Those who have perpetrated the atrocity in America have probably accomplished far more than even they expected in the wake of the tragic events of September 11. Think about it for a moment. They have succeeded in causing mass fear, crippled the American economy, the sense of security as a nation (which may serve as a wake up call for those not putting their trust in God)and are still receiving around the clock publicity. While I understand that President Bush probably intended to communicate that he did not want to alienate Muslims as a people or start World War Three, making it a point to have a Qur'an visible on his desk during a recent public address could be viewed as an Islamic victory as well.
Even in our part of the country, Muslim leaders have been keen to respond to the governor's plea for "interfaith dialogue" and "mutual understanding." People now want to know "What is Islam?" and "Why?" The problem is, no one really understands Islam in America. And, those who have any inkling seem to be "playing right into their hands" for fear of being labeled a "Muslim basher." So Americans, and even Church leaders and Christians are "drinking it in" while Muslims are presenting Islam as unconditionally peaceful (emphasis added).
Recently, a local Muslim imam was seen in a newspaper smiling with his arm around the pastor after speaking to the congregation in the church as a guest speaker. At one mosque the imam plainly stated, "We are being asked to explain ourselves . . . avoid discussing issues that divide us" in a context where the term dawah was used, i.e., Islamic propagation, and or invitation. Elsewhere, several Islamic organizations like the legal group CAIR have been "using the power of the pen," and are actively involved in various forms of jihad in order to get a toehold, a foothold, and eventually a stronghold until the "best community" (the Muslim ummah) is the "moral majority."
I have Muslim friends, and I love them. Many of them are constantly meditating on rightly relating to their god (taqwah Vs Fitnah), and demonstrate fear of their lord. This battle/relationship between taqwah, or focusing on the Islamic God, and fitnah, or distraction from focusing on their god, is considered "jihad" for many Muslims. However, this figurative interpretation of the doctrine of jihad and accompanying niceness changes when it is perceived that you or I are a threat to the Muslim community, and this perception can be characterized by many things, e.g., refusing to accept Islam, or submitting under the Islam system.
Try telling your Muslim friend you believe Muhammad was deceived or an outright fraud, and see how peaceful the situation becomes. (I do not recommend this approach, nor practice it). Throughout the Muslim nations of the world, Muslims mimic Muhammad in word and deed. Loving, adoring, and emulating him in minute detail is called Sunnah. Muslims today dye their beards red, brush their teeth with a miswak, urinate from a squatting position, and many other things simply because Muhammad is reported to have behaved in that way. In fact, 90% of Islamic law is based on the Sunnah, not the Qur'an in an Islamic state. The Sunnah has been collected into volumes of "ahadith," or traditions for the future benefit of Muslims. Let us examine what the Sunnah of Muhammad states in the most authoritative hadith regarding the doctrine of Jihad, Al-Bukhari.
While many Muslims and non-Muslims have relegated Jihad to internal dissonance, the term Jihad actually means struggling or "fighting for the cause of Allah." The cause of Allah is defined as "He who fights so that Allah's' Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior," i.e. the establishment of Shariah, or Islamic law in a culture or society (Bukhari IV, Chap 15, #65, pg. 50). Moreover, "struggling" requires the use of one's life and property (Bukhari IV, Chap 2, #44, p. 37, chapt 27, p. 58, p. 63), and therefore Jihad is the use of any and all means.
Many non-Muslims do not realize that suicide and myrtardom are two different concepts in Islam. This is significant because some Muslims will state emphatically that those who commit suicide will go to hell fire when referring to Jihad related deaths. Dying in the cause of Allah (establishing Islam supreme) is not considered suicide, and those who die as a martyr in jihad causes Muhammad to smile (Bukhari IV, Chap 3, # 47, pg. 39). Thus, the desire to please "Allah and his apostle" in terms of jihad is sunnah. "Jihad is carried on whether the Muslim ruler who calls for it is a good or bad person, by virtue of the saying of the Prophet." (Bukhari Vol. IV, p. 71).
Besides making "Allah and his apostle" Muhammad smile, what does the martyr of jihad expect? First, it is a misconception that there is no assurance of salvation offered in orthodox Islamic teaching. There is! Those who die in Jihad fighting Allah's cause "will go to paradise" (Bukhari, Vol IV, p. 55). In fact, martyrs will go to Al-Firdaus, which refers to a "front row seat" in the presence of God (Bukhari Vol. IV, p. 40, 53), Second, the best house in paradise is entitled the house of Martyrs (Bukhari, Vol. IV, p. 40). Third, those of the highest status among Muslims and greatest dignity from Allah in heaven will be the martyrs of Islamic jihad (Bukhari Vol. IV, p. 43, 55) It is said that only those who have died in jihad will want to return to earth to die again in order to gain the "best of the best" of the rewards in the Islamic paradise (Bukhari Vol. IV. p. 42, 540).
Not many people realize that the peaceful verses, or Surahs and ayas of the Qur'an were abrogated when Muhammad acquired an army and was established as the leader of the new Muslim community in Madinah. For example, Sura 2:256 was abrogated by Sura 9 and so forth. One does not have to understand this to know that there really is not "religious freedom" and where there is, it is considered temporary and not a right from the Islamic viewpoint. For example, if there is no "compulsion in religion" why cannot a Muslim become a Christian without being killed? Moreover, the Qur'an, Hadith, history, and contemporary trends reflects a sprit of Jihad that extends beyond internal dissonance. I know what some authors have written in their books on the subject. I have them in my library, but we have to realize that jihad is not either, or. It is a way of life manifesting itself in various forms.
While it is true many Muslims would not resort to physical violence to establish Islam as the sovereign, most would say that the world would be a better place if brought under the submission of Islam. The sincere believer in the Lord and Savior Jesus would believe that the world would be a better place if summated to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. The difference is that jihad of the believer in Jesus is to wage a warfare that presents the truth in love, in God's strength and on our knees in intercession for those who are desperately in bondage and without hope now (2 Cor 10:3-5). Moreover, we are to pray for our enemies, and even bless those who persecute us (Matt 5:43-44). Although not everyone claiming to be a Christian applies this, it is the Biblical ideal for the follower of Isa al Masih. On the other hand, "kafirs," or unbelievers who will not submit to the Islamic system are to be treated like enemies from an Islamic vantage point. This bothers me.
What were the Muslims defending in Spain or Vienna? What are they defending in Southern Sudan and Nigeria? Recognizing this does not make one a "Muslim basher" when one is capable of loving the Muslim person, but hating their system. This needs to be made clear where given the opportunity by those who have any inkling in order to not promote fear, but at the same time be promote being as "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." The ignorant need to be educated, "call a spade a spade" and stop "sugar coating" those forces at work against the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Consider 1 Samuel 17:26 & 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
The Islamic system holds 1.3 billion people in bondage today, and effects the lives of many non-Muslims the world over. Over half are women and children who may never have the opportunity to hear the Gospel because men cannot interact with women in an Islamic society, generally speaking. God is calling out to men, women and youth to facillitate what he is doing. In any case, while we should hate this anti Gospel system for what it represents, we should love the people in compassion for what this system is doing to Muslim people as individuals now and in eternity. This is a fine line to walk, but the Lord said to be "Wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matt 10:16)." Will you go to them in the love of the truth?