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It’s the secret question in official Washington, D.C., in the Pentagon, and in the White House. It’s the question that is so radioactive that most in government and the press dare not even pose it, let alone answer it:
Is Islam inherently violent and expansionist?
In the days following 9/11, President Bush assured America and the world that Islam was a “religion of peace” and that the violent followers of Osama Bin Laden had twisted the true Muslim faith. Acting on this belief, President Bush and other Western leaders sent troops to the Middle East in an effort to bring freedom and democracy to the Muslim world.
But what if this “understanding” of Islam is based not on fact, but instead on equal parts wishful thinking and Islamic deceit? It would mean that the entire War on Terror is based on a faulty – and increasingly deadly – premise.
In a disturbing but thoroughly researched new book, “Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World,” author and filmmaker Gregory M. Davis rebuts the notion that Islam is a great faith in desperate need of a Reformation. Instead, he exposes it as a form of totalitarianism, a belief system that orders its adherents not to baptize all nations, but to conquer and subdue them. Islamic law’s governance of every aspect of religious, political and personal action has far more in common with Nazism than with the tenets of Christianity or Judaism.
Davis details how Islamic thought divides the world into two spheres locked in perpetual combat: There’s dar al-Islam (“House of Islam,” where Islamic law predominates), and dar al-harb (“House of War,” the rest of the world). This concise yet thorough book leaves no doubt as to why most of the world’s modern conflicts are connected to Islam – and calls into question why Western elites refuse to acknowledge Islam’s violent nature.
Virtually every contemporary Western leader has expressed the view that Islam is a peaceful religion and that those who commit violence in its name are fanatics who misinterpret its tenets. This widely circulated claim is false, says Davis.
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, Sharia 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.
Davis received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and is managing director of Quixotic Media and producer of the feature documentary, “Islam: What the West Needs to Know.”
Relying primarily on Islam’s own sources, “Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World” demonstrates that Islam is a violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government. Further, it shows that the jihadis that Westerners have been indoctrinated to believe are extremists, are actually in the mainstream.
“Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World” is a powerful and jarring wake-up call to all civilized nations – and one they ignore at their peril.