Watching the news after the recent events on 9/11 has troubled me deeply. I recognize that there are millions of Muslims around the world that are neither terrorists nor approve of the actions of Islamic terrorists. But it is equally true that there are millions of Muslims that do, in fact, sympathise with these radicals. It is very troubling that the Islamic communities around the world are often very silent when it comes to protesting as vociferously against Islamic terror as many other Islamists are vocal in shouting insults and death threats to all who allegedly insult them. I woke up last night and could not sleep as I was thinking on these things. I picked up my I-phone and typed this memo to myself. I thought I would share these thoughts with our Berean Family. If you agree with this, and are as concerened as I am, then I would encourage you to share this with others.
Seven things most people in America
don't understand about Islam.
1. The Islamic faith allows its followers to lie and deceive infidels. According to sharia law, in certain situations, deception – also known as 'taqiyya', based on Quranic terminology, – is not only permitted but sometimes obligatory. This is why it is difficult to know when to believe what Muslim leaders say to the West.
2. In many cases Islam is not a peaceful religion. Woven all through the Koran, the Hadith and other sacred Islamic writings is the teaching of jihad. Holy war is not just a religious struggle to better a persons life. It is the violent killing of all those who do not submit to Allah and the teachings of Mohammad. While Christianity has its dark and intolerant moments in its history, there is simply no other religion that has a omparable track record that is as extreme and as violent in its attempt to destroy all other religions and religious points of view. The never ending stream of suicide bombers, terrorists, and violent threats and violent actions against the West, and the universal call for the annihilation of Israel, should adequately illustrate this.
3. Islam is often an extremely intolerant religion. Rarely is freedom of speech allowed. This is why the Arab street is often referred to as the angry Arab street. Millions can be whipped up in a rage quickly over things we in America would tolerate as acceptable debate and discussion. In the West, Christian doctrine is debated and denigrated all the time in many different venues from universities, opposing religions, and from atheists. But these debates, criticisms, and attacks against Christianity are not met with calls for death and violence, or mass demonstrations of rage in the public square.
4. Islam has a world-view woven into the Koran that they are destined to subdue all the earth. This is why, unlike Christianity, Islam was spread by the Sword. The very word Islam means "submission". No country or nation ever embraced Islam apart from war or the threat of war. Individuals may convert to Islam on their own, but every nation that is Islamic was brought under the banner of the crescent moon by force. Islam burst out of the dessert in the 7th century and swallowed up vast areas of North Africa, Europe and Asia through violent subjugation. This is an incontrovertible fact of history.
5. Islam is vastly different from Christianity in the most important area of faith. How does one enter paradise? Or in Christian terms, how does one enter Heaven. Islam teaches one must submit to the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith. A persons good works must out-weigh their bad works. It is a works based faith. But one way to speed up the process to paradise is to kill an infidel as an act of jihad. This not only speeds up the process but gives the added bonus of 70 virgins and 70 wives to enjoy in paradise. In contrast, Christianity teaches that salvation and the entrance into heaven is by grace. Salvation cannot be earned. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who came to earth to die for our sins. He taught those who embraced His teachings to repent of their sins, to receive Him as their Savior, and to turn from their life of hatred and violence and exchange it for a life of love. Love your neighbor as you would love yourself, love your enemies (don't murder them!) and finally love one another.
6. Islam, unlike Christianity, does not encourage or welcome questions. Christianity is not afraid to have its truth claims investigated. Christians believe that there is both internal and external evidence to verify the truth claims of the Bible. Christians believe that only the Bible can stand up to serious and thorough investigation. The rapid and intolerant response of Islam to any and all questions about its validity should speak volumes to those who are trying to discern where the truth lies.
7. Islamic apologists have effectively and continuously taught that to merely say, "I don't believe in Islam," "I believe Islam is not a peaceful religion," "I don't believe in Mohammad" or other similar statements makes you islamaphobic. And this is now seen by many as a hate crime. While people in the West are under increasing pressure to remain silent about their faith, Muslims world-wide are increasingly vocal about their faith. Islamists are not only vocal, they demand others to be silent. Hence, Muslims can rage and protest alleged offenses against their religion, but if Christians protested against a Muslim suicide bombing, church burning, an assassination, or any other form of terror and persecution that is practiced on a routine basis it is often seen as islamaphobic and racist. And much of the time these violent acts against Christians are either denied or defended.
The question I have is this, "Do these seven things alarm anyone ?" I believe we should live in peace with all of our neighbors. We, as Christians, should love all men. But this does not mean we should not speak our mind when it comes to the faith once delivered to the saints. We should love all Muslims. We should seek to be a testimony to them of our faith by living a life before them that is filled with kindness, patience, love, and Christ-likeness. By doing this, perhaps, they will see the true difference between the teachings of Christ and those teachings that they have received from their traditions.