Most of you have most likely heard the recent public declarations coming from all quarters that Islam is a peaceful religion. From President Bush, to most religious leaders, to the average American calling in to a talk radio program, we are hearing that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is said that Osama bin Laden and the Taliban represent an extremely radical Muslim fringe that is not really a representative interpretation of true Islam. It may be that such an assessment is, to a small degree, more extreme than historic Islam. However, it is certainly not true that Islam is in any way a peaceful religion, especially toward outsiders.
Islam Means Submission
First of all, we should know that Islam means “submission,” not peace. This does not imply mere voluntary submission but includes a forced submission where subjects will not comply. Historically Islam is not known for its peace movements, but for a uniquely Arab word we all know as “jihad,” which means an offensive war intended to lead to the conversion of the infidel to Islam or his annihilation.
It appears that the fundamentalists versions of Islam are closer to historic Islam than those who are followers of so-called modern “mainstream” Islamic expressions. Non fundamentalist Muslims are the ones who have changed historically and moved away from the historic Islam. I will provide more information supporting this claim throughout the remainder of this article
Islam’s Global Jihad
In an excellent book, written by a convert from Islam to Christianity, Abd El Schafi has documented from the Quran and widely accepted Muslim scholarship that Islam has always been and continues to be a religion spread by force, not through peaceful means or persuasion. His book, Behind The Veil: Unmasking Islam is the work of a team of Christian converts from Islam that base their research and conclusions on the work of nothing but mainstream Muslims, both ancient and modern, from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern Islamic countries.
For those familiar with Muhammad’s rise to power will also realize that Islam rose to the fore as a result of military conquest upon the so-called “holy land” of the Arabian Peninsula. El Schafi adds the following information about the militant nature of historic Islam in the following:
Direct Quotes From The Quran
Muhammad And The Origin Of Islam
It should not be surprising in the least to those familiar with the Quran and those with a knowledge of the genesis of this militant religion, that Islam was planted by Muhammad with the sword, not a philosophy or ethic of peace. El Schafi provides the following synopsis of the bloody beginnings of the Islamic religion:
Muhammad founded Islam with the sword. His followers maintained Islamic rule with the sword. Subsequent generations have always spread Islam’s oppressive rule beyond the Arabian Peninsula with the sword. One cannot be a true follower of Islam without holding to the tenants of the Quran, which also advocates forced submission to its rule. How can anyone who knows much about Islam deny this?
Why are so many in the United States and the West inclined to want to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion and not a militant movement that desires to conquer the world through Jihad? In general, it is most likely because of liberal enlightenment beliefs that dominate their mindset. Just as liberals change Christianity from something that includes the literal Word of God in the Bible that has occurred literally in history to the words of man that contain human ideas and universal human ethics. Wester Muslims are often “liberal,” by Middle Eastern standards, in their interpretations of Islam. Just as liberal “Christians” deny direct biblical statements and reinterpret Christianity as something that they want it to be, so also do Muslims, primarily in the West. It is only in this way anyone could attempt to represent Islam as a peaceful religion.
Obviously, there are political motives behind President Bush and his administration that have given rise to their many statements that Islam is a peaceful religion. Yet such is simply not the case. If our American administration is going to truly defeat Islamic terrorism, they are going to have to face the fact that it is driven by a historic Muslim belief in a holy war as a means of spreading their religion.
Biblical Christianity does not advocate the use of the sword to spread its message of forgiveness from sin by faith alone in Christ alone. The Bible advocates propagation of its message through the preaching of the gospel and verbal persuasion. Of course, Christians have the secret weapons of prayer and the Holy Spirit that works behind the scene in conjunction with the preaching of the gospel.
Is Christianity a religion of peace? Christianity is a religion of peace to those who come to know the grace of God through belief in the gospel message. Christianity is a peaceful religion in that Scripture does not advocate the spread of its message in any way through the sword, but with words only. However, the Bible clearly does teach that God, not mankind, will judge those who reject the gospel message of Jesus, His Son. Paul says the following in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10: “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.” Maranatha!