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Christar and Into Thy Word Ministries Presents:

Understanding and Responding to Islam


in the Light of September 11

© 2001 Patrick Cate, Ph.D. Islamic Studies and President of Christar

INTRODUCTION

In this study, we will be seeking to better understand Islam, Afghanistan


and Osama bin Laden and some of the reasons why the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001 took place. What is the root of terrorism? Does
Islam teach peace, or does it teach Jihad? What are some of the potential
issues facing Christians, what are some of the responses we can make,
and what are resources to help us? Most importantly, what are some of
the key biblical foundations we need to keep in focus during this time of
turmoil and change?

A Few Observations on Islam as a Whole

WHAT IS ISLAM?

--Founded by Mohammed in early 7th century, contact with Jews and


some brand of Christians in midst of a pagan idolatrous society in Arabia.

--Meaning of Islam?
The word Islam means submission, submission to God as a slave would
submit to his owner. It does not mean peace. Although the roots of the
two words, submission and peace, are related, they are two different
words.

SIMILARITIES:
--one God, creator of heaven & earth, God of Abraham & prophets,
--His ATTRIBUTEs 99 names
--must believe in God, His Angels, books, prophets and messengers
and day of judgment
--Christ had a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, performed miracles,
ascended to heaven, is the Messiah and Word of God,
--Bible was originally given by God.

DIFFERENCES:
--Christ is not God; He is not the Son of God;
--Death, Resurrection, possibility of substitutionary (no one can pay
the price for another person’s sin;
--there is no trinity

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--the Bible is not trustworthy today since it was changed by Jews and
Christians.
(We need to remember that all religions do not teach the same thing, and
that opposites cannot both be true.)

VALUES IN ISLAM
--highest value within Islam is the unity or oneness of God. The first
phrase of the Muslim creed is “There is no God but God.” Muslims and
the Qur’an repeatedly say that God has no partners.

--second theological value within Islam is the sovereign, free will of


God. Throughout the Muslim world, one of the most frequently heard
phrases is “Allahu Akbar”, “God is great.” God is in complete control
and is completely sovereign.
--Man, on the other hand, is primarily responsible to submit. an owner-
slave relationship, and man’s responsibility is to submit to whatever
God wants. Submission is seen in the posture of prayer, where knees
and head both touch the ground.

--Qur’an is uncreated, existing in the mind of God from eternity past.


Although Muslim scholars believe in the chronological development of the
surahs of the Qur’an, they also believe that it existed from eternity past in
the mind of God and was given piecemeal to Mohammed. Therefore, they
hold that the Qur’an was Mohammed’s supernatural miracle, unequaled
by any other book, that Islam is God’s final religion and that Mohammed is
His apostle.

A Muslim is not allowed to leave Islam without risking his or her life. At
birth, an individual is branded “Muslim” or “Non-Muslim,” depending upon
his or her parents’ religion. This status is marked on the individual’s birth
certificate, identity card or passport. As a result, there are almost no
visible churches of Muslim-background believers. They do exist, but they
are not public.
--some recently have challenged this

America, with its Constitution framed from a Christian world view, is not
able to make anti-blasphemy laws. However, Muslim nations and states
can, and do. Pakistan has an anti-blasphemy law which allows almost
anyone to accuse a Christian of defaming Mohammed and then have that
Christian imprisoned, tortured and killed.

ISLAMIC PRACTICE:
FIVE PILLARS of Islam are:
(1) stating the creed, “There is no God but God and Mohammed is
His apostle,”
(2) praying five times a day through a prescribed prayer facing
Mecca,

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(3) giving Zakat, or alms, to the poor at certain seasons of the year,
(4) f asting without food, water, tobacco and sex, sun up to sun
down, for the 30 days of Ramadan (The Muslim calendar has 11
days less than our calendar since it is based on a lunar calendar.
This year Ramadan begins about November 17 and goes to about
December 16, 2001.),
(5) For those who can afford it, going on the Hajj, or Pilgrimage to
Mecca. Each year, almost 2 million Muslims from all over the world
make this pilgrimage, observing certain rituals in a prescribed way.
1 out of 600 Muslims each year observes the fifth pillar.
--only a small minority observe the sixth pillar of Jihad, as
holy war.

WHO & WHERE ARE THE MUSLIMS?


There are 1 ¼ billion Muslims in the world. Arab Muslims, with 300
million, comprise approximately 25 percent of the total Muslim population
of the world. Of the Arab-Americans in the United States, only 23 percent
are Muslim and 77 percent are professing Christian, including: 42 percent
who are Roman Catholic, 23 percent who are Orthodox or Coptic, and 12
percent who are Protestant. Within the Arab world, the number of
professing Christians may range from 10 percent of the population in
Egypt to only a handful in Saudi Arabia.

WHICH “ISLAM” --VARIETIES OF MUSLIMS:


--liberals, moderates, conservatives, fundamentalists (militant & non-
violent), secular, mystic, folk.

--Traditional Muslims, which would include both moderates and


conservatives, simply follow the faith they were born into, and some do
not know much about the religion they follow so faithfully.
--Modern, secular Muslims or liberals, including many who live in the
West, are religious occasionally (during certain holidays) but they are
more concerned with the things of this world.15 percent in some
countries.
--Violent fundamentalists or radical Muslims could be compared to the
KKK or white supremacist groups,small percentage of the total Muslim
population of the world today.
-- Most Muslims of the world are against terrorism.

MILITANT FUNDAMENTALISM/TERRORISM
Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan

Osama bin Laden is 6 feet 4 inches tall, so he is easy to find in a crowd.


He is one of 52 siblings, and the youngest of 24 brothers. His estimated
worth at one time was $350 million. He has at least 16-18 children, and
some may be located in his home country of Saudi Arabia or in Sudan,

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but most are with him in Afghanistan. In recent years, he lived with four of
his wives and about 15 of his children in a small cave in eastern
Afghanistan. There was no running water and only a very simple heating
system to guard against the extreme winter cold. He lives continuously
guarded against air strikes, commando raids and assassins. Therefore,
one of the world’s wealthiest men, from one of its wealthiest countries,
has been living in poverty in one of the poorest countries because of his
commitment to his calling and ideals.

His father was a very prosperous businessman involved in construction


who came from Yemen to Saudi Arabia in the 70s. Osama would break
the strict Muslim lifestyle of Saudi Arabia by going to Beirut and visiting
nightclubs, bars and casinos. He was a drinker and a womanizer, but in
1973, while he was rebuilding and remodeling the two main mosques of
Mecca and Medina, he became spiritually affected with a desire to restore
Arab honor. Osama studied under Sheikh Abd Allah Yusuf Assam at King
Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He taught that “Jihad (holy war) and the
rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences, and no dialogues.” is what is
needed to liberate the Muslim world from Westernization.

The name of Osama’s organization, al Qaida, means “the base,” and he


most certainly has built upon that base around the world, in Pakistan and
Iraq, in New York and Washington, D.C. At the time of this writing, about
90-95 percent of Afghanistan is under control of the Taliban, whose name
means “students,” as in students of Islam. The Taliban, in turn, has given
a safe haven to Osama bin Laden. Only three countries have ever
recognized the Taliban government: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Pakistan. Today only Pakistan recognizes them. However
the Talibanization of Pakistan has been one of its central political moves.

Two hours east of the Khyber Pass, near Peshawar, Pakistan, sits the
Haqqania Madrasa, the Islamic training school that has trained and
placed more of its alumni in Taliban leadership than any other school in
the world. Students range in age from 8 to 30, and sometimes, to 35.
Twenty-eight hundred students receive free tuition, room and board and
learn Jihad, hatred of the West, how to memorize the Qur’an, and how to
memorize the answers their teachers give them. Presently, one of the
teachers, Maulana Samiul Haq, teaches 9-year-old boys that “America is
controlled by the Jews, who, in turn,

are controlled by Satan.” Many of the first Taliban began as orphans who
lost their parents in the previous 10-15 years of war and were raised in
the madrasas, or religious schools, around Peshawar.
So many have never known a mother’s love or learned appreciation and
respect for women.

Afghanistan’s most lucrative agricultural crop is opium, and Afghanistan is

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the world’s largest producer. As the main source of cash, opium produces
an estimated $35 billion each year. From the proceeds, they pay for
weapons for their warring sections. Their other principal products include
cotton, carpets, natural gas and fruits. The annual income per person is
$250 U.S.

Before September 11th it was estimated that the largest number of


refugees in the world were Afghans, and the number has continued to
grow rapidly. It is estimated that there are 23 million people in Afghanistan
and 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Iran, 2.2 to 3 million in Pakistan, and
0.5 million in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan is believed to possess among the lowest literacy and life-


expectancy rates in all of the world. Adult literacy averages 31 percent
overall, 47 percent for males and 15 percent for females. Life expectancy
is 47 years for a male and 48 years for a female. Only 12 percent of the
population has access to safe water. Most Afghan doctors have already
fled their country.

Afghan women suffer more abuse and restrictions than women in any
other country of the world. Afghan women can be beaten or killed for:
leaving their home without being accompanied by a husband, brother or
son; walking with a man who is not a relative; showing any part of their
body in public; laughing in public; seeing a doctor who is not a woman
(however female doctors are rare since education for women has been
banned); or wearing white (the color of the Taliban flag). One in four
women are widows, and many live in poverty.

There is no guarantee of freedom of press or freedom of speech. There is


no constitution, national judiciary, national law enforcement agency,
central government, or human rights. The local Islamic faction or the local
military commander determines the rules and who will survive. Sharia law
(Islamic law) is conducted in impromptu manners, dependent upon the
local military and religious leaders.

Pashtuns, on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, are the


politically dominant ethnicity and have been called the largest Muslim
tribal society in the world, with approximately 27 million people in more
than 30 different sub-tribes. The Taliban is primarily made up of
Pashtuns. The Tajik are a people who speak Dari, a language similar to
the Farsi language spoken in Iran. The Hazara, or Shiite Muslims of
Mongolian descent, have been massacred by the Sunni Taliban, and
many have fled to Iran. Their language is also similar to Farsi.

Osama bin Laden and many of his Arab leaders come from Wahhabism,
one of the strictest Islamic sects, which is very hostile to the Savior and to
Christians. Many of the suicide bombers in Israel, Luxor, Kashmir, Egypt

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and Saudi Arabia in recent years have been Wahhabi. Saudi Arabia now
leads in the exportation of both oil and religious fanaticism. Saudi Arabia
is the richest Arab country and Egypt the most populous. And, together,
they have produced most of the terrorists involved in the September 11th
attacks and many of those involved in the al Qaida network.

There may be a total of 3,000 Afghan believers in Afghanistan and around


the world. Afghanistan is one of five least reached countries in the world,
possibly ranking second after Saudi Arabia. There are 70 unreached
people-groups in the country. There is not a single church building, but
there are 48,000 mosques. Christian radio is one of the basic means of
reaching Afghanistan today. The “JESUS” film in six Afghan languages, is
available but virtually impossible to view within the country. The same
holds true with literature. The “JESUS” film, literature and gospel
recordings can be used easily with Afghan expatriates.

Two decades of war, beginning in 1979, have left the country in ruins. It is
estimated that 1 million have lost their lives, 2 million are maimed, and 4
million children have been orphaned (500,000 of them are maimed)
during 22 years of war. There are over 12 million uncleared anti-
personnel mines in the country, more than in any other country in the
world.

In the Arab language there is a proverb which says, “The enemy of my


enemy is my friend.” This could be extended to: “The enemy of my
enemy is my friend, until we defeat the common enemy, and then my new
friends become my new enemy. ”The United States financed the Afghan
freedom fighters and provided training for some of the al Qaida network,
who had a mission to kick out the Russian infidels. When that mission was
accomplished, the Afghan freedom fighters looked for a new calling. They,
then, turned their U.S. training and some of that equipment against the
United States. They now have the passion to kick the infidels out of Saudi
Arabia and Israel.

Afghanistan is a very rugged country with 82 mountains that are more


than four miles high. They have a long history of winning wars, partially
due to their geography. After 10 years, the Afghans defeated the superior
forces of the Russians, who invaded their country in 1979.

Why Did the Events of September 11, 2001 Happen? Why do they
hate America so much?

1. First reason is that, since the Gulf War, the United States military
has remained on Saudi Arabian soil, where the two holy cities of
Islam, Mecca and Medina, are located. Osama believes that these
infidel foreigners are polluting holy soil. Angry at infidel Muslim

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governments which he would like to see the Saudi monarchy
overthrown.
.
2. Secondly is the concept of saving face and honor. In the West,
freedom, democracy, tolerance and honesty are very high values
held by most Westerners. Throughout the two-thirds world, saving
face and upholding another person’s honor are very high values.
Saudi Arabia booted Osama bin Laden out of the country, his
home country, and later encouraged Sudan to expel him
In his eyes, the United States is connected to Saudi Arabia and may
have played a part in his double eviction and, therefore, has helped to
dishonor him and make him lose face. Within his culture, revenge is an
appropriate response when face and honor have been lost.
The first and second reasons are evident in a statement made by bin
Laden after 24 Americans were killed by bomb blasts in Saudi Arabia in
1995 and 1996, “They have raised the nation’s head high and washed
away a great part of the shame that has enveloped us.”

3. Third, the United States and other Western countries have


exported a perception of our culture through movies, television
programs and videos, and this perception is equated with
Christianity, since the West is equated with Christianity. These
media promote secularism, materialism, immorality (the lack of
clothes, pornography, homosexuality, adultery and
alcoholism/drugs).

As previously mentioned, a fourth issue is the Palestinian question. Al


Qaida’s interpretation would be that the United States has financed a war
against Muslims, kicking Muslims out of their own country - the epitome of
Colonialism. One reason that Osama has mentioned this is in order to try
to recruit Muslims in other countries to his side.

A fifth reason for the attacks would be the desire for all of the world to
eventually become Muslim. Some Muslims in the world today consider
America as the last great wall that stops Islam from really spreading
throughout the world. A minority of Muslims in America and throughout
the world have spoken of a day when America will fall to Islam’s power.

On December 1, 1998, the Taliban declared their support for bin Laden’s
Jihad with the following monumental fatwa, or legal opinion. This fatwa
decreed: “Armed Jihad against America by the Islamic world is mandatory
and all the Muslims are ordered to rise against America and kill
Americans, both civilian and military. No steps for total elimination of
America by force should be avoided. America is an enemy of the Islamic
world which should be eliminated.” The Supreme Court of Afghanistan
clarified the fatwa by calling “upon all the Muslim states to prepare for

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Jihad against America and forces of infidelity the world over“ and “to
demand that America ... immediately withdraw its forces from the Gulf and
Saudi Arabia and stop interfering in the Islamic countries.” (p.349 of “Bin
Laden, the Man who Declared War on America” by Yossef Bodnansky:
New York: Forum, 2001). Through this fatwa, any method of warfare
against Americans anywhere is legitimized.

A Religion of War or Peace?

Virtually every Muslim in the world says “hello” with “Salam alukum” which
literally means “peace on you.” With 1.2 billion Muslims greeting each
other, it means that from 5-10 billion times a day, Muslims greet people
with a greeting that peace may rest on them.

The vast majority of Muslims in this world are warm, friendly people who
would not consider harming others. Muslims may be the most hospitable
people on our globe. They love to have company and be guests. A guest
is a sacred trust from God.

How, then, do you put together a religion of both peace and holy war, of
hospitality and terrorism? How can they come from the same religion?
Are all Muslims committed to Jihad? In order to help understand this
dichotomy, I would like for us to do a little Qur’anic study. To understand
Christianity, one needs to understand the Bible. Likewise, in order to
understand Islam, it is best to begin working at understanding the Qur’an.
The Qur’an has 114 surahs, or chapters, which are not arranged
chronologically. Except for the opening surah, the balance of the surahs
are primarily arranged from longest to shortest, just as many of our
prophets and epistles have a similar arrangement. Since the Qur’an is not
arranged chronologically, if a person reads from the first to the 114th
surah, it can appear very jumbled. However, if it is read chronologically
from the first surah that was written to the last surah that was written, then
a reader can begin to see a development and progression of thought and
literary style.

Mohammed was born in Mecca in A.D. 570 and sensed his call in A.D.
610. He began preaching in Mecca and preached there from A.D. 610-
622, frequently as a street preacher. The surahs of Mecca are divided into
early Meccan, middle Meccan and late Meccan. In each of these three
periods, there is a gradual increase in Mohammed’s confirming of the
Bible as Scripture sent by God and of Jews and Christians (called the
People of the Book) as believers in religions given by God.

When we get to the late Meccan surahs, we find the largest number of
confirming passages. Here, Mohammed says, “If you don’t believe me,
check with the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians.” In other
words, read the Bible, which was given by God. His point was that he was

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preaching the same message as the Jews and Christians, only it was in
the Arabic language. Middle Meccan surah 29:46 says, “We believe in the
Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to
you [the People of the Book]; Our God and your God is one ...” (Yusuf Ali)

In A.D. 622 Mohammed left Mecca and migrated to Medina. His life
changed radically when he got to Medina. Our Lord said of John the
Baptist, “Here comes a prophet, and more than a prophet.” In his
followers’ eyes, Mohammed was a prophet in Mecca, and when he
arrived in Medina, he was a prophet and more than a prophet; he was a
prophet and a statesman. Now, he had about 100 followers who did not
have jobs, places to live, laws for their society telling them how to relate to
each other, nor acceptance in the community. How were they going to be
fed, and how were these needs going to be met? As a result, all of the
Qur’anic passages which deal with rules for a community are Medinan.

Some people in Medina were doubting Mohammed’s prophethood, and


he told those doubters to go and check with several Jewish tribes who
were in Medina at the time. When they went to the Jewish tribes, the Jews
basically laughed and said in essence, “No, he is no prophet at all. He is a
false prophet.”And from that point on, world history changed as
Mohammed turned radically against the Jews, and, to some degree,
against the Christians. All of the Jihad and the anti-Christian and anti-
Jewish surahs are found in the Medinan surahs. All of the surahs which
speak of not making friends with Jews or Christians are found in Medinan
surahs. From this point on, Mohammed decided to spread his new
religion, by force if necessary.

For those who want to study surahs of the Qur’an which teach holy war
against Jews, Christians and unbelievers, they can study the following
Medinan passages: 2:190-193, 216; 4:74, 89, 91, 95, 101, 102; 5:33, 51;
8:12, 39, 60, 65, 67, 69; 9:5, 29, 30, 73; 47:4; 59:2-4, 5,14; and 61:4.
Surah 2:190-191a says: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you,
but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay
them wherever ye catch them ...” (Yusuf Ali). It is just as important to
study the context when studying the Qur’an as it is when studying the
Bible. Each of these passages has its own context, referring frequently to
Jews and/or Christians.

It should also be pointed out that within the Medinan surahs, surah 5:82
says, “The nearest in affection to the believers are those who say, ‘we are
Christians’” and surah 2:256 which declares, “There is no compulsion in
religion.”

Many Muslims do not want to acknowledge that the Qur’an teaches holy
war in the Medinan surahs. They either are ignorant of this, want to hide
it, or want to explain it away. But those who are practicing holy war are

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basing their views upon the Qur’an as well as Hadith (traditions of the
prophets) and contemporary fatwas (legal rulings). Some might say that
the confirming passages of Meccan surahs and the Jihad-type passages
of Medinan surahs are clear contradictions within the Qur’an.

Christians might say, “Well, we have a Bible that tells us to offer animal
sacrifices, to worship in a temple in Jerusalem, to worship on Saturday,
and not to eat lobster, shrimp or pork.” But most Christians do not do
these things. Why is that? In our hermeneutic, or understanding of
Scripture, especially the Old Testament, a Christian functions between
two points of tension. One is our Lord’s statement that He came, not to
destroy the law, but to fulfill the law. On the other side of the tension, we
have the statement that all Scripture is profitable. Much of the Old
Testament has been fulfilled, and yet it is still profitable today.

However, the Qur’an has a different doctrine. Instead of fulfillment with


profitable teaching, it is a doctrine of abrogation. In other words, the later
surahs abrogate, or replace, the earlier surahs and, therefore, in the early
surahs you can have teachings that do not apply today, are not accurate,
or have been completely replaced. They do not have to be obeyed or do
not apply to life. An example would be the famous Satanic verses, in
which the Muslim interpretation is that Satan tempted Mohammed with the
worship of three idols but Mohammed turned his back on them (53:19,
20). Others, who are non-Islamic scholars, understand these verses to
mean that, at that point, Mohammed was worshiping the three idols.
Regardless of the interpretation, those verses have been completely
replaced by other verses. The Satanic verses are still in the Qur’an, but
are not relevant today as they have been abrogated or replaced by
specific verses which came later (22:52, 53). This helps us, as outsiders,
to understand how there can appear to be contradictory viewpoints within
the Qur’an, how a religion can claim that its name means peace, and yet
have a holy book that teaches to kill Christians and Jews. Those who
want to study Qur’anic teaching on abrogation or changing of the Qur’an
and replacing it with other surahs, may read 2:106; 13:39; 16:101; 7:86.

Understanding the development of the chronological order of the surahs


in the Qur’an can help us to understand how opposing concepts can exist
within Muslim minds. Islamic scholars study, and will frequently mention in
commentaries, the chronological order of a surah, whether it is an early
Meccan, middle Meccan, late Meccan or Medinan surah. But the average
Muslim on the street does not stop and think about this, and most may not
realize the development of Mohammed’s thought during his 23 years as a
prophet.

When Muslims are in the majority, they tend to speak from Medinan
surahs and repress Christians, not providing them with full freedom. They
also deny fellow Muslims the freedom to believe in Christ as Savior.

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Although it may sound politically incorrect, Islam, when it is the majority
religion of a country, is not pro-freedom. When Muslims are in a minority,
they tend to speak from Meccan surahs and emphasize all that we have
in common. They frequently say, “Muslims and Christians worship the
same God and believe the same things, except that Muslims do not
believe Christ is the Son of God.” So, in reality, which surahs they
emphasize may depend on whether they are in the majority or the
minority.

Again, these concepts are not progressive revelation as we have in the


Old and New Testaments, but abrogation where the later surahs replace
the earlier surahs. Although they are probably not conscious of this
practice, when Muslims take action, they are, in reality, acting upon
concepts that come out of either Meccan surahs or Medinan surahs.

What about Jihad? Jihad literally means exertion, exertion in the cause of
God, and, frequently, exertion in the cause of God through holy war. Jihad
can have two meanings, war against our own sinful natures or war against
infidels. It is the sixth pillar of Islam, the first five are the most famous. We
noted before that not all Muslims participate in the Hajj, the fifth pillar.
Only one out of 600 makes the pilgrimage each year. In the same way,
Jihad, in the sense of physical war against unbelievers, is not observed by
all Muslims.

In Islam there is no assurance of salvation. Muslims will never tell you, “I


know I am going to heaven.” They will frequently say, “I think, or I hope,
that I will go to heaven after I burn in hell awhile to pay for my sins, but
only God knows if I will make it.” However, there is one exception to this. If
a person dies in holy war for the sake of God, that guarantees them the
assurance of salvation; they would go straight to paradise. This provides a
clear reason for willingness to be a martyr for the sake of God in a holy
war.

A handwritten document in Arabic, left behind by the hijackers, was found


in three locations after September 11th. It was a note encouraging them
with these words, “only those, the believers who know the life after death
and the reward after death, would be the ones who would be seeking
death. You should pray, you should fast. You should ask God for
guidance, you should ask God for help. Continue to pray throughout this
night, continue to recite the Qur’an.” Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini clarified
that “the purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.”

Almost all Muslim leaders will declare their wars “holy wars” as it is the
best way to ensure recruitment of troops. Ayatollah Khomeini and
Saddam Hussein both declared their wars a holy war when they were
fighting each other. Any troops who die in the holy war would have a
guarantee of going directly to heaven. This helps us to understand why a

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suicide bomber would not mind dying in a civilian plane transformed into a
bomb.

Cyril Glasses in The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, under his article on


“Jihad” (pp. 209-210), says:

Jihad (from Ar. Fahd, “Effort”). “Holy War” a Divine institution of


warfare to extend Islam into the dar al-harb (the non-Islamic
territories which are described as the “abode of struggle.”are of
disbelief) or to defend Islam from danger. Adult males must
participate if the need arises, but not all of them, provided that a
“sufficient number”...(Fard al-kifayah) take it up.

According to the Sunnah, a Jihad is not lawful unless it involves the


summoning of unbelievers to belief, and the Jihad must end when
order is restored, that is, when the unbelievers have accepted either
Islam or a protected status within Islam, or when Islam is no longer
under threat. It is impossible to undertake a Jihad against Muslims.
Those who die in a genuine Jihad, and the laws determining this are
complex, are considered to be martyrs (shuhada), who, as such,
have special merit, and enter paradise directly ... a genuine Jihad, as
opposed to merely political warfare, has rarely been invoked since
Islam’s original struggle for survival against the Meccan.

In speaking of Jihad, The New Encyclopedia of Islam says “The duty of


the djihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not
been attained. ‘Until the day of the resurrection’ and ‘until the end of the
world’ say the maxims. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a
provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can
justify it temporarily”(p. 539).

The head of Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the oldest university in the world
and the leading academic center of Islam, says that a self-martyr is
permissible as long as it is not against civilians. Suicide is normally
forbidden in Islam as self-murder. However, to sacrifice your own life
through killing infidels brings with it the highest reward.

It is wrong to think that the Qur’an is the only authority for Muslims in the
same way that Protestants consider the Bible their sole authority. Muslims
have other authorities, which include Hadith, or the traditions of
Mohammed. An authoritative tradition, Sahih Muslim, book 40, #6985,
says, quoting Mohammed, “The last hour would not come til the Muslims
fight against the Jews and the Muslims kill them until the Jews hide
themselves, and the stones and trees would speak up saying, ... There is
a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.” There is much teaching of
Jihad within Hadith as well as within the Qur’an.

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Another authority is a religious legal ruling, a fatwa. One fatwa issued
after September 11th in Pakistan said, “Two Pakistani Christians will be
killed for every Muslim who dies during American strikes on Afghanistan.”

Osama bin Laden has declared open war on American civilians, women
and children. He says that Islamic scholars have allowed targeting
civilians because their taxes support the American military which is on
their holy Saudi Arabian soil. According to Osama, “Muslim scholars have
issued a Fatwa (a religious order) against any American who pays taxes
to his government. He is our target, because he is helping the American
war machine against the Muslim nation.”

Bin Laden and thousands of others have received their impetus from
Ayatollah Khomeini who returned to Iran on February 1, 1979 to
overthrow the Shah, and from his followers in Iran, who took over the
American Embassy on November 4, 1979 and held 52 hostages for 444
days.

Jihad is not limited to Afghanistan, New York and Washington, D.C. Just
in the last decade alone, Muslim militants in northern Nigeria have been
killing Christians, burning churches, and imposing Sharia law on the
Christian population. Over 1,000 lives have been lost among Coptic and
evangelical Christians in Egypt, as well as tourists. Christians of the
southern Sudan, including the Dinkas, have been crucified, raped and
sold into slavery by Muslims from northern Sudan. Hindus in Kashmiri,
Bahais in Iran, Christians in the southern Philippines and in East Timor
have been killed by Muslims. In the southern Philippines, bin Laden is
supporting the Abu Sayyaf through his brother-in-law, Khalifa. At the time
of this writing, they have kidnaped and held a number of Christians,
including two American missionaries, Martin and Gracia Burnham. They
have cut the heads off of many of their captives this year. Fred Siegel, a
professor at Cooper Union College says, “Why is it that everywhere in the
world where Muslims are in the majority, their minorities are persecuted?”
At the United Nations Conference on “hate” in Durban, South Africa,
Islamophobia was denounced, but Muslim discrimination against non-
Muslims was treated in silence. Hatred of Israel is a frequent theme in
Arab media, such as a current hit song, “I Hate Israel.”

In his classic work, “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World
Order,” Samuel P. Huntington, the secular world-renowned historian from
Harvard University, has studied world civilizations. Concerning Islam, on
pages 254-258, he points out “Intense antagonisms and violent conflicts
are pervasive between local Muslims and non-Muslim peoples.” He
mentions: Bosnian Muslims versus Orthodox Serbs; Kosovar Albanian
Muslims versus Serbs; Albanians versus the Greek government; Turks
versus Greeks; Muslim Turks versus Orthodox Greeks in Cyprus, the
Caucasus, Turkey and Armenia; the Azeries versus Armenians over

-13-
Nagorno-Karabakh; the Uighurs and other Muslim groups against China;
Pakistan versus India; Pakistan versus Kashmir; Muslims against
Buddhists in Bangladesh; Myanmar Muslims versus Buddhists; Muslims
against Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia; in Thailand, Muslims against
the Buddhist government; in the southern Philippines, Muslims against the
Philippine Christians; in Indonesia, Muslims against East Timorian
Christians; in the Middle East, Arabs versus Jews; in Lebanon, Shi’ites
and other Muslims versus Maronite Christians; in Ethiopia the Orthodox
Amharas versus the Muslim Oromos; Muslim Arabs south of the Sahara
against Christian blacks; in Sudan, Muslims of the north against
Christians in the south; in Nigeria, Muslim Fulani-Hausa in the north
against Christian tribes of the south; the Chechens versus Russia; the
Tatars versus Russia; the Afghans versus Russia. And the list goes on.
Huntington says: “Muslims have problems living peaceably with their
neighbors. Muslims make up about one-fifth of the world’s population, but
in the 1990s they have been far more involved in intergroup violence than
the people of any other civilization. In 1992 ..., nine of 12 intercivilizational
conflicts were between Muslims and non-Muslims, and Muslims were
once again fighting more wars than people from any other civilization.”

Huntington continues: “Three different compilations of data thus yield the


same conclusion: in the early 1990s Muslims were engaged in more
intergroup violence than were non-Muslims and two-thirds to three-
quarters of intercivilizational wars were between Muslims and non-
Muslims. Islam’s borders are bloody, and so are its innards. Muslim states
also have had a high propensity to resort to violence in international
crises, employing it to resolve 76 crises out of a total of 142 in which they
were involved between 1928 and 1979. Muslim bellicosity and violence
are late twentieth century facts, which neither Muslims or non-Muslims
can deny.”

It should be clarified that all Muslims are not militant or terrorists.Only a


small percentage fall into this category. It is just as logical to say that all
Muslims are terrorists as it is to say that all Americans are Timothy
McVeighs, Terry Nichols, or members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Most Muslims are very friendly and extremely hospitable and will invite
you into their home, office or shop and insist that you have something to
eat and/or drink. That is not true of all Americans. Most Muslims will be
friendlier than most Americans. They are very warm people. We should
not live in fear of Muslims. If we do, we are giving in to what Osama bin
Laden desires for us.

The Potential Future

Concerning the future, along with Amos, I am neither a prophet nor the

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son of a prophet. I am from a non-profit organization. Only God knows the
future, but we can and should examine trends.

In the West, our emphasis on tolerance has produced a natural


reluctance to repeat statements which could be considered as negative
concepts regarding a world religion. Our fear of appearing intolerant or
prejudicial can prevent us from helping many in the world to understand
the truth.

Christ said that the wheat and tares will grow together in the end times.
There probably will be both positive and negative ramifications as a result
of September 11, 2001. We may be facing some of the following options
in our future.

First, we are facing a very clear decision where we must choose if


money, mammon, materialism and military will be the root of our security.
During these uncertain days we have an opportunity, as never before in
our history, to affirm God’s sovereignty over history, putting our faith in
Him and His promises.

Second, many Muslims may come to Christ through this trauma, realizing
that they do not want anything to do with a religion which teaches and
practices terrorism. It is estimated that, in 1979, there were 250 Persian-
speaking, Muslim-background believers (MBBs). In 2001, the figure has
increased to 27,500 Iranian MBBs. Iranians around the world have
recognized that there must be a better way than Khomeini’s path, which
he claimed was pure Islam. Many have not wanted any part of his
theology and practice. Wherever Iranians have immigrated, they have
come to faith in Christ. Over 47 Iranian MBB fellowships exist in the
United States, and there are at least 66 in the world.

Third, it is possible that Christians will overcome their fear of Muslims and
will befriend their Muslim neighbors, classmates, fellow workers,
storekeepers or physicians, and then help them with their personal needs,
and share God’s love with them. It is possible that many Muslims will hear
the gospel as a result of the heightened awareness of their need. In the
West, we do have the freedom of a unique privilege to share our faith,
and we should take advantage of that freedom. Let us not, out of fear,
keep ourselves from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and inviting
Muslims and non-Muslims to put their trust in Christ.

Always, when we are working with Muslims, men work with men and
women work with women. We should not make exceptions to this. It is
preferable to work one-on-one with one Christian and one Muslim
together. When we share hospitality with a Muslim, we need to remember
that we should never offer alcohol or pork.

-15-
All Muslims speak a universal language, the language of hospitality. They
love to have guests in their home and to be guests. Any Westerner can
speak that language. Also, to live in the West, in Canada, or the United
States, they need to speak English, and we also speak that language in
common. I believe that one of the central reasons God has brought
Muslims to the West is so that they can hear the good news of Jesus
Christ from people like you and me.

Let us remember that every Muslim in the world is made in the image of
God and should have the right to enjoy Christ’s love and be able to hear
the good news of Jesus Christ. May we not treat our Muslim neighbors
with fear, but with love.

Seventy-five percent of internationals who come to the United States are


never invited into an American home. The stories of five famous world
leaders have a lesson for us today. Ho Chi Minh came to the United
States from France to find the secret of capitalism and Christianity. He
worked in a restaurant, became disillusioned, embraced communism and
returned to lead North Vietnam in war against the United States. Leon
Trotsky did not have any contact with Christians in New York City. When
he returned to his home country of Russia, he aided Vladimir Lenin in
overthrowing the Russian czar and beginning the U.S.S.R. Fidel Castro
came to the United States with a desire to play major-league baseball.
Not finding Americans hospitable, he returned to Cuba to lead the
Communist Revolution. Yosuki Matsuoki studied on our West Coast and
was treated disrespectfully, which caused him to return to Japan with
bitterness, and a vow to get even. He planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Miriam Haile Mengistu from Ethiopia, studied in Virginia at a military
institute. He felt the racists’ attitudes and behavior and returned to
Ethiopia to convert it into a dictatorship. No Christian made significant
contact with any of these five people while they were in the West.

On the opposite side, stories could be told of internationals who have


come to faith in Christ and returned to their countries to become Christian
leaders. In almost all of our universities and colleges are future leaders of
Muslim countries and other least-reached countries. All of these future
leaders speak English. Are we studying what God would have us do to
build bridges of love and companionship and to bring the gospel to them?
We need to go fishing, not just maintain our aquariums.

Since the September 11th attacks, a Muslim-background believer in Christ


from the West has said, “Many Muslims and other peoples with darker
skin are afraid to go out in public.” One of the most loving things we can
do for a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh neighbor is to listen to them, show our
concern and offer to take them to a store or the mall. If there was ever a
time for Christians in the West to come to the defense of Muslims, to

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support and encourage them, it is now.

Of the more than 6 million Muslims who live in the United States, most are
very normal people with the same types of hopes and fears, desires to
work hard, provide for their families, and send their children to college.
May we, Christians, not be known for discriminating or holding prejudice
against people of another color who have come from another part of the
world. Most of the Muslims in the United States and in the West are in the
same state of shock as everyone else; most oppose terrorism and support
opposition against terrorism. Leviticus 19:33-34, and other passages,
teach us to treat the alien in our midst as a native-born.

Fourth, God may call many Christians to become missionaries among


Muslims. Christians in sending countries may become aware of Muslims
and realize that Muslims need to know of Christ and have
eternal life. It is possible that others will say, “I want to give financially to
send missionaries to Muslims,”or I want to pray regularly to get the gospel
out to the Muslim world.” In 1979, when Khomeini took power in Iran,
there were about 1,000 missionaries to Muslims. Today, there are 7,000.

Maybe bin Laden will also be used to awaken again the sleeping giant of
the Church to the need for Christ in the largest unreached bloc with the
largest number of unreached people-groups, the Muslim world.

Fifth, it is the prayer and hope of many that Muslims who enjoy the
freedoms and tolerance of the West (where they can build almost as
many mosques as they want) will write to and speak with people in their
home countries and ask them to provide freedom for Christians and those
of other faiths.

Sixth, it is a desire that Muslims in the United States and Canada who
enjoy the tolerance that they have received under the Constitution and the
Charter Rights and Freedoms, especially freedom of religion , would then
allow other Muslims in North America to enjoy the same freedom of
religion when they desire to put their faith in Christ. In other words,
Muslims in the United States and Canada do not allow freedom of religion
to other Muslims who decide to put their faith in Christ. As Muslims have
enjoyed religious freedom to build mosques throughout our nations, so it
would be wonderful if they, in turn, would provide religious freedom to
Muslims who want to believe in Christ as the Savior from their sin.

These are six positive potential responses. There are also some potential
negative results.

Seventh, there is a very live option that many may fall into fear of

-17-
Muslims. We need to remember that God is not the author of fear, but of
power, love, a sound mind; and perfect love casts out fear. We let
ourselves fall into the wishes of the terrorists if we live in fear of Muslims.

Eighth, another potential negative response could be a backlash from


many professing Christians against Muslims, Westerners having their own
Jihad against Muslims. In the first week after the bombings, 250 attacks
were made against Muslims or mosques across the United States.
Suspicions can become rumors, and rumors, as they circulate, can be
assumed to be facts. Hatred and fear of Muslims could be a growing
phenomenon.

Some Westerners have ignorantly said, “The only good Muslim is a dead
Muslim.” Let us speak out against this bigotry. All Muslims are created in
the image of God.

Of the Arabs who have come to the United States, 77 percent are
professing Christians who have left the Middle East because, in their
Islamic society, they were either persecuted or treated as second-class
citizens.

They have come longing for freedom. Many are solid citizens, ready to
defend the United States. It is a great injustice for them to be either
physically or verbally attacked.

Ninth, on the opposite side, there can be a backlash of Muslims in some


countries of the world who would delight in being martyrs and following in
the footsteps of the recent terrorists. It has been said that, in the last year
alone, 7,000 baby boys in Pakistan were named Jihad and 11,000
Osama. Osama bin Laden has prophesied that, if you kill him, “a hundred
Osamas” will arise to take his place.

Tenth, another challenge for the future is the question of how to guide
those who were working with Muslims but have had to leave due to the
current political instability in their country. Finding answers is more difficult
because we do not know how long this situation will last. Whether workers
will be out of these countries for one month, one year or one lifetime, will
affect how we counsel them. I tend to believe that this war on terrorism
will be longer rather than shorter, and that our government is anticipating
a three-to five-year war.

Eleventh, another response is the new phenomenon growing in our


country where members of “communities of faith” are becoming part of a
civil religion. In mass prayer meetings, such as at Yankee Stadium, we
have had a Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic and
Protestant leading in public prayer. If this trend continues, then a person
who holds to the belief that Christ is the only way of salvation may not be

-18-
considered part of the politically correct civil or national religion. An
evangelical Christian may be accused of spiritual racism rooted in hatred.

Twelfth, persecution of local Christians in many parts of the Muslim world


has already begun. On September 11th, in Pakistan, a Christian who
owned a restaurant had a gang of Muslim men refuse to pay for their
meal and then beat him to death, saying, “Take your payment from
America.” In countries across the world, including Sudan, Nigeria,
Indonesia and Pakistan, Christian minorities are terrified. The church and
the political leaders of the West have immediately condemned attacks
against Muslims. But Christians who live in Muslim countries do not
understand why the church and Western leaders have not spoken up in
defense of Christian minorities who have been persecuted and terrorized.

Thirteenth, it is possible that finances for missions could decline in the


near future if jobs which have been lost, or are about to be lost, do not
begin again in the near future. Both individuals and churches may have
less money to support missionaries.

How Can We Respond?

Prayer
We can pray for Muslims, and especially pray for the salvation
of Osama bin Laden and his network. The same God who
saved the terrorist, Saul, and turned him into the apostle,
Paul, could save Osama bin Laden, his counselors and his
network of terrorists.

 Let us pray for guidance on how to counsel returning


missionaries.

 May we not forget the eight missionaries in jail in


Afghanistan who may face martyrdom and, even more
importantly, the many Muslim-background believers who
face martyrdom.

 There are many MBBs and CBBs (Christian-background


believers) left behind in the Muslim world. Nationals cannot
flee on a jet plane to escape the contemporary problems in
their country. May we pray for them to be faithful, to find
God’s grace sufficient for their challenges, and to grow
through the challenges that they must face without the help
of their international Christian friends.

 We can pray for opportunities for friendship and witness with


our Muslim neighbors here and around the world, and for
Muslims to put their faith in Christ as their personal Savior.

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Take Advantage of Opportunities
1.God has given us a unique, open window of opportunity. May
we take advantage of it while it remains open. We have
many opportunities now to befriend Muslims, take their side,
encourage them, and listen to them. Many Muslims in the
West are people who are without a country, who are scared
and appreciate Christian love.

2.We can assure them that we know that all Muslims are not
terrorists, just as all Americans are not Timothy McVeighs,
Terry Nichols, or members of the KKK.

3. We can have Muslims


over to our homes for tea, a meal or hospitality. We can do
fun things with them, such as going to a concert, sports
event, hike or picnic together.

4. After we have established rapport with them and built bridges


with them, we can share Jesus Christ with them. We need to
realize that it is easier to witness to a Muslim than to most
Westerners. A Westerner can quickly put up a shield and say,
“I believe that religion is a personal issue.” However, Muslims
love to talk about spiritual things. Words like “Lord willing,”
“praise God,” “In the name of God” and “God is great” pepper
the language of most Muslim conversations. (It is true that the
percentage of Muslims who come to Christ generally is
smaller than the percentage of professing Christians who
become born-again Christians.)

5. We can choose to watch the “JESUS” film together with


Muslims in their own language. (These are very easy to
obtain. You can also buy a copy of the “JESUS” film in English
to watch first if you want to know what it is saying. The words
come straight from the Gospel of Luke.)

1.We can give them a copy of the Gospel of Luke or a New


Testament in their own language. These are also easy to
obtain. See the following resources.

Resources

Islam is the most studied religion, and Muslims are the least evangelized.
There are numerous resources to help in understanding Islam and in
sharing Christ with Muslims.

1. There is a wonderful Web site full of resources:

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www.answering-islam.org., which is a source for many answers
to questions Muslims raise.

2. Another site helps those working with Afghans,


www.afghanbibles.com. This is a valuable location of resources
by a specialist who works with Afghans.

3. At least three books are in print on Osama bin Laden and the
Taliban, which you can order through your book distributor.
4. Two excellent CDs are available. One, entitled “The World of
Islam,” is edited by Dudley Woodberry and produced by Global
Mapping. It sells for under $40. Contact Global Mapping
International, P.O. Box 25399, Colorado Springs, CO 80936,
phone (719) 531-3599 or email info@gmi.org. The CD has five
courses on Islam and over 40 books on Islam that can be of
much help. Another CD, by Archie Hensley, provides many
valuable resources, some of which are more foundational than
on “The World of Islam.” This CD is free of charge. Write to
Missions by Modem International, P.O. Box 71776, Madison
Heights, MI 48071.

5. A consortium of workers among Muslims in North America can


also provide help.

6. One of the best training programs is the Christar Summer


Training and Outreach Program (STOP) in Muslim evangelism
held during July. This is an intensive, one-month course on how
Muslims think and how to share the good news of Jesus Christ
with Muslims. Classes are held in the morning and outreach is
done each evening.

7. During the Muslim observance of Ramadan, there is an


intensive time of prayer for the Muslim world. For $3 you can
obtain a copy of the 30-day Muslim prayer focus through World
Christian News, P.O. Box 26479, Colorado Springs, CO 80936,
phone (719) 380-0507, or email wcnnews@aol.com.

8. Three times a year you may also obtain updated material for
praying for the Muslim world through the Fellowship of Faith for
Muslims (FFM), P.O. Box 65214, Toronto, ON, Canada M4K
3Z2, or via ffm.toronto@sympatico.ca. A donation is
appreciated.

9. Trans World Radio is producing a seven-video series entitled:


“Understanding Islam from a Christian Perspective.”

10. There are numerous books on understanding Islam and sharing

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Christ with Muslims. A helpful book to begin with is “Reaching
Muslims for Christ” by William J. Saul (Chicago: Moody
Press,1993).

11. I have produced a taped correspondence course entitled


“Introduction to Muslim Evangelism” that may be obtained
through writing to the Institute of Theological Studies, 3140 3
Mile Road, NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525, calling (888) ITS-
LERN or emailing ITS@gospelcom.net.

12. Contact Christar for sources for Gospels or New Testaments


and videos of the “JESUS” film in various languages spoken by
Muslims.

Christar
Box 14866
Reading, PA 19612-4866
www.christar.org
Phone: 800-755-7955

13. In a special tract being produced, Christar will offer a free


“JESUS” video and Scripture portions to all Muslims who
request them. If you would like to contribute toward the cost of
the distribution of videos and Scripture portions in various
Muslim languages, please make your check payable to
“Christar,” write on a separate note “for Muslim Outreach,” and
mail it to the address listed in point 12.

Scriptural Resources

The Word of God has much to say to encourage us and to instruct us in


this time of need.

7. When we lived in Iran, we traveled across the entire country and


interviewed MBBs and their pastors. Fifty MBBs completed a
survey of 64 questions. One of those questions was, “What biblical
passage means the most to you?” Most of these 50 MBBs, who
had never met each other, had in common one favorite passage
that the Holy Spirit had used to touch them. I would encourage us
to share this with our Muslim friends:

In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ says, “Come to Me all you who labor


and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon
you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you
will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is
light.”

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2. We need to realize that our real enemy is not Afghanistan, the
Taliban, Osama bin Laden or his al Qaida.

Ephesians 6:11-13 tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that


you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do
not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

II Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan transforms himself into an


angel of light. An angel is normally a wonderful thing, and light is a
characteristic of God. Satan is a master deceiver, specializing in
counterfeiting and deception. We need to be careful that we do
not get deceived.

In “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” Martin Luther reminds us that


devilish wills can never bring down God’s word:

Did we in our own strength confide,


Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He,
Lord Sabaoth is His name,
From age to age the same.
And He must win the battle.
3. In Matthew 5:44, our Lord clearly told us how we are to respond to
our enemies: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those
who curse you. Do good to those who hate you, and pray for
those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

From the cross, our Savior set the example when he said, “Father,
forgive them for they do not know what they do.” Just before Todd
Beamer and several others confronted a terrorist in a plane over
Pittsburgh, Pa. (which probably helped to save our Capitol through
the giving of their lives), Todd said, “Father, forgive them for they
do not know what they do.” Are we forgiving Muslims, terrorists
and those who have harmed us? Vengeance is a foreign
vocabulary word for individual Christians. Paul says in Romans
12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things
in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on
you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge
yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written,
‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore, ‘If your

-23-
enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him drink; For in so
doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome
by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

4. In the next chapter, Romans 13:4, points out that God has given
His power to the state to avenge, for He says: “he [the governing
authority] is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be
afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s
minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
So, the government has the right to bring justice, but not an
individual Christian.

5. Scripture is filled with much teaching concerning persecution. This


is an excellent time for us to study this biblical doctrine and teach
it. In the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5:11-12, our Savior says,
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all
kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be
exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they
persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

In John 15:20, our Savior says, “A servant is not greater than his
master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”
Hebrews 11:35-40 spells out some of the persecution suffered by
the prophets who have gone before us. For the missionary who
will leave family and lands for the gospel, Christ promises to
restore this a hundredfold with persecution (Mark 10:29).

6. In a concluding paragraph, I would point out from whom our


Savior said to make disciples. In Matthew 28:18-20, He said, “All
authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go
therefore and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and, lo, I
am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Our Savior said
to make disciples of all nations. In Greek, that is panta ta ethne,
ALL ethnic groups. “All” includes the nations that curse our
nation and bomb our buildings, and those who take missionaries
and national believers captive. “All” includes nations that do not
give missionary visas. “All” includes Muslim people groups who
live, work or study near where we live, work or study. God remains
on His throne. He has promised that there will be believers in
Christ from every people, tongue, tribe and nation.

Over a billion Muslims live every day of their lives with no church
in their language or culture, with no Bible in their hands, and with
no friend to tell them the wonderful news of Jesus Christ. What
would God have you do at this turning point of history to bring His

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love, made known in Jesus Christ, to the largest bloc of people
outside of Christ, who also have the largest number of least-
reached people groups?

May God give each of us wisdom in knowing how to respond to this


tragedy, after which our lives will never be the same. As Charles Dickens
stated in the opening words of his book “A Tale of Two Cities,” “It was the
best of times, it was the worst of times ... It was the season of light, it was
the season of darkness. It was the winter of despair, it was the spring of
hope.” Whether we choose to
live in the spring of hope, the season of light and the best of times will
depend upon whether we trust the promises of God and take steps of
faith during this window of opportunity in the Muslim world.

The same sun melts butter and hardens clay. Some people respond to
tragedies by hardening their hearts to God, and some by softening their
hearts in responsiveness to God and in love toward people. May we have
soft hearts toward God and love toward Muslims.

Sources

Numerous sources have been consulted in the research for this paper.
The following is a partial list:

15. ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah Yusuf. The Holy Qur’an; Text Translation and
Commentary. Brentwood, MD: Amana Corporation, 1989.
2. Barrett, David B.; Kurian, George G. and Johnson, Todd M.
World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd Ed., 2 Vols. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2001.
3. Bodansky, Yossef. Bin Laden; The Man Who Declared War on
America. Roseville, CA: Forum, 2001.
4. Cooley, John K. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and
International Terrorism New Edition. Sterling, VA: Pluto Press,
2000.
5. Gibb, H.A.R. and Kramers, J.H. Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam.
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
6. Glasse, Cyril. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. San
Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1989.
7. Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the
Remaking of World Order. New York: Touchstone, 1997.
8. Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and
Fundamentalism in Central Asia, New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press, 2000.
9. Johnstone, Patrick and Mandryk, Jason. Operation World, 21st
Century Ed.. Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster USA, 2001.
10. Wehr, Hans. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Edited by J.
Milton Cowan. London: MacDonald & Evans LTD., 1974.

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© 2001 Patrick Cate, Ph.D. Islamic Studies and President of Christar

Christar
Box 14866
Reading, PA 19612-4866
www.christar.org
Phone: 800-755-7955

Into Thy Word Ministries


129 South Lotus Avenue
Pasadena, Ca 91107
info@intothyword.com
www.intothyword.org

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and
be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Nub.
6:24-26

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