Do Muslims living in our land want to see an Islamic America, with prominent mosques dotting the landscape of every major city, with Islamic laws instituted throughout the nation, with the name of Muhammad revered throughout society, with the Koran memorized by children, with American men stopping five times daily to pray to Allah, with American women dressing modestly, with Islamic dietary practices strictly followed and the whole nation fasting during the daylight hours of Ramadan?
Of course they do, unless they are more nominal, secular Muslims. Those who are deeply devoted to their faith certainly want to convert us to Islam and bring us into submission to Allah. You might say, “So what’s the big deal? Islam, like Christianity, is a missionary religion, and both want to spread their faith around the world. Don’t devoted Christians have similar ambitions?”
Yes and no. On the one hand, conservative Christians and Muslims both believe they have the true revelation of God for the world, the former in the Bible, the latter in the Koran. They both believe that their way is the best way, and they both believe in proselytizing.
On the other hand, Islam is a law-based religion (similar to Judaism, except that Judaism is not devoted to converting the world), and “Islam” actually means “submission,” specifically, submission to Allah and his law. And so for Muslims, this is not simply a matter of converting people to a faith but also of bringing the society under Islamic rule.
That’s why it’s easy to name countries that are Muslim, like Iran or Saudi Arabia, in which the citizens are required to live by Islamic law, whereas there’s not a country on the planet that is “Christian” in a parallel sense.
As explained by JihadWatch.org, “There is no separation between the religious and the political in Islam; rather Islam and Sharia [law] constitute a comprehensive means of ordering society at every level.”
In keeping with this, “Islamic scholarship divides the world into dar al-Islam (the House of Islam, i.e., those nations who have submitted to Allah) and dar al-harb (the House of War, i.e., those who have not). . . . Then as now, Islam’s message to the unbelieving world is the same: submit or be conquered” (ibid.).
As expressed by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the man who spearheaded the radical Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah in the late 1970’s and from there spread worldwide, “those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation” (from his book Key to the Secrets).
Islam doesn’t just look to convert people, it looks to convert countries, and conversion means conquest.
Even when Muslims are in the great minority, they have a way of exerting a disproportionate influence and making disproportionate demands. That’s why here in America, Butterball turkeys are being slaughtered in conformity with Islamic law, which presumably means they were slaughtered in Allah’s name. And that’s why the name Muhammad (or, Mohammed) has become the most popular boy’s name in countries like England (surpassing Jack in 2010) or in cities like Oslo and Amsterdam.
And let’s not forget that radical Muslims number at least 150 million worldwide, to use a very low number. For them, Islam can also advance by the sword. (In contrast with Islam, such views are almost universally repudiated by Christians today as standing in clear violation of the teaching and example of Jesus who urged his followers to put down the sword and take up the cross.)
As Khomeini stated: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! . . . Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! . . . Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! . . . There are hundreds of other psalms [from the Koran] and Hadiths [sayings and acts of Muhammad] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”
In all probability, the more secular Muslims among us would strongly reject these words, but there are tens of millions of Muslims (perhaps several hundred million) who are in complete harmony with Khomeini, and it is foolish to ignore the violent rhetoric of a people so numerous and passionate.
The stark reality is that Muslims worldwide are working to turn America into an Islamic nation, whether by proselytism, societal influence, ideological dominance, legal imposition, or, in some cases, even the sword. And that includes plenty of Muslims living in our midst today.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.