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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Islam, Your Credibility is Teetering

In recent decades, the world has largely overlooked Islam. Culturally, it was considered a legitimate religion. Mind you, it has never been a religion that most of us have understood, but I think it's safe to say we had no trouble recognizing it's right to exist. Of course, the incidents of September 11th, 2001 changed all that. Islam reared an ugly head, spewing venom on the world. Many of Islam's followers said things like, "Wait, this isn't representative of Islam!" We have been told not to look at the radicals.

Some of those arguments (in defense of Islam) have been entirely plausible. I remember hearing a news reporter ask a Muslim how their religion as a whole reacted to the radical Islamic extremists. He explained that when someone from a Christian culture commits a heinous crime, the world just says, "Oh, a Christian gone crazy." He said that we should react the same way when we see a Muslim behaving badly. We shouldn't attribute the heinous act to the whole of Islam. Rather, he argued, we should simply say, "Oh, a Muslim gone crazy." I actually accepted that. It makes sense to me.

Maybe it helped that I know some Muslims. And I know them to be sane, rational people. In fact, I'd say they are good people. I don't agree with their religion --- and believe they are a deceived people. But to tell you the truth, I don't agree with Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, the Unitarian Universalists, Catholicism, B'hai's, and other religions that don't hold Jesus Christ as the highest deity. I believe that they, like their Muslim brothers, are simply a deceived people. So I love them, and I pray for them. And I have considered Islam to be just as credible in modern society as any other religion.

But there are questions. And they keep coming up. Take Saudi Arabia, for example. It's the center of Islam, the home of Mecca. Saudi Arabia has for years tried to position itself publicly as a western ally, a friend of the U.S. Yet, WorldNetDaily reported five years ago, that the Saudi government is funding Islamic evangelism across America ( At that time, there were more than 1,200 Islamic mosques in the United States. Over 80% of them had been built since 1982, and most were funded by the Saudi government. Since that time, estimates are that the number of Islamic mosques in the United States has nearly tripled --- to more than 3,000. And still, most of the expansion is funded by the Saudi government.

What are the chances that Saudi Arabia would allow the U.S. government to build 3,000 Christian churches in their country? Would they allow the U.S. government to pay the salaries of Christian pastors or teachers in their country? Not a chance! In fact, when Christians come to Saudi Arabia for legitimate secular work purposes, they must practice their faith behind closed doors. They are forbidden to evangelize anyone in any way. It is a true double standard that we have with the Saudi government. We will let you evangelize our people. You will not allow us to evangelize your people. Setting religion aside, this isn't even fair play. It makes one wonder what kind of a religion would believe that such foul play is appropriate. Apparently the Islamic religion would.

Every now and then, a news story will pop up that makes me wonder about this all over again. Recently, there was the story of the 19 year old female rape victim. She had been kidnapped and gang raped by a group of men. She was sentenced to six months in jail and 100 lashings. When she appealed this sentence (mind you, she was the victim), her sentence was increased to six months in jail and 200 lashings (,2933,312372,00.html). The court defended this sentence as saying she "shouldn't have been with a young man in the first place." Such an argument sets women's rights, and even human decency back quite a bit. And where did this all take place? Why, Saudi Arabia of course!

Today's news article comes out of that country known for its internal strife, Sudan. Here, a teacher has been arrested and will likely face lashings in addition to jail time (,8599,1687755,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-full-world). Her crime? Allowing her class of school children to name a Teddy Bear Mohammed. He was actually named after one of the boys in her class. The Sudanese government of course is Islamic. It claims that the teacher is guilty of "blaspheming the great prophet, Mohammed." Isn't it ironic that they didn't think that about the parents who named their son after the prophet? Isn't it strange that none of the parents thought the teacher was blaspheming their great prophet. They are, of course, the Muslim parents who paid private school tuition to send their kids to this school to get a great education. So now the school has been shut down, the teacher is in jail. And world is aghast. Again.

Islam, it is getting harder and harder for the free world to take you seriously. If you want to be a legitimate religion, and stand head-to-head with Christianity, you'll need to change your bad behavior. Yes, you will find Christians behaving badly in most parts of the world. But I daresay you will rarely find Christians defending inhuman, unloving behavior with their Bible. I've read the Koran. I know what it says. I'm also a student of the Christian Bible. I know what it says. And I'm watching both the Muslims and the Christians. Quite honestly, the more Islam tries to flex its muscle, the more it calls its own credibility into question.

I believe that Muslim people are good people. I believe that most of them are peaceful, loving people. But I can't help but wonder why their religion seems to have no sense of fair play, justice or human decency.

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