I gasped as my web browser opened to its Google News homepage yesterday. 12 KILLED IN SHOOTING AT FRENCH SATIRICAL MAGAZINE, 15 Wounded. I didn’t need to read the rest of the report to learn that the perpetrators were Islamic jihadists. The pattern is all too familiar. The Fort Hood Massacre, the Boston bombers, the Australian coffee shop shooter, the Canadian Parliament attack, the Oklahoma Islamist who gunned down and then murdered his co-workers, the “honor killings;” the list goes on and on and is clear evidence that the philosophy of the keepers of Quranic Islam has not changed.
“It is written in the Quran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged the Muslim’s authority were sinners, that it was the Muslim’s right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.”*
That quote amplifies the two things that I believe Jesus would say us on a day like today, when 12 more innocent people have been murdered by Muslim jihadists.
BE REAL: THE ISLAMIC MISSION IS NOT GOING AWAY
Chuck Colson, in a 2006 speech, provided much needed context: In 732, barely a hundred years after the founding of Islam, a very significant battle was fought just outside of Paris at a place called Poitiers. Muslim armies seeking to conquer Europe were stopped. For the next 951 years Crusades were called to throw them back. The Muslims countered until finally, in 1683, the armies of the Ottoman Empire were decisively defeated by Polish and German infantry near Vienna. The date? September 11. Bin Laden didn’t choose that date out of thin air.^
Westerners assume that the conflict we have with Islam began in 2001. It began when Islam was founded and it has never stopped. I think the first thing Jesus would have his people understand is that Islam and its mission to overcome the west is not going away.
The question for us is, how are followers of Jesus to react to this reality? Make up your mind to love people in Islam, even the violent ones, with the love of Christ (Matthew 5:43-48).
I confess that when I hear that there is a man in town trying to start a mosque my immediate reaction is to dislike him. But Jesus tells us otherwise. As a Muslim the man may be an enemy of the gospel. But as a man he is loved by God every bit as much as God loves me. I am to treat him with all of the respect and kindness that I would any Christian.
We aren’t to fear Islam or Muslims. We aren’t to seek revenge for 9-11 or other attacks. Biblically, it is the role of the state to pursue justice and punish evil. As believers we are to seek peace in all of our personal contacts, to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17-21).
The second thing I think Jesus would tell us is that loving our enemies and seeking peace doesn’t mean being naïve. I think he would tell us to:
BE ON GUARD
Just before sending the twelve apostles on a mission trip Jesus warned them not to be naïve. He also told them not to be afraid to speak the truth no matter what the cost (Matthew 10:16-28). Paul did essentially the same thing with his protégé Timothy. “Be on your guard…” (2 Timothy 4:14-15). We need to be on our guard against the mission and the mandate of Islam.
Most Muslims are like most other religious people in the world: they are concerned with making a living, educating their children, worshiping their god and keeping food on the table. But the keepers of Quranic Islam, the conservatives who insist on implementing Sharia, aren’t interested in assimilating into Western culture on an equal footing with other religions.
Omar Ahmed, the founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim “civil liberties” group in the United States said:
“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”**
Many westerners in government and in churches are being foolish about Quranic Islam. They are ignoring the slow and steady insurgency of Sharia into our legal system, and creeping Sharia law creates the conditions from which violence springs.
What is Sharia? After Mohammed finished writing the Quran there was a three hundred year long discussion and argument about how it was to be interpreted and applied. That was settled into what is known as the hadith (a kind of official commentary on the Quran) upon which Sharia law is based.
“Sharia is an all-encompassing legalistic structure for the Islamic way of life, determining what is forbidden and what is permitted. It contains detailed instructions for personal daily life and how to practice the pillars of Islam.”^^
The West is making accommodations to Sharia everywhere. What is important to remember about this is that each time Sharia wins a victory, be it in the legislature or the courtroom or academia or business, any attempts to reverse it or question it, any opposition to it, becomes in Islamic thought not a defense of the Constitution, not a matter of freedom of speech and not a defense of religious liberty; it becomes an attack on Islam itself which, according to the Quran, justifies jihad.
And that brings us back to the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Hebdo is an equal opportunity insulter when it comes to religion. It’s what we call freedom of speech. But we are so committed to the idea of multi-culturalism and so afraid of the charge of Islamophobia that we aren’t taking into account the fact that Islam’s intent is to implement Sharia everywhere, not just in mosques. Thus, we aren’t speaking forthrightly about it. These murderers, along with all the other perpetrators of such crimes, were acting in accord with their Quranically informed consciences, pursuing what they saw as their duty under Sharia law. We are fools to believe that appeasement will bring an end to such things. We need to be on guard.
*Abd al-Rahman al-Ajar, personal representative of the Pasha of Tripoli quoted in Michael B. Oren’s Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present, pg. 27
^Colson, Chuck; Presentation to the Wilberforce Forum Centurions Program Participants, Given March 4, 2006
**Sookhdeo, Patrick, The CHALLENGE OF ISLAM To the Church and Its Mission, pg. 15; Isaac Publishing. Quoting Lisa Gardiner in “American Muslim Leader Urges Faithful to Spread the Word,” San Ramon Valley (CA) Herald, July 4, 1998.
^^ Ibid, p. 25.