A young cartoonist named Molly Norris learned first hand the influence that Islam demands upon the sphere of Arts & Entertainment in our nation. In response to censorship of the show “South Park” by Comedy Central, Norris drew a cartoon declaring an event called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” Although nothing in the Qur’an bans depictions of Muhammad, there are passages in the hadith (statements or actions of Muhammad) that bans the depiction of any living creature, including images of Muhammad or any other prophet in case the images become idols.
The creators of South Park had been threatened by members of an organization called Revolution Muslim because the group considered the depiction of Muhammad wearing a teddy bear costume in an episode insulting to Islam. A threat was posted on the group’s website saying that violent retaliation would likely happen to the show’s creators. In addition the website published the addresses of the show’s production office in Los Angeles and Comedy Central’s New York office. Comedy Central obscured all images and bleeped all references to Muhammad and removed a speech about intimidation and fear from the next episode.
Molly Norris drew a cartoon on April 20, 2010 declaring May 20,2010 as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” in protest of Comedy Central’s censoring of South Park. She reasoned that if everyone drew Mohammed, Islamic terrorists would be unable to murder them all and thus their threats would become unrealistic. Part of the text on her cartoon read, “Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for…the first amendment.”
The idea quickly became popular on Facebook and was supported by many bloggers drawing attention to Molly Norris. In a radio interview, she explained her reasoning behind the cartoon, “…as a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened, I wanted to counter Comedy Central’s message about feeling afraid.”
The cartoon and the idea took on a life of its own and by April 29, Norris suggested that “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” be called off. She said the campaign had grown much bigger than she ever imagined and her cartoon was being used in ways she could not control. “I said that I wanted to counter fear and then I got afraid.”
Unfortunately for the cartoonist, al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Awlaki called for Molly Norris’ execution even though she tried to end the campaign. The FBI notified Norris that they considered it a “very serious threat.” Norris changed her name and went into hiding.
We read of art displays that are offensive to Christians, yet however repulsive Christians may find the art they do not attempt to force their beliefs on the artist through death threats. Molly Norris is only one of many within the Arts & Entertainment industry that discovered firsthand what happens when western freedoms are met with the archaic system of shariah law. Unlike law within the Christian and Jewish faiths, Islamic law applies itself to non-believers and believers alike.
Fear is a weapon oftentimes used by Islamists to intimidate Muslims and non-Muslims. Christians believe “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”
PRAYER FOR ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
Earlier this year, media networks began to report about “the war on women” as part of their coverage of the presidential primaries. Some described the war in economic terms as they reported on equal pay legislation. Others tend to have a definition of the war on women like the ACLU’s who defined the “War on Women” as the “legislative and rhetorical attacks on women and women’s rights taking place across the nation.” The ACLU’s examples of these attacks on women include waiting periods before abortion and ending Planned Parenthood funding.
The real war on women in the U.S. however is being waged by Shariah proponent groups who are attempting to hide behind the concept of the freedom of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. One such group known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has launched a $3 million campaign to “help the public understand Shariah and counter the rise of Islamophobia in America.”
On the ICNA website Naeem Baig, Executive Director of the ICNA Council for Social Justice states, “[Because of the freedoms granted under the First Amendment] Jewish family law is acceptable in civil courts today…Muslims are as American as any other faith group, and are deserving of these rights as well.”
Shariah law however differs greatly from Judeo-Christian law. Under shariah law women are considered inferior to men. The Qur’an says, “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other…”(Q 4:34) Inheritance laws within Islam further reflect this attitude with a woman inheriting half of what a man inherits (Q 4:11). Her testimony in a court of law is also only worth half of the testimony of a man’s (Q 2:282). Under shariah a husband is allowed to beat (Q4:34) and rape (Q2:223) his wife.
Arguments are made that these types of laws would not apply to women living in the United States, however a report issued by the Center for Security Policy examined 50 Appellate Court decisions from 23 states where shariah law had been considered in the case. Out of these 50 cases, the majority affected women and children with shariah being considered in marriage law and child custody cases. You may download a copy of the comprehensive report here.
Although often blamed on cultural traditions rather than shariah law by Islamic apologists, women around the world and in recent years in the United States have been the victims of forced marriages, honor killings and female genital mutilation. The Tahirih Justice Center conducted a survey on forced marriage in immigrant communities in 2011. Based upon the survey, there were as many as 3,000 cases of forced marriage in the past two years in the U.S. although the survey did not reveal how many of the marriages were Islamic.
A study of worldwide trends in honor killings revealed 91% of honor killings in North America were due to unacceptable “westernization”. Examples in our nation include Noor Almaleki. An article in Marie Clare describes the vision Noor had for herself, “Having lived in the U.S. for 16 years, she held dreams of becoming a teacher, or marrying a man she loved, and most importantly of making her own choices.” Her Iraqi father felt his daughter was dishonoring his family by desiring to choose her own mate and dress in a western fashion. So in October of 2009 as Noor and a friend walked across a parking lot her father driving close to 30 miles an hour hit Noor and her friend. The impact knocked Noor onto a median so her father swerved his SUV onto the median and ran over his daughter fracturing her face and spine. He was eventually apprehended in England. From jail her father defended himself, “I’m not a criminal. I didn’t kill someone randomly…For an Iraqi, honor is the most valuable thing.”
Eighteen year old Amina Said and her seventeen year old sister, Sarah were shot in 2008 by their father also for being typical teenage girls. Amina and Sarah had a cell phones and dated American boys. Their father, an Egyptian Muslim wanted his daughters to be Muslims and to marry husbands that he would choose. He had threatened the girls and finally on New Years Day of 2008, he shot them. A 911 call by Sarah as she was dying identified her father as her killer. Yaser Abdel Said is still at large. Even if the girls’ father is apprehended under shariah law a Muslim father is not subject to retaliation for killing his own children according to The Reliance of the Traveller, a manual of Islamic Sacred Law (approved by al-Azhar University and the International Institute of Islamic Thought).
Although our series deals with Islam in the United States, a quick look at the rights of women in any Muslim majority country clearly shows how shariah laws subjugate women discriminating against them through laws that give men control in marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance. For more information and personal stories of women affected in our nation by shariah law, visit End the Shariah War on Women.
PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY:
Recently an article appeared in a magazine on a denominational church’s website entitled, “A Moravian and Muslim Answer to an Imam’s Request”. It is the story of two church members who, after living in the United States for many years, returned to the place of their birth, a village in Sierra Leone. They, with the help of their church, have built a mission house, a school and a church in the village.
The population of the village is reported to be 90 percent Muslim, but the mission group maintains a good relationship with these Muslims. A church member visiting the village paid a visit to the Imam at the mosque in the village. After her visit, she asked if there was anything she could do to return his hospitality. His reply was the mosque was in need of prayer rugs so after returning to the United States the need was shared with other congregations.
Through an interfaith clergy group a pastor with the help of an imam in his city was able to purchase the prayer rugs and send them to the mosque in the village. The magazine applauded this effort and described the pastor and the imam as overjoyed that their friendship made them part of an interfaith effort stretching from the United States to Sierra Leone.
Unfortunately, as this well-intentioned effort by these Christians demonstrates, they obviously do not understand the teachings of Islam or the implications of their gift.
Prayer rugs are used for the ritual prayer, or salat, that Muslims perform five times daily at: dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Most prayer rugs have a mihrab (niche), an arch-shaped design at one end of the carpet. Muslim worshipers must point the mihrab toward Mecca when praying. When performing salat at the mosque, worshipers line up in parallel rows behind the prayer leader (imam) who directs them in actions and words. As part of the salat, Muslims recite Al-Fatiha, the first sura (or chapter) found in the Qur’an.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the universe.
He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
He is the Master of the Day of Judgment.
It is you we worship, it is you we ask for help.
Guide us in the straight path.
The path of those you have blessed, as opposed
to those who incur wrath and have gone astray.
One English version translates the end of the sura like this, “The way of those on whom you have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). Islamic scholars verify the understanding by Muslims that Jews are those who earned Allah’s anger and Christians are those who went astray.
Each time Muslims in the village in Sierra Leone use the prayer rugs given to them by Christians they are declaring the very Christians who gave the gift have been led astray. Muslims believe the Bible was corrupted and the teachings of the Qur’an supersede the Bible. The gift of the prayer rugs affirms Islamic worship as a valid path to God, yet Muslims do not believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God; to them it is considered blasphemy. In fact they do not believe God has a Son.
Unwittingly, these Christians have in fact presented a gift in the form of prayer rugs to those who are lost that does nothing to bring Muslims closer to the Truth.
RELIGION PRAYER POINTS:
A quick Google search on the name of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) brings some interesting results. From the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed headline “Paranoia in the House” to the Huffington Post’s “It’s Time for Ms. Bachmann to Leave Washington”, Rep. Bachmann is being accused even by her own former campaign manager, Ed Rollins as being “downright vicious.” Senators John McCain, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown and House Speaker John Boehner have condemned her and fellow Minnesotan Congressman and Muslim Keith Ellison is calling for her to stop her “McCarthyistic witch hunt.”
What did Rep. Bachmann do to warrant such a response from the media and other members of Congress? On June 13, 2012, she, along with Reps. Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland sent letters to the Inspectors General of Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The letters questioned the direct influence within the intelligence community of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and requested the offices conduct investigations into the extent of Muslim Brotherhood involvement in their respective agencies.
Questioning these agencies about Muslim Brotherhood influence is understandable considering the Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America, a document seized by the FBI and entered into evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial. The document states, “The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
On July 12, 2012, Rep. Keith Ellison sent a letter to the Congresswoman and her colleagues “to gather more information regarding the allegations you made.” Rep. Bachmann responded with a 16-page letter addressing Rep. Ellison’s concerns with 59 footnotes detailing sources.
Instead of investigating and reporting the information supplied by Rep. Bachmann, media outlets have launched personal attacks against the Congresswoman, her colleagues and groups which work to expose radical Islam’s agenda in our nation such as the Center for Security Policy. In an attempt to silence Rep. Bachmann and other like-minded citizens, the press accuses her request for investigating and reporting the Muslim Brotherhood as being Islamophobic. Her investigating and reporting is necessary especially in the absence of the media fulfilling its mandate.
The term Islamophobia is a calculated and deliberate attempt to end any investigation or questioning of Islamists by Westerners. It attempts to silence critics, not through thoughtful and persuasive argument, but rather through insults and intimidation. Former radical Islamist, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad revealed details of the creation of the term, “Islamophobia.” According to Muhammad the term was intentionally created at a meeting of the International Institute for Islamic Thought in northern Virginia to silence critics of political Islam by enabling the Islamists to portray themselves as victims.
MEDIA PRAYER POINTS:
• Pray that western media will recognize issues and concerns that involve Islam in a balanced, professional manner.
• Pray those under personal attacks from the media will be courageous and continue to stand up for the security of the United States and that citizens will understand what is truth.
• Pray the Inspectors General contacted by the five members of Congress will indeed investigate their departments for any hostile influence.
• Ask God to raise up investigative journalists across all media outlets that are driven to uncover truth rather than engage in personal attacks.
• Many Muslims in our nation are peace loving and do not want “political Islam” to hinder the freedoms of our U.S. Constitution. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to them and show them their God-given rights and responsibilities as citizens in our nation.
THE BACKGROUND OF RAMADAN
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is considered the holiest month in Islam. Because Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar, the dates of Ramadan change each year by approximately 11 days. This year Ramadan should begin on Friday, July 20 with the sighting of the new moon.
During this month most Muslims will observe a fast from sunup to sundown for each of the 29 to 30 days of the month. During the fast they are to abstain from smoking, drinking, eating and sexual pleasures during the daylight hours. The fast (sawm) of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required by the Qur’an for all Islamic believers except the elderly, young children and pregnant women.
WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE IN PRAYER DURING RAMADAN?
It is a time of heightened spiritual awareness for Muslims and an excellent time for American Christians to gain more awareness regarding Islam in the United States. Although many Muslims within the U.S. desire to live with the same rights and freedoms that Americans hold dear, there are factions of Islamists actively working to change American life and culture.
ISLAMIC VIEWS ARE OPPOSITE OF AMERICAN FOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS:
Unlike Christianity, Islam is a complete way of life; a social, political, economic, judicial, educational, and militaristic system, which even dictates how, those who do not adhere to the religion are to be ruled. Reza Safa, in his book Inside Islam, states, “The goal of Islam is to produce a theocracy with Allah as the ruler of society, a society with no separation between religion and the state. This society would have no democracy, no free will and no freedom of expression.”
For the next 30 days of Ramadan, we will be examining Islam’s impact on American culture by examining the effect these groups are having on seven specific spheres of American society – education, government, media, business, family, religion, and arts & entertainment. As Christians we realize that we are in a spiritual battle for the survival of our nation. Radical Islam is only one of many threats to our freedoms, but one that many within the body of Christ are unaware that it even exists.
30 DAYS OF PRAYER REGARDING ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES
The purpose of the Ramadan series of articles is to uncover this system that seeks to destroy the American way of life by using the very freedoms Americans hold dear to covertly and fundamentally bring our culture into bondage. Join us each day, as we become not only an informed citizenry, but also informed intercessors.
“An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.” – Thomas Jefferson
AND . . . 30 DAYS OF PRAYER FOR THE MUSLIM PEOPLE
Although Islamic Law is a threat to our society — the Muslim people have been created by God to have a personal relationship with Him. Each day we will pray for Muslims to receive God’s love and have a Divine encounter with Jesus Christ as the Son of God.