Saturday, September 13, 2008

Islam's Appealing Advertisements

In my last post about Islam, I focused on their aggressive apologetics. This time I want to show you some examples of the other side of Islam, which is softer, gentler, more appealing and even a bit humorous. In contrast to the Muslims of apologetics, these Muslims are better mannered, speak better English, and fit in much better with American culture.

First, check out this short YouTube video called "I am a Muslim".

The most interesting part of that video is where he says "I don't think you're an infidel." This is a sign of "soft Islam". A strict follower of the Quran will be compelled to call Christians, Jews, and followers of any other religions "unbelievers". ("Unbeliever" and "infidel" are identical in meaning if you look at the root words -- "in" = "not" and "fide" = "believe". It's just that "infidel" sounds more despicable than "unbeliever" -- one of the strange facets of the English language.)

Unbelievers are those that say:
"God is the Messiah, the son of Mary." For the Messiah himself said:
"Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord."
He that worships other gods besides God, God will deny him Paradise,
and the fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil-doers.
-- Sura 5:72
For a more complete description of this passage (including how Muslims explain the verses that contradict it) read this excellent, short article. For more on how "low" an "unbeliever" is in a Muslim's eyes, this article is good.

Thus, the friendly Muslim's statement that he doesn't regard us as unbelievers is untrue to the Quran.

Here's another very appealing video about a teenage Muslim boy's experience at the beginning of a month of Ramadan. If you watch carefully, you'll observe how the focus in Islam is on externals, not the heart.

Lastly, here is a video called "A Land Called Paradise". I think it speaks for itself. A strict Muslim would actually find certain parts of this movie rather appalling. ("I hope Justin Timberlake is in heaven"?)

To summarize my thoughts:
  • Notice how much of American culture the "soft Muslims" have adopted, including heavy use of American music styles.
  • American Islam has apparently discovered how to be "seeker sensitive". Fundamentalist Islam is more common but less appealing than seeker sensitive Islam, just as fundamentalist Christianity is less appealing but more accurate than seeker sensitive Christianity. Seeker sensitive Islam is more likely to result in Americans converting to Islam than fundamentalist Islam.
  • The only way Christianity can truly spread is not through being more clever and slick in our marketing, which the Muslims have demonstrated their ability to duplicate. We need to drop all our gimmicks and come back to simply following Jesus as revealed in the Bible and trust that God will "bear witness to the word of His grace". (Acts 14:3) We need to get to the point where if God doesn't show up, we're sunk. How many of our churches are still going through the motions despite the fact that God has long since departed from their midst?
  • I hope these videos motivate us to pray for God to reveal Himself to Muslims and open their eyes to the truth, even now as they observe their month of fasting. We do regard Muslims as "unbelievers", yet for us, this does not mean "my enemy". If Jesus had not saved me, I would be worse than a Muslim. These videos should make us cry out in loving prayer for the Muslims, not lash out in anger.
These videos are being produced by MAS Media Foundation, an American Islamic public relations group. That link will take you to their YouTube channel where you can watch a number of their videos.

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