Muhammad the Extremist
If a Muslim was to imitate the life of Muhammad, would they be considered an extremist, or a good or moderate Muslim? Well, that would depend on what you called a good Muslim. Is a good Muslim one who follows the Koran and the teachings of the Sharia and the actual actions of Mohammad himself or is he one who follows more closely after the general teachings and attitudes of Western culture?
If the answer is the second definition, that a good Muslim is a moderate one who doesn’t keep multiple wives or beat the disobedient ones, who doesn’t make it a habit to rob and raid Jewish merchants for their money and land, one who wouldn’t kill a Jewish poetess for criticizing his writings and accusing him of plagiarism, then you would have to consider Mohammad himself, a bad or extremist Muslim.
Yes, I’m aware that Christians and those who call themselves Christians and who believed themselves Christians have done all these sorts of things and worse. But were they following the actions and life of the one who they are named after and are to be imitators of? How many people did Jesus, who Christians consider the Jewish Messiah, kill? How many wives did he have and how many raids on caravans did He lead for booty and sustenance? Did Jesus ever order a brave woman poetess murdered and tell her assassin that his reward would be great in Heaven?
This woman not only had a lot of chutzpah, but she had a lot of babies also. This created no barrier for Muhammad to have her assassinated nor a reason for remorse afterward. He also ordered over a thousand men beheaded in another small Jewish settlement.
Now, I realize that there are Muslims here and even in Israel that would like to peacefully coexist with their Christian and Jewish neighbors. But whether you want to admit it or not, the example of their founder and prophet and the emphasis of their Koran and traditions and law, as well as the verdict of recent and past history is on the side of their so called “radical” brethren.
It’s always wiser to deal with reality as it really is than to ignore the truth out of fear or extreme ideology. Are the extremist Muslims hi-jacking Islam from the true followers of Muhammad? Or is it the other way around? Nor is Sharia law tantamount to the Constitution that our forefathers, sons and grandsons of early Puritans, forged at the founding of our country. Sir Norman Anderson writes of Shari’a that “unlike any other system in the world today the Shari’a embraces every aspect of human life from the prohibition of crime to the use of the toothpick, and from the organization of the state to the most sacred of intimacies…of family life..” (1)
Just as we ignored the religious aspects behind Japan’s Shinto religion that drove the Japanese to fulfill their destiny by conquering the world, and ignored Hitler’s evolutionary and hinduistic blend of religion that drove him to try and subjugate the world to the German people,, we have already paid the price for ignoring the realities that exist in the religion of Islam.
Reality is not always what we want it to be. But to ignore reality is to take on one of the symptoms of insanity. It may be that Charles Martel got it right, after all.
(1) Anderson, The World’s Religions, 1976, p.78