IPS-Eye-White
001orange

Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church/
The Vineyard

 

003white  Index To Section 10A   The Contemporary Church   >    Index To The Vineyard     >    A Common Word II

IPS-Header
Vineyard-Bg
 

A “Common Word” (2)

Carol Brooks

Part I...  A Vineyard Approach to Blessing Muslims
Do the statements on the vineyard site that “We are uniquely poised and prepared to bless Muslims” and “When we think of a Vineyard approach to blessing Muslims we can't help but picture Vineyardites laying hands on Muslims all over the world.... Praying for healing, deliverance, and blessing them in Jesus name” simply convey very noble sentiments and lofty aspirations, or do these “blessings”, that we seem to be so free with, have any basis in Biblical principles.

Part II... “A Common Word” (1)
Examining the document known as ”A Common Word” issued by Muslim leaders, and the Christian response... including Yale’s Reconciliation Program and Interfaith Conference, which boasted some very surprising participants.

Part III... “A Common Word” (2)  [This Page]
Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Can Muslims and Christians Be Friends? Can People Be Fooled? And a Note on Muslim “Moderates”.

 

ON THIS PAGE
Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
Can Muslims and Christians Be Friends?

Can People Be Fooled? The Answer is Yes ! Yes! And Yes!
Muslim Moderates

In Conclusion
Author's Note

 

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
Rick Love's reasons for signing "A Common Word," were posted on John Piper's site after he (Piper), pastor at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, expressed his disappointment at so many Christian leaders signing this document. Part of what Rick Love said was.. [Emphasis Added]

    Christian and Muslim views of God are similar in that we both worship the one true God, creator of the heavens and the earth. We both believe this God will judge all peoples at the end of history. We both believe this God has sent His prophets into the world to guide His people. Christian and Muslim views of God differ primarily regarding the Fatherhood of God, the Trinity, and especially regarding the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    I believe that Muslims worship the true God. But I also believe that their view of God falls short of His perfections and beauty as described in the Bible. Thus, I try to model my approach to Muslims after the apostle Paul who said to the Athenians: “What you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:23). [57]

The idea that Muslims and Christians worship the same God is superficially plausible, but a little scratching beneath the surface shows that this proposition is both unsound and indefensible, even absurd.


Athenian Plurality Vs. Muslim Monogamy:
Rick Love quotes Acts 17:23 in defense of his approach to Muslims. However, this verse is misapplied since the situation Paul encountered in Athens was completely different from Muslim beliefs. Athenian society was a pluralistic society with many gods and a wealth of worldviews. In fact it was said that in their zeal for religion it was easier to find a god than a man in the city. Certainly the Athenians seemed to trying to cover all the bases since, among their many and varied idols, they also had an altar to 'an unknown god'. 

On the other hand Muslims do not worship an unknown god in ignorance. Their beliefs are very precise, and their doctrines well defined...  there is one god Allah whom they worship and who has revealed himself through the prophet Muhammad. The context is not only completely different but Muslim doctrine is diametrically opposed to the Gospel.

Besides this, Paul's word were merely the preamble to his challenge of the Athenian world view....


Paul Challenged the Greek Worldview
Since Rick Love says that he tries to model his approach to Muslims after the apostle Paul in Athens, it pays to look a little more carefully at what Paul actually said. In noting the Athenians interest in all things spiritual, Paul does not sound like he is ruffling the waters very much. However this is actually not the case. In reality, although he was polite, he immediately and without further preliminaries, challenged the Athenian worldview on many, if not most, points. How so?

Acts 17:18 particularly mentions the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies existent in ancient Athens, both of which denied the resurrection of the body. Additionally the Epicureans argued against the existence of an all-powerful and providential God who had created the universe. They believed that the gods were unconcerned with human affairs, and were neither willing nor able to prevent evil, therefore it did not do any good to pray or to sacrifice to them.  The Stoics were pantheists who equated God with the totality of the universe. The Stoic God was not independent of His creation but immanent throughout the whole of creation.

Now note how Paul confronts these and other common beliefs in ancient Greece..

    Paul declares that God is not a pantheistic being as the Stoics believed, but is distinct from the universe, and that He "made the world and everything in it". He "is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands" and "is not served by human hands as if he needed anything." Rather it is we who we who are completely and utterly dependent on God “"he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else". [Vs. 24-25]

    Paul then challenges an ancient perception that different races had different origins, saying "From one man he created every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth" [V. 26].

    Paul also confronts the Greek belief that their gods were ultimately unknowable and could not reached intellectually since there was an unbridgeable gulf between divine and human realities. Paul states that says that God is knowable since He is not far from us and we are His offspring, [V. 27-28] and that it is absurd to suppose that the original source of our existence can be like gold, and silver, and stone [V. 29]

    The ancient Greeks also believed that history was cyclical with alternating dark and golden ages. Paul then presents the idea that human life, as we know it, had a beginning, and would have an end. This introduces sin, repentance and Jesus, Paul saying that “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained”.

    Finally Paul speaks of the resurrection, saying that God's raising Jesus from the dead is His assurance given to all men that he can and will raise the rest of humanity. [V.31]

Certainly the Athenians needed to know who God is before they could grasp the significance of the Person and work of Christ. However Paul outlines the entire message of salvation all in this one speech. He does not delay, nor make any bones about telling the Athenians that it is through Jesus that God will judge the world.


Christian and Muslim views of God
What is truly astonishing about Rick Love's statement is that Christian and Muslim views of God primarily differ “regarding the Fatherhood of God, the Trinity, and especially regarding the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Ummm! What exactly is left to agree on? That we both worship a singular God, which doesn't exactly say very much.

However Rick Love thinks it does, since he says that both Christians and Muslims “worship the one true God”. The assumption presumably being that that everyone who believes in only one God is worshiping “the true God.”


Demons Believe in One God:
However James does not agree… He said that the demons also believed in one God but it can hardly be argued that they worship the one true God.

    Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder. [James 2:19] 


According to Jesus.. Even The Jews Who Believed in One God Were Not “of God”
When the Jews told Jesus “we have one Father, even God” [John 8:41] He disagreed, replying that if God were their Father, they would love Him since did not come of Himself but was sent by God [V.42]. And that they could not understand His words because they were of their father the devil and it was their will to do the bidding their father who was a liar, the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning [Vs. 43–46].

Jesus then added [Emphasis Added]

    He that is of God heareth the words of God: for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God”. [8:47]

Certainly the Jews were not literally worshipping the devil, but worshipping in the temple in Jerusalem. All the same Jesus unambiguously stated that the Jews rejection of Him proved that they were not of God,. So how in the world can we assert that Muslims, who categorically deny Jesus, worship the one true God..

 
Worship Must be "In Truth" or Scripturally Accurate:
The relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans was definitely strained, with the Jews considering the Samaritans a mongrel race, since they were descendants of the intermarriages between the Hebrews who were not deported after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC, and the heathen from other lands who were brought in to replaced the dispersed Israelites (2 Kings 17:23-24). Even worse, it wasn't long before their religion became intermingled with heathen idolatry. When the Jews of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were returning from the Babylonian captivity, the Samaritans offered to help them rebuild the temple and Jerusalem, but were rebuffed (Ezra 4:2-3) and they eventually constructed their own rival temple on Mount Gerizim. This temple was destroyed by the ruler of Judea at the end of the second century B.C. This greatly increased ill feeling between the Jews and the Samaritans.

The Samaritans, like the Muslims do today, prided themselves on being monotheistic. Although they only accepted the Pentateuch and rejected everything that was written after, including the books of the Prophets, they professed to believe in the God of Israel, observed certain Jewish feasts, and awaited the coming of the Messiah. All this made for much closer similarities between the beliefs of the Samaritans and the Jews, than between the beliefs of Islam and Judaism or Christianity..

Notwithstanding this Jesus had this to say to the Samaritans

    Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. [John 4:22-23]

The two key point in Jesus' statement are that

    1) Worship must be scripturally accurate not scripturally ignorant. Jesus said there are “true worshippers” which, by implication, means there are false worshippers. True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

      In Spirit: “When Jesus said we must 'worship in spirit' he was referring to the human spirit, not the Holy Spirit. But only a person who's spirit has been transformed and made alive by being born again can worship in a way that pleases Him. Other than that nothing exists but defective external worship in the form of rites and ceremonies

      In Truth: Any god that is not based on the truth of scripture is a false god .. To 'worship in truth' means to worship God as he is revealed in the Bible.”

    2) Worship is linked to salvation. The most profound truth about worship is that only those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior can truly offer worship that is pleasing to God. Since The Samaritan woman's worship was in ignorance since she had not yet recognized Jesus as her Lord and Savior.


And Muhammad is his Messenger:
While it may be true that although the word “Allah” is best known in the West for its use by Muslims as a reference to the god of the Qur'an, “Allah” is the standard Arabic word for “God” and therefore used in Arabic Bibles. The term Allâh is derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al which means "the", and ilâh which means "deity or “god". Therefore al-lâh means "the [sole] deity".

The Summary and Abridgement on A Common Word between Us and You on the official web site of a Common Word says

    The central creed of Islam consists of the two testimonies of faith or Shahadahsi, which state that: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. These Two Testimonies are the sine qua non (essential condition) of Islam. He or she who testifies to them is a Muslim; he or she who denies them is not a Muslim. [58]

    Muhammad was definitely not a messenger of the God of the Bible, since much of what he says flatly contradicts our Scriptures. If the belief that Muhammad is the messenger of God is a central and inflexible tenet of Islam, then he (Muhammad) has to represent another god who is worshipped by Muslims.


An Analogy
In an article on the Answering Islam site, author Roland Clarke says the following very useful analogy is used by his wife to [All Emphasis Added]

    “… explain the puzzling question about the real identity of the One who is called God by followers of different monotheistic faiths, i.e. Allah or Elohim. Let's suppose Nelson Mandela's biography is penned by an honest, objective author. Later a dishonest schemer also writes a biography which gives a distorted portrait of Mandela. Both biographies identify him by his correct name (outwardly) but one of them isn't the true Mandela.

    This analogy also explains the finer nuance of counterfeit or forgery. A false biography that is obviously at variance with what everyone knows to be true of Mr. Mandela will not sell. It has to be close enough to the truth to be seen as plausible. In the case of a criminal who forges money, the more the counterfeit money can be made to look like real currency, the more successful he will be at deceiving people. [59]

So although Islam and Christianity do not share the same "Divine origins", and do not worship the same God, Christians are beholden to actively do good, even to those who do not believe in Jesus and may even be hostile to Him. In showing compassion we are but imitating our God. However it is interesting to note what the Qur'an says on the issue of friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims.


Can Muslims and Christians Be Friends?
Surah 5:51 warns Muslims against taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies since someone who does so becomes one of them, i.e., he becomes a non-believing “infidel”.  One reader wrote in to IslamOnline.net asking whether it was true that Islam forbids befriending non-Muslims, based on Surah 5:51 which reads

    O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust. (Al-Ma'dah 5:51)

In Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi's (more about him above) reply to the question, he says that in the verse quoted [Emphasis Added]

    the word "Awliya" is used. It is a plural and its singular is "wali". The correct translation of the word ""wali"" is not "friend" but it is someone who is very close and intimate. It is also used to mean "guardian, protector, patron, lord and master". [60]

In other words the verse simply means that Muslims should not turn to a non Muslim to be a patron and Muslims should take care of and support their own.

However more than one You Tube video shows Muslim leaders talking about Allah being the “Wali” or friend and patron of believers. The web site The Sufi Way, says the Awliya Allah are “Friends of GOD” [61]. Certainly “friend” seems to be among the legitimate uses of “Wali”, and choosing among the various meanings of the word is left to the interpreter.  However, Syed Maudidi didn't exactly beat around the bush when he interpreted this verse as follows … [All Emphasis Added]

    In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants. Likewise they should be on their guard against the evil designs of the hypocrites, the disbelievers and the like and should rely on the true Believers alone. The people of the Book have, in their turn been exhorted to give up their enmity and adopt the right attitude, for they cannot get salvation without this. [62]

Also said is that this Surah was “revealed” after the battle of Badr and Uhud and one has to keep the treacherous circumstances of the day in mind when applying this injunction.

But, one could accept Muzammil Siddiqi's explanation, were this the only verse in the Qur'an that states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims. While the first three quotes below can be taken as instruction to not choose unbelievers over believers, the last quote takes it a step further, stating that Muslims do not even befriend non-believers, even if the non-believers happen to be their parents or siblings. [All Emphasis Added]

    The believers never ally themselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Whoever does this is exiled from GOD. Exempted are those who are forced to do this to avoid persecution. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. To GOD is the ultimate destiny. [Surah 3:28. Ali-'Imran]

    O you who believe, you shall not ally yourselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Do you wish to provide GOD with a clear proof against you? [Surah 4:144. Al-Nesaa]

    O you who believe, do not ally yourselves even with your parents and your siblings, if they prefer disbelieving over believing. Those among you who ally themselves with them are transgressing. [Surah 9:23. Bara'ah]

    You will not find people who believe in GOD and the Last Day befriending those who oppose GOD and His messenger, even if they were their parents, or their children, or their siblings, or their tribe. For these, He decrees faith into their hearts, and supports them with inspiration from Him, and admits them into gardens with flowing streams wherein they abide forever. GOD is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. These are the party of GOD. Most assuredly, GOD's party are the winners. [Surah 58:22. Al-Mujaadalah]

Conversely, Sahih Muslim which, in Sunni Islam, is considered one of the Six major collections of the Hadith (oral traditions about Muhammad's words and deeds) and second in authenticity only to Sahih Al-Bukhari, says

    ...A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith; his blood, his wealth and his honor. Sahih Muslim Book 31, Number 6219.


Can People Be Fooled? The Answer is Yes ! Yes! And Yes!
Case in point...

As mentioned earlier, Abdel Azim El-Siddig, who Rick Love called "a great friend, peacemaker, and bridge builder” pleaded guilty to conspiring to lobby for IARA's removal from a Senate Finance Committee list of charities suspected of having terrorist ties. However IARA was identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization, for the support its international offices provided to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.

One would be hard pressed to count the number of times both government and private citizens have been fooled and/or acted in a completely irresponsible, even inane manner. For example, in her role as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Karen Hughes, a longtime adviser and close confidant of President Bush, funneled millions of dollars in U.S. government grants to radical Islamist organizations [DETAILS].

Also consider...


Abdulrahman Alamoudi:
... founder and former executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC), the founder of the American Muslim Foundation (AMF),and the founder of the Islamic Society of Boston. He was also the DC regional representative for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

In late 1995 and early 1996, while Alamoudi was the executive director of the American Muslim Council, he had repeated high-level contacts with the Clinton White House

    On November 9, 1995 he met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore at a meeting with 23 Muslim leaders at the White House. On December 8, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake met at the White House with Alamoudi and several board members of the American Muslim Council. On February 8, 1996, Mrs. Clinton wrote a newspaper column based on talking points provided by Alamoudi. And on February 20, 1996 (only a few days before the first Hamas bombing of the Number 18 bus in Jerusalem), Mrs. Clinton had Alamoudi's group draw up the Muslim guest list for a White House reception marking the end of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the first time such an event had ever been held at the White House. [63]

Additionally a New York Sun article reported that …

    In 2001, Alamoudi appeared with President Bush at a prayer vigil for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks just days after the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon. [64]

However what the Clinton administration (and countless other “politically correct” people since) ignored was the fact that The American Muslim Council's ties with terrorists predated its intensive contacts with the Clinton White House in 1995 and 1996.

    Remember that Hamas leader Mousa Marzook (Musa Abu Marzuq), who took responsibility for organizing suicide attacks against Israelis, was named a Specially Designated Terrorist by the Treasury Department in 1995, and is on the State Department's designated terrorist list. He was deported from the U.S. in 1997. Yet The American Muslim Council co-sponsored several conferences in the U.S. with a Hamas organization started by Musa Abu Marzuq.

    They also arranged visits to the U.S. by Middle East militant groups such as the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood, and it also had a "special relationship" with the government of Sudan, which the U.S. had declared a terrorist regime. [65]

     Marzook thanked ISNA in an open letter of appreciation for support of his legal defense fund.

    Additionally, among 11 men indicted for conspiring to train on American soil for a "violent jihad", was Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer who shortly before this was communications director for a fund-raising effort sponsored by the American Muslim Council. He allegedly trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaeda.

Alamoudi Sentenced in 2004: Abdulrahman Alamoudi was not only part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, but in 2004, he was

    “…sentenced to 23 years in prison for his activities in the United States and abroad with nations and organizations that have ties to terrorism. In September 2003, Alamoudi was arrested at Dulles International Airport and pleaded guilty in July 2004 to three federal offenses: violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; false statements made in his application for naturalization; and a tax offense involving a long-term scheme to conceal from the IRS his financial transactions with Libya and his foreign bank accounts and to omit material information from the tax returns filed by his charities [66]

Alamoudi Lamented that No Americans Had Died: After Alamoudi's arrest, federal authorities released a transcript of a telephone conversation in which he could be heard lamenting that no Americans had died during al Qaeda's 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. In the same conversation, Alamoudi also recommended that more operations be conducted like the 1994 Hezbollah bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association cultural center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died. [67]

Allah, destroy America: Shortly before he began to work for the Clinton State Department in 1997 as a "goodwill ambassador" to Muslim countries, Alamoudi told the Islamic Association of Palestine in Chicago on December 29, 1996:

    "I think if we are outside this country, we can say oh, Allah, destroy America, but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America."

America will become a Muslim country:
According to the testimony of terrorism expert Steven Emerson to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, Alamoudi said:

    "I think our attitude toward America should change … we have a chance, in America, to be the moral leadership of America. The problem is when? It will happen, it will happen [Allah willing], I have no doubt in my mind, Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America. It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. And I [think] if we are outside this country we can say 'Oh, Allah destroy America,' but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. " [68]


Muslim "Moderates"
The rather lengthy excerpt from a November 2000 article by Lawrence Auster from the archives of newsmax.com shows that Ingrid Mattson only follows in a long line of Muslim moderates, who issues blanket statements condoning terrorism and violence, but draw the line at condemning specific terrorist organizations. As mentioned above Ingrid Mattson is highly critical of Christians who rightly say that texts by Muslims support violent jihad against non-Muslims. She also says 'Wahhabism' is not a sect and it is “not helpful” to “create another broad category that becomes the scapegoat for terrorism”.

All too many “moderate” Muslims make excuses for extremists, deny that groups like Hamas are terrorists, claim that violent anti-American rhetoric should be seen as a threat, and describe any attempt by America to defend itself from Islamic terrorism as an expression of "anti-Muslim" bias..

    The politically correct line today is that Islamic radicals are only a "tiny minority" among American and other Western Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom, we are assured over and over, are not extremists.

    But even as the so-called moderate Muslims deny that they have any connection with extremists, they always seem to defend those same extremists.

    In Steven Emerson's 1995 documentary "Jihad in America," a spokesman for the Islamic Committee for Palestine in Tampa, Florida, told an interviewer that his group had no alliance with terrorists. But when asked about Sheik Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who organized the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and who also had spoken at a conference sponsored by this same Tampa group, the spokesman replied that Sheik Rahman was not a terrorist, but a "conservative."

    The "moderate" Alamoudi has used a similar logic. When Musa Abu Marzuq was arrested by the FBI in July 1995, Alamoudi said Marzuq had never been involved in terrorism, adding that Marzuq's arrest was an "insult to the Muslim community."

    Even Marzuq used the same defense. When "Sixty Minutes" reporter Steve Croft asked the jailed terrorist, "If a man straps a bomb on his body, gets on a bus and blows himself up along with 30 Israelis, is that terrorism?" Marzuq insisted that such an act was not terrorism.

    This mind-set, so incomprehensible to Westerners, was on full display on a special segment of the "Charlie Rose" program immediately following the PBS airing of "Jihad in America" in 1995. The documentary included shocking footage of Islamic radical groups in America. Abdul Zindani of Hamas in Brooklyn was seen calling for "killing and finishing off" the "idol worshippers." Muslim radicals were shown meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, and a dozen other Middle American cities, spewing hatred of America and praising murder and terrorist acts.

    One videotape of a meeting in New Jersey in 1993 showed Muslims chanting "we want the blood of Jews." In videos of Muslim summer camps in the U.S., young kids were saying "butcher the Jews." A man named Abdulla Azzam was shown speaking in Oklahoma City, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Lawrence, Kansas, urging holy war against the West.

    Instead of denouncing these barbaric calls to violence by American Muslims, the respectable "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel – Clinton ally Abdurahman Alamoudi among them – all denounced the documentary for provoking anti-Muslim feeling. Alamoudi insisted that Hamas is not a terrorist group. Most amazingly, he and his fellow "moderates" said that Americans should not feel threatened by extremist leaders addressing large Muslim audiences in this country calling for "Jihad of the sword" and chanting "Kill the Jews, kill the Christians."

    Attempting to explain away that murderous rhetoric, another well-known "moderate" on the panel, the late Mohammed Mehdi of the American Muslim Committee (a frequent guest on William Buckley's "Firing Line" over the years), said that Muslims habitually use hyperbole, such as "I'll kill your grandfather," but that it doesn't mean anything and people shouldn't take it seriously.

    But the ineluctable problem remains: If the members of a certain group routinely engage in or approve of such bloodthirsty threatening language, how can they realistically be expected to be participants in a Western democratic society based on common allegiance to reason and the rule of law?

    And how can any Western society survive the inclusion of large numbers of such people in it?

    Thanks to the "moderates" themselves, we now understand some basic truths about Muslims, notwithstanding the contemporary notion that it is bigoted and racist to judge the Muslim community as a whole by the "tiny number" of extremists among them.

    First, Islamic "moderates" deny that groups like Hamas are terrorists.

    Second, Islamic "moderates" deny that preachers and mobs chanting "Kill the Jews, butcher the Christians" should be seen by Americans as a threat.

    Third, Islamic "moderates" do not oppose the extremists, but show solidarity with their extremist fellow Muslims; make excuses for them; bitterly denounce American journalists for publicizing the existence of these groups; and, most significantly, describe any attempt by America to defend itself from Islamic terrorism as an expression of "anti-Muslim" bias.

    In making this last argument, the "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel didn't seem to realize what they were revealing about themselves and the community they represent: If opposing Islamic terrorism is anti-Muslim, then Islam is indeed inseparable from terrorism. Alamoudi and his fellow "moderates" thus provided a more profound indictment of Islam than anything in Stephen Emerson's chilling documentary about the extremists.

    The "moderate" Muslims' insistence that Americans must see nothing, say nothing and do nothing about Muslim terrorists in our midst should give us an idea of what life will be like in this country when Muslims achieve real political power here. Thanks to the Clintons in particular and the U.S. political establishment in general, and thanks most of all to America's suicidal immigration policy of the last 35 years, America's quickly growing population of Islamic "moderates" have already started to acquire such power. [69]

Here are some examples of Islamic moderates, some of whom have had high-level political connections, but who do not oppose the extremists but make excuses for them,  denouncing American journalists for publicizing the existence of these groups and criticize terrorist arrests as “Islamophobia”.
 

Ahmad Al-Akhras
The ISNA site has a short biography on their speakers, who I presume have spoken at different times and different events. Included in this list are Rick Warren [70] and Ahmad Al-Akhras, who is past-president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) a supposedly “mainstream” American-Muslim organization, and vice-chair of the national CAIR Board. He is also the president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio, the oldest Muslim organization in central Ohio. [71]

Additionally Ahmad Al-Akhras has high-level political connections in Ohio. He... [All Emphasis Added]

    … is one of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's closest advisors, which no doubt has helped Al-Akhras get appointed to the city's Community Relations Commission, the Street Car Working Group, and named chairman of the Transportation and Pedestrian Commission. Al-Akhras makes his living working for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. And as one of the first five inductees to the Leadership Columbus Hall of Fame, he circulates among the rich and powerful of the Central Ohio elite. [72]

In light of Al-Akhras' influence and connections, what follows becomes even more unnerving.
 

Christopher Paul When Christopher Paul, 43, a U.S. citizen and resident of Columbus, Ohio was arrested and accused of joining al-Qaida and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. military bases, several prominent Muslim organizations and self-appointed Islamic spokesmen (CAIR National Vice Chairman Ahmad Al-Akhras included) openly criticized Paul's April 2007 arrest as evidence of Islamophobia [73]

However Christopher Paul, an admitted member of al Qaeda, entered a guilty plea to one count of "conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely explosives to be used as bombs" against U.S. citizens and property outside the United States. He could spend 20 years in prison. [See Plea]
 

Nuradin  Abdi When Nuradin Abdi was charged with providing material support to Al Qaeda, conspiracy and document fraud, Ahmad Al-Akhras said "What we know about him is unlike how he is portrayed… This may be one of the cases also that may not have enough evidence or there's no evidence at all" [74]

On 07/31/2007, Nuradin Abdi pleaded guilty in federal court to Count One of the indictment, which charged him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. [75]
 

Fawaz Damra When Fawaz Damra, imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland was arrested, Ahmad Al-Akhras stated “We do not believe a word of what the government has said.” This in spite of the fact that

    Prosecutors showed video footage of Damra raising money for an arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has been listed as a major terrorist group by the State Department since 1989. Jurors also were shown footage in which Damra called Jews "the sons of monkeys and pigs" during a 1991 speech and said "terrorism and terrorism alone is the path to liberation" in a 1989 speech.
    [76]

He was convicted of lying on his citizenship application by hiding past ties to terrorist groups and stripped of his citizenship, then deported on Jan. 3 2007.


Mohammed Khatami Al-Akhras also hosted a CAIR dinner for former president of Iran, Mohammed Khatami. The CAIR 2006 Annual Report features a picture of Al-Akhras and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad giving Khatami a warm reception, despite the fact that Khatami was responsible for the torture and murder of Iranian pro-democracy activists and student demonstrators in response to the July 9, 1999 protests at Tehran University.

As noted by Kenneth Timmerman in his article.. Just Say No to Khatami, Just one year into his term, his intelligence service murdered in horribly brutal fashion Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar, leaders of the Iran Nation's Party, then the best-organized opposition in Iran. The following year, Khatami quashed the student rebellion that began at Tehran University among INP members and sympathizers including Marzeporgohar (Iranians for a Secular Republic) and quickly spread to 18 other cities across Iran. [77]

As Ayatollah Khomeini's Minister of Culture and Islamic Propagation in 1984, Khatami oversaw the creation of the terrorist group, Hezbollah. [78]


Hezbollah was also vocally supported by al-Akhras in the summer of 2006 as it battled the Israelis in Lebanon (who were retaliating for blatant terrorist acts on its soil by the group).

He also wrote a letter describing the takeover of Somalia by the Islamic Courts Union, a radical group said to be connected to Al-Qaeda, as “positive change” and has spoken out against U.S. sanctions on Hamas. [79]


Canadian Council of Imams:
More recently the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress said that a declaration of fundamental Islamic values released in August of this year (2010) by the Canadian Council of Imams and signed by more than 50 Muslim religious leaders is "completely meaningless", a result of a "medieval mindset" and a "lost opportunity."

One of the points Tarek Fatah of the MCC raised was that the declaration is did not affirm that the mosque is no place for political activity, and doesn't denounce the theory of armed jihad.

But this is pretty much par for the course with many 'moderate Muslims' issuing sweeping denouncements of terrorism and violence in general, but usually refusing to criticize or censure by name specific Muslim organizations or leaders. All too many “moderate” Muslims make excuses for extremists, deny that groups like Hamas are terrorists, claim that violent anti-American rhetoric should be seen as a threat, and describe any attempt by America to defend itself from Islamic terrorism as an expression of "anti-Muslim" bias..

And in some ways I do understand this... There is little doubt that, should she even want to, were Ingrid Mattson specifically take Wahhabism to task for their extreme views, or question anti-Semitic tracts available at one of ISNA's recent conventions, she would immediately be denounced by many as a traitor to Islam and could even lead to a price being put on her head. [80]


Conclusion
What we seem to have missed is not the willingness of Christians to live in peace, but the unwillingness of way too many Muslims to live in peace. There is nothing in the Christian Bible that can be used to teach indiscriminate or unprovoked violence against other human beings, whatever their beliefs. But Islam has at it's core a very violent prophet and plenty of verses that make it acceptable, even desirable, to attack non-believers and so-called "infidels".

Muslim preachers in radicalized mosques all over this country, Great Britain and Europe are urging the overthrow of the west. Thousands attend Islamic conferences in the United States in which leaders openly speak of their belief in Jihad, their hatred of the Jews and Christians, and their duty as Muslims [See Quotations from Islamic Conferences in the U.S] Beside which, I am not aware of any Christians who strap bombs to their backs and indiscriminately blow up fellow citizens in public places.

Nor are Christians the only target of this violence.. The president of Iran has made it plain that he intends to wipe Israel from off the face of the earth. And has anyone noticed that Muslims are busily killing each other in Iraq, Pakistan and who knows how many other countries.


A Common Word” Falls Very Very Short
Assorted Declarations by Muslim leaders fall far short of the mark. For example A Common Word said

    "As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them - so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes." '

However notice that while these words gives the impression that the Muslim leaders are reaching out in peaceful reconciliation, one has to consider that it also 1) clearly allows for continued terrorism against Israel and 2) clearly states that Islamic aggression would be justified should Muslim leaders identify a situation as a 'war against Muslims'.

The problem being that 'war against Muslims' can and will be interpreted very very widely by many Muslim leaders, often including acts seen by others are innocuous.

Regardless of how many honeyed words are poured into the ears of unsuspecting and uninformed listeners. Regardless of how far backwards our leaders are willing to bend in their skewed ideas of being loving, tolerant peacemakers... the sad truth is that Mr and Mrs: Muslim who happens to be a peaceful couple is so inspite of Islam, not because of it. Islam has never meant peace for "idolaters" unless the idolaters abandon idolatry, embrace Islam and worship the "prophet" Mohammed. [Also See Section on Islam

I recently read that a large percentage of Christians in the West are suspicious of Muslims. Duh! Most people in the West do not have a problem with people of other religions who live responsibly and peacefully,  but when people blow up buildings, and when authorities uncover innumerable plots to do even more damage.. of course people get suspicious, in spite of the fact that a large percentage of Muslims are probably peace loving people who only wish to live their lives. The problem arises because no one knows if the young son of your Muslim neighbour is an average person or is considering going to Pakistan for terrorist training.

Blindly accepting at face value all professions of peace takes stupidity to a whole new level.

Certainly, as far as possible, let's live in peace with all men, but not forget that The God of the Bible and the god of the Qur'an are irreconcilably opposed. Making statements that “we both worship the one true God”, asking forgiveness of Allah, or wresting verses from their context in order to bend over backwards in a “Reconciliation Program” that involves compromise after compromise is a betrayal of the God who died for us.


A Personal Note
The following has been written, just in case someone is inclined to dismiss this article as just more anti-Muslim sentiment, which is quite simply not the case.

I was born and brought up in India, a country with a very large Muslim population. We were, in many ways the least racially prejudiced people I know. The Catholic convent I attended was a merry mix of Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, and Parsi girls. In that great leveler, the convent school uniform, the only hint as to a girl's background and religion was her name and/or her appearance. Although both could be deceptive, no one really cared. However, it was of great interest as to how customs differed in the various households and we exchanged never ending stories as to how it was done in "our tradition".

Many years later when I returned to India after living in the US for a number of years, my two year old son initially hated Indian food. The turning point came when he tasted Biryani, that mouth watering dish made my Muslims in India on the festival of Eid-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Eid). What was the religious significance behind the feast day? We neither knew nor cared.

    [However I have to note that I have long since learned that, according to Islamic belief, Eid-ul-Zuha commemorates the Prophet Ibrahims (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael on Allah's command].

I learned how to make Biryani from the Muslim woman who cooked for my family and helped take care of me when I was a child. She moved away, but many years later came to see me and during that visit asked me what I would like to eat “from her hand”. Thrilled to see her again, I also jumped at the chance to learn how to make this dish. Biryani remains one of my family's favorite foods.

When my son started school he and the three young sons of a friend were driven there by a Muslim driver who would have protected them with his life. That he was a 'tough guy' was a plus. On all our visits to India all of us have made a point to visit and have a cup of tea with the elderly Muslim man who owns a sari shop in the Old City, and from whom we have made umpteen purchases over the years.

Once when a girlfriend and I, on our way back from Bangalore, got stranded in Bombay thanks to a goof up by the Indian Railway system, my own uncle seemed reluctant to let us spend a few days with him and his wife. Not knowing what to do we knocked on the door of a Muslim family I had only met a few times before this. They welcomed us with open arms and we would wound having such a good time that we postponed our trip home and spent at least a week in their home. We went fishing, took long walks along the shoreline, and borrowed an extremely un-seaworthy boat from the local fisherman and went boating.

Sadly the city I lived in was regularly torn by violence between Hindu and Muslim, which often left hundreds dead. While there is little doubt that much of the violence was politically motivated, the city became increasingly divided with more and more Muslims moving into the Old City, and more and more non-Muslims moving out. My mother still maintained her apartment in the Old City but the families in the area kept an eye out for her with some of the young men bringing her staples from the market whenever curfew was lifted. These were horrible days… bodies often lay in the streets and, from our terrace, we have watched the fires burn in several places around the city. We were often under curfew 23 hours a day with the military patrolling the area with shoot on sight orders.

We have seen mobs rampaging down the street breaking and burning everything in their path. I have walked alone in the eerie silence of a curfew across the bridge from the Old city and back again, to pick up my mother's passport from a travel agent. You did not know if that single person some distance behind you also had a police pass and was out on legitimate business, or had slipped out of one of the houses with a knife.

    It is interesting to note that when I was younger and still living in the Old City apartment, since one of the residents of the building owned a Bingo set, all of us would get together to play in the third floor apartment of the Jewish family that lived there. (I literally grew up in their home since they had a daughter a little older than I was).  A Catholic family also lived on that floor and we sometimes managed to obtain a snack from the sympathetic Muslim owner of a little grocery store across the narrow road, who later bought the building. All this helped pass the long confined days.

Later on I rented a house in a predominently Hindu area of the city, which my mother moved into when I left India. During another bout of racial violence, a young Muslim man, brother of a close friend, would stay at the house for a few days at a time. He did not feel safe in his own apartment as he was known in the area to be a Muslim.

I do not believe a person can ever be the same when they see their young son run ahead of a mob, just trying to get out of the way, have three or four young men armed to the teeth burst into your yard, and use your compound wall as a barricade or look up to see a man standing over you with a long knife in his hand. Luckily we were not the target.

But I lived in a time and a place where Muslims were not necessarily the perpetrators, but often the victims. The tragic consequences of violence went both ways as the following story shows...

All the time I was growing up, we often ate what is called “Bhajiyas” , which were battered and deep fried slices of potato, onion or whole green chilies. The best ones were made by a middle aged Muslim woman who, every afternoon for more years than I can remember would set up shop in one of the lanes near our apartment. She brought up and even put three sons through college on the money (I do not know where her husband was). But when her eldest son was killed in one of the riots, she was never the same, but seemed to visibly shrink in her skin, looking ten years older in a matter of months. She valiantly tried to keep making “Bhajiyas” on the street corner but, very shortly, simply never came back to her corner.

So, as much as many, and probably more than most, I know how one can live peaceably among people of many different religions, and have experienced what racial violence can do.

Living in peace, and even friendship, with the Hindu or Muslim next door does not mean that I accept any part of their theology or religion, which would mean a betrayal of the one who died so that I will not have to pay for my sins.. a terrifying thought [See The Wrath of God]. I once more stress that the God of the Bible and the god of the Qur'an are irreconcilably opposed, and I draw the line at asking forgiveness of Allah, or at wresting verses from their context in order to bend over backwards in a “Reconciliation Program” that involves compromise after compromise. 

The people who do this are little more than one more example of the many many wolves that have risen among us.


End Notes
All URLs Accessed October 2010

[57] http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/rick-love-responds-to-pipers-thoughts-on-a-common-word

[58] http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=option1

[59] Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Roland Clarke.
http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/clarke/worship_same_god.html

[60] http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543362

[61] http://www.sufiway.net/ar_Awliya_1.html

[62] http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/quran/maududi/mau5.html

[63] The Clintons, Abdurahman Alamoudi, and the Myth of "Moderate" Islam. Lawrence Auster. Monday, Nov. 6, 2000. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2000/11/6/170946.shtml

[64] Treasury Department Tars Alamoudi, Founder of the Islamic Society of Boston. Meghan Clyne, Staff Reporter of the Sun. December 9, 2005.
http://www.nysun.com/national/treasury-department-tars-alamoudi-founder-of/24211/

[65] The Clintons and the Myth of "Moderate" Islam.
http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/the-clintons-and-the-myth-of-moderate-islam/blog-394465/

[66] http://nyjtimes.com/cover/06-27-06/TerrorConvictionsSince9-11.htm

[67] http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1311

[68] As quoted in an article by Art Moore on the WorldNetDaily.com site.
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=21023

[69] Lawrence Auster. The Clintons, Abdurahman Alamoudi, and the Myth of "Moderate" Islam. Monday, Nov. 6, 2000. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2000/11/6/170946.shtml

[70] http://www.isna.net/Programs/pages/Speakers-Services.aspx#102

[71] http://www.isna.net/Programs/pages/Speakers-Services.aspx#12

[72] Patrick Poole. Hometown Jihad: Getting by With a Little Help from His (Terrorist) Friends. FrontPageMagazine.com June 25, 2007

[73] http://ohioagainstterror.blogspot.com/2008/06/breaking-columbus-al-qaeda-cell-member.html

[74] Foxnews.com. Bomb Plot Suspect Moved to Psychiatric Facility. Wednesday, June 16, 2004. http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,122866,00.html

[75] Department of Justice. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2007/November/07_nsd_944.html

[76] USA TODAY.  Ohio Imam Convicted Of Lying About Terrorism Ties.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-06-17-imam-convicted_x.htm

[77] Kenneth R. Timmerman. Just Say No to Khatami. FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, August 24, 2006 http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=2904

[78] Patrick Poole. Hometown Jihad: Getting by With a Little Help from His (Terrorist) Friends. FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 25, 2007
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=27116

[79] Ryan Mauro. Profile: CAIR's National Vice-Chairman. June 28th, 2007.
http://www.worldthreats.com/?p=346

[80] Giuseppe Valiante. Canadian imams' declaration meaningless, Muslim leader Fatah says. The Montreal Gazette. August 14, 2010

Vineyard-Back

Vineyard Churches

www.inplainsite.org