Here is what I have observed. Any religion which one either disagrees with or does not understand is often called either a cult or a false religion. At least “cult” has several accepted definitions. The same cannot be said of the phrase “false religion.”
Some call Islam a “false religion.” Others claim Jehovah’s Witness and Mormonism are a false religions. I’m certain some Jews and Muslims call Christianity a false religion.
What do people mean by “false?” Fake? Unreal? Deceptive? Distorted? Corrupted? False compared to what?
Since “religion” is simply “belief in a supernatural power”, and most of us acknowledge that such belief is personal and by faith, that is, it cannot be proven either true or false, then it follows that virtually ANY religion believed by one or more persons CANNOT be false. It may not be orthodox, it may not be what we believe, it may not be what we believe to be true. If any religion is correctly called “false” then every religion earns the same label because every religion is false to somebody. Carrying it to an extreme, the Baptist religion could be called “false” by Presbyterians, and vice versa and ad nauseum throughout the hundreds of sects.
So what should we call Islam if not a “false religion?” We could correctly call it “misguided”, “violent”, “supremacist”, “intolerant”, or “a figment of Muhammad’s drug-induced hallucinogenic stupor.” But to simply call it “false” is not adequately descriptive or accurate, because part of Islam is a religion. But integral to its religious component is also a political, economic, social, and military system. Separate these non-religious components and there is no Islam. That is why some of us claim Islam is not a religion at all, but a political system based on the experiences, culture, and claims of the warped mind of Muhammad.
On the other hand, if you disagree with me, you can simply call me a “false person.” I’m not really here at all. I’m just a figment of my, and everyone else’s, imagination.
However, and this may sound contradictory and circular, there is such a thing as absolute truth, as opposed to the now politically correct moral relativity. This truth enables us to say Islam is a lie. It may not be a “false religion” because it is a religion. But it is also a lie. The circular part is the believer in absolute truth bases that truth not only on what is observed, but also on faith. And that brings us back to religion. Which is why we have so many conflicting opinions of truth because, to a significant degree, truth depends on what we profess, or, more to the point, what we believe in, by faith.
Why has moral relativity gained such credibility in the past several decades? It is the corporate cultural defense mechanism to maintain sanity when the unifying force of a single “truth paradigm” crumbles. Christianity had been our “truth paradigm.” A large and critical portion of Christianity has crumbled – fallen away. That formerly practicing Christian segment of our society has popularized “moral relativity” to justify their own version of variable truth. Unfortunately, that fuzzy belief system has also infected many churches and denominations. And now even much of remaining Christianity has bought into the idea of everyone’s truth being equally valid for them.
Which brings us full circle to answer the question. More religions in America are becoming more false, both in the opinion of the non-religious, and by those within morally relative denominations.
Forbodingly, the devout practitioners of Islam believe in no such falseness of their faith.