This is not an article praising one religion above the other or advocating for how a religion should operate. This is just my observation, based on what I believe a religion is.
A religion is a set or principles, rules and guidance on how to live your life. The rules and principles usually derive from a holy book in that religion. Leaders in the religion convey the will of God for the those who choose to submit to that religion.
A religion therefore needs to be consistent. A Christian believes in no sex before marriage because the Bible says so, and that message is consistently shared by appointed religious leaders.
A religion is therefore something that puts boundaries on you, it demands self-control and submission to something other than yourself. It requires the individual to sacrifice personal and short-term satisfaction in the name of their God.
If a religion begins to loosen it boundaries, and begins to tolerate more and more until they tolerate anything, then that religion stands for nothing. Can it call itself a religion at that point?
Take Christianity as an example, the Church of England has relaxed its views on homosexuality, its definition of a woman and other similar issues. Many western religious institutions have also relaxed and even outright campaigned for abortion and promoted LGBTQ marriages in their Churches.
The rights or wrongs of this is irrelevant, but anyone who has read the Bible is under no illusion as to what God, Jesus and the Holy book says about such matters. For example, do you know that Jesus spoke out strongly against divorce and sex work? Yet so many who call themselves Christians and often quote Jesus when they attack ‘bad’ Christians fail to live up to this standard.
Yes, Jesus didn’t specifically speak on homosexuality, but he chose his disciples, and he appointed to go out and speak for him. And a good number of them spoke against homosexuality.
Most Christians, especially in western society actively go against what the book they claim to follow says. Christians try to pick and choose what they believe in, choosing to ignore the uncomfortable parts, whilst focusing on the parts that conveniently makes them feel better about their life choices. The book doesn’t ask Christians to pick and choose, it says follow me.
Now back to the title of the article, the reason why I say Islam is the last religion is because Muslims are overwhelmingly the only group that still follows their religion and the Quran. Yes, there are exceptions, there always is, but despite this most Muslims live by their book.
Secondly, the only religion people do not disrespect is Islam. People all over the world dare not say his name talk less about disrespecting the Islamic Prophet in public.
You can test this by going into any major city with a shirt questioning the sexuality of the Islamic Prophet, see how far you make it. Do the same with Jesus and test the difference in reaction. The Lady of Heaven was a film featuring the Prophet and his wife, and that’s all it took for it to be banned in UK cinemas and in several other countries. Yes, there were some voices of opposition, but it did nothing to stop the mob.
No other religion has the power or is allowed to demand the wider public bend to their will.
Another example is the controversy surrounding the Muslim grooming gangs in Greater Manchester. Authorities were so afraid of the backlash against their supposed targeting of Muslims, their inaction potentially resulted in more victims. Whilst a few outlets have voiced criticism, imagine the reaction if it was discovered that numerous underage girls were sexually assaulted by male Christians, and the police did nothing to avoid insulting Christians?
Now I’m not calling for people to fear Christians, Jews or Sikhs. My point is about the power they hold, that the fear exists in the first place.
Regardless of the fear of being called Islamophobic, or fear of violence, there is a respect for Islam by those who practice it and those who don’t. Women in Islam despite usually being on the left side of the political spectrum, are still willing to submit to the gender bias rules of wearing a hijab and face covering to satisfy the male insecurity. In Islam gender segregation still occurs in a such a manner that can be compared to racial segregations of more than half a century ago. Islamic countries still have practices of selling their daughter off for marriage, forcing women against their will to marry individuals they wish not to and restricting women’s access to rights available to men. And a good number of women in Islam support these rules because of the respect they have for their religion. Compare this to Western civilisation, even though the Bible speaks against it, Christians have called for churches to accept gay priests and admit women to positions of leaderships and any Church that refuses will face the full force of the public. Fairly recently the Labour Leader, Keir Starmer was heavily criticised for attending a Church in London that had preached against homosexuality, let me repeat, he was criticised for visiting a Church that basically preached what the Bible says about homosexuality to its congregation.
Despite the countering attitudes in western civilisation, there are numerous times, western women who are self-professed feminists subject themselves to discriminatory practices they fight tooth and nail against when they visit Muslim countries or mosques. There are numerous times public figures visit mosques or Islamic countries that hold views despised by many in the west and there is relatively little outcry or calls for apologies. Why, they are willing to forego their ideals out of respect for the religion of Islam.
Once again, this isn’t me praising or admonishing any religion. It’s just my observation on what a religion is, and which religion still has any respect or power.
I believe the Christian Church is trying to improve its number and stay relevant to the future generation. But in doing so, it’s lost its identity, and consequently much of its respect. Within Christianity, Catholicism is the closest thing that can be identified as a strong religion. Because within the leadership, there is still a sense of trying to keep boundaries, laws and principles that you are expected to follow. But even many people that call themselves Catholics do not follow the Word of God as said in their Bible.
I’m sure there will be plenty of disagreement with my view, you can always find exceptions to what I’ve written. But, in general, when people no longer respect the boundaries you set as a religion, when the religion itself no longer follows the boundaries set by its own book and by extension its God. Can you still call that a religion?
Islam is the last religion left because unlike the Christians they still believe pleasing their God and not man is what matters.