Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Politics and religion

Politics and Religion

My mother once told me it is unwise to discuss religion and politics in polite company. Apparently she thought that these were private personal matters. Many people of her generation were taught to avoid controversy by keeping your religion to yourself; my mother-in-law is the same way. We are taught to compartmentalize our lives; separation of church and state is the virtue that must be upheld at all cost.

This is the viewpoint of those who have assumed the leadership of the Western world. The American, European and Russian socialists, all believe that those compartments are intact and that governance proceeds without any divine intervention.

In Islam this compartmentalizing of politics and religion does not exist. The whole goal of Islam is to conquer the world for Allah. The Moslem must first try to convert the infidels, if that fails then he must coerce the infidels to pay for their protection, if they refuse they are considered enemies of Allah and all good Moslems have to fight for Allah.

How different the Christian goal is. Christ is our conqueror; He wants us to conquer the world through Him. When the Christian seeks to convert people it is not his goal to conquer them if they refuse. If they refuse Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf they will go to hell. The only thing the unbeliever has to fear from a Christian following the dictates of his religion is that he will be offended.

The recent shooting at Fort Hood; Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood up at a graduation ceremony and open fired on unarmed unsuspecting service men and women. He succeeded in killing 14 people before two police officers shot him. This really should not have surprised anyone. He was following the dictates of his religion. As a psychiatrist Major Hasan had tried to convert some of his patients and was disciplined for this. The Army didn’t want it to look like they were discriminating against him on the basis of his religion. The treasured value of diversity must be upheld at all cost!

How long can we keep pretending that all people compartmentalize their politics and their religion? In the military there are chaplains of various faiths to give guidance and encouragement to service men and women as they serve to protect our country. The Christian serviceman fights for freedom that has been given to us by God. God has given everyone the freedom to determine his own destiny. The Moslem doesn’t see it that way; the Moslem religion compels him to defend the honor of Allah. So how can a Moslem serve in the military? This was the conflict Major Hasan had.

Why does the military go out and recruit Moslems? What good would a Moslem chaplain be unless he guides the people who come to him for guidance not to follow the dictates of their religion? But our leaders keep on pretending that radicals have hijacked a religion!

As an avid fan of the T.V. show 24 (don’t you wish you could recover from injuries as easily as Jack Bauer?) I was incredulous at the ending of the last season. Jack Bauer is facing certain death yet again and as he lies in the hospital he calls out for some spiritual assurance from a Moslem cleric who helped him foil a terrorist plot. Yeah the cleric was a good guy but what possible assurance could he have given him? Lets pretend that a Moslem following the dictates of his religion visits Bauer. He says, “Jack you must convert to Islam and if you recover you must do everything you can to get other people to convert. If they do not convert then they are enemies of Allah and you must do all you can to defeat them.” How comforting.

How can we all just keep on pretending that religion and politics are two separate things?