Karen Armstrong makes her money by trying to convince people that Islam is compatible with Christianity and Judaism. As we are a democracy, she is a popular speaker at government functions. She is also sponsored quite frequently by Muslim groups. Now the Hollywood crowd is on board .
I used to really hate Islam, and still don’t really like it. My primary dislike for the religion is rooted in how it suppresses thought. Islamic societies seem to always fail as religious purity eventually causes economic collapse, leading to the rise of a brutal dictator (Tito, Hussein, Shah, Ataturk, etc., etc., etc.).
But there are positive aspects to the faith, in my view. It is consistent with a nationalistic worldview (33:21), which I favor. I also believe that our decision to grant women political equality is at the root of most of our current problems. Try to sit through a whole episode of The View and then pass judgment on me for being a sexist. The concept of sex slaves (4:24) and practice of polygamy (4:3) might have some merit.
Yes, the Bible contains passages where God is on the battlefield, and where gays are banished as abominations, and where adulterers are stoned. But this is not the theme of the book. The theme, as I read it, is that we are all sinners and should redeem ourselves in accordance with the spirit of the Ten Commandments. Or else.
In contrast, the Quran’s constant theme is that Islam should dominate, and not be dominated (9:5). The world is either to be converted, subjugated, or killed (9:29). Karen Armstrong chooses to willfully ignore this. She doesn’t seem to understand that as a childless older woman, she would be of no value in an Islamic world (24:31). The picture is of a religious policeman in Jeddah recently.
This man’s job is to wrap up people like Karen Armstrong (33:57) in a burka and instruct them to shut up and go home (2:228). If she protested, he would be religiously sanctioned to scourge her (4:34). Maybe that isn’t a bad thing. In any case, this is a good web-site if you are looking to defend Judeo-Christian traditions.
I personally think that the Islamic threat to Western freedoms is a passing one. Islam does not appeal to thinking minds as it is a complete system requiring submission, designed to suppress thought. Tolerance of Islam will end with the failure of the welfare state. People are getting sick and tired of taking off their shoes at the airport.