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Islam and the Roots of Jihad

This lecture is an overview of the manner in which the entire Arab/Muslim world, which had been highly influential in studies of Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, began an aggressive attack on Western Reasoning initiated by the 11th century scholar Al Ghazali, in his powerful treatise The Incoherence of Philosophy. This was the start of what the modern historian Robert Reilly describes, in an incisive study, as The Closing of the Muslim Mind. At this historical juncture, Arab theologians opted to reject the entirety of Western rationalism, especially the theological belief found in Judaism and Christianity, that a God of Reason rules the universe. They argued, in contrast, that this belief is itself irrational, because the notion that God must be obedient to Reason or to anything else, for that matter, imposes limits on the Will of God, which is a blasphemous idea. For example, the Christian idea that God is a god of love and so would never do anything irrational or cruel, limits what God may wish to do, because God has infinite Will, and so by definition cannot be limited. God can be loving one moment, and evil the next if He so chooses. Therefore, the only option for humans is to submit (the meaning of the word “Islam”), unconditionally, to the power of God’s Will. This is the root of the fundamental theological, philosophical, and moral fracture that has opened between Islam and the West, and per the Koran and Shari’a Law of Islam, all who deny the Will of God are Infidels who must submit or be conquered.

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