Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Islam: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America, and author of "They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can," was interviewed by Pastor Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc.™ recently. Brigitte calls those Muslims that most people would call "radical" Muslims, "purists," because they zealously follow the teachings of the Koran. While many Muslims are moderates who do not support violence and believe in the right of others to hold differing religious views, the purists are waging a holy war against Judaism and Christianity, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them. She argues that though these Islamic radicals are in the minority, they should be stopped.

Brigitte rightly points out that while there are pacifist verses in the Koran, they are abrogated by more recent verses in the Koran which incite violence and Jihad. (Not all Muslims agree on the doctrine of Abrogation.) Islam is often characterized as a pacifist religion, yet it is the minority that sometimes shapes the direction of the silent majority. She cites the example of Nazi Germany. The majority of Germans were not Nazis, yet the Nazis were able to accomplish their goals, at least until they were stopped.

Here’s a little of what Brigitte had to say:
...the Muslim Brotherhood Project talks about a two-fold fight against the West, a military Jihad and a cultural Jihad. We know they’re trying to attack us militarily and we’re taking the necessary precautions to prevent such an attack. But the cultural Jihad is moving full force, and we are asleep. And here are some of the examples I talk about in the book. Who would have thought that Sharia Law would come to Harvard University which in 2007 regulated women-only gym hours. An Imam in Des Moines, Iowa gave an opening prayer at the 2008 Iowa legislative session in which he calls on Allah to quote, "Give us victory over those who disbelieve," end quote – meaning victory over all of us "infidels." Muslim taxi drivers in Minnesota are refusing to pick up passengers carrying alcohol. The first Islamic public school, the Khalil Gibran Academy in New York City opened in 2007, and was funded by tax dollars. American colleges are designating Islamic prayer rooms on college campuses for use by Muslims only. Islam is being taught in public schools as an official course in elementary, middle, and high schools. Who would have thought one day we’re going to get to a day where the fine line between the separation of church and state is being completely erased by Islam...

Listening to the interview, you might think Bridgette sounds a bit fanatical, but her arguments are sound. A week later on Issues, Etc.™, Dr. Alvin Schmidt was interviewed regarding the United Nations resolution on the defamation of religion, and his views on Islam echoed those of Brigitte Gabriel’s.

Islam is certainly a threat in a civil sense, given its propensity to take away civil liberties, and in some cases, to take away the lives of those who reject it. More importantly, it is a threat in a religious sense, since it attempts to proselytize a false religion of works. The spread of Islam also presents an opportunity however, an opportunity for us as Christians to share the good news of salvation with those Muslims we encounter through our vocations.

The Jesus of Islam was not the Son of God, was not crucified, and was not resurrected. The God of Islam is an impersonal, unapproachable God, who is neither physical or spirit. Muslims are caught on a never ending treadmill of works, trying to satisfy an implacable God. By familiarizing yourself with their religion, you may be able to more effectively reach a Muslim with the truth. As Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

1 comment:

IftikharA said...

The debate over the trajectory of the western sociopolitical system and its strained relations with Islam is the most pivotal of our time. Muslims are in one of the most difficult phases of their history when malicious attacks including allegation of terrorism are being made on Islam and Muslims all over the world. The malicious campaign against Muslims is politically motivated. The world is obsessed by Islam. Anti-terror measures are ruining lives of Muslim youths. If you go around arresting young Muslims, you are going to find that you are going to ostracise this community. Young Muslims don’t need to be ostracized, they need to be engaged. According to the Arch Bishop, Rowan Williams, acceptance of some facets of Sharia not only “seems unavoidable”, but could actually improve social cohesion. Muslims should be able to choose to have marital or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia Court. Such courts should therefore be incorporated into the British legal system as a constructive accommodation with Islam. Schools are being asked to help “win hearts and minds” in the battle against violent extremists on both sides. British born Imams should go into schools to supplement the teaching of RE, PSHE and Citizenship so that all pupils can learn about the Holy Quran and Islam in the context of a multicultural society. OFSTED must make sure that their services should be fully utilised by the schools, otherwise, it will be waste of public money.

The British Establishment is wrong to assert that Imams and Masajid have been radicalising Muslim youths. The roots of extremism are in the British society and schools where institutional racism is at its peak. The racism within schools has got little media coverage. The school attended by 7/7 bombers in a part of Leeds known for its history of racial tension between British Asians and native Brits. Leeds council was so worried about the violence that it had to call in Foundation for Peace, a government funded peacekeepers who were used to keep Catholics and Protestants from killing one another in Northern Ireland. True message of Islam should be promoted because British media and society have always portrayed Islam in a negative way since Crusades and the siege of Vienna in 1683. School Curriculum should be used to convey a deeper understanding of Islamic faith, history and culture. Prison is not the answer of those who are vulnerable to, or are being drawn into violent extremism unless they have clearly committed an offence.

The greatest challenge to humanity is learning to live in a crowded and interconnected world that is creating unprecedented pressures on human society. The rector of Oxford’s largest Anglican Churches has called a Muslim call to prayers from the main Masjid “un-English”. This is a clear case of intolerance. Gibraltar is a British colony. Five Pound currency note has a queen image on one side and on the other side there is an image of the Muslim Conqueror with a sword in his hand. There is more hatred of Muslims seduced by the Western media, education system and church leaders like Bishop Nazir Ali. Catholic nuns have worn veils for centuries, with no public controversies arising. There is no reason why any girl’s school uniform can not now be modified to include a veil. Wearing a veil to school or to work must be a matter of choice for all.
Iftikhar Ahmad