In most Islamic countries today, Christians, Buddhists and other religions are under some threat for practicing their religion and possibly extreme danger for evangelizing among their neighbors. The threat is even greater for any Muslim who converts to Christianity. While PR campaigns in America try to promote Islam as being a peaceful religion,
Christians around the world in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, and other Muslim-controlled countries continue to suffer.
This is not to say that all Muslims promote violence. However, a the study of Islamic teaching demonstrates the acceptance and even encouragement of persecution against
Christians as well as others who oppose Islamic teaching.
When I was a child, my father was stationed in India as the Army attaché and we lived there for three years. As a result of living there during such formative years, I have always had a love, respect and enthusiasm for all things India: history, culture, art, and religion.
I spent many much of my youth, teen years, and adulthood studying the Sikhs, Parsees, Jains, Buddhists, Hindus and the Muslims, their respective religions, leaders and contributions to the development and history of India. Due to my father’s agnosticism and interest in other cultures, I was not swayed to embrace one world view or religion above another, but was encouraged to examine them all with equal respect.
I grew up reading many stories and tales inspired by the women behind the veils and the warrior-leaders that loved them, wrote poetry to them and even built beautiful monuments to them. I returned to India 8 years after I graduated from college and have visited some of the Muslim monuments and traced the intricate carvings in marble and stone. I have even read the English translation of the Koran/Quoran.
One fact leapt out from the pages of almost every text and story written by and about the Muslim people — they embrace a fierce and violent religion. As a woman I am offended by the Koran’s teaching that in Paradise a worthy man is surrounded by beautiful virgin prostates who are ready to satisfy his every sexual desire. However, it is the Islamic Jihad as taught in the Koran and its propensity for extreme violence that I find most disturbing, especially in light of all the recent media hype about how “tolerant” the religion is.
One woman recently scolded me for making an observation about the religion of the Islamic terrorists. “All religions have one basic thing in common,” she said. “They are all based upon love. We all worship the same god.” While comments like this might play well on Oprah, they are not born out by the serious student of history, culture or religion.
Islam is a both philosophy and a religion and more recently also a political movement that was supposed to have been revealed to Mohammed over a period of 20 years. Mecca is the historic heart of Islam, but over the years, a series of other towns served as headquarters for Islam. As the years passed, the sect divided numerous times leading to a variety of sects in the different Muslim nations. Islam is as much about politics as religion. The people who control the Islamic states, control the philosophy of the religion for their area.
There is no central location for Islam, and the Islamic countries are often at war with one another. The only times they are completely unified is when they are fighting their historic enemy, the Jews and their more recent target, the Western world, especially America.
Due to the varying philosophies of the various sects, as well as the influence of the regional leaders, in some areas Islam is more tolerant than in others. However, it is a fallacy to embrace the new “Islam is about tolerance and love” philosophy that has been heard far and wide since 9-11. While it may be politically correct to espouse such a view, it is historically inaccurate. Other faiths, especially Christians and Jews, have historically and still currently continue to be persecuted and martyred in Muslim nations.
Very few Islamic leaders came out and said the attacks of Osama Bin Laden against America were wrong. Some of the leaders have said suicide or slaughter are wrong but there was a notable lack of condemnation about the actions of Osama Bin Laden. In some countries, footage was shot of people dancing in the streets over the news thousands of innocent Americans had been killed. One after another Islamic “expert” or leader was shown saying varying versions of, “Most unfortunate incident, but America brought it on herself with her foreign policies…”
It is convenient for the Taliban and other Islamic extremists to hate America because it is easy to rile up the people against the U.S. and portray the U.S. as a power mad oppressive nation when, in fact, America has given more aid to Afghanistan and other impoverished Islamic nations than any other country in the world. Yet in all Islamic nations to one degree or another public “hate speech” against America is a daily occurrence.
Egyptian clerics deliver hate filled American rhetoric every day which has allowed their militant religious leaders to get a level of legitimacy that they don’t deserve. The Egyptian leaders may have thought they were giving a “steam valve” to these people by allowing them to spout off, but instead, they have been legitimizing them.
Afghanistan is an almost completely illiterate country wracked by poverty and illiteracy. Most people cannot read the Koran and are subject to the teaching of the war-loving Taliban to translate the Koran. The stories of torture the Taliban inflicts upon their people in Afghanistan is unimaginable: ripping their flesh off in torture cells, shooting people in the fields, violence upon violence carried out by one Muslim against another in the name of Allah. It is not hard for the Taliban to give the populace a distorted picture of America. On the one hand they use misinformation to rile the Afghani people up; on the other hand they use fear tactics and torture to ensure the people turn from Western ways.
In our own country, the first Americans to adopt the teachings of Islam in a big way were the militant black groups of the 1960’s such as the Black Panthers. During a time of violence in our own country, a violent religion was embraced.
More disturbing is the film “American Jihad” produced in 1994 for PBS which recently showed Arabic extremists declaring Jihad on America. These groups have meetings declaring they need to kill all the infidels. They send their followers out to the gun ranges to practice shooting so they are prepared to take out American citizens. They want us dead… and we have not fully realized this yet even after the tragic events of 9-11.
The religion of Islam endorses evangelism by violence. Muslims can and frequently do in the name of Allah wage war against civilians. Certainly in the history of Christianity, violence has been carried out upon occasion in the name of religion, but these were aberrations usually motivated by politics and greed of a normally peaceful religion. Islam’s holy book the Koran teaches the Jihad — war against the unbeliever — as a precept and tenant of the Muslim faith.
As mentioned before, his does not mean all Muslims are violent — by no means! Each person responds to their religion differently, and as stated previously, there are several Muslim sects, some more tolerant than others. Many Muslims are horrified by the violence of September 11. Christians certainly should not turn around and wage Jihad against their Muslim neighbors. In fact, we are called to love our neighbors and do good to our enemies.
However, there is a verse in the Bible that teaches that not only should we be as gentle as the dove but as shrewd as the serpent. We can’t close out eyes and pretend like there is not an Islamic agenda to annihilate the “infidel” (one not “faithful” to the teachings of Allah – and this can include Muslims of a different sect), and we can’t ignore the fact this agenda often calls for, endorses, and utilizes violence.
This is a time to pray for wisdom for our leaders and policy makers. This is a time to give serious thought and attention to our nation’s safety. This is a time to take note of the world around us and not be lulled into a sense of false security by the vapid prattlings of the politically correct. Most of all, this is a time to realize our true security ultimately lies only in the Lord, to rest secure in His arms knowing Yahweh God not only knows the future… He holds it.
Related Stories and Links:
- Dayna Curry Celebrate’s 30th Birthday Today
- Dayna Curry Update
- A Friend in Need
- Petition to Stop the Worldwide Persecution of Christians