To examine the reasons why Islam is at war, it is helpful to recognize the broad distinctions, both theological and cultural, between Islam and all of its enemies.
- Several notable differences which suggest themselves are listed below:
- Repeated and explicit scriptural passages requiring the believer forcibly to convert or kill infidels. This was covered briefly in the previous post.
- A tradition which provides for no distinction between religious organizations and political structures. This is somewhat similar to the culture of Czarist Russia, in which the Orthodox Church has been part of the state since the Middle Ages. In fact, even under Communism, the Church was still subordinate to and part of the State. Interestingly, like Arab culture, Russia has been susceptible to recurring brutal autocracy.
- The absence of both the rule of law and a civic culture in which the rights of the individual are acknowledged and respected.
This last point is the most intriguing, and later posts will examine the necessary conditions in which individual rights tend to flourish.