Tom Pittman's WebLog

2009 July 13 -- Islam and Shame

After 9/11 I started to notice that Muslim activists are cowards. Why is Osama bin Laden still at large? He's hiding! Look at the pictures of terrorists: they all have their faces covered. They are ashamed of what they are doing, so they are unwilling to come out in public and take ownership of it.

Christians are not so. We teach moral absolutes, the doing of which is no cause of shame.

This led me to realize that the Muslim shame extends beyond their actions and covers even their own beliefs. They are not alone, the Hindus and (with a very few exceptions) the atheists are similarly ashamed of their own respective religions. What do I mean by that?

People brag about what they are proud of. If they have reason to be proud of it, they are eager to see their team beat the competition in a fair fight. "My daddy can beat up your daddy," was the popular taunt when I was younger. That boast comes from pride, the opposite extreme from shame. The flip side of the same coin -- we see this theme often in fiction -- is a mother "protecting" her child from the shame of knowing his father is in jail, often by telling the child that his father died doing something heroic.

The Muslims and the Hindus and the atheists are too ashamed of their weak and sniveling religions to expose them to a fair fight against Christianity. Instead they try to silence the opposition by killing and torturing them. Why is that? It wouldn't be a fair fight! Christianity is the 800-pound gorilla on the block, and Christianity always wins on a level playing field. The Muslims and the Hindus and the atheists know it. But mostly the Muslims. I guess they've had more experience losing to the better religion.

There is a story in the Bible about a follower of the Christian God, who tore down the altar to a pagan deity in his own house. The pagan priests came by to torture and kill him for the sacrilege, and Gideon's father had a very insightful response: "Let Ba'al fight his own battles, if he is a god!" Jerubaal ("Let Ba'al fight") became a surname on Gideon for several chapters.

Anyway, I wanted to try this idea out on a live Muslim. A couple months ago I had what looked like an opportunity. Unfortunately, I underestimated the fellow's cowardice and mendacity, and it was over after the first exchange. I didn't really understand why the dialog failed until this week's column by Mindy Belz in WORLD magazine. She criticizes Islam for teaching and promoting dissimulation. Their word for it is "taqiyya". Here is a Muslim website defending (and explaining) the practice, which, as the author there points out, is also taught in the Quran.

Did you catch that? The Islamic holy book requires dissimulation (lying) in specified circumstances, notably including dialog with non-Muslims like myself. The reason Noman Nasir could not honestly engage me in fair debate is that his own religion forbids it.

As I pointed out elsewhere, truth is a moral absolute. Nobody -- including Muslims like Noman Nasir -- wants to be lied to. Therefore the Golden Rule (I call it "1+2C") as commanded also by God and taught in the Bible, requires absolute truth without exception. Anything less than that is the same as no requirement for truth at all. If you allow an exception (as does the Quran) for self-preservation or to expand the Holy Mother Religion, then anybody with any excuse at all can finagle it into one of the specified exceptions -- like the abortionists do when the law permits exceptions for "the health of the mother." Noman Nasir was permitted -- even required -- to lie to Christians in defense of Islam, and he was lying to me right and left. The debate was doomed 1400 years ago.

I call this "shame" because even the Quran and the Muslim scholars defending it know in their heart that lying is morally wrong; that's why they are at pains to explain when and how it is authorized, and why all other occasions -- except of course for the additional exceptions that later scholars are able to weasel out of it -- are still wrong.

No wonder the Muslims are ashamed to expose their religion to a level playing field against Christianity.

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