Setting the Record Straight on Islam

by Kim Harrington

This article was written in 2002, before the American-led liberation of Iraq, but the propaganda and facts remain the same. Read it for an interesting look into the true nature of Islam.  (KH, 2005)

Islam is a topic of discussion almost everywhere in our country today, ever since Osama Bin Laden became a household word with the September eleventh attacks upon New York and Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, our government—and believe me, I support our government, as a general rule—has decided to misinform us about the nature of Islam. Certainly the Bush administration has many experts on hand who could tell you the same things that I will say in this article, but in order to keep our fragile alliances with the so-called moderate Islamic nations intact, and also to avoid a negative reaction against Muslims living in our country today, our government has embarked upon one of the biggest snow-jobs of our history. President Bush even honors Ramadan each year by having dozens of Muslim diplomats over for dinner.

We’re constantly assured that Islam is a religion of peace. Terrorists supposedly comprise a deadly lunatic fringe who have "hijacked" Islam to justify their murderous hatred of the West.

That’s simply not the case. While President Bush dismisses Al-Qaeda’s version of Islam as a despised "fringe form of Islamic extremism," Muslims throughout the world are rallying to the defense of Bin Laden and his declared Holy War. The president also called the terrorists "traitors to their own faith," implying that other Muslims see them as apostates. In fact, Al-Qaeda enjoys wide popularity throughout the Islamic world—even here in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Somali immigrants regard him as a Messianic figure, and send portions of their hard-earned wages overseas to support him.

Osama bin Laden has become a folk-hero to millions in the Islamic world, and more Muslim children are now named after him than any other person besides Mohammed himself.

If the majority of Muslims are so gentle and peace-loving, why did tens of millions dance in the streets of Gaza, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and in the more "moderate" Islamic lands, as well, when they got the news of Bin Laden’s cowardly victory at the World Trade Center? Why did Islamic leaders congratulate the terrorists on a job well done? Because, far from being a fringe element, the extremists are the true believers—the conservatives of the faith of Islam.

"To kill Americans and their allies, civilians and military, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it."

Osama bin Laden, Feb. 23, 1998

The Koran says, "Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds, the compassionate, the merciful, king on the day of reckoning! Thee only do we worship, and to thee do we cry for help."

But it also says, "if the Lord pleased, he had made all men of one religion… but unto this has he created them; for the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled: verily I will fill hell altogether with genii [evil spirits] and men."

And the same Koran says that to engage in jihad or holy war is the highest calling of men, and the reward of those who resist Allah (you know, like the two Texas girls who were bringing relief to hurting Afghanis and happened to share their faith in Jesus) will be "that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land." (Surat al-Maidah—the Table Spread)

The word "jihad" has come into everyday usage in the United States. Technically, the word means "struggle," and suddenly we’re told it means to struggle for righteousness and holiness. Funny how it’s been traditionally described—by Muslims—as struggling against and killing infidels! It has not changed its meaning. The extremists, are, in fact, the only ones who haven’t redefined what it means to be a Muslim, what jihad is, and how to advance the faith: at the edge of the sword, which is traditional, historical Islam. Islam is not one of the fastest growing religions in the world because the message is so compelling, but because of the threat of death to those who will not convert—innocent people in Sudan, Indonesia, and West Africa are being killed in the name of Islam as you read this.

A Brief History of Islam

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-20

The prophet Mohammed was born in Arabia five hundred and seventy years after Christ. His parents died young and he was brought up by an uncle and grandfather as a shepherd. He eventually became a camel driver and married his employer, a wealthy widow twenty-five years his senior, named Khadija. This bought him a certain degree of status and influence in the well-to-do circles of Mecca.

During his travels he encountered Jews and Christians, as well as followers of the various tribal and pagan religions practiced by his own people. He was not impressed with the degeneracy that was prevalent in the major religions at that time, and would often retreat to a cave for meditation.

In 610, when he was forty years old, he claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel during one of these retreats. The angelic messenger allegedly gave him some recitations to say aloud. Over a period of some years he received more and more of these verses and finally assembled them, borrowing from a few other sources as well, and put together a book that became known as the "Recitals," or in Arabic, the Koran.

Mohammed wasn’t so sure about his own teachings at first. He was a troubled man, according to all the reliable records, subject to seizures and compulsive mood swings. "Violence and gentleness were at war within him," according to one of his modern biographers, Robert Payne. He was so troubled by his spiritual visitations that he thought at first he was possessed by a jinn, or evil spirit. He even considered suicide at one point, lest his fellow tribesmen mark him as a shair, a term describing a particular caste of demonized men.

His foster-mother agreed that he was possessed, as did some of his contemporaries in Mecca. Most of them thought his writings to be a poetical collection of fabulous legends of the past, or the product of sorcery.

Much of the Koran is borrowed from the pages of the Bible, though twisted on some major points. A great deal, including the god Allah, comes from the pagan religions of Mecca and the surrounding area. And some of it perhaps did come from Mohammed’s spirit visitations—later Islamic historians pointed to his demon-possession as a mark of spirituality.

Allah is not to be confused with the God of the Old Testament, as many mistakenly believe. He was one of the many gods of the middle-east, and was particularly popular in northern Arabia, where Mohammed was from. Some have associated him with the moon god—or goddess (Allat, the feminine form, is commonly mentioned among the three hundred gods of the ancient Arabians, too). It’s noteworthy that the crescent moon became associated with Islam.

Mohammed made a few converts—about seventy, mostly social outcastes—while generally alienating the folks of Mecca. His monotheism irked them, as did his denunciation of their decadent lifestyles. When his wife died, he lost the little support that remained, and with rising persecution, moved his base of operations to Medina, three hundred miles to the north. He soon remarried, eventually taking nine wives, the most famous of which was Ayesha, daughter of Abu Bakr, his successor.

From Medina, Mohammed raided caravans headed for Mecca, and managed to seriously hurt the economy. As he gained more followers, he began to attack and conquer the surrounding villages. It was in Medina that he first met with Jewish opposition. They took exception to his twisting of biblical stories and his claim to be the prophet of the one great god, so he struck back by being exceptionally cruel to those hapless Jews who fell into his hands. In one place he beheaded over seven hundred Jewish men and sold their wives and children into slavery. He also told his followers that from that point onward they were to face Mecca while praying, instead of Jerusalem.

In 630 AD, at the age of sixty, Mohammed surrounded Mecca with ten thousand warriors and the city fell to him with a minimum of resistance. He destroyed the old gods and goddesses and made Mecca his capital.

He died two years later, but the Islamic movement grew for the next few centuries by the same means of military conquest, until it stretched from Morocco to western China. Untold amounts of blood were shed in the name of this not-so-new god, and blood is still being shed today.

Islam went into a long period of decline due in a large part to the leaders becoming self-indulgent and given over to fleshly appetites, not the least of which were their harems, fed by a rich slave trade. Incidentally, it was Arab Muslim slave traders who paid various African tribes to raid their neighbor’s villages and bring back slaves to send to the sugar and cotton plantations of the New World. Slavery still exists today, and Muslims are still involved. Indian girls are kidnapped from their villages and sold to sheiks in the Mid-east. Villages in southern Sudan are raided by the Islamic army, who leave the men dead or purposely maimed, and take the younger women north to Khartoum as slaves.

Islam is not the black man’s friend—but one of his worst oppressors, historically and presently. Two million Sudanese Christians and tribals have been killed in the past fifteen years by the Islamic jihad forces which control that country. Hundreds of thousands of others have fled their homes to live—and die—in starvation conditions as refugees in neighboring nations. Jihad rages in Nigeria, where Islamic forces are trying to turn the tide—too many Nigerians have turned to Christ in recent years. Other countries in west Africa have seen bloody carnage that boggles the imagination; American missionaries have also been among the casualties.

The story is the same in Asia. Thousands of Indonesian Christians have been killed by well-armed forces while the government turns a blind eye. Churches are burned and people slaughtered in Pakistan and India. Philippine terrorists, backed by Osama bin Laden, have taken missionaries hostage and terrorized many of the islands of that nation.

A Spiritual Battle

There is every reason to believe that this is a spiritual battle, as well as a physical one. George Otis, Jr., in his excellent book, "Last of the Giants," puts forth a compelling argument that the fundamentalist Islamic revival is due to a resurgence of the ancient demonic princes of Babylon and Persia.

Prior to the Twentieth Century, Islam had gone into decline. Muslims got some of their fighting spirit back when Israel was declared a nation in 1948—they vowed to drive her into the sea. In 1967 and again in 1973 the nations surrounding the tiny new state gathered together to do just that, but in both instances, Israel miraculously came out the victor. That left the Islamic armies feeling impotent and frustrated, with just a few terrorists like Arafat conducting small operations.

The situation changed in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini successfully established a fundamentalist Islamic state in Iran (ancient Persia), after the overthrow of the old Shah. This was just the shot in the arm that militant Muslims needed. A few years earlier, Sadam Hussein had conducted his own brand of revolution in neighboring Iraq, the land the Bible calls Babylon.

Both of these regimes represent the worst of Islam and of its cruel past. Secret police routinely rape and torture men, women and children for being enemies of the prophet. Khomeini’s regime, for example, had a difficult time deciding how nine-year old girls could be violated and tortured while still keeping a semblance of Islam being a civilized religion. First it was decreed that according to Islamic tradition, girls reached puberty at nine and therefore could be treated to the same brutal torture as men. Then, as some of the clerics had problems with virgins being skinned alive, burned in ovens, having cigars put our in their eyes and the like, they decided that it would be alright to have them "married" to soldiers long enough to be deflowered, after which they could be tortured. Finally Khomeini himself cut through the red tape and said that these children were the spoils of war if they were accused of being disloyal to Islam, and you can do anything to them with impunity. If they treat children like this, what must the reward be for grown "enemies of the prophet?"

Sadam Hussein’s now-defunct regime excelled even the brutalities of Iran. His secret police reinvented and perfected the ancient practice of torture—as thousands of Kurds and Kuwaitis could testify, if only they were still alive.

Be not deceived, the demonic spirits of ancient Babylon and Persia are alive and well on the earth today, reborn in the guise of Islamic republics in the Middle East.

My purpose in exposing this has not been to foster hatred for Muslims—no doubt the majority of American Muslims, in spite of their sympathy with Bin Laden and the rest of their brethren in the Mideast, are peace-loving individuals, concerned more about bettering their standard of living than with taking the world over for Mohammed. Respect for the truth, however, compels me to set the record straight, along with the need to stir up the Christian community to realize that Islam is a greater threat than our government is letting on.

We need to pray for the victims of this bloody religion and the repressive governments that have sworn to uphold it. We need to find out how to impact these nations—where it is a capital offence to be a Christian, or to speak in any way that might be interpreted as being disloyal to Allah and Mohammed—with the Gospel of Jesus Christ .

Military victory in Afghanistan and Iraq may set back Al Qaeda a few years, but it will not solve the problem of Islamic terrorism. It existed before Bin Laden came along, and will exist as long as there are frustrated Muslims. This religion teaches its followers that normal morals and rules of decency do not apply to non-Muslims. You can kill or maim, lie and steal, blow up innocent people, use everything in Satan’s arsenal—and be rewarded in Paradise with an army of celestial virgins pledged to fulfil your every carnal desire!

Military victory is not the ultimate goal. Spiritual victory is what we need to go after. Only Christians can bring that about. Do we have the resolve, the desire, the commitment, the love for oppressed and deceived people, to bring them the Gospel and see them set free—no matter what the cost? That’s the question before us.


Copyright © 2002,  Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries. All rights reserved.


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