OK, take out the Boy Scouts. The reason it isn’t a religion is because the main purpose of the Boy Scouts is to turn youngsters into responsible, participating citizens and leaders who are guided by the Scout Oath and Law. They advocate honoring and following God, but through the individual’s own religious beliefs as instructed by his parents and religious teachers.
I would argue that Islam is as much of a religion as the Boy Scouts (except without the Trustworthy, Cheerful, Kind, and Courteous parts), and maybe even less so. Here are just a few reasons why:
1-Religions have value systems and moral codes (e.g., the Ten Commandments) that have a civilizing effect on society and call on mankind to strive for betterment.
Islam appears to have the opposite effect on its followers. Their holy book inspires destruction, maiming and killing. Since 9/11, there have been more than 15,000 deadly terrorist attacks around the globe - all in the name of Islam.
Although there are glaring lapses (e.g., the Catholic Church’s failure to address the issue of pedophile priest), religions have leaders that publicly condemn and root out aberrant behavior.
With Islam, there have been centuries of violent, sickening acts (e.g., beheadings, honor killings, stonings) against perceived enemies and innocents, yet those in leadership positions never speak out with the same fervor as the radical faithful who are committing the atrocities. (Could it be that those in power secretly want the fanatics to succeed?)
2-Religions are separate and apart from governments.
Isam seeks the dual role of governing the state and administering Allah’s laws. It was that way when Mohammad ruled, has continued through the centuries, and can be found today in places like Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In Muslim states, religious texts are law. The judicial system under Sharia, therefore, is essentially comprised of religious courts with local Mosque officials serving as judges.
Individuals in Muslim countries become nothing more than puppets controlled by the religious leaders who command them to serve the will of Allah. What they see, hear, and do is tightly controlled. Newspapers are censured, books are banned and burned, and the educational system has an emphasis on Islamic teaching and is almost primarily restricted to men.
3-Religions do not advocate dominating other religions.
Every religion would like to see its following grow, but that isn’t the focus of the faith. Judaism talks about serving God. Christianity preaches that every person can achieve salvation. Buddhism’s focus is nirvana -- deliverance of the mind. Hindu’s three life affirming goals are: Dharma (virtue), Artha (success), and Kama (pleasure). These major religions have learned throughout the centuries how to deliver their message while living in peace with each other.
Islam, on the other hand, seeks to be the dominant religion and political power in every nation where it has gained a foothold. It is written, "Allah sent Mohammed with the true religion so that it should rule over all the religions."
4-Religions that are secure in their doctrine welcome theological discourse and public scrutiny.
Muslims riot over cartoons of Mohammad and issue fatwâs to kill authors of books critical of the Prophet. While demanding that others respect their views, they are intolerant of the beliefs, customs, and practices of others. Try announcing to a Saudi Arabian customs official that you would like to take your bible into the country – see what happens.
5-Religions consider human life precious.
Here is the Quran’s advice on how to treat non-believers:
4:89 They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them.
Let’s stop with the charade and have the courage to reveal the true identity of Islam and call it what it is – a political movement that uses a theological basis as a means to acquire power and subjugate its citizens.
Continue to treat Islam as a religion and it will spread its doctrine across the globe unchallenged, and leave in its wake governments more intent on keeping citizens ignorant and progress to a minimum.