Christianity, Islam and Atheism

The Arab world before Mohamed was dominated by a polytheism that was slowly evolving toward monotheism. That polytheism included the supreme god among all others who was called Allah. Mohamed (570-632 AD) was the first to organize a complete revolt against polytheism and to make monotheism in the name of Allah the permanent religion of the Arab world. He did this in a violent way by building victorious armies that subdued all tribes opposing his will to make Allah the single God of all.

For many centuries the policy of violently imposing Islam on the non-Islamic world has been followed, and will no doubt be continued into the future unless prevented by the greatly superior military arms of the West. But as the historian Hilaire Belloc noted nearly a century ago, it is not outside the realm of the possible for there eventually to be an epic showdown between Islam and Christianity, a showdown that Muslims seem to relish. Iran is presently on the verge of leading the way toward a nuclear weapons-armed Islam.

Islam claims its spiritual heritage to be from Abraham of the Old Testament. In all probability, the intense persecution of Christians and Jews by Muslims stems from the subconscious suspicion of Muslims that Judaeo-Christianity, which historically predates Islam, will surely be realized someday by the vast majority of Muslims to be the only true descendants of Abraham. The Old and New Testaments both predate the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, so reason would surely dictate that Islam owes its very existence to the two older religions and is a variation of both since it hails Abraham, Moses and Jesus among its heroes – but one that also contains various heresies and deformations of revealed truth.

Should this knowledge become available and commonly understood by most Muslims, if it ever is, Islam in its present form is doomed. This is why it is necessary to keep Muslims ignorant that their ancestors worshiped pagan gods before Mohamed’s time, and why Christian missionaries are not tolerated and are persecuted in countries dominated by Islam and in countries where Christianity and Islam compete for their very survival.

The Muslim worldview is not one of cooperation and peaceful co-existence with Judaism and Christianity, but one of destroying both and supplanting them by force, this being the historical methodology of how Islam has spread throughout the world and especially in its relations with the Christian Civilization of the Dark and Middle Ages. During its early thirst for conquest, for a time Islam invaded the West and briefly overcame Spain. Had it not been  for the great French military genius Charles “The Hammer” Martel (688-741) who successfully resisted the military invasion of Islam into Europe, we might all be Muslims today.

St. Thomas Aquinas on Islam

Comparing Mohamed with the miracle workers Moses and Jesus, Aquinas said: “He (Mohamed) did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Mohamed said that he was sent in the power of his arms – which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.”

Aquinas saw that Mohamed had twisted the Old and New Testament into another Testament called the Qur’an. He also forbade his followers to read the earlier Testaments. Moreover, Aquinas observed, Mohamed “seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teachings also contain precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.” (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 6, Article 4.)

What is to be done?

The truth needing to be addressed here is that both Christianity and Islam are under assault by a third religion, perhaps the fastest growing religion, sometimes called Secularism but I think more properly called Atheism, the worship of No-god. The late atheist propagandist Christopher Hitchens was typical of all those who detest both Christianity and Islam. It is this exploding religion of Atheism which most certainly, more than any quarrels between religious sects, threatens the peace of the world. If that peace, such as it is, is to be preserved it will require that Christians and Muslims join forces in opposing the real Satan who is surely behind the spreading No-god movement.

Atheism has reaped a whirlwind of effects starting with moral relativism; pagan hedonism; political fascism (Hitler, Stalin and Mao); general and devastating ennui (resulting in the ubiquitous spread of drug and alcohol addiction); criminal defiance of rightful laws; enactment of laws designed to  break up family unity; constant and pandemic slaughter of the unborn; the establishment of transgender rights that mock science and common sense; the widespread and pornographic abuse of women and children … and so many other disastrous developments following the recent rise of atheism and decline of religion.

I have come to suspect that Atheism through its various incarnations may find itself in time gravitating consciously and boldly toward the final extermination of religion. This would make the State the ultimate arbiter and enforcer of all values. Look to China’s officially atheist government to lead the way since it has already interfered with the appointment of Catholic bishops there and has arrested Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin for publicly protesting China’s interference with his authority. Communist China clearly is on a mission to undermine the democracies of the world and has spent the hugest amount of money imaginable in its effort to do so. Chinese spies, strategically posted around the world, aided and abetted by the technocrats of Artificial Intelligence in the driver’s seat, could very well be the means by which China may plunge human freedom into a black and bottomless  abyss.

For tyrannical Chinese Marxist communism to prevail, it needs a powerful ally, one that like itself is oppressive and hateful. This certainly is not Christianity which is the religion of love and peace. But Islam does not have the same claim, for it has already aligned itself with Chinese Marxist atheism, at least by virtue of its hatred for democracy and depiction of the West as the great Satan.

One looks to the United States today as a potential melting pot of Islam joined with Marxism. The invasion of illegal immigrants helps to raise the temperature of discontent among the Marxist population in academia. American Muslims radically oppose the effort by Israel to eliminate Hamas, which itself seems bent on the destruction of Israel (“from the river to the sea”). The combination of campus Marxists and Muslims, an alliance that could prove universally catastrophic, shows a clear trend toward the disruption of American democracy. Should that alliance succeed, we needn’t guess at the final outcome. Atheistic Marxism will, at the very end, turn its hateful and oppressive gaze on Islam as the last bastion of religion to be annihilated. China’s present persecution of its own Islamic Uyghurs may be only a hint of things to come.

The collective drift toward universal and virtually robotic unbelief is unmistakable and palpable. All too many Christians, Jews and Muslims seem unaware of, or are indifferent to, or are afraid to confront this drift. On the other hand, Atheism is confident that its coming universal reign cannot be stopped.

A Silver Lining in the Eschaton

Yet we must still hope (even when hope seems in vain) that a flood of God’s grace, quietly and subtly rained down, could in time bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together as friends (at least on the principle that the enemy of our enemy is our friend). After all, the numerous Qur’an verses praising Moses, Jesus and Mary ought to be sufficient grounds for bringing Jews Christians and Muslims toward a more optimal coalition.

Michael the Archangel drove the rebel angel Lucifer howling into the bowels of hell where he came to be known as Satan. No doubt he cheers on the universal worship of No-god. By the prayers of a newly united religious army on earth, Satan again may be sent reeling back to that red hell where, like his earthly acolytes with flaming fists, he most dreadfully rules supreme.

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Carl Sundell is Emeritus Professor of English and Humanities at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts. The author of several books including The Intellectual and the Gunman, Four Presidents, and Shaw versus Chesterton, he has published various articles in New Oxford Review and Catholic Insight. He currently resides in Lubbock, Texas where he is developing a book of short essays for students of Catholic apologetics