Martin Luther, The Reformation, And Modern Islam
Five-hundred years ago in 1521, Augustinian monk Martin Luther posted his now-famous 95 questions on the door of a Wittenberg Church in Germany, beginning the movement we now know as the Reformation.
According to a recent article by Bill Federer on World Net Daily, the 34-year-old monk was subsequently ordered to stand trial before the 21-year-old Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V of Spain, whose empire encompassed almost 2 million square miles, including parts of Europe, the Netherlands, the Philippines, North and South America, the Caribbean, and the Far East.
At first dismissed as little more than an outlaw and nuisance, Luther went into hiding at Wartburg Castle with the help of Frederick of Saxony, where the wayward monk translated the New Testament into German so the masses could also read the word of God. Meanwhile, troops operating under Charles V took Rome and held Pope Clement prisoner, while Muslim Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent invaded Europe by land and sea, sending 100,000 Turkish troops to Vienna, Austria.
Martin Luther took a unique stance on the invasion, calling the Turks the “rod of the wrath of the Lord our God,” and beseeching all Christians to repent.
“The fight against the Turks must begin with repentance, and we must reform our lives, or we shall fight in vain. The Church should drive men to repentance by showing our great and numberless sins and our ingratitude, by which we have earned God’s wrath and disfavor.”
Interestingly, today there is also a calling for a modern reformation of Islam, in a move that harkens back to Martin Luther and his stance against the corruption that was running rampant at the time in the Catholic Church. In a column for the Hutchinson Leader, writer Orville Moe discusses a new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, titled Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now.
“This book explains the need for a major reformation of the Islamic faith, modeled on Martin Luther’s reformation of the Catholic’s ‘Holy Roman Empire.'”
Like Luther, Hirsi Ali is also considered a heretic by followers of radical Islam, since the Church was the major force of the religious, political, and military philosophies of 16th century Europe. Much like Islam today, it worked to control the hearts, minds, and actions of the world’s Christian population, often for the personal gain of a corrupt inner circle of so-called leaders.
After growing up in a Muslim household in Ethiopia, Hirsi Ali also lived in Mecca and Saudi Arabia before she was “sold as a wife” in 1992 to a Canadian man. During a stopover in the Netherlands, she escaped and was ultimately granted asylum by the Dutch, where she learned the local language, along with English, attended college, and won a seat in the Dutch Parliament before eventually moving to the United States.
According to Moe, Hirsi Ali divides the present-day Islamic religious groups into three camps, including mostly peaceful followers of the older writings of Muhammad before he embarked on military conquests of Medina, as well as post-Medina Muslims who follow the Quran and Hadith, which focus on military conquests and the development of strict Sharia laws.
“Finally, there is a small minority of Muslims and former Muslims, which includes Ms. Hirsi Ali, who are seeking to find ways to reform Islam so as to be less militant and become compatible with modern values of civilized peaceful people.”
Much like Martin Luther, Hirsi Ali has developed a convincing list of ideas in her newest book, all calling for major Islamic reform, after spending a lifetime dealing with the dangerous and militant Islamic worldview of those who would seek to establish Islam as the only political and religious force in the world.
[Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images]