Have you ever tried on sunglasses with tinted lenses? Where it makes everything look red, or blue, or yellow?
Or maybe you’ve been in the military and viewed the world through night-vision goggles that see the heat generated by people? Where each body is a green glow?
Each view is a very different perspective of the same reality.
How we see events that unfold in the world, or even in our own lives, depends on the lens through which we view them. That lens can be called our worldview, and how we react to those events and our expectations of how or why others act is filtered through our own unique perspective. We need to understand our own worldview, but we also need to realize that not everyone shares our worldview. To assume that someone with a different worldview will act like we would is a grave error.
iVoterGuide (and our staff) have a Christian worldview. We believe that God is sovereign. We believe that man is sinful and in need of the saving grace provided by God through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus. We believe that all life is created by God, in his image, and is precious in his sight . . . created for the good works that He has planned in advance for each of us. We believe that the Bible is the primary source of guidance for every area of our lives.
Recent events in the Middle East reveal that many areas of the globe hold a very different view of the world, which is why we can struggle to understand why something happens. We are confused when the reaction is not what we would expect, but an explanation is that they view the world differently than we do. They are looking through a different filter.
RADICAL ISLAMIC WORLDVIEW
??What drives al Qaeda terrorists to fly airplanes into the Twin Towers of financial strength, or ISIS fanatics to blow up American embassies? It is obvious that those who follow Radical Islam view the world differently. I’m not a military strategist (even though I did take a class in college), but we’ve all heard the famous quote from Sun Tzu in Art of War: “Know your enemy.” We can’t combat terrorism unless we understand that how they view the world differs entirely from how we do. Their worldview is defined through radical Islamism. Ours is defined through Christianity. Faulty assumptions based on differing worldviews can (and have) led to misguided foreign policy, as we recently witnessed in Afghanistan.
1. Their goal is to cleanse Islamic lands of infidels
Those who follow Radical Islam see what is wrong with the world as the corruption of the Islamic states, and the solution is to cleanse all Islamic lands of infidels. They see a problem in the unwillingness of the rest of the world to bow to what is ultimately true, that Sharia law should rule the land from Asia to Spain.
Here’s how Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis described it: “For Usama bin Laden (sic) and those who share in his views, and there are many of them, the object of the struggle is the elimination of the intrusive Western power and corrupting Western influence from all the lands of Islam, and the restoration of Islamic authority in these lands. When this has been accomplished, the stage will be set for the final struggle to bring god’s [Allah’s] message to all mankind and all the world.”
This belief is not a personal or private opinion but a deeply held conviction about the actual condition of the world. It describes where history is heading and for radicals, whatever needs to be done to accomplish that mission is justified. The ends will justify the means.
2. No matter how long it takes . . . 1,400 years and counting
Many Americans first learned about radical Islam in the wake of 9/11. We view the conflict by looking at the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the reign of Osama bin Ladin. To radical Islamists, the last 20 years is just one battle in a multi-generational war that began 1400 years ago! In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the second in command of Al Qaeda referred to waging war until all Muslim lands were restored, connecting the conflict in Afghanistan and the battle for Palestine to a worldwide conflict that spans from Iraq to Spain. You see, in their worldview, any lands that were ever in Muslim hands rightfully belong to Muslims in the future.
Their goal is to restore ALL lands that were ever in the hands of Muslims from the hands of the non-Muslim . . . whom they call infidels. Before 1492 Spain was the heartland of the Muslim world and the base of operations for the potential invasion of Europe. It has only been a largely Catholic nation the last 529 years. But in the mind of Radical Islamists, they must drive the infidels from Israel, from Turkey and even from Spain. That task is viewed as their holy war, akin to the Christian conquests of the holy lands in the Middle Ages.
3. Western Culture stands in their way
We may think that Israel and America are the greatest enemies of radical Islam because we are the subject of many attacks, both verbally and physically, but the primary enemy, according to Radical Islam, is the false Muslim rulers who have been corrupted by Western ideas. The West is an obstacle standing in the way of cleansing the infidel from Muslim lands. It’s all in how they see the end goal, or the way the world should be. In order for all formerly Muslim lands to be purified of infidels, they seek to overthrow the false Muslim rulers who have been corrupted by the wiles of Western influence. That is why they attack the "little Satan/Israel" and "Great Satan/USA."
You see, our great nation truly is the “shining city on a hill” because we were founded on Judeo-Christian principles by men who largely held a biblical worldview. THAT is why we are the target of radical Islam. If we fall, who else stands in their way?
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Worldview drives thoughts, attitudes, and actions. It guides how we see the world, and it is important to understand that how others see the world impacts their actions. For an elected official, their worldview drives policy decisions and votes on key issues. That's why iVoterGuide asks tough questions not just about issues but also about beliefs.
We each need to understand our place in the world. As members of the American Republic, the job of “We the People” is to choose elected officials who will represent our values and perspective; who believe in God’s sovereignty and the salvation of the world. One goal of iVoterGuide is to give voters the information to identify candidates who share a similar worldview; who have an understanding of the importance of limited government, free enterprise, and traditional American values. We want to elect people who will work to preserve the America that honors God -- a world where the gospel can be freely shared.
Thank you for joining us in this journey. Together we are stronger.
Note: The content of this article was taken in part from a Breakpoint article about the worldview of the Taliban. While we just scratched the surface, if you want to learn more, there are other Breakpoint articles on Islamic worldview, and similar topics. Additionally, our partner, Reclaiming Florida for Christ, has gathered several resources here.