Since September 11 we have asked the question: “What is the real Islam?” The answers from Muslims and Westerners are contradictory and make us confused There is one way to gain clarity and surety about Islam–our best rational approach is the scientific method.
Let us start with the fact that the complete doctrine of Islam is found in three texts: Koran, the Sira (Mohammed’s biography) and Hadith (stories and anecdotes about Mohammed)–the Islamic Trilogy. The Koran is confusing as it is arranged, but it can be made straightforward by scientific analysis.
The first step is to put the verses in the right time order, collect and categorize all of the similar stories. It is at this point that the missing parts, or holes, in the document become apparent. The life of Mohammed fills in and explains all the gaps and all the confusion falls away. Mohammed is the key to the Koran and Islam. The doctrine breaks down in time into Mohammed in Mecca (the early part) and Mohammed in Medina (the later part). In essence, there are two Korans, one written in Mecca and the second Koran written in Medina.
The two Korans are the first grand division of Islamic doctrine. What is intriguing is that the two Korans include contradictions. “You have your religion and I have mine” 109:1 is a far cry from “I shall cast terror in the hearts of the kafirs. Strike off their heads…” 8:12. The Koran gives a way to solve these contradictions–the later verse is “better” than the earlier verse. But the earlier verse is still true. All the verses from the Koran are true because they are the words of Allah.
The Koran defines an Islamic logic that is dualistic. Two things which contradict each other can both be true. In a unitary, scientific logic, if two things contradict each other, then at least one of them is false. Not so in dualistic logic. All of the doctrine refers to two classes of people–Muslims and non-Muslims, kafirs. The doctrine that applies to kafirs is political in nature and is rarely neutral or positive. The part of the doctrine that applies to Muslims is cultural, legal, and religious.
The second grand division of Islamic doctrine is into religious Islam and political Islam. It is surprising how much of the doctrine is political. Approximately 67% of the Meccan Koran and 51% of the Medinan Koran is political. About 75% of the Sira is about what was done to the kafir. Roughly 20% of the Hadith is about jihad, a political act.
Even the concept of Hell is political, not religious. There are 146 parts of the Koran that refer to Hell. Only 4% of the people in Islamic Hell are there for moral reasons, such as murder, theft or greed. In 96% of the cases the person is in Hell because they did not agree with Mohammed. This is a political charge. In short, Islamic Hell is primarily a political prison. In summary, Islam is an extremely political doctrine. It has to be. Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 followers. Then in Medina, he turned to politics and jihad and became the first ruler of all Arabia. When he died, he did not have a single enemy left to speak or act against him, a very political result.
The Koran says in 14 verses that a Muslim is not and cannot be the friend of the kafir. This is pure dualism. The dualism of the Koran has no universal statements about humanity. The entire world is divided between Islam and the kafirs. The only statement about humanity as a whole is that all humanity must submit to Islam. Ethics are the membrane between religion and politics. Two sets of ethics are laid out in the Trilogy. One set is for Muslims and the other set is for the kafirs. Examples: a Muslim should not steal from another Muslim, a Muslim should not kill another Muslim, a Muslim should not cheat a Muslim.
The kafir can be treated in one of two ways. They can be treated well or they can be robbed, killed, or cheated if it advances Islam. On more than one occasion Mohammed said to deceive the kafir. Jihad as a political method killed, robbed and enslaved the kafirs. This is a dualistic ethical system. Islamic dualism is hidden by religion. The “good” verses of the Meccan Koran cover the verses of jihad in the Medinan Koran. Thus religious Islam shields political Islam from examination.
Scientific analysis shows us that there is a political Islam as well as a religious Islam. To argue about religion is fruitless, but we can talk about politics. We need to discuss political Islam, a system of ethical and political dualism.