The Call For Christians To Radically Love Our Muslim Neighbors

The Call For Christians To Radically Love Our Muslim Neighbors February 17, 2015

young Arabian family portrait outdoorsEver since the terrorist attacks of 9-11, there has been a growing hostility in America toward our Muslim neighbors. With the daily barrage of crimes against humanity being perpetuated and broadcast over social media by ISIS, that hostility toward Muslims in America– and around the world– is only growing.

While cries by my Christian brethren of persecution is usually just a loss of privilege, Muslims in America face a concerning level of distrust, bigotry, and real persecution– not the imaginary type.

Just recently, we’ve seen an increase in violent threats made against our Muslim neighbors because of the way they are depicted in the film, American Sniper, which has only served to exacerbate the anti-Muslim persecution in America.  Sadly, these “threats” aren’t just threats- our Muslim neighbors are facing real acts of violence. Recently three Muslims in Chapel Hill were executed in cold blood, an act of violence that the media has downplayed as a “parking space” dispute. Last Friday we also saw the Islamic Community and Education Center in Houston burned down in an act of arson while a retired firefighter from the area tweeted “let it burn… block the fire hydrant.” And of course, there’s the man who tried to burn down a mosque after getting drunk and “riled up by Fox News” from their daily anti-Muslim propaganda.

Even in the course of the last few weeks I’ve witnessed in my own social media feeds comments made toward Muslims that would be considered hate speech and threats if such comments were directed at us. Constant fear-baiting by Christian pastors, calling Islam “evil”, saying “Muslims are the enemy of God” and all sorts of other anti-Muslim comments. Strangely enough, it’s not simply enough to vilify our Muslim neighbors and create animosity and mistrust between us, those same voices often paint our president as being a closet Muslim or as one whose sympathies are with Islam instead of Christianity, furthering the us vs. them, “Muslims are our enemy” type mindset.

If this trend does not change, the outcome is potentially bleak. If we’re told over and over again that we are enemies there becomes a distrust and hostility that results in self-fulfilling prophesies– and enemies are born. Continue down that line far enough and our children won’t even know why they are enemies to begin with– they’ll just know to hate and mistrust Muslims, and they will learn the same of us.

Sadly, I’m not seeing religious leaders on the Christian side put forth a Christian narrative for how we are to walk this road in our current culture. In fact, what I too often see Christian leaders doing is pushing a narrative that only serves to inflame and divide us, such as Franklin Graham who teaches that Islam is a “religion of war” and “evil.”

What our culture needs more than ever is people who are modeling their lives after Jesus of Nazareth (peace be upon him) instead of operating under the current narrative of hostility that too many Christian leaders are inviting us into. If the world is going to change, it will only be because you and I chose to act– now.

How do we move forward? Ironically, let’s play their game for a minute and see where it takes us: let’s suppose that Muslims are our enemy and that Islam is evil. How do the people of Jesus respond?

Well, Jesus makes it clear: love and serve your enemies- go the extra mile for them. As far as dealing with evil, the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans that we are not to “overcome evil with evil but evil with good.”

So, fellow Christians in America and around the world, I think we have our roadmap for how we ought to live: we ought to radically love our Muslim neighbors and actively do good towards them. In fact, for those who wish to actually follow Jesus, this is the only roadmap.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to quietly love in our hearts- we are invited to love not with words, but with actions (1 John 3:18). So here’s my challenge fellow Christians:

Changing the world starts with you. This piece is an invitation to begin participating in the “healing of the nations” by taking action, right now. That action? You are hereby challenged to find ways to radically love your Muslim neighbors– indiscriminate, lavish, love. For me, I have an easier head start because I live in a town that has a large Muslim population and most of the kids at my daughter’s school our Muslims, so I have plenty of opportunities. But I’m convinced you’ll find Muslim neighbors to love if you open your eyes and look.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Learn how to greet Muslims in Arabic, and when you pass them on the street smile and say hello with the proper greeting (which actually means “peace be upon you”). There’s plenty of Youtube videos to teach you how, but here’s an easy one.

Find Muslim families in your neighborhood and introduce yourself. Ask if you can do something nice for them, just as neighbors and no strings attached. Help them with a project on their home, help them with yard work, or invite them to dinner (but make sure it’s halal).

Find a Muslim and sit and learn from them. Discover what they truly believe– you might be surprised at all the areas of commonality between Christianity and Islam- two members of the Abrahamic faith.

Is their a Muslim community center in your area? Go by for a visit and ask if there are any areas where you could volunteer and serve the Muslim community.

Financially support a charity geared towards serving the Muslim community. Don’t know of one? I can help: I know a great organization in my own community called The Root Cellar, and they are a community center in an impoverished area serving Muslim refugees. They provide a safe place for kids to go after school, and all sorts of other great stuff. No donation would be too small, and you can make it online, right here.

These are just a few ideas, but be creative- there’s no shortage of ways that you could find to love the Muslim neighbors in your midst.

But let me be clear: the path we are on is not a good one. Terrorism by some extreme Muslims (who are usually political and not actually that religious) is wrongfully causing all Muslims to be feared and mistrusted. This fear and mistrust gives way to real persecution, which will undoubtedly lead to legitimate fear and mistrust in return. The only way out of this cultural mess, is for someone to take responsibility for changing it– and that’s where you and I come in.

We can change the course of history in America by radically loving and serving our Muslim neighbors, and by tearing down the walls of mistrust which separate us.

Will you continue down the same old path? Or, will you choose to radically love?

I’m choosing love, and I hope you’ll join me. If you do, send me stories of your acts of kindness towards Muslims, and I’ll compile them for a future post.

Photo (c) the Dollar Photo Club

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Matthew

    Is it all really political rather than religious? In Europe (for example) are young Muslims making pacts with ISIS because they are not effectively integrated into society? I think the answer is yes (in part), but I also think there is a religious component that can´t be ignored. ISIS and other Islamist organizations are simply attempting to live out their particular (and utterly extreme) interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith (Islamic prophetic traditions).

    I listened to a journalist the other night on the radio. He wrote a book that highlights exactly what ISIS wants to achieve. Without going into detail, I can say that it all sounded rather religious to me. What confuses me — however — is how to understand Islam. The interpretations seem to vary so much among different groups of Muslims that it´s hard to know what the religion truly teaches at its core.

  • Terry Firma

    Agree, but I have two important niggles.

    “an act of violence that the media has downplayed as a ‘parking space’ dispute.”

    Please provide your evidence to the contrary. What do you know that, so far, no journalist has been able to unearth?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/02/11/a-random-collection-of-shootings-over-parking-spaces-and-what-they-tell-us-about-violence-and-beliefs/

    “Terrorism by some extreme Muslims (who are usually political and not actually that religious)…”

    Really? Explain that one to me, with facts and citations. Rebut this:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/09/11/sam-harris-calls-out-president-obama-on-the-falsehood-in-last-nights-speech-that-islam-is-fundamentally-good/

  • Discovering the basic tenets of Islam, is quite simple to do, as well as what the tenets themselves are. There is much about it that is in complete agreement with the basic tenets and beliefs of its sister faiths and that of other Abrahamic faiths. It tends to be more introspective than modern Christianity, which I think it is a good thing. Like all modern religions, there are divisions, subsects and ranges of theological and social thoughts about being a proper religious partaker as well as a proper citizen.

    Sadly like other fundamentalist extremist branches of any faith, It too had similarities with its sister faiths, when it comes to quests for power, resources and control. We cannot always separate the darker side of humanity, which can be demonstrated in perversions of religions.

  • Liadan

    I love the article, except for one thing…9-11 did not spur terrorism against Muslims. It was there long before. Picture it…1981-82

    I lived in the Arab district of San Francisco. Even tho I am Christian, I was treated as “other”. In that time, I had my tires slashed, hate graffetti, on the walls, windows broken, threatening phone calls, was assaulted, was threatened even more when I tried to press charges (I was forced to drop them for my safety). I was denied housing and jobs…became homeless until other Arabs felt sorry for me and offered me both a job and a home. They said they were used to the abuse.

    The FBI visited us weekly and asked us to make up things against our neighbors.

    When a good friend was murdered by a bomb (yes in the US),another murdered and a Star of David carved in her breast (Jews did not do it-fyi) I gave up, moved and haven’t seen nor come into contact with an Arab or Muslim in over 20 years.

    And yes, I still get ‘visits’ by Homeland Security.

    1982, guys. Not a shred of terrorism from Muslims at this time.

  • Terry Firma

    The Abrahamic scriptures can all be twisted that way. There are 41,000 branches and denominations of Christianity, all convinced that they have it right, or at least more right than the other 40,999. And so it is with Islam. The contention that ISIS and other violent Islamist groups are really not all that religious is wishful thinking. A killer ululating “Allahu Akbar” as he saws the head off of yet another hostage is not, by any reasonable explanation, less of a Muslim than a peaceful Sufi mystic. They work from the same texts.

    Also, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV710c1dgpU

  • Liadan

    Let me give you a hint about what Islam teaches…Not ISIS.

  • Terry Firma

    By their fruits shall ye know them.

  • I was listening to NPR the other day and they were interviewing a Muslim who came out of the a terrorist type wing of Islam and he was explaining that behind the scenes it had almost nothing to do with actual Islam but was motivated by quests political power and dominance. There was also an interview with a former hostage who explained the same- that behind the scenes there was no talk of Islam, no Koran reading, just a quest for power. I’ll try to find the links, but both interviews were quite compelling.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Benjamin.

  • True. I have had the privilege of knowing people of the Muslim faith, the first was a pair of brothers from Jerusalem who were attending college and worked at the same fast food joint I did. They tried to teach me how to curse in Arabic, and we hung out a great deal after work.

    there are some families, owners of small businesses in my town. I have found them quiet, respectful and respected. One of them was a woman from Turkey, who owned a Gyro shop and a couple of kiosks at the mall. Their Gyros were the best I’ve ever eaten. She would talk about growing up, and her other family members knew me well enough to start preparing my food as soon as they saw me walk up. They would on occasion ask me questions about local customs, particularly what holiday was coming up next, as it helped them gauge what type of business they would have.The family owns another restaurant near where I work now. I highly recommend their philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

    On occasion I’ll see a young family at a store. Not to long ago, a dad watched his young children while his wife finished making purchase. Watching him play with his kids was an enjoyable moment, and the smile he gave his wife when she exited the store was a beautiful thing.

    That is my experience with Muslims, completely positive

  • Terry Firma

    You’re talking about the interview between Terry Gross and Maajid Nawaz, right? Love that guy. I listened to the whole thing last month, wrote about it, and have now read Nawaz’s book. Nowhere does he exclude Islamic scripture from culpability. Nowhere does he say that ISIS etc. have nothing to do with Islam. If I’m mistaken, please point it out.

  • Terry Firma

    And that’s all valid, and I’m glad to hear it.

    You know who hasn’t had such positive experiences with Islam? Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who had her clitoris cut off in the name of the faith (and much more; read Infidel). And everyone from Lars Vilks to Salman Rushdie, who’ve been living under death threats from Islamists for the crime of setting pen to paper. And Stéphane Charbonnier and his colleagues at Charlie Hebdo, who are all quite dead now. And the Nigerian families who had 200 daughters abducted from them, most never to be seen again. And the 2,971 people who died on 9/11. And the 140 kids who got massacred at the Pakistani school last month. And the French Jewish kids shot in the head in their schoolyard last year.

    Do they count, too? What are the “fruits” of the people who perpetrate this madness, while shouting that Allah is great? Shall we at least acknowledge that this kind of thing happens, and happens every day?

  • I think we have to be careful not to make assumptions based on anecdotal evidence. This article provides a detailed, even handed discussion of the religious motivation behind ISIL’s actions. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

  • I don’t remember his name but I’ll check this one out. I could be mistaken as well, so I’ll give it a listen.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Thank you for this!

  • They are tragedies, acts done in the name of hate, bigotry and falsely fueled pride wrapped in a perversion of a beautiful faith. Those acts are no different than ones committed by people of other faiths, including Christianity, like Timothy McVeighs, Jim Jones, Eric Rudolph, Michael Page…or people who promote and encourage rhetoric that can and lead to acts of hatred and violence, like Bryan Fischer, David Howoritz, Michael Savage and Pat Robertson.

  • Kristyn P

    In addition, on the most recent Freakonomics podcast, “Is there a better way to fight terrorism”, credible hypotheses were offered regarding how much of terrorism is not due to religion directly (although that can certainly be a secondary reason) but instead due to “specific, strategic objectives to compel a democratic state to withdraw combat forces from territory that the terrorists see as their homeland.” In other words, military occupation seems to be the predominant risk factor in producing terrorism (specifically, suicide attacks).
    It was even mentioned that the motivation of several instances of current terrorism (such as that against Charlie Hebdo) is less about religion and more about political/ideological revenge for Abu Ghraib or similar events.

  • Herm

    Peace and Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you!

    I am by no means suggesting this book be accepted anymore than as a good beginning point to understand Islam from the researched perspectve a scholar and author who was raised Muslim, became Christian and has returned to the Muslim faith. His wife is Christian.

    NO GOD BUT GOD: THE ORIGINS, EVOLUTION, AND FUTURE OF ISLAM

    by Reza Aslan

    … and from his research and perspective of Jesus he has also produced a very popular book worth the time taken to read it over and over again, also:

    ZEALOT: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS OF NAZARETH

    I have read both and value both. God blesses us all when we look to Them to guide our childish behaviors. In the name of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit. amen

  • Thanks Herm. I haven’t read the first one, but I profoundly disagree with his take on Jesus as much as I’ve ever disagreed with someone :)

  • Herm

    You’re welcome. I agree more with you than he but still value his take. I knew you would disagree but I know you love others and that is most important. You will like, whether you agree or disagree, with his history of Islam. Did I just insist that you like it? Sorry, not mine to judge.

    Love you and particularly this campaign. Thank you!

  • Terry Firma

    That’s sort of true, and I’ve written in no uncertain terms about the Pat Robertsons and Bryan Fischers of this world. But your comment does rather gloss over the fact that Fischer and his ilk have never, to my knowledge, murdered or beaten anyone.

    Jim Jones? Jim Jones was, I’m sorry to say, an atheist. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/21/insane-in-the-brain-a-rare-video-of-mass-murderer-jim-jones-preaching/

    Rudolph and Page and McVeigh are/were horrible human beings, obviously. Do allow me to point out that their respective heydays are years apart, and that their total number of victims is less than the death toll in the Islamist attack on the Beslan school alone. Or the toll on 9/11. Or the toll in the Islamist Peshawar school shooting.

    The obvious truth is that radical Muslims kill others in rather impressive numbers every day. I’m no fan of Christianity, to put it mildly, but Christian terrorism absolutely pales in comparison.

    Let’s do this: for the next 30 days, keep a running tally of every new Islam-inspired slaughter. Do the same for slaughter inspired by other religions. Which list do you think will dwarf the other? Let’s check back in in a month, and compare notes.

  • I think it will be a tie. When I was looking up examples I saw several related murders here in the US, where the victim was killed by a reported Christian and the victim a member of the LGBT community. One’s religious claim means nothing to me when one murders because the victim is considered less than, or inferior therefore a toss away. And one doesn’t have to murder to line up the victims, ask all the women and children in this country sexually abused by protestant clergy members, or the gay kids who committed suicide because of Christian family members, peers or church members having them feeling worth so little, so dirty and shamed, abandoned that death was preferable.

    The murders by the followers of small groups of people who practice a perversion of their faith make the news, because its sensational, it feeds a mindset of us the good guys vs. Them the bad guys using the flawed broad brush format. Muslims are no more or no less evil than Christians. Most want to lead their lives in peace, a small few want to wreak havoc.

  • I spent six weeks in the Middle East last summer. The Muslim people I met were some of the kindest, most gracious, lavishly loving people I’ve ever met. They told me the point of their faith is to do good to others.
    I love Muslims, and to think that anyone wants to harm them, be it though physical or social-stigma means, breaks my heart (and, yes, it also makes me very angry).

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    I am completely outraged by Franklin Graham’s demogoguery. He really wants to make Muslims second class citizens and was threatening Duke with financial repercussions if they didn’t tow the line and disallow Muslim prayers in the Duke chapel. As far as I’m concerned he has no credibility and I will certainly never give anything to Samaritan Purse and don’t mind telling people why not

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    Required reading on this topic is Juan Cole’s Seven Myths on Daesh (a/k/a ISIS). Bottom line is that one should never believe anything anybody says about Muslims ( and particularly American Christofascists who have not read the Qu’ran. Cole is fluent in several Mideastern languages as well. He is my go to guy on things Islam and always a corrective to the paranoid ravings of the Christian Wrong

  • Terry Firma

    OK. See you here in 30 days. I’ll send you a bottle of your choosing if you’re right.

  • Superb blog entry – well said!

  • jjuulie

    I would suspect that an awful lot of the violence committed in the name of religion doesn’t get reported, so I’m not sure how fair this is. And then, too, is this just about what’s reported in the American press? What about all the lgbt people that so-called Christians are killing in several African countries? I don’t know how many of those are reported here. Also, is this just about Christians and Muslims? What about all the Jewish bombings in their own occupied territories? What about the Hindu slaughter of Muslims in parts of India?

    Define your parameters,folks!

  • Guest

    Rty

  • Pedrosity3

    “Growing hostility” represented by a hate crimes graph that has, after 9/11, flatlined?

    Truly, Patheos is pathetic.

  • I need to read Aslan. He’s on my list of “to reads”

  • Thanks jjuulie. That what I was trying to get across. To assume people who claim adherence to one faith are more violent than partakers of another is digenuious, and not exactly honest. The big events…massacres are the ones that make the news, the smaller ones, the “every day” tragedies matter just as much.

  • Dennis

    I disagree with most of the other who posted. I believe your position is without merit. Muslims have been a threat to the US (not just Christians) since well before 9-11. There has been no increase in crimes against Muslims, possible only an increase in the news outlets you follow. You say ” In fact, what I too often see Christian leaders doing is pushing a narrative that only serves to inflame and divide us” and then go on to give 1 example. That’s not very convincing of the numbers you alluded to. I could go on but this article is poorly thought out and ill prepared.

  • Herm

    He is sincere and not malicious. I have had some direct contact with him in the last couple years and he nice and accessible. For seminary Christians such as myself we do not know Jesus the same and that is okay with me. I have a much clearer understanding of Islam and its politics because of his No God but God book. Enjoy!

  • Paul Schlitz

    We already know American Christians dont want any more Bush like invasions/occupations against Islamic nations. So we might as well love them which is what Jesus commanded

  • Jeff Couch

    The discussion of Muslim motivated, whether or not they are evil, and when persecution began is all a side issue. As a Christian, those things make no difference. My actions depend on who I follow, not who you are or what you do. That was what was so radical about His message. Love in exchange for hate. Your neighbor is your hated enemy and you are to love them.

  • Roy Kruse

    I second the comment about the Atantic article. It’s very long but worth the read.

  • Jo Faulk

    I agree with the overall sentiments expressed in this article, although I would take issue with some fine points. As someone who has been of the Christian faith since childbirth, what is being suggested (to “love thine enemy” and for that matter – my friends — of which Muslims can be both..just like anyone else..) does come naturally to a true Christian. It has never occurred to me that I should hate or fear those of the Muslim faith just because they are Muslim, regardless of what Franklin Graham says — because Franklin Graham isn’t Jesus. I do not, however believe it is the author’s place to suggest that what happened in Chapel Hill is being “downplayed” by the media as a parking dispute. There is simply not enough evidence at present to suggest it was more than that for now, yet it is widely reported also that investigations are ongoing. (Does the author resent a fact-based media that doesn’t inflate things unnecessarily?). Nor do I think it is the author’s business to assume what is going on in the hearts of most Christians. Bigotry is offensive no matter which direction it runs.

    As for going out of one’s way to make Muslims feel welcomed and included: While I enjoy community work when I have the chance, I have a difficult time finding time for my own family, much less my neighbors (who come in all different colors, sizes, national origins, etc…not just Muslim…). So my hope for Muslims in my community is that they do not take personally the fact that I don’t show up on their doorstep on a regular basis as some form of discrimination. Sometimes a “win” in modern American society is the simple fact that you are being left to live our own life in peace. Heaven knows, I’d welcome that opportunity myself most days.

  • Yes, religious individuals of all faiths do bad things and historically “Christians” have worn the barbarian hat with pride. But if we look at the world we are currently living in rather than hearkening back to antiquity your comparison falls flat. I think we can love our Muslim neighbors without being naive. Pretending the Emperor is clothed does not make it so. You don’t have to look at terrorist groups to see the horror of Islam ascendant. In almost every country where the government is under the control of Islam and Sharia Law is in place, free speech is limited, human rights are restricted, women are chattel and punishment for Sharia infraction is barbaric.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/may/11/women.humanrights

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2933021/Saudi-blogger-sentenced-1-000-lashes-insulting-Islam-spared-flogged-week-row-wife-reveals.html

    http://usa.news.net/article/2548405/egyptian-writer-to-face-trial-for-insulting-islam

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/iranians-arrested-dancing-happy-pharrell_n_5360711.html

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/15/world/africa/sudan-christian-woman-apostasy/

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/sudan-pregnant-alleged-rape-victim-charged-adultery

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/pakistan-blasphemy-case-christian-girl-granted-bail_n_1864452.html

    I cannot think of a country under the control of a Christian theocracy where education for women is restricted and they are legally prohibited from driving, working in their chosen field, leaving their house without a male escort, getting custody of their children in divorce, subject to honor killings, forced by law to cover themselves from head to toe, endure genital mutilation as a rite of passage and can be charged with adultery and stoned for being raped? Can you think of a predominantly Christian country with laws on the books that dictate flogging and imprisonment for insulting the Apostle Paul? Or a Christian government that makes renouncing Jesus a death penalty crime or that punishes illegal behavior with public amputations, floggings and be-headings in the name of Jesus?

    There are many lovely, wonderful, Muslim human beings out there but the enormity of horror CURRENTLY associated with Islam is too large scale and mainstream to allow me to believe it is by and large an innocuous belief system.

  • Jo Faulk

    Jeff, I’m in agreement with you until that last sentence. Where in the Bible does it say that your neighbor IS your hated enemy? The bible simply says to “love thy neighbor as thyself”.

  • MM

    You could also say the same thing about Christianity. Interpretations of the Bible and Jesus are all over the place. Christianity was and is also used as an excuse for violence and domination. Because a group (think KKK) uses a religion as a tool for violence, does not mean that the group represents that religion.

  • I decided to no longer support that charity several years ago, because of F. Graham’s politicizing mechanichisms, and divisive rhetoric. I also decided not to when I realized that the boxes are an evangelical tool towards conversion. Helping the poor should just be that. There should be no hidden agendas there.

  • My experience with the Muslims I’ve met here in the US have been quite similar. It is thanks to one who is from Turkey, that I’d love to visit the coast there, as her stories of growing up there painted such a wonderful portrait.

  • MM

    I think the murder of the Muslim family is downplayed in comparison to how it would have been reported if the tables were turned. Muslim crimes are overreported by the media, whereas crimes against Muslims are underreported.

  • MM

    I’m a busy single parent, but I’m going to carry out the suggestion just by extending kindness and care whenever and wherever I interact with Muslims.

  • MM

    Some Muslims have been a threat to our country, but so have some Christians, some Jews, some Atheists, etc. We don’t mistreat a whole religion because a few of them are criminals.

  • disqus_HQ8PVDeoLJ

    Actually, Dennis, there has been an increase in crimes against Muslims. You can see stats on the FBI site or this one: http://www.civilrights.org/publications/hatecrimes/arab-americans.html
    Question: you claim that Muslims have been a threat to the US since well before 9-11. Can you describe how? Please be specific.

  • MM

    Well Muslims are still the second highest in terms of hate crimes that occur because of religion. Also there are many other sources of hostility. The news over reports Muslim terrorism and crimes plus there’s evidence of a lot of discrimination against Muslims. Check out these links.

    http://www.abcactionnews.com/decodedc/research-shows-news-overrepresents-muslims-as-perpetrators-of-domestic-terrorism

    http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/muslim-americans/pages/2/

  • MM

    I posted this up above, but the media is a big part of the problem. Here’s a link that discusses a research study on it.

    http://www.abcactionnews.com/decodedc/research-shows-news-overrepresents-muslims-as-perpetrators-of-domestic-terrorism

  • MM

    Growing hostility can be represented by many things. In terms of religion Jews were the highest on the hate crimes and Muslims were second highest. More evidence of hostility
    http://www.abcactionnews.com/decodedc/research-shows-news-overrepresents-muslims-as-perpetrators-of-domestic-terrorism

  • MM

    The article does reinforce the idea that religion is behind ISIL’s actions. But I think the problem is that we are judging this huge entire religious group (Muslims) on the basis of one criminal sect. That article also said “Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do.” Nearly all Muslims reject ISIL, so we should not judge Muslims based on ISIL’s behavior

  • Jeff Couch

    When they asked Jesus who their neighbor was, he replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritans were hated, despised and seen as heretics. That was who Jesus identified as our neighbor. If that doesn’t match the far right view of Muslims, that I don’t know what does. Actually I do. The modern Samaritan would be a married homosexual Muslim abortion doctor, if such a person exists. We are to love them. That kind of radical love, I don’t know how to do it. I am convicted, because I don’t live out this sort of love. I pray that I can still learn.

  • Dennis

    Well, there was the Iranian hostage crisis of 79-80. Then there was the suicide bombing of the US barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed almost 300 servicemen. Then in 1993 there was the first bombing of the World Trade Center. These are the easy, cherry picking examples. The first time some of us realized Muslims could become a threat was when Thomas Friedmann mentioned Osama bin Laden by name in his pre 9/11 book The Lexus and the Olive Tree.

  • disqus_HQ8PVDeoLJ

    Iranian Crisis – we were in their country trying to undermine their revolution; US Barraks bombing in Beirut – Our CIA was running the show trying to affect outcome of their civil war. Osama Bin Laden early on was trained and supported by the U.S. when he chose to fight the Russians in Afghanistan with the Mujahadeen, who President Reagan called Freedom Fighters in the spirit of our revolutionary war patriots. My point here is that these incidents didn’t happen in a vacuum nor did they happen because Muslims are dangerous people to Christians or Americans. I am not condoning the taking of life anywhere, particularly civilian lives. What I am saying is that your analysis is simplistic without a hint of understanding of the dynamics on the world stage and our role in that. Wake up!

  • Dennis

    You obviously have insider information on all things relating to Islamic extremism. Please excuse me for having thoughts that differ from you. I’ll try to stay in step with you in the future. (Note the sarcasm) I am awake

  • disqus_HQ8PVDeoLJ

    Snarkiness isn’t necessary. Perceptions should be based on facts, not thoughts, which tend to be colored by our own personal biases.

  • CroneEver

    “The modern Samaritan would be a married homosexual Muslim abortion doctor, if such a person exists. We are to love them.” Do you mind if I use this elsewhere?

  • Jeff Couch

    If used in the manner intended I am perfectly fine with that. I’d love to read how you use it. We lose so much of the intent of scripture when we substitute our cultural context for the Biblical one. One of my favorite things is trying to translate the cultural differences and put them in terms that affect us the way the Gospel affected those who heard it for the first time.

  • CroneEver

    I do lay-preaching at church, and I would love to use this, quoted as is, as an example of radical love, radical forgiveness, and how shocked Jesus’ contemporaries had to have been when he talked about a “good” Samaritan.

    BTW, I’m with you all the way in trying to time-travel mentally – I’m an historian, and I think it’s very important to try to grasp how shocking, or banal, so many things were that we read today, in the Gospels, but also in the writings of ancient Sumer, Egypt, Greece, Rome. For that matter the diaries of the Duc de Saint-Simon in the court of Louis XIV. We are always far removed from any time, any place but ours, because our innate assumption is always that we (in any time or place) are the norm.

  • Yeah, I think I’m on a similar wavelength as jjuulie. I have to wonder, how many incidents of violence in the name of religion will be waved away as being “really” about something else, and how many incidents of violence will have religion tacked on when it doesn’t belong there?

    I’m also curious if Terry Firma has any intention of including acts of violence perpetrated because of the victim’s religion. If a Muslim man kills a Christian man for being Christian, is that +1 Islam -1 Christianity? An atheist kills three Muslims because of their faith, is that -1 (or -3) for Islam?

  • Brian Randall

    I am a Christian & I lived with a Muslim, a Kenyan named Murad, for three years while going to college. He quickly became one of my four best friends during my college years. The 1st of those years, we also shared our home with another Muslim, a Tanzanian named Maboob. We knew each other very well throughout the 444 days when the Iranian Islamic rebels took the 52 American diplomats at the U.S. Embassy hostage from Nov. ’79 to Jan. ’81. We discussed current events on a daily basis & even anti-Islamic sentiments held by many Americans back then.

    Our relationship was always very thought-inspiring, kind, empathetic, intelligent, mutually informative and we had a lot of fun together, too. Our faiths were never, ever, a point of contention, but were always treated as an asset, a compliment to each other & an added experience toward understanding the very same God. We are the faith descendants of Isaac & Ishmael. Abraham was our common faith father. We supported each other. We had lived, ate, learned & played together, just like loving brothers do. Ever since that time, The Holy Qur’an has been side by side to The Holy Bible on my desk.

  • Hollie Hammouda

    Peace and love upon everyone in the forum. I spent 3 months in Algeria, with my now husband and his family. Never once was I mistreated or threatened. I was loved by his family and people in his city were happy to meet me and ask questions. I’m now married to my Muslim husband and he is a great loving man and has shown me a lot about what Islam REALLY is. Love, peace, charity, being good and doing good… All things that Christianity teaches. Often culture and peoples own agendas get mixed with religion and sends mixed messages. And Muslims also believe in and love Jesus- peace and blessing upon him- and his message of peace and good will. Thank you so much for writing this. No matter what religion we are, we really need to look at our morals and how we treat each other as humans.
    and for all the people saying Muslims are “new to America and don’t belong here”, have a look at this article ‘Muslims of early America’- You will see that indeed, Muslims helped to found America and have been oppressed since the beginning.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2015/02/15/The-Muslims-of-early-America/stories/201502150030

    God willing your thoughtful article can change some people hearts and minds :)

  • Hollie Hammouda

    And just to be clear, of course none of the Muslim I know support any kind of killing or harming people- just for the record. ALL of us want those bad evil people to stop their heinous acts against humanity… Anyone who is SANE and right minded and really a believer of GOD wants those vile people to stop and knows it isn’t right.. I’ts disgusting, its appalling and I pray every day for the violence to end.. Unless we do as this article suggests and really focus on LOVE then sure enough, the outcome is very bleak for us all :(

  • Snooterpoot

    So, all Muslim theocracies practice this horrible insubordination of women? I know Saudi Arabia and Yemen are countries that practice a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

    One of the examples you gave is of one woman in Egypt being tried for “insulting Islam.” Is this a rampant occurrence, or just a one-time event in Egypt?

    We know Iran can be an oppressive theocracy, but did you notice that all of the people involved in the incident you linked to were released, and the Iranian President said, “Happiness is our people’s right?”

    We know that Sudan is one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, but that accounts for only a small percentage of Muslims worldwide.

    You linked to an incident in Pakistan that is more than two years old. You failed to mention that “two weeks after her arrest, the local imam who had reported her to police was arrested on suspicion of planting pages of religious texts in Rimsha’s bag. Rimsha was eventually acquitted of all charges.”

    There are numerous tribes in Pakistan. Sharia law practices can vary widely. A quick Google search would have informed you about those various tribes and their practices.

    There are more than one billion followers of Islam and you have tried to taint them all with your comment. That’s a logical fallacy called a sweeping generalization. I think Christians in the USA would be offended if we used Fred Phelps as an example and declared that all Christians were homophobic bigots. Your comment is no different.

  • I believe it was Reza Aslan who said in an interview that Qur’an actually mentions Christ more often than Mohammed, which surprised me (never having read Qur’an at the time). In fact, the 19th sura (chapter), called Mariam, was the first I ever read because of what Mr. Aslan had said. It was about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

  • What a lot of Americans don’t seem to understand is a simple little, but still an inconvenient fact:

    Islam DOES have ancient roots right here in this country! It’s true! Muslims were here before the US became a nation! That religion first came here through the men and women captured illegally in chains from the continent of Africa, and forced conversion into Christianity. Something we complain Muslims do to Christians most of the time. Imagine that!

  • THAT is the way Christians and Muslims are to treat each other! I’m so glad you had that experience Brian, because that was my experience with Muslims pre-9/11! I was taking Chemistry in college at the time. Two younger men from Turkey were my Lab partners. We learned a lot more than just College Chemistry during that semester (Spring 2001).

  • Janice Brantner

    I was reading an article about how we take the pronouncements we hear from Islamic extremists as being from the Quran when they are not from the Quran but from other Islamic writings which even contradict the Quran. Sort of like people getting all upset about Christianity from so called Christian writings that people take as representing the Bible when they don’t. What it all boils down to is real Christians don’t hate or harm and neither do real Muslims. But the fake ones sure can do a lot of damage. Without actually counting, I do think the radical Islamics do more damage than anyone else.

  • Terry Firma

    You mean to tell me that the acts of terror we’ve been seeing are the work of “fake” Muslims? First of all, have you read the Qur’an? It contains at least as much bloodthirst and bloodshed as there is in the Bible. As for the concept of real Islam and fake Islam, it’s 99% BS. I have a link for you: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/09/11/sam-harris-calls-out-president-obama-on-the-falsehood-in-last-nights-speech-that-islam-is-fundamentally-good/
    And be sure to watch this, straight from a gathering of average Muslims who actually say — by show of hands — that they are moderates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV710c1dgpU Watch long enough to also see what they support.

  • Brian Randall

    That’s cool, too. I find our experiences aren’t unique among those who have had first-hand relationships amid various faiths. Some of the problem, outside of just getting bad press & rumor, may be that exposure to having such a relationship is limited. Not everyone gets the chance to know what such a relationship might be like, what “those other people” may be like, simply because they don’t have a chance to know. Everyone usually has a chance to judge, however, because sensational news gets even more sensationalized. That is why this article, which sort of dares people to try to know better & to have better and any experience that we can lend in helping to inform that this is the kind of brotherhood that is possible, is so desparately important. People must try to see something different. People need to put an overt effort into seeing into others’ hearts. That is not always an easy thing to do in these days.

  • Marra Nathar

    I want to ask the Christians commenting on this page and especially Paul:

    Who is ALLAH?

  • Marra Nathar

    And is there no hidden agenda in being nice and helpful to our Muslim neighbours? We all have agendas. We are SUPPOSED to spread the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ. Or have you forgotten? How else can a person be saved? Or do you consider all roads lead to the same God?

  • Marra Nathar

    Yes it is named Mariam and they use it to boast on You tube channels all the time. But the reality is that only 14 verses out of 98 say anything about Mary.(Yes I counted them!) And if what you write about Mary is not correct – then where is the boast?

    Muslims believe that Mary did NOT marry Joseph. She remained a single mother, being fed miraculously throughout her life.

    And Mary was 12 and Joseph 90 years old when they were engaged.

    Also in Paradise she will be married to Mohammed as one of his wives. So Jesus will be his Step-son! True! That is why she had to remain unmarried in Islamic doctrine, because whoever is your LAST husband is the one you will be with in Paradise, should he make it! If he doesn’t Allah gives you to someone else!

    He will also marry Miriam – Moses’ sister, and the Egyptian princess who raised him!

    And so what if they mention a character they call Isa?

    This Isa is NOT Jesus the Son of God. He is NOT God. He is just a man and says so. Isa says to worship Allah alone.

    This Isa spoke from the cradle and said he was a good Muslim, and was a pale insignificant human being who failed in his ministry and begged God to save him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Their Isa will come back to kill every single Jew on the Planet and convert every Christian to Islam or Behead them. Sound like the book of REVELATION? You bet.

    Isa will then live for 40 years, get married and die.

    Does that sound like THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS who comes back riding a white horse with a robe dipped in blood? No way! The lamb on the throne?

    So —what do we do with that information?

    Hate me for explaining what Muslims believe?

    Rail at me for supposed hate speech when I am simple explaining what they do believe as opposed to what you have not yet been told.

    Or should you be like the Bereans who researched the scriptures to find the truth. These days you can ask google anything and it will point you in the direction. I suggest you do so, because you need to know what you believe and why.

    We are called to love the sinner but hate the sin.

    To love the Muslim but hate the Sin of Islam which utterly rejects our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    I put Jesus as Lord first and foremost – for that 4 boys died in Iraq recently. Martyrs. I am with them.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2871508/Four-young-Christians-brutally-beheaded-ISIS-Iraq-refusing-convert-Islam-says-Vicar-Baghdad-Canon-Andrew-White.html

  • zb

    The holy spirit convicts and converts. Not you. We all have agendas and should check them all at the door.

  • Marra Nathar

    I agree. Nawaz is the type of Muslim we need to turn this around. One who refuses to deny Islam’s atrocities because of Shame based culture.
    There is a Muslim woman debater too, who cops lots of flak from Muslims for her stance that Islam desperately needs reform.
    Turkey’s Erdogan has categorically stated there is only one Islam. And there is. And it is both Political and Religious because that is the basis of Sharia. Sharia cannot separate the two and so it is with Terrorism. It is both. Like Hamas.
    And Anjem Choudery – the outspoken British Imam is my favourite. Why? Because he is not afraid of we Non-Muslims being aghast at True Sharia. He believes in it utterly and is not afraid to say so. Sometimes he hedges around questions – but then he will tell you outright what other Muslim apologists won’t. eg The penalty in Islam for Apostasy is death.

  • Marra Nathar

    I am with Dennis.
    If you go excusing terrorism and saying it is our fault ie the West’s, or that we cannot denounce Islam for the threat it is to us, then we might as well roll over belly up.
    Sure our Governments have gotten things wrong (according to we lounge chair experts), and policy could have been better (according to we who are not privy to all the facts), but it still doesn’t excuse terrorism which is not fought within any parameters of war. And is fought with bigotry, hatred and propaganda.

    Worse is that the enemy could well be that neighbour we invite over for a halal dinner. Hopefully if we behave ourselves appropriately and act like Christ, he just might change his mind about the Kuffar he despises.
    And yes that is a dose of sarcasm, but all Radical Islamists here in Australia, have gone to normal high schools, are average normal young men and women, and worship at our Mosques before heading off to join Isis and cut heads off.
    So how do we tell who is the radical and who is not?

  • Marra Nathar

    Yes, I agree – the neighbour would be a married Homosexual Muslim Abortion doctor.
    But though we are called to love thy neighbour which means doing the right thing by them…
    It does not mean agreeing with the homosexual lifestyle, Islamic doctrine or abortion.
    And this is where this article and Christians are getting confused in 2015.
    We must NOT confuse the Muslim with Islam.
    One is the sinner and one the sin.
    Jesus calls us to love the Muslim but hate everything Islam stands for ie Rejection of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
    Unless we do that we are lost.
    We have compromised the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Allah hates the unbelievers – us. Be warned – if the god hates you then the followers must follow.

  • Jeff Couch

    Ok, to understand this, I must go back to the parable Jesus used to explain what He meant by, “love your neighbor.” The reason Samaritans were hated by Jesus was religious. As far as I can tell, the Jews were following God’s law and the Samaritans were not, they were sinning. But none of that shows up in the parable. All the people who believed the right things, walked on by. The only one to stop was the heretic. His audience would expect a sermon on the follies of the Samaritan belief system. Instead the Samaritan is the hero. Jesus did not condone the Samaritans beliefs. He just set the Samaritan as the example. So what did the Samaritan do? He took care of the beaten up Jew’s physical needs. No sermon, no proselytizing, just taking care of him, and paying for his care. Then returning to cover any outstanding debt. I will agree with you that we can disagree with the belief, but we are called to love. I see too many Christians that expect the sinner to change to whatever they determine as the right belief system before they will love the infidel. The point is to show them love in action. There is too little of that. Isn’t that the point of the original post?

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    allegro63, and Benjamin (not sure where to post this and might do it twice): are you opposed to evangelizing others toward faith in Jesus? Is it not possible to have a hidden secularizing agenda in de-spiritualizing the Gospel by rendering it as merely doing social good? It seems that Benjamin’s intent corresponds with yours since he also downplays the difference between Islam and Christianity, commends loving service toward and acceptance of Muslims, while ignoring the fact that Islam and the Koran explicitly deny truths that are essential to Christian faith. If contradicting God’s Word isn’t evil what is? If Mohammad’s violent jihad against any and all who opposed his teaching, if his pillaging and war-lording approach to spreading Islam isn’t evil, then what is? By the standards that Benjamin sees embodied in Jesus and his teaching, Islamic essentials are opposed to that of Jesus. One faith? Really? Ben doesn’t say that, but he implies it by ignoring the differences. Even an ex radical Jihadist like Maajid Nawaz’ apologetic denial of the inherently political nature of Islam doesn’t make it so. In fact, his recognition that if the jihadist’s desire for a worldwide theological caliphate were accomplished it would be a complete nightmare implies that Islamic Law is evil, just as Franklin Graham says. That so many Muslims say things Jesus said and act like Christians should is more a testament to the truth and power of the Gospel being recognized by non-believers than a reflection of Mohammad’s teaching and example. If you don’t recognize Islam as inherently political I don’t think you know Mohammad or the Quran. If we follow the teaching and example of Jesus we will seek not only have them do the good he calls his followers to do but to teach them the truths he taught about his Father and himself, truths contradicted by the Quran, even as he calls us to teach and baptist former Muslims. Just sayin’

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Benjamin (not sure where to post this and might try it twice): are you opposed to evangelizing others toward faith in Jesus? Is it not possible to have a hidden secularizing agenda in de-spiritualizing the Gospel by rendering it as merely doing social good? It seems that your intent lines up with that since you downplay the differences between Islam and Christianity, commend loving service toward and acceptance of Muslims, while ignoring the fact that Islam and the Koran explicitly deny truths that are essential to Christian faith. If contradicting God’s Word isn’t evil what is? Where does evangelizing Muslim enter your scheme of following Jesus?

    If Mohammad’s violent jihad against any and all who opposed his teaching, if his pillaging and war-lording approach to spreading Islam isn’t evil, then what is? By the standards that you see embodied in Jesus and his teaching, Islamic essentials are opposed to that of Jesus. A common faith? You don’t say that, but imply it by ignoring the differences. Even an ex-radical Jihadist like Maajid Nawaz’ apologetic denial of the inherently political nature of Islam doesn’t make it so. Actually, his recognition that if the jihadist’s desire for a worldwide theological caliphate were accomplished it would be a complete nightmare implies that Islamic Law is evil, just as Franklin Graham says.

    That so many Muslims say things Jesus said and act like Christians should is more a testament to the truth and power of the Gospel being recognized by non-believers than a reflection of Mohammad’s teaching and example. If you don’t recognize Islam as inherently political I don’t think you know Mohammad or the Quran. If we follow the teaching and example of Jesus we will seek not only have them do the good he calls his followers to do but to teach them the truths he taught about his Father and himself, truths contradicted by the Quran, even as he calls us to teach and baptize former Muslims.

    And BTW Ben, if you actually followed the model of Jesus in proclaiming the whole truth he spoke in just about any significantly Islamic country you would likely get something similar to the response Jesus experienced.

    Just sayin’

  • A term of art from Philosophy Logic 101 is meaningless in the face of the avalanche of empirical evidence available to anyone with access to the outside world.

    It is not committing a logical fallacy to object to a platform or belief system that is the given rationale for dehumanization and brutality when its adherents wield absolute power. Under your definition anyone who has a negative view of Nazism or the government in North Korea is a bigot. The truth is that loving my neighbor does not require me to embrace Islam any more than loving people who happen to vote Republican requires me to embrace the GOP platform as innocuous.

    You seem dismissive of the significance of Saudi Arabia and Yemen but I have to ask, how many “entire” countries, terrorist organizations and tribes practicing harsh interpretations of Islamic law should
    it take to raise a red flag about the potential threat Islam currently poses to human rights? How much brutality must we witness before it is safe to mention the emperor might be naked? Harsh Islamic interpretation is not even limited to two countries.

    Perhaps as a female I am less tolerant of oppressive
    religious regimes that legally subjugate women. A Muslim nation or two that operates in that fashion is significant to me because it is indicative of what Islam ascendant is likely to do to women. I cannot think of any country where Islam is the official religion and Sharia is the source of the law where women or even men have the right to the autonomy and control over personal decisions that we in the US take for granted. Truthfully, even a little moderate subjugation… something as small as laws requiring headscarves is unthinkable patriarchy because it affects the global status of women and how we perceive ourselves.

    You question the number of instances in Egypt where
    individuals have actually suffered serious consequences for “insulting Islam”. “From 2011 to 2012, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
    (EIPR) tallied 36 accusations of blasphemy that were dealt with extra-legally, sometimes with village residents forcing the accused Christians to leave their
    village. In Cairo, several cases against prominent figures ended in acquittals. But in southern Egypt, where Luxor is located, all recent cases that have gone
    to trial have ended in convictions, according to EIPR. Throughout Egypt, most cases are brought against Christians.”

    “EIPR’s Ishak Ibrahim says there were six blasphemy
    convictions in the last two years in Upper Egypt (as southern Egypt is called because of the direction the Nile flows). Last year a Coptic teacher in the
    city of Sohag was sentenced to six years in prison for insulting Islam and the president. During his trial, Islamist lawyers surrounded the courthouse,
    chanting and trying to block the defendant’s lawyers from entering.”

    To you that might be a trifling thing so I’ll go you one better and provide a few examples of governments that have the death penalty (check the links) and jail time for insulting Islam.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/03/211972.html

    http://youtu.be/xBgvCw6Lo-8

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. There simply is not room in this comment section to document everything I have read.

    Qatar:

    Article 256: It is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, anyone who commits the following acts:

    1. Insulting or challenging the Supreme Being verbally or in writing, or with drawing or gesturing, or any other means.

    2. Abusing, distorting, or desecrating the Holy Koran.

    3. Offending the Islamic religion or one of its rituals.

    4. Insulting any of the divine religions protected by
    Islamic law.

    5. Insolence towards any of the Prophets verbally, or in
    writing, drawing, gesture, or any other means.

    Article 257: It is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, anyone who establishes, organizes, or runs an assembly, association, organization, or a branch thereof, with the aim of opposing or challenging the foundations and teachings underlying the Islamic religion. Or giving dawah
    (proselytization) to a religion other than Islam, or calling to other schools or ways of thought, concerning the preceding, or favoring or promoting it.

    Article 259: It is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years anyone who antagonizes, or casts doubt on the foundations or teachings underlying the Islamic religion, or proselytizes to another religion, or to other schools or ways of thought, favoring and promoting it.

    Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia has no written penal code, and relies on
    interpretation of classical Islamic law. Punishment for blasphemy varies according to the four Sunni madhabs — the Maliki and Hanbali schools view it as an offense distinct from, and more severe than apostasy. Death is mandatory, and repentance is not accepted. The Shafi’i madhab recognizes it as a separate offense, but accepts the repentance of blasphemers. The Hanafi madhab views blasphemy as synonymous with apostasy, and therefore, accepts the repentance of apostates.

    Algeria:

    Article 144 (ratified June 26, 2001): It is punishable by
    imprisonment from 3 to 5 years, and by a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Algerian Dinars — or, one of these two punishments only — whoever insults the Prophet
    Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), any of the other Prophets, or denigrates the practices or rituals of Islam, regardless of whether it is through writing, drawing, declaration, or any other means.

    Morocco:

    Article 220 of the Moroccan penal code forbids someone to “shake the faith of a Muslim or convert him to another religion” The same penalty is applied to whoever publishes a journal, or writing, that undermines the Islamic religion, the monarchical regime, or the territorial integrity (of the state).

    Oman: Article 209: It is punishable by imprisonment from 10 days to 3 years — or by a fine from 5 to 500 riyals — whoever: 1. Publicly blasphemes against the glory of God, or the great Prophets.

    United Arab Emirates

    Article 312: It is punishable by imprisonment and a fine —
    or one of these two punishments — whoever commits any of the following offenses:

    1. Abuse towards any of the rituals or practices of Islam.

    2. Insult of any of the divine, recognized religions.

    3. Condoning or encouraging sin, publicizing it, or acting
    in a way that tempts other to partake in it.

    4. A Muslim who knowingly eats pork.

    If any of these are committed publicly, the punishment is imprisonment for no less than one year, or a fine.

    Article 315: It is punishable by imprisonment and a fine —
    or one of these two punishments — whoever insults the rituals and practices of other religions, when they are protected by the rulings of Islamic law.

    Article 319: Whoever resists or defames the foundations or teachings of the Islamic religion, or what is essentially known of its doctrines, or vilifies it, preaches to other than it, or calls to a doctrine or
    (school of) thought related to these things, and favors and promotes it, is punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years.

    Yemen:

    Article 259: Anyone who apostatizes from the Islamic
    religion is punished with death, after a three day period for repentance. It is considered apostasy if statements are pronounced or actions done contrary to the rules of Islam, or its pillars, intentionally and with insistence. If intent or insistence is lacking, or if repentance is expressed by the offender,then there is no punishment.

  • Marra Nathar

    You know – I have been thinking about this – and I think we have it back to front. What twigged was Eve’s quotation “Good”.

    The “Good” Samaritan parable is about our conception of the other person. And who they are, separate from their beliefs. ie it is all about love the sinner, hate the sin.

    If the Samaritan is the “married Homosexual Muslim Abortion doctor”. Then we are the Jew in the story, the victim. So then it would be all about the Muslim’s love for us, rather than our love for the Muslim as in the gist of the blog.

    So the actual parable would say more about the Muslim in this instance than about us needing to show “radical love, radical forgiveness” which is what we need to do.
    Does that make sense?
    For it is the Muslim who is showing it, not us.

    In this instance, we must be the “good” Samaritan – to the victim who would be the “married Homosexual Muslim Abortion doctor”. And in the process not lecture him. Radical love and radical forgiveness is shown by the Samaritan not the victim.

  • Jeff Couch

    I agree, we are to be the Samaritan, except for one thing. It has always confused me that the audience was Jewish, so they were to identify with the victim. But the love is shown by the Samaritan. So then we are supposed to be the Samaritan. But then He asks, “who is your neighbor?” and the answer is, the Samaritan. So we are the Jew, and we are supposed to love the Samaritan. Perplexing. However we look at it, love is exchanged by two bitter enemies. How should we act? As the post suggests, with an outpouring of love.

  • Jo Faulk

    The story of the Good Samaritan is one that asks us to recognize the humanity in all people, regardless of race, color, creed (even homosexuals or those whose political beliefs we do not uphold.) In the Christian faith, God is our Holy Father and creator, and we all of humanity are brothers and sisters according to His creation. We must all extend a basic level of respect and care for one another. This does not mean we must agree with each other at all times. We are not expected to never have differences with one another, but to always show care and respect for one another as a part of God’s creation. Hate is simply not a Christian virtue, and we are called to “love one another as He has loved us.” You must not go through life with the idea that God has granted you special favor to render judgement on others, and certainly not to do harm according to your will. Ultimate judgement is God’s place, not ours. In fact, loving oneself and loving others typically go hand in hand. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

  • Jo Faulk

    In the case of terrorism, the point is typically made clear that the violence is being done by one group of people against another. Often by an actual statement by the perpetrator that claims responsibility and says as much. It is this type of general “terrorism” aspect that peaks the news medias attention. If we were to look at the overall statistics of Muslim who have died in the US (on American soil) at the hands of an American, vs. the number other American citizens who have died as a result of violence by other American citizens, I think the statistics would actually prove that Muslims are safer than the average citizen in America. Coverage on this particular incident has actually been quite extensive, more than if this crime had been against the average American (whatever that is..) If you are aware of any specific crimes against Muslims that have been under-reported, please let me know, and I’ll give up my argument. I’d also challenge you to find any other countries in the world that have “Hate Crime” laws similar to our own — in which the perpetrator of the crime faces increased penalties for having attacked someone based purely on race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

  • Marra Nathar

    A tie?? Are you kidding me? I am absolutely shocked by your comments and your equating what you see as “Christian terrorists” verses “Muslim Terrorists”.
    To kill the infidel in Islam is acceptable given certain circumstances.
    And under Sharia, commendable for Atheists and Homosexuals.
    To kill anyone in the New Testament is anathema and forbidden. And since the inquisition, what Church condones Murder?? The crusades are long gone.
    Christianity teaches to love the sinner – but hate sin. Because sin harms us.

    Just as you love your child, but you don’t love what they do sometimes!

    Maybe you have some really weird Christianity in America, that we don’t have in Australia.

    Have a look at the tally on these pages and tell me what you think is really happening out there in the world….

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/christianattacks.htm

    eg: 2014NigeriaGwoza 997 people are reported dead after Boko Haram fire indiscriminately at residents of a Christian village while praising Allah. 40 injured.

    So you are saying Muslims and Christians are as evil as each other???

  • Janice Brantner

    I’m aware of all that information. And I’ve been listening to Muslims who believe in peace explain their view of the Qur’an, that Christians and Jews are not infidels and are supposed to be honoured because of the common Abrahamic background for one thing. That violence is only to be used for self defence. As a Christian I have a hard time with all the bloodshed in the Bible but I do know it’s not permission to go doing such things. Peaceful Muslims know the same thing about the violent parts of the Qur’an, but extremists focus on those parts because of generations of hatred building up and looking for expression. I don’t defend the Qur’an but try to understand the people who see some good in it and take the good and leave the bad. Even in Canada we have angry young men who use the radical message of certain Islamic sects as an excuse to harm others. It’s everywhere and it’s horrible.

    Yes, I have read the Qur’an. It’s very repetitive, much about believers being resurrected and unbelievers going to The Fire. Some retelling of Bible stories and quite a bit of advice for living, being righteous. Overall it’s not really an angry book. It seems to say live and let live, God will put all the unbelievers in The Fire so just try to live a good life. Christians and Jews count as believers, and polytheists are bad. There is very little about war and revenge.

  • Marra Nathar

    Brilliant article. It is so refreshing to read a non-politically correct piece of journalism. I read the lot. Well worth it.

  • Marra Nathar

    You are right – we should not judge MUSLIMS based on ISIL’S behaviour, but we can judge Islam. There is a distinct difference. Isil shines the light on the more secretive and nasty versions of Islamic teaching that Western Muslims try to hide. I mean if you are trying to convert someone you
    would hardly tell them that if they ever leave they will be killed, and that crucifixion is a valid punishment! lol.

  • Terry Firma

    This is entirely different from your previous comment, in which you asserted that extremist Muslims are not inspired by the Qur’an but act in violation of it.

    The peaceful ones and the violent ones are all inspired by the same texts. Like Christians, they pick and choose which parts to discard and which parts to follow to the letter. Hence, millions of good people who wouldn’t hurt a fly, along with a never-ending supply of murderers like ISIS, and Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab, and al Qaeda, and freelance operators like Michel Zihaf-Bibeau and the Kouachi brothers.

    All swear by the founding texts of Islam.

  • gimpi1

    Well, in that case, should Christianity be held to the same standard?

    There are Christians who believe in enforcing Old Testament law. The most extreme branch, followers of Mr. Rushdooney, support burning alive for people accused of witchcraft or blasphemy and stoning gay people or women who aren’t virgins on their wedding night. They also support enslaving non-christians. This is a very small branch of Christianity (obviously). They have served as the inspiration for some of the militia movement in the 1990s, and therefore, some terrorism.

    I don’t imagine many Christians, when discussing their faith, bring these folks up. Should they?

  • gimpi1

    Allah is Arabic for God, just as Dios is Spanish for God. It’s just a word in another language. Did you really not know that?

    (I’m not exactly a Christian, so perhaps I shouldn’t have responded. Never mind.)

  • Totally agree!

  • JohnathanA

    So you are saying that Muslims came to NA before any European explorer?

  • JohnathanA

    So you are saying that Muslims came to NA before any European explorer??

  • JohnathanA

    If Muslims want to be regarded in good terms, they need to reform Islam minus the killing, chopping, deceitfulness, stoning, burning…

  • Andy

    I would find it hard to believe there’s a person in most civilized countries that hasn’t heard of Jesus. We have a society now that’s much more connected than 2000 years ago. They didn’t have the internet or planes or things to reach the far corners of the earth.

    Edit: I actually do believe all roads lead to the same God, and he doesn’t need our help in saving people from something that (I believe) doesn’t exist. Maybe the salvation we need is being saved from ourselves.

  • Ummm. No. Reread my comment and try again.

  • JohnathanA

    No reread of nonsense necessary.

  • What? You call it nonsense. I don’t see what is nonsense about it. Blacks from Africa were captured and brought here to become slaves. Some, if not most of those captured were Muslim, but due to the threat of beatings and/or death, they had to convert over to Christianity. What is nonsense about what I said?

  • Are we talking Islam here, or Christianity, or maybe both?

  • This. Yes.
    Following the God of Mars (war, hatred, violence) is a human condition, not limited to culture or country.
    As a Christian my commission is to love God and my Neighbors. I will do so unto death.

  • Snooterpoot

    Falling back on the Nazis, are we? Sweeping generalizations are a logical fallacy, and you continue to use them.

    There are over one billion followers of Islam world wide, yet you taint all of them with the brush of terrorism and violence.

    Frankly, that makes me want to vomit, so I will leave well enough alone and ignore your outrageous, ugly, hateful and bigoted comments.

  • Snooterpoot

    Lots, maybe even most, incidents of Christian terrorism and violence go unreported simply because they are not exciting enough events to draw attention.

    LGBT people in the USA are hated, but incidents of violence or terrorism perpetrated on us go unreported, primarily because they are usually single incidents and because they draw a big ho-hum from people who think we have it coming.

    The anti-Islamic rhetoric from some Christians in the USA is sickening. They preach hatred, not love. They do not follow Christ; they follow their own loathsome hatred of anything or anyone who is different or who disagrees with them.

    Some Christians are as evil as some Muslims. There is no refuting that truth. But I don’t paint all Christians with the same brush and accuse all of them of being evil. The majority of Muslims are peaceful, kind and loving people.

  • Janice Brantner

    I just read an article that puts all the violent verses together. Yeah, it’s pretty bad when you see them like that and not all spread out with other mild stuff around them. I read the verses that said no killing innocent people but missed ones in other places that seem to say it’s okay sometimes. Lots of contradictions. And Muhammed was a very violent guy. So if anyone decided to follow his actions rather than his peaceful verses about fairness and living in harmony with others I can see how we have all the trouble we do now.

  • Janice Brantner

    And it’s interesting that the Qur’an does not teach forced conversion at all, especially for Christians and Jews who are supposed to be appreciated because they also believe in the God of Abraham.

  • Janice Brantner

    Not nonsense at all. Just history.

  • KoreanKat

    Your personal experiences as a white, relatively wealthy, Western women in no way capture the daily reality of being a woman, LGBT person, or other person marginalized within Islamic social hierarchies.

    Frankly those who do not embrace gender equality deserve the same “social-stigma” that almost universally apply to racists in the U.S. and, now frequently, applies to open homophobes as well.

  • Janice Brantner

    The Quran says Muslims must appreciate Jews and Christians because we all believe in the God of Abraham. Unbelievers are the polytheists and they will go into The Fire according to the Quran. So where does all this about killing Jews come from?

  • JohnathanA

    I clearly stated Muslims but evidently your madrassa taught you nothing.

  • JohnathanA

    Those African American, I despise your term for these people, were forced into converting or dying and hence in the civilized world, this conversion does not count.
    Your muslim brethren invented the whole concept of taking slaves from Africa and still practice this horrific system today.

  • JohnathanA

    Yet, this togetherness you propose is not what your muslim brethren practice today and every day.

  • While I’m all for gender equality, there are feminist Muslims, too.
    They’re people, not a single stereotype you can fit into a misogynist-homophobic label. You cannot assume that all Muslims are misogynistic.

  • jtheory

    I’m not gonna pull a #notallMuslims, just as I wouldn’t pull a #notallchristians despite being one. it’s true that in many cases both religions have not been friendly to lgbt, or women, i don’t think this merits killing muslims, or racism against arabic people, or islamophobia though. we can certainly critique harmful ideologies within our groups and others and should. that’s different than what Ben and K are talking about tho I think.

  • Marra Nathar

    So you don’t believe in the God you say all roads lead to? Is that what you are saying?

  • Marra Nathar

    Christians must become educated about Islam. Not to
    is suicide. Western Islam is watered down to make it palatable to the Westerner. It is a subterfuge to allow Islam to flourish when % population is low.

    Mohammed used this in Mecca when he was unpopular. And when he gained strength in numbers in Medina he abrogated the verses he used in Mecca. It is well known and taught in Islam, that later verses abrogate the conflicting verses that came before. So in the West they will use verses like:

    “There is no compulsion in religion…” which is a Meccan verse. As they are BOTH in the Koran it is not quite a lie, but it is not the whole truth either! It dupes the Westerner and the Westerner goes around telling everyone that Islam is a religion of peace and those of us who know better are Islamophobes. The reality is that we know Islam for what it really says.

    Attitude of Islam towards other religions

    The ruling of Islam concerning other religions is that they are all either fabricated and false, or abrogated.

    Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 21534

    Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There would come people
    amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians. Sahih Muslim 37:6668

    For Hadith to be Sahih it means that they are the most authentic.

    “Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and
    Al-Mushrikoon will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures”
    This comes from the Koran Surah 98:6 Buy a copy and read it.

    Quote: “In Islam it is forbidden to love non-Muslims and take them as close friends. Anyone who has common sense can distinguish between kindness, fairness, compassion and mercy, on the one hand, which we have been enjoined to show towards a non-Muslim who is not in a state of war with us, and love on the other hand, which we are not allowed to feel towards disbelievers because of their disbelief in Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and because of their not being Muslims.

    It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘The Jews
    will fight you and you will prevail over them, then a rock will say, “O Muslim, here is a Jew behind me, (come and) kill him.”’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3593).

    http://islamqa

    This then is what Islam teaches Muslims.

  • KoreanKat

    While I support an attempt to diffuse some of the rightwing hate rhetoric surrounding Muslims, as a secular feminist I am not going to pretend the dominant problem of violence really lies with this white Christian nationalist mentality.

    As far as I can make out, there have been four murders since 9/11 in which the violence conclusively points to anti-Muslim prejudice as the motive. There are a few other murders that have unknown motives that might be Islamophobic. One of the Islamophobic murders was commited by a Somali ex-Muslim, so not related to the xenophobic white-majority rightwing.

    By contrast at least 58 people have died at the hands of killers who cited their Islamic faith, solidarity, or identity as their motive over the same period. At least 8 of those 58 are so called ‘honor’ murders of women, and 3 ‘honor’ murders of Muslim men.

    I know from personal experience that murder is hardly the only type of hate crime, but it is still a powerful metric as the ultimate crime. Your outreach to Muslims should not pretend that their community does not have serious issues that impact both Muslims and non-Muslims far more than Islamophobia.

  • Marra Nathar

    You guys in America seem to foment some seriously weird groups eg Fred Phelps. I had never heard of Rushdooney. What he believed and practiced were hopefully too different things. One would have to look more carefully into his beliefs to find out if he actually meets the criteria of Christian. Jihad is the fundamental belief of Islam, but certainly not of Christianity.

  • Marra Nathar

    Exactly Janice! It is called the law of abrogation. The Western Muslims live the Meccan version and the rest of Islam live by the Medina portion. So we see two opposing views. The truth is that the latter trumps the former.
    And the other texts they talk about are the Hadith. The hadith explain the Koran using examples from Mohammed’s actual teachings and his life. The two most authentic are called Sahih. eg Sahih Bukari and Sahih Muslim. I only quote from these in discussion and that is well and truly enough believe me!!
    But when a Muslim wants to hide what he is saying, he will get away with it saying it is not in the Qu’ran. Most of Islamic teaching is NOT in the Koran!

  • I am sorry to have offended your sensibilities. However your angry, visceral reaction to my perspective is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Public criticism of Islam is off limits and that in and of itself, is dangerous. No religion or belief system should be considered above reproach. We need to examine our beliefs and the behaviors that flow from them to keep the world a decent place to live in. That is why this blog is so valuable. Ben takes on Christianity to get to the heart of what God really wants. Though I am a devoted Christ follower I don’t think criticism of Christianity or its history taints me or anyone else. Christianity will stand or fall on its own merits as will Islam. The shots Ben takes at at fundamentalist Christians don’t make him a bigot. They make him a person with a perspective. We are all free to agree or disagree with him.

    One person’s perception of a belief system cannot taint a billion of its adherents. We are who we are regardless of what anyone may think of the religion we have chosen to follow. Unfortunately in the case of Islam it is observable reality that taints it, not my perceptions.

  • Marra Nathar

    If you go up to a Muslim Imam in the West and ask him if we are infidel, you will get the Meccan answer. It is a given.

    Christians who know Islam also know that Allah is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not matter what a Muslim tells you.

    Mohammed worshiped a god named Allah at the Kaaba for 40 yrs. This god had 3 daughters. When he became a prophet, he took THIS god and made him the one god and disposed of the daughters. For a time he brought them back in, but then said Satan made me do it and removed the saying that they could be worshiped from the Koran. That is where Salmun Rushdie got his title : The Satanic Verses from. But because the names of those 3 daughters are still in the Koran we know the god he is referring to is the one he always worshiped at the Kaaba, along with the black rock set inside two silver labia.

    http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/satanic_verses.htm

    That god does NOT have a son, says that Jesus was NEVER crucified, and hates Jews and all unbelievers. His book also does not have the passover, nor belief in Salvation by sacrifice. Only by works. Mary was never married to Joseph.

    He is the opposite of Yahweh. He is NOT my God. He is the Anti-Christ from the bible and possibly from Revelation – ie he denies that Jesus came in the flesh.

  • Andy

    That’s not what I said at all.

  • Paige

    There ARE significant Christian religious leaders putting forth a Biblical Christian narrative for believers. I recently completed the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course, (offered world-wide) and although I never previously saw Muslims as my enemies, I lacked the God-kind of compassion for them. “Perspectives” completely changed my heart toward them, and gave me hope for reconciliation between us through loving and gracious friendship, and hopefully through the Gospel of Jesus. Global Gates, a missions group focused on reaching the unreached internationals within our country, also teaches about building sincere friendships with Muslims. These groups have both opened my eyes to the Muslim culture and people, and I find that I now cringe whenever I hear anyone, especially Christians, speak with hatred, or thoughtlessly of the Muslim people. I don’t currently know anyone Muslim, but I am looking forward to getting to eventually meet and develop friendships with the Muslims who live in my community.

  • Janice Brantner

    Yes, I have just been realizing that there are all these contradictions. Much of the Quran does have good thoughts about getting along with other religions and doing good deeds, but then there is all the evil stuff.

  • Morgan

    What is your evidence that Africans captured and sold into slavery were Muslims?

  • Marra Nathar

    This will really help you understand the staged growth of Islam. That it does indeed have an agenda.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rjdO4cfeEg

  • Really? Okay. I have three sources… Just from doing a Google search…

    Sylviane A. Diouf, Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (1998)

    Islam in America: From African Slaves to Malcom X
    nationalhumanitiescenter. org/tserve/twenty/tkeyinfo/islam. htm

    Islam in America During the Slavery Years
    islam. about. com/od/history/a/afammuslims. htm

  • Google Malcolm X and the Black Muslim Movement.

  • Sounds like a nice little home church. In fact, I’m wondering why it wouldn’t be possible to have a joint Christian/Islamic Church/Mosque. I don’t think Evanglelicals could make it work but maybe Progressives.

  • I believe the Episcopal Church is wanting to see that happen. They already have allowed Muslims into the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on a Friday night for their prayer service a month or two ago… I remember Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, threw a massive fit because of it.

  • Morgan

    From your second reference:

    Slavery and Islam

    “A small but significant proportion of African slaves, some estimate 10 percent, were Muslim.”

    You said that some, if not ‘most,’ were Muslims.

    I think your complaint is with history, and perhaps your source material, not with me.

  • The point wasn’t to excuse terrorism, but to see the reason for it is the same reason we go into their lands and kill them. It’s politics, not religion. For our political leaders to ignore the reasons we get attacked is to put their heads in the sand. We should at least do our part to stop doing what gives them an “excuse” to terrorize. If we are dying by the sword it might be helpful to figure out how we are living by the sword.

  • If the Episcopal Church doesn’t need an Episcopalian to do it I’d sure be willing to help.

  • You asked for evidence, I gave you three sources… Why do you think I am complaining?

    “Some, if not most”. The second source supports that claim.

  • Marra Nathar

    If we did nothing at all, radical Islam would still hate us!

  • Morgan

    I disagree. Ten percent is not ‘most,’ under any circumstances I am aware of. I do appreciate the references, though. Thank you.

  • gimpi1

    Well, I think Christians during the various Catholic vs Protestant wars that ravaged Europe for a couple of centuries might venture to disagree with you. I’m always suspicious of the No True Scotsman aspect of deciding if something is Truly™ Christian or Islamic, or whatever. I tend to take people at their word, when they tell me what they believe. Also, since I don’t regard “Christian” as necessarily the same thing as “good,” I don’t have trouble with seeing Rushdooney, Fred Phelps, Richard Butler, Eric Rudolf, Gary North, et all as both Christians and bad or crazy people.

  • Snooterpoot

    Did it ever occur to you that “observable reality” is not reality at all? Isn’t that the entire point of Ben’s blog?

    There are Christians who think that people with brown skin and who speak Spanish are undeserving of even the most basic human rights and needs, yet the entirety of Christianity is not portrayed as xenophobic bigots. In fact, many Christians embrace these “illegal immigrants,” (or, as I prefer to call them, people) and provide for their needs as best they can.

    There are Christians who think that people who are poor deserve to be so, and who resent their taxes being spent to provide basic needs for these people, yet the entirety of Christianity is not portrayed as cruel and heartless.

    There are Christians who think people who are homosexual should be executed, and Christians who have advocated putting people who are homosexual into concentration camps, yet the entirety of Christianity is not portrayed as murderous homophobes.

    There are Christian sects that are misogynistic and that subjugate women, but the entirety of Christianity is not portrayed as misogynists.

    These are “observable realities,” just like the examples you cited are “observable realities.” The loudest and most extreme of any group gets attention. That does not mean they represent the entirety of their affiliation, nor does it mean that others do not condemn these violent and barbaric acts.

    So, it is your perceptions, and the perceptions of others, who taint Muslims with the actions of a tiny minority who commit these acts of exclusion, oppression and barbarity.

    My perception of Muslims is based on my neighbor who, after a fairly large snowfall and in bitterly cold weather, cleared my driveway and shoveled my steps. I had no idea that Ahmed was going to do this; I heard his snow blower out in my driveway, looked out, and there he was. Later I heard someone shoveling my steps, looked out, and, again, there he was.

    My perceptions of Muslims is based on the Muslims with whom I have worked and come to love, and on the acts of kindness they perform, and on the involvement of their Mosques in our communities. These are all things that are not widely known, because they seek no attention, but act with humility.

    I don’t know how anyone can follow Christ yet hold this attitude toward followers of Islam, when Jesus said in Matthew, Chapter 25:36-40, “36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

    Maybe our Muslim brothers and sisters count as the “least of these” as far as some Christians are concerned.

  • If we did nothing at all, we wouldn’t have radical Islam.

  • 10% is some, but not most. I grant you that… That is what I said, “some, if not most.” Even a little bit is “some.” And remember too, this is an estimate. They did not have strict documentation on how many slaves were Islam because they all were to convert over to Christianity, obviously. Some of these slaves had “native” traditions. Which is which, we do not know, but some were documented one way or another.

    In other sources, the estimate goes up to 30%, which still isn’t “most,” but it is a significant percentage. All these figures are conservative (in other words, at least that), because we simply do not know. The 30% is based upon how many Africans were Muslim at the time.

  • Marra Nathar

    And that is where you are wrong Kirby. Radical Islam started in the 7th Century. Before it even left Arabia. 3 out of the first 4 Caliphs were murdered. The beginning was even more bloody than now.

    “So ambitious was the prophet of Islam that he accepted his former foe’s outward profession of allegiance (at the point of a sword) in order to expand his empire. Yet, it was Abu Sufyan’s own children who ultimately benefited – at the expense of Muhammad’s family.”
    “Abu Sufyan’s son, Muawiyah, inherited the empire after defeating Muhammad’s adopted son, Ali. He also poisoned Hasan, one of the prophet’s two favorite grandsons. Abu Sufyan’s grandson, Yazid, became the next caliph and promptly had the head of Muhammad’s other favorite grandson, Hussein, brought to him on a platter.”
    This is the religion of peace….

    They killed their own and anyone else they did not agree with or who did not agree with them. Whoever tried to leave Islam. It is a fascist supremacist ideology not unlike Nazism. You cannot appease it, nor make it stop. They hate because their god hates us. It is that simple. Isis is true Islam. That is what it looked like in the 7th Century and successive centuries as it attempted to conquer the world. Hitler only killed 6 million, Stalin 20 million, but they say that Islam killed up to 80 million Hindus alone.

    Likewise, Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s closest companion and immediate successor, pressed Jihad aggressively in foreign territory against people who did not want war and were of no threat. In a letter sent to the Persians, the caliph bluntly stated, “You should convert to Islam, and then you will be safe, for if you don’t, you should know that I have come to you with an army of men that love death, as you love life.”
    That is where Hamas gets those words from!!

  • Tim Powers

    Amen!

  • Religion is a set of ideas. A set of ideas is not a person. Christianity is a set of ideas as is Islam. If someone attacks Christianity as a bad set of ideas they are not attacking me because I am a person, not a religion.

    I am not surprised that you have had good experiences with Muslim believers. I have as well. My first boyfriend was Muslim as are several of my friends. But my good experiences with friends who have embraced Islam does not counteract the enormity of brutality and abuse resulting from the practical application of Islam in the world today.

    When people do bad things in the name of Christianity it creates the perception among some that Christianity is a bad set of ideas. I know this because I have many non-Christian friends who regularly deride Christian ideals on Facebook. I don’t fling invective at them or take it personally because… again… I am an individual, distinct from the set of ideas I have embraced.

    I also realize the behavior of many Christians is largely responsible for the negative feelings out there. Why should people who are afraid of and repulsed by Christianity because of the bad things done in its name be expected to treat me with kid gloves? I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ. Criticism comes with the territory. The grace with which I handle it tests the sincerity of my beliefs.

    Because I know that love is God’s only command, I understand that much of what Christians do in God’s name is not of God. So when people criticize Christianity they are not criticizing the divine core idea (love) they are criticizing the ugly stuff mankind has added (legalism).

    The reputation of Christianity, Islam or any other religion other depends entirely on how its practical application affects the world. Is it largely a force for good or evil. If enough harm is done in the name of a particular set of ideas then non-believers will
    begin to perceive it as evil. That is just the way it works.

    It would be unrealistic and illogical of me to demand silence from Christianity’s detractors because it hurts my feelings. They too are entitled to their feelings.

    In the end, a belief system must prove itself. Actions of the many speak louder than vociferous rebuttals.

  • Snooterpoot

    But the brutal and barbaric actions in the name of Islam are not the many; they are the few. And the entirety of Islam is being judged by many Christians based on the actions of the few.

    It’s like my points about Christianity. It is patently unfair and untrue to judge the whole of Christianity based on the repulsive actions of a minority of its adherents.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    Joint prayer is one thing. We all worship the same God. But Episcopal churches are based fundamentally on the truths set forth in the Nicene Creed–that God exists in three Persons and became human for our salvation. Hence, a joint Episcopal-Muslim church wouldn’t work, if “Muslim” is taken to mean someone who, among other things, rejects the Trinity. There are of course Episcopalians who think that these basic doctrinal commitments don’t matter, but contrary to what some people think they are not representative of the Episcopal Church as a whole.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    Actually there are quite a lot of other countries that have such legislation, and in Western Europe I believe the provisions generally go quite a bit beyond what exists in the U.S. (In particular with regard to hate speech–the U.S. is more protective of free speech.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

  • I understand and know what you are saying Edwin. However, I am noticing a trend among Episcopalians that this is the way they want it. For example, the Trinity doctrine you mentioned is pronounced and defined in the same creed (Nicene) that also explicitly says that Jesus “was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary

    How many Episcopalian Bishops and priests are there that want to fiddle with that?

    I have had an Episcopalian priest say to me that when the Scriptures say that Christ was born of a virgin, or was resuscitated from the dead, we don’t have to believe that literally.

  • Kijjiketchme Fox

    You probably just shouldn’t feed the troll at this point

  • I have to admit I am perplexed. Based on nothing more than a few comments you quickly decided that I was worthy of your scorn. Though I am a real person, not an avatar or a monolithic organization you did not hesitate to characterize me as a hateful bigot who made you want to vomit. You felt good about judging me without knowing a thing about me but you felt it was ugly and hateful of me to critique a set of beliefs based on a wealth of information. Do you see the cognitive dissonance?

    But I believe you are entitled to your opinion. I made the decision to comment and I have to live with the impression it left on you. That is life.

    Today’s Formerly Fundie blog post implies that
    “Americanized Christians” don’t’ know Jesus Christ. As an American and a Christian I could be offended by this sweeping generalization.

    I am not because God does not want or need me to defend the Christian religion. I can also see the truth in Mr. Corey’s piece. Each and every one of us needs renewal every day and “Christians” who are operating under theology that has nothing to do with love do need attention.

    Obviously I would disagree that I am judging Islam as a
    belief system based on the actions of a few. An opinion has more validity if it rests on a sufficient amount of evidence. But honestly I’m not sure how we draw the line and decide that we have witnessed enough acts of violence and oppression to openly discuss what might be driving the behavior.

    Think about the debate Michael Brown’s shooting provoked. A lot of people felt it unfair to question police procedure. My first instinct was to ask those folks exactly how many unarmed young men of color needed to die before we could safely scrutinize
    the institutional mind set of law enforcement in the United States?

    And it is not just about the number of bad acts, it is also about the nature. If we started seeing church produced videos of fundamentalist Christians sawing off the heads of infidels while shouting, “Jesus is Lord”, I guarantee it would be a game changer.

    If I may make a suggestion, this article in The Atlantic was extremely factual and evenhanded. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

  • KoreanKat

    If Islam is inherently compatible with gender equality, then why do “Muslims feminists” have to use a Western term/concept to describe who they are? Were talking about a faith overflowing with nomenclature.

    No one is talking monoliths here, but pretending the content of the Qur’an and widely observable trends in gender relations are mere “stereotypes” is disingenous at best.

  • Marra Nathar

    The question that must be asked is “Would Muslim slave traders (the source of Western slaves) sell Muslim slaves to the Infidel to abuse? They certainly would NOT sell Muslim women to the Infidel. So the actual likelihood of the slaves being mostly Muslim is in fact almost non-existent barring unscrupulous traders with poor religious standing.

  • Marra Nathar

    Your friendship – lovely and acceptable as it is – even though it is condemned by the Koran – has coloured your view of Islam and the Koran and you risk compromising your faith unless you actually know what Islam teaches. From your comments and those of others here, eg We all worship the same God – you don’t.

    David Woods also had a very strong friendship with Nabeel Q, but it did not cause him to compromise his faith in Jesus Christ. Neither did his stand break their friendship. So it is possible to be a strong bible believing Christian and be a friend to the Muslim. I am not debating that at all – it is what Jesus would want, but it is NOT what Mohammed would want, if you had read that Koran on your desk you might read that bit.

    You do realise I hope that all Muslims see our bible as corrupt? Both old and New Testaments. And Paul is the worst of the worst and guilty of deception taking Christians away from the true message of Jesus which is supposedly Islamic. And of course falsifying the death and resurrection of Jesus.
    The Koran is Blasphemy from start to finish. Why?
    Because it denies the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and usurps Allah in his Place. A god who had no Son, who teaches salvation by works, hatred and eventual annihilation of the Jews and Christians so that Islam reigns supreme. Also pre-pubescent marriage, death to apostates, and that Mohammed must be emulated and obeyed and accepted as the last prophet.
    It denies that Jesus Christ came in the Flesh (the sign of the Anti-christ), died and rose again for the salvation of our sins. It says he was just a man and NOT God. That Jesus himself will come back to earth and deny the message of the Christians. He will kill the pigs (Jews) break the crosses (destroy Christianity) and live for 40 yrs, get married, have kids and then die. This Isa is NOT our Jesus.

    And the people here want this god Allah – who utterly denies our God Jesus – the one who shed his blood to save us – proclaimed and worshiped INSIDE our Churches?
    What are you guys thinking?
    Why is the West so duped?

  • Brian Randall

    I am not going to argue with you. I am only going to say that you are very wrong in many, many ways. I know your kind. I will not attempt reason when it will be wasted. At least Muslims see Jesus as a holy prophet of God, if not the Christ. Jews are still waiting for their Christ. Are you even aware that there are Christian Muslims & Christian Jews? Those of us who want to grow in our faith & understanding are all looking for the next step in knowing our God even better. We are all looking for our own redemption & salvation by God’s grace. We are all on a faith journey. We should not discourage one another from a path which leads us to know God as he relates to us in our own world, regardless how far each of us may be on that path. Perhaps, God has more paths than the one upon which you stand. Wasting time by standing idly judging the paths of others could allow your own path to become grown over & unrecognizable even to yourself. Remember the parable of the speck & the plank, good Christian?

  • Marra Nathar

    Koran: What it says about us…

    5:72 Sahih International

    They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with
    Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

    5:73 Sahih International

    They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three.”
    And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

    5:75 Sahih International

    The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.

    Yusuf Ali 3: 110

    Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what … believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best … who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

    Muslims are the best of peoples..

    Muhsin Khan 9:33

    It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth
    (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).

    Islam is a supremacist religion.

    And you think they will build a Church/Mosque with you?? An Infidel guilty of Shirk and heading to hell?

    The only reason they would do such a thing is to convert you.

  • Marra Nathar

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

    So Jesus is lying? There are many pathways to the Father excluding him? Is that what you are trying to say?

  • Marra Nathar

    Well Anam we will wait and see what happens to the first Christian who dares to set foot in Mecca shall we???

    2 Corinthians 6:14
    Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? …

    Allowing Muslims to pray to a false god in a Cathedral dedicated to the Lord Jesus – King of Kings and Lord of Lords is something to jump up and down about. That you haven’t leaves me to wonder why not??
    When a Muslim steps foot on land or place they claim it for Allah – and so they have done so to the National Cathedral. You are just ignorant of their purposes as are most Americans. We are telling you but you will not listen.

  • Marra Nathar

    Even so, how can one man pray to Almighty God and the next man pray to Satan and they are seen to be praying together?
    For does not the bible say that all gods besides the I AM THAT I AM are demons?
    What does the bible say about following other gods? How many times were the Israelites disciplined for doing so. How much did God Almighty detest false gods??

  • Marra Nathar

    Hey everyone – I just saw the most amazing film. It fits so well with this topic. And is so touching. The lead actor should get an oscar. It is called My Name is Khan – and I am not a terrorist. This film should help the cause – to love thy neighbour. Made in 2010 – with subtitles. Look for it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqxgYT3TYzY

  • Ian Lincoln

    It feels like most people here are arguing whether or not Islam teaches/is inherently evil, which isn’t germane to Mr. Corey’s blogpost at all. The blogpost was written to remind us of Christ’s call to love and serve people regardless of whether we consider them good or evil, friend or foe. Because through love and service, we begin to understand that our true enemies aren’t other people with other world-views, but the principalities and powers of darkness infecting the world.

    When we have community and relationships with our enemies, we begin to see them less as monsters and more as broken people in need of a savior, the same as us.

  • Brian Randall

    I should know better than to get invovled with someone who doesn’t try to see beyond their own understandings. No, Jesus is not lying. Are you saying that everyone who came before Jesus, those who didn’t have a shot at knowing Jesus, not even through the politically altered, abridged & editted version of the Bible you read today, are all damned because they never said Jesus was the Christ? …because they never had the chance to read 1st Corinthians? Noah & his family? Abraham? Moses? Joeseph? All shot to hell becauset they didn’t share your privilege of reading a book that has had centuries of cutting & editting of what remains as the Holy text of ever changing words? Really?

    Let me ask you something. What did Christ do between dieing on the cross & rising from the grave? He preached to & saved the masses who were already among the dead. He did that for millions & millions of the dead in only two days time, because on the 3rd day he rose. Wow. Wrap your head around that one! So now you are telling me that you know what Christ did & does for the dead? …’cause you, yourself, have been there? You’ve seen it? …so are two days with the dead the same as one of our two day periods, huh? How about it? The Truth, the Light & the Way cannot choose His timing, His means, His placement, even if it is a time, means & place after death, beyond your puny mind’s ability to even consider it, let alone the audacity to judge it?!!!! But, rather, that all has to happen according to your strict & limited understanding of what lies beyond the grave, Marra? Really?!!! You know of everything & of all means by how Jesus saves people? So you are saying that you know as much as God about how God’s powers work in space & time, even in the absence of space & time, especially beyond the grave? Wow! There really must be a mistake in the Bible because it sounds like there isn’t a 3 part God, but a 4 part God & one is named Marra… or else Marra is just a conceited, arrogant ass overextending himself based on centuries of others’ conceited arrogance upon which he lays his own virtue!!! Go away, Satan!

  • Herm

    Marra, you are so misled it is truly frightening. Mohammed protected and honored both the Christians and Jewish in Medina. Islam today is not wholly the spirit of Mohammed just exactly like, thank God, Christianity is not wholly the Spirit of Jesus. Sorry for this bluntness but according the life and times of the real Mohammed you have been duped. Love that you care enough to risk showing your ignorance in our behalf, that now you may be forgiven for crucifying your enemy! Peace be with you!

  • Herm

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

    The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34

    Marra, look very closely and understand the scripture you quoted. There is two parts coming from the mouth of Jesus. One part says “the Father” and the other part says “my Father”. The Holy Spirit who had descended from heaven is the way, and the truth, and the life. With the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Counsellor, and the Spirit of Truth in your heart and mind sent from the Father you too would be a child of God and we would know your Father in Heaven by knowing you.

    Jesus is the Son of God, Son of Man, the Christ, the Teacher, the Instructor, the Rabbi, the High Priest and our Lord given full authority by the Father after His crucifixion. We were not left orphans but have been given the Holy Spirit to know in our hearts and minds, purged of the fleshly foundations of logic as little children knowing nothing of the spirit and eager to learn, to know directly as Jesus does the way, the truth and the life. Your responses, although passionately sincere, indicate that you have not died to the flesh to become born of the Spirit.

    He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:10-13

    I love you and I pray that you find the forgiveness, peace and joy you seek. I do not do so condescendingly but as an equal little child who can testify that the way, the truth and the life is as much yours to have as it is mine. You are special and loved equally as much as I and our merciful Muslim neighbors.

  • Snooterpoot

    I don’t know how you reached that conclusion based on my most recent comment. What I said was that it wrong to judge Christians based on the actions of a minority, and it is wrong to blame Muslims based on the actions of a minority.

  • Herm

    Brian, from the best I can know your mind is in the Spirit but your heart is pulled because it compassionately senses and is reacting to threats toward you and your merciful loved neighbors/friends. I hope that you can find the Spirit in your heart to shake the sand from your feet, forgive the threat because she knows not what she does, and leave to her your sincere blessing of “peace be with you”. I truly love you and the love overflowing through you! Thank you for standing up and caring so deeply!

  • Brian Randall

    Thank you, Herm, for your patience & very generous, kind understanding. Thank you for your insight to the Spirit & to the Spirit in each of us. Thank you for your forgiveness because, even though you’ve have not stated such, it is obvious that you afford that to those, even myself, who can become offensive in our limited understandings. It can be so frustrating to find commonality & reason with those who refuse to recognize the human history in shaping & reshaping God’s word as it has come to us, then they cherry-pick what remains for their consumption, but not necessarily also for their edification. Thank you for knowing & being true to the Spirit within you & sharing that freely without regard to my own shortcomings.

  • Once these slaves became Christian, Christian “owners” wouldn’t own them, would they? Certainly not, one would think. Yet, that is precisely what happened. Pillars of the local church in several locales in the Southern US did so. Perhaps, it was race based, instead of religiously so? If true, then that could explain the phenomenon of the slave trading on the African end of it.

  • Arabic: Allah الله
    Hebrew: Elohim אֱלֹהִים
    Aramaic: Elahi אלהי
    Greek: Theos θεός
    English: God God

    Different understandings, different perceptions, different languages and even different cultures. No matter the differences, the same being created us all and they ALL refer to that one Creator: THE SAME GOD!

  • If anyone comes across a Muslim who says that “the Prophet Mohammad, blessed is he, is the final prophet, the other prophet Moses prophesied about in Deuteronomy 18.18,” then that Christian has my blessing in asking this one question:

    If that were true and it isn’t Jesus, blessed is he, that Moses was referring to; then why does the Holy Qur’an mention Christ more times than that prophet?

    Before you ask, know that this is a true statement and there are a few imams that are stumped when asked that. ALSO, this question will not convince any of them that Christianity is the true religion, BUT it is an excellent way to open dialogue and initiate a peaceful and very rewarding friendship with them, at least that has been my experience thus far. I evangelize through my actions, my life, because this speaks far more louder than just words or thoughts.

    AS A SIDE NOTE: If you know all the passages in the Qur’an (and can cite them) where Jesus is mentioned, you will gain admiration of many, many Muslims that you encounter. But be prepared…. there is a whole bunch of text…

  • JohnathanA

    Mo is Shatan and chah lalalalala does not exist.

  • Terry

    Muslims like you are always trying to convince the intelligent that YouTube is your new Kiran.

  • Not every Muslim interprets those verses the way you do any more than every Christian erects walls of theology around himself. If the Christians involved and the Muslims involved are just there to convert the other it wouldn’t work but if both see themselves as adding to the devotional mix of the other and receiving the same from the other it might work. I find a lot of good devotional and practical life applications in the Koran, even as a Christian. Some of those include Mohamed doing what Jesus taught.

  • Marra Nathar

    Of course you are right Ian. Nobody is disputing that Jesus calls us to love the good, the bad, and the ugly (not as in looks). It is a radical call. It is only thru service that they get to know us and see that we are not the enemy either. The people are one thing, their religion is another. We must know what they believe, and what they believe about us. How can we minister to them otherwise?
    Jesus said to his disciples which is as applicable today as it was then:

    “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matt 10:16

  • Marra Nathar

    I am not a Muslim! You obviously haven’t read my other posts Terry.

  • Marra Nathar

    Now that show is funny! Haven’t seen it before! Thanks for sharing. No Goat!

  • Marra Nathar

    Very definitely it could be race based as Arabs looked down on the Black African race. Let’s face it, considering how many black African slaves were in Saudi Arabia, how many of their elite of society are black or mixed race? Most black men were castrated in Islam.

  • Marra Nathar

    Oh Herm – where are you getting your information from? Mohammed destroyed all 3 Jewish tribes in and surrounding Medina including for one tribe, chopping the heads off all the men, and any boy with pubic hair. Around 600 – 900 in ONE day – watched by Aisha herself. He took the leaders wife as his booty for she was very beautiful. That was after he tortured her husband to death by building fire on his chest. They wanted the treasure…

    It is all there in their Hadith and even recorded in the Koran.

    Do you believe everything you are told without researching it thoroughly?

    Western Radical Islam has an agenda. Just as they had in Medina. Act wonderful, tell a bunch of stuff the Infidel want to hear, then when you gain enough power, begin to use it to change the status quo and dominate.

    How do you think Mohammed conquered the most divisive Pagan warlords in Bedouin history. By smiling? No by fear. He chopped everyone’s head off after the siege of Banu Qurayza, so then what happened in Mecca? He virtually walked in and took control They feared him and his men that much. It is called terrorism. That is why Isis say they cut people’s heads off – to frighten the people into obeying them. Exactly what Mohammed did.

    Like all stories – there are two sides. You should read the Banu Qurayza’s version. You would then look at Mohammed with different eyes. Muslims were great story tellers – and are permitted to lie if it suites their goals. Even to deny Allah and Mohammed and eat pork if necessary.
    Were the BQ really guilty of treason against Mo? No, actually they weren’t.
    You desperately need to do more research. To read a few books from some very learned ex-Muslims. You will never see Islam in the same light again.
    One Question…if he protected the Christians and the Jews in Medina and was so good to them, then what happened to the Byzantine Empire? What happened to the Hagia Sophia? The biggest church in Christendom at the time?
    You are being fed, and it isn’t the truth you are eating.

  • Marra Nathar

    Sorry Herm – Jesus said “I am the way…He said “I” talking about himself. “Me” Personal pronouns they are called.
    I am not exactly sure what you are getting at here.
    Are you denying the Trinity? Is that it?

  • Marra Nathar

    Brian, I am merely Quoting Jesus words in Scripture. Do you have a problem with that? He is the one who said those words. Either they are true or they are not and we can scrap the whole bible.
    From what you wrote about your lack of faith in the bible’s history and accuracy, it seems you have already thrown it out.
    So on what do you base your faith?
    Those who died before Christ looked in faith forward to the Messiah, as we look back. Yes he preached to those in Sheol after he died and before he rose. We all know that. What do you THINK I am saying here?

  • Marra Nathar

    What threat??? To love my neighbour? But to speak in truth about the Word of God and Islam?
    Isn’t that what Paul did?

  • Marra Nathar

    Good grief Brian you sound like a new ager! Are you going to be left behind when Jesus comes!
    You lot must be the progressives I’ve heard about…is that right?
    Watering down the word until it barely makes sense anymore…
    Is Jesus still God in your opinion, or have you and Herm taken him from the God head.
    Are you prepared to accept Islam’s version that he was just a good man and a prophet, but not God?

  • Marra Nathar

    Yes they do believe exactly what those verses say Kirby. I’ve been chatting online to Muslims for months. Studying Islam for years.
    Muslims believe:
    Jesus did NOT die on that cross, and he is NOT God.

    Galatians 1:8
    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

    An angel from heaven – could that be Jibril?
    What about the angel Moroni for the Mormons?

    2 Corinthians 11:14
    And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

    If Satan is the Author of the Koran and that could only be the answer to a “Holy” book that denies that Jesus is the Christ, then why are you seeing good in something written by Satan that utterly denies YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR Jesus Christ? How are you seeing that Mohammed did what Jesus taught? Especially when he was most likely possessed as many thought? Did you not read of what happened in the cave at Hira? Jibril’s actions as described by Aisha herself, were those of a demon – the exact same experiences found the world over. in fact it was Mohammed who ran terrified from that cave actually believing he was possessed by a Jinn – a demon.

    2 Cor 11:3 I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

    Paul is preaching to YOU here.
    And to the Muslims.
    Isa is a different Jesus.
    Allah is a different spirit.
    What on earth are you guys believing – it is like no Christianity I have ever heard of. Is it something new in America – this falling away prophesied in the end times?

  • Marra Nathar

    Yes it is a good question to ask.
    Also – you are right – actions speak louder than words, but we must also speak the truth. It seems on this thread there are many who call themselves Christian who are part of the falling away of the church in the end times. It is quite distressing to witness. Like Mars hill Pastor now advocating Homosexual marriage.
    Can’t see the Muslims accepting that.

  • Marra Nathar

    So do you believe that Allah is the same God of the bible?
    Can a Trinity be the same God as Allah?
    What about Allah that Mohammed worshiped by name for 40 years at the Kaaba – the same Allah with the 3 daughters who are still mentioned in the Koran, so that we know who that Allah is. The Satanic verses which allowed their worship was removed when Mo recognised his mistake.

    Me – I worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one who said his name for all generations is: I AM THAT I AM. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    I do not acknowledge Allah as god, for he is not. He has never been seen or heard of in Islam, ever. Only Jibril.

  • Herm
  • Ha ha a few years ago I probably would have agreed and concluded it MUST be the devil’s work but I’ve gotten better at interpretation as I’ve gotten older (or so I like to think). It’s interesting I just read in the Koran where Mohamed talks about how the Jews think the Christians won’t inherit Paradise and the Christians think the Jews won’t inherit Paradise so Mohamed tells them the same Gospel Jesus preached in Mt. 25:34 and Lk. 10:25. As for a different Jesus, Paul’s concern was with Gnosticism that said matter is evil so Jesus was an apparition and not a genuine human being. John echos the same and calls it the spirit of anti-Christ. Muslims believe Jesus was a genuine human being so neither Paul or John were anticipating Muslim theology. As for other Christologies, nowhere does it say our salvation depends on having some certain doctrine. That’s another Gnostic error – ultimate eternal state being determined by knowledge. Good grief, God isn’t that kind of a legalist. He’s too big for that. Also, you might be correct that your Muslim friends could never be in a joint church/mosque but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some progressive Muslims out there. Heck, there’s even a bunch of gay friendly mosques so I think if they can hang with the gays they can hang with the Christians.

  • Right, and how do you know Jesus isn’t the one coming to people all over the world and leading them into following his command to love others, but without using a bible or a church to reach him. Just reaching him by his Spirit working in the inner man. Which I think qualifies as being “born from above” (born again). Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel as a man, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t reaching the rest of the world who never heard of him, through God’s Spirit. Didn’t Jesus say that if he be lifted up he would draw all men to himself (btw, I’m not saying everyone responds to that drawing – ISIS savages certainly haven’t – but perhaps peace loving Muslims have – and you want to exclude them because of lack of knowledge – sad).

  • Marra Nathar

    Actually Kirby – you hit the nail on the head –
    Jesus is appearing to Muslims right now, all over the world as Jesus – not Isa.
    Muslims with no bible, no church. There are amazing stories of visions and dreams in the Muslim world on You tube and in books. God is moving in these end times, drawing those who have hearts for the true and living God to himself from whichever religion they are in. But they all come to know Jesus is Lord and Saviour and reject all previous teaching. Jesus is God to them, and for that belief many ex-Muslims are being rejected by family and dying for the sin of Apostasy.

    Regardless – Isa is not Jesus, and neither is the JW Jesus, or the Mormon Jesus. Any other Jesus than the one preached by the Apostles is false and we should NOT follow him. True?

    There is NO WAY God judges someone (nor do I) “guilty” when they lack of knowledge of him. If God is a God of justice, then he is fair to all. Every one of us must have equal opportunity to choose right verses wrong. And for those who have not heard the gospel, he must reveal it in some way before judgement. That is what I believe. And until your dying breath, you have the chance to repent and call on God. He is merciful, but we must not forget how much he hates SIN. Not the sinner. Sin cost Jesus everything.

    In our fallen religious world there are homosexual churches, mosques and Chrislam where they try to combine the two. There are those who reject Jesus as God, and water down not only the Gospel but the Word of God. Progressive churches and liberal churches and even atheist churches that frankly Jesus wouldn’t recognise. I can hear him: “Out out – I never knew
    you.”

    He is coming back for those who are obedient to him not to a social gospel. Obedience is hard. Obedience means taking up your cross and carrying it (My sermon at church this morning). Obedience is a Coptic Christian on a beach in Tripoli calling on the name of Jesus as his throat is cut.

    Did you realise that until Mohammed there was a dispensation for Christians – because they really thought Jesus died on the cross, and it was Allah who fooled them. But after Mohammed we are guilty. Because he told us otherwise.

    BTW what do you make of Surah 65:4??

    http://www.amazon.com/DREAMS-VISIONS-Jesus-Awakening-Muslim-ebook/dp/B0078FAA3M/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1424596747&sr=8-8&keywords=Visions+in+Islam

    http://www.amazon.com/Miraculous-Movements-Hundreds-Thousands-Muslims-ebook/dp/B00759NKOM/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1P760GW84P2CP2K8V84H

  • Marra Nathar

    So you take Reza Aslan’s words as Gospel truth? I have previously looked at “The zealot” thinking to buy it on recommendation, but after having read the very reasonable comments, thought my time would be best spent elsewhere. Having just spent time reading what they offer as a snippet of this book you suggest and numerous comments and comments on comments, I am convinced this book is no better. The West is already choc a bloc with whitewashing of Mohammed and Islam. What I want is the truth. Unfortunately one cannot get the truth with Islamic scholars and writers. Why? Because Mohammed is “perfect” and cannot be criticised by anyone, especially not inside Islam. Nor can Islam be critiqued – at the risk of apostasy. The only ones game to do so, at the risk of their lives, are ex-Muslims turned Christians…because they believe they have good news to share with their fellow Muslims. I think there are far better books out there to read than the one you suggest and get your info from. My library is huge…with lots of terrific writers – but these are just a few of the ex-Muslims.

    Try:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Allah-Finding-Jesus-Christianity-ebook/dp/B00DL18FMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424601844&sr=8-1&keywords=seeking+allah+finding+jesus

    1261 comments!! Not bad…

    An author by the name of Mark A. Gabriel an ex-Muslim Scholar who writes lots of books:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Mark+A+Gabriel&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AMark+A+Gabriel

    All of his books are great!

    http://www.amazon.com/Son-Hamas-Mosab-Hassan-Yousef-ebook/dp/B004QOAQ7I/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1424601844&sr=8-5&keywords=seeking+allah+finding+jesus

    Can’t get more insider knowledge than the son of the founder of Hamas!

    http://www.amazon.com/House-Left-Behind-Journey-Christ-ebook/dp/B00DPUKQAG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1424602120&sr=8-2&keywords=The+house+I+left+behind

    An insight into the Iranian revolution from someone who fought to make it happen then experienced the truth of Islam.

  • Islam is an Abrahamic faith. If you’re going to say that they aren’t trying to worship the God of Abraham, you’d have to be consistent with your position and say the same thing about Jews. Somehow, I doubt you’d do that.

  • Marra Nathar

    Islam says it is an Abrahamic faith, but is it true? What actual proof do they have except plagiarising the scriptures that came before them? Mohammed cannot claim lineage from Abraham thru Ishmael. He admits that. So why would they truthfully be considered an Abrahamic faith?
    Why do YOU think so?
    What would make Allah the same God we serve and worship?

    The God of the Jews IS the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
    It is more correct to say that the Jews would say that we as Christians do not because we add Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    Christianity however, is founded by the Messiah of Israel, a Jew, and all of its founders were Jewish. Their lineage is traceable back to Abraham, and therefore despite what the Jews declare, Christianity has proof
    that it is an Abrahamic faith. It also follows the faith of Abraham passed down thru the prophets. Their scriptures are our scriptures – their beliefs ours.

    Islam does not.

    Islam says it follows that taught by the Prophets but the Koran does not teach that.
    Where is the Passover? They only have 9 plagues because Jibril did not want to put in the Passover which alludes to Jesus the lamb of God and his death on Passover.
    Strange how an Abrahamic faith fails to teach the Passover, all of the feasts, sacrifices, and salvation by sacrifice. After all it was taught by Moses who is
    one of their most revered prophets.

    But you see the Koran is what Muslims say tells us what Moses taught and didn’t teach. Everything else is corrupted. So they ONLY believe the Koran. A little
    too convenient don’t you think for Jibril to have taught that everything is corrupted and only the Koran can be trusted?

  • Herm

    Regarding the book:

    “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity [Kindle Edition]

    5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED this book!! February 11, 2014

    By Christ Follower

    Format:Paperback

    I have to say that as a Christian, before reading this book, I had very little knowledge of the Muslim faith and how Muslim children are raised. This book gave me a peek into that world in a very personal and moving way, helping me better understand what they really believe and how to reach them. Two key points I found very convicting: as a Muslim, Nabeel was never invited into a Christian home AND, until meeting David Wood, he never encountered a Christian who knew his/her Bible or theology well enough to defend it. As a Muslim, Nabeel prided himself on being able to take on any Christian on any biblical topic and eviscerate their feeble arguments, which is sad to think about, since apologetics gives us so many concrete, historically based reasons to believe . We’re not befriending our neighbors and we’re not educating ourselves or our children. We’re not obeying II Timothy 4:2 by being ready in season and out to share our faith with those who so desperately need to hear the Truth. This book is helpful on so many levels. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about obeying the Great Commission.”

    This is what Paul says in context as highlighted by a reviewer of the first book you sent me out to:

    2 Timothy 4:1-5 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.”

    Marra, God is being patient with you but you will not hear. If you are as well read as you imply you are you have gleaned only what you wished to that supported your premise and not as the Truth counselled you. You are not alone, as there is so much to read from so many sources of all bents we all tend to do so until we realize we’re being led down the rabbit hole. For balance I would suggest that you do read Reza Aslan’s Christian and Islamic books as they were well researched, presented in an easy form for all to relate to and are from a perspective of a devout Muslim/Christian/Muslim who seeks not to convert anyone.

    The Gospel and the Word we are enjoined to proclaim and speak for is not a book. The Bible is not the Gospel. The Gospel is the Holy Spirit given to each of our receptive minds and hearts to know our creator God. Paul, never perfect nor claimed to be, proclaimed the Gospel without the New Testament and shared previous scripture to show that for thousands of years Christ Jesus was prophesied. Saul, Paul’s alter ego before his baptized new name, was much better read than most as a Pharisee and executed Christians before He knew the Holy Spirit in his heart and in his mind.

    You have anointed yourself to take the mantle of prophesy to warn us all of evil in the world you have read about and we really already knew about. You appear shocked that so many here aren’t as fearful as you. You are screaming at the peak of your keyboard for us not trust our neighbor who is actually sneakily appearing merciful because they are an “other” led to destroy us all. You are baiting us into war and that is not Christ like. You do not know Jesus you only know of Jesus.

    You do not understand how the Holy Spirit speaks and reaches out to include those who do not know the Spirit in their hearts and minds. That’s the Gospel who is the Advocate who unites all of God as one with Their children.

    You, known by your fruits, try to self-righteously defend children of Man by advocating separation from those who may not know the Holy Spirit any more than do you.

    It is time to heed the call to radically love our Muslim neighbors and forgive our Islamic enemies in the Spirit of the MESSIAH. It is time to heed the call to radically love our Christian neighbors and forgive our Christian enemies from within the Spirit of the MESSIAH. It is time to heed the call to radically love our worldly neighbors and forgive our worldly enemies from within the Spirit of the MESSIAH. Any other way is not the Way to salvation from the endless destructive spirit of retribution and retaliation. Any other way is not the Way to peace and joy today that your fears say you are without.

    Marra, your attempts to protect us from evil are all in the flesh meritorious from the perspective of mankind. Your attempts, as they are, to keep us from evil in the Spirit are futile from the perspective of God. It is kingdom wide physically and spiritually insane to continue to do the same things over and over again expecting a different result. Jesus offers salvation from that insanity by saying, “pick up the cross that I may teach you to live eternally by hating and dying now to the flesh and submitting to be born in the Spirit”.

    Jesus lived the example to the “t” and calls for us to do the same. Jesus says embrace in love all even including those evil and sneaky satanic Christians, satanic Muslims, and satanic anyone to be willing die for them on the cross in the name of the Father in Heaven. Jesus teaches us and leads us not to shun but to welcome the invitation of the enemy to sit down to be neighborly, most especially if they don’t know God personally. Let our inclusive love do the changing of hearts and minds of others and not our exclusive spite for others.

    Marra, try as you are to be most right, as do so many of us children of human kind, it is in the humility and openness in your heart and mind, as like that of a little admittedly naive child, that you appear to be lacking that which is keeping you from coming to Lord Jesus as His little sister and/or brother in the family of God. You are relating to your perceived enemy as did Saul because you do not know Jesus as did Paul.

    The Spirit of Truth is the only way to know God and not the Bible or the Koran of which each have by misinterpretation led man to crucify man in the name of God. The Holy Spirit truly leads man to die on the cross for man in the name of God. Jesus teaches from brilliance to love Saul by the sword only from your mouth, heart and mind while embracing the cross for him that he might learn to live as Paul. That’s the “Good News” I am proclaiming. The golden rule, Matthew 7:12, works in everything with all others without exception.

    Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

    I know that you are forgiven by the Father for you know not what you do. Now go or stay but please with as much passion as you have shared with us open your heart and mind to be baptized by the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus and the Father. Love you so very much!

  • Well you’re still operating under the assumption that everyone needs to get saved, in the eternal sense (as opposed to temporal salvation from the immediate effects of our sin). I think you need to fit your theology into Mt. 25:34 and Lk. 10:25.

  • Herm

    I boldly testify that I have received the Holy Spirit full time in my heart and mind. I am a child of God with my Brother as my only Lord with full authority over all Heaven and Earth.

    There is no other version of God I need ever to know except, as in the example of Paul, I can say to those who doubt, “look, it was written by the hand of man in counsel with God all the time but you did not see.”

    Can you boldly even suggest the same except by what you choose to read and defend that will return to dust and ash?

    Our God is big enough to defend without our help. Our God is only asking that we share our relationship of love with Them with all others as the Good News (Gospel) that it is. The Advocate will give us the words to speak before the court of mankind, not the Bible or any other holy book.

    Love you!

  • The Jews and Muslims agree that God is not a Trinity. If we were to say that the Jewish God (Elohim, or Yahweh) is not God, not the Creator, then whom is the Father that Jesus said sent him? If we accept the Jewish God (again, Elohim, aka Yahweh) even though the Jews do not accept the Trinity, then how come we have a hard time seeing the Muslim God (Allah) as the same? Look closely. Elohim and Allah sound kind of similar to one another because they share the same root, especially when one considers the Aramaic name (Elahi). Did not Christ himself say, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” Do you know what that means in Aramaic? It means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Funny that, because Eli really does sound very close to Allah.

  • Marra Nathar

    Why are you getting your information about Christianity from Islam?

    The Jews of Jesus day didn’t recognise Jesus as the Messiah either, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t. All prophesies are fulfilled in him to the 2nd last thing he uttered on the cross:

    “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
    And why would I NOT know what it means?

    It comes from Psalm 22 verse 1 written by King David 1000 years before Jesus was born. Jesus was quoting the beginning of Psalm 22 which is the prophesy of the suffering servant – the Messiah. It describes crucifixion pretty graphically. So there he was nailed up there in the worst of conditions and quoting prophecy. Amazing!!

    Jesus was calling on God his Father in either Hebrew or Aramaic (there is confusion over
    which). He was NOT an Arab calling out to God in ARABIC!! LOL!
    Doesn’t matter if there is a similar El or Al meaning – they were both a Semitic people group with similar language origins.

    If as the Muslims contend – that Allah just means God (generic) then there is NOTHING to
    suppose it would mean the Muslim god described 600 years later.

    You have to look for evidence of who God is in the Old Testament – right from the beginning.

    The Old Testament God IS God Almighty. The Jews worshiped THE God, the ONLY God.

    This God had a SON – the Messiah – in the Old Testament. The Jews were awaiting him and
    still await him, because they were looking for a King to destroy Rome. They knew he was due at the time of Jesus’ birth, but he didn’t meet their expectations and so they rejected him as Messiah.

    Jesus confirmed that this God – Yahweh – the I am that I am is the true God in everything he said and did. Jesus was first and foremost a Jewish Rabbi, teaching Jewish disciples in a Jewish culture. They all knew who was God
    almighty.

    Exodus 3:14
    God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has
    sent me to you.'”
    John 8: 57 – 59
    So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

    The Jews knew that Jesus was referring to Yahweh as himself – Blasphemy. For that the
    Jews tried to kill him. So Jesus did claim to be God – the I am that I am – Yahweh.

  • Marra Nathar

    It is so incredibly easy to see that the Allah of the Muslims is not Yahweh – the one true God.

    You can’t pick a god who arrives on the scene 6000 years too late.

    Two of Allah’s 99 names are THE DECEIVER & THE DESTROYER.

    Rev 12:9 The huge dragon was hurled down.
    That ancient serpent, called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole
    world, was hurled down to the earth, along with its angels.

    Revelation 9:11 They have over them as king the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is “Abaddon,” but in Greek, he has the name “Apollyon.”

    … Destruction, the Hebrew name (equivalent to the Greek Apollyon, ie, destroyer) of “the angel of the bottomless pit”

    1. Allah has NO son, nor partner.

    2. He is NOT a father

    3. He is unknowable, distant and set apart from mankind.

    4. He hates the Jews and unbelievers.

    5. He teaches salvation by works.

    6. He condones pre-pubescent marriage.

    7. He teaches a different Heaven – one where self-indulgence and sexual depravity reign – now who does that sound like???

    8. He created heavenly creatures who are MADE purposefully to satiate the lusts of men in paradise – perpetual virgins. Made not to love but to use.

    9. He said that women are worth only half that of a man, they are not equal.

    10. That Muslims who leave Islam are to be killed for apostasy.

    The list is endless. Just with these few you can see that this Allah is not the same God as the one of the Old Testament.

    Let alone Jesus said that he came to reveal what God the Father is like. Jesus loved, forgave, believed in equality, and said that if anyone harmed a child it was better that he be hung with a millstone around his neck and thrown into the sea. So how could this God – Yahweh – condone the practice of Pre-pubescent brides?
    Only the devil could condone something so wicked!

  • Marra Nathar

    Well Herm – you have obviously misunderstood me entirely. Wow – I can’t believe that you have taken what I say so wrongly when you have said exactly the same thing. I mostly agree with you.

    I am born again by the Spirit of God and have been since 1983. That is not an issue.

    I am glad you liked Nabeel’s book and yes I found what hit me hard, was the same thing as you. We Christians do NOT know our faith, nor do we know how to defend it. Neither do we know enough about what other faiths teach.

    Many Christians think JW’s and Mormons are Christian – that shows how little we are educated in the cults and differing faiths.

    The other example is given on this thread – that we can join together with Muslims in prayer and worship and let them pray in our Churches.

    And that the god Allah is the same God of the bible.

    I am here trying to do as you have suggested we should do re:

    II Timothy 4:2

    2 Timothy 4:1-5

    proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.”

    This is what I see in the Church today – more so in America than my own country – for we are behind, but catching up. Liberal and progressive Christianity is the very essence of 2 Tim 4: 1-5
    Where they want to be inclusive to all be it homosexual, Muslims or whatever.
    We are called to radically love – but not to compromise our faith, nor to agree with Sin.

    There are some areas and things about what you say that bother me, or that I do not understand.
    Are you trying to say you do not hold the bible as truth? As the Word of God?
    There is something odd about the way you see the Holy Spirit – I can’t quite grasp the difference to what we know in mainstream Pentecostal Churches here. But it is there. Can you truly explain again how you see the Holy Spirit?
    Simple language please.
    I mean I believe everything that you do – but the way you put it is a bit different. That you don’t see that we believe the same thing is evidence that you and I aren’t on the same wavelength somewhere.
    Do you believe Allah is Yahweh then?
    Do you believe it is okay for Muslims to pray in our Churches?
    Or is that just the others on this channel.
    And no, I do not wish to read Reza Aslan. I know what Muslims believe. Why read more whitewashing instead of the truth??

  • Marra Nathar

    Are you saying we don’t need to get saved?

  • Noah

    What’s the Kiran?

  • Noah

    Like almost every single one of the millions in the United States? Or the billions in the world?

  • Noah

    Why bother thinking if you can’t comprehend words?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Um, nothing you said was unclear in your original post. Oy.

  • Jeff Preuss

    But, there are several here, and they look so hungry.

  • What I’m saying is you don’t have a biblical concept of salvation (and if you happen to be a Calvinist you probably never will have a biblical concept of salvation). The Jewish concept of salvation was that the Messiah would save them from their oppressors, and Jesus was a huge disappointment in that regard. The Catholic/Evangelical concept of salvation presupposes that no man can stand before God because of his sin and therefore God must provide a way to get that “standing”, in a legal sense, hence the Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory. The Jesus concept of salvation (the one you have been ignoring all these years of teaching others), is that our sin keeps us from living life the way God wants us to, but it’s being a wicked person that keeps us from being acceptable to God (this can be show from both the OT & NT). Jesus said he came for the sick, not the well. He has provided something for all of us sinners to live life abundantly and a way for those who are particularly bound by sin to get set free by his power. The New Covenant is for everybody, and is particularly needed for those most in bondage, and is particularly effectual for them. Jesus came to save people from their sin, and that salvation is here and now, not later. Jesus came to bring life, and that life is eternal life, so thankfully and joyfully it doesn’t end with our death. You see, we have a bad habit of taking “eternal life” to be a statement about life after death, when in reality it is about life now, which continues after death. Immortality is something we get later, when we die, life is something we can have now if our sin has killed us. Where sin abounds, grace abounds. If Jesus believed that all sin causes eternal separation from God, he never would have affirmed the answer to the question of how to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven was to “love God and your neighbor”, he would have said, “Receive me as your Lord and Savior.” John did say, “As many as received him gave then the power to be the sons of God” but he never said that HAD to be through knowing about Jesus historically and believing certain doctrinal statements about him, and couldn’t be through the resurrected Jesus coming to them through a work of the Spirit of God and them yielding to it and being a good person and “becoming a law unto themselves” as Paul mentioned, like the ones who followed the Law without hearing the Law and loved God and neighbor (somewhere in Romans). Jesus did teach, “You must be born from above (born again) to receive eternal life,” but he never explained all the many ways that could happen, in fact indicated the ways are quite mysterious (it’s like the wind, we can only see what it’s doing right in front of us). Jesus did say, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by me,” but never did explain all the many ways that can happen and would continue to happen in many different cultures in different times around the world. For those who do hear the Gospel, Jesus invites us to get free from the bondage of our sin and walk in newness of life, by his power and through his grace and incomparable love. If you are a minister of the New Covenant, (as mentioned by Paul), your job is to call people into this faith walk of power to overcome sin and bondage and live in that grace and love. You’ll have a church people will want to attend, for obvious reasons. Freedom, love, power, grace in Christ – it’s all quite infectious.

  • Short answer, in the eternal sense – no. In the here and now, we all need to get saved from our sin. See below for more details.

  • Herm

    Marra, by all your implications I am no more welcome in your church than Caiaphas welcomed the MESSIAH into his. You have come part way to Jesus as your Rabbi by symbolically dying to the flesh by choosing to be sprinkled or immersed. You were administered John’s baptism in the name of the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost. By your fruits you have not been born of the Spirit.

    How did Jesus defend His church on Earth? Did he shun or bar anyone from His church? Who did He die for and by whose efforts did He die? Your efforts, your fruits that you are trying to share, are not like those of Christ nor are as inviting to all who are beaten down and hunger to live.

    I love you Marra. I have in the distant past been called cross country to worked with a Pentecostal, also called, in the past to proclaim “the Gospel” to one hungry, prepared and seeking to hear the Word of God in her heart and mind. Neither I, a Seventh Day Adventist elder nor the Pentecostal elder were fully in the Spirit but we were clearly Spirit led to bring this young lady much further along her journey as must have been very important to Jesus. This was thirty years ago.

    Today, I have one church that I claim membership in and it is not of the flesh. The church is more than sufficiently administered by my High Priest. The lessons within are taught by the only Rabbi. The church is not mine but is my Family’s. Our Father protects the church as need be and the Advocate tells me what words to use to defend myself before all churches, rulers and authorities. Luke 12:11-12

    Our church invites ALL who are interested to worship, as they know how, within our sanctuary of sincere love to share real peace and joy. We share all sacraments with all whose mind and heart are drawn to share with ours.

    Since 1983 you have been inclined to passionately share your faith with all the starving who would partake of your faith without question while fearfully defending it from all whom you perceive as unworthy who simply are drawn by the aroma wafting from the walls of your church. You have grown to believe, locked inside your faith, that it is your duty to God to protect your faith from potential violators. You have grown to emulate the American Christianity under discussion at:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/the-kind-of-missionary-the-world-most-desperately-needs/

    I chose to be sprinkled in 1956 to become a Presbyterian member. I saw the hand of God in 1961 and truly committed to God as real. I chose to attend seminary in 1963. I chose to fight in Vietnam in 1966. I chose to become a Cursillista through a Roman Catholic Cursillo, “De Colores”, in 1968. I chose to be immersed to become a Seventh Day Adventist member in 1980. I was chosen to be ordained as an SDA elder in 1983. I accepted the loss of everything I had thought I had accumulated in 1994 and thanked God that I could actually feel the full grief. Also, in 1994, for the first time I, in all humility with nothing but feelings, invited the Holy Counsellor to reside full time in my heart and mind no matter whether I thought I was sinning or not. I accepted going into the desert wilderness in 1999 without a church membership to hold on to but under the protection of my Lord alone.

    I will worship with God anywhere and anytime as is the example of my Lord. I will worship with anybody anywhere, my home or theirs, as we each know how to worship without any fear of compromising my relationship in the Family of God. I no longer need to study the theology or doctrine of any other faith for in relationship with God all the time I can trust that They know each and every way of faith represented on this Earth. I fear no “other” and am willing to even risk death that all “others” may grow to likewise know the relationship of peace and joy I now have within the Family of God today.

    You impugned the Christianity of Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons when each of their members is no more or less Christ like than your assumed all-knowing mainstream Pentecostal church members. You deny the love of the Father to all you judge by your Pharisees as a threat to your church. You are no better or worse in relationship with our God before you than the Pharisee Saul or the high priest Caiaphas. Do you really choose to crucify Christians because they do not abide by your doctrine, theology or dictatorial faith? I don’t think your heart does but intellectually right now you are of the crowd no different than the Jewish crowd yelling, “Crucify the one who claims to be King of the Jews, Son of God and the MESSIAH!” You are so blinded by the plank of your church dogma that you are unable to help remove the splinter in the eye of those non-“Christian” church others who fulfill Matthew 7:12 to a “t” as you do not.

    This is the simple language you ask for. Jesus is not a study in the Bible. Jesus is the living Teacher available to your heart and mind as His special student. The Bible you are idolizing is not the Word of God as only Jesus is the Word of God. The difference between you and I is that you have a faith in God that you zealously protect and defend, I have a familial relationship in God to peacefully and joyfully fully trust my Father to protect and defend me and mine.

    You cannot blasphemy the Holy Spirit for you do not know the Spirit counselling full time in your heart and mind. I can because I know the Holy Spirit and rather than blasphemy I only want to share with all how real and available this relationship is for all who give up their false egotistic pride. I have been in relationship with God as are you and the Spirit did lead me but from outside the Holy of Holies found inside the temple of my heart and mind. You have a faith in God while remaining subject to the laws of the flesh. I have a relationship with God subject only to the commands of my Lord and Brother Jesus.

    Marra, I can only testify by my relationship that until you submit, as have I, to the Holy Spirit residing full time in you, no matter what you’re doing, no matter where you are at, and no matter whom you are with you are not baptized in the Spirit, you are still under the influence of your own flesh and blood Luke 14:26. The Holy Spirit unites our hearts and minds with the hearts and minds of God bonded by love. There is a huge difference in being prodded by the same Spirit you recognize outside you and being inspired by the Spirit within you whom you know intimately. This is the difference between you and me in regards to our very different relationships with God.

    Your church would be Christ like if it was serving constructively for ALL mankind inclusively in love as does Jesus’ church. Better yet, you too can choose to join as a member of Jesus’ church by accepting the baptism of the Holy Spirit by Christ Jesus. Today you too can accept the full authority over your life by the Lord Jesus in all that you do on all Earth and in all Heaven. You too can witness to all by your example and by proclaiming the Good News that God is here with open arms for ALL who come to Them as little children, naïve to their newborn spirit while having died to the egotistic influence of their once all-knowing flesh and blood.

    Do not trust me!!! I am but an infant child of God..Go alone and directly in no uncertain words, but with words sincerely from your heart and mind, to challenge God to counsel you directly from deep within your heart and mind. Do not trust your flesh and blood but fully submit to, in total trust, the Spirit ready to permanently and eternally bond your heart and mind to God’s heart and mind in love.

    May God bless you and give you the peace of having never again to defend what God protects. The cross you will carry for all others is light for it is as a yoke already worn and influenced by our Savior!

    Love you!

  • JohnathanA

    What you do not bother doing is evident.

  • JohnathanA

    Nobody in the world is like your muslim brethren no matter what you call yourself.

  • Noah

    Well, unfortunately I don’t know much about Islam, but the conservative evangelical seminary I graduated from in May has a course. I can take.

  • JohnathanA

    Your blatant abuse of our intellect is of comedic value.

  • Noah

    It sure is. Ignoring what is said and insulting is the way to go on comment boards.

    Don’t forget making stuff up, either.

  • JohnathanA

    Still blatantly abusing infidels because you can.
    We got your number!

  • Noah

    Still ignoring what a evangelical is saying and insulting them.

    There’s stuff in the scriptures about that.

  • JohnathanA

    You can quote all you want, you are simply not credible.

  • Noah

    I don’t have to be, the scriptures are.

    But feel free to ignore them and insult any Christian or non-Christian you want.

  • JohnathanA

    Nonsense, you are nothing close to anything Christian and your insistence that you want to be seen as one is laughable.

  • JohnathanA

    Says the muslim.

  • Noah

    I’d love to know how you think I’m nothing close to a Christian. I sure wasted my recent years at Gordon-Conwell.

    Insulting people, especially fellow Christians is frowned upon in both testaments. I know that much.

  • JohnathanA

    By the way, I think it is insulting of you to say that I would insult anyone other than your brethren for the horrific deeds demanded in your cooorun.
    I am nothing like you!

  • Noah

    How so? False, incredibly uninformed accusation.

  • JohnathanA

    Incredible and you continuous insistence will not make you one.

  • Noah

    I’m seeing you insult others. And not responding to what I say.

    Yes, it appears you’re nothing like me, based upon our keyboard conversation. I’m fine with that.

  • JohnathanA

    Nope, you are the guy who cannot understand that you are transparent.

  • JohnathanA

    I have never insulted a Christian.

  • JohnathanA

    You see what exactly?

  • Noah

    I’m not sure how it’s incredible that someone who went to a conservative evangelical seminary and agreed with most of it thinks they are a Christian. Your stance seems incredible.

    But it doesn’t make me one. My faith in Jesus Christ does.

  • Noah

    No really, how do you know I’m muslim?

  • Noah

    Sure doesn’t seem or feel like it.

  • Noah

    I see you insulting people on here.

  • JohnathanA

    As I told you, you can lie but your lies are incredible!

  • JohnathanA

    You are quoting from the Bible and hence you are not saying anything as you do not understand what you are quoting.
    We are totally different because I do not lie.

  • JohnathanA

    You are trying way too hard to be seen as one without anything to validate yourself, not one single thing.

  • Noah

    Lie about what?

    (That’s an insult, btw)

  • JohnathanA

    Stop insulting me and Christianity.

  • Marra Nathar

    So there is no eternity?

  • Noah

    What did I lie about?

    Really – what did I lie about?

    How am I insulting you?

    Most importantly, how am I insulting Christianity?

    ——answer these.

  • Yes, there is eternity. Evangelicals teach (as I used to) that any sin, even the slightest, condemns every man to hell (based on misreading Paul). These verses show otherwise, and show not all need saving, in the eternal sense. Mt. 25:34 and Lk. 10:25. IOW, if you don’t love God (and please don’t try to define that – you can’t) and don’t love your neighbor, you miss out on eternal life and need saving, both now, because of the immediate effects of sin), and for eternity. If you love God and man you inherit eternal life, and that life starts today as you are being saved from the death caused by your sin, and that life continues into the afterlife. I don’t see any better way to read those verses, do you?

  • JohnathanA

    Non stop insults and you pretend to do nothing?

  • Marra Nathar

    The reality is: The wages of sin is death. And unless you accept the gift of salvation Jesus offers, then you must pay that price yourself.
    Good works do not, and can not get you into Heaven, for all our righteousness is like filthy rags.
    That is Islam’s mistake, thinking they can buy their way into heaven with pious prayers said in the Mosque and good deeds such as you suggest. Problem is, you will always have to pay for the bad deeds. They don’t cancel out at all by good works. They lay heavy on our hearts and when we stand before a holy God, without the blood covering of the Passover lamb of God, we cannot remain in the Father’s presence. We must flee.
    Don’t cheapen the sacrifice of Jesus, but adding works to the equation, when it is all about grace. We do good works “because” we have been saved. We don’t do good works “in order” to be saved. There is a huge difference.

  • Marra Nathar

    It is being unrepentant that keeps us from God. Allowing sin to be your master.
    Obviously you understand my viewpoint…but you have your own. Tell me, is what you are saying what progressive Christianity teaches? I haven’t studied what makes it different to mainstream as yet.

  • Noah

    I have no idea what that means.

    Feel free to actually respond to what I said.

    What did I lie about?

    How am I insulting Christianity?

    It seems you have -no- answers, just baseless accusations.

  • Herm

    Marra, you are so close. I’ve been there and lost it all because I told God, “Thank you for your grace, I got it all now, You can use me as you will. amen” Ten years after that I thanked God for allowing me to feel the deep grief of loss that as a carnal child I could not have endured. I had always been repentant since I was first sprinkled. I had never, before then, come to God as a little child with nothing but a clean readiness to learn. Love you and your eagerness to learn.

  • Yes, the wages of sin is death. Eternal death? Temporal death? You assume eternal death. Your theology also says any and every sin leads to eternal death. I would invite you to examine your assumptions so you can come to a theology that unifies all of scripture instead of ignoring what Jesus said about loving God and man as the way to eternal life. You quote “all righteousness is as filthy rags” as if that verse has anything to do with what we are talking about – it doesn’t. You have taken it out of context and ignored one of many hyperbolic statements in the bible. You say we do good works because we are saved and not in order to be saved and I agree. As for me, I only asked that question once in my life – about 37 years ago when someone presented to me the The 4 Spiritual Laws tract. Since then, I haven’t been asking that question, though I’ve been doing good works. I would submit to you that a Muslim does good works because he is saved (good Muslims, that is), not to get saved. He does good works because he loves God and wants to do what God wants him to do, and if you’ve read a Koran you’ll see plenty of injunctions to do good, love people, show mercy, do justice, etc. Muhammad pretty much taught the same thing Jesus taught. They do it because God says so, not to “get saved.” Your theology of salvation prevents you from accepting this reality and makes you always want to find an alternative explanation for their good works, and you likely tend to want to put it in a context of a grand scheme of the devil’s to fool people into thinking they are OK with God. Your theology has led you to conclude that someone must pay the price for our sins so if it isn’t Jesus then it must be us. Again, a presupposition that needs scrutiny. You are teaching a pagan theology, making God out to be less than he really is. You get this because of all of the scriptures about the atonement and lamb sacrifice. These scriptures are all true, if you use them “lawfully”. They are analogies putting things in ways that the Jews could understand, in legal terms. We make the mistake of approaching it like people from the modern West tend to do who aren’t used to Eastern ways of teaching and take every detail of a story, a parable, an apocalypse, or a fable as expressing a concrete parallel truth. For someone who is bound by sin (remember, Jesus said he came for the sick, not the healthy), someone whose wickedness does prevent him from being acceptable to God (an ISIS fighter, for example, or a Jewish terrorist like Saul of Tarsus who became the apostle Paul) the metaphor of the atonement is powerful because it lets him know that TODAY is the day of salvation, they can be “acquitted” and start a new life by the power of God, TODAY. It’s not about eternal life in the afterlife, for all humans, it’s about eternal life starting TODAY, for those who need it (we all need it to some degree). For him, knowing he can receive forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of Christ is earth shaking Good News, and not just cleansing in a legal sense, but daily experiential cleansing as he rises to walk in newness of life and gets his heart changed every day. Your mistake, and the mistake of Catholics and Evangelicals, is that EVERYBODY needs to “get right with God.” The bible simply does not teach that, and Jesus taught that it is not the case. Believe HIM, not your theologians.

  • JohnathanA

    Says the Muslim.

  • Noah

    Same reply, still ignoring.

    Try focusing on disputing what I said with facts or answer my questions.

    Or keep the conversation useless.

  • Decoding the cloud

    Amen sister.

  • Decoding the cloud

    John even we Christians do the same. Catholics have killed numerous millions of people. The US invaded Iraq illegally in 2003 and is the root causing of training Al Qaeda and ISIS. 9/11 was vicariously done by us as we trained those mujahideen in Afghanistan.

    You will be surprised that in the middle ages, ARABIA and the muslim world was culturally and intellectually ahead than all others in the world. Their great kind Saladin treated his enemies well in war unlike most of the evil crusaders.

  • Marra Nathar

    Sorry, but I am very confused by your message of
    inclusiveness.

    Are you saying that a “good” Muslim, a “good” Hindu etc, have just as much chance of achieving heaven as the Christian, despite their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Lord of Heaven?

    So what is your criteria for “Good enough” if believing on the Lord Jesus as God and saviour and accepting his death on the cross as payment for sins is NOT the criteria?

    You said: I would submit to you that a Muslim
    does good works because he is saved (good Muslims, that is), not to get saved.

    Whereas this is not truly the case is it. For them
    salvation is measure by the scales – good verses bad. Eg. It is said that prayers said at the mosque are valued higher than those said at home. You get more credit points. The Hajj is another example. That gains loads of credit points.

    The former was explained at the Mosque I attended
    on open day.

    You say: Believe HIM, not your theologians.

    If you do not accept the bible as the word of God –
    then what do suggest is HIM. The voice in your head?

  • Sorry, I thought you had read these two scriptures. This is the “Him” I was referring to: Mt. 25:34 and Lk. 10:25. Perhaps it would be more fruitful if you tell me what you think these verses are saying with regard to getting saved.

  • Marra Nathar

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Jesus is referring to Yahweh, the I AM THAT I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is, after all, talking to the Jews.

    Not Allah the god of the Kaaba with the 3 daughters.

    Nor any other god.

    If you love any other false god – then you are not fulfilling the verse.

    As for the other verse, it Sounds like that is all that is required….unless you look at the whole context. The background to the story is the parable of the talents.

  • Terry

    It is the lies you abide by 5 times a day because you are a nitwit.

  • Noah

    Eh? Oh. You meant Koran. Or Qur’an.

    How am I nitwit? By conversing with someone who makes things up (lies) and then insults people.

    (The lie is that you make up I’m Muslim)

    Feel free to respond honestly and respectfully.

  • That’s the myth perpetrated by those who don’t know Islam. There will always be those who use their religion to advance their goals of controlling people, real estate, and wealth, but is sure makes their job easier when we give them reasons to hate us. Do you really think Jesus would want us to give them reasons to hate us, such as expand our empire into their land? Your way of thinking, being as popular as it is, is why we have so many wars.

  • Marra Nathar

    a) It is not a myth & b) Those who know Islam are the ones who speak like me, esp. ex-Muslims.

    Where do you think I get my thinking from? I read their books, listen to their seminars. Who knows more about Islam than ex-Imams and scholars. People who no longer fear saying negative stuff about Mohammed and the Koran because they are already under a death sentence for apostasy.

    Only the left and those who believe what Western Muslims want them to know – fed by the Muslim Brotherhood – who think that terrorism is in fact OUR fault. Who make excuses for radical Islam’s actions.

    Truth is Islam says they love Jesus, but at the heart of Islam is the absolute rejection of the real Jesus Christ – the Messiah of Israel – the 2nd person of the Trinity – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – the One who saves us by his blood sacrifice.

    This then is what Jesus himself says:

    John 15:18-25English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Hatred of the World
    John 15: 18-25
    “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did,they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

    Islam is of the World – the Kingdom of the Devil. They reject the Jesus of the bible, and they reject the God who is a Father, and has a Son. And they utterly reject the Holy Spirit, who they call Gabriel in the Koran. In the NT they try to insert Mohammed as the Comforter – in place of the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy that cannot be forgiven.

    They see the West as Christian and therefore they hate us. To them we are sinners, polytheists with 3 gods, immoral and cursed.

    I have spent months on Muslim chat lines. I know what they think. Both the ones who have bought Islam is peace and those who know better.

    Do not be deceived Kirby. The Anti-Christ of Revelation is coming, and perhaps is already here. It is only for the Holy Spirit to be removed for him to openly declare himself in the midst of a world of chaos.

    Conjecture is divided as to who he will be, but as Islam is awaiting the Imam Mahdi and Isa to arrive as expectantly as we await the anti-Christ and the false prophet…my money is on Islam dominating the scene. One that is supposedly benevolent like the Western form – but only for so long – 3.5 yrs. Then all hell will break loose for those who do not convert. For their doctrine – the one they expect to be fulfilled says that all Jews will be killed, and all Christians too, unless they convert – because there is NO MORE Jizya. Which means no more 3rd option.
    Rev 20:4
    Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.

    Who in 2015 is renowned for beheading unbelievers?

  • Terry

    No, by thinking that Americans are as uneducated and dumb as your muslim brethren and that we would accept your lies and hate.

  • Noah

    I wish you would be coherent.

    I’m American.

    I’m not Muslim. I’m Christian. Like the author of this piece.

    Americans can be Muslim.

    More to the point ————- what lies and hate do I have?

  • Terry

    I know you cannot help but lie.

  • Noah

    How do I lie?

    No really, how do I lie?

    Also, feel free to respond to any of my previous points.

  • Tom Stewart

    Muslims are eager to conceal their views and aims. They openly
    declare that Islam is peace. But their goal is the forceful overthrow
    of all existing social structures. Violence, intimidation, and terror
    are the main means by which Islam gained power in the past.

    This
    character trait has been passed on to all subsequent form of Islam
    since its birth. Islam grew out of the use of violence against
    infidels . During the past 1,200 years, Islam has slaughtered over 100
    million infidels. Muslims want to either convert or annihilate all
    infidels by force.

    Mohammad established an Islamic empire by murdering Jews,
    Christians and Pagans. Therefore, Muslims naturally inherited the
    willingness to kill. During colonialism, Westerners used violence to
    gain political power.

    But there has never been a political ideology
    disguised as a religion as eager to kill as Islam. One of the
    theological theory Muslims use is to divide humanity into two camps:
    Dar-Ul-Harb and Dar-Ul-Islam. Muslims want to establish Dar-Ul-Islam
    by forcefully converting all infidels.

    The power of Islam over the individual results from Islamic
    religious school’s prolonged course of indoctrination. The
    brainwashing starts in schools, mosques, where Mullah sanctioned
    answers are rewarded , answers that do not comply with commonsense or
    human nature.

    Muslims receive Islamic indoctrination when they attend
    primary school, middle school and the way to college, and they learn
    Mullah sanctioned standard answers, otherwise, they are brutally
    punished.

    A Muslim must remain consistent with Islamic line when speaking publicly, no matter how he feels privately. Mullahs control power on top of controlling the entire life of a Muslim. This unique structure of indoctrination, threats and punishment is the most important feature of Islam.

    Today, Islam has degenerated into a fascist political ideology struggling to promote terrorism, violence, hatred and bigotry. Islam is not interested in pursuing any lofty goals of democracy, freedom, peace, tolerance, human rights and coexistence.

    Islamic rigidity, fanatic belief system, indoctrination, and oppression and
    unconditional conformity has not changed. Islam still situating itself above humanity and human nature, removes any Muslim deemed detrimental or potentially detrimental to its own rigid system.

  • Tom Stewart

    When one thinks of mass murder, Hitler comes to mind. If not Hitler,
    then Tojo, Stalin, or Mao. Credit is given to the 20th-century
    totalitarians as the worst species of tyranny to have ever arisen.
    However, the alarming truth is that Islam has killed more than any of
    these, and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

    The enormity of the slaughters of the “religion of peace” are so far
    beyond comprehension that even honest historians overlook the scale.
    When one looks beyond our myopic focus, Islam is the greatest killing
    machine in the history of mankind, bar none.

    The Islamic conquest
    of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. Conservative
    estimates place the number at 80 million dead Indians.According to some
    calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80
    million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi
    Sultanate).

    80 Million?! The conquistadors’ crimes pale into
    insignificance at that number. No wonder Hitler admired Islam as a
    fighting religion. He stood in awe of Islam, whose butchery even he did
    not surpass.

    Over 110 Million Blacks were killed by Islam…. a
    minimum of 28 Million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East.
    Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders
    were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is
    believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave
    raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Million. When added to
    the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of
    African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could
    be significantly higher than 140 Million people. — (John Allembillah
    Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for
    Inter-religious Dialogue)

    Add just those two numbers alone
    together, and Islam has surpassed the victims of 20th-century
    totalitarianism. However, it does not end there. Add the millions who
    died at the hand of Muslims in the Sudan in our lifetime.
    Much of
    Islamic slavery was sexual in nature, with a preference for women. Those
    men who were captured were castrated. The mulatto children of the women
    were often killed, which explains why Islam was not demographically
    shifted towards the black race, unlike slaves in the West, who bore
    children to breed a mestizo class. Add in those dead children; and we
    arrive at well over 200 million.

    Remember that in the 7th century, North Africa was almost totally Christian. What happened to them?

    By the year 750, a hundred years after the conquest of Jerusalem, at
    least 50 percent of the world’s Christians found themselves under Muslim
    hegemony… Today there is no indigenous Christianity in the region [of
    Northwest Africa], no communities of Christians whose history can be
    traced to antiquity.– (“Christianity Face to Face with Islam,”)

    What happened to those Christian millions? Some converted. The rest? Lost to history.

    We know that over 1 million Europeans were enslaved by Barbary Pirates. How many died is anybody’s guess.

    …for the 250 years between 1530 and 1780, the figure could easily have been as high as 1,250,000 – BBC

    In the Middle ages…many slaves were passed through Armenia and were
    castrated there to fill the Muslim demand for eunuchs. — Slavery in
    Early Medieval Europe.

    The same practice ran through Islamic
    Spain. North Europeans captured from raids up to Iceland, or purchased,
    were butchered in the castratoriums of Iberia. Many died from the
    operations that ran for centuries.

    The number of dead from the
    Muslim conquest of the Balkans and Southern Italy is unknown, but again
    the numbers add up, surely into the millions over the centuries. Don’t
    forget the 1.5 million Armenian Christians killed by the Turks during
    WWI. We do know that over five centuries, vast numbers of Christian boys
    were kidnapped to become Islamic Janissary mercenaries for the Turks.
    Add those in, too.

    Muslims prized blonde women for their harems;
    and so enslaved Slavic women were purchased in the bazaars of the
    Crimean Caliphate. In Muslim Spain, an annual tribute of 100 Visigothic
    [blonde] women was required from Spain’s Cantabrian coast.

    For
    decades, 100 virgins per year were required by the Muslim rulers of
    Spain from the conquered population. The tribute was only stopped when
    the Spaniards began fighting back — (Jihad: Islam’s 1,300 Year War
    Against Western Civilisation)

    Add in the death toll from the Reconquista and the numbers climb higher.
    Research has shown that the Dark Ages were not caused by the Goths, who eventually assimilated and Christianized:

    …the real destroyers of classical civilization were the Muslims. It was
    the Arab Invasions… which broke the unity of the Mediterranean world
    and turned the Middle Sea — previously one of the world’s most
    important trading highways — into a battleground. It was only after the
    appearance of Islam… that the cities of the West, which depended upon
    the Mediterranean trade for their survival, began to die. — Islam
    Caused the Dark Ages

    Add in those unknown millions who died as a consequence.
    How many know the horrors of the conquest of Malaysia? The Buddhists of Thailand and Malaysia were slaughtered en masse.

    When attacked and massacred by the Muslims, the Buddhists initially did
    not make any attempt to escape from their murderers. They accepted
    death with an air of fatalism and destiny. And hence they are not around
    today to tell their story. – (History of Jihad.org)

    We may never know the numbers of dead.

    After Muslims came to power in the early 15th century, animist hill
    peoples eventually disappeared due to their enslavement and
    ‘incorporation’ into the Muslim population of Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo,
    and Java via raids, tribute and purchase, especially of children. Java
    was the largest exporter of slaves around 1500. — (Islam Monitor)

    In the same manner, Islam arrived in the Philippines. Only the
    appearance of the Spanish stopped a total collapse, and confined Islam
    to the southern islands.

    The coming of the Spanish saved the
    Philippines from Islam, except for the Southern tip where the population
    had been converted to Islam.– (History of Jihad.org)

    Again, the number of dead is unknown; but add them to the total.

    The animist Filipinos were eager to ally with the Spanish against
    Islam. In fact, much of Southeast Asia welcomed the Spanish and
    Portuguese as preferable to Islam.

    …from the 17th century
    successive Thai kings allied themselves with the seafaring Western
    powers – the Portuguese and the Dutch and succeeded in staving off the
    threat of Islam from the Muslim Malays and their Arab overlords.–
    (History of Jihad.org)

    A few galleons and muskets were not enough to conquer Asia. Islam had
    made the Europeans initially appear as liberators; and to a certain
    extent they were. Who were the real imperialists?
    Even today…

    …Malaysian Jihadis are plotting to transform multi-ethnic Malaysia
    into an Islamic Caliphate, and fomenting trouble in Southern Thailand.–
    (History of Jihad.org)

    Add this all up. The African victims. The Indian victims. The European
    victims. Add in the Armenian genocide. Then add in the lesser known, but
    no doubt quite large number of victims of Eastern Asia. Add in the
    jihad committed by Muslims against China, which was invaded in 651 AD.
    Add in the Crimean Khanate predations on the Slavs, especially their
    women.
    Though the numbers are not clear, what is obvious is that
    Islam is the greatest murder machine in history bar none, possibly
    exceeding 250 million dead. Possibly one-third to one-half or more of
    all those killed by war or slavery in history can be traced to Islam;
    and this is just a cursory examination.

    Now consider the over 125
    Million women today who have been genitally mutilated for Islamic
    honor’s sake. In spite of what apologists tell you, the practice is
    almost totally confined to Islamic areas.

    New information from
    Iraqi Kurdistan raises the possibility that the problem is more
    prevalent in the Middle East than previously believed and that FGM is
    far more tied to religion than many Western academics and activists
    admit. – (“Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME
    Quarterly)

    Once thought concentrated in Africa, FGM has now been discovered to be common wherever Islam is found.

    There are indications that FGM might be a phenomenon of epidemic
    proportions in the Arab Middle East. Hosken, for instance, notes that
    traditionally all women in the Persian Gulf region were mutilated. Arab
    governments refuse to address the problem. — (“Is Female Genital
    Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly)

    Remember that this has gone on for 1400 years; and was imposed on a population that had been formerly Christian or pagan.

    FGM is practiced on large scale in Islamic Indonesia; and is increasing.

    …far from scaling down, the problem of FGM in Indonesia has escalated
    sharply. The mass ceremonies in Bandung have grown bigger and more
    popular every year. — (Guardian)

    The horrified British author of
    that Guardian article is still deluded that Islam does not support FGM,
    when in fact it is now settled that FGM is a core Islamic practice.
    Islamic women have been brainwashed to support their own abuse.

    Abu Sahlieh further cited Muhammad as saying, “Circumcision is a sunna
    (tradition) for the men and makruma (honorable deed) for the women.” —
    (“Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly)

    What other tyranny does this? Not even the Nazis mutilated their own women!

    Unlike the 20th-century totalitarians whose killing fury consumed
    themselves, reducing their longevity, Islam paces itself. In the end,
    though slower, Islam has killed and tortured far more than any other
    creed, religious or secular. Unlike secular tyranny, Islam, by virtue of
    its polygamy and sexual predations, reproduces itself and increases.

    Other tyrannies are furious infections, which burn hot, but are soon
    overcome. Islam is a slow terminal cancer, which metastasizes, and takes
    over. It never retreats. Its methods are more insidious, often
    imperceptible at first, driven by demographics. Like cancer, excision
    may be the only cure.

    So whenever you read about this or that
    Israeli outrage — and there may be truth to the complaint — place the
    news in context. Look whom the Israelis are fighting against. Islam is
    like nothing else in history.

  • Terry

    I am a free man in a free society and culture, unlike you.

  • Terry

    Nope, you keep lying and thinking your lies will get you out of your hole .

  • Noah

    No one said you weren’t.

    But keep on avoiding my questions and making things up.

  • Noah

    Good job.

    You can’t answer anything.

  • Liadan

    Not even close.

    Counting all the murders, the wars, the demicides, the terrorism, etc. I can only come up with 9.5 mil.

    Christianity killed 8x more than that. 13.8 m AmerIndians alone.

    Some of your problem is what is ‘killing for Islam’. Plus, you seem to know little of history…Islam “causing the dark Ages?” I don’t know a single credible historian who would state that. Most credit Islam for preserving knowledge and sparking the Renaissance.

    Your obvious biases have gotten in the way of your scholarship.

    (Incidentally, I am Christian, devoutly so.)

  • Liadan

    Blast, this won’t let me edit my reply below….My 9.5 mil is in error…that is just the demicides.

    Correction…Christian wars only=113.8 Mil
    Muslim Wars only= 16.4 mil

    But add up all the wars, demicides, etc. Its about a 8-1 ratio for Christians.

  • Liadan

    Wow..only sources are propaganda sites like History of Jihad.org.

    How about trying:

    Sources: Wikipedia, R.J. Rummel, FBI, Loonwatch, U.S. Department of Justice, List of countries by intentional homicide rate.

    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05#terror_05sum

  • Liadan

    You really don’t know Islam, do you? I agree there are some groups like that you describe…but that is not Islamic teachings, nor the vast majority of Muslims.

    I know many Christian groups that can fit into your descripton of Islam.

    You are quoting hate propaganda only. Not facts.

    I bet you read the Elders of Zion too.

  • Tom Stewart

    Many here deny the history of Islam since its beginning in the 600s, and the history of Mohammad. Basically they rewrite history and point to historians who support their view. Islam is much more than a religion, it is a political philosophy.

    For those who are of a Christian perspective I challenge anyone to show me just one time in the Bible when God said to embrace, compromise, endorse, ratify, tolerate, accept, or in any way acknowledge another god or another religion.

    The Bible also does not state we are to ‘radically’ love a person because of his or her religion, which is the foundation of this article. IF we are to radically love everyone, then adding “Muslim neighbor” is redundant and meaningless. Paul taught us to point out error and expose it, and to NOT have fellowship with darkness and those who oppose Jesus. He did not say to treat them poorly or inhumanely, and he would have us tell them the truth. We are NOT to be friends with or of the world, and we are NOT to be unequally yoked.

  • Tom Stewart

    I seriously doubt that you are a devout Christian. Maybe a devout form of Christianity, but not a person devoted the Word of God and His commands. If so, you would not endorse or support a man of the nature and character of Barack Hussein Obama. To do so is to deny the Word of God and we are called to be His ambassadors.

    Also, you have such a skewed view of history. Your statement that Christians killed 13 million native Americans is ludicrous at best. First, you would need to prove that 13 million native Americans were killed, then you would need to prove they were killed by Christians. Then, as with all liberals you might explain how that would justify and explain why we should accept Islam.

    So the entire US Military was Christian? All the pioneers were Christian? All those attacked by Mexico and Mexicans were killed by Christians?

    So, if you are a devout Christian how do you explain the brutality and massacre imposed in the name of Jesus Christ? How can you serve such a God who did this?

  • Tom Stewart

    First of all, you need to determine when first contact actually was.
    Icelanders(vikings) had been visiting Newfoundland since around the year
    1000 ad catching fish and landing on the shores to smoke the fish and
    some settlements were established temporarily. Columbus landed on the
    Island of San Juan in 1492, but settlements didn’t start on the East
    coast until the 1600’s.

    Next, you would need to figure out how many people were living in North
    America at the time of first contact. Most of the reliable figures I
    have seen show 90 million in the entire western hemisphere, with 40
    million being in North America and only about 10 million of those being
    in the US and Canada. Compare that to the 350 million Americans and
    Canadians today that live in the same land area. The problem with these
    numbers is that there are no records to document them conclusively as
    there were something like 450 different tribes at the time and no single
    way to determine the size of each tribe.

    Epidemics occurred in the native populations, not by prior design, but
    by natural occurrences of contact between people who lived among a vast
    population and thus were exposed to diseases, viruses, illnesses and
    small populations that had either never experienced exposure or the
    groups who were exposed never survived to pass on the immunity to those
    diseases.

    How many were killed by accidental infection, only a lying idiot like
    the fake Indian professor Ward Churchill would claim that the infections
    were intentional, how many died in European/Indian conflicts, how many
    died in Indian/Indian conflicts, how many died of north american
    diseases like hemorrhagic fever, how many died of other natural causes
    like weather and/or loss of food supplies? We don’t know and we never
    will.

    One thing to remember, nothing happened in North America and the advance
    of European culture that had not already happened in North America
    before or anywhere else in the world. When two cultures collide, the
    weaker culture will either assimilate into the stronger culture, will be
    driven back by the stronger culture or will be destroyed by the
    stronger culture.

    The Sioux Indians claim the Black Hills as their ancestral heritage but
    that is only a recent addition as the Sioux were originally from the
    Great Lakes region. How did the Sioux move from the Great Lakes to lay
    claim to the area from Minnesota to Montana? By pushing out the weaker
    tribes and taking over their hunting lands and thereby having more
    hunting grounds can support a larger population and can grow stronger
    and push even further. This same scenario repeated itself over and over again as Indian tribes pushed other Indian tribes to other regions and sometimes to extinction. It is the natural cycle of civilizations and is
    not good or bad, it is just the way it is.

  • Jason Miller
  • Sweetearth1958 .

    People forget that Muslims practice the religion of Islam, named for Ishmael, the actual first born son of Abraham, who was told not to worry about sending Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, into the desert as God would make a great nation from his descendants as well. So basically we denounce the People of God when we denounce Muslims. They are our brothers/sisters.

  • wolfeevolution

    “If this trend does not change, the outcome is potentially bleak. If we’re told over and over again that we are enemies there becomes a distrust and hostility that results in self-fulfilling prophesies– and enemies are born.”

    This is already happening, actually, and it’s heartbreaking.

    May your voice reach many with the message of this post. Glad I stumbled on your blog.

  • Emma

    I live in London, UK. My neighbours on one side are Muslims from Palestine, my neighbours on the other side are Israelis. My children play in the shared back garden with both children – usually together.

    I was talking to my Muslim friend a few days ago about God. I often do – I find Muslims more naturally talk about God than Christians in the secular society I live in. She and I disagree on a lot – but we also share a lot in common. We focus on that bit. We were supporting each other, talking about some day-to-day challenges we were both facing being working mums. We were talking about opportunities that we’d lost – and the disappointment we faced. And I talked a bit about “surrendering to God” – I talked about it from a Christian (I’m a Quaker) perspective. She looked confused and said “sorry, I need to look this word ‘surrender’ up in my dictionary.

    Then she paused, looked up at me and smiled. She said: “I know why what you said makes sense. The Arabic for ‘surrender’ in the way you’ve just used it, is ‘Islam’.”

  • Liadan

    Absolutely idiotic to deny that one is Christian if they voted for President Obama. Please show me in the Bible where it says that.

    *My* God did not do these massacres. Crazy Christianists who justified their horrific behaviour by using God’s name slanderously, did these acts. Hate is not a Christian value. Love is.

    I have never said we should convert to Islam, but we should accept the religious beliefs of others as a democratic country.

  • Liadan

    I challenge you to produce honest academic sources for your claims.

  • Liadan

    Wow, you certainly have got the bigotry patter down pat. A big Geller fan are you?

  • Tom Stewart

    The Bible defines those who actually are followers of Jesus Christ. You can choose any label or title you want, but to willingly support a person, cause, or philosophy which is in opposition to the God you claim to serve is hypocritical. God opposes abortion, same sex marriage, and ALL other gods.

    PLEASE, show me one Scripture when God compromises or tolerates another god. When did He ever say to tolerate another god. In fact, God was pretty radical in his opposition to other gods. That merely demonstrates His nature, characteristics and attributes.

    The Bible teaches that we are to be His ambassadors, His representatives. We are to represent the God who is revealed in the entire Bible, not just the New Testament, or some section we prefer. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus IS God, and Jesus is the Word….read the 1st chapter of John.

    I wouldn’t support a man like Mitt Romney because he personally opposes the God of Scripture and Jesus specifically. This is evident in the doctrines of the Mormon Church in which he is a leader.

    You might say that religion and politics are two variant entities, but when we are Christians it affects every aspect of our lives. Jesus said He must be the very center, the very essence of our lives or nothing at all. ALL other relationships, interests, and focuses must take a back seat to Jesus Christ.

  • Liadan

    Really? Got your tin foil hat on?

  • Tom Stewart

    It stands on its own. There is plenty of supporting documentation available, but this is a blog and I am not going to continue to jump through hoops to satisfy you.

    Suffice it to say that in the short history of Islam there have been million of deaths at the hands of Muslims, and this continues today. Mohammad began the brutal butchery and his followers continue. If you want to defend that, along with child brides, violence and prejudice against women, honor killings, and intolerance of ALL other religions….then do so.

  • Liadan

    I believe in one God. but as an American citizen who supports Freedom of Religion, I respect the rights of others to have the faith they choose.

    I support Christ’s teachings of LOVE, not hate. When you have hate in your heart, you will read the bible with hate and see only hate. You read the bible to see what you want to see.

    There is not one thing in the Bible that expressly forbids abortion nor same sex marriage. btw. Christ said nothing about gays.

  • Guest

    One
    and a half billion Muslims in the world today look to the prophet
    Muhammad as a life example and truest practitioner of Islam.
    According
    to Muslim tradition, Muhammad was called to be a prophet of Allah at
    the age of forty in the year 610 A.D. During his twenty-two-year
    prophetic career he received numerous revelations from Allah via the
    angel Gabriel which were eventually compiled into the 114 suras
    (chapters) of the Qur’an. Muhammad spent the first twelve years of his
    prophetic life, from 610 to 622 A.D., in the city of Mecca and the last
    ten years, from 622 to 632 A.D., in the city of Medina.

    According
    to Islamic scholars, 86 of the suras revealed to Muhammad were given to
    him in Mecca while 28 were given to him in Medina (though it seems
    portions of some suras were recited in both places). What is interesting
    is that the content and timing of these Meccan and Medinian suras seem
    to correspond exactly with the content and timing of Muhammad’s
    prophetic career. In other words, as Muhammad’s status evolves from that
    of an unknown preacher in Mecca to a strong political, religious, and
    military figure in the Arabian Peninsula, the content of his message
    changes as well from one of tolerance and acceptance to violence and
    oppression.

    The verses dealing with Jihad are sometimes referred to as the “sword verses.” There are approximately 164 clear and direct sword verses within the Qur’an which deal specifically with military expedition, fighting, or distributing war spoils.
    This figure does not include numerous other verses in which Muhammad speaks of further aspects of Jihad such as his poor opinion of those who do not go on Jihad and the heavenly rewards which Jihadists can
    expect when they die and enter paradise. One such well known verse commanding Jihad is Sura 9:5 which says, “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).” Sura 47:4 reads, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (infight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them).”

    That Muhammad understood these verses to be applicable to Muslim life is found in the fact that he personally was involved in 29 battles and planned 39 others. This means that during the last ten years of
    Muhammad’s life he was either directly involved in, or commissioned others to participate in, 68 battles (almost seven battles a year). This warfare mentality was carried on by Muhammad’s successors and confirms the idea that to be a Muslim during the first 100 years of Islam was to be a soldier fighting for the cause of Allah.

    In contrast, how many verses do you find in the New Testament, which is the foundation of Christianity, which speak of bringing harm in any way to another individual? Where do you find Jesus, or any of His followers killing anyone? Where do you find lying to an enemy or deceiving an infidel to be acceptable in Scripture. There is a vast difference between the two religions. Those who kill in the name of Christ are not following His teachings, but those who kill in the name of Allah are following the prophet’s teaching.

  • Tom Stewart

    The Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq is a biography filled with violence,assassinations, and constant warfare. It is nearly 700 pages in length and yet the majority of the text, nearly 500 pages, focuses exclusively on the last ten years of Muhammad’s life in the city of Medina. It is
    during this Medinian period that numerous examples of violence and Jihadcan be found. Therefore, because this Medinian period is the heart of the biography it should also be the focal point in examining the sunna
    of Muhammad. This period establishes the context in which the violent verses in the Qur’an were revealed and gives insight into the life of the Prophet himself.

    In approximately 623 A.D., Muhammad and his men began their raids of Meccan caravans with divine approval. However, the Prophet and his followers were unsuccessful in their first three raids. It was not until
    early 624 A.D. when they had their first success in raiding a caravan near Mecca, killing one man and taking two prisoners. The success of this raid was due in large part to the fact that it took place during the holy month of Ramadan and was not expected. Bloodshed during this month was to be avoided and Muhammad immediately began to receive criticism. Fortunately for Muhammad, he received a revelation from Allah justifying his raid. Sura 2:217 reads, “They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque
    and drive out its members.’ Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.” Muhammad continued receiving these convenient revelations, suitable to the needs of the moment, which allowed him to establish political, legal, and military power and authority.

  • Tom Stewart

    One and a half billion Muslims in the world today look to the prophet Muhammad as a life example and truest practitioner of Islam. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad was called to be a prophet of Allah at the age of forty in the year 610 A.D. During his twenty-two-year prophetic career he received numerous revelations from Allah via the angel Gabriel which were eventually compiled into the 114 suras (chapters) of the Qur’an. Muhammad spent the first twelve years of his prophetic life, from 610 to 622 A.D., in the city of Mecca and the last ten years, from 622 to 632 A.D., in the city of Medina.

    According to Islamic scholars, 86 of the suras revealed to Muhammad were given to him in Mecca while 28 were given to him in Medina (though it seems portions of some suras were recited in both places). What is interesting is that the content and timing of these Meccan and Medinian suras seem to correspond
    exactly with the content and timing of Muhammad’s prophetic career. In other words, as Muhammad’s status evolves from that of an unknown preacher in Mecca to a strong political, religious, and military figure in the Arabian Peninsula, the content of his message changes as well from one of tolerance and acceptance to violence and oppression.

    The verses dealing with Jihad are sometimes referred to as the “sword verses.” There are approximately 164 clear and direct sword verses within the Qur’an which deal specifically with military expedition, fighting, or distributing war spoils.

    This figure does not include numerous other verses in which Muhammad speaks of further aspects of Jihad such as his poor opinion of those who do not go on Jihad and the heavenly rewards which Jihadists can expect when they die and
    enter paradise. One such well known verse commanding Jihad is Sura 9:5 which says, “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).” Sura 47:4 reads, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (infight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them).”

    That Muhammad understood these verses to be applicable to Muslim life is found in the fact that he personally was involved in 29 battles and planned 39 others. This means that during the last ten years of Muhammad’s life he was either directly involved in, or commissioned others to participate in, 68 battles (almost seven battles a year). This warfare mentality was carried on by
    Muhammad’s successors and confirms the idea that to be a Muslim during the first 100 years of Islam was to be a soldier fighting for the cause of Allah.

    In contrast, how many verses do you find in the New Testament, which is the foundation of Christianity, which speak of bringing harm in any way to another individual? Where do you find Jesus, or any of His followers killing anyone?
    Where do you find lying to an enemy or deceiving an infidel to be acceptable in Scripture. There is a vast difference between the two religions. Those who kill in the name of Christ are not following His teachings, but those who kill in the name of Allah are following the prophet’s teaching.

  • Tom Stewart

    Muhammad’s involvement in warfare and killing and his approval of assassinations and torture are but a small example. Does this seem to be the life of a man who has been appointed by God to be the moral example for all mankind? If this is the sunna that modern day Muslims are expected to follow it is no wonder that 28 of the 32 Muslim states worldwide were classified as “Terror States” in 1991.

    Do Muslims really still believe that this example of Muhammad is applicable to today? It seems that many do. One translation of the Qur’an titled “The Noble Qur’an” is published at the King Fahd complex in Saudi Arabia. Notice how they translate Sura 8:60. It states, “And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah
    does know.” The words in parenthesis are obviously not in the original Arabic. They were added by the translators because they believe that the words of the Qur’an are just as applicable today as they were when they were written. The life example of Muhammad is to be followed today just as it was during the first 100 years after the death of Muhammad when Islam proceeded to conquer nation after nation. Historians have commented that if it were not for Charles Martel stopping the Muslim advancement at the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. there is a good possibility we might all be speaking Arabic right now. It is no wonder that Westerners are often skeptical when Islam is touted as a religion of peace. These “radical” or “extreme” Muslims seem to be the true Muslims who are following true Islam and the life example of Muhammad.
    It is easy to see where their authority comes from.

  • Tom Stewart

    You clearly have little or no understanding of Scripture.
    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

    Jesus IS the Word. That includes the Old Testament Word and the New Testament Word. Where do you think Jesus was at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Where was He as the history of the Old Testament unfolded? Where was Jesus when Paul penned the epistles? Do you believe Jesus is in disagreement with Paul? Then He is in disagreement with Himself, since He IS the word.

    Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor
    thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Romans 1:26-28 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    1 Timothy 1:10 The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

    1 Corinthians 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

    1 Timothy 1:10-11 The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

    Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no
    longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    Jude 1:7 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    The reason the Bible does not address same sex marriage is that even though many societies were perverse, none of them practiced same sex marriage so it would be difficult to address something that did not occur. Do you think God would approve same sex marriage and condemn homosexuality at the same time. Come on now……

  • Tom Stewart

    The Bible never specifically addresses the
    issue of abortion. However, there are numerous teachings in Scripture
    that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25
    prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a
    baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder. This clearly
    indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be as human as a
    full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a
    woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human
    being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6).

  • Tom Stewart

    The fundamental question to be answered is whether or not the life that has been conceived in the mother’s womb is a human person, separate and distinct as an individual from the mother. God created only three
    basic classes of life, each of which reproduces after its own kind: plants, animals, and people. (Gen. 1:11,12,20-25,26-30; 5:1-4). In which of these three
    categories should a living, unborn baby be classed? It cannot be considered plant or animal because plants and animals reproduce after their own kind. It is the result of human reproduction, and humans are distinct from the plants and animals. Therefore the life in the womb of a human mother must necessarily be human! We next ask: is the life in the womb just a part of the mother’s body (like an appendix, so removing it is not murder), or is it a separate and distinct individual from the mother so that killing it is murder? This is the issue we must resolve. The Bible (King James Version and most other versions) nowhere uses the phrases “human” or “human being” to refer to anyone, so we cannot determine whether the unborn is a human individual simply by searching for the terms “human being.” Instead, the Bible identifies a human person by calling it simply a “man,” “woman,” “child,” “son,” “daughter,” “baby,” “infant,” etc. What we need to know, then, is whether or not the Bible refers to the unborn baby by terms that imply humanity, just as it does for other humans.

    God’s Terms for the Unborn

    Gen. 25:21,22 In Genesis 25:21,22, Rebekah conceived twins, and “the children struggled together within her.” That which was conceived was called a “child” between the conception and the birth.

    The Hebrew word used here (BEN) is the most common Old Testament word for a child or son. When used for the physical offspring of humans, it consistently refers to distinct human individuals (see Gen.25:1-4; 3:16; etc.). Job 3:3

    On the very night of Job’s conception it could have
    been said, “There is a man-child conceived.” The word for “man-child” (Heb. GEBER) elsewhere means “man,” i.e., a human individual (see Job 3:23; 4:17; 10:5; Psalms 127:5; 128:4; etc.).

    Job 3:16 Babies that die before birth are called “infants” that never saw light. This is exactly like babies that are aborted. This word (Heb. OLEL) always and without exception refers to human individuals (cf. Hosea 13:16; Psalm 8:2; Joel 2:16).

    Numbers 12:12; Luke 1:43 In Numbers 12:12, Moses
    describes “one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.” If a baby dies before it is born — as in an abortion — the woman who conceived it is still a “mother.”

    In Luke 1:43, Elizabeth addressed Mary as “the mother of my Lord” before Jesus was born.

    The word “mother” (Heb. EM; Greek METER), in contexts referring to physical human reproduction, always refers to one who has procreated or formed another human individual, a separate and distinct individual from the mother herself (see Num. 6:7; Gen. 3:20; Luke 1:60). A woman who has conceived, even if the child is not yet born and even if it dies before birth, is a “mother.”

    Luke 1:41,44 Elizabeth conceived (v. 24), and the life
    “in her womb” is called a “babe” or “baby”
    (Greek BREPHOS). This is the second-most-common New Testament word for a baby. It is always used for that which is a human individual separate and distinct from its mother (see Luke 2:12,16; Acts 7:19.)

    Luke 1:36 Again, the life conceived in Elizabeth’s
    womb, before it was born, is called “a son.” The word
    “son” (Greek HUIOS), in contexts that refer to the physical offspring of humans, always refers to that which is a human individual separate and distinct as an individual from its parents. It is the most common New Testament word for a “son” (see Matt. 1:21,23,25; Luke
    1:13,31; 2:7; etc.)

    That which has been conceived and lives in the mother’s womb
    from conception on is referred to by God as a “child,” a
    “son,” an “infant,” a “baby,” a “man-child,” etc. The woman in whose womb it lives is a “mother.” No human being anywhere in the Bible is identified by terms that are more distinctly human than these terms. God makes no distinction between born and unborn life. He uses exactly the same terms for both, therefore we should view them as having the same nature. Remember that we established from the beginning that the life in the mother’s womb is human life. The only question to be settled was whether it is a distinct individual from its mother or just part of the mother’s body. Consider the force of the evidence we have now examined: Does the Bible refer to parts of the mother’s body as “child,” “son,” “baby,” etc.? Clearly not. Nor is a woman ever called a “mother” just because she has these body parts. Why is this so? Because the terms “child,” “son,” “baby,” etc., are terms that imply a separate human individual, not just a part of the mother’s body. Consider the parallel to the Godhead. We can prove that God the Father and Jesus are two separate individuals by referring to the many passages that mention Jesus as the Son of God the Father. A person cannot be his own father or his own son. A father and his son make two separate individuals (cf. John 8:16-18). Likewise, when a woman has conceived, the life in her womb is her “son” (or “daughter”) and she is its “mother.” If God the Father is a separate individual from Jesus Christ His Son, then in the very same way and for the very same
    reasons a mother must be a separate individual from the son or daughter in her womb.

  • Tom Stewart

    Are you American first and Christian second? Do the laws and customs of the nation take precedent over the Word of God and His desires? Read the verses of the 119th Psalm some time and see the painstaking way the Psalmist addresses all the various communications and commands of God. He speaks of God’s laws, precepts, statutes, commands, decrees, ways, and wonders. He demonstrates a desire to follow God in every aspect of his life, and that choice will bring him the outcomes in life he desires.

    I have already answered your claim that God doesn’t care about same sex marriage or abortion.

  • Tom Stewart

    So, which wars are you attributing to Christians? Which genocides are Christian genocides?

    When I address this issue I am speaking of wars in which the ‘focus’ is the faith of the instigators. There have been many wars over power, territory and rule which have been brought about by ambitious and greedy men, but they had nothing to do with a faith or the spread of that faith. Wars like WW1, WW2, French Revolution, Korean War, Vietnam, Civil War, Revolutionary War, Roman wars, Greek wars, Mongol wars, Babylonian wars, Egyptian wars, Assyrian wars…..etc….weren’t about the spread of any religion, just power and land.

    Give the specifics of when Christians killed 113 million people, and more importantly, how many people are Christians killing today? I am not speaking of governments, but followers of Jesus Christ.

    It seems you philosophy is that IF my ancestors killed your ancestors in previous history, then you are justified to kill me and my people today. That is the same philosophy used in politics to say that Hillary Clinton is only doing what this person or that person previously did. Does it make it right? Does that give you warm, cozy feelings about those who continue to lie, cheat, steal, and destroy?

    Your continual use of the American Indians in relation to the spread of Islam is illogical. If you actually understood the history of the movement west you would soon see it had nothing to do with the spread of Christianity, and in fact one would be hard pressed to even label a majority of those people as actual Christians. Just like today, the majority are secular people going after what they want. The Spanish were much more aggressive in killing Indians over religion in their spread of Catholicism in the American southwest. I do not equate Catholicism with Christianity, two different religions.

    You also are practicing ethnocentricity when you make the judgements you do concerning the treatment of Indians in the western expansion.

    The Muslims were overtly taking over vast territories to establish Islam as the religion of those regions. It has always been a directly religious purpose.

  • Tom Stewart

    It is what the Qur’an teaches. I don’t know ‘Elders of Zion’ and no, I am not a Geller fan. History is history, and you can alter or revise it as you will, but it is still history. Most of North Africa, Eastern Europe and large segments of the Middle East were Christian nations up until the late 600s and early 700s. What magic occurred to convert these nations to Islam? Did Muslim missionaries migrate to those countries and preach the Qur’an to the people and they converted in masses? No, they were brutally put to the sword?

    How did these nations become Christian in the first place? Did Christian armies invade their lands and demand them to convert? No. Christian missionaries went to places all over the world bringing the message of Jesus Christ.

    Maybe you think it was due to the Roman expansion, but Christianity was not the religion of Rome when Rome was conquering the world, in fact, Christians were perceived to be the enemies of Rome.

    The Crusades are the ONLY time in Christian history when one could directly relate any army to the Christian religion, and even during the crusades a large percentage of those who went did so for land, power and riches. The ‘religious’ segment were following a Catholic perversion of Christianity which tied their very salvation and eternal status to fighting the Muslims. None of which could be remotely connected to Scripture.

  • Liadan

    If you think the spread of Christianity was due to peaceful missionaries going out to spread the word, then you know little of Christianity too. Talk to a Native American sometime.

  • Liadan

    I see no conflict between being a Christian, a Constitutional American, and a person who spreads love to Muslims.

  • Tom Stewart

    I was addressing the initial spread of Christianity in the first three centuries when it became a major religion around the world. Compare the first hundred years of Christianity and the first hundred years of Islam.

    Compare the first two hundred years of Christianity to the first two hundred years of Islam. Compare the response of Christians today to the response of Muslims today. Vast difference. Also a vast difference in the commands of their holy books. There is not one line of Scripture in the New Testament, the book of Christianity, which allows or encourages a Christian to use violence under ANY circumstances, in fact, the opposite is true.

    The Quran and the history of Islam has violence in its woven fabric, and all because Mohammad spoke with an angel of darkness who lead him down a path of murder, violence, child abuse, and sexual sin.

  • Beware, that guy is a troll.

  • Lara

    I am a Christian who recently visited Kurdistan, Iraq. Taking school supplies to the Christian children of families who have fled Isis. Always remembering the example that Jesus gave to us of showing love. The family that hosted me are Muslim. What a witness it is when the true love of God is shown. Willing to follow the example of Paul to share not only the gospel, but our lives as well. 1 Thess. 2:8. True Muslims are peaceful. By showing a real Christian example I found that they are readily willing to listen if we demonstrate true interest, and show the example of love set by Christ. What a great and wonderful example we can demonstrate by showing the true love of Christ!

  • SeanP

    Noah – don’t feed the troll.

  • Noah

    Haha, fair enough. But I think the troll in me won this one.

    Unless you scrolled down after posting and saw it continue.