Can Islam survive itself?

For all my hand-wringing about dwindling church attendance, increasing secularization, and the inevitable death of Christianity as the preeminent worldview in our culture, I’m not worried about the Christian religion. Yep, Christianity’s going to be just fine.

If there’s a belief system that should be worried right now, it should be Islam.

Despite every appearance of seeming robust and capable of imposing its will on a region or a people, these affects are only the desperate cries of a paradigm on its knees.

The radicalization of the fundamentalist contingent that began in earnest during the 1970s is slowly grinding itself into chaos and utter ruin.

The West is no more at war with terrorism today than it was at war with “blitzkrieg” in World War II or “revolution” during the Cold War. The West is at war with a new totalitarianism for which terrorism is one technique or tactic among many. But this Islamic totalitarianism need not be extinguished, merely outlasted. It’s consuming itself so rapidly that even the agitators are running low on material.

“Ah yes, we must destroy the great Satan of America because…  because… some guy dared to make an incoherent low-budget film that is insulting to Muhammad!”

Talk about reaching.

I don’t mean to be so glib about it, especially since there is a real cost of human life involved. Several of our embassies spent the weekend under siege. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and members of his staff perished as a result of an assault on our consulate in Libya.

We’ve got ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq as a direct consequence of the radical Islamic terrorist attacks our nation suffered on Sept. 11, 2001.

Moreover, I don’t trivialize the seriousness of those working behind the scenes. I recognize these people are serious. My theological ancestors were serious too.

A cursory study of the last few hundred years of Western history shows that wars of religious aggression/oppression and “crusades” of almost every stripe have made no exception to Christianity.

Wiping out civilizations that you don’t agree with is just a part of human nature, it seems.

For radical Muslims, subjugating every square inch of this planet to the rule of the Qur’an is the goal. This objective drives the militant Muslim world to hope, pray, and work for the submission of the whole world to the Qur’an.

Of course, most Muslims are not willing to employ terrorism in order to achieve this goal, but that’s still the objective.

All the while, our world grows smaller. Another generation is born into the struggle and will begin asking the question, “Why?” Tribal leaders will find they can no longer control every outlet of information, and their lies will become increasingly apparent. In learning more about the outside world, people will start to realize that maybe they want to have something in this life, rather than strap explosives to their bodies in an effort to quickly flee to an idyll in the afterlife.

Or they will eventually succeed in their mission, to their own destruction.

By continuing to recklessly hurl challenges at free nations as well as creating a line of demarcation between themselves and the rest of the world, they will eventually find themselves relegated to the dustbin of history…  as with many other such movements that have come before.

If Islam is to continue as a viable facet of human culture it must learn what other cultures have had to learn or die: that in the battle between you and the world, bet on the world.

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