It’s no secret that Islam is incompatible with Western values. Even overlooking the character deficiencies of Islam’s prophet–a mass-murderer, thief, slave-trader, rapist, pedophile, and terrorist–the religion’s values are in conflict with Western sensibilities on a fundamental level. Interestingly, the non-religious are often offended by Islam for the very same reasons as Christians, even if they don’t acknowledge that this difference in culture is due to Christianity.
Follow any internet discussion about the burqa or Muslim headscarves, and somebody will eventually always suggest the Muslim men should cover themselves rather than the women. This suggestion may not even come from a Christian, but the idea behind it is certainly derived from Western society’s Judeo-Christian background:
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:28-29
The burqa and other compulsory head coverings offend Western sensibilities because we’ve taught that men are personally responsibility for their behavior, regardless of the temptation, whether inadvertent or intentional. In Islam, however, the woman ultimately bears responsibility for causing temptation whether she means to or not. The only defense of the burqa that has ever gained popularity in the West is if the woman claims to feel empowered by wearing it out of her own free will, but this ultimately misses the whole point about a garment designed more to protect men with little willpower from facing temptation. These women may explain how being completely covered protects them from being sexually harassed by passing men on the street, but this is again a problem caused by the Muslim male, not the female. Western Civilization expects its men to be disciplined, self-controlled, and respectful, to the point of hyperbolic blindness. There is no reason why the Muslim man should seem helpless to restrain himself from jeering, groping, or raping just because he sees a woman’s face, arms, or legs, when men in the West are perfectly able to behave respectfully and decently. If Islam is the only reason why self-control is in such short supply among Muslim men, then Islam is conclusively an inferior ideology.
Public Displays of Worship
From public Christmas decorations to prayer in public schools, the West is often offended by religion in public, but this isn’t necessarily exclusive to the anti-religious. The post-Christian heresies of the modern atheist are still very much rooted in Christian principles, and the disdain for public displays of worship can be traced back to Christ’s teachings on hypocrisy:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:16
Whatever the religious persuasion, Westerners tend to view displays of piety with suspicion and mistrust. We see religion as a personal issue partly because when we see it in public we see it as an ingenuous cry for attention. Islamic culture, on the contrary, has no concept of private worship, rather believers are expected to be seen in the community performing salat and not seen eating during Ramadan. Muslims who develop a “prayer bump” on their foreheads are respected as devout members of the community. Islam demands public visibility of one’s faith, yet sadly has no safeguards to prevent hypocrisy.
Dutch psychologist Nicolai Sennels identifies that Muslims, particularly men, start out with more relaxed freedom in childhood, which is then curtailed as they grow older. Girls, for instance, do not need to wear burqas, but they do when they reach puberty. Eventually, even the decision of their marriage is outside of their control when they enter into adulthood. This is the complete opposite of Western parenting, where children gradually acquire freedoms as they mature. What Sennels may not have noticed, though, is how these are both related to each culture’s theological beliefs on sin. Western culture has been shaped by the doctrine of Original Sin, or in simplest terms, the reality-based idea that children are born imperfect with the tendency to do wrong. Islam, on the other hand, teaches that children are born sinless and acquire sin as they grow older. This difference in parenting style results in an individual completely at odds with the Western mindset. When Muslims act infantile, it is the result of an upbringing that raises boys into babies instead of men.
Turning the Other Cheek
Without fail, whenever a harmless cartoon is published or even if a Qur’an is unintentionally burned, it will result in worldwide Islamic protests, riots, and the deaths of non-Muslims. Even non-Chrstiains can be heard telling Muslims to turn the other cheek when they react with such disproportionate violence, but this is futile because Islam has no such concept.
O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment. Surah 2:178
[Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him. Surah 2:194
And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. Surah 5:45
And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. Surah 42:40
Retaliation is a legal obligation in Islam, the exception being when the victim opts for monetary compensation instead, the “expiation” and “reconciliation” mentioned above, which is not actually forgiveness. Even if one accepted the incorrect explanations of an apologist, and disregarded the vast majority of Muslim scholars, that these exceptions are comparable to turning the other cheek, Western values are still in conflict with Muhammad commanding followers to repay evil with evil in the first place. It’s laughable to imagine Jesus Christ saying “repay evil for evil except when you turn the other cheek”, and this predictably explains just why, if given the choice, Muslims always retaliate with evil instead of forgiving. Anybody raised to believe that these were both morally equivalent choices would elect the most despicable of the two every time.