In Islam, there is no such thing as ‘conversion’ to a ‘faith’. These are Christian concepts that can only be applied to Islam with barbaric imprecision. What exists is adhesion to a legal community, through a public declaration that is valid regardless of any inner ‘faith’ or ‘sincerity’. Therefore, the subsequent abjuration — if it happens — is not an ‘apostasy’ in the Christian sense (the abandonment of an inner belief), but an act of high treason, which is qualified by criminal law and must be punished with death.
As soon as confirmed by an Islamic authority, Mr. So-and-so, after joining Islam, abandoned it, not only the Islamic courts but all Muslim citizens in the world have not only the right, but the duty to kill him if they have the means to do so.
The superiority of a civilization is not measured by its material or even spiritual achievements, however admirable they may be, but by its capacity to absorb and integrate the worldviews and “points of view” of other civilizations without losing its unity and identity, strengthening them. The superiority of the West, in this respect, is not only evident, but overwhelming. Islam lost this capacity around the 14th century of our era, and today it has less capacity than ever. The helpless hatred that translates into sterile violence is the hallmark of a dying civilization, unable to renew itself through the achievements of its competitors. It would be enough for Islamic countries to absorb and integrate one Western creation — freedom of the press — in a few years its face would lose any recognizable Islamic trait. The “decay of the West” is nothing compared to the agony of Islam. In this, as in everything else, the image seen in the mainstream media and in the current opinions of the university class is a symmetric inversion of reality.
The West can study Islam in depth and with complete freedom, but Islam cannot study the West without filter and censorship, because if it does, it dies in two generations.
If you add up all the books published across the Islamic world over the course of a year, you can’t compete with New York City. Worse still is that you compare the number of pro-Islamic books published in the West with that of pro-Western books published throughout Islam. Islam owes the West even a good deal of its knowledge of itself. Read the biographies of Henry Corbin and Louis Massignon. Many traditional tariqas texts, which have been circulating privately for centuries, were published first in French and English and only later in their original languages. No one in Islam has written a history of Islamic philosophy comparable to that of Henry Corbin.
In the US, when a guy falls into diabolical possession, he cuts people into pieces. Many Muslims do the same thing, they say, without any help from the devil. A Muslim, when he becomes an extremist, hangs a bomb around his neck and goes to blow up a church. The Catholic, when he becomes an extremist, hangs a third on his neck and goes to pray in front of an abortion clinic.
A superior civilization is not one that is able to destroy its enemies, but one that is able to absorb and accommodate them as parts of it. Can you imagine Islamic civilization absorbing and accommodating Western science, Western technology, Western literature, Western art as the European barbarians absorbed the Greek and Asian legacy? Can you imagine Muslim boys reading Rabelais, Flaubert and Henry Miller in schools? Can you imagine multitudes of ladies of burqa enjoying Western figurative arts in a gallery, which their religion forbids? Do you imagine an Islamic government preserving the stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals and the entire legacy of European religious art as valuable civilizational heritage? These things will never happen. Do you imagine Muslim governments publishing and disseminating the great works of Christian mysticism as Europe publishes and disseminates those of Islamic mysticism?
Islam can only grow by destroying, suppressing and prohibiting, as it has always done.
And don’t tell me about the beauties of Islamic philosophy, Islamic mystique, etc. These things are admirable and existed, but banned from public life and only worshiped in closed circles, almost always viewed with suspicion by the authorities (read Al-Ghazali). Islamic civilization does not absorb even what it produces best. The Islamization of Europe will be the biggest suppression of civilizational values that has ever been seen in the world.
A careful reading shows that the Koran affirms the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ instead of denying it as so many Muslims proclaim. There is no escape. What is the Koran according to itself? It is “Kalimatullah”, the Word of God. What is Jesus according to the Koran? “Kalimatullah”, the Word of God. If the Word of God is not God, what is it? A created thing? Impossible. By definition, and the Koran itself states, the Word of God is eternal, it is the creative Word. Jesus is Eternal, he is the creative Word.
Even vulgar Islam admits neither free will, nor divine affiliation of Jesus Christ, nor the death of Him on Calvary, but in esoteric Islam (the tariqas) any of these three things can be perfectly accepted without contradiction with the official orthodontics. This is so because Islam does not understand itself as a “way of salvation”, like Christianity, but as a “sacred society”, a kind of divine Civil and Penal Code (“din”), which regulates only external conduct of people and not the intimacy of their souls (which for Christianity is everything). The inner life of souls is the subject of “tariqat” (“the way”), which largely escapes the control of the “law” (shariah). From the perspective of tariqat, all Christian dogmas can be accepted as true, because they concern the salvation of individual souls and not the regulation of social life.
Did Our Lord Jesus Christ take any action that could be considered criminal, immoral or inhumane by today’s criteria, and that has to be justified retroactively by the “cultural standards of the time”?
Now ask the same question about the founder of Islam.