This post is part of a series.
Listening to yet another daily horror committed by ‘extremist’ Islamists, I again became incensed at how many people (millions) are victims of Islam, and began to think of the many ways we ought to recognize it as evil and false. I realized that pretty much any other approach to thought you take would invalidate Islam as a realistic and helpful world view.
1. RELIGIOUS EXCLUSIVITY – The Christian Tradition Invalidates Islam
From a purely logical position, two opposing views cannot both be true – either one is true, or both are false. So we must ask the question, do the central doctrines of Islam and Christianity really disagree, or are they merely all part of one Abrahamic tradition?
The simplest way to compare them is in their soteriology – their doctrine of how one is saved from the judgement to come. In this aspect, Christianity is opposed to almost every religion in the world (Judaism is arguable, see The New Perspective on Paul). Islam teaches that you must and can become righteous enough in your thoughts and deeds to merit forgiveness. Christianity teaches that you can not, but rather, that Jesus took our punishment, and rose from the dead to prove it. 1
There are, of course, many more irreconcilable differences between the two, and their view of God, man, and salvation, though similar in some ways, are diametrically opposed in many central doctrines.
Could this view be used to invalidate Christianity?
Why would you choose Christianity as true and not one of the other religions that claim the exclusive revelation of the unknowable? The simple answer is that you have to use reason and experience to eliminate what you think are trustworthy sources of information, as described in my series on Pascal’s Wager. While any group could claim to be true, not all such claims are of equal value.
Does the Christian view invalidate Judaism?
In the Christian view, it does not, for two reasons. One is that Judaism may have been much more grace and covenant based than legalistic, and in that sense, much more like the NT view of God than we had previously thought. 2 Secondly, Christians see themselves as having received the fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures about God – so any ‘Jewish’ view that disagrees with Christianity would be assessed as untrue to the original intent of the Old Testament.
2. RACISM – Islam’s Core Teachings are Anti-Jewish
Beyond the obvious anti-Jewish rhetoric, threats, and practice of nearly every current majority-Muslim country, the teachings of Islam are clearly ant-Jewish. 3 Of course, there is debate on the issue of Islam and antisemitism, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and every Jew knows that, despite being able to live in some level of peace with Muslim individuals, the core teachings of Islam are not friendly to Jews. 4 5
Many will also be surprised to find, that even though many Blacks are Islamic, the core teachings of Islam teach Arab superiority, and disparage, among others, blacks. 6 You can find teachings on the basic unity of all races in Islam 7 8, but there are so many passages in the Hadith that teach otherwise, and coupled with the rampant racism practiced today in Muslim nations, even they find it hard to see a clear command against racism in Islam. 9 10
Is Christianity Anti-Jewish?
Some argue that the Crusades were anti-Jewish, and that the anti-semitism of Martin Luther contributed mightily to the rise of the Nazi regime. Do these claims hold weight, and do they intone that the founding principles of Christianity are anti-Jewish?
Regarding the Crusades, while it is true that Jews were killed during the Crusades 11, starting from the second of the four crusades, there were strong arguments from Papal authorities to NOT harm Jews, though this did not always get obeyed in the fog of war, especially in that time of more primitive communication. 12 13 14
Is Judaism Racist?
We are all familiar with the Biblical claims of the Jews being “God’s chosen people.” Not only that, many atheists remind us of the Jewish conquest of the Canaanites commanded by God in the Old Testament, which some call a genocide. Does this qualify Judaism as racist?
I don’t think there is a clear answer here – good quote mining from scripture can be done on both sides of this issue. But let me just say this. While Judaism does see itself as an ethnic people chosen by God, that choosing was in order to bless all nations with the gospel – that is, the outreach to all nations in the New Testament is merely an outworking of the promises to all nations given in the Old. 15
In modern times, some might see Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians as a racial bias, but it is probably more valid to say that, as religious Jews, they claim that land not for ethnic reasons, but religious, and are mostly acting defensively, not in the desire to conquer more and more territory. When violent Islamists aren’t trying to destroy and displace Israel, Palestinians have lived peaceably with Israelis – especially Palestinian Christians. Judaism does not seem to claim racial superiority, only a special relationship with God. Otherwise, it does not contain any racist teachings, triumphalist aggression, or ‘standing orders’ to kill those who disagree with them.
These are just two of the eight major reasons why all thinking people should condemn Islam as an evil ideology, like Nazism, Communism, and other anti-human belief systems.
- Christianity v. Islam (faithfacts.org) ↩
- Is the New Perspective on Paul compatible with Reformed Theology? (wholereason.com) ↩
References to Jews in the Koran (Jewish Virtual Library) ↩
- Islam’s Ancient Hatred For The Jews (answeringislam.org) ↩
- The Koran & institutionalized anti-Semitism (eretzyisroel.org) ↩
- Qur’an, Hadith and Scholars:Racism (wikiislam.net) ↩
- Islam’s Answer To The Racial Problem (islamawareness.net) ↩
- Islam’s manifesto of Universal brotherhood of human beings (soundvision.com) ↩
- Racism in Islam: Allah’s White Face (islam-watch.org) ↩
- Muslim Countries are The Most Racist in the World (frontpagemag.com) ↩
- Christian-Jewish Relations: The Crusades (Jewish Virtual Library) ↩
- The Real History of the Crusades (Christianity Today) ↩
- The Crusades: When Christendom Pushed Back (think-israel.org) ↩
- Were the Crusades Anti-Semitic? (ignatiusinsight.com) ↩
- God’s great commission truly began in the Garden of Eden (prespectivedigest.org) ↩