Why is extremist Islam so attractive to men, compared to Christianity?

As a Christian convert, I find conversions to Islam baffling. There’s a slew of theological differences I don’t agree with, but the part I find striking is how extremism is readily welcomed compared to Christianity.

Yeah, sure on the internet you’re going to find a lot of people claiming to be “trad this” and “trad that” and just insert the denomination for this and that. But Christians overall, take issue with that, citing theology, the Bible, and/or tradition. However, many people in real life don’t embrace those views.

However, in real life, there are plenty of people who accept extremist Islamic views and want to see them become the dominant culture. This is especially prevalent with men. Why is it that extreme Islam is so attractive to men? I did some digging into some views and possible explanations and came across this:

(Disclaimer: These are just views and you don’t have to agree with all of them. Or the site they come from)


What I find interesting are the differences between men and women. Statistically speaking, there are more women who attend church than men. Men are more likely to become disillusioned with the Church (I speak largely in terms of Christendom here) and leave. Men, more than women, are more likely to become frustrated and dissatisfied with the lukewarm teaching given out at church and can’t see the beliefs acted out in their families.

In Catholicism, I see these same things at a slightly smaller scale, but still present nonetheless. The Church has become incredibly feminized and the spaces which were once for men and only men are being told they have to accept women-- in spite of the fact they are not theologically sound. When you look at Islam, none of this would be acceptable. As the article states, men see results in Islam, especially radical Islam, that they can’t see in Christianity.

Philosophically, how much of this is due to theological differences? How much of this is due to the worldly cultural infiltration of the Church?

Christianity teaches to turn the other cheek.

Islam is perceived by some as teaching to turn the other person’s cheek.

In the absence of grace, is there any doubt which will appeal more to the average sinner?

Turning cheeks makes sense only under grace.


I think the answer lies within the question. You assume that Islam is a religion of extremism, so with that supposition, any and all converts [to Islam] are extremists. You don’t have to be so paranoid. If I were to invite you to my mosque to have a coffee, you’d find that I and my fellow brothers are really chilled out; not at all what the news stations would have you believe. The only thing we’d ever blow up would be balloons.

You can’t understand muslims better if you simply peer at them from a distance. You want to get to know our stories and how we came to Islam? then treat us just like you’d treat any other person. You can’t love muslims when you’re fearful and presumptuous.

I think the premise is overdrawn. A relative handful of men from the “first world” seem to have become radicalized. And the answer isn’t to be found in parsing Islam for degrees of extremism,or lack of extremism. The more relevant question is really what was alluded to in one of the posts - the feminizing, or perceived feminizing, of Christianity - again, in the “first world.” Many, many cultural and sociological factors here. Several generations ago men were expected to be the spiritual head of the family. Religion - Christianity specifically - was integrated into the culture. Somewhere along the line men fell from - or were pushed from - the train. If we look around the world, Islam, Buddhism, the Sikh faith, Shintoism, comservative and Orthodox Judaism: these are male-dominated, faith and its active practice are integrated into daily life, and men see their adherence to their faith as part of their male identity. But in the West – no, by and large. The reasons for this could fill multiple Ph.D. theses. Christianity is seen as passive and feminized, and and male identity has been molded by a culture that goes out of its way to demean religion, and has replaced that niche in male identity with the hypnotic televised mixture of sports and beer. Gender feminism has also had a role in this, as have many other factors.

So giving a female point of view equal weight to the male experience is THE cause for any decline western Christianity faces? I HIGHLY doubt that would rank high on any poll on why the “Spiritual but non-religious” does not attend church.

the thing about Islam is that it’s a religion of refuge for people who long for a simpler, more conservative time. A refuge for people who abhor the promiscuity and hedonism of western civilization. A refuge for people who are disgusted with pop culture and how it influences our children and over sexualizes little girls. Sure you can say that Catholicism is a refuge as well, but Catholicism is merely a religion while Islam is a culture represented by actual nations and by groups that are willing to fight to the death for their beliefs. This is a big draw for many people, especially disillusioned men.

Those who convert to groups resorting to murder in the name of God do so because they are cowards as all bullies are. They join gangs of bullies in order to feel powerful and to cleanse themselves through making others bleed.

I wasn’t aware that more men than women we converting to Islam. Is this definitely the case? Is there data to prove this? **What I find incredibly puzzling is that women are converting to Islam. ** I can only assume that have masochistic tendencies. I cannot understand why anyone would want to join Islam. It is a religion that is where Christianity was in the Middle Ages. One of the big problems with Islam is that it is not just a religion. Islam includes everything in your life right up to having its own system of law namely Sharia Law.

Although the majority of Muslims are moderate, a sizeable minority are not. Drac 16 is obviously a moderate and I thank him very much for joining this forum. We need many millions (sorry over 1 billion) more like drac 16 to speak out. The sizable minority of Muslims mentioned above include violent Jihadists and other Muslims who support violent Jihad. This sizeable minority translates into 200-350 million Muslims depending on what research study you read on the subject. There is a massive problem within Islam and anyone who doesn’t recognise this is either completely blinkered to what is happening in the World or is too PC to be able to speak the truth. Muslims emigrate to western secular democratic countries and want to change their systems of government to the same systems of government that are absolute failures in the Muslim countries, they’ve emigrated from.

Before anyone suggests that I suffer from Islamophobia, please find out where the term originated. I’ll save you the search. It was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1990’s. Anyone who speaks out about Islam is given this title because a “phobia” is a medical (psychiatric) term suggesting that there is something medically (mentally) wrong with you. Unless Islam is changed from within to become benign like Christianity is currently, there will be some terrible wars in the not too distant future.

Basically if you know your history, Christianity was spread through word of mouth, prayer and understanding. Following the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Islam was spread by the sword and continues to be the religion of fear and hatred.

We need to pray the Holy Rosary for these people.

The flaw in your argument is that there are converts to Islam from within populations that have nothing to fear from not converting. There is apparently more at play than your “spread by the sword.”

No, I’m not presuming anything. Have you been watching the news lately? I am specifically talking about extremist Muslim groups, which happen to be populated by men. I never have seen women going around talking about forcing women to wear hijab or be “ruled” by men. However, the news reports-- and the data-- show the men doing this. I am not talking about nominal Muslims who identify culturally.

It’s the “first world” that’s suffering from these consequences, unfortunately. Christianity in the west is considered a laughingstock. It just so happens in the west we have struggles with the legal sphere and religious sphere when it comes to “gay marriage,” abortion, remarriage after a divorce, etc.

Well, therein lies the problem. You’re relying on secondary sources. Sources that have an agenda, no less. You want to know why so many people convert to Islam? it’s because a lot of people aren’t allowing themselves to be programmed by what media outlets are saying. It’s because they’re doing their own investigation and are seeing that what the world calls Islam is not Islam at all and what the world calls freedom is actually a prison.

Not all religions are created equally.

Only the ignorant can read the New Testament and the Qur’an and say it’s basically the same. It’s not; we can’t continue to lie to ourselves.

Islam (surah 9:29) calls for the subjugation of non-believers, particularly Jews and Christians. Islam (surah 4:34) calls for the beating of women for persistent arrogance.

Now, let’s whitewash Islam and say that 9:29 is no longer applicable. Fine. But Muslims who believe it’s for all mankind for all time will say it is, and thus an extremist is born.

Let’s say that surah 4:34 means to beat your wife lightly, with a tissue or something. Fine. But some Muslim won’t interpret it that way and thus an extremist is born.

Let’s say Muhammad’s call to stone adulterers and kill apostates is whitewashed. Fine. But some Muslims will believe those are true words that hold today and thus an extremist is born.

Far cry from the Westboro Baptist Church.

So there are just two types of Muslims, extremists and those who wear the term Muslim as a cultural identity?

As for women Muslim extremists, do some research. They exist.

We already had a thread about surah 4:34 in which I did thorough walkthrough and proved that it doesn’t mean what you think it means. This has already been explained to you, but you’re choosing to ignore it. You aren’t even trying to be honest. All you people ever do is try to demonize me and my brethren, even when you’re shown to be wrong. Shame on you.

Okay, first I want to make two points.

  1. I explained clearly that when the text is clear some Muslims make it read in a very nice way while others interpret it literally; which can lead to extremism.

  2. When we criticize Islam we’re criticizing an ideology. You can play the victim “shame on you” card all you want but your Religion is not above scrutiny. Did I say all Muslims do “X”? No. I said some do some don’t, and you’re now playing the victim card which I will freely admit a lot of Muslims do.

But here was your answer to the question of wife beating and your attempt to whitewash. And I believe it was a sad, sad answer because you still admitted that it’s okay to beat ones wife, which is never okay.

The next step, if both the admonishment and refusal of sex is not working **then, and only then, is it permissible is to beat her. **You don’t get to slap her around all you want; the prophet hated that. He said “The best of you are those that are best to their wives”. The people on this forum, and just people in general, would have you believe that prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] beat women all the time, but that is not the case.

Verse 34 concludes by saying “but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)”. This means that if the wife at any point cleans up her act and casts whatever sin it was aside, the husband has to leave her alone. You don’t get to gossip about what she did and you don’t get to ridicule her in the future for her sin(s). Allah forgives anyone who sincerely repents and returns to Him, so if God Himself can forgive, at what point can a husband not forgive and overlook? especially since all men are sinners as well, so no husband has any business for believing he’s better off than his wife is. Both are sinners in need of salvation.

If the wife is still rolling around in her sin and is ignoring all pleading and admonishment from the husband, then just get a divorce. Yes, the verse says that the husband is allowed to use physical force, but it’s only to the extent that’s necessary (and it almost never is necessary anyway). The purpose of the admonishing, refusing sex and beating is to get the wife back to obeying Allah. It is not about the idea that a wife is a slave to her husband and he has permission to beat her if she doesn’t cook for him (cooking isn’t even a requirement of a wife anyway. Prophet Muhammad cooked for himself and his family).

This is the moderate interpretation and it’s still horrible.

Many humans seek an excuse to do horrid things. Two sides of the same coin.


I completely agree with the New Testament comparison but there are some similarities between the Old Testament and the Qur’an and also the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible).

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