What Muslims believe, by Lion of the Blogoshpere.
Islam is a fundamentalist religion. All Muslims believe that the Koran is the true and literal word of God (Allah) and that Mohammed was the most perfect man and people should follow the examples he set. And the Hadiths and other sources about Mohammed’s life, although not the true and literal word of God, are nevertheless believe to tell the true story of Allah.
Nearly all Muslims really really believe this and it’s what they are taught at Mosques and religions schools. There is no major branch of Islam that believes that the Koran should not be taken 100% literally.
This is something that liberals (who don’t personally believe that there is any religious text that’s the true literal word of any divine beings) simply cannot understand.
ISIS illustrates the tension between modernization and the original in Islamic societies:
However, Islam, like all other religions, historically existed — or was appropriated for the function — of serving the elites. Law and order benefits the elites, but people deciding on their own to commit jihad, that doesn’t benefit the elites, so that stuff was not taught to people. Most Muslims, like most Christians, non-Orthodox Jews, etc., are too lazy to read the Holy texts themselves and they let religions leaders tell them what they are supposed to do in order to be good Muslims.
However, since all Muslims have been primed to believe that the Koran is the true and literal word of God, and that Mohammed was the most perfect human and men should live by his example, they are extremely susceptible to groups like ISIS who teach what the Koran really says about jihad, and how Mohammed really lives. And based on the texts of the Koran and the Hadiths, ISIS is correct, or at least a very legitimately correct interpretration.
As has happened many times in Islamic societies, fundamentalists are dragging the society back to its seventh century Arab roots using the Islamic holy texts for authority and inspiration. ISIS are following the religion more purely than the more modern Islamic societies around them.
Islam is not just a religion, like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Confucianism. Islam is also a totalitarian political ideology. It seeks to totally control the lives of its subjects.
Islam is the culture from seventh century Arabia. It is brutal and nasty. Islam cannot change, because it gets dragged back to the holy books by the fundamentalists — who feel authorized by Islam to kill their opponents. The Qur’an is the unchallengeable word of God, dictated to Mohammed by the archangel Gabriel and not open to later re-interpretation. There is only one interpretation of Islam — Mohammed’s.
Commenter Mike CA:
Commenter Mark Kaplan:
Hitler adored Islam, and with good reason. He saw it as a great tragedy that Germany adopted Christianity: “Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” Hitler jealously eyed Islam, a faith that “glorifies heroism and which opens up the Seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone.” The Muslim countries mostly sided with the Nazis in World War II because they shared numerous goals and ideals.