This comment is in response to someone who asked me if western society needed to be worried about Islam.
The problem with Islam is not just about them. It’s about religion as a whole when you look at it from a world wide scale. There is an encyclopedia of religion that claims to list 54,000 different religious sects. I thought I knew a lot about the Catholic Church. When I read the section about Catholicism, it described 153 different Catholic groups. And while they have a lot of beliefs in common, the beliefs they don’t share are enough to keep them at “odds” with one another. For example, when was in Israel 10 years ago, and went to visit Mount Calvary, it was not a stony knoll any more. It had a big cathedral over it. When we went to get tickets they asked us what religion we were. When I said, “none”, they just gave us a ticket. The guide with us explained it. If we said, Muslim or Jewish, same thing. But if we said Christian, they would ask what denomination. Each denomination has to tour separately because, if not, they get into fights.
The point is, as long as communications were slow, transportation was slow, and people pretty much stayed in their own location, at least in modern times, thing were quiet. Everyone thought things were ok. But as we bring the cultures together, it causes problems, because everyone is confronted with all the other views. AND each one still wants to believe their view is the right one. They refuse to face simple history.
This Brit talks about “how things are around the world” as if that really means something. What he isn’t pointing out are things like: the US had slaves until 1856; the Bible outright condones slavery, even in the new Testament, with descriptions of how slaves are to be treated; women couldn’t vote in the US until 1926; and the role of women is severely restricted in the Bible. There’s a lot of denial going on here. In order to justify that morality is changing, i.e. practices like slavery and women’s rights, there needs to be some explanation for how the meanings in a book claimed to be the Word of God can somehow change so drastically. And what is it that says the time that western society picked for these changes is the right one. That’s what is called self righteousness.
Now bring in other views. The Mormon Bible says having multiple wives is allowed. Who’s wrong here? Is their Bible incorrect, or is the government wrong in stopping them? Are the Amish people wrong for using Bible verses to not use technology? The Jews have a similar rule; but it only applies on the Sabbath.
So, to answer your question, about serious worries about Islam, from the standpoint of terrorism against the western world: YES, big time. They are a society ruled by middle ages religious beliefs, with the ability to build missiles and nuclear weapons. But they are also a serious worry from a dogma standpoint because individuals in the world are still unable to answer the BIG QUESTION about finding a common religious belief. So, now, right in our own neighborhoods, the guy right across the street is no longer someone we can trust. And when groups of them try to capture politics, and use the police power of the government to enforce their beliefs, things cannot go well. The fighting will come home from Arabia and become a civil war on our own soil.