The majority of Muslims are peaceful, and just as there are many denominations in Christianity, there are many schools of thought within Islam.
However, Islamists and terrorist groups are able to justify their actions based on their interpretation of the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad.
These are a few of the passages in the Qur’an that not only have been used in the past to support violence, but are being used today. The RelgionofPeace.com reports that the Qur’an contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Answering Islam gives a list of some of the most prominent passages. Here are a few:
2:190-191 “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you…And kill them wherever you overtake them. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknoledged to be] for Allah.”
4:101 “… The disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy.”
4:74 “So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory – We will bestow on him a great reward.”
9:29 “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah (religious tax) willingly while they are humbled.”
Unlike the Old Testament of the Bible, which does contain passages that are violent, the Qur’anic passages are open-ended which means they can be applied to situations today whereas the Old Testament passages address a specific historical event. Further, Christians who commit acts of violence are betraying the teachings and example of Jesus.
The Qur’an of Islam supports violence against those who do not follow their religion. Based upon the teachings, the violent believe they are doing the service of Allah. However, Almighty God, through Jesus Christ, is a God of love, and He loves every human being and we were all created in His image.
Pray that Muslims will receive a revealtion of the Almighty God of love and be drawn to know the one who died for their sins, the Lord Jesus Christ.
During the 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign, President Obama announced at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, “Al-Qaeda has been ‘decimated.’” A little over a year later, after ISIS had captured Fallujah, a reporter from The New Yorker pointed out that the flag of Al-Qaeda was flying over the Iraqi city. Obama responded, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant…I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Following the Orlando terror attack in June, President Obama’s administration was criticized for a failure to use the term “radical Islam.” The President said, “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
An editorial in the New York Post explains why it is important to use the term radical Islamic terror rather than simply terror: “…using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease ‘cancer’ without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.”
Part of the problem is that Western leaders fail to acknowledge the ideology behind the terror attacks. In 2014 the United Arab Emirates issued a list of 83 Islamists groups, which it classified as “terrorist organizations.” The U.S. Secretary of State lists 60 groups designated “foreign terrorist organizations” with the majority (approximately 48) Islamist groups.
Yesterday, at least 41 people were killed and 239 injured when suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in Turkey. As of now Turkish authorities believe ISIS is behind the attack. Today is the 24th day of the 30 days of Ramadan. So far there have been 175 Islamic terror attacks with 122 people killed according to The Religion of Peace website tracks which Islamic attacks around the world. This number does not include the attacks from yesterday.
Muslims believe the rewards for fasting during Ramadan are multiplied. In addition to fasting, “according to Islamic practice, sacrifice during Ramadan can be considered more valuable than that made at other times, so a call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some,” said a report by the US State Department led Overseas Security Advisory Council. Affirming the report, in an audio message released by the Islamic State, ISIS followers are urged to commit terror attacks during the month of Ramadan.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready … to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers” (ISIS audio message).
Pray world leaders will recognize that in order to defeat Islamic terrorism, they must be willing to name and recognize the ideology behind the attacks and that God will reveal the motives behind any organization hiding their true intentions.
Following an attack like the one at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, news outlets attempt to figure out a motive for such a horrendous act. One of the trends that has emerged in this case is to attempt to turn the perpetrator, Omar Mateen into a victim by claiming that he was gay. The thought is Mateen “might not have been driven by his political and religious ideology at all, but by his suppressed homosexuality.”
All radical Muslims are victims of an evil political ideology disguised as a religion so in that respect Mateen was a victim. Was his motivation due to homosexuality? Perhaps, but even if as a Muslim he was gay, Islamic teachings regarding martyrdom absolve him of “the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deed” as homosexuality was described by a Muslim religious scholar.
In Islam humans will be judged according to their deeds. Those with more good deeds go to Paradise where they will enjoy spiritual and physical pleasures forever. Those with more bad deeds are condemned to eternity in hell. Those who are slain in the cause of Allah (martyrs) go to Paradise. The hadith states, “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt” (Muslim 20:4649). Even if Mateen’s motive was somehow a result of feelings of guilt about being homosexual, in Islamic teachings dying as an Islamic martyr guarantees forgiveness and Paradise for him.
FBI Director James Comey said, “We are working to understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in motivating this attack, but we are highly confident that this killer was radicalized and at least in some part through the internet.”
Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS on Facebook on the morning of the attack before buying ammunition with his wife. He made two trips to Saudi Arabia – one in 2011 and the other in 2012. “Based on his blatant extremism and ties to a convicted Orlando imam known for facilitating international jihadists traveling, the strong likelihood is that these trips were not benign,” said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project. His 911 calls during the attack also indicate his ties to terrorism.
Regardless of Mateen’s motivation, 49 innocent people died in an attack that was, by the perpetrator’s own admission, inspired by Islamic teachings.
Pray that the eyes of the leaders of western nations will be open to the danger that radical Islam brings to the West, and that the tendency to try and understand Mateen’s motivation will not dilute the urgency of the threat of radical Islam.
In an attempt to debunk the statement, “Islam teaches Muslims to kill Christians and Jews,” a popular Christian website states, “There is not a single command in the Qur’an for Muslims to go out and kill Christians or Jews.”
Unless the author of the article on the Christian website believes you can have a war without any casualties, this statement is misleading because it ignores passages in the Qur’an such as sura 9:29 which says, “Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya] and they are humiliated.”
The Reliance of the Traveller, a classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law, is a foundational theological manual. Al-Azhar University, known as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university, certifies that the Reliance of the Traveller “conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community” (Reliance, p. xx).
The manual explains sura 9:29: “The Caliph makes war upon the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax Jizya…– while remaining in their ancestral religions (and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax in accordance with the word of Allah Most High” (Reliance o9.8, p. 602).
As ISIS captured Christian areas in Iraq and Syria, residents were forced to “convert or die.” In a few areas, Christians were given the opportunity to pay the poll tax, however ISIS leaders increased the amount of the tax to an amount that made it impossible to pay so many Christians were forced to flee their homes. In October 2015, Assyrian Christian business owners living in Sweden found the “convert or die” message on the walls of their businesses. The graffiti also included the message: “The Caliphate is here,” along with the ISIS logo. It is reported that the Swedish city of Gothenburg where the graffiti was found has had at least 150 people leave the city to join ISIS.
Recent history demonstrates widespread persecution against Christians. TheReligionofPeace.com has a list of targeted acts of terrorism on Christians by Muslims since September 11, 2001. In the last five years (since January 1, 2011) there have been 7,420 Christians killed and another 7,754 injured in jihadi attacks. This list is of those that have been identified specifically as Christians and according to the website, it is not a complete account of Islamic terror attacks on Christians since much of the violence against Christians goes unreported, and often the victims of Islamic terror are not identified as Christians.
Overall during the same five-year time period there have been 14,203 Islamic terror attacks in which 107,857 people have been killed and 132,433 injured.
Christians should be aware of the teachings of Islam – not to invoke fear, but to understand why Islamists feel compelled to conquer other religions. Love for Muslims comes from God’s heart to Christians. To misrepresent the teachings of Islam denies truth.
The word of God tells us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Pray that Christians will be informed regarding their own faith and be able to speak the truth about Islam to receptive hearts.
Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting begins today, June 6. Ramadan, translated as “scorching heat” or “dryness”, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which began in 622 AD. Muslims believe that it was during the month of Ramadan when Muhammad first began to receive his revelations so it is considered the holiest month in Islam.
During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims will observe a fast from sunup to sundown for each of the 29 to 30 days of the month. Muslims are to abstain from smoking, drinking, eating and sexual pleasure during the daylight hours. All Muslims are required to fast when they reach puberty as long as they are sane and have no illnesses such as diabetes. It is to be a time of spiritual reflection and increased devotion to Allah, and Muslims believe the rewards for fasting during this time are multiplied.
In addiction to fasting, “according to Islamic practice, sacrifice during Ramadan can be considered more valuable than that made at other times, so a call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some,” said a report by the US State Department led Overseas Security Advisory Council. Affirming the report, in an audio message released by the Islamic State, ISIS followers are urged to commit lone wolf terror attacks during the month of Ramadan.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready … to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers … especially for the fighters and supporters of the Caliphate in Europe and America.”
Last year during Ramadan, terror attacks occurred on three continents on the same day following a similar message by an Islamic State spokesman. On June 26, 2015, attacks occurred in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia and Tunisia killing 403 people and injuring 336.
It is currently estimated that there are 80,000 ISIS members worldwide with 36,000 foreign fighters recruited from 80 countries. Of the 36,000 foreign recruits, approximately 6,000 are Westerners. This past fall U.S. FBI Director James Comey warned that the FBI was investigating more than 900 ISIS suspects in all 50 states. CNN reports that in the past two years since the formation of the Islamic State, they have either conducted or inspired over 70 terrorist attacks in 20 nations killing at least 1,200 and injuring over 1,700. That number does not include attacks in Syria and Iraq.
When statistics and quotes such as these dominate Western news, it can be difficult to separate the Muslim people from the radical Islamist teachings that groups such as the Islamic State follow. In the natural the facts seem grim for the future of our world, however TRUTH ALWAYS SUPERSEDES FACTS. What truth supersedes the grim facts? Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” HE supersedes the facts.
The natural, inferior reaction to facts is to be suspicious and fearful, but as Kingdom minded Christians we live in a superior realization. Christ attained the victory over sin and death…and terrorism, so as His children we walk in triumph because the victory is already won.
“Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the ones who hate you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that? How are you any different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that? Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him” (Matthew 5:43-48 The Passion Translation).
During the next 30 days ask God to give you His heart for the Muslim people. Today ask Him to reveal and cleanse anything in your heart toward Muslims that is not from Him. Then join us as we pray and declare what Heaven is saying each day during this time of heightened spiritual awareness for Muslims.