A Christian Response to Islamaphobia

Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, has posted A Christian Response to Islamaphobia. I commend it to you.

Even some writers and speakers who are very conservative and not unready for theological battle are warning us to deescalate the fear of all things Muslim. James White of Alpha Omega Ministries is among these. I can’t find a specific file right now of his that presents his warning to christians about this, but he has repeatedly told us to get past the “all Muslims are terrorists” thing. (I wish he could be so charitable to Arminians).

If you read the Qur’an, you could come to the conclusion that the only good Muslim is a terrorist by today’s standards. There are so many passages there that make the blood run cold. It is hard to go from the Koran to the “religion of peace” thing that President George W Bush kept repeating. The Koran does not have a New Testament-like section that resolves the brutal sections of the Qur’an with a new ethic of love and peace.

Christians who have an active ministry with Muslims warn us that what we think has to be true is not true. I am not deeply enough into this kind of active ministry that enables me to balance the theological tenets of Islam with the actual realities of how they practice faith and go about life. I mostly attend to the world of ideas, and when one does this the lines tend to get very hard and the attitudes harsh. I must be careful here. You must be careful here.

My advice? One, listen to Christian apologists who are actively reaching out to the Muslim people. Two, support mission efforts to reach Muslims and read their stuff, like missionfrontiers.org/  Three, visit a mosque and get the feel for being around real people who have lives just like you and me. Go to some of their meetings. Four, pray for meaningful contact with Muslims God can bring across your path. Five, read enough so that you get several views. I commend to you the literature of InterVarsity Press for balance and intelligence.

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim

Peter Kreeft and Robert Spencer debate whether or not a good Muslim is by definition a bad Muslim. In other words, to the degree that one practices Qur’anic Islam, does one become a bad Muslim, a bad person? Robert Spencer says yes. Peter Kreeft says no.

This debate gets it all out on the table. Peter Kreeft, one of my favs, is a Roman Catholic (not a fav because he is a RC), and it shows in this debate. He has a large place for other religions, believing as RCs do, that if anyone is saved, it is Christ who saves them, though in fact they may have never heard of him or perhaps even rejected him out of misunderstanding. He wants to see Christ in Islam, even though it falls short of Christian revelation. 

I think the whole debate is worth listening to. Go here

A note on religious persecution from Ramez Atallah is the General Director of the Bible Society of Egypt

John Piper posted this note form Ramez Atallah:

June 15, 2011

Dear friends,

When a million ordinary and non-violent Egyptians from all walks of life camped for 18 days in Liberation Square, the world was mesmerized by their remarkable and unprecedented show of courage and willingness to suffer for the human rights of all Egyptians.

Yet none of those who were in Liberation Square could have imagined that their defiance would not only result in undermining most authority in the country, but would also pave the way for radical Muslim groups to begin restricting true freedom and equality for all Egyptians.

Breakdown of Authority

If you challenge the President and win, you no longer fear any authority. One logical—yet unintended—result of this successful show of defiance is that nearly every sector of society is now challenging those in authority above them. . .

  • Students challenge their teachers or educational administrators
  • Employees challenge their bosses
  • Ordinary citizens challenge civil authorities
  • There is little respect for the police
  • Even the respected and formerly- feared Army is now being challenged

The many acts of violence, burning of churches, shops, and factories—not to mention the spate of kidnappings for ransom and increased petty theft—are partly the result of a misunderstanding of freedom and a lack of fear towards anyone to whom these people could be held accountable!

A sad example of this is when criminals are arrested to await trial, their friends and relatives come in the hundreds, storm the jail, overcome the police, and free the prisoners. In the past, respect—or fear—of the police’s authority would have made such acts inconceivable. Now, they are frequent occurrences. Another example is that the two men who plotted to assassinate President Sadat in 1981 have been released from jail and are now popular talk show guests!

Potential Takeover by Muslim Brotherhood

Another unintended result of the Revolution has been the paving of the way for the new Parliament to be overtaken by the well-organized Muslim Brotherhood. Having officially renounced violence many years ago, this group will protect Christians from the violent attacks we have been experiencing lately. But in establishing an Islamic state, they will undoubtedly seriously curtail what Christians can do outside their houses of worship. Undoubtedly they also will allow even less freedom than was previously available for Muslims to have religious freedom of choice.

“Christian” Rights or “Human” Rights

Many human rights groups in the West are speaking out on behalf of Christians and their security in Egypt. We are grateful for their concern, but I firmly believe that the possible establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt would most greatly affect moderate Muslims (especially women). It is their freedoms and lifestyles (dress, customs, freedom of expression etc.) that would be most restricted. Who is speaking on their behalf?

It would be much better for us if the media and human rights groups were to boldly speak up for genuine freedom of choice for all Egyptians. This would also radically reduce resentment felt against Christians when outside groups speak up on our behalf. . . .

For progress updates on our Rebuild Egypt Campaign, please click here: http://www.rebuildegypt.tenbibles.com/

Stunning Documentary on German complicity in Armenian Genocide

Along the way I have had Armenians in my congregations. Eventually the topic is going to get around to the genocide of their people by the Turks in 1915, 1.5 million deaths. This documentary demonstrates German complicity and participation in the genocide in WWI, a warm up for WWII. Some of those German officers in Turkey aware of the genocide were the very ones in Hitler’s Germany participating in the extermination of the Jews.  Of course, the Armenians were Christian by profession living in Islamic lands.  My research into Islam led me to this documentary.

I shake my head. A mere hundred years ago. What makes me believe that it could not, would not be the same today?

A couple of more books in my study of Islam

There are several resources I have been exploring in my study of Islam.

I have recently read the following books:

God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

America Alone: The End of the Word as We Know It

Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs

The United States and the Middle East, 1914 to 9/11 – a college course from The Teaching Company

 

I will be checking out these books/articles:

Encountering the World of Islam

Jesus and Muhammad: Parallel Tracks, Parallel Lives

Three Journeys: Jesus-Constantine-Muhammad

 

 

So who’s leading your prayer meeting?

Listed below are some of those who were invited to lead the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association Friday prayers. The CMSA took down their website after some news exposure.

— Anwar al-Awlaki, the notorious Al Qaeda cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen and the lone American on the U.S. government’s capture or kill list, who conducted a prayer service on Capitol Hill shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

— Randall “Ismail” Royer, a former communications associate for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who confessed in 2004 to receiving jihadist training in Pakistan. He is serving a 20-year prison term.

— Anwar Hajjaj, former president of Taibah International Aid Association, which was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and U.N. in 2004.

— Esam Omeish, the former president of the Muslim American Society, who was forced to resign from the Virginia Commission on Immigration in 2007 after calling for “the jihad way,” among other remarks.

— Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who was forced to step down from a national terrorism committee post in 1999 for pro-terrorist comments.

— Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director, who attended a Hamas meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 that was wiretapped by the FBI.

— Johari Abdul Malik, Dar al-Hijrah imam, who made statements in support of convicted and suspected terrorists who attended his mosque.

— Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim scholar banned from the U.S. for six years beginning in 2004 for his alleged ties and donations to terror groups. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted Ramadan’s ban in January.

—  Abdulaziz Othman Al-Twaijri, the head of a division of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, considered a foreign agent by the U.S.