Apostasy in Islam Today

BCN Apostasy in Islam 2 Ramadan 2017.jpg

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Speak Truth in Love

2016 Ramadan GraphicIn 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.Speak Truth in Love

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.

Prayer Point:

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.


The Gradual Islamization of the West: Education Part Two: School Takeover

Recently 25 schools in Birmingham, Britain became the focus of multiple investigations when reports of a plot by hardline Islamists to takeover state supported schools came to light. Birmingham, the second largest city in Britain with over one million residents has a Muslim population of approximately 22%. As news of the plot spread, investigators are also looking into new allegations of similar activities in other British cities including Bradford and Manchester.

The concerns stemmed when an undated and anonymous letter detailing a plot called “Operation Trojan Horse” surfaced last year. The letter revealed a plan by a group of organized Muslim teachers, school governors, and others to remove secular head teachers and staff and replace them with individuals who will run the schools according to Islamic principles. The letter claimed responsibility for changing the leadership in four schools, stating, “we have an obligation to our children to fulfill our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.”

The letter was sent to the Birmingham City Council in November of 2013, but did not become public until March 2014 when it was leaked to a London-based newspaper. Since the letter has been made public, British authorities have received over 200 complaints from parents, teachers and school leaders about the imposition of strict Islamic practices in the publically funded schools.

An investigation by the Department of Education revealed that one of the schools under investigation, Park View, did practice forced discriminatory gender segregation in many classes with “boys sitting towards the front of the class and girls at the back or around the sides.” The school invited an extremist Islamic speaker, Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman to address an assembly of students. Al-Suleiman “is known to extol…the stoning of homosexuals, anti-Semitic views [and is] sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” The school is also accused of misusing taxpayers’ money to purchase loudspeakers for the playground to call students to Islamic prayers.

The curriculum in some schools was changed to adhere to Islamic values, and in at least one British school Arabic was compulsory for all students. After a non-Muslim head teacher was driven out by “a concerted campaign to remove her and Islamize her school,” Oldknow, holds Muslim prayers every Friday and has organized trips to Mecca at taxpayer expense. Considered un-Islamic, the school’s traditional Christmas tree and pantomime were cancelled in 2013. In addition, a teacher at the school led students in a chant mocking Christians who celebrate the holiday.

Britain is not the only European nation struggling with an attempt by Islamists to take over their publicly funded schools. According to German media reports, fundamental Islamic groups have infiltrated at least 25 schools in Hamburg, Germany. A leaked report to the German newspaper, Bild describes Muslim fundamentalists are “waging a religious war” against non-Muslim teachers and students. Schools are being pressured to set up Muslim prayer rooms, and one school reports that Muslim parents are being pressured by the more fundamentalist Muslims to make sure their daughters are dressing according to Islamic standards. The schools are also reporting students shouting Islamist slogans on school playgrounds and cases of religiously motivated violence.

Bruce Bawer, author of While Europe Slept, wrote, “The most important single element of stealth Islamization is the effort to convert Western schools from centers of secular education into hubs of Islamic indoctrination.” Because many Westerners naively embrace multiculturalism and do not understand the all-encompassing nature of Islam, our schools and ultimately our children are easy targets for the Islamist agenda.

Pray that the truth will continue to be revealed regarding the agenda of fundamental Islam in western nations.


Ramadan Prayer Day 26 – Media: “A Self-Censored Press Is Not Free”

The Society of Professional Journalists, considered the trade guild of the U.S. press corps, states their mission is “dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.” On the website the Society lists eight goals including, “To maintain constant vigilance in protection of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press.”

Pertaining to the press, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press;” This means our government cannot censor or control the press, however, when it comes to Islam, it is not our government, but self-censorship by the press that has whitewashed the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

Following the 9-11 attacks by Muslim jihadists on our nation, The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) passed a resolution in October 2001 urging members to avoid racial, ethnic and religious profiling in covering the “War on Terror.” As part of this resolution, the Society published guidelines for journalists including the following:

  • When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacists, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
  • Avoid using word combinations such as “Islamic terrorist” or “Muslim extremist” that are misleading because they link whole religions to criminal activity. Be specific: Alternate choices, depending on context, include “Al Qaeda terrorists” or, to describe the broad range of groups involved in Islamic politics, “political Islamists.” Do not use religious characterizations as shorthand when geographic, political, socioeconomic or other distinctions might be more accurate.
  • Avoid using terms such as “jihad” unless you are certain of their precise meaning and include the context when they are used in quotations. The basic meaning of “jihad” is to exert oneself for the good of Islam and to better oneself.
  • Ask men and women from within targeted communities to review your coverage and make suggestions.

White supremacists and anti-abortionists have never murdered over 2,700 people in the name of their god. Al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden made it quite clear in fatwas (Islamic religious rulings) through the years that it was the duty of all Muslims, not just members of al-Qaeda to attack America. Proof that other Islamist groups were involved in the 9-11 attacks has since emerged. A federal district court judge ruled in December of 2011 that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al-Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Jihad can be a personal struggle, but it is also a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty. Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, Al-Azhar University Islamic scholar, in the book Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography wrote, “The Holy War (Jihad), as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war.  This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them.  This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy war has taken its final form.  Thus the apostle of God said: I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in Allah and his messages…”

Finally, groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood such as the Islamic Circle of North America and the Council for American Islamic Relations were the ones asked by our media to review their coverage and make suggestions. In an attempt to be “politically correct” and adhere to these guidelines, our media has allowed Islamists to control the information regarding radical Islam.

These guidelines have allowed Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood to keep average Americans ignorant of the agenda and the threat of shariah adherent Islam to our nation.

PRAY FOR MEDIA:

  • Pray for the media – that those who do not understand the truth about Islam will receive revelation and the self-censored media coverage of Islam will cease and truth will be revealed to the American people.
  • Pray for journalists to be courageous and bold in their coverage and to uncover the “doublespeak”.
  • Just as communism keeps people in bondage to the system, Islamic shariah law keeps Muslims in bondage.  The Muslim people are not the enemy to our form of government – rather the enemy is the system of shariah (Islamic) law.  Ask God to expose the truth of shariah law to our government, educators, media, and the citizens of our nation.

Ramadan Day 21 – Arts & Entertainment: A God Too Small For Criticism

The modern day assault on the arts and entertainment field by Islamists began in 1989 with the issuance of a fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie, by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. A fatwa is a religious decree issued by a recognized religious authority in Islam. In the case of Salman Rushdie, the fatwa called for his death because of his novel, The Satanic Verses, which Khomeini considered an insult to Islam.  Khomeini declared, “I would like to inform all the intrepid Muslims in the world that the author of the book entitled ‘Satanic Verses’…as well as those publishers who were aware of its contents, are hereby sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Moslems to execute them quickly, wherever they find them, so that no one will dare to insult Islamic sanctity. Whoever is killed doing this will be regarded as a martyr and will go directly to heaven.”

Within 72 hours of Khomeini’s declaration, six people were killed and more than 160 were wounded in violent demonstrations in India and Pakistan about the book. Salman Rushdie went into hiding. Four days later he issued an apology to the followers of Islam, but Khomeini stated that even if Rushdie repented, Muslims still needed to kill him. Two bookshops carrying the novel were firebombed, and unexploded devices were found at several others. Rushdie again tried to make amends and issued a statement bearing witness that “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his last prophet” to no avail. Even after Khomeini’s death, Iranian clerics continued to call for Rushdie’s death. The Japanese translator of the novel was stabbed to death in a knife attack, and Italian translator seriously injured in a similar attack. The Norwegian publisher of the novel was shot.

The tactics of the Islamists have not changed in the twenty plus years since the publication of The Satanic Verses. On September 30, 2005, Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, published an article called “Muhammeds ansight” which means “The face of Muhammad”. Portrayals of Muhammad are not prohibited within the Qur’an, however there are hadiths, which forbid Muslims from creating any visual representations of figures. The article consisted of 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the newspaper said, “The cartoonists treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point. We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society, not strangers. The cartoons are including, rather than excluding, Muslims.” The Islamists however were not interested in the satirical portrayal of Muhammad and responded four months later with violence including the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan, setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon, and Iran along with protests resulting in more than 100 deaths.

This type of behavior is not unfamiliar when western society meets Islam. Because of the threat of violence, far too often westerners simply practice self-censorship and refuse to treat Islam the same way they treat other religions. For instance Random House, because of the threat of a violent reaction refused to publish The Jewel of Medina, a novel about Aisha, Muhammad’s six-year-old wife. It is a historical fact that Muhammad married a six-year-old girl and consummated the marriage when she was nine, yet to state that fact could be considered slander if what you say offends a Muslim.

In Islam, it does not matter if what you say is true. Slander is defined as anything that offends a Muslim, and slander in Islam may be punishable by death.

PRAYER FOR ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

  • Rather than giving in to demands of the radical Muslims, pray that Westerners will stop allowing intimidation to cause them to become silent and compliant.
  • Pray that God’s Truth will prevail and continue to be a defense against slander within western nations.
  • Pray that Muslims will start to question why their god is so small that they must defend their religion with violence.
  • Ask God to reveal to all Muslims that there is a better way by showing them the love of God through Jesus Christ.

Ramadan Day 19 – Education: “Interreligious University – Compromising Education”

On September 6, 2011 the newly formed Claremont Lincoln University officially opened. “Claremont, a Methodist institution dating back to 1885 has partnered with the Islamic Center of Southern California, the Academy for Jewish Religion and the International School for Jain Studies” [Jain is an Indian religion] to create the world’s first interreligious university. This is the first multi-religious program of its kind offering a curriculum that allows religious leaders to cross-enroll in programs that train Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. Other Christian institutions such as Hartford Seminary train imams, but this is the first to include Jewish and Jain studies. The university hopes to eventually add Hinduism and Buddhism studies to the project.

The university will train rabbis, imam and pastors from many denominations. According to one report, “the Claremont Lincoln University will be a space where future religious leaders and scholars can learn from each other and collaboratively seek solutions to major global issues that no one single religion can solve alone.” Claremont claims they are not watering down Christianity but are taking “Christ’s commands to be peacemakers and to love our neighbor as ourselves seriously.”

In order to understand the basis for this university, it is helpful to look at the founders. Rev. Jerry Campbell, Rabbi Mel Gottlieb and Imam Jihad Turk are the co-founders of this new model of education. These three men met regularly each month for a year picking a theme, preparing and then spending a couple of hours with each other discussing what their various texts said.

Perhaps most revealing about the future direction of the university is an account about one of these meetings from an article written by Rabbi Gottlieb:

For this session, Imam Turk chose a text from the Quran that is often interpreted as meaning that those who don’t believe in Islam cannot obtain salvation. He pointed out, however, that capitalizing the word Islam in this case is a fundamentalist translation. It implies that those who believe the religion of Islam are superior. Other texts in the Quran (such as 2:62) contradict that assumption.

In fact, said Imam Turk, the correct scholarly translation of this text is to spell islam with a lower case “i,” using the word’s literal meaning: submission/yielding (to God). Since Christians, Jews and other spiritual people, as well as Muslims, yield to the Divine, they are all included in the word islam.

So according to at least one of the founders he believes all spiritual people are included in Islam. In addition, Imam Turk left out the Qur’anic verses preceding sura 2:62 that basically says if Arab pagans, Jews and Christians are in doubt concerning the Qur’an they should fear the fire of hell which is prepared for disbelievers (sura 2:22-24).

There is One, Jesus Christ, who is Truth. The scriptures warn that we are not to compromise the truth. The Word of God in II Tim. 3:7 tells us there will be those who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

PRAYER FOR EDUCATION:

  • Pray for a move of God’s Holy Spirit among the students at this and other universities around our nation. Pray that the God of Truth will reveal Himself to every student and professor who have ever confessed the name of Jesus Christ as Savior in such a way that there is no room or desire for compromise.
  • Pray that Muslim, Jewish and Jain students at this historically Christian University will have an encounter with the God of John Wesley and the fire of His Spirit that will fundamentally change the atmosphere of the academic world.

Ramadan Prayer Day 13 – Education: “Islam in our Schools”

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” – Adolf Hitler

As children across the nation soon return to the classroom after the summer break, it is an excellent time for parents, grandparents and other loved ones to become aware of what our children are learning. This is especially critical regarding the religion of Islam.

It is certainly valuable in our increasingly global economy to understand the dynamics and culture of other parts of the world and learning about religions as part of that study is an integral part.  As Christians we must insist however that any study of other religions is done in a way to fairly and truthfully educate students and make sure it is indeed education instead of indoctrination.

ACT for America has done an excellent, extensive review of the treatment of Islam in American textbooks. They reviewed and analyzed the treatment of Islam in thirty-eight American textbooks ranging from the 6th to 12th grade level. These are textbooks currently in use in public schools across the nation.

Their findings are alarming and need to be addressed by individual schools, school boards and states across the nation. Overall the amount of information in textbooks about Islam has increased while the amount about Christianity has decreased.

One example of a completely false statement is from the text, World History – Patterns of Interaction. The text says, “Shari’a law requires Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance to Christians and Jews.” Another text, World Explorer – Medieval Times to Today, says, “Christians and Jews had full religious freedom. They built churches and synagogues, and several were financed by the state. The state did not ask Christians and Jews to perform military service, but it required them to pay a head tax called jizya…”

Both of these statements are false. Shariah law imposes many burdens and restrictions on Christians and Jews. Under shariah law Christians and Jews cannot build new houses of worship or even make repairs to existing ones. They cannot bear arms, ride horses, pray (if the prayer can be heard by a Muslim) or give testimony in Islamic courts. During certain periods of history, Christians and Jews were required to wear clothing or a badge signifying their non-Muslim status.

Unfortunately, American textbooks are full of examples like this. In our society where Christianity is continually attacked for being “intolerant”, children across our nation are being taught inaccurate, and sometimes blatantly misleading information about a religion, which truly is intolerant of other religions. If you have a child in school, take the time and investigate the information regarding Islam in their textbook. ACT for America’s report can be downloaded at this address.

PRAYER FOR EDUCATION

  • Pray that our schools will be used solely for the purpose of education and not indoctrination.
  • Pray that parents around the nation will begin to demand an accurate portrayal of Islam and other religions in our schools.
  • Pray that students across the nation will begin to see that there is a difference between the teachings of the world’s major religions and will be drawn to Truth.