A general understanding of the basic nature of Islam is needed before getting into the particulars of this study. The goal of this series is not to make the reader an expert in middle-eastern studies; however the Bible-believer should be interested in knowing where the average muslim is “coming from” if he wishes to win them to Jesus Christ.
Much of the background material and historical references we will be giving throughout this and succeeding articles have their source in the works on Islam by a Christian author named Robert Morey. However, when we discuss the doctrines of Islam and the material concerning Mohammed in later issues, we will be referencing the Hadith and the Koran directly. Morey's work is extremely well-documented, with thorough bibliographies, and the interested reader is encouraged to check these materials for a much more thorough treatment of the subject. Naturally, Morey’s credibility has been attacked by those who can't stand to hear or read the truth. As we discussed in the last article, some folks have a hard time dealing with facts they don't like.
Those of us who have been raised on this continent have a hard time grasping even the basic ideas behind Islam because we are (thankfully) quite unfamiliar with imperialist church-state set-ups. Europe and Asia are much more accustomed to such ideas because of centuries of Roman Catholic imperialism in one form or another (Catholicism, Anglicanism, communism, etc.). Imperialism succeeds in deifying the political rulers of a nation; that is, making gods out of them or at least "spiritual" authorities as well as national leaders (see Stalin and Mao Tse Tung among many others). Our ancestors escaped these superstitions when they came to this continent. As it turns out, what you're dealing with in Islam is the same imperialism by which the Vatican operates. The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, yet he is also the head of the "Vatican State"---a political entity. In the case of Islam, their religious leaders are their heads of state as well as the heads of their religion. This explains why there are twenty-one Arab states in the Middle-East and not ONE of them is a democracy. Not one of them will EVER be a democracy, unless their religion is done away with. This is what the originators and supporters of the phony "war on terror" obviously don't understand, or won't admit. That's why we are destined to continue to LOSE that war.
Islam is, in the general sense, nothing more than the deification of seventh-century Arab culture (Morey, The Islamic Invasion, 1992, pg. 20). Mohammed, the recognized founder of Islam, took the Arabic way of life from the time he lived and literally made it a divine, religious mandate for all his followers. One example of this is the familiar muslim tradition of praying five times a day. There's certainly nothing objectionable about praying, but when we discover that the culture Mohammed was born into was one in which the pagan Arabs prayed daily toward the Kabah (the Meccan shrine to their 360 gods), it becomes clear why this was included in muslim worship. The Kabah is in Mecca, Saudi Arabia---the political headquarters of ancient Arabia. This is the place where all muslims are commanded to make a pilgrimage to, at least once in their lifetime. This would be the same idea as establishing a Canadian religion in which a follower must visit and pray toward Ottawa, Ontario, where his religio-political rulers live and conduct the affairs of state. So, in the muslim culture/religion there is no "separation of church and state" like we are accustomed to as Westerners. A muslim's religion is his culture, and vice-versa. This fact should serve as an indication of how they view OUR culture here in the West, and the degree of their loyalty to our freedoms and rights. If a muslim is a true follower of Islam, he has no real loyalty to any nation or government not ruled by his own muslim leaders. His loyalties lie in the place he prays toward five times a day---the home of his god, and his earthly rulers and authorities.
Another easily proven illustration of how the culture of ancient Arabia has been made into divine law by the religion of Islam is the requirement of muslim women to wear veils, and cover themselves from head to foot. This was a "must" for the tribeswomen in a sandy, blistering, seventh century, Middle-eastern desert. Who wouldn't want to be dressed that way in those conditions? Then again, to dictate that the wearing of such garb is a so-called "divine" law of Allah, to be obeyed in some place like Lexington, Kentucky in the 21st century, shows at best the closed-minded silliness of a man- made, ancient, desert religion. At worst, it is another instance of cultural imperialism (Ibid, pg. 28).
Muslims are to eat what the Arabians of Mohammed's time ate; dress as they dressed; worship as they worshipped; torture, kill, and assassinate for political gain as the ancient Arabians did; and sever hands, legs, arms and heads without due process in punishing criminals/infidels (they’re the SAME, if your culture is your religion). Why? Because that’s how they did things in Mohammed’s day. And what they did in Mohammed’s day literally became Allah’s "divine will," when Mohammed adopted the practices for the basis of his religion. Mohammed made his own actions, and the actions of his fellow pagan, heathen, primitive idolaters into DIVINE LAW. According to Mohammed and the Koran, those laws are to be obeyed by all people, THE WORLD OVER. Where they aren't, the rebel infidel's blood is to be spilt. These matters MUST be understood, if the Westerner is to grasp the true nature of Islam.
In the Bible, we have Divine commands and instructions that can be applied to all people, in all cultures, in all time periods. There is not ONE of the Ten Commandments that cannot be easily obeyed by anyone who has a mind to do so, anywhere, at any time, speaking any language. The Old Testament Law was specifically for the Jew of that time, and he could easily obey if he had the desire. Allowances were made for any gentile to “join up” in worshipping the true God with them (Exo. 12:48, 49). The New Testament instructions given by Jesus Christ, Peter, James, John, and Paul are applicable "across the board" for anyone living anywhere on earth, from 33 A.D. to 2013 A.D.
The reason for this is a simple one. The God of the Bible is the God who created man and his nature, and knows history from its beginning to its end, for He is the Author of it. He is therefore able to "identify" with, and speak to men and women of all ages, nations, and tongues, in whatever time they live. He knows that man's problems have their source in man’s HEART, in his FLESH, and in his fallen NATURE. Therefore, the God of the Bible doesn't waste THREE SECONDS instructing man to make a pilgrimage to some "holy" place where He can deal with him. He meets man wherever man may be, and bypasses all of man's outward works, his cultural backgrounds, his traditions, and his preferences, and deals with the one thing that all men everywhere have in common: their wicked HEARTS (Jer. 17:9; 1 Sam. 16:7). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God", (Rom. 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). That, my friend, covers all the bases--- whether you're a Bedouin tending goats on the back side of a Mesopotamian desert, or a banker in a taxi in New York City, on his way to work on Wall Street.
The Bible was inspired by a God whose words rise above any cultural confines His human instruments may have, and find their mark in our hearts each time we open Its Pages.