The Truth About Islam
Are Muslims the spiritual brothers and sisters of Christians and Jews? Do we all worship the same God? Are the Islamic holy scriptures, known as the Koran, inspired by God? Is Islam another path to God by which one can attain eternal life? Are the Islamic fundamentalists representative of true Islam, or are they a terrible aberration of an otherwise peace-loving religion?
Ever since the Attack on America on September 11, 2001, we have heard a never-ending chorus of voices from government, academia, and the media assuring us that the Islamic terrorists who attacked the Trade Towers and the Pentagon are not representative of "true Islam." We have been likewise assured by spiritual leaders — even some Christian spokesmen — that Islam is a religion of peace, and that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews.
"Our war is not against Islam," we have been told repeatedly. "Our war is against terrorism."
Well, what about it?
- Are Muslims the spiritual brothers and sisters of Christians and Jews?
- Do we all worship the same God?
- Are the Islamic holy scriptures, known as the Koran, inspired by God?
- Is Islam another path to God by which one can attain eternal life?
- Are the Islamic fundamentalists representative of true Islam, or are they a terrible aberration of an otherwise peace-loving religion?
- Is our war really a political one against international terrorists, or is it a spiritual battle against a demonic, intolerant, militant, and imperialistic religion known as Islam?
An Historical Perspective on Islam
Let's begin our consideration of these questions with some historical background.
Muhammad, the man who dictated the Koran and gave birth to Islam, was born in Mecca in the Saudi Arabian peninsula in 570 A.D. His father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old. He was raised first by a grandfather and later by an uncle.
Muhammad was illiterate throughout his life. Until the age of 25 he worked in caravans. During his extensive travels, he encountered many Christians and Jews. Through his conversations with them, he picked up bits and pieces of both Judaism and Christianity.
His life was radically changed at age 25 when he met a wealthy widow 40 years old who fell in love with him. Their marriage enabled Muhammad to live a life of leisure from that point on.
Fifteen years after his marriage, at age 40, Muhammad had a visitation from a spirit. Supposedly, this spirit told him that he was called of God to be a "prophet" and an "apostle." It is interesting to note that there was no tradition in Arabian religions of either prophets or apostles. These terms were obviously used by Muhammad to appeal to Jews and Christians.
Muhammad continued to have spirit visitations. They would throw him into a trance, and his utterances during the trances were written down by scribes. These ethereal statements became the Koran, but they were not compiled until after Muhammad's death. When the compilation was made, the utterances were not organized either chronologically or by subject matter. The result was a jumble of disorganized and often incoherent sayings which are frequently contradictory.
For example, the Koran gives four conflicting accounts of Muhammad's call to be a prophet [the word, Sura, means chapter]:1
- Suras 53 and 81 — God, or Allah as he is called in Arabic, personally appeared to Muhammad.
- Suras 16 and 26 — The call was from the Holy Spirit.
- Sura 15 — Angels issued the call.
- Sura 2 — Gabriel was the one who appeared to him.
At the time Muhammad received his initial visitation, there were over 300 gods being worshiped in Mecca by pilgrims who came there each year to pray at the Ka'aba, a small cubic building that housed a black meteorite and effigies of the various gods. One of those gods was Allah, the moon god.
Muhammad decided to proclaim that there was only one god — and he selected Allah as that god. That's the reason the crescent moon became the symbol of Islam. Muhammad also proclaimed that he was the prophet of Allah.
Initially, Muhammad expected both Jews and Christians to receive his new revelation. Thus, early passages in the Koran speak admiringly of "the people of the Book." These are the passages that Muslims in the West love to quote in their effort to prove that Islam is a tolerant religion. An example is Sura 5:82 which says, "You will find that those who are nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] are those who say, 'We are Christians.'"
But when Jews and Christians rejected Muhammad, he turned fiercely against them, and later passages in the Koran speak of them disparagingly:
- Sura 5:51 commands Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as friends.
- Sura 9:29 commands Muslims to fight against Jews and Christians until they either submit to Allah or else agree to pay a special tax.
- Sura 2:65-66 and Sura 5:60 contain references to Jews as "apes and swine to be despised and rejected." (Think of that! You can be sure that such a statement did not come from the true God of this universe who selected the Jews to be His Chosen People.)
Jews and Christians were not the only ones who rejected Muhammad's new revelations. The people of his own tribe, the Quraysh, also rejected him. In response, Muhammad succumbed to the temptation to appease his tribe by announcing that it would be okay for them to worship the three daughters of Allah — named Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Ma-nat.
This declaration led to the infamous "Satanic verses" of the Koran which were later deleted when Muhammad reverted back to monotheism. Muslims have tried ever since to cover-up this diversion from the faith. You may remember that in 1989 an Indian writer by the name of Salman Rushdie brought up this taboo topic when he wrote a novel entitled, The Satanic Verses. The Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran condemned him and called for his assassination. A three million dollar bounty was placed on his head, and he has been in hiding ever since.
The opposition to Muhammad in his home town of Mecca continued to grow until he was forced to flee 250 miles to Medina where his message was received. The Islamic calendar dates from this year when Muhammad fled to Medina and found a receptive audience, resulting in the formal establishment of Islam as a religion. It was the year 622 A.D., and that date represents year one of the Muslim calendar, which is a lunar calendar. The year 2001 is the year 1422 in the Muslim dating system.
After the death of his wife, Muhammad married at least 11 other women (some sources place the total as high as 16). He also took several concubines. He married one girl who was only six years old and had sexual relations with her when she was 9.2 According to the Koran, only the prophet could have unlimited wives. All other Muslim men are limited to four (Sura 4:3).
Muhammad died on June 8, 632 A.D. in Medina at age 63. He left no successor, and Islam soon broke into warring sects such as the Shiites and the Sunnis.
The Spread of Islam
All of those who survived Muhammad took up the sword, as directed by the Koran, and devoted themselves to advancing Islam through military might. The resulting spread of the religion was phenomenal. Within a century, Islamic forces had conquered Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East, Central Asia, and large parts of India. The armies raged through Egypt and across North Africa, destroying corrupt Byzantine Christianity in their path.
In 710 A.D. the Islamic armies crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and quickly conquered three-fourths of Spain and Portugal.3 They then invaded France and took one-third of the nation. They were 125 miles from Paris when they were miraculously defeated at the Battle of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours) in 732 A.D. by a French army led by Charles Martel. Their influence in Spain lived on for a few more centuries before they were slowly driven back to North Africa.
A second powerful attempt to subjugate all of Europe was made 900 years later in the 17th Century when the Turks began to expand their Ottoman Empire. They took Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and parts of Romania and Hungary. By 1683 they had reached the gates of Vienna where once again the Western forces won a miraculous victory against overwhelming odds.
Following this second attempt to conquer Europe, Islam fell into a state of depression and stagnation until it was awakened in the 20th Century due to several factors:
- The Amassing of Great Wealth — due to the discovery of vast reservoirs of oil in Arab lands.
- The Re-establishment of the Nation of Israel — interpreted by Islamic clerics like Khomeini as a judgment of Allah due to Islamic stagnation and apostasy.
- The Positioning of U.S. Armed Forces — the placement during the 1990's of American troops throughout the Middle East in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
- The Encroachment of Western Culture into the Muslim World — due to the penetration of Western movies, television programs, and consumer goods.
The Cultural Nature of Islam
The encroachment of Western culture cannot be stressed too much. It seems trivial to most Westerners, but that is because of the failure to understand that Islam is a cultural religion that deifies 7th Century Arabian culture.4
Westerners tend to view religion as something intensely personal and private, and not as a cultural phenomenon. For example, Christianity is "supra-cultural" in that it allows people to live, dress and eat in accordance with the culture in which they exist. This is not so with Islam. In Islam there is no "secular realm" that is free of religion. Islam regulates every aspect of life to the point that religion, politics, and culture are inseparable. Islam is thus fueled by a subtle form of racism in which 7th Century Arab culture is to be imposed upon all other cultures.
Here are some examples of the cultural nature of Islam:
Political Structure — The tribalism of 7th Century Arabia is the political structure sanctioned by the Koran. The chief has absolute authority. There is no concept of civil rights. This principle is reflected today in the reality that all Islamic countries are ruled by dictators, and civil liberties, like freedom of speech and religion, do not exist.
Prayer — A Muslim is required to pray five times a day toward Mecca. This is a symbol of the underlying cultural imperialism that lies at the heart of Islam. Think of it — what if all Russian Orthodox throughout the world were required to pray toward Moscow? Or, if all Roman Catholics were required to face Rome when they prayed? What if Evangelical Christians were required to pray toward Jerusalem? Such requirements would imply a cultural attachment to the focal point of prayer.
Pilgrimage — A Muslim is required, despite the hardship and cost, to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia once in his lifetime. Again, what if all Christians were required to go to Rome once in their lifetimes?
Dietary Laws — The only foods allowable are those that were acceptable in 7th Century Arabia.
Women — What an illiterate, nomadic tribeswoman wore in the desert in 7th Century Arabia is what is mandated for Muslim women today. The plight of women in Islamic countries today is despicable. They can be kept prisoners in their homes. They cannot appear in public without a covering. They are usually denied the right to vote. They are often denied anything more than a rudimentary education. In strict Islamic countries, women are generally treated as sub-human.5 Sura 4:34 says, "Men are the managers of the affairs of women... Those women who are rebellious — admonish them, banish them to their couches, and beat them."
Punishment — Cruel and unusual punishment is practiced throughout the Islamic world. Incarceration without due process is common. Punishments often include torture, the cutting off of body parts (hands, ears and tongues), the gouging out of eyes, beheading, and public flogging — all representative of 7th Century Arabian culture. The Koran specifically commands that those who disobey Allah are to be tortured (Sura 8:12-14).
Time magazine recently presented a chilling summary of the cultural nature of Islam as it is evidenced in the "moderate" Islamic nation of Saudi Arabia:6
"Despite the modernization that took place after the discovery of oil reserves in 1938, Saudi Arabia remains a land where rigid religious and traditional values are strictly enforced. Cinemas and discos are outlawed; men and women are separated in banks, schools, and fast-food restaurants; women must wear veils and are forbidden to drive. Public decency police known as muttawa comb shopping malls searching for women whose loose scarves reveal a curl of hair and forcing store owners to shut during prayer times. Unforgiving Saudi justice is on view after the main prayer every Friday, when a swordsman beheads blindfolded murderers, sorcerers, drug smugglers, and other criminals in Riyadh's 'Chop-chop Square.'"
The Spiritual Nature of Islam
Islam is a typical works salvation religion centered around a false god. Its fundamental tenets deny the heart of the Christian Gospel, revealing its demonic origin.
The Koran — As I have already pointed out, the holy book of Islam is riddled with contradictions. Consider, for example, what it says about creation. In one place it asserts that Allah created everything in "the twinkling of an eye" (Sura 54:49-50). Elsewhere it says that the time period of the creation was two days (Sura 41:9, 12); four days (Sura 41:10); six days (Suras 7:54, 10:4, and 32:4); in "a day equaling 1,000 years" (Sura 32:5); and also in "50,000 years" (Sura 70:4). That's a total of six different time periods!
The Koran contains many scientific errors. A crude example is found in Sura 18:8-86 where it says that Alexander the Great followed the setting of the sun and discovered that it went down into the waters of a muddy spring!
Many Arabian fairy tales about genies are contained in the Koran, and the book is also full of historical errors. It presents Mary the mother of Jesus as the sister of Moses and Aaron (obviously confusing her with their sister, Miriam). The Noahic flood is placed in the time of Moses, and the claim is made that one of Noah's sons refused to enter the Ark and was drowned.
The Koran also pictures Abraham as offering Ishmael as a sacrifice in Mecca, whereas the biblical account has Abraham offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah in the area that would later become the heart of Jerusalem.
God — The Koran asserts that the god of Islam is the God of Christians and Jews (Sura 29:46). Nothing could be farther from the truth.7
The god of Islam, Allah, is most definitely not the God of the Bible. Allah is presented in the Koran as an autocratic ruler who is aloof and arbitrary (Sura 5:40). Allah is unknowable whereas the God of the Bible is knowable (2 Timothy 1:12). Allah is impersonal, unlike the personal God the Scriptures reveal (1 Peter 5:6-7). Allah is unitarian (Sura 4:48) whereas the God of the Bible is trinitarian (2 Corinthians 13:14). Here is what the Koran says about the God of the Bible (Sura 4:171): "Believe in Allah and say not 'Trinity.' Cease! It is better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son."
Allah is capricious (Sura 2:284), whereas the true God is trustworthy. And Allah is never anywhere presented as a god of love — which is the essence of the nature of the true God (1 John 4:7-16).
Jesus — The Koran denies point blank that Jesus was the Son of God (Sura 112:2-3). It also denies His atoning sacrifice by claiming that he never died (Sura 4:157). A substitute died for Him on the Cross. Jesus was translated to Heaven, like Enoch, where He will remain until He returns to kill all pigs, destroy all crosses, and convert the world to Islam. Jesus will marry, reign for 40 years and then die and be buried next to Muhammad in Medina.8 Jesus is characterized in the Koran as nothing more than "an apostle of Allah" (Sura 4:171).
Sin — There is no concept of sin in Islam and therefore no need for forgiveness. Shame replaces sin. Everything is a matter of honor verses dishonor.9 In the Muslim view, man does not need redemption, he only needs some guidance so that he might develop the inherently pure nature with which the Creator has endowed him. If he will be faithful in his prayers, almsgiving and fasting, God is likely to overlook his failures and usher him into Paradise.10
Ethics — The situation determines the appropriate action, not a standard of right and wrong. As an example, Al Ghazzali (1058-1111), one of the greatest Muslim theologians, wrote: "Know that a lie is not wrong in itself. If a lie is the only way of obtaining a good result, it is permissible. We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results."11 The Koran sanctions revenge: "If anyone transgresses... against you, transgress likewise against him" (Sura 2:194).
Salvation — Islam is a religion of works. One obtains favor with Allah by performing the five pillars of the faith:
- Reciting the creed that there is one god, Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad.
- Praying five times a day toward Mecca.
- Giving alms to the poor.
- Fasting from sunrise to sunset one month a year during the month of Ramadan.
- Making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Another way to reach Paradise is to die fighting for Allah (Sura 3:157).
Islam is so works oriented that it teaches that good deeds cancel bad ones (Sura 11:114). In contrast to all this emphasis on works, the true Word of God teaches that it is impossible to earn salvation because it is a gift of God's grace that is received through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Heaven — The Islamic Paradise is a place of sensual pleasure consisting of gluttonous feasts and endless sex orgies (Suras 52:17-24; 55:54-56; and 78:32-34).
The Intolerant and Militant Nature of Islam
One of the most controversial issues regarding Islam concerns whether or not it is a militant religion. Muslims in the West argue it is peace-loving. Westerners who have experienced it in the Muslim world argue it is inherently intolerant and militant.
The Koran itself preaches intolerance toward other religions. Sura 5 contains the following command: "Take not Jews and Christians for friends... He among you who takes them for friends is one of them... Choose not for friends such of those who received the Scripture before you [Jews and Christians]... But keep your duty to Allah" (verses 51, 55, 57). Extreme intolerance is commanded in Sura 5:33 — "[For those who do not submit to Allah] their punishment is... execution or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet, from the opposite sides, or exile from the land."
The Koran also expresses an intolerant attitude toward any person who decides to reject the Islamic faith or convert to another religion. Such persons are to be executed (Sura 9:12). In the Hadith (the oral tradition of Muhammad's sayings) it says "Whoever changes his religion, kill him" (Hadith 9:57). These commands are practiced in all Islamic Fundamentalist countries today.
With regard to militancy, the Koran not only condones it, it commands it:
"Fighting is prescribed for you, and [some of] you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not" (Sura 2:216).
"Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war" (Sura 9:5).
"Fight in the way of Allah... and slay them [the unbelievers] wherever you find them and drive them out... and fight them until... religion is for Allah" (Sura 2:190-193).
Muhammad is quoted in the Hadith as saying, "The sword is the key of heaven and hell. A drop of blood in the cause of Allah — a night spent in arms [war] — is of more avail than two months of fasting and prayer. Whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven, and at the day of judgment, his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim."12
Muslims living in Western democracies try to defend their religion by quoting Sura 2:256 which says, "There is no compulsion in religion."
In evaluating this very lonely verse in the Koran, you need to keep in mind first that it was written before Muhammad was rejected by Jews, Christians and his fellow Arabs — before he fled to Medina and started responding in hatred to all his detractors. But even more important is the fact that Islamic teachers themselves argue that this verse was later abrogated, either by the words or actions of Muhammad.13
- Some argue that the verse was abrogated by Muhammad's later orders for his troops to fight until unbelievers were compelled to surrender to Islam.
- Others argue it was abrogated by Sura 9:73 which says, "O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be harsh with them."
- A third group argues that the words of the verse do not mean what they seem to say. They argue the words mean that religion cannot be used to force someone to do something evil, but compelling people to accept the truth of Allah is a religious duty.
- A fourth group of Islamic clerics accepts the words to mean what they say, but they argue that they were part of Allah's strategy to advance Islam. While Muslims were weak, Allah spoke through Muhammad and told them to tolerate infidels. But when the Muslims became strong, Allah commanded them to cease being tolerant and attack and subdue the infidels.
The bottom line is that regardless of the explanation, the result is the same — the verse has been abrogated, and infidels must embrace Islam or face death.
Muslims sometimes counter by pointing to the intolerance and violence that have characterized both Jews and Christians at certain times in their histories. They point to the slaughter of the Canaanites when the Jews took the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. And, of course, they point to the Christian Crusades in the Middle Ages. Using these examples, they accuse Jews and Christians of being hypocritical in attacking the intolerance and violence of Islam today.
With regard to the Jews, this argument ignores the fact that God used them as an instrument of His judgment against the tribes living in Canaan — just as He later used the Assyrians and Chaldeans to judge the Jews (Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24-25; Deuteronomy 9:5). He never told the Jews to conquer the world for Him, and He provided them with precise instructions as to how they were to treat aliens who might wish to live among them. They were to be treated with dignity and were to be provided with justice (Leviticus 19:17, 33 and Deuteronomy 27:19). Even more, the Jews were commanded to love their neighbors as they loved themselves (Leviticus 19:18).
Regarding the Christian Crusades, they were an aberration in Christian history based upon perverted Catholic doctrine and not upon any biblical injunction. In contrast, the intolerance and violence that have characterized Islam throughout its history are firmly rooted in the Koran.
What a contrast all the ghastly commands of Muhammad are to the loving words of Jesus who told Christians:
"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
"Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39).
"Do not judge, lest you be judged" (Matthew 7:1).
"However you want people to treat you, so treat them" (Matthew 7:12).
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).
"This is my commandment that you love one another" (John 15:12, 17).
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
And what a contrast it is between the admonition of Muhammad to conquer for Allah with the sword and Jesus' exhortation to go forth in peace and appeal to people's hearts through the preaching of the Gospel, relying on the persuasive power of God's Holy Spirit.
The Imperialistic Nature of Islam
From its inception, Islam has been committed to what it calls jihad — a word meaning holy war. The duty of Muslims is to subjugate or destroy "infidels" — the term the Koran uses for all non-believers.
In the Muslim viewpoint, the world is divided into two regions — those areas controlled by Islam, called Dar al-Islam (meaning the House of Islam) and those called Dar al-Harb (the House of War). The Koran commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims until they exterminate all other religions, leaving Islam as the one and only religion in the world (Suras 2:193 and 8:39). Muhammad is quoted in the Hadith as saying, "I have been ordered to fight with the people until they say, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah" (Hadith 4:196).
Regarding terror, Allah orders Muslims to terrorize non-Muslims on his behalf: "Strike terror (into the hearts of ) the enemies of Allah and your enemies" (Sura 8:60). Allah then assures his followers that he will assist them: "I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. It is not you who slay them, it is Allah" (Sura 8:12, 17).
Concerning jihad, the Koran guarantees Paradise to those who fight for Allah (Sura 4:74).14 It promises instant Paradise for those who die in battle (Suras 9:111 and 47:5-6). Dying for Allah is presented as better than living: "And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that others may amass [of worldly wealth]" (Sura 3:157).
Martyrs are promised a sensual and luxurious life in Paradise (Sura 52:17-22). According to Al-Ghazzali, one of Islam's greatest teachers, when a martyr reaches Paradise, he "will marry 500 companions, 4,000 virgins, and 8,000 divorced women."15 Commenting on this statement, Randall Price, biblical teacher and Middle East expert, observed that the Islamic Paradise is "just the kind of place that adolescent, unmarried men, isolated through their lives from the opposite sex by rigid cultural standards, would die for.16
The murderous imperialistic nature of Islam is clearly revealed in the sermons delivered weekly throughout the Muslim world. Consider the following excerpt from a sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi that was broadcast live over Palestinian television on June 8, 2001. Referring to a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that had killed 21 Israeli teenagers the week before, he praised the terrorists:17 "Blessings to whoever waged jihad for the sake of Allah. Blessings to whoever raided for the sake of Allah. Blessings to whoever put a belt of explosives on his body, or on his son's body, and plunged into the midst of the Jews, crying, 'Allahu Akbar!' Praise to Allah!"
Then he expressed the imperialistic aims of Islam by issuing warnings to nations that would be "erased:" "Allah is almighty... We must prepare the ground for the army of Allah that is coming according to [divine] predestination. We must prepare a foothold for them. Allah is willing for this unjust state of Israel to be erased. The unjust state, the United States, will be erased. The unjust state, Britain, will be erased."
A similar sermon was delivered the previous year on October 13, 2000, by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya.18 It too was carried live on Palestinian television. He proclaimed that the true terrorists are the Jews "who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty has said." He called for Muslims to have no mercy on the Jews: "Fight them wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them,... and kill those Americans who are like them — who stand by them." As an incentive to carry out these murderous exhortations, the cleric added: "O brothers in belief, the beautiful bride has a costly price and dowry... Our bride is Paradise. O brothers in belief... the cost of the dowry of this bride... is that we fight in the path of Allah, and kill and be killed."
Keep in mind that these are quotes from sermons! Can you imagine a Jewish rabbi or a Christian minister urging their congregations to go out and kill a Muslim for God?
The Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran was the modern day Islamic spokesman who revived Muhammad's vision of world conquest. He taught that the re-establishment of Israel was a Satanic miracle allowed by Allah because of the lukewarmness of the Muslim masses. He called for a renewal of true Islam to accomplish three purposes:19
- To overthrow the "secular" rulers of Islamic countries (like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt), just as he had done in Iran.
- To take back the land of Palestine for Allah, exterminating Israel in the process.
- To conquer the rest of the world for Allah.
Notice the first priority was the transformation of secular Islamic countries into religious states ruled by the Koran. Then would come Israel and the world.
In a proclamation made by Osama bin Laden in 1998, he listed the same goals and prioritized them in the same order.20 He then identified the United States as the prime obstacle to the achievement of these goals. Accordingly, he called on Muslims everywhere "to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it."
It is important to note that the eradication of Israel is not the top priority. Nor is Israel viewed as the major obstacle to world conquest. I emphasize this because many Americans are saying that the key to winning the war against terrorism is to dump Israel. More and more, on radio talk shows, I hear people saying, "Let's cut Israel loose. Let the Arabs have it. Then they will leave us alone."
That is utter nonsense. Israel is not the cause of Islamic terrorism toward the West. If Israel were to disappear tomorrow, Fundamentalist Islam would still be determined to destroy America as part of its plan to take the world for Allah. And if we were to abandon Israel, the Muslim world would interpret it as an act of cowardice, proving our word is meaningless and that we truly are, as they say, "a depraved society devoid of values." Our abandonment of Israel would only whet their appetite. Islamic Fundamentalism cannot be appeased. It must be defeated.
I want to conclude by answering the questions we began with:
Are Muslims the spiritual brothers and sisters of Christians and Jews?
No, they have been deceived by a Satanic, false religion.
Do we all worship the same God?
Absolutely not. The god of Islam is a false god. He is really Satan in disguise.
Are the Islamic holy scriptures, known as the Koran, inspired by God?
Not the God of the Bible. The Islamic scriptures are a jumbled mess of contradictory statements that are unscientific, unhistorical, and unbiblical.
Is Islam another path to God by which one can obtain eternal life?
No! Muslims reject Jesus as Messiah and deny His atoning sacrifice. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6).
Are the Islamic Fundamentalists representative of true Islam, or have they hijacked a peace-loving religion?
There is no doubt they represent the true heart of Islam. Islam is a cultural, intolerant, militant and imperialistic religion of the sword.
Is our war really a political one against terrorism, or is it a spiritual one against a demonic religion known as Islam?
Based upon the evidence I have presented from the Koran and from history, I think the answer is obvious. We are not engaged in a war against terrorism. Terrorism is a means, not the source of the struggle. Terrorism is a tool of those waging the war. To say this is a war against terrorism is equivalent to saying World War II was a war against U-Boats, V2 Rockets and Kamikaze planes. No, World War II was a war against Fascism. The current war is one against Islamic Fundamentalism.
But even more substantive, it is a spiritual war against the forces of Satan.
Obstacles to the Gospel
Jesus is about to return. The Bible says He will not return until the Gospel is preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14). There have been two major obstacles to the preaching of the Gospel — Communism and Islam, both religions of Satan. Communism collapsed and the former Communist countries are now open to the Gospel. The final barrier to be overcome is Islam.
For ten years now Evangelical Christians have been praying for the "10/40 Window" — that area of the world between the 10th and 40th latitudes where hundreds of millions are enslaved to the spiritual darkness of Islam.21 The prayers have been effective. Countless numbers have been exposed to the Gospel in various surreptitious ways, and many have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, knowing that to do so may well mean death.
Satan is enraged over these incursions into his territory. He is equally upset over the re-establishment of Israel. He can read the signs of the times, and he knows his time is short before Jesus breaks from the heavens in glory. But Satan is self-deceived, and he continues to believe he can thwart the purposes of God. He has therefore aroused and empowered Islam to make one last attempt to conquer the world.
Islam is destined to lose this battle, for the Word of God says that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52).
I believe Islam will ultimately experience another defeat so overwhelming and so humiliating that the eyes of millions of Muslims will be opened to the fact that Allah is a false god. At that point their hearts will be opened to the true God — a God of lovingkindness who came to this earth and died for the sins of Mankind.
Isaiah was given a vision of this day in Isaiah 19 where it was revealed to him that one day during the Millennial reign of Jesus, Egypt, Assyria, and Israel will all be united in worshiping the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
A Call to Prayer
Let us pray for our leaders, that they will be able to discern the spiritual nature of the war we are engaged in.
Let us pray for the leaders of Israel, that they will turn to God for their protection and stop seeking it through America and through trying to appease an enemy whose goal is to annihilate them.
Let us pray for the Islamic world, that Muslims everywhere will have their hearts opened to the Gospel.
And let us daily cry out from the depths of our hearts, "Maranatha!" Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Witness your faith in response to the attack!
- The Koran is available in many printed editions. A handy one that is fully indexed and which can be searched by words and phrases can be found on the Internet at http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran.
- The Hadith According to Al Bukahri, 7:64. This version of the Hadith is considered to be the most definitive collection of Islamic oral traditions. It consists of nine volumes. It can be found on the Internet at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/search hadith.html.
- An excellent chronology of Islamic history can be found on the Internet at http://eawc.evansville.edu/chronology/ispage.htm.
- There is an outstanding discussion of the cultural nature of Islam in the book by Robert Morey entitled, The Islamic Invasion (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992). See in particular pages 19-32.
- Abdullah Al Araby, "Incredible Teachings of Muhammed," on the Internet at http://www.islamreview.com. This is the website of a ministry called The Pen vs. The Sword. It contains many excellent articles about the true nature of Islam.
- Scott Macleod, "Inside Saudi Arabia," Time, October 15, 2001, p. 62.
- A good discussion of the differences between the god of Islam and the true God of the Bible can be found in the book, Islam, Israel, and the Last Days, by Elishua Davidson (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991). See pages 47-62, 103-122.
- Lance Lambert, "The Messianic Expectations of Islam," Jerusalem, 1994. Produced by The Christians Friends of Israel Ministry in Jerusalem.
- Clarence Wagner, Jr., "Islam and the Land," an undated, unpublished manuscript.
- "Insights into Islam," an unsigned article on The Muslim — Christian Debate Website at http://www.debate.org.uk/topics apolog/insights.htm.
- "The Dark Side of Islam," an unsigned article on The Muslim — Christian Debate Website at http://www.debate.org.uk/topics/coolcalm/Dark-Side-of-Islam.htm.
- M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, "Tolerance in Islam," an article on the Internet at http://www.debate.domini.org/newton/tolerance.htm.
- Ney Rieber, "The Truth about Jihad," an article on the Internet at http://www.bible.ca/islam-jihad.htm.
- Randall Price, "Islam and the Middle East Conflict," an undated and unpublished article, page 10.
- Ibid., page 8.
- "The Palestinians in Their Own Words: Palestinian Quote Sheet #50, 16 October, 2000," a document on the Internet at www.iris.org.il.
- Sheikh Usamah bin-Muhammad bin-Laden, "Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans," published by Al-Quds al-Arabi on February 23, 1998. Posted on the Internet at http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm.
- For more information about the 10/40 Window prayer effort, see www.1040window.org.