I am now a Christian, after having been an atheist for many years, and having gone through a phase of flirting with Islam.
It was pretty serious flirting, too.
Since I lived in the Middle East, and was immersed in the culture, it was much easier to understand the kind of society Islam attempts to create. Not
that it is better or worse than any other culture; but individual behavior is strictly controlled and defined, without a whole lot of options.
I was interested in the mystical aspect of Islam, particularly Sufism and Ismailism. I learnt some Arabic, and read the Qur'an. What impressed me
the most about muslims is their sense of God's majesty. Most people I know who consider themselves Christians routinely neglect to pray regularly.
EVERY muslim I ever met prayed 5 times a day, whether he was a smuggler, or the mayor of Damascus.
Having been reared in a Christian home, I really was impressed with Islamic poetry about the majesty of God, and the sense of community felt when
saying prayers with hundreds of other men. What I missed was the emphasis on personal love for God and each other. That may sound weird, but in
Islam, it only matters that you bow to God, like a tyrant. Whether you personally like him is irrelevant. You bow, you tithe, then you await your
I think that because of Jewish and Christian experience as (previously) oppressed minorities, there is an expection that being righteous will invite
the world's wrath, and that the poor are probably good people and that the rich are probably corrupt.
Islam doesn't have that same emphasis. And so muslims have trouble explaining why all the oil is under the sands of heretics like the house of
Sa'ud, and Ghaddafi; meanwhile Yemen, the most rigorously Hadith-following nation, is also one of the most impovershed nations on earth. There is no
real "theology of the oppressed" in Islam. In Christianity, there is a great suspicion of wealth: "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of
a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." One of the reasons that J.P. Morgan did so much philanthropy was that he, as a
Christian feared about how his wealth was currupting his soul. He geniuinely felt this to an extent, and often gave more money to various charities
in secret than he gave publicly.
I think part of the violence exhibited by Muslims, particularly young men from Egypt and Syria, is an attempt to deny the wealth and worldly success
of the "Darb et-Harb," the infidel lands.
The reason they attacked NY was not only an urge to harm America. It was an attempt to negate what NYC represents. Wealth, sensuality, usury, and
I'm surprised that they didn't attack Las Vegas. If you look on jihadist websites, they are obsessed with young muslim men looking at American porn
on the internet. Several muslim states had considered banning the internet as a tool of satanic American whoremongers.