Ed. Note - October 15, 2023: Recent events in the middle east have proven the correctness of this analysis. Islam badly needs reform. Where are the individual muslims who will repudiate their religion's thirst for human blood?
January 19, 2020
In this article, written in the argumentation style of Aquinas, I discuss Islam and its incompatibility with human freedom. I attempt to formalize some of my objections and replies I laid out in my article, Cat Among the Pidgeons.
Statement 1. Islam is incompatible with Western Civilization and human freedom
Objection 1. In Western countries, Muslims peacefully coexist with their neighbors in Western countries.
Statement 2. We acknowledge that while Islam is incompatible with Western Civilization, yet there are individual Muslims who reject Islam as "submission," reject Islamic law, and desire to live in peace and harmony with their non-Islamic neighbors.
Objection 2. Muslims respect the laws and customs of other countries in which they live.
Objection 3. Islamic law, the expression of discipline in the Muslim religion, is compatible with the founding principles of the United States.
Reply 1. Most Muslims are unable to peacefully coexist with their neighbors in Western countries. To prove this, consider what is happening now in Britain, France, Sweden, and Germany, all of which have imported large numbers of Muslims and as a result, are seeing large increases in crime and civil unrest.
Reply 2. While there are some exceptions, Muslims as a whole do not respect nor follow the laws and customs of other countries in which they live. The goal of Islam is not assimilation but domination. Muslims carve out enclaves for themselves beyond the reach of local authorities, the so-called "No-Go Zones." Muslims have also attempted to supplant their host nations' justice systems with their own set of courts, in contravention of the laws and traditions of their host countries.
Reply 3. "Islam" means submission. Islamic law is incompatible with a free people, who by the "Law of Nature and of Nature's God" are endowed with certain inalieble rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The power of government is derived from the consent of the governed; but in Islam, the state and the religion are indistinguishable. There is no consent of the governed in an Islamic theocracy; life and liberty exist not because they are endowed by God (Allah); they exist at the pleasure of the Islamic state. This is incompatible with the founding principles of the United States and in contradistinction to the principles of human freedom as understood for centuries.
I answer that, Islam is not compatible with Western Civilization nor with human freedom.
Objection 1. Those who claim that there are such Muslims are apologists for the Muslim religion.
Objection 2. These Muslims do not exist in sufficient numbers to be relevant to the question.
Objection 3. Mohammed was a madman. A religion founded by a madman, or a religion containing irrational (i.e. supernatural) beliefs, cannot be okay even if it is "westernized" or "reformed."
Objection 4. Such Muslims aren't true Muslims, because true Muslims accept Islamic law.
Objection 5. Such Muslims, if they exist, are really part of a conspiracy by Islam to establish roots and subjugate their host countries.
Reply 1. Such Muslims exist. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Imam Tawhidi, Dalia Al-Aqidi, courageous Iranians opposing their theocratic dictators, and others exist. An apologist is a person who defends (apologia: an apology, or defense) the rightness of the religion. But merely noting that individuals exist who reject certain aspects or teachings of a religion hardly implies a defense of the rightness or correctness of that religion; if anything is to be construed by pointing such out, it would be criticism, rather than defense, of the religion. Islam has serious theological and ethical problems as evidenced by the actions of many of its believers, and by the silent acquiescence of those who support them.
Reply 2. While it may be true that no one person or small group of Muslims can force a reformation of Islam, given the power of social media and mass communication, it does not take many people to influence national and internation conversations.
Reply 3. All religions contain irrational claims; that is, claims which are beyond the natural and can neither be proven nor disproven. Did Christ walk on water? Did Moses receive the Ten Commandments from the finger of God on Mt. Sinai? Did Gabriel dictate the koran to Mohammed? What matters for free societies are not a religion's theology nor its irrational claims, but how the moral teachings of the religion inform the behavior of the religion's adherents in the name of the religion and its god.
Reply 4. Just as the Judeo-Christian God, if He exists, alone knows who are true Jews or Christians, Allah, if he exists, alone knows who are true Muslims; the claim that "so-and-so is a true Christian" or "so-and-so is a true Muslim" is beyond our ability to determine.
Reply 5. The denial of the ability to consciously accept or reject certain truth claims of a religion abrogates human free will. If there is such a conspiracy then both the theology and the truth claims of Islam recede into the background in the face of the goals of the conspiracy.
I answer that, it is true there are some individual Muslims who reject Islam as "submission," reject Islamic law, and desire to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. However, the existence of such Muslims does not negate the need for reform in the Muslim world, just as the existence of Roman Catholics who did not participate in the buying and selling of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church did not negate the need for the Christian reformation (though to be fair, counter-reformationists believed that the reformationists took it too far). While there may be efforts in large parts of the Muslim world to subjugate and dominate cultures and customs of other countries, it is nevertheless possible for individual Muslims not to participate in — and to categorically reject — these efforts.
More will be added to this article as circumstances warrant.