Islam can never be the world’s only religion because within the Islamic system of faith lie deep divisions and continual in-fighting between Sunni and Shi’ite. With the relatively late entry of a third key player some three hundred years ago, Wahhabism boasts an even more traditional and strict adherence to 7th-century Islamic laws, customs, and practices. Within these three main groups, the 21st-century world is continually bombarded with new messages from offshoots and splinter groups, each claiming to represent True Islam’ by way of demonstrating atrocities and violence. This leaves a good deal of people in the world uneasy with respect to claims that Islam is a Religion of Peace.
Islam is not a religion of violence and terror
It would be inconsistent and certainly untrue to brand Islam as the only religion of violence and terror. Throughout history, many of the world’s most horrifying and evil wars were fought on religious grounds and it seems that killing disbelievers somehow elevates the slayer to a higher status in the god of their choosing. Christianity in history exposed the world to savage cruelty and torture, the Spanish Inquisition describes inhumane brutality inflicted upon thousands of innocent people whose only crime was to question, to perhaps choose another form of worship. In time the Christian faith grew and learned from these dark times so that by the end of the 20th century the world settled into a more enlightened view of faith where freedom of choice and peaceful coexistence, tolerance and love define the Christian faith. Similarly, there are many other world faiths that parallel the painful evolution out of darkness to a peaceful co-existence with others around them.
Islam was conceived in violence and expanded rapidly by conquest without any seeming limits on its fighters killing, raping and enslaving along the way. While this theme seems consistent with the dark years of Christianity the fundamental difference is that in the 21st century Islam is still trapped in the 7th century and driven to expand by conquest. This is the state of play in Nigeria today, in Pakistan and India as well as Sudan. Part of the problem is the race for expansion is based on the divisions between the main sects of Islam.
The Arabian Peninsula is primarily of the Wahhabi following with a diverse range of restrictive and discriminatory laws aimed at preventing change at any cost. The Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s was fought on the differences of Sunni and Shi’ite sects and the Taliban evolved out of Pakistan and rapidly enveloped Afghanistan throughout the 1990s. In short, the Middle East is a complete and total mess that does not look like being unraveled anytime soon. Politics aside, nobody can ever deny a great deal of bloodshed in this area of the world is based on religious grounds, and by far more people of the Islamic faith are killed than anyone else however it is also a fact that those who commit these killings are Islamic!
Western and European culture and civilization
Western and European culture and civilization thrived because it was able to pull itself out of the darkness of blind faith. Part of the problem with Islam today is the intolerance of change, of questioning, of criticism and of anything considered a challenge to the faith. People are free to criticize Christianity (and seem to exercise this freedom with abandon) yet they are not killed for it – the same cannot be said for Islam. It was the insatiable nature of humans to question and seek answers yet Islam refuses to let go of the past. It is this resistance to change that may well see Islam eventually fade into history.
Until or unless Islam can learn from history and the world around it, and followers learn to accept change is inevitable and that questioning is part of human nature Islam can never be a successful worldwide religion. Until the deep divisions within the Islamic faith are resolved and it’s scholars, mullahs, clerics, and politicians stop the insane drive towards expansion by conquest and terror there will always be a stronger opposing force defending the choices of people in the world who choose to follow their own system of faith.