I have recently been getting some very interesting articles and links from what amount to four different perspectives on Islam and its struggle with the West. I’d like to share them with you.
But if you don’t have time to read and watch all this, here is the bottom line, as I see it now:
Most Muslims have never seen a living demonstration of true Christianity. The battle with Islam will not be won with bombs.* If it is to be won, we must show the love of Jesus to them through our lives.
* As you will see, I am not against defending ourselves militarily. But as you will also see, our military defense is not going to win this war.
Perspective 1: The Violence of Radical Islam
There are credible voices showing how violence is connected with Islam.
If you haven’t seen “Obsession: The Movie” I highly recommend you watch the trailer and a 12 minute excerpt from the movie. You can watch them for free. The trailer is at http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/. And the 12 minute excerpt is at http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/trailer-12min.php.
You will notice in “Obsession” that a lot of their video clips come from Memri TV. Memri TV monitors Arabic TV throughout the
Perspective 2: Muslims are the Victims
I have Muslim friends in the
One thing I have learned from talking with them is how differently their media reports things compared to the way our media reports things. As “Obsession” says, Muslims (even the peaceful ones) see themselves as being the victims. They genuinely believe Islam itself is under attack by the West. They see themselves as fighting a defensive war.
As Americans, we believe we are the ones fighting a defensive war.
When both sides believe they are fighting a defensive war, it makes prospects of peace dismally low.
In an all-out military battle between the West and Islamic countries, I think the Islamic countries would probably win, because they are more motivated. They have a religious reason for fighting (to defend the honor of Allah).
If you don’t believe me, here is an informal essay written by a Muslim friend of mine from the
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL
WHAT IS REAL TERRORISM?
Muslims are not all terrorists , I HEARD those words many times from u That is not a right meaning, u should say Muslims or Islam is not calling for terrorism coz in any side of life unfortunately terrorism exist in Islam and Christianity and in any field
do u forgot what in spain which called ETA terroristic group which explode many things in spain and lastly a train full of people
did u forget also in england and the irish forces which all the time get in wars with england
did u forgot the usual fights happened between certain christian groups in certain feasts in europe all that is terrorism too
and MAFIA in italy and all that violence from christian people
and u didnot answer my past questions about if any islamic country undergoing injustice killing and torturing and occupation upon any christian country ???
u will not find but u will find many christian countries making this upon us and u forgot that violence lead to violence so stop urs get out of our lands let our riches and oil and stay in
1-did u forgot what
2-did u forgot what
the serbians made catastrophic mass destruction of the european muslems in Bosnia and HERSEK
awful ways of killing women and even killing 1st their children in their wombs by knives before they kill them and rap them and crush the men with their tanks in bosnia and chechnya by serbia and russia
3-did u forgot what is going in Iraq
u didnot hear about ur soldiers who rapped girls there and sometimes killing all the family afterwards to erase any evident after he enjoy the girl
4- did u forgot the awful techniques of torturing happening in guantanamo prison
yes it is awful do u wonna me to tell u what r they made in the humans there no i will not tell , u will not sustain such things
i read that in essays in our journals and such things ur media does not say or show it
5-did u forget what happened in Abou Ghrib prison in iraqe by ur christian soldiers
did u loved when
should i say now christian terrorism and sex passion
did u know that any Iraqi man refused to be disgraced like so and be with dignity the american christian soldiers just shot him with cold blood with a bullet in the head in front of the others
was not those the american christian soldiers
and why even from the beginning the prisoners got in prison in Iraqi or even in Palestine coz they defend their land against that invasion
who invaded Iraq for nuclear weapons and then found nothing after he did nothing but destroying a nation and excited the civil war there did u forgot all that
didnot u notice Iraq before and after the war it was even very better under the bad saddam authority
what can i call all that ,it is the real terrorism
and afterwards u call us terrorists coz of some group of people call themselves Al_Qaieda
donot u know the history of that terroristic group u will be amazed when u know they have been grown up and be strong with the help of america when usa helped osama bn laden with money and weapons to struggle against the russian occupation to afghanistan the american helped bn laden to fight against russia that was invading afghanistan that was the original of osama bn laden u made him and now u suffer what u blot for others
why do u forget the reasons for that terroristic group they fight coz they found much tyranny of u like i mentioned b4 and coz also ur blind support to the Israeli invaders and occupiers they make terrorism coz they find u occupy Iraqi afghanistan and others for nothing but oil and to invest money in after u destroyed the country ,u take money back for building after the destruction u made for no real reason
did u know y that group gone crazy ,coz of ur endless war against us
6-did u ever heard that muslems dishonor ur holy book cut it or put it in dirties and so while u did that with our holy book many times in guantanamo and every where
should i say now all christian countries are lands of terrorism
that was in the recent times only
and i didnot talk about the last century that u were invading all Africa for their riches and oil and the crusade wars and others
and if u will say u also made wars in the beginning of Islam so come on lets discuss our so old so little just wars ,
some of those wars were only for defense after others attacked us
coz the people did not love to worship ONE GOD and loved to stay worshiping idols and statues
and in any other islamic war done in the old times u will find no muslem kill a kid or a woman or an old man or cutting a tree or burn plants or harm churches or harm any people devoted themselves to worship god in those churches read the history and know and stop ignorant accusations
that is our rules for just wars and never made a war with out informing the 2nd part 1st that we need to enter ur country to spread the word of god , we want them only to hear our call coz in those days there was no media and internet to know,that is why we should go ourselves and ask people to Islam if they love to convert that is ok and if they stayed like they are its ok too
and coz those unconverted people will not fights against any enemy come to them and we muslems who will fight to defend them they will pay [if they can afford and have money] so little money called [GIZYA] for protection coz we will protect them against any enemy come to them and if they want to fight with us against any enemy come they will not pay any thing
only those who pay is men who can fight not women or children or old men
and if we failed or could not be able to safe them from the enemy we will pay for them the money back coz we did not safe them so we do not need their money ,read the history and all that really happened in islam b4 we didnot took money from non muslems if they fight with us against the enemy came and we pay them the money back if we failed to safe them that is history and it is even ok if they didnot pay the money if they donot have and poor
for example christians in egypt donot pay any money coz they fought with us in army against any enemy like what happened when Israel invaded us in 1967 we both muslems and christians fought together against Israel and thank god we could later in 1973 liberate our land from them and last square kilometer from our land taken in 1989 so that every centimeter of our land had been liberated but for syria and lebanon and Palestine , Israel still occupy parts of those lands by force and help of big countries
so our wars was only to spread the word of god coz there was no media and to remove the obstacles hinder people to know what is islam but once they hear our words and call its up to them to believe in islam or not we not force them ,
all we need to spread the word coz the kings at those times prevented us to spread islam so we had to fight against the king army to tell the people then its up to them to believe or not that was the reasons of all the previous wars that can be counted on hands and many of them was just for defense when other empires hate our increase in number and thought they can eradicte Islam but no one can coz it is the last message of GOD
research again at least in the present time who is the terrorist who occupy and invade and kill and torture and unclothe people in such disgraceful way ................
and all those u claim they are terrorists and u keep them in
plz stop the tyranny and u will find no reason for terrorism though it is not allowed at all to harm any peaceful civilian either he is with us or against us
sorry but i cannot sustain more claims while its us the muslems who bleeds every where and i will be glad to exchange more information about both religions without accusations
read history and research what u claim or ask for answers
GOD BLESS U
A SERVANT OF GOD
The same friend also sent me a link to a short YouTube video. It’s in English, and I highly recommend you watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kjr_b4aAQk&mode=related&search
Again, it shows, in a haunting, pathetic way, how Muslims feel themselves under attack.
Perspective 3: Pursuing Theological Harmony between Islam and Christianity
There is a movement underway to attempt to bring peace between Islam and Christianity through theological dialogue. A number of Muslim clerics have issued a 15 page statement calling for peace between Muslims and Christians on the basis of the two basic commandments, “Love God” and “Love your neighbor”. Full text of their statement can be found at www.acommonword.com.
Headed by scholars from the
“Let this common ground” – the dual common ground of love of God and of neighbor – “be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us,” your courageous letter urges. Indeed, in the generosity with which the letter is written you embody what you call for. We most heartily agree. Abandoning all “hatred and strife,” we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other’s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good. Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond “a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders” and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.
Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.
We are persuaded that our next step should be for our leaders at every level to meet together and begin the earnest work of determining how God would have us fulfill the requirement that we love God and one another. It is with humility and hope that we receive your generous letter, and we commit ourselves to labor together in heart, soul, mind and strength for the objectives you so appropriately propose.
Hundreds of Christian leaders from a variety of denominations have publicly signed on to this Yale-initiated statement, including Robert Schuller, David Yonggi-Cho, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Leith Anderson (president of the NAE) and (most surprisingly to me) John Stott.
You can read the full text of the Christian response, as well as view the signers, at http://www.yale.edu/faith/abou-commonword.htm.
I’m certainly not against Christians showing love to Muslims. In fact, we must do so. However, to me anyways, Yale’s “Christian” response seems to be heading in the direction of “I’m OK, you’re OK” theological fogginess. It seems to say that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, which is definitely untrue. There are certain common traits of the Muslim and Christian God (for example, both religions believe God to be omniscient) but the differences are fundamental. A genuine Christian and a genuine Muslim both believe (sadly) that the other person is going to hell. A genuine Christian and a genuine Muslim will always be fundamentally separated by their understanding of how we obtain God’s forgiveness.
Perspective 4: Love Our Enemies
As Christians, we believe that God loves not only the righteous, but even His enemies.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:6-10, emphasis added)
God is calling Christians to become living demonstrations of the love of Jesus for His enemies. God (who was the one offended, not the offender) took the initiative to make reconciliation possible with His offenders (us). It cost Jesus His life to offer reconciliation to His offenders. The Muslim Allah would never give his life for his enemies. The very concept would be repugnant to their religion. Thus, they have no theological pathway for reconciling with enemies. They can reconcile only with the repentant. Thus, in the collision between the two religions, it is up to Christians to be the initiators of reconciliation. We have available to us both the theological framework and the power of God to do what Muslims cannot: love our enemies in practical, tangible ways.
The only question is: will we?
Give us the courage and humility and understanding to do this, Lord Jesus.