According to Open Doors with Brother Andrew (a nondenominational service agency primarily working to distribute Bibles to limited access or closed countries) of the forty countries where Christians are persecuted the most, seventy-five percent are dominated by Islam.
Islam is a theocratic religion that is designed to dominate other religions and peoples. We in America are not as sensitive to this fact as are Christians living in those countries. Many are being persecuted, even unto death. Fundamentalist Muslims tend to interpret passages regarding jihad in the Qur’an and the Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) as referring to timeless commands for holy war, while other Muslims might see these passages as being more self-defensive or interpreted more broadly to mean striving for God’s truth. The media has kept both aspects before us recently. (See the interview with Dr. Anees Zaka in the lead article.) Terrorists tend to have a victim mindset and believe they have to defend their land, truth, and way of life. This is part of their aggressiveness as far as their religious orientation is concerned.
Several examples will illustrate this point:
Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ and whoever said it then he will save his life and property…” (2:272; 24:1.483). Saying attributed to Muhammad.
Narrated Ikrima: The statement of Allah’s Apostle, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (9:45; 84.2.57).
Narrated Abu Haraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “To the person who carries out jihad for His Cause and nothing compelled him to go out but the Jihad for His Cause, and belief in His Words, Allah guarantees that He will either admit him into Paradise or return him with the reward or the booty he has earned to his residence from where he went out” (9.413.28.549).
Part of the motivation within Islam comes from their belief that there can be no assurance of salvation outside of dying in holy war.
As far as Americans living stateside are concerned, most Muslims are extremely approachable. They enjoy friendships and the giving and receiving of hospitality is a positive thing for them. Sadly, most expatriate Muslims who have been in the United States for five or ten years have never been inside a Christian’s home! Since the September 11 tragedy, there has never been a better time to get to know Muslim neighbors and love them as you love yourself! We encourage our readers of Equip for Ministry to see the importance of seizing this opportunity which was intended for evil and trust God to use us as part of transforming the evil into good. Let’s use this time to learn more about Islam, but even more to pray for opportunities to reach out and dialogue with them.