800 Years Ago, We Were Given This Warning About Islam
It seems that Islam and its followers are constantly in the news these days. It's no wonder, though, with so much of the world's violence being perpetrated by Muslims and followers of radical Islam.
It turns out, though, that 800 years ago Christians were given a strong warning about Islam from one of the preeminent thinkers of the time, Thomas Aquinas. To put things gently, Aquinas wasn't a fan of Islam or its followers.
He described the people for whom Islam appeared a great religion as "ignorant, brutish, carnal men ," and said that the followers of Islam worked to spread their religion by brute force and killing, rather than through Islam's philosophical and theological arguments.
All those things hold true today. It is rare to find any Muslim who is able to talk about the benefits of their religion and also speak straight about the killing that is done in the name of Allah.
Aquinas also attacked the reputation of Mohammad, something that has made Muslims kill artists and reporters, for promising sensual pleasures as a way to keep his men in check. Mohammad, according to Aquinas, "seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure," and "gave free rein to carnal pleasure."
But Aquinas didn't stop his attacks on Islam there.
The doctrines of Islam, Aquinas wrote, weren't based on any sound theological or philosophical reasoning. Instead, "the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity."
Aquinas continued in his warnings against Islam, claiming that the Muslim's claim that all non-Muslims are infidels, is in fact a twisting of the truth. Islam, Aquinas argued, is a perversion of the Old and New Testaments found in the Bible. So, if you want to get technical, Islam is actually a break-off of Christianity and a perversion of the Bible.
It's sad that we are just now understanding the wisdom behind Aquinas's stinging rebuke of Islam. Hopefully we can work from today forward and remove the evil from this religion.