"I have sat in many a Muslim household with well-qualified professionals who would openly speak of their support for jihad overseas and eventually at home."
I recently enjoyed exchanging a few emails with a reader of this blog who identifies himself as a former convert to Islam, and has since become a Christian and is investigating the Orthodox Church. After his initial email I replied with several questions, and was astounded with his responses. He is both very 'matter of fact' yet fully aware of the seriousness of the threat from Islam. His words ring true, and I asked if I might share some of his observations, preserving his anonymity, of course. His reply:
"Please feel free to use excerpts from any of my emails (suitably anonymized) for any helpful purpose - if it saves just one person from going down the wrong track it's worthwhile."
So, below is "Christopher's" initial email, followed by my "interview" with him. Feel free to share widely. This is one of those rare glimpses into a world seldom seen, the real-life world of so-called "moderate" Muslims in the West.
The Initial Email
Good morning - discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles. I'm a former convert to Islam, currently discovering the real truth of Orthodoxy, though regrettably it's a rare denomination to find in Florida.
Like many Western converts (in my case back in the 1990s, well before 9/11) I was attracted to Islam by the apparent 'scientific' aspects of the Qur'an, though I now know that highly selective translation is used to get the supposed agreements. I was also skeptical then about the truth of Christianity.
My doubts began to arise as I learned more about the day to day reality of Islam, the paranoia, the belief that the Kuffar world is 'out to get us', the silence from the Ummah when fellow Muslims committed terrible crimes. My Muslim friends still don't believe that Muslims flew planes into the World Trade Center, or bombed London buses on 7/7 - they're convinced these acts were done by Mossad or the CIA and that Muslims are the innocent victims of a plot hatched by Zionists.
The sad reality is that everything you say is true. Islam itself is the problem, not 'radical sects'. The barbaric things we see ISIS do are completely approved of in the 'scripture' and the hadith - they are trying their best to be good faithful Muslims - that's why the community is so slow to condemn these acts.
People (especially our politicians) still don't get it that Islam is a totalitarian religion, where moderates and those who read the Qur'an as allegory (such as I did) will be the first to be shot come the revolution - we were considered worse than unbelievers. Islam is basically a sort of religious fascism with very limited scope to practice ijtihad (use of your rational faculties to make reasoned decisions). The much-vaunted Golden Age of Islamic enlightenment and science was all down to Mutazilites, Sufis and others who would be condemned as apostates and heretics by today's Salafists, Wahabis and the Sunni mainstream.
There is a 'coffee table Islam' - a place where the religion is about compassion, mercy, helping your neighbor etc., but it's an aberration, a docile form that can only exist once the militants have exterminated all opposition, set up their caliphate and after a century or two allowed limited freedom to drift in.
A revitalized Christianity, especially Orthodox Christianity which alone has stayed on the true path over centuries, is our only hope to protect the world from the eventual rise of militant, intolerant Islam. Multiculturalism has been a disaster in the West, blurring the lines of right and wrong, good and evil... The legalization of 'gay marriage' has been a blatant sign of how far our moral compass has drifted from where it should be, I'm constantly reminded of St Paul's warnings about the signs of a society in decline.
I'm increasingly of the view that the West must work with Russia to combine forces to defeat Islam, otherwise we are headed for a new Dark Age.
Keep up the good work,
Thank you for your rapid reply. Please feel free to use excerpts from any of my emails (suitably anonymized) for any helpful purpose - if it saves just one person from going down the wrong track it's worthwhile.
In answer to your questions:
Q. — Would you say that more nominal Muslims - like those who stay silent about atrocities committed by Muslims - aid and abet the jihad by their silence?
A. — Definitely yes. I have sat in many a Muslim household with well-qualified professional (PhDs, medical doctors etc.) who would openly speak of their support for jihad overseas and eventually at home.
Some were certainly sending money to organizations that were very likely taking part in combat, but it was always described as money for widows and orphans or for building schools, mosques etc.
The Qur'an gives the believer permission to hide his faith (e.g. Sura 67 ayah 13 & other places) and it's widely accepted that it's OK to 'keep your head down' while you're a minority, waiting until the community is strong enough to rise and overcome the Kuffar. This extends to feigning friendship and agreement with the wider community whilst secretly longing to overthrow everything they stand for.
I was shocked by this, especially when I witnessed it from family medical practitioners, accountants, and university professors who would say one thing before their patients, clients and students but quite another within the privacy of their own home with trusted brothers in Islam.
Q. — Do they see their quiet lives as somehow supporting the jihad by fooling the kuffar into thinking that Islam is a peaceful religion?
A. — Among younger Muslims yes this is the case. Not so much with the older generation, the parents and grandparents who were immigrants to the UK back in the 1960s and 70s. The older people generally really believe in Islam as a religion of peace, and are grateful for the opportunities that their new country has given them.
I would address elderly Muslims as 'Uncle' or 'Auntie' as is traditional and they were people of simple, very traditional faith. One dear old man (he's still alive, over 90 now) told me gently that Islam is in the heart, not the head - that the true jihad is the struggle to overcome your own weakness and sin and I'm certain he really meant that.
The younger generation have had access to much less tolerant teaching via the internet and books and are quick to argue that the first duty of a believer is the outward form of jihad, not the inner. These guys are generally age 35 or younger, you rarely encounter it in people much over 40. (I'm 51)
Q. — Did you encounter any who were nominal in lifestyle, yet knew they would side with the jihadis when the time came?
A. — If the time came I do not know of many male under-35s who would not willingly fight with the jihadis, except for intellectual Muslim friends from countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey (especially the disciples of M.Fethullah Gulen) who are strongly influenced by Sufi doctrine.
In the UK I think that the Pakistanis in particular are a pressure cooker waiting to pop - there are some poorly educated, very angry young men in that community with few economic/career prospects who would give up their lives willingly for Allah and a taste of paradise.
Having said that I've encountered extreme views from very highly qualified people (and their wives) too...
Q. — After you left Islam were you ever afraid of apostasy punishment from the ummah?
A. — I wouldn't say I'm afraid - I have Christ now and know that whatever they do to me my future is assured - but I'm certainly cautious. My wife and children could in theory be at risk but as they were never converts they should be OK. I now live in a different city from where I became a Muslim, but the people in that city don't know that I left the faith.
They are paranoid that many so-called 'converts' might actually be government spies or agents so they'd probably rationalize my leaving by saying that I was never a real convert in the first place, just a spook sent to spy on them. Actually it's a common problem for white converts - since 9/11 the mosques take it for granted that they're been spied upon, and that you shouldn't trust strangers. As I converted in 1992 I was trusted.
Even now (I left the faith a few years ago) I'm careful what I say on social media, and don't put my head above the parapet. At work I run an interfaith group where the Muslims often ask me how I know so much about their Faith, I just say that I've studied it for some 20 years and am fascinated by the differences between it and Christianity. When they ask why aren't I a Muslim it gives me the opportunity to highlight why not (but I never tell them I'm an ex-Muslim).
Reasons I give:
With respect, I say that the Qur'an contradicts the previous scriptures, denying the crucifixion of Christ, confusing Mary mother of Jesus with Mary sister of Aaron & Moses, making Alexander the Great a prophet etc.
I point out the oddities such as meteors used to pursue eavesdropping djinn, the Sun setting in a muddy pool, errors about the mixing of salt & fresh water, all things being created in pairs and other examples of errors and absurdities you find in the Qur'an.
I argue that since we have Bible manuscripts that pre-date Islam, wherein there is absolutely no mention of Muhammad as a prophet to come, it is hard to argue that the Christians and Jews have altered their scriptures to remove the references - after all surely they would have been looking forward to the advent of such an esteemed character. I also - very cautiously - mention the assassinations and warfare of the Prophet as appearing to be far removed from the high standard set by Jesus.
They take these comments well as I speak in a conciliatory tone and adopt an attitude of regret that I would happily be a Muslim if they were able to give satisfactory answers to my questions. Every now and then a student comes back a week or two later with an attempt to set me on the straight path, but they only get close if they adopt a very allegorical, Sufi-style interpretation of the Qur'an - which would certainly hasten their early demise where they to use such an explanation of scripture in lands under ISIS, Salafist or Wahhabi rule...