Sunday, September 20, 2015

It Is about Islam

Ever since September 11th, 2001, Islam has been a big part of what America thinks about.  As with most things in modern American culture, the general American has been content to let a few blabbermouths on his favorite 24-hour news channel serve as his source of information regarding a religion that claims nearly 1.6 billion adherents.  I am not fully free from this sin.  Having lived for some time in Bosnia & Herzegovina and having spent a couple months in Azerbaijan, I like to think I’m not as clueless as the next guy.  What I do know tells me that there are certain people who believe that Islam teaches them to do horrible and disgusting things to people.  I see that line of thought as a threat to America, to the West, and to liberty in general.  Overall, the religion, schools of thought based on the religion, and the culture, like all things foreign, are intriguing, especially since they have a real influence on the world today, and I enjoy the chance to take in something new that touches on many areas of interest at once.

In It Is about Islam (ISBN: 978-1-5011-2612-3) by Glenn Beck, part of Beck’s “Control” series (although I’m not entirely sure because it doesn’t fit the government overstep discussion that is so central to the other two books in the series), the reader is given a crash course in Islam, then typical media and government lies about Islamic extremism (Beck uses the word “Islamism” for this) are discusses and exposed, and then Beck gives a couple basic suggestions on how to move forward.  Based on my own understanding, the background information was solid.  I was intrigued to learn about the contact early Americans had with Islam and the process they went through to properly educate themselves about it.  The “Lies” section was good.  It was likely easy for the research team to gather the material.  There was no need to go into statistics or anything like that.  Simply gathering material from the Koran, the Hadith, and the words of the extremists themselves, did it and showed just how the extremists come up with what they believe.  Finally, there were a couple suggestions on how people should arm themselves with real information and not be willing to be stuck with what the media and politicians try to feed the American public.

I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book.  I know a lot of Muslims, largely because I have spent (at the time of this writing) nearly two years in a country that has a majority Muslim population (~51%, but still a majority).  Bosnia & Herzegovina, though, is famous for being a Muslim lite country, although that has changed a bit since ISIL came on the scene.  I know that the nuts believe they are carrying out the will of God according to the Koran.  I also know some really solid people who are Muslims and don’t live anything like the extremists.  In the end, I ended up agreeing with Beck’s argument that while there are many Muslims that don’t agree with the extremists, it doesn’t really matter because we’re not worried about them; we’re worried about the extremists because they themselves believe they’re engaged in a holy war and that they themselves are carrying out God’s will according to the Koran.  It doesn’t matter what regular Americans think or what elites think or what non-extremist Muslims think.  What matters is what the extremists think, and it would behoove us to call it what it is so we can actually move forward against what is a real threat.  I was probably most disappointed by the section at the end of the book because it lacked any real, concrete suggestions.  The other book in the series have, but this was a bit fuzzier and just asked readers to be educated (one thing I hope to do is read the Koran even though Beck quoted from the Saudi-approved English translation).  I agree that’s important, but in our very literal world today, I think that most people need to be given the step-by-step guide.  My advice would be to not swallow the lines the politicians are always giving us along with doubting just about anything one hears in the media.  Once one figures out the real story, wield the truth and demand justice and common sense by getting vocally and actively involved in local politics.  The book gives the example of some city in Texas having a local sharia court.  If more people who believed in the Constitution stood up, that wouldn’t be happening.

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This work, including all text, photographs, and other original work, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 License and is copyrighted © MMXIV John Pruess.

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