News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 22, 2012

RONN MOTT: Islam’s not going away

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — You better get used to it. It is the world of the Muslim. There are more followers of the Prophet Mohammed than there are Christians, Buddhists, Shinto, etc.

If I understand it correctly, forgive me if I don’t, but I believe the prophet wanted to see his followers regard him as exactly that. He was following other prophets of the Bible … Moses, Jesus, and others. He took his faith and horse-borne warriors and charged hard against old cities, old ways. And the people of the old ways didn’t have much of a will to fight for what they believed in. Mohammed and his armies were very successful.  

The European Christian world was not rid of these Muslim warriors and leaders until almost the 15th Century. So they had about 700 years or so of conquering what we now refer to as the Middle East. Earlier, the Crusades, Christian warriors, had fought the Muslims for the control of the places the Christian Church considered holy. The ultimate end to these wars was the victorious armies of Muslims gaining the entire Middle East.

It would be hundreds of years before the Christian west could again have its way with this part of the world. (There was a good book called “Guns, Germs and Steel” that I found helpful explaining western civilization and their relationship to the rest of the world.)

It was during the Crusades that certain religious leaders of the Muslim faith began to write, not always in agreement with the Koran, but new explanations regarding Christianity and the faith of the Muslims. These writings were more radical because of the invading Christian armies of the Crusades. It is in these writings that Mohammed, the man who wanted to be known as a prophet, began to be revered as more God-like. These are the teachings and writings the current radical fringe of the Muslim faith are using to teach and to inspire.

Just some food for thought: 1) The Muslim world has more young men between the ages of 18 and 35 than any place in the world. They are almost all unemployed. (2 The Koran, the Muslim bible, is used as a text for everything. It is the guide for government, politics, love, sex, and when and how you should worship. (The western world separates religion and government. It does not happen in Muslim states.)

Somewhere between the prophet’s teachings and the secularism of western governments, we must find a way to live and work with all these people. It will not be easy, but it must be done. What is the alternative? Simple. We either find a way to work this out or go to war, a religious war, with Muslim believers.

I wish I knew how to do this, but I’m afraid it will fall to wiser men than I. It must be done, however, or the world has a long, hard, deadly road ahead.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.