Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pat Robertson on Islam: Religion or Ideology?

700 Club's Pat Robertson this week: 'Islam is not a religion, it is a political system ... bent on world domination'.

I hear this so often, that Islam is not a religion but a political system. There is some truth in the statement, but also some untruth. Who decides how to define the word 'religion'? Islam calls itself diin we dunya, and stresses that it is both a system for the true worship of God and a system for organizing society. As Christians, is our view of our religion really that different? Why did Pat Robertson, some years ago, try to become the president of the USA?

Is our Christian faith for the heart only, or do we also have a message for society? I have the impression that if people are so adamant that Islam is not a religion but a political ideology, they actually mean to say that they do not like the political views of Islam and they prefer their own Christian view of society more. Fair enough, I wholly agree with this, but let us not pollute our discussions about Islam by statements that are unfair and untrue.

On 8 April, Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club aired a report featuring an interview with Bernard Lewis, Princeton University professor of Near Eastern studies, which focused on, in CBN correspondent Chris Mitchell's words, "the struggle ... between Islam and Christendom, two worldviews that contend that theirs is the one true faith." Commenting on the report, co-host Pat Robertson said of Islam:
I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it is a political system meant on -- bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world to their way of thinking. They want a caliphate as they had once before; they want all people to be subjected to Sharia and to live under their rules and their domination. It is every bit as insidious as communism, perhaps more so. But to say, 'Well, it's a religion, and you should leave a religion alone,' that's just not the way it works."
During the 12 June 2007 edition of The 700 Club, Robertson stated:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have to recognize that Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law. Muslims want to take over and we want to impose Sharia on you. And before long, ladies are going to be dressed in burqas and whatever garments they would put on them, and next thing you know, men are going to be allowed to have wife-beating and you'll be beheading adulterers and so on and so forth.

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