The Danger of Extremism in Religion – Baha”i Faith

  • Religious terrorists believe in violence as a solution.
  • Only God is one and not a particular religion or faith.
  • World Faith includes all religions connected to the revelation of God at Mount Sinai.

In the light of the death of Aba Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world has become aware of the danger of religious extremism. It still is not over but the problem of extremism in religion has become more public.  It is not only a Muslim problem. It is also Christian and Jewish problem. There has been terrorism from all sides.

The source of the problem of extremism in religion comes from a narrow mind which looks only at what is on the surface of life and not into its true meaning. On the surface the world is evil and the people of the world are the prisoners of the devil. A narrow mind with a religious heart sees the purpose in life to fight against evil to free all of humanity from the clutches of the devil. This is basically the doctrine of ISIS to fight the devil in mankind to force the world to accept God and the Koran. In Israel there are also extremists who are being accused of forcing Judaism on the secular Israeli. Protestant Christianity rebelled against this approach.

A religious extremist leader of ISIS.

The nature of man is to think only of himself and his family. Man is not perfect; he is born with natural love.  Everyone is in this prison cell a captive of the devil. There is in life a war between good and evil. Good is the desire to free oneself from this natural prison.  Evil is nature which is also life energy and the desire for happiness. One approach to drive the devil out of man is the approach of ISIS to use force.  There is another approach to free mankind from this dilemma which is the approach initiated by the prophet of Baha”i faith.

The prophet of Baha”i lived in the Ottoman Empire in Israel which was then called Palestine in 1863.  He was imprisoned by the authorities for his reformed approach toward Muslim Islamic faith. His approach was to accept the essential worth of all religions to include in it the equality of all people. Judaism was the first of Western religions. Within Judaism like is happening today in Israel and the world there is a Jewish rebellion. The Jewish rebellion today has produced Conservative and Reformed Judaism including secular Zionism.

In the time of the Biblical State of Israel there was also rebellion from within. The source of this rebellion in the Biblical State which was a theocracy was a desire for freedom.  Theocracy limits almost completely freedom. It enforces a narrow mind like is demonstrated by ISIS.  The narrow mind of religion according to Baha”i faith has also a purpose but is not the whole truth of God. God also wants freedom and equality. Judaism is the religion of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Jewish people. Moses gave the law the Torah to the Jewish people to build their nation with a narrow mind limiting Jews in a particular path of life with the intention of maintaining the Jewish natural family. Judaism accepts the importance of family life. Family life is important. Pope Francis is quoted as saying “Family is the cradle of life.”

Maintaining family and educating children requires restricting the adult mind into a particular discipline in life Judaism for Jews, Islam for Muslims, Christianity for Christians. Religion maintains and protects the structure of family.  God gave the commandment in the Bible to be fruitful and multiply. He put natural love in the heart and body of man for this purpose. The nature of a man is to be first for himself, his wife and family. Religion accepts the limitations of man; it accepts the evil in man.

Rabbi David Wexelman author of this article.

Judaism the first of religions was built to protect the Jewish family lineage and to build a Jewish nation. It was later overcome and conquered, the Jews were dispersed throughout the world. Other religions sprouted force connected to the revelation of God on Mount Sinai.  Each religion became a new family with a doctrine given to them by God through their prophet.

The whole picture of religion according to Baha”i faith began with Judaism a strict family religion limiting almost completely universal ideals. Christianity followed Judaism a religion with Universal ideals but also limiting its followers to a particular religious discipline. Christ was the universal messiah and connection to God. A religion cannot be completely universal. It needs a structure and laws which were organized by the followers of Jesus who built the New Testament. After Christianity there was left a place for another faith connecting to God without the Messiah and not requiring lineage like Judaism which was Islam. The structure of religion was completed by Mohammed who is called in the Koran the last prophet.

The prophet of Baha”i looked at the whole picture of world religion in his time from Judaism until Islam and united all the three religions together into a Universal faith. Christianity called Jesus the Trinity uniting all three aspects of faith which are creator, sustainer and destroyer. The Trinity of Jesus was not accepted by the whole world. Judaism rejected Jesus as the trinity. Mohammed rejected him.  Baha”i built a new trinity including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Judaism started at Mount Sinai.  It also started as a Trinity. In Names17:11, Moses stood at the top of the mountain with Chur and Aharon supporting his two arms in the war with the nation of Amalek. Moses, Aharon, Chur were the first trinity. When Judaism was established as a religion after the sin of the Golden Calf, it was no longer a trinity but Joshua was appointed alone to lead the Jewish people into Israel. They later appointed King Saul and King David to lead the kingship in the Book of Samuel. A religion is not a trinity; but a theocracy. In the background of Judaism there is still a trinity described in the Kabballa.

First comes the revelation of a Trinity which later becomes a theocracy, a religion. Jesus was called the Trinity by his followers. Christianity became a religion with the Pope their king. Islam and Judaism rejected the Christian Trinity and the prophet Baha’i built a new Trinity from Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Baha”i also became a religion in the world uniting these three religions.  The Trinity of Judaism is revealed in the Zohar, Chassidism and in Progressive Jewish Spirituality.

There is no faith which can claim to be the Trinity. Just like God is unlimited so his trinity can never be limited to one religion. ISIS and religious extremists attempt to limit the Trinity to their faith. God is freedom; and his trinity is freedom. Baha’i came to fight against religious extremism mostly for Muslims. Progressive Jewish Spirituality based on the teachings of the Zohar has come to fight against religious extremism in Judaism and Christianity. These are universal faiths. They have not come to replace these religions but as an antidote against extremism.

The world was created by God and religion was initiated in the world by his prophets. World faith includes principally Judaism, Christianity, Islam and their prophets. Each religion has its own prophet and its own scripture. No religion can claim the Trinity. The Trinity belongs to all of mankind, the secret of the name of God which is peace Shalom.

The Chassidic master Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach sings the song of peace:

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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