. While Solidarity is quite open in its support for the Palestinian cause, the debate over the Murfreesboro mosque has also proven that they are blatantly hostile toward the Church, seeing Christianity as more of a threat in the US than Islam.
A recent YouTube video featuring Solidarity member Jase Short, who founded Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom, has him stating that “the real theocratic threat in the United States is obviously coming from the Christian Right.” He goes on to liken this “threat” to Nazism, claiming it was a “powerful right-wing movement” in Germany with 25% support from the Christian Right that “picked on” the small minority of Jews in the country.
Despite the multiple inaccuracies in his position (the Nazis were in fact left-wing socialist-nationalists), what’s interesting is that people like Short think the Church is too powerful in America and needs to be cut down to size. They’re even willing to promote Islam as a counter-balance.
Regarding Islam, one doesn’t need to dig far to understand that the radical adherents of this religion see both Christians and Jews as the enemy, to be conquered and reduced to dhimmis (second-class subjects). No country in the world has been the target of more Islamic extremist aggression than the tiny state of Israel. Meanwhile, according to the current Open Doors World Watch List, which ranks Christian persecution around the globe by nation, eight of the top 10 countries on that list have Islamic governments.
It is incumbent on us to discern the spirit behind both radical Islam and those united with it, as they seek to undermine Israel and the Church.