Saturday, April 20, 2013

We are the Mushrikeen


The recent events in Boston have pointed out, yet again, that there is a problem within the Muslim community that does not figure in most other faith communities. We don’t see many headlines that feature Mormons setting explosives at the end of marathon races, and the videos of Methodist neighborhoods cheering planes flying into skyscrapers in New York City are not to be found.

While many Pagans and Heathens in the United States and Europe are focused on Christianity as a perceived threat, the truth is that Islam is a much more real and present danger than even the most radical Christian sect aspires to be. And while there are indeed Christians who would like to see a theocracy established in the United States, they are a pitiful handful of fringe kooks, while there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of Muslims who support the aims of Islamist organizations who would impose their puritanical vision of Islam over the whole globe.

This is not to say that all Muslims are terrorists, nor is it to say that all Muslims support or are terrorists. But it can’t be denied that for the last two decades the majority of terrorist attacks have been inspired by Muslim ideology.

And this fact poses a particularly vexing problem for Pagans and Heathens.

One of the things, historically, that Islam was a reaction to was the perceived “polytheism” of Christianity. But even so, Christians and Jews are, as a group, given special status under Islamic Sharia law. In a Caliphate (the once and possibly future pan-Islamic state), Christians and Jews, and in some schools of Islamic jurisprudence Buddhists and Hindus as well ( all collectively called dhimmis) are allowed to practice their faith, as long as they do so unobtrusively and pay the jizya (a tax on non-Muslims).

This distinguishes them from Pagans and Heathens. We, as outright idolaters and polytheists, are not dhimmis. We are the mushrikeen. We are guilty of the crime of shirk, or worshipping Gods and Goddesses other than Allah. In saying that Odin is a source of wisdom, I am guilty of shirk under Islamic law, and by saying that the Goddess is a source of life, many Wiccans are, too.

“Shirk is devoting acts of worship to something or someone other than Allaah, such as one who seeks the help of the dead, those who are absent, the jinn, idols, the stars, and so on, or who offers sacrifices to them, or makes vows to them.” (Source)

As someone who maintains an altar to his ancestors and honors them in hall, who has idols to which I make offerings, and who makes oaths to the Aesir, I certainly fall into this category.

And what’s the penalty for shirk? What fate awaits we mushrikeen that doesn’t apply to the dhimmis?

Death:

“And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Merciful indeed. Convert or die.

While a lot of effort has gone into trying to explain away this verse of the Quran by saying it’s taken out of context, the reality is that the context doesn’t mitigate this at all. Indeed, it only reinforces it.

So when we see these cowardly crimes committed by those who want to spread their vision of Islam across the world, don’t shrug and say that it’s a war between Islam and Christianity. Don’t make excuses, such that Christianity is the “worse problem”. It’s not. There are millions of Muslims who take that verse in the Quran to heart, and they are not at all above putting that edict into practice. The Quran is not our friend, and Pagans and Heathens should wake up to that reality before they really do get a chance to put its commandment into practice.

2 comments:

  1. I don't really understand the push among some Pagans and Heathens to try and make Islam the greater threat to us. Both Islam and Christianity are threats, period, they're just threats in different ways.

    "We don’t see many headlines that feature Mormons setting explosives at the end of marathon races, and the videos of Methodist neighborhoods cheering planes flying into skyscrapers in New York City are not to be found."

    But we do see them cheering our wars over seas and making excuses for "collateral damage." We do see them stamping Bible verses on their guns that they use to kill Muslims with. Christians are far from docile lambs in the situation. While I'm all for being critical of Islam, it shouldn't be done in a way that excuses Christians or takes the light off of their role in it all.

    "the truth is that Islam is a much more real and present danger than even the most radical Christian sect aspires to be."

    In terms of physical violence, sure. But Christianity doesn't really need to use physical violence because they're the ones in control in America. How many American Pagans or Heathens have died in Islamic attacks? How does that number compare to all of the Pagans and Heathens who've been screwed by American institutions or laws because Christians control them? There is more to being threatened than just the possibility of being blown up.

    "And while there are indeed Christians who would like to see a theocracy established in the United States, they are a pitiful handful of fringe kooks,"

    Perhaps so, but this brushes off all of the less direct influence of Christianity on our laws and state that create de facto protections for Christian privilege in our society. Again, the most extreme example isn't the only threat.

    "pay the jizya (a tax on non-Muslims)."

    And how close are Muslims to instituting such a tax in the U.S.? Our tax code *already* preferences Christian and Christian-like organizations today. I don't see the logic in fretting over some hypothetical future world-wide caliphate when we already live under Christian control of our institutions and laws.

    "Merciful indeed. Convert or die."

    The thing with that is I'm pretty sure 90% of Muslims are completely unaware of Pagans and Heathens, aside from maybe some vague awareness that the U.S. lets us exist. The fact is that we are insignificant to Muslim terrorists; they aren't attacking Pagans and Heathens directly, they're attacking us all because we're American. If anything, Christians are equally responsible for any American Pagan or Heathen that dies in a Muslim terror attack as they are equally involved in perpetuating the violence between the U.S. and Muslim countries. This isn't to exonerate Muslims' role in the violence, only to point out that Pagans and Heathens are largely innocent bystanders in a war between two much larger religions who barely notice our existence.

    So that being said, my point isn't that Christianity is more of a threat than Islam, or vice versa. In my opinion such arguments too often let one side off of the hook to focus on the other, and they're largely a wasteful distraction. My point is that both Christianity and Islam are equal parts of a larger dynamic that threatens us physically, socially, and legally. Both religions should be held accountable, watched, and criticized as necessary instead of focusing on one at the expense of another, or worse *defending* one in the face of the other.

    So, good article, not really arguing with your points about Islam, just taking exception to a perceived tone in the article that lessens or ignores Christianity's threat or role in the problem.

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  2. Islam is a threat to everyone - to humanity generally. It is a threat to any semblance of freedom whatsoever. The spread of Islam in the West has already resulted in very tangible inroads against freedoms that we should be able to take for granted. People must already self-censor or face the possibility of violence against themselves and their families. Artists, writers, magazines, politicians, etc, have already faced not just threats, but assassinations, bombings, etc, because they have dared to "insult Islam".

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