I read a powerful editorial by David Brooks today. He writes about the reality of a death cult thriving at the fringes of the Muslim world. We have witnessed the massacre of innocents. New York, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, Moscow, and Africa have all seen horrific, unspeakable acts; behind each act, Muslim Terrorists. Brooks does a good job highlighting the problem, but in reading the editorial, I asked myself, “is a death cult thriving at the fringes of the Muslim world, or could we say that Islam (or aspects of it) is a cult itself?”
According to Wikipedia, “A cult is a group with a religious or philosophical identity, often existing on the margins of society. Its marginal status may come about either due to its novel belief system or due to idiosyncratic practices that cause the surrounding culture to regard it as far outside the mainstream.” – So, it seems unlikely that the billion or so Muslims in the world are in a cult, but could parts of Islam be influenced by cult like figures? This assertion seems more reasonable given the rise of cult like figures like Osama bin Laden. Mainstream Islam seems to find the actions of Muslim terrorists abhorrent, yet we are bombarded with images of fire eyed young men and woman eager to die for Osama bin Laden’s warped cause.
It looks like I’m going to spend some time thinking about this, doing some research, and talking to a few Muslims, then post more. I appreciate any comments or thoughts that could help guide the learning process.