Saturday, February 5, 2011

Islam, Democracy and Dictatorships: Ishmael the Father of Arab Muslims III

An excerpt of the speech that began the Crusades by Pope Urban II in 1095:

“That land which as the Scripture says ‘floweth with milk and honey,’ was given by God into the possession of the children of Israel Jerusalem is the navel of the world; the land is fruitful above others, like another paradise of delights. This, the Redeemer of the human race has made illustrious by His advent, has beautified by residence, has consecrated by suffering, has redeemed by death, has glorified by burial.”

“Islam and Christianity clashed not because they failed to understand each other but because they understood each other perfectly well.”

Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About America?

The religion Mohammad founded has long been considered by Catholics as a heresy; and not as a foreign religion. This was especially the case from the seventh century up to the Middle Ages. Mohammad simply accepted some Catholic doctrines and rejected others. By not accepting the fullness of God’s Revelation, his followers were to be deprived of the sanctifying effects of the Holy Spirit. As such, Islam would take on the likeness of Judaism as it existed in the Old Testament.

Arab Muslims claim to be the racial and spiritual descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar. Both Jews and Christians have had no reason to challenge this claim. Given this, the three great monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam all see the patriarch Abraham as their founder and common father. Nevertheless, with the Jewish people, Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac (not Ishmael) and Jacob.

As you may recall, Abraham was married to Sarah. However, Sarah was barren and they desperately wanted a son. Hence, Sarah decided to have her servant from Egypt, Hagar, to serve as a stand in “surrogate mother.” Hagar conceived from Abraham’s seed and was then pregnant with child. Sarah, being jealous of Hagar, sent her packing. During Hagar’s exile in the desert, and Angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, "You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the LORD has heard you, God has answered you. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him…" (Genesis 16:11-12) This message from the Angel seemed to be prophetic. Indeed, it foretold the militant-like nature of the Arab people and the enmity that would exist between them and other nations.

This brings us to the first characteristic of Islam; one which makes it markedly different from Christianity. This distinguishing trait further shapes how Muslim nations govern their own.

1. The religion that Mohammad founded was fashioned in likeness of Old Testament Judaism; thus putting a strong emphasis on the masculine dimension of God. This lent itself to male dominance (its counterpart is to be found in Western Civilization where the feminization of men is taking place).

If you know your Old Testament, you will also know that women were marginal (or second class) and the feminine principle in general was repressed. What was left remaining was a heavy dose of testosterone in Judaism. This was even more the case in the ancient pagan world. Indeed, in the world before Christ the masculine principle was untamed and it often manifested itself in violence, aggression and sexual exploitation. In the absence of grace men could go the way of the bachelor who, without regard to marital or family obligation, indulged in sensual pleasures. And/or he go the master who sought to lord over others so as to dominate and conquer other men. Women were too much under the shadow of men to be his equal or “better half.” As such, the feminine principle was in no position to temper and refine man’s coarseness and incivility. Even among God’s chosen ones men practiced brutal warfare and applied severe disciplinary measures. The prophet Elijah, for instance, after winning a contest against 400 other false prophets with the help of God’s intervention, had “their throats slit” as a punishment (I Kings 18:40).

Yet, there is a biblical reason why the world, including Judaism, had extraordinarily high testosterone levels. This gender imbalance can be traced to Eve’s punishment. And its remedy did not come until the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which was but the prelude to the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The fuller context to Eve’s punishment in the next blog-