On September 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists launched an attack on the United States to punish it for being what Osama bin Laden considered the land of the infidels! In fact, this attack was an attack on the entire Western world and, even more important, it was an attack on Western civilization, the underlying objective being to take civilization back fourteen hundred years to a time of great glory for the Islamic world.
In the wake of the attack by young Muslim extremists, which resulted in the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, our leaders attempted to assure us that the terrorists did not represent the entire Muslim world. It was said that they were the actions of a minority, of an extreme fringe group. It was, and continues to be, troubling, however, that we have heard very little strong condemnation coming from the supposed moderate Muslim community. Who are these moderates? Why have they not spoken out more vociferously? Do they really exist? When will they speak out with moral indignation? Indeed, will they ever?
For most Westerners Islam is thought to be just another world religion, equal to Christianity and Judaism. But is this really the case? Upon closer study, Islam seems to be far different from the other two religions. Certainly no one would accuse Muslims of being tolerant, non-judgmental, non-violent or peace-loving! While Muslims have been allowed to build hundreds of mosques in Western countries, Christian churches may only rarely be built, if ever, in Muslim countries! Indeed in some Muslim countries such as the Sudan, it is official government policy to demolish churches! In addition, it is difficult to believe that any world religion would advocate treating women as second-class citizens, and actually get away with it!
The concept of brotherhood in Islam is strong. The posture advocated by Prophet Mohammed in the Koran toward non-Muslims, however, is to seek them out and annihilate them. The phenomenon of suicide bombers is at once both pathetic and chilling. On the one hand, it is pathetic that young Muslims are taught that they can gain entrance into paradise by taking peoples lives in such a gruesome manner. Carnal pleasures, of course, await the males upon entrance into heaven! On the other hand, it is chilling to think that there are any people living in the 21st century ready to teach and encourage such savagery. What is the supposed theological justification for holding to such beliefs? Indeed, is there any such thing in Islam as theology in which the tenets of the faith are examined critically? Isnt it the case, rather, that the teachings of Prophet Mohammed are accepted literally, and without question?
In his book, The Dawning of a New Dark Age, Mark Alexander explores these questions, and often finds disturbing answers. Unlike many authors on the subject, Mark actually lived and worked among Muslims for many years; so he has first-hand knowledge of the religion and culture. While on his tours of duty in the Middle East, Mark immersed himself in Islam and Arabic culture, studying the religion both from Occidental and Oriental perspectives. He familiarized himself not only with the Koran, but also with the beliefs and attitudes of Muslims in the street. This experience has given him unusually clear insights into the aspirations of the Muslim world. Marks conclusions will not be comforting to those who would like to believe that the long-term threat to the West is limited to the aspirations of a few fundamentalist terrorists.
Douglas Kennedy, Ph.D.,