by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


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A Study of Conflicting Beliefs

Session Eleven - January 29, 2003
Q: "What is Jihad?
How does it compare with the Christian Crusades?"

We must begin with the question, "What is jihad?"

Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, Hartford Seminary, defines jihad as an "effort against evil in the self and every manifestation of evil in society."

Farid Eseck, Auburn Seminary, says jihad is "Resisting apartheid or working for women’s rights."

Bruce Lawrence, Duke University, claims jihad is "Being a better student, a better colleague, a better business partner. Above all, to control one’s anger."

On February 23, 1998, five Islamic caliphates signed a fatwa declaring war against the United States, calling the Muslim world to common cause against the perceived enemy of Islam. The five signatories were: Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin; Ayman al-Zawahiri, Jihad group in Egypt; Abu-Yasir Rifa’i Ahmad Taha, Islamic Group; Sheikh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiatul-Ulema-e-Pakistan; and Fazlul Rahman, Jihad Movement in Bangladesh.

Praise be to Allah, who . . . says in His Book "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammaad Bin-‘Abdallah, who said "I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshiped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders."

. . . we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims

The ruling to kill the 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. . . This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah."

Almighty Allah also says, "O you who believe, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling so heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him you would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.

Here is a question many struggle with: "Were the men who flew their planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, acting out the rants of a crazed cultic leader who has corrupted the peaceful religion of Islam?" Or, "Did they offer their lives because they believed the orthodox Islamic doctrine?"

If confession is good for the soul, then it is good for nations to accept the responsibility for and confess their sins to cleanse their national conscience. Daniel Pipes, New York Post, December 31, 2002, What is Jihad, says "The path away from terrorism, conquest and enslavement lies in Muslims forthrightly acknowledging jihad’s historic role, followed by apologies to jihad’s victims, developing an Islamic basis for nonviolent jihad and (the hardest part) actually ceasing to wage violent jihad."

On Saturday, January 25, 2003, France announced they believe al-Qaeda is still mostly intact, and that any attack on Iraq will cause them to renew their strikes on America and her allies. Jihad is having its desired effect. It has struck fear into the hearts of infidels and causes them to accept Muslim authority! On September 11, 2002, many Muslim clerics of England met in London declaring their goal to make England an Islamic nation, under Islamic law!

The goal of jihad is not the freedom to practice one’s religion peaceably, but to dominate every culture around the world! Islamic "radicals" espouse this doctrine without any outcry from those who have set themselves up as defenders of human rights. Yet Christians, Israelis, and Americans are regularly condemned for our alleged lack of inclusion!



The Arabic word for peace is salaam – a word which is included, much as shalom to the Hebrew, in the Muslim greeting. Islam is Arabic for surrender or submission. Muslim means one who is submitted. Most Muslims are ordinary people. Like ordinary people, most desire to live peaceable lives. It would be wrong to stereotype all Muslims with angry mobs and suicidal bombers. When Russia fell our stereotype of a people who hated and wished for the destruction of America was replaced with a people who disliked communism and who wished to live in peace and even adopt Christian values.

Many who call themselves Muslims do not live according to the teachings of Muhammad, just as many who call themselves Christians do not live according to the teachings of Christ.

Jihad, often interpreted as holy war, literally means "struggle." It is an important aspect of the Muslim’s life. Many Muslims emphasize jihad is about struggling against evil desires and if necessary defending one’s home against attack as well as their religious heritage.

"Fight for the sake of God those who fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love aggressors. Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you out. Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed. . . Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme." surah 2:190-192.

A favorite verse of moderate Muslims is Qur’an 2:256,

"Let there be no compulsion in religion. True guidance is now distinct from error."

Militant Muslims, however, will point you to numerous Qur’an texts where Muhammad commands his followers to fight and subdue all who resist Islam.

"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. . . lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way", surah 9:5.

"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme", surah 8:39.

"Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given . . . and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued", surah 9:29.



Does Islam promote peace? If so what kind of peace? Are Muslims for peace because of Islam or in spite of Islam?

Umar (634-644) divided the world into the "House of Peace" and the "House of War." John Kelsay explains, "The territory of Islam signifies a political entity that acknowledges the supremacy of Islamic values.... The territory of Islam is theoretically the territory of peace and justice.... More concretely, the Sunni theorists thought of jihad as the form of Islamic action at the intersection of the territory of Islam and the territory of war." Islam and War (Louisville; John Knox, 1993), 33-34.

Jihad is completed only when the entire world is placed under the submission of Allah and when his laws reign supreme.

Umar’s laws of mercy toward unbelievers had the following restrictions: 1) Christians have no right to build new places of worship; 2) Christians have no right to remodel a church in conquered lands; 3) Muslims could confiscate places of worship in towns taken by storm, i.e. towns that did not peacefully submit to Allah; 4) Muslims could destroy every church in the conquered land. See last weeks lesson and the "Pact of Umar."

When Umar was asked what would happen to those who violated the rules, he responded, "Anyone who violates such terms will be unprotected. And it will be permissible for the Muslims to treat them as rebels or dissenters namely, it is permissible to kill them." So much for protection of the freedom of worship!

From "Jihad," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

"Jihad, in Islam, the spiritual struggle against evil. Jihad is the duty of all mainstream Muslims, or Sunnites. There are four ways they may fulfill a jihad: by the heart, the tongue, the hand, and the sword. These refer to the inner, spiritual battle of the heart against vice, passion, and ignorance; spreading the word of Islam with one's tongue; choosing to do good and avoiding evil with one's hand; and waging war against non-Muslims with the sword.

"Islamic law divides the world into dar al-Islam (abode of Islam) and dar al-harb (abode of war - that is, of non-Muslim rule). Most modern branches of Islam stress the inner, spiritual jihad. But Islamic law also states that all nations must surrender to Islamic rule, if not its faith. Until that time, all adult, male, and able-bodied Muslims are expected to take part in hostile jihads against non-Muslim neighbors and neighboring lands. The Koran states that those who die in this type of jihad automatically become martyrs of the faith and are awarded a special place in heaven.

"For Muslims, there exist two kinds of non-Muslim enemies: kafir (nonbelievers in Islam) and ahl al-kitab (people of the book). Kafir, such as Buddhists and Hindus, must either convert to Islam or face execution. Once converted to Islam it is a capital offense to renounce the faith. People of the book include Jews, Christians, and followers of Zoroastrianism. These people need only submit to Muslim political authority to avoid or end a jihad. They may keep their original faith, but their status becomes dhimmi (a "protected" non-Muslim) and they must pay a prescribed poll tax.

"In contrast to mainstream Sunnites, Muslim groups such as the Imami and BohoraIsmaili- Shi’ites are forbidden from participating in a hostile jihad. These sects believe the only person legitimately capable of conducting such a jihad is their imam, or spiritual leader.

(Emphasis mine)

How does the Muslim jihad compare with the Christian Crusades of 1095-1291?

In Lesson three we learned:

The Fatimid Dynasty (909-1171), centered in Cairo, captured North Africa, Palestine and much of Syria. Al - Hakim (996-1021), the 6th caliph of Fatimid, in 1016, declared himself to be the incarnation of Allah, beginning a violent persecution of Christians and the destruction of Roman catholic holy sites which encouraged the start of the Crusades.

In 1064-65, 7,000 Christians were slaughtered on a pilgrimage at Jerusalem. Pope Leo IV (847-55) had begun laying the groundwork for a holy war promising forgiveness of sins for anyone who fought against the infidels, implanting jihad into Western thinking. Pope John VIII (872-82) affirmed this teaching. With the slaughter of innocents there was a reason to put their militant faith into practice. They were ready to match Muslim brutality equally.

The Crusades, like the inquisition, etc, was a temporary aberration which was not supported either by Scripture or Jesus Christ.

On the contrary Islamic jihad is a continual warfare against every unbeliever of Muhammad. Jihad is combat on the fronts of politics, warfare, and culture. Muhammad exemplified this principle by authorizing the slaughter of thousands of men throughout the Arabian Peninsula in Allah’s name. He is the personification of a militaristic theologian. Military warfare is an absolute necessity if Allah is to be honored and worshiped.

The Qur’an calls for the complete eradication of the non-believer.

"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him", surah 3:85.

"Seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case make no friends or helpers from their ranks", surah 4:89.

"For the Unbelievers are open enemies to you", surah 4:102.

"I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips of them. It is not you who slew them; it was Allah", surah 8:13-17.

Of special interest to the hypothetical or potential Muslim who converts to Judaism or Christianity is hadith 9:57: "Muhammad said: Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." The Christians and Jews are specific enemies of Islam. This is why they cannot allow the existence of the state of Israel! It is a total abomination to the orthodox Muslim.

The hadith explains why Muslim suicide bombers are treated as heros and will never be treated as criminals for no person enlisted in holy war can be found guilty of murder: "Muhammad said: No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir" (hadith 9:50).

While the Christian Crusades were temporary, lasting 200 years, they were modeled after the Islamic jihad that had warred against Christians peoples in Europe for 300 years. Islamic jihad was ordered by Muhammad, and Allah at the foundation of the Islamic religion, and continues to the present amounting to a span of history of over 1,300 years!

Islamic jihad has been and is responsible for thousands of death around the world.

Jihad has been used for the expansion of Islam from its beginning (see Lesson three).

Jihad is not limited to "outsiders" of Islam, but is also applied to apostate Muslims! For example over nine years in Algeria some 100,000 Muslims have been killed by militant Shari’a Muslims who want political control of the nation.

Shortly after September 11, 2001, Philip Yancy shared a letter in Christianity Today from a Pakistani Muslim living in America, who questioned his faith:

"Growing up in Pakistan, I was a moderately religious Muslim. During the past few months, some of the events in my life caused me to think about God. A friend of mine had a brain tumor, and that caused me an immense amount of pain and sent me searching for the answer for "Why?" I read some books about the prophet Muhammad and the Islamic faith by Western scholars. I was shocked to learn a lot of things about my religion that I never knew. I felt – and still feel – betrayed and hurt. In a closed society like Pakistan, any sort of criticism of Islam is punishable by death, so one cannot have an unbiased view of the faith." Philip Yancy, "Letter from a Muslim Seeker," in Christianity Today, 45.15 (3 December 2001): 80

Senegal which is 94% Muslim, has granted freedom of religion and their people have refused the more aggressive Shari’a Islam, has missionaries sent form other Islamic nations building mosques and schools in an effort to "purify" Senegal’s Islam.

So what does "pure Islam" look like?

Where do we look to get an example of what true Islam looks like? Iran? Iraq? Afghanistan? Sudan? Pakistan? Libya? Turkey? Indonesia? Egypt? Saudi Arabia?

Most Muslims say the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is corrupt, but they are the "keeper of Islam." Freedom of religion is nonexistent. It is illegal to read a Bible, or pray a non-Muslim prayer even in the privacy of your own home. Conversion to Christianity by a Saudi Citizen is punishable by beheading.

Islam is facing an identity crisis.

If Islam is to fit into a "modern world" it has to redefine itself. It’s difficulty is the jihad that is at the heart of Islam. The Military Jihad that has been used to expand Islam in the past will be the very belief that will lead to the destruction of Islam if left unchecked!

Orthodox Islam is at war with the world. It is a war that cannot be won militarily. This war for the hearts and souls of people can only be won by their free choice. When religion and state are intermingled as in Islam, genuine religion always loses to the state and the lust for power within men.

Christianity has learned this lesson. Jesus said, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s", Matthew 22:21.

Ken Sanes, Clash of the Super Systems, Asia Times, January 7, 2003:

As is well known, militant Islam represents a set of values that are almost the precise opposite of the values held dear in the West. In Afghanistan, it imposed a state of virtual slavery on women and a system of oppressive social control on everyone else. It also used Afghanistan as a base of operations for Islamic terrorists who believe mass murder and suicide are spiritual acts.

The question is, how extensive can this system become? President George W. Bush, among others, claims that it represents only a small group of people amid a sea of moderate Muslims. But a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press paints a very different picture. It found that a large number of Muslim respondents in many nations with significant Muslim populations "believe that suicide bombings can be justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies". In Pakistan, which is America's nominal ally in the war on terror, 33 percent said suicide bombings are justifiable, while 43 percent said they aren't. In Nigeria, 47 percent said they are justifiable while 45 percent said they aren't. In Bangladesh, it was 44 to 37 percent. Even in Indonesia, while 70 percent said suicide bombings aren't justifiable, a sizeable 27 percent said they are. These are all nations with large populations that make up a significant portion of the Islamic world. In two front line states in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon and Jordan, the percentage saying suicide bombings are justifiable was 73 percent (!) and 43 percent.

The existence of such a large, untapped, reservoir of support for Islamic terrorism suggests that militant Islam has the numbers it will need for a takeover in at least some Muslim nations. Such a takeover might proceed by populist uprising, force or elections, as we have already seen in Iran, Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan. The nations that are vulnerable include Bangladesh, nuclear-armed Pakistan, and Egypt, the most populous Arab state and another frontline state in the war with Israel.

But a takeover by Muslim militants may turn out to be only an early stage in the development of the global system of militant Islam. We could also see the emergence of a mass movement that crosses national borders, and the forging of new alliances, as militant Islamic states band together against the West, much as terrorists from different Islamic nations have coalesced into a single fighting force. It is even possible we will see the emergence of a leader who will bring together the charisma of the dictator with the fervor of religion, mobilizing masses of supporters, breaking down borders and creating a new Muslim empire on the way to a holy war with the West. The admiration many Muslims have for Osama bin Laden suggests that there is a widespread yearning for such a leader. And the history of Islam is replete with just such empire builders and conquerors.

When you add these factors together, they suggest that we may be dealing with a global movement that could confront the West not for years but decades. And, as we saw in Afghanistan, once Islamic terrorists have a territory they can use as a base of operations, they become more effective at launching attacks, even if they also become more vulnerable to attack themselves.

Of course, it is also possible that the governments in many Muslim nations will continue to keep militant sentiments under control, as the Bush administration hopes. And it is possible that most of these nations will slowly evolve into more open societies as they interact with the West. But, as militant Islamists aggressively push their agenda in many countries and large numbers of Muslims respond angrily to the war on terrorism, this sanguine view seems increasingly unrealistic.

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