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Islam: A religion or a political and social movement?

As controversy swirls around President Trump’s move to bar individuals’ entry to the United States from six countries with predominately Muslim populations, a much larger and more important issue is overlooked.

The issue is Islam, and the correctness of defining it as a religion, as it relates to our Constitution, and to immigration. Islam is different from Christianity, Judaism and other major religions, because it has clear distinct political and social dimensions, which harbor views that are totally antithetical, inconsistent, and threatening to the non-Muslim world. Islam, unlike other religions, is a political and social movement, whose religious arm encourages and justifies behavior of its adherents that is repugnant, and unacceptable to those who are not among its followers.

Surely there are Muslims – many Muslims – who do not wish to live by traditional, harsh Islamic legal precepts, and have come here to partake in a modern, tolerant life. Islam can and is being lived peaceably by millions, but as it is interpreted by massive numbers in the Muslim world, it is understood to teach its followers disrespect, hate and violence toward non-Muslims, and Muslims of different sects.

Islam’s social dimension centers on patriarchal control. Women living in countries ruled by sharia law are an underclass, subject to honor-killing, genital mutilation, and denial of basic human rights. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens of countries ruled by sharia law are reviled, abused, and treated as pariahs. The penalty for homosexuality is death. Readers of this piece are three mouse-clicks away from watching prominent, respected Islamic scholars debate whether the proper punishment meted out to gays is stoning or being thrown from a rooftop. The Western World’s basic belief in the freedom of the individual is a concept alien to much of the Islamic world. Huge portions of the world’s Muslims think they should follow Islam’s sharia law.

Islam, because it is a political and social movement, cloaked in religion, whose objective – at least interpreted by hundreds of millions of its adherents – is world domination, and thus a clear, present threat to the culture, traditions, and religions of the Western World.

One need only look at the plight of the nations of Western Europe. As a result of the European Union’s policy of open immigration, England, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and other countries have been inundated by millions of Muslims, most of whom are not – and quite possibly cannot be – integrated into the society of their host nations, resulting in the disintegration of the societal beliefs of their host nations, which are based on democracy, freedom of religion, and of the individual.

Misunderstanding Islam as a religion like all others, despite the fact that it is a political and social movement inimical to our way of life, has led to justifying the entry to our country of people many of whom have been taught to hate us and our beliefs. This is a sad and dangerous perversion of logic, and a misguided application of tolerance.

Tolerance of the intolerant will lead to the destruction of our society and our way of life.

Robert I. Lappin is a philanthropist, businessman and president of Shetland Properties, Inc., in Salem, Massachusetts.

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