Allah is dead #2

Rebecca Bynum’s “Allah is Dead: Why Islam is not  a Religion” is dense with exact head-shots at Islam. She makes the points as a theologian and philosopher, those two professions which are superfluous in the Religion of Peace.

A few quotes to stir your interest:

Real faith is in fact the great emancipator, for faith properly defined is the actual living connection between the individual believer and his divine source of light and love….Faith is the mechanism that allows man to search for God, which is to say, to search for reality. Islam, on the other hand, is the destroyer of faith and the bestower of delusion, creating nothing but the most profound unhappiness, born of absolute denial, among its adherents. The idea that God would actually desire human happiness is utterly foreign to Islam, for according to its doctrine, Allah does not value the individual except for his contribution to the collective….

So what the Islamic system has done is usurped the place of God in the lives of its believers. It has made a spiritual God unnecessary. The Islamic system is all one needs to know and obey. (pp 48-49)

Muslims are always accusing every other religion and idea of social organization of idolatry: worshipping man-made law (by obeying secular governments) , worshipping the Trinity, believing in the chosenness of the tribes of Israel. Yet the ultimate idolatry they commit, in Bynum’s view, is the idolatry of Islam, the rendering superfluous of God for the system which is Islam.

Note also that for Islam, religion and social organization are identical concepts.

Bynum’s essential insight. in my view, is that the definition of God goes to the very core of this struggle with Islam, for it in turn defines the nature of civilization, and one’s understanding of reality.

In Christian thought God has created an intelligible universe, in which we have a place. Hence science is possible. He has also created  creatures who have the autonomy to disobey Him; hence the prayer line from Jesus “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven” recognizes that God’s will is not done on earth all that often. Autonomy, love, capacity to commit wrong: these are the basic features of the human condition, according to our view, but the first two are denied in Islam, and the third is defined in terms of robotic obedience to outward standards of conformity. Islam wants us to belong to a hive mind.

The Christan God loves us, and asks that we grow in love, towards our Creator and towards other people in consequence. Hence the two essential commandments uttered by Christ Himself.

Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets.” (Book of Common Prayer, p.70)

Bynum again:

We fought both World War 2 and the Cold War in large part to bring the enemy to his senses….Man’s relation to the state was actually a secondary consideration.

Now we find ourselves fighting a war in order to answer the question, what is God and what is man’s relation to him? We might also state the question this way: what is reality and what is man’s relation to it?…

The struggle between the two different answers… will likely determine the future course of human existence. It certainly is a contest that has not stopped for over 1,300 years and there is no natural end to it, given that the belief system of Islam is unlikely to change. (pp-55-56)

By contrast with Christianity,

In Islam, man (in abstract) is not the measure of all things; one specific man is [Mohammed]. Islam puts man in place of God, the material in place of the spiritual, and the group in place of the individual; and for certain we see its fruits.” (p34)

Bynum’s book is available at your bookseller. I found mine at Amazon. Read it.