“Islam Is Not a Religion”

So says J.R. Dieckmann, an electrician and writer who runs a website that I will neither name nor link.  He did, however, post this startling proclamation over here, one of the many bizarre and paranoid websites that are making so much fearful noise in American politics.

Decoding Dieckmann’s assertion is easy — what he means is that Islam is not Christianity:

What legitimate religion would demand that its members either kill or convert people of other faiths? What legitimate religion is intent on imposing its own laws on the rest of the entire world? If Islam were just about praying to Allah and worshiping Mohammed and nothing more, we would not be having a problem with Islamism and Islamic terrorists. Islam has a global mission to take over and run the world according to Islamic Shariah law. How can we call that a religion?

What legitimate religion in this country comes with its own civil laws that take precedence over national, state, and local laws? No, Islam is not a religion. It is a governing doctrine that not only dictates religious beliefs, but also social behavior that includes laws, penalties and punishments, not by God, but by people if the laws are not obeyed. Islam is a form of government, not a religion. It does not belong here. We already have government under our Constitution (sort of).

As is apparent, Dieckmann understands that Islam is a religion — it simply is not in his small mind a “legitimate” religion.  Why?  Because it does lend itself readily to separation of the sacred and the state.  Dieckmann would of course find it perfectly legitimate if Christianity merged with the American state.  And indeed this is what he wants.

Between his wiring jobs and writing gigs, it seems that Dieckmann does not have much spare time for reading history.  If he were to do so, I am sure he would learn that in the West there is a venerable tradition of forcefully imposing Christianity on others, forming Christian governments, and citing Christianity as a governing doctrine.  He would also learn that after centuries of Protestant/Catholic warfare in the West, some wise people decided it might be best to separate religion from politics.

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