You will be assimilated…

by

Any Star Trek: The Next Generation fans hanging around this blog? If so, they’ll immediately recognize the source of the title for this article.

It comes from “The Borg”, a cyborg alien lifeform that moves across galaxies colonizing planets by either assimilating the native species into their own “collective” or extermintating them if they refuse to assimilate. Their trademark phrase is, “We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” Once assimilated into the collective, an individual unit that becomes dysfunctional is cut out of the collective and destroyed. An individual unit that is separated from the collective by capture or accident is hunted and re-assimilated or destroyed.

Sound familiar?

I can’t help but see some parallels with Islam. Just look at these points:

– The Quran separates the world into two “houses”: the house of Islam (Dar-al-Islam) and the house of war ( Dar-al-Harb). Any non-Muslim falls into the house of War. According to the Quran, these two houses are in a perpetual state of conflict that will not be resolved until the house of war is completely subjugated by the house of Islam. There are three methods of subjugation; conversion, destruction, or if you are one of the lucky “people of the book” (Christians, Jews, and some say Zoroastrists) you can live under Islamic rule as a second class citizen and pay a dhimmi (tax) to your Islamic masters. Bad luck if you happen to be Hindu, Buddhist, or any other religion. You either convert to Islam or get killed.

– The penalty for a Muslim rejecting Islam and converting to another faith is death. Unless you have been completely out of touch for the last couple of weeks, you couldn’t help but hear about the case of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan. Born into the Islamic faith, he converted to Christianity while working in Germany 16 years ago. His own family turned him into Afghan authorities for prosecution. Charges have been dropped due to a “lack of evidence” but the cries for his blood in the Afghan street have not died down.

So to sum up… Islam seeks to convert, or at least subjugate, the entire world, by the sword if necessary. Once converted to Islam, you can never leave the faith under penalty of death. It’s kind of like a spiritual “roach motel.” It’s another practical application of the old maxim: “What’s mine is mine. What’s yours is negotiable.”

I don’t really have a point to all of this other than to throw out some thoughts I’ve been having lately. Islam worries me. I don’t trust it. I’ve actually read the Quran. I know what it says, and it bothers me. The hardliners aren’t the ones adding or taking away from the Quran. It’s the “moderates” that are sugar-coating it.

Take a quick look at these articles by Mark Steyn and Andrew G. Bostom. The Bostom article does an excellent breakdown of what the Quran actually says about apostasy. The Steyn article brings out this juicy tidbit:

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”Needless to say, “suttee” is no longer practiced in India.

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6 Responses to “You will be assimilated…”

  1. DeJon Redd Says:

    Joe, are you suggesting that non-Muslims should see the Islamic faith as a natural enemy or predator?

    I confess I’ve never read the Koran. I did have a man I considered a friend who not only was a practicing Muslim, but also an Air Force Chaplain/Imam. He is an educated Texas man. He was a peaceful giant (6′ 7″, 270 [Ding]) and when he deployed he was spit on, cursed, threatened and despised by detainees in GITMO.

    I ask this question out of ignorance and with no intentional motive other than finding the truth:

    Is it possible the violence, intolerence and malice that seems so prevelent in the Islamic states has as much to do with the lack of education, poverty and social injustice as it does the state religion?

    Thx for the post,
    -D-

  2. Sandi Says:

    Hi Joe, my view on this will make me persona non grata on this blog even more than I am already, but I’ll throw it out there anyway. I agree with you about Islam. It it scary as hell … and maybe I mean that literally. But, I am almost as scared of Christianity.

    I was telling Al about this a while back when I read an amazing book called The End of Faith by Sam Harris. He’s right there with you on Islam. But his argument is that religious moderation actually fosters religious extremism because it gives credence to insane beliefs in the first instance. So, unless the sacred texts of the religion are themselves moderate, believing in it at all gives license to extremists who interpret the texts literally. Now, the Church of Christ claims to be fundamentalist and interpret scripture literally, but come on now. Harris’s point is that because these texts are ancient, there are many aspects of contemporary life that are just downright incompatible with them. So basically we just ignore the parts that we can’t live with. But then when people take them literally, we act all indignant because they’re violating contemporary norms. Really, though, they are the ones being true to what they profess to believe, if what they profess to believe is this ancient text.

    I guess what’s so interesting to me is that Christians are rightly afraid of Islam but don’t see that many of the same principles apply to the Bible as to the Quran. There are some far-right religious nuts in this country that are about as scary as any jihadist. Admittedly, they aren’t flying planes into buildings, but the rigidity of their thinking is the same. Not to say that there aren’t relevant differences between Christianity and Islam, but either can be and have been used to justify violence and to exterminate nonbelievers.

  3. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Dejon,
    I have a Pakistani friend here in GMTO. He moved to the US when he was 22 and lived in Brooklyn for 20 years before taking a job as an Urdu linguist here in GTMO. He is a faithful Muslim, very much on the moderate side. I had dinner with him last night.

    Completely unsolicited by me, he brought up your point that the problem throughout the middle east is a complete lack of education. Due to this lack of education, tribal and religious leaders have inordinate influence over the population. These leaders interpret the Quran and preach it to the masses, who can’t read it for themselves. The problem is, the most strict literal interpretations of the Quran strongly support the hardliner position. Combine a strict interpretation of the Quran with a predominantly uneducated population and you get mobs in the streets calling for apostates to be “cut into little pieces.” It’s the “perfect storm” of Islam.

    Again unsolicited, my friend talked to me about the Abdul Rahman case. Keep in mind that he has a Masters degree in computer science and would probably be considered a member of the intellectual “elite” back in his homeland. His explanation for the outcry in Afghanistan: Afghans eat too much lamb. Seriously. According to Ahmed, mutton has a very high fat content and eating too much of it can cause fat to accumulate in your brain, leaving you so dimwitted that you can’t properly interpret the Quran.

    So yes, Dejon, I’d say that the lack of education is the root of the problem, but Islam is the water that makes it grow.

  4. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Sandi,
    I see your point. I can’t speak for other Christians, but I’m not at all offended by it. Christianity has some very dark points in its history. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition are the two most commonly put forth as low points for the Church. My quick counter to this is that the motivation for these two events were primarily political, and not religious. Christianity provided a convenient justification and motivator to achieve political ends.

    Ferdinand established the Inquisition to unify the kingdoms of Spain under his rule. He figured that Christianity would serve as a unifiying influence for his political goals. He also used the Inquisition to purge political opponents. It should be noted that the Inquisition was internal to Christianity. The Inquisition did not seek out practicing Muslims or Jews, only Muslims or Jews that converted to Christianity but continued to secretly practice their original religion.

    The Crusades were a response to an advancing enemy. People seem to characterize the Crusades as campaigns of European agression against Muslims. This casually ignores the fact that it was in fact the Muslim world that was expanding and colonizing prior to the Crusades. The Crusades were a response to this expansion.

    What is my point in bringing this up? Simply to show that religious fervor was not the prime motivator behind these two blots on Christianity’s historical record.

    Are there shared principles between the Quran and the Bible? Of course there are. Prayer, charity, and the belief in one God are some of the shared principles.

    There is one key difference that I think should reduce the perceived “threat” posed by Christianity: Forgiveness.

    It’s a foreign concept in Islam, but a key (if not THE key)component of true Christianity.

  5. Al Sturgeon Says:

    From Philip Yancey’s, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”…

    “During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Othe religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C.S. Lewis wandered into the room. ‘What’s the rumpus about?’ he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, ‘Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.’ After some discussion, the conferees had to agree. The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and Muslim code of law – each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.”

    Yancey goes on to point out in his book the irony that “Christians” are often the most ungraceful people around. Yancey grew up in the South as a racist “Southern” Baptist and plays on that often in his writings – the sad irony in what he was taught versus what is supposed to make Christianity unique.

    So I agree with Joe in that Christianity is unique. And that treating people with love and not as they deserve (i.e. forgiveness) is what sets it apart.

    I would add, however, that I don’t think you have to go back to the Spanish Inquisition to see the dark spots of Christianity. Yancey points out some wonderfully sad examples from the 1960s, but in fact, I think you find some good examples right now when we take a good look around us. (Note: I think this melds some into the Nancy Grace discussion on Duane’s comment board.)

  6. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Al,
    I agree that there are many, many examples of “Christianity Gone Wild.” I just threw out the two that seem to get brought up the most when folks talk about the evils of organized religion.

    I debated whether or not use “grace” or “forgiveness” in my post. I went with forgiveness because I see it as the most important way that humans can put grace into practice.

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