Intellectual Self-Defense for Muslims (Part 1)
Over the past several weeks, i have been reading websites and watching videos attempting to attack Islam. In many cases, the responses of those claiming to represent Islam have been weak and wholly inadequate. Also, many Muslim youth are in jeopardy in the face of this assault against Islam. God-willing, i hope that this will help serve as a tool to counter these attacks.
One could classify the anti-Muslim polemicists into three categories.
1) The Christian fundamentalists–they are people who use a primarily Biblical and Christianity to oppose to Islam
2) The European nationalist–they see that Islam and Muslim immigration is a threat to European/national identity.
3) The secular supremacist–these are the atheists (usually) who unquestioningly assume the authority of secular ideology.
We will deal with each group one by one. As for the CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS, they are closest to the Muslims. These Christians will say, just as the Muslims say, that the ultimate purpose of human existence to obey and worship the Creator (that is not to say that Christians understand what is appropriate to believe in the Creator). Also, the Christians, like the Muslims will claim to use a religious book as their authority for codes of conduct and morality. Of course, in reality, the modern Christians pick and choose what they like out of the Bible. Hence, when debating with them, one must need to be familiar with some of their tricks.
For one, this class of people often outright LIE (in spite of the Christian command of not lying). These Christians virtually NEVER compare the genuine Islamic belief in the Creator with the Christian belief. After all, it would not be in their interests to say: “Muslims assert that there is One, Eternal, Transcendent, Incomparable, Omniscient Creator, Who is the Creator of everything. And we [the Christians] believe that an infant incarnated into the Beginningless Creator, had to eat drink, and rest, and eventually get murdered to gain the power to forgive people for their sins.” A side by side comparison of the two beliefs would show that the Christian belief is inferior to the Muslim belief in the Creator (and given that the Creator is Superior to everything and not inferior to anything, it could not be possible that the Christian belief could be correct).
With the above being true, the Christian fundamentalist types will make claims, such as, “Allah isn’t God.” Even after it is explained to them that the Arabic speaking Jews and Christians use the Word “Allah” to refer to the Creator (that isn’t to say they have the proper belief in the Creator) or that THE ARABIC BIBLE says that Allah created the Heavens and Earth in the beginning of Genesis, these people will insist that Word “Allah” isn’t used by Arabic speakers (Muslim and non-Muslim) to refer to the Creator. (Please see: https://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/the-word-allah-in-the-bible/ ) Some have even concocted bizarre so-called “moon god” theories to try to discredit Islam. In brief, the Christian fundamentalists don’t want to discuss Tawheed (the Islamic belief in One, Perfect, Incomparable Creator), because it would make their anthropolatry (i.e., the worship of a human being) look ludicrous.
Instead of having an honest discussion about the proper belief in God, the Christian fundamentalists will attack the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam). This is problematic for the Christian fundamentalists on several accounts. For one, these Christians often judge the Prophet by contemporary secular values (the very values the Christians claim to be decadent). When Muslims point out that many of the practices in Islam have parallels in the Bible, the Christian fundamentalist will claim that those rules are from the Old Testament and have been abrogated. Again, this is a problem–even from the Christian perspective, for the Bible says that Jesus said:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
The Christian tradition readily admits that Jesus followed the laws in the OLD TESTAMENT. And, in fact, the laws of the Old Testament are replete with war, mass execution (of even infants), amputating hands of thieves, and capital punishment for disobedience to the parents, sorcery, blasphemy, murder, etc. So–according to the Christian tradition–Jesus agreed with and abided by the the laws of the Old Testament for most of his time on Earth. This matter gets more problematic for the Christian, for not only did Jesus (allegedly) follow the laws of the Old Testament, Jesus is the one who SANCTIONED and ORDERED the laws of the Old Testament–because, according to Christian tradition, the Bible is the Revelation of God… and Jesus is God.
Sometimes Christians will try to escape the issue of morality the Bible by saying to the effect that we live in modern times. So according to them, the man-made secular laws are superior to the laws of the one they deem to be their so-called “god.” If Christian morality changes according to the prevailing secular norm (on any given week), then this opens the door to all sorts of deviance and debauchery–and makes Christian/Biblical morality irrelevant. (Incidentally, it is this line of reasoning that has led to numerous churches promoting Biblical absurdities, like so-called “gay marriage.”)
The main points in dealing with the Christian fundamentalists is to establish the proper belief in God by using rational proofs. If the Christian seeks to use his Bible to prove his doctrine, then demonstrate:
1) the Bible has not been reliably preserved and transmitted (it’s been altered)
2) the Bible has contradictory statements about God (such as, claiming that God does not change–and also claiming that God walks about and finds things)
3) the Christian doctrine (Trinity) is a man-made innovation and is rationally absurd
4) the Christian doctrine is incompatible with the Bible itself
When it comes to morality, either a person is going to agree with (what they think to be) the Commands of the Creator or with the commands of human beings. He can’t have two masters. The laws in the Old Testament are stricter than the Sacred Law revealed to Prophet Muhammad. A Christian cannot honestly condemn Islamic Law without condemning Jesus and his own tradition.
This is a brief overview on how to address the typical objections of the Christian fundamentalists.
With Allah is the success and the guidance.