Something that bothers me, this whole Islamist terrorist insurgency, this holy war that many Islamists have brought to the doorstep of American and Western civilization. Because what is at issue is basically a disagreement in religion. Muslims think Islam is the right faith to believe in. I don’t agree. Obviously. We see some Muslims as evil, simply because they choose to kill people as their form of religious expression.
Now America is a “free” country, as long as you pay your taxes, and wear your seatbelt. It’s also free in its selection of religion. We live in an age of Post-Modernism, that is, whatever you believe is fine, because you believe it. Anything that you believe is ok, because it has the inestimable virtue of being a believer in something. This is insane! If I want to believe that my car is blue when it is actually white, that’s ok. It doesn’t hurt anybody else, does it? It doesn’t until I complete my registration form at the BMV. Postmodernism denies absolute truth. It denies that murder is always wrong, or that lying is always wrong. It will say that sometimes, these things are ok, especially if your beliefs say they are ok. Like when your holy book says that when people don’t believe like you do, it’s ok to kill them is they refuse to convert.
There are many good things about Islam. That point is not at issue. There are good, moral Muslims, and we could probably learn a thing or two from them about prayer and holiness. It is not the good we are afraid of. It is simply that it exists alongside the bad. The Koran calls Jews and Christians, “People of the Book,” but it also demands their lives if they don’t accept Allah as their God. (The Koran, Sura 2:191)
“Kill them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Dissension is greater than killing. But do not fight them by the Holy Mosque unless they attack you there; if they fight you, kill them. Like this is the recompense of the unbelievers.”
Muslims flatly deny the saving power of Jesus, or the truthfulness of the Scriptures. (The Koran, Sura 4:171)
“People of the Book, do not exaggerate your religion. Do not say about Allah except the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, is only a Messenger (and Prophet) of Allah, and His Word (Be) which He gave to Mary, and a (created) spirit by Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers and do not say: ‘Trinity. ‘ Refrain, it is better for you. Allah is only One God. Exaltations to Him that He should have son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, it is sufficient that Allah is the Guardian.”
To this, one may argue that the Christians are no better. Doesn’t the Bible depict a War-like God sending the Israelites into Canaan to kill every living soul? How is this different from Islam? And didn’t the Christians kill many Muslims during the crusades (1000 years ago)?
It is true that God sent the Israelites into Canaan to kill them all, since they worshipped idols. God demanded the purge since the peoples in the land sacrificed their own children to these “gods.” They were wicked.
It is true that “Christians” went to the holy land 1000 years ago to fight Muslims, retake the holy land, and guard the sacred sites. Many atrocious things were done in the name of “Christ.” But I might note that the crusades were eventually lost. If they were truly of God, and what God wanted, would they have been lost? Also, there is no command of Christian Scripture to guard the holy land, or to kill Muslims. Christians do not make converts by violence, but by preaching, teaching, and witnessing.
In the war of ideas, it is Muslims who carry the sword. Christians, even now, in Sudan, Indonesia, and other Muslim countries, are being hunted down, raped, pillaged, property stolen, children abducted and sold, I could go on, but I think you get the picture. What are the Christians doing to the Muslims? Buying them warm blankets, food, supplies, especially after the Tsunami hit last December. Christians are witnessing, sharing God’s word, and offering their necks to the sword, because they have been found worthy to suffer for their Lord.
It is true that some “Christians” have bombed abortion clinics, or killed abortion doctors, but compare that with the number of young Muslim men who have willingly strapped explosives to their bodies and walked into public places, its apples and oranges.
What Muslims in our area do not need is our vitriol, our hatred, or our rhetoric. They need the love of Jesus. They need to see that we don’t hate them back. We don’t want to kill them. They need to see in us what they wished Allah could be — forgiving, kind, and consistently compassionate.
If you have a Muslim friend, it is pointless to argue religion with him. Don’t try it. Rather, try to be his friend. Respect his faith, learn more about it, and share with him yours, not by saying, but by doing. And when the time is right, tell him about the grace of Jesus. He doesn’t get that from Allah.