One of the great questions of the 21st century is: What is the true nature of Islam? There are two distinct answers to this question from the media and leaders. The popular message is that Islam is one of the great world religions, a peaceful religion, a foundation of world civilization, its Golden Age was the highpoint of history, and it preserved Western thought while we were in the Dark Ages. The alternative message is that Islam is a brutal, backward, woman abusing, violent, intellectually narrow ideology that is out to annihilate civilization.
Which side is right? How do we resolve this issue? Can it even be resolved? If we turn to the “experts” of any of the opinions, they will tell you that their view is correct. What then is the ultimate authority that will give us a firm foundation for reasoning and judgment about Islam? Is it possible to use critical thought or must we just accept the authority of experts?
There is way to achieve consensus about ideas that goes beyond expert opinion. The use of facts along with logic is the basis of critical thought. The ultimate form of critical thought uses measurements and numbers to resolve questions. This paper will use the foundational texts of Islam and measure the importance of ideas by how many words are given to concepts. The assumption is that the more content that is devoted to a subject, the greater the importance of the subject is. As an example: the Koran devotes 64% of its text to the subject of the unbeliever. This is assumed to imply that the unbeliever is important in Islamic doctrine.
The use of critical thought may seem counter-intuitive since many people view Islam as a religion that does not have a rational basis. Actually, Islam is not only rational; it is hyperrational, but it uses another form of logic than the one we take for granted.
If we are to use critical thought, we must have a firm foundation. All Muslims agree that: “There is no god, but Allah and Mohammed is His messenger.”
When this is repeated as a public testimony, you become a Muslim. However, this statement is not only the beginning of Islam, it is also the foundation and totality of Islam.
It is not enough to worship Allah; you must worship as Mohammed worshipped. Who is Allah and where do we learn about Him? This question points directly to the Koran.
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Every religion is better than Islam, and so is atheism. Here are three reasons:
1. All religions, except Islam, have the Golden Rule as an ethical cornerstone. Instead Islam has a dualistic ethical code.
2. In Islam, the Sharia demands that all humanity submit to Islamic customs and law.
3. The only religion that can kill apostates is Islam. Leaving Islam is a capital crime under the Sharia.
Some say that all religions are the same. But, from these reasons, we can see that Islam is inferior to all others.