Pressure and Pretence
What would you think if your professor, or your employer said to you: "Please be completely honest with me, but don't dare to disagree!" ?
In the last article on the issue of "taqiyya" we have seen how Muhammad made it cheap to be a Muslim. As one might expect, there is also the other side of the same coin, i.e. Islam makes it expensive to those who are not Muslims.
According to the Sharia, wherever Islam takes power the choice for the pagans is conversion to Islam or death. The choice for the people of the book is conversion or oppression in various forms.
In any case, refusing to convert to Islam means to pay dearly for this decision.
The Sharia law is not executed in full anywhere today, but as every religion we can't judge Islam for the positive effect coming from the failure of its adherents as well as we do not condemn Islam itself for the negative consequences stemming from the failure of its followers to live up to its positive aspects. We have to evaluate any religion foremost by looking at its teachings.
I agree that the Qur'an speaks out against hypocrisy in various passages, some references are listed here.
Very few people have a desire to suffer. Nearly all will try to avoid suffering as much as possible. If resisting Islam means suffering and they have no great positive motivation to not be a Muslim the threat of oppression and disadvantage will easily convince them to confess Islam with their lips even though they couldn't care less about it in their hearts. Even if they have reservations and don't believe Islam to be true but have no other loyalty to God [as those who are truly Jews or Christians] or to another religion or conviction that is of great meaning to them, they will become Muslims if refusal to convert brings as many disadvantages as any non-Muslim in an Islamic state has.
Even though the Qur'an seems to speak out against hypocrisy, the fact that Islam applies pressure on all people in its realm of power to profess faith in Muhammad automatically creates many hypocrites. Islam recognizes that hypocrisy is a problem, the Qur'an condemns hypocrisy, but the actual sharia laws drive people to become hypocrites because it rewards any profession of faith and punishes honest unbelief.
Hypocrisy is only condemned verbally, apostacy is punished by death. It is for you to guess how many apostates choose to be apostates in their heart only and will continue to be Muslims with their lips as consequence...
The death penalty for the apostate, the dhimmi laws, etc. have been discussed here before and if need be I can back this up with references. In the interest of shortness they are omitted for this article.
God's Word in the Bible tells us this about the issue of hypocrisy:
None of the Israelites were forced to leave Egypt with Moses. This was their free choice. When they reach Mt. Sinai and God makes a covenant with them and gives them his law, they are again asked if they want to accept this covenant. Then, after the land of Israel is conquered at the end of the book of Joshua, God asks Israel yet again through his servant Joshua, chapter 24:
13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.' 14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Not: Don't you dare choosing other gods! But: Freely choose now.
Jesus has very much the same desire. He does not want any followers who stay with him for the wrong reasons. In the Gospel according to John we read in chapter 6, after Jesus spoke some very tough truths:
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"
Jesus did not pronounce any judgment on those who left him. He only asks his inner group of disciples whether they want to leave too or stay.
God clearly prefers the honest disbeliever over the those who practise religion in pretence or half-heartedly.
In the book 1 Kings 18:21 we read:
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.
The book of the prophet Amos, chapter 5:
21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
And in the prophet Isaiah, the whole chapter 58 is about the reasons why God has rejected the false fasting of Israel and what true fasting is about. And in Matthew 6, Jesus talks about true and hypocritical giving of alms, true and false prayer, true and false fasting. And probably the harshest words of Jesus were against those who are religious leaders but hypocrites. Matthew 23 you will find those.
Paul also talks about the danger of counterfit faith, "having a form of godliness but denying its power" and he advises "Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:5). Jesus also speaks about this issue and taught that the measure to be taken is to excommunicate the willful and unrepentent sinner from the church community, but there is no authority given to the leaders to do any physical or material harm to them. (Matthew 18). Nor is there any kind of punishment for those who leave the church out of their own initiative.
One of the clearest passages on God's opinion in regard to hypocrisy and apostasy is found in Revelation, chapter 3:15-16.
I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other. So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I will spit you out of my mouth.
This is clearly showing God's preference for an honest atheist or even polytheist [cold] over somebody who is "believing" but living his "faith" half-heartedly, i.e. without a full submission and obedience to the Lord out of true love for him [hot].
God is the God of truthfulness and honesty and desires the same from his creation. The Islamic law that condemns hypocrisy and at the same time forces people into hypocrisy is inconsistent and unworthy of the God of truth. Therefore this is another issue that creates doubts that it comes from the God of truth as I know him from his word, the Holy Bible.
In a nutshell:
It is hypocritical to condemn hypocrisy but to deny the freedom of dissent by punishing those who do.
Based on the above observations, Islam seems to be a system which is inherently hypocritical. How can this be solved? If it cannot be solved, then this is a strong indication that it is not designed by the God of truth and truthfulness.
Copyright © 1997 Jochen Katz. All rights reserved.
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