October 10, 2023

Islam and Its History of Terrorism - Creating the Qur'an with Dr. Jay

Wilfred Cantwell Smith, a 20th century Canadian religious scholar and the director of Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions, was the author of many books, among them: "Towards a World Theology: Faith and the Comparative History of Religion"; "Islam in Modern History: The tension between Faith and History in the Islamic World"; and "The Meaning and End of Religion: A New Approach to the Religious Traditions of Mankind."

Wikipedia - Wilfred Cantwell Smith:

Wilfred Cantwell Smith (July 21, 1916 – February 7, 2000) was a Canadian Islamicist, comparative religion scholar, and Presbyterian minister. He was the founder of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University in Quebec and later the director of Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions. The Harvard University Gazette said he was one of the field's most influential figures of the past century. In his 1962 work The Meaning and End of Religion he notably questioned the modern sectarian concept of religion.

. . .

Smith contends that the concept of religion, rather than being a universally valid category as is generally supposed, is a peculiarly European construct of recent origin. Religion, he argues, is a static concept that does not adequately address the complexity and flux of religious lives. Instead of the concept of religion, Smith proffers a new conceptual apparatus: the dynamic dialectic between cumulative tradition (all historically observable rituals, art, music, theologies, etc.) and personal faith.

Smith sets out chapter by chapter to demonstrate that none of the founders or followers of the world's major religions had any understanding that they were engaging in a defined system called religion. The major exception to this rule, Smith points out, is Islam which he describes as "the most entity-like." In a chapter titled "The Special Case of Islam", Smith points out that the term Islam appears in the Qur'an, making it the only religion not named in opposition to or by another tradition. Other than the prophet Mani, only the prophet Muhammad was conscious of the establishment of a religion. Smith points out that the Arabic language does not have a word for religion, strictly speaking: he details how the word din, customarily translated as such, differs in significant important respects from the European concept.

The terms for major world religions today, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism, did not exist until the 19th century. Smith suggests that practitioners of any given faith do not historically come to regard what they do as religion until they have developed a degree of cultural self-regard, causing them to see their collective spiritual practices and beliefs as in some way significantly different from the other. Religion in the contemporary sense of the word is for Smith the product of both identity politics and apologetics.

Video Title: Islam and Its History of Terrorism - Creating the Qur'an with Dr. Jay - Episode 4. Source: CIRA International. Date Published: May 11, 2023. Description:

Today Al Fadi and Dr. Jay continue their discussion of Islam's dark history of terrorizing anyone who would criticize its prophet or sacred sources. This hasn’t affected Eastern scholars only who are in close proximity to more orthodox Muslims. Even in the West, scholars censor themselves for fear of retribution should their findings or questions offend the followers of Islam. Watch as Al Fadi and Dr. Jay discuss the scholarly debate between those who would seek to protect Islam from actual criticism and those who seek to truly understand the truth about it.