Until recent history, Islam has had a negative and violent image in the West. However, today we live in the age of “tolerance,” when it is politically incorrect to criticize any religion, with the sole exception of Christianity which is deemed to be the source of all the evils in the world.
I am going to be politically incorrect and state the obvious: the hijackers who inflicted such horrible devastation and suffering in New York, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh on September 11, 2001 were not evangelical Christians or, for that matter, even fundamentalist Christians. Nor were they Israelis. There are hundreds of religions in the world, yet almost two-thirds of all terrorism worldwide is carried out by the followers of one religion--the religion of Islam.
If you have watched TV, listened to the radio, or read the print media in the weeks since the horrendous acts of terrorism in the United States, you have heard repeated over and over like a broken record such statements as this: “The religion championed by the terrorists who perpetrated these acts of terror are unrepresentative of the true spirit of Islam.” Prime Minister Tony Blair, careful not to offend Muslim voters, said gingerly a few days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, “Such acts of infamy and cruelty are wholly contrary to the Islamic faith.” President George W. Bush has made numerous statements, echoed by other government leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, to the effect that we must distinguish between terrorism perpetuated by extremist Islamic groups and Islam itself, which is peaceful. Muslims have stated over the airwaves in no uncertain terms that Islam is “a religion of peace,” which has been parroted by journalists, TV presenters and government officials alike. The word Islam itself means “peace” the mantra goes.
In the aftermath of the catastrophes in New York, Washington, and Pittsburgh, Karen Armstrong, a former Catholic nun converted to “the truth found in all religions,” soothingly informs us in the October 1, 2001 issue of Time,
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, and Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. If the evil carnage we witnessed on Sept. 11 were typical of the faith, and Islam truly inspired and justified such violence, its growth and the increasing presence of Muslims in both Europe and the U.S. would be a terrifying propect. Fortunately, this is not the case.
The very word Islam, which means “surrender,” is related to the Arabic salim, or peace.... In the Koran...the only permissible war is one of self-defence.... Islam is not addicted to war, and jihad is not one of its “pillars,” or essential practices.... Islam did not impose itself by the sword....
In this study, I will show beyond doubt that these statements are categorically not true. In fact, true scholars of Islam, both Islamic and non-Islamic, know that Islam has been the most bloody religion in history. Furthermore, I will prove to you that war, violence, and the type of terrorism we witnessed with horror on September 11 are not aberrations of Islamic teaching and culture, but are, in fact, part of the warp and woof of much, if not the majority, of Muslim thinking and practice around the world and throughout much of its history.
In doing so, I must be fair and add that though violence, war, and terrorism against non-Muslims is an intrinsic aspect of Islam in its purest, most historical form, that does not mean that all Muslims agree with terrorist actions, at least with the scale of suffering inflicted by the September 11 attacks. Just as there are liberal Christian theologians who deny the basic doctrines of Christianity and many others who believe them but do not live consistently according to them, there are many Muslims who are more moderate or even liberal in their Islamic beliefs. However much we wish there were more like them(!), in reality, what the extremists believe is more representative of the actual history and teachings of Islam and its holy writings. In other words, the “extremists” are the “true believers” of Islam--the faithful guardians of Islamic faith.
Some of my commentary quotations will be from non-Muslim sources. However, most of my original sources will not be non-Muslims who have a bone to pick with Islam. Rather we will hear from the Muslim historians and clerics themselves. We will look at the very words of the Qu’ran for ourselves. We will examine the Qu’ranic Hadiths and let them speak for themselves.
So, is Islam truly a religion of peace and toleration, abhorring violence and terrorism, as is so often claimed in the aftermath of the grisly death and destruction of September 11? Consider the following:
ISLAM’S FIRST TERRORIST
As shocking as it may seem, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was himself a terrorist. No one reading the biographies of Muhammad written by Muslims themselves could come to any other conclusion.
When Muhammad first began propagating Islam he was not violent. In fact, he and his followers were persecuted for preaching his religious ideas and for denigrating the pagan religions of the Meccas. Some recent historians have played down the extent of the persecution they experienced, but things were bad enough that some of his followers temporarily sought refuge in Ethiopia.
It was at this time that Qu’ran 2:256 was written which says, “There is no compulsion in religion.” This verse is frequently quoted by Muslims to prove that Islam allows religious freedom and toleration. What they don’t say is that as Muhammad grew in power, this command was rescinded and Allah directed Muhammad and his followers to kill and force their religion on others.
This is universally taught among Muslim scholars, and in fact is clearly evident in the Qu’ran itself. Concerning Qu’ran 2:256, the scholar al-Nahas says:
The scholars differed concerning Q. 2:256. Some said: “It has been abrogated [cancelled] for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought them and did not accept any alternative but their surrender to Islam. The abrogating verse is Q. 9:73 “O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them.” Mohammad asked Allah the permission to fight them and it was granted. Other scholars said Q. 2:256 has not been abrogated, but it had a special application. It was revealed concerning the people of the Book [the Jews and the Christians]; they can not be compelled to embrace Islam if they pay the Jizya (that is a head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule). It is only the idol worshippers who are compelled to embrace Islam and upon them Q. 9:73 applies. This is the opinion of Ibn “Abbas which is the best opinion due to the authenticity of its chain of authority.
Either interpretation means that Qu’ran 2:256 does not allow blanket religious tolerance. In a nutshell, the teaching of the Qu’ran is this: if you are a Jew or a Christian you are allowed to remain in your religion, but you must submit to the rule of Islam and you must pay an exorbitant tax called Jizya to Muslims. This limited allowance to practice a religion besides Islam does not apply to everyone--only Jews and Christians. All others (the majority of the world) must become Muslims or be killed.
Let’s peel back the pages of history and examine the sanguinary actions of Muhammad in his early days by quoting several Muslim historians who make no effort to hide their leader’s deeds.
Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of Allah, it was not long before the first murder instigated by Muhammad took place. The following is from The Life of Muhammad, translated by A. Guillaume, which is a translation and combination of the two earliest, most reliable biographies of Muhammad titled The Life and History of Muhammad, by Ibn Ishaq, an early Muslim scholar and widely read by educated Muslims:
The apostle [Muhammad] said, “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.” Thereupon Muhayyisa Masud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, “You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?” Muhayyisa answered, “Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.”
This incident is reported by many ancient Muslim sources, as are all the incidents from the life of Muhammad that will be presented in this paper. Notice that the murder of Ibn Sunayna was committed upon Muhammad’s direct command. Also, let this fact sink in: this Muslim murderer stated that he would not have hesitated to kill his own brother if Muhammad had so ordered!
This explains the response a Christian missionary received when he asked a Muslim, “What if your son became a Christian. What would you do?” The Muslim’s immediate, sincere response was, “I’d cut his throat.” Though this is probably an extreme reaction for most Muslims (and illegal I’m sure even in Muslim countries), the pressure and even physical punishment exacted against family members who stray from the faith of Islam is horrific and has no parallel in any other religion.
A second terrorist incident involved another one of Muhammad’s requests: this one for his men to murder an old Jewish man named Abu Afak. Abu Afak was 120 years old and had urged his fellow Medinans to question Muhammad’s legitimacy. Ibn Ishaq, and many other biographers of Muhammad, describe how Abu Afak lampooned Muhammad by writing satirical verses about him and trying to persuade people not to follow him. In response, Muhammad asked, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?” Immediately, one of his followers went and killed him.
This was the second man murdered upon Muhammad’s bidding. Abu Afak was a feeble 120 year-old man who was no physical threat to Muhammad, nor did he urge people to commit any violent acts against Muhammad or the Muslims. Not one Muslim scholar claims that Abu Afak urged his fellow Arabs to attack or harm Muhammad in any way. At no point did Muhammad or his leaders consult with Jewish leaders about Abu Afak’s opposition, nor did they discuss the matter with Abu Afak himself. This was an outright murder of one of Muhammad’s critics, eliminated because he spoke his mind out of concern for his friends.
Another incident involved Muhammad’s request for his men to murder a woman named Asma b. Marwan. When Abu Afak was killed, this woman followed his example, took up her pen and wrote satirical verses to discourage people from following Muhammad. Seeing Muhammad as a cold-blooded murder, she made the mistake of calling for Muhammad’s death. Listen to Ibn Ishaq’s description of her fate:
When the apostle heard what she had said he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” Umayr b. Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he [Muhammad] said, “You have helped God and His apostle, O Umayr!” When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her”, so Umayr went back to his people.
Now there was a great commotion among B. Khatma that day about the affair of bint [girl] Marwan. She had five sons, and when Umayr went to them from the apostle he said, “I have killed bint Marwan, O sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don’t keep me waiting.”
Another ancient Muslim source goes into more detail of the murder:
Umayr Ibn Adi came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her. There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced up to her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the prophet at al-Medina. The apostle of Allah said to him: “Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?” He said: “Yes. Is there something more for me to do?” He [Muhammad] said: “No two goats will butt together about her. This was the word that was first heard from the apostle of Allah. The apostle of Allah called him Umayr, “basir” (the seeing).
It is significant that Umayr murdered the woman in the early hours of the morning, and just a few hours later he was faithfully performing his morning prayers. What kind of religion condones such cold-blooded cruelty in the name of God? Furthermore, the statement that “Two goats won’t butt their head about her,” meaning “no one will care about her death” exhibits an appalling lack of compassion for innocent victims that reverberates down to our day.
Even more shocking was Muhammad’s actions in sending the woman’s murderer to her home and taunting her children, shouting “I have killed bint Marwan, O sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don’t keep me waiting.” When reading this, one cannot help but recall how Palestinians and other Muslims around the world rejoiced and celebrated in the streets when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were demolished and so many innocent people were killed.
These are only a sampling of a number of such petty murders done at the behest of Muhammad. I could spend considerable time giving additional examples. Just one source I consulted included the murder of a slave women who was the mother of two children, slain with a sword while she slept; the murder of a one-eyed shepherd while he slept; a very old women captured on a raid who was executed by tying her legs to two camels and driving them in opposite directions until they rent her in two; and a slave girl who was brutally liquidated because she poked fun at Muhammad.
It must be emphasized that these stories were provided by eminent ancient Muslim historians, proud of their bloody heritage, hiding none of the brutality provided by eyewitnesses. These were, after all, infidels who opposed Allah and his holy prophet. It was Allah’s will that they be put to death!
The effect of this reign of terror was similar to the effect of the Nazi party’s terror tactics in Germany. Eventually, all dissent against Muhammad and Islam was extinguished. People had two choices--convert to Islam or die. Needless to say, most converted!
This was only the genesis of Islam. Violence and bloodshed increased as Muhammad conquered his neighbors. He ordered the slaughter of entire towns and villages--including women and children. Over time, Muhammad was responsible for the butchery of thousands as he established and spread Islam. During his lifetime alone, sixty-six battles were fought by his army, of which he personally led twenty-seven. He said, “I have been ordered by Allah to fight with people till they testify there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.”
We should not be surprised by the actions of the September 11 terrorists. Muhammad himself was a terrorist. Today’s Muslim terrorists simply follow his example. Like prophet, like followers!
It is true that many Muslims are peace-loving people and are thoroughly disgusted by the acts of Islamic terrorists. But most of these, especially in the West, are ignorant of the historical facts about their own prophet. On the other hand, Muslim terrorists are usually well-educated in Islam. They are pious people who are faithful to bow down and say their prayers at the determined times and to follow all the tenets of Islam. They are well-versed in the Islamic literature that glorifies the violence of Muhammad and his successors. Many are spiritual leaders in their movements. And they do what they do and how they do it following the example of their prophet, even copying his methods and tactics.
What are we to make of this sordid history of murder and slaughter? Muhammad claims to be a prophet of God. Yet he is like no prophet in the Bible. The Bible records violence, but doesn’t condone it. Murder is forbidden in the Ten Commandments. War is seen as a necessary evil for defense only, never as a means for spreading religion.
When David had in his heart to build the temple to God, the Lord told him, “Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood” (1 Chronicles 28:3), and thus the task of building of the temple was given to David’s son, Solomon.
In contrast to Muhammad’s ruthlessness, the Bible says that Jesus was meek and lowly. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, he taught, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). When the Samaritans opposed Jesus, James and John asked Jesus if he wanted them to call down fire from heaven to destroy them. Note Jesus’ response in Luke 9:55-56 - “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them....” When Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant as Judas led the Jewish leaders to capture Jesus, Jesus rebuked him and said “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:47-52).
Paul instructed Timothy, “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Rather than growing by the sword, violence, and war, Christianity spread by being the OBJECT of persecution and slaughter. The Christian’s warfare is not a physical war, but a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:4)
Could Muhammad, a cutthroat murderer, truly have been a prophet of God? Jesus said in John 10:10 - “The thief [speaking of Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and TO KILL, and TO DESTROY: I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Satan and his agents on earth kill and destroy. Jesus gives life, and life more abundantly.
What spirit was Jesus referring to in Luke 9:55 when he said to his disciples, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of”? Jesus answered that question in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him....” John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said in 1 John 3:15 - “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that NO MURDERER HATH ETERNAL LIFE ABIDING IN HIM.” Revelation 21:8 tells us where Muhammad is today: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, AND MURDERERS... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
One objection we often hear is that Christians were guilty of similar atrocities as those committed by the followers of Islam. Muslims, in particular, are still bitter over the inhumane cruelties committed by the Crusaders against Muslims in the Middle Ages.
It is true that many atrocious, barbaric deeds have been committed in the name of Jesus. But here is the vital difference between these and those perpetuated under Islam: those committed in the name of Christianity were done DESPITE the clear teachings of its founder against such actions, whereas those done in the name of Islam are sanctioned by the teachings and history of Islam.
Ravi Zacharias repeats a story from Marie Chapian’s book, Of Whom the World Was not Worthy. He says...
The book told of the sufferings of the true church in Yugoslavia where so much wrong has been perpetrated by politicized ecclesiastical hierarchy. That which has gone on in the name of Christ for the enriching and empowering of corrupt church officials has been a terrible affront to decency.
One day an evangelist by the name of Jakov arrived in a certain village. He commiserated with an elderly man named Cimmerman on the tragedies he had experienced and talked to him of the love of Christ. Cimmerman abruptly interrupted Jakov and told him that he wished to have nothing to do with Christianity. He reminded Jakov of the dreadful history of the church in his town, a history replete with plundering, exploiting, and indeed with killing innocent people. “My own nephew was killed by them,” he said and angrily rebuffed any effort on Jakov’s part to talk about Christ. “They wear those elaborate coats and caps and crosses,” he said, “signifying a heavenly commission, but their evil designs and lives I cannot ignore.”
Jakov, looking for an occasion to get Cimmerman to change his line of thinking, said, “Cimmerman, can I ask you a question? Suppose I were to steal your coat, put it on, and break into a bank. Suppose further that the police sighted me running in the distance but could not catch up with me. One clue, however, put them onto your track; they recognized your coat. What would you say to them if they came to your house and accused you of breaking into the bank?”
“I would deny it,” said Cimmerman.
“‘Ah, but we saw your coat,’ they would say.” retorted Jakov. This analogy quite annoyed Cimmerman, who ordered Jakov to leave his home.
Jakov continued to return to the village periodically just to befriend Cimmerman, encourage him, and share the love of Christ with him. Finally one day Cimmerman asked, “How does one become a Christian?” and Jakov taught him the simple steps of repentance for sin and of trust in the work of Jesus Christ and gently pointed him to the Shepherd of his soul. Cimmerman bent his knee on the soil with his head bowed and surrendered his life to Christ. As he rose to his feet, wiping his tears, he embraced Jakov and said, “Thank you for being in my life.” And then he pointed to the heavens and whispered, “You wear His coat very well.”
Jesus must feel a lot like Cimmerman would feel if accused of a crime he did not commit. Evil men put on the coat of Christ to do evil things in his name. But he does not condone them. In fact, he is steadfastly against them. No matter how much they claim the name of Christ, they will be everlastingly lost, for in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus warned, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Yes, there have always been pretenders doing despicable deeds in the name of Christ, but it is not fair to hold Jesus responsible for their unchristian, unchristlike actions and attitudes. Any person who kills in the name of Jesus is no true Christian at all, no matter what religious cloak he puts on or what he professes with his mouth. He CANNOT be a true follower of Jesus Christ, for John said, “...no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
ISLAM’S FIRST TERRORIST MANUAL
The Qu’ran itself teaches intolerance of all other religions and enjoins war on those who refuse to submit to Allah. It has been oft repeated that Islam means “peace.” This is incorrect. In fact, it means “submission” and all of Islam can be wrapped up in that one word. The Qu’ran demands everyone to submit to Islam, authorizes Jihad (Holy War) against infidels (non-Muslims), and demands the execution of anyone who converts from Islam to another religion. In fact, there are over 100 verses in the Qu’ran advocating the use of violence to spread Islam.
Let’s look at some of these verses from the Qu’ran:
1. Qu’ran 2.216: Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
2. Qu’ran 2.244: Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
3. Qu’ran 4.74: Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).
4. Qu’ran 4.76: Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
5. Qu’ran 4.84: Then fight in Allah’s cause - Thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment.
6. Qu’ran 4.95-96: Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,- Ranks specially bestowed by Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
7. Qu’ran 8.12: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”
8. Qu’ran 8.37-41: In order that Allah may separate the impure from the pure, put the impure, one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. They will be the ones to have lost. Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help. And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things. [Ed. note: Notice that war for Allah is to go on until “there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere.” Islam never hides its goal for worldwide domination. Muslims will therefore never cease to fight, kill, and make war in the name of Allah until Islam is the religion of every nation on earth. Note also from this passage in the Qu’ran that besides eternal rewards for fighting for Allah, there are temporal rewards as well--the booty from those conquered! There’s a real spiritual motive to do Allah’s will!]
9. Qu’ran 8.65: O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.
10. Qu’ran 9.5: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
11. Qu’ran 9.29: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
12. Qu’ran 9.41: Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily [the Pickthal version translates this, “whether light-armed or heavy-armed], and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew.
13. Qu’ran 9.73: O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed.
14. Qu’ran 9.123: O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about (are near you), and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.
15. Qu’ran 17.16-17: When we decide to destroy a population, we send a definite order to them who have the good things in life and yet transgress; so that Allah’s word is proved true against them: then we destroy them utterly. How many generations have we destroyed after Noah? And enough is thy Lord to note and see the sins of his servants. [Ed. note: Note here that here the Qu’ran sanctions genocide! Then it boasts of how many generations have been destroyed after Noah by genocide. Another verse glorying in genocidal slaughter follows.]
16. Qu’ran 21.11: How many were the populations we utterly destroyed because of their inequities, setting up in their place other peoples.
17. Qu’ran 47.3-4: This because those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord: Thus does Allah set forth for men their lessons by similitudes. Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them) [i.e., “take them as captives”]...
After examining these Qu’ranic verses condoning fighting, conflict, terror, slaughter, and genocide against those who do not accept Islam, is it any wonder that there is so much barbaric violence and cruelty associated with Islam today? G.J.O. Moshay says,
There are so many incitements against Christians and non-Muslims running through the pages of the Qu’ran that we find it hard to believe that anybody can be a real practicing Muslim now or then and not hate Christians. It is impossible. Any Muslim who is not violent (secretly or openly) is hardly a real Muslim, at least not in the Quranic sense. It means he has not got the spirit of Islam.
Zulfikar Kahn’s incisive comments are straightforward, but need to be heard:
Muslims all over the world have been known to point their fingers at Western society and comment on how degenerate westerners have no sense of family, and that as a consequence, crime, immorality and violence are rampant all over the West. The implication is that Western society is ridden with the consequences of their “decadent and immoral” liberality and irreligious attitude.
The truth is something completely different. The fact is that the highest incidences of violent crimes such as murder, rape, child molestation, dismemberment and armed robbery happen in Islamic countries. In Non-Islamic countries, wherever terrorist and subversive activities take place, one is sure to find the presence of Muslims.
This pattern is so obvious that it leads one to wonder what exactly is it that makes Muslims so viciously engaged in violent crimes against the rest of humanity. Why are all terrorist activities that target innocent Non-Muslim victims always abetted by Muslim terrorists? What is it that makes the Muslim mind so subject to criminality and the display of such violent tendencies right from his/her childhood days?
The answer lies in the systematic brainwashing that Muslims are subjected to since birth. The majority of the Non-Islamic world has deluded itself into believing that the principles of Islam are tolerant in nature. This misconception is heightened when people think that the fault lies with only a handful of misguided Muslims who are not adhering to Islamic principles and hence indulge in terrorism.
It is time for the entire world to realize that Islam by its very nature and through its essential principles openly supports, encourages and propagates Terrorism of the worst kind. Therefore the Islamic terrorist is in fact the most devout Muslim, because he is following exactly what Islam teaches through the Divine Koran. It is this very Koran which is considered by Muslims to be the holy word of their Allah himself. The Koran functions as the central terrorist manual that urges them to slaughter, rape, torture, pillage, mutilate and molest all Non-Muslims....
...To get an idea of what kind of conditioning the Muslim mind undergoes, one need only open the Koran. Every chapter is brimming over with hatred, ruthlessness, cruelty and the sort of invective that would make the Ku Klux Klan shake in their shoes....The exceptionally cruel, sadistic and violent nature of Mohammed’s motivations and Allah’s inspirations spill out through every verse in the Koran....
The idea that Islam is a religion of peace is absurd on its face in the light of these facts. In contrast, true Christianity is indeed a religion of peace. It does not grow by war or forced conversions. It is offered freely, and can be rejected if one so wills:
Revelation 22:17 - “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Isaiah 55:1 - “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Matthew 11:28-30 - “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
It is only through Jesus Christ that one can find true peace:
Romans 5:1-2 - “Therefore being justified by faith, WE HAVE peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Colossians 1:20-21 - “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”
Once a believer possesses peace with God through his Son, Jesus Christ, he is to live at peace with others. Throughout the Scriptures peace is both commended and enjoined:
Psalm 34:14 - “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Matthew 5:9 - “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Romans 12:18 - “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Romans 14:19 - “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
Galatians 5:22 - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace...”
Hebrews 12:14 - “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
James 3:17 - “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
1 Peter 3:11 - “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
TERRORIST MANUAL, PART II
The Hadith is the second primary source of Islamic Law, the Qu’ran being the first. It represents the teachings of Muhammad outside of the Qu’ran itself and, like the Qu’ran, is authoritative to all Muslims. The teachings of the Hadith concerning Holy War to spread Islam mirror those of the Qu’ran. Here are some of the hadiths that advocate violence and war in the name of Allah and Islam:
“He who dies without having fought, or having felt it to be his duty will die guilty of a kind of hypocrisy.”
“There is no emigration after the Conquest, but only Jihad and some good intention; so when you are summoned to fight, go forth.”
“The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them.”
“Three people are all in God’s safekeeping: a man who goes out to fight in God’s path, who is in God’s safekeeping till He takes his soul and brings him to paradise, or sends him home with the reward or booty he has obtained...”
Abu Dharr said he asked the Prophet what action was most excellent, and he replied, “Faith in God and Jihad (fighting) in His path.” In the collection of Hadith known as Sahih al-Bukhari, in which al-Bukhari recorded the following hadith: “Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Mohammad is Allah’s apostle...” As in the Qu’ran, the violent bent of Islam is amply testified in the Hadith, the second most important writings in the religion of Islam.
TERROR: THE MODUS OPERANDI OF SPREADING ISLAM IN HISTORY
After Muhammad’s death, Islam spread through conquest, violence, and compulsion. It is noteworthy that when Muhammad died, most Arabians abandoned Islam, thinking that they were free at last from the chains of Islam. This led to the Wars of Apostasy, which forced Arabia back under the clutch of Islam. In these wars, tens of thousands of Arabs were slaughtered.
It has been that way ever since. Until the modern era and in democratic, pluralistic societies, Islam usually spread, not by the voluntary choice of its adherents, but by compulsion upon populations through the threat of death by ruthless conquerors spreading terror wherever they went. The northernmost advance of Islam was in Tours, France, where the Muslims were finally defeated in the Battle of Tours (Poitiers) in 732 AD under the leadership of Charles Martel. One historian recounted the Islamic advance into Europe this way:
A Moslem army, in a crusading search for land and the end of Christianity, after the conquest of Syria, Egypt, and North Africa began to invade Western Europe under the leadership of Abd-er Rahman, governor of Spain.
The battle was described by contemporary chroniclers on both sides of the battle. Isidore of Beja, on the Frankish side, revealed the brutal and religious character of the Islamic advance:
Then Abderrahman, [the Muslim emir] seeing the land filled with the multitude of his army, crossed the Pyrenees, and traversed the defiles [in the mountains] and the plains, so that he penetrated, ravaging and slaying clear into the lands of the Franks. He gave battle to Duke Eudes (of Aquitaine) beyond the Garonne and the Dordogne, and put him to flight---so utterly [was he beaten] that God alone knew the number of the slain and wounded. Whereupon Abderrahman set in pursuit of Eudes; he destroyed palaces, burned churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica of St. Martin of Tours. It is then that he found himself face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty warrior from his youth, and trained in all the occasions of arms.
An anonymous Arab chronicler described the carnage he witnessed in similar terms:
The Moslems smote their enemies, and passed the river Garonne, and laid waste the country, and took captives without number. And that army went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made those warriors insatiable....So Abderrabman and his host attacked Tours to gain still more spoil, and they fought against it so fiercely that they stormed the city almost before the eyes of the army that came to save it; and the fury and the cruelty of the Moslems towards the inhabitants of the city were like the fury and cruelty of raging tigers.
The barbaric brutality exhibited by the Muslim army was horrible even for a Muslim. The same Muslim chronicler was prompted to conclude, “It was manifest that God’s chastisement was sure to follow such excesses; and fortune thereupon turned her back upon the Moslems.”
The Muslims were turned back at Tours, and eventually retreated back across the Mediterranean Sea over a number of years. However, wherever Muslim armies were able to hold conquered territory, the inhabitants were forced to convert to Islam or face the penalty of death (except for the allowances made for Jews and Christians who were willing to pay the Jizya).
One thing that puzzles Westerners is how Islam justifies forcing conversions on those they conquer when they know that they are not sincere conversions. In his book, Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography, one of the most eminent scholars of the Islamic world, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, explains the justification for forced conversions:
It may be said, “What is the value of a faith in Islam which is a result of a threat? ...We say to those who question: ‘What is required of an infidel or the one who confuses other gods with God, is to have his tongue surrender to the religion of God and to subdue himself to the prophethood of Muhammad. But his heartfelt faith is not required at the beginning. It will come later.”
Such is the shallow externalism of Islam. The Islamic position is that one’s heart condition before God is immaterial! All that matters is his outward submission (remember that Islam means “submission”).
This separates Islam from Christianity by a wide gulf. Paul said, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5) The writer of Proverbs exhorts, “My son, give me thine HEART.” (Proverbs 23:26). When the Ethiopian eunuch expressed his desire to be baptized, the evangelist Philip told him: “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” (Acts 8:37) In the Old Testament God rebuked the mere externalism of the Israelites when He said, “...this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” (Isaiah 29:13)
In Christianity, one’s very salvation is dependent, not on mere external obedience to rules and practices, but by FAITH IN THE HEART: Romans 10:9-10 - “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and SHALT BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
ISLAM’S MESSAGE FOR OUR DAY: JIHAD!
Modern Muslim scholars and clerics still preach intolerance of other religions, and adjure Jihad (Holy War) against infidels. On the cover of the famous book, The Spirit of Islamic Religion, which was reprinted more than nine times, we read these words: “It has been revised by the committee of Azhar scholars with introductions made by the greatest Muslim professors and judges of Islamic legal courts.” There should therefore be no question as to this book’s endorsement by the “greatest Muslim professors and judges of Islamic legal courts.” In this book, Dr. ‘Afifi Abdul-Fattah says:
Islam has approved war so that the Word of God becomes supreme. This is war for the cause of God (Holy War). Muhammad, therefore, sent his ambassadors to eight kings and princes in the neighborhood of the Arab Peninsula to call them to embrace Islam. They rejected his call. Thus, it became incumbent on the Muslims to fight them.
Later, Dr. Afifi says:
Islamic law demands that before Muslims start fighting infidels (unbelievers), they first deliver the message of Islam to them. It was proven that the prophet never fought people before he called them to embrace Islam first. He used to command his generals to do so also.
How kind of them to extend to infidels the opportunity to convert before killing them! But the point that must not be missed is that forced conversion of unbelievers to Islam is still very much a part of the Muslim mindset.
Qu’ran 9.5 says “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” Regarding this verse, Dr. al-Buti says in his book The Jurisprudence of the Biography, which is accepted by all Muslims and is well-known all over the Islamic world:
The verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that Holy War which is demanded in Islamic law, is not defensive war (as the Western students of Islam would like to tell us) because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all Holy wars.
Far from being alien to Muslim thinking, this is the true interpretation of pure Islam concerning Jihad (Holy War) against infidels. Holy War is required by Islamic law--and it is NOT defensive war, but a war of conquest. This is what those who are most true to Islam today believe and teach. Al-Buti continues:
The concept of Holy War in Islam does not take into consideration whether (the war is) a defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of God and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth REGARDLESS OF THE MEANS. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case it is the apex, the most noble Holy War. It is legal to carry on a Holy War.
There you have it: Islam is to be established “by any means.” Would hijacking planes, slitting the throats of stewardesses, stabbing the eyes of pilots to gain control of the cockpits, and crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon resulting in over 6,3000 deaths be legitimate if Islamic society is to be established “regardless of the means”? Apparently so, for, says al-Buti, it is “the apex, the most noble Holy War.”
In another place, al-Buti says this:
Defensive warfare in Islam is nothing but a phase of the Islamic mission which the prophet practiced. After that, it was followed by another phase; that is, calling all people to embrace Islam so that nothing less would be acceptable from atheists and those who associate other deities with God than that they embrace Islam. Also, nothing would be acceptable from the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] except conversion to Islam or being subjugated to Muslim rule. In addition, there is the command to fight anyone who attempts to stand in its way. Now, after the domination of Islamic rule is in place, and its mission complete, it is meaningless (in regard to Holy War) to (talk about) defensive wars, as some of the researchers do. Otherwise, what does Muhammad’s statement mean (as it is related by the Bukhari), “They would not invade you, but you invade them”?
In Islam, defensive war is nothing but a “phase” waged only when it is not possible to wage the offensive war. Keep this in mind as you observe Yasser Arafat deftly manipulate Western opinion and sentiments. Arafat has no compunction about signing accords, making numerous promises to Israel that he never intends to fulfill. The reason he signs peace accords is because he is in a weaker, defensive position and thus the defensive phase is to his momentary advantage. His purpose is to buy time to wage the bigger war and drive Israel into the sea--literally. Consider the following quotations by Yasser Arafat and his lieutenants:
Regarding the Israeli-PLO Peace Accord in 1993, Arafat said, “I am not considering it more than the agreement signed between our prophet Muhammad and the Quraish tribe--a despicable truce.” The eventual outcome of that truce by Muhammad was that he broke it and carried out a massive massacre of the Quraish people. It appears that Arafat intends a similar fate for the Jews, for he said, “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war that will last for generations. We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.”
One of Arafat’s right hand men, Faizal Husseini, Jerusalem Administrator for the Palestinian Authority stated on May 31 2001 to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Arabi, “We are ambushing the Israeli’s and cheating them. Our ultimate goal is the liberation of all historic Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea [Ed. note: this includes ALL of Israel]...We distinguish the strategic, long term goals from the political phased goals which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure.” George Habash, leader of the second largest PLO faction confirms what these devious long term goals are: “We seek to establish a state that we can use in order to liberate the other part of the Palestinian soil.” (That means those parts still under Israeli control.)
With these facts in mind, it should not surprise us that faithful followers of Allah all over the Muslim world believe it their pious duty to fight the infidel West “regardless of the means.” The voices of the “extremists” (the true face of Islam) are found in every Islamic country. None are untouched by violence against those within their borders who do not toe the line on strict Islamic practice. None are free from insidious plots to destroy the West so that Islam can be established as the only religion of the world.
The list of madmen (in the eyes of Westerners, but quite normal to a vast number of Muslims) who promote the philosophy of violence is seemingly endless in Muslim countries. The Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran stated, “The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.” Muammar Ghaddafi, leader of Libya, charged his followers to...
Send missionaries to Burundi, Zaire, Uganda...to combat the evil activities of Christian missionaries there. God wants you to fight in one rank and he who does not do this is outside Islam and God will not let him enter paradise... You must incite Muslims in Zaire and urge them to engage in Jihad so that Mobutu may be toppled. He who kills this man will go to paradise.
The toxic venom of such well-known figures, fanned by fanatic mullahs, has filtered down to the Muslim masses. Each year, throughout the Islamic world there are numerous examples of violence and savagery done in the name of Islam. In his book, Who Is This Allah?, G.J.O. Moshay recounts riots, pitched battles, slaughters, and gruesome individual atrocities of all kinds over a number of years in the subcontinent of Africa instigated by Muslims against non-Muslims. The web page “Breaking the Chains of Islam,” reports shocking examples of Islamic brutality and persecution of non-believers, as well as a heartbreaking story of Islamic children chained and beaten for failing to memorize the Koran. In the web page article, “Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism,” the anonymous author posts numerous news accounts of Islamic-instigated turmoil and unspeakable acts of violence and barbarity in many countries, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, including France, Algeria, Argentina, England, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United States.
Of greatest concern in the current environment are the terrorist groups all over the world, many with tentacles deep inside Western democracies. The number of terrorist groups in Islamic countries, many supported and abetted by their host countries, increases with every passing year. They have become so numerous and effective in gaining media attention due to a never-ending stream of atrocities and barbaric acts that many of the groups’ names have become household words in the West--for example, the PLO, Hamas, Hisballah (Party of God), Al Jihad and Al-Qaeda.
Each year the U.S. State Department releases a list of terrorist organizations, the latest of which was published in the October 1, 2001 issue of Time. Of the twenty-eight terrorist organizations listed, almost two-thirds of them were Muslim groups. However, they probably cause 90 per cent of the worries in the State Department because non-Muslim organizations are largely concerned with grievances within their own country’s borders, whereas Muslim terrorists’ favorite target is the United States or one of its assets overseas.
The most notorious Muslim terrorist, of course, is Osama bin Laden, thought to be the mastermind behind the September 11 terrorist attacks. While most politicians, journalists, and TV presenters go about trying to separate “the actions of a fanatical extremist like bin Laden from the attitudes of the vast majority of Muslims,” some journalists are willing to call a spade a spade. Kathy Lally reported in the Baltimore Sun the observation made by author Yossef Bodansky that Osama bin Laden is “probably the most popular individual in the Muslim world.” He goes on to say, “He’s the most lucid and eloquent spokesman for all the grievances Muslims have toward the West, justified or unjustified. Bin Laden...has been able to make an exceptionally persuasive case that international terrorism is the work of God, Bodansky says.”
Stephen Schwartz, in The Sunday Telegraph, makes the usual noises that “the attacks of September 11 are simply not compatible with orthodox Muslim theology,” but goes on to point out, “Still, the numerical preponderance of Muslims as perpetrators of these ghastly incidents is no coincidence.” Schwartz traces the roots of bin Laden’s beliefs to an “Islamo-fascist ideology” known as Wahhabism, a strain of Islam that emerged at the time of the anti-Turkish wars of the 17th century. Despite his assurances that Wahhabism “is not compatible with orthodox Muslim theology,” Schwartz goes on to report that although not the brand of Islam espoused by most Muslim regimes, Wahhabism has become the religion of the Muslim masses nursing a variety of perceived grievances against the West. “From the beginning of Wahhab’s [the founder’s] dispensation...his cult was associated with mass murder of all who opposed it. For example, the Wahhabis fell upon the city of Qarbala in 1801 and killed 2,000 ordinary citizens in the streets.” Schwartz gives a horrifying laundry list of atrocities, such as bin Laden’s Egyptian allies, “who exulted as they stabbed foreign tourists to death at Luxor not many days ago, bathing in blood up to their elbows...Algerian Islamist terrorists whose contribution to the purification of the world consisted of murdering people for such sins as running a movie projector or reading secular newspapers... the Taliban-style guerrillas in Kashmiri who murder Hindus.”
What is most chilling in the article is Schwartz’s revelation that according to Lebanese-born researcher of Islam in America, Sufi Hisham al-Kabbani, 80 per cent of mosques in the U.S. are estimated to be under the control of Wahhabi imans who preach extremism. While President Bush assures us that most of the Muslim community in America are peace-loving and tolerant, the truth is exactly the opposite!
This man described as “the most popular individual in the Muslim world” who is of the same stripe as 80 per cent of all Mosques in the U.S.--what does he believe? In a 1998 Time interview, bin Laden said, “Our work targets world infidels.” He told journalist John Miller the same year, “Terrorism can be commendable, and it can be reprehensible. The terrorism we practice is of the commendable kind for it is directed at the tyrants and the aggressors and the enemies of Allah.” In a 1997 CNN interview he stated, “Being killed for Allah’s cause is a great honor achieved by only those who are the elite of the nation. We love this kind of death for Allah’s cause as much as you like to live. We have nothing to fear for. It is something we wish for.” In a fatwa [an official edict] issued in 1996 he said, “Youths only want one thing, to kill you so they can go to paradise.”
Time magazine reports an incident at bin Laden’s son’s wedding that reveals the same cold-blooded heartlessness Umayr Ibn Adi, (Muhammad’s faithful henchman who murdered the satirical poetess in the early morning hours and was faithfully at his prayers just a few hours later). Listen to Time’s macabre report:
A tape of his son’s wedding last January features bin Laden reading an ode he’d written to the bombing by his supporters of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, an attack that killed 17 service members. “The pieces of the bodes of the infidels were flying like dust particles,” he sang. “If you had seen it with your own eyes, your heart would have been filled with joy.”
What kind of man exults in dismembered body parts at a wedding? Among what kind of people would such an ode be appropriate at an august occasion? Who would consider such an action normal and not abhorrent on ANY occasion? Terrorists steeped in the lore of a violent and bloody religion.
No doubt there are many nominal Muslims who wholeheartedly and unequivocally disagree with Osama bin Laden and what they perceive to be the extremist sects of fundamentalist Islam. Unfortunately, moderate Muslims are persecuted or hushed into silence in Muslim countries, and to a certain degree even in non-Muslim countries. What many peace-loving Muslims do not realize is that the beliefs of those they perceive as extremist are actually the purest form of Islam. They are all too often ignorant of their own history and theology. The anonymous author of “Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism,” is correct when he says the following concerning Muslims in America:
Once again I say, not all Muslims in America are terrorists. Many of them are good people. But the seeds of terrorism are planted deep within the theology of Islam. This theology, when free to grow and blossom, shows itself in the actions normal Muslims in Muslim countries take when they feel that Islam is challenged.
I believe the facts presented in this study prove beyond doubt there is no basis for the idea that the beliefs espoused by Islamic terrorists are unrepresentative of the true spirit of Islam. In fact, they are the natural outgrowth of a religion that is in its essential character brutal and violent.
That is not to say that Islam is not other things as well that are good and wholesome and beneficial, for there is no religion on earth that is bereft of some good. However, to deny the basic violent character of Islam as it was conceived by its founder, as it is portrayed in its holy writings, and as it has been historically understood by the majority of its most faithful adherents is to paper over the truth, to deny the obvious, to redefine right and wrong, to put blinders over our spiritual and moral eyes, to put our heads in the sand. Just as it is true that innately “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), we can say with equal accuracy that Islam is violence; Islam is warfare; Islam is intolerance; Islam is compulsion. Again, Islam may be other things that are good, but it IS these things.
How then should we deal with Muslims in our midst and how should the issue of Muslim terrorism be dealt with? On a personal level, every Muslim needs to hear the Gospel of grace through Jesus Christ who offers the gift of salvation freely and without constraint. It is time for Christians to stop mocking their Muslim acquaintances and begin loving them enough to boldly declare Jesus Christ to them.
Second, we must explain to Muslims the distinction between true, biblical Christianity as it was taught by Jesus and the Apostles and the false Christianity that they see before them and in much of history. When you say the word “Christianity” to a Muslim, it conjures up two images in his mind. One is the tyrannical face of medieval Roman Catholicism with its Crusaders who committed atrocities under the banner of the cross, its hideous tormenters in the Inquisition who tortured and killed countless Muslims, and its unjust laws designed to oppress Muslims. Many Muslims nurse a seething resentment and outrage for these perfidious acts, regardless of the atrocities and cruelties Muslims themselves have committed. The second image that comes to a Muslim’s mind about Christianity is that of the decadence, degeneracy, immorality, and greed in modern so-called “Christian countries.” We must convey to our Muslim friends that these images are obscene perversions of the Christianity of the Bible. Biblical Christianity is not religion or the performance of outward religious acts. It is a personal relationship with God that produces an inexplicable change in the heart of the believer (2 Thessalonians 5:17). This change is so profound that it changes his outlook, his attitudes, and his actions. He will not be perfect, but he seeks to follow the footsteps of his Savior, Jesus Christ. Thus he could never kill or persecute in the name of Christ. Nor can he live a life of decadence and immorality and sinfulness. The licentiousness of our day is as repugnant to him as it is to the Muslim.
Finally, the true nature of classical Islam must be disseminated far and wide. Ephesians 4:15 says we are to “speak the truth in love.” Thus, we must explain these delicate facts lovingly, not harshly, but on the other hand, we must stop lying to ourselves and one another with politically correct assurances that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. By no means should law-abiding Muslims be persecuted, discriminated against, ostracized, victimized, or made the objects of derision. However, the truth should be told about what Islam really teaches and upholds.
What is the answer on the political level? The hue and cry of the liberals, not so much in the U.S., but more so in other Western countries less affected directly by the events of September 11, is “we’ve got to get to the root of why these terrorists are so filled with hatred that they want to strike out and kill and create such destruction and carnage.” This reveals a gross naivete and lamentable ignorance of the true nature of Islam. The accusation is that the Muslim world has been slighted by the West, that their widespread poverty is because of Western exploitation, and that Muslims are the victims of wrong-headed, insensitive Western policies and actions. I am sure that Western powers have not always done the right thing and, no doubt, their hands are not completely clean in all their relations with Muslim countries. But to blame all the problems of the Muslims on the West is an oversimplification of the situation and fails to take into account the Muslims’ own mistakes and wrongdoings. Moreover, it reveals a lack of knowledge of the role Islam has played in Muslims’ failure to enter the modern world of civilized nations. The truth is that Muslims are in poverty and decline to a large degree because they have a creed that breeds violence, which is inherently destabilizing to security and prosperity, and because they are ruled by ruthless, non-democratic cutthroats who live in harmony with their religion and its founder.
The biggest grievance of Muslims is the presence of Israel in the Middle East. Many Western political leaders honestly believe that if Israel would just give a little bit more here and a little bit more there, the Palestinians would be placated and Israelis and Palestinians could live side-by-side in peace and harmony. But the words and actions of Palestinian leaders reveal that they will never be placated until Israel is utterly destroyed and Jews are again brought under the brutal yoke of Islam. Moshay rightly states that “For Islam, peace or ‘salaam’ is not achieved until Islam has swallowed the nation. Peace means total eradication of enemies. It means subjugating, killing or swallowing all non-conformists. Nobody should therefore ever imagine ‘giving peace a chance’ in a nation with a significant number of Muslims.”
Here are the brutal facts of the situation in the Middle East. The only way the Palestinians and the Arabs will ever be satisfied is when Israel is wiped off the face of the earth and every remaining Jew still alive is under strict Islamic rule and pays the Jizya. The Western powers, in the near future at least, will no doubt continually press Israel to compromise, but in the end, they will not allow it to be completely destroyed or Jews to be slaughtered wholesale by Palestinians. How to solve the Middle East problem between two tenacious, uncompromising recalcitrants is a perplexing riddle that defies a solution.
The most explosive and perplexing issue of all is the status of Jerusalem. Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital and holy city and will never relent on its claim on the “city of David.” Likewise, the Palestinians and all Muslims see Jerusalem as their holy city and the rightful capital for the Palestinians and will never be mollified as long as Jews control Jerusalem. Western powers can beg, plead, cajole, twist arms, and bribe all they want, but you can count on it--neither side will EVER give in on this issue. Thus the world is presented with a perplexing riddle inside an unsolvable conundrum between two intransigent parties who will never, ever give in.
THIS is the ultimate source of all the problems of the Middle East. All others can be worked out. Bin Laden can be assassinated, his terrorist training camps destroyed, and the Taliban bombed to smithereens, but Muslims’ greatest grievance--the cause of the Palestinians--will be still left unresolved. The U.S. can withdraw its troops from Saudi soil, placating those offended by the presence of infidels on holy ground, but the Middle East will remain the volatile powder keg it has been for all these years. We can shower poorer Muslim countries with billions of dollars in aid, but in the end, the Palestinians and the Israelis will be looking at each other down the barrel of a gun.
The Israeli-Palestinian problem and the status of Jerusalem are truly problems for which there are no satisfying solutions that offer justice and redress to all sides. President Bush’s war on terrorism may indeed produce temporary results. It could, on the other hand, have catastrophic consequences. Abu Hamza al-Masri, known as the “British bin Laden” said, “Bin Laden is a phenomenon, not a person. People have to understand this. You can kill bin Laden the man, but the phenomenon will never die.”
Abu Hamza has a sobering warning for the West if Afghanistan is attacked:
You are asking for somebody to fly a plane at a nuclear power station. Suicide bombers who just want to kill--you are provoking them. If you kill people, and they look around and their loved ones are dead, what do you expect? They have no taste for life any more. And when this war starts, even the winner would not have much to celebrate. It’s horrible. There are a lot of nuclear bombs everywhere.
Whether the war on terrorism effectively stamps out terrorism remains to be seen. We can only hope and pray that it does and that the nightmare scenarios that are conjured up never come to pass. Those, like me, who are pre-millennial in their prophetical outlook see all these things as the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the last days. They ought to compel us, as never before, to witness boldly for our Lord, to reach out to Muslims and non-Muslims alike who desperately need the Lord Jesus Christ, to be faithful to our Lord, and zealous to do good works, and to live lives of holiness and godliness in this wicked day. And they ought not to produce in us fear and trembling, the terrorists’ goal. Rather, they ought to fill our hearts with faith and hope to know that God has everything in control. Ultimately, God will win the battle over evil once and for all! One day, Bible says that “every knee shall bow to God” (not Allah - Romans 14:11) and “every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11). Yes, Muhammad himself, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar Ghaddafi, Yasser Arafat, and Osama bin Laden will bow down and acknowledge Jesus as Lord, as well as a host of people who called themselves Christians, but were not true Christians at all. All Christ-rejecters and false professors of Christ will alike be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). God will create a new heaven and a new earth for those whom he saved--not because of the good works they performed on earth, but because of his work for them on the cross. Then and only then will there be true eternal peace, for then shall the “Prince of Peace” have rule and reign. Let us look with anticipation to the great day of Christ’s return!
1 Karen Armstrong, “The True, Peaceful Face of Islam,” Time, October 1, 2001, p. 60.
2 Hadiths are Islamic traditions comprising “collections of sayings and acts of Muhammad and the first Muslims. These collections are used as an addition to the Holy Koran for understanding Islam.” [From “Hadith,” Encyclopedia of the Orient,” (September 27, 2001): < http://lexicorient.com/cgi-bin/eo-direct-frame.pl?http://I-cias.com/e.o/hadith.htm >.]
3 al-Naha, An-Nasikh, wal-Mansukh, p. 80, cited in M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, “Tolerance in Islam” (September 22, 2001): < http://members.aol.com/AlHaqq4u/tolerance.html>
4 A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 369, a rendering Ibn Ishaq’s Sprat Rasulallah.
5 Lester Sumrall, Where was God when Pagan Religions Began? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980), p. 138.
6 Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, published by Mazda and translated by F.R.C. Bagley, cited in “Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism,”(see note 9).
7 Guillaume, pages 675-6.
8 Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir (Book of the Major Classes) Volume 2, , p. 31, cited in “Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism,” (see note 9).
9 “Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism,”(September 22, 2001): < http://www.answering-islam.org/Silas/terrorism.htm>.
10 G.J.O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah? (Gerrards Cross, U.K.: Dorchester House Publications, 1994), p. 30.
11 Quoted on authority of Ibn ‘Abbas in Sahih of al-Bukhari (Part 1), 13. Attested by numerous Islamic scholars, cited by Dave Hunt, The Berean Call, October, 2001, p. 1.
12 Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1994), p. 101-102.
13 The source for all my quotations of the Qu’ran are from “Translations of the Qur’an,” from the Moslem Students Association of the University of Southern California at http://cwis.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/ (Accessed September 25, 2001). Several versions of the Qu’ran are available at this site. For consistency’s sake, I have chosen to use only the Yusufali translation from this website throughout, except where noted.
14 Moshay, pp. 25-26.
15 Zulfikar Khan, “Islam - Terrorism, Inc.,” (September 22, 2001): <http://www.terrorism.com/cgi-bin/wwwboard5/messages/350.php>.
16 Mishkat al Masabih Sh. M. Ashraf (1990) pp. 147, cited in Moshay, p. 26-27.
17 Ibid., pp. 721.
18 Ibid., pp. 810.
19 Ibid., pp. 811.
20 Ibid., pp. 1130.
21 Sahih al-Bukhari, English translation, Vol.1, Hadith No. 24, cited in Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, “Tolerance in Islam,” (see note 3)
22 “The Battle of Tours: 732,” (September 25, 2001): < http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/WestEurope/Tours.html>.
23 “Medieval Sourcebook: Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours, 732: Three Accounts,” (September 25, 2001): < http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/732tours.html>.
24 “Medieval Sourcebook: Anon Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers, 732,” (September 25, 2001): http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/arab-poitiers732.html
25 Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography, 7th ed., p. 287, cited in “Offensive War to Spread Islam,” (September 22, 2001): <http://answering-islam.org/BehindVeil/btv2.html>.
26 ‘Afifi Abdul-Fattah, The Spirit of Islamic Religion, front cover of book, cited in “Offensive War to Spread Islam,” (see note 25).
27 Ibid., p. 382.
28 Ibid., p. 384.
29 al-Buti, pp. 323-4.
30 Ibid., p. 324. Emphasis mine.
31 Ibid., p. 242.
32 “Converging Destinies: Jerusalem, Peace and the Messiah,” (September 22, 2001): < http://injil.org/peacemaker.htm>.
33 David Lamb, The Arabs: Journey Beyond the Mirage (Vintage Books, 1988), 287; David Reed, “The Unholy War Between Iran and Iraq” (Readers Digest, August 1984), 389.
34 Nigerian Sunday Punch, 26 January, 1986, cited in Moshay, p. 39-40.
35 “The Official Terror Roll,” Time, October 1, 2001, p. 54.
36 Moshay, pp. 40-56.
37 “Breaking the Chains of Islam,”(September 22, 2001): < http://www.tarrnet.com/prophet/finished.htm/chains.htm>.
38 Kathy Lally, “Bin Laden a charismatic, dedicated foe,” Baltimore Sun, reprinted in Stars and Stripes, Sunday, September 23, 2001, p. 7.
39 Stephen Schwartz, “This business all began in Saudi Arabia,” The Sunday Telegraph, September 23, 2001, p. 20.
40 “Sayings of Osama,” Time, September 24, 2001, p. 64.
41 Ibid., p. 65.
42 Moshay, p. 45.
43 Johann Hari, “The British Bin Laden,” New Statesman, 24 September 2001, p. 15.