Islamic jihad visited the United States again last week in San Bernardino, California when a radicalized young Muslim American and his Pakistani wife burst into a seminar/Christmas party and cold-bloodedly killed fourteen innocent Americans and wounded twenty-one others.
It was the second largest terrorist attack on American soil after the infamous 9-11 carnage in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania fourteen years ago.
The San Bernardino killers died in a police shootout, the FBI is frantically scanning the world to try and understand who was involved, and many politicians are expressing their opinions on what should be done.
Today, I will state mine.
It’s all about the Koran.
Though the first days following the terrorist attack centered on the hideous bloodbath itself, soon the narrative changed to a potpourri of concerns.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump started a media fire storm by saying that he wanted a pause in all Muslim travel to America until “we figured out what was going on.” He was denounced by many Republican contenders and also by the Democrats and mainstream media. White House spokesman Josh Earnest declared that Mr. Trump’s statement should “disqualify him from becoming president.”
Others chimed in their usual chorus about gun control. But all the guns were purchased legally in a tough gun control state–California. Terrorism can’t be stopped by taking guns away from the good guys.
Bad guys will always find guns.
President Obama weighed on the tragedy giving a rare Sunday night message from the Oval Office. His words offered no new strategy for defeating ISIS and the Islamic jihad movement and he even lectured the American people about being careful not to demean all Muslims.
African-American economist Thomas Sowell gave this critique of the president’s speech:
“The president struck a familiar chord when he emphasized that we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for the actions of a few. How many people have you heard blaming all Muslims?”
“Even if 90 percent of all Muslims are fine people, and we admit 10,000 refugees from the Middle East, does that mean that we need not be concerned about adding a thousand potential terrorists — even after we have seen in San Bernardino what just two terrorists can do?”
“The first responsibility of any government is to protect the people already in the country. Even in this age of an entitlement mentality, no one in a foreign country is entitled to be in America if the American people don’t want them here.”
“Obama’s talk about how we should not make religious distinctions might make sense if we were talking about handing out entitlements. But we are talking about distinguishing between different populations posing different levels of danger to the American people.”
Score one for Sowell.
Senator Ben Sasse, the junior senator from Nebraska, gave a passionate speech from San Bernardino that was strong on the nature of freedom, the importance of respecting all non-violent religious views, and labeling the jihad for what it really is.
You can listen to Ben Sasse’s message here. It’s worth four minutes of your time.
And then there was all the talk about being “radicalized”, who’s really a Muslim, should we screen people out of the West based on religion, and what should we do about the growing Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East.
In my opinion, all the talk and analysis does not get to the heart of either understanding or solving the the problem of Islamic jihad.
It’s all about the Koran–and what the Muslim world must do about it.
I have a new book coming out next year on the five major views of God (religions) in the world. The book is called “The River of God: Discovering the Source of the World’s Major Religions and Why Only One of Them Can Be True.” I believe it will make a contribution to the debate about Islam–what it is and what it’s not.
I started studying the Muslim faith some forty years ago when I purchased a paperback copy of the Koran and read it from cover to cover. Then more recently, when I was doing research for “The River of God,” I again purchased a Koran to give it a second read.
So I’ve read all the words of the Koran two times. That gives me a little familiarity that most people don’t possess to make some observations.
You can’t comprehend Islamic jihad until you’ve understood and read the Koran.
Some people compare the Koran to the Bible–as if they are equal–one being the “Holy Book” of Islam and the other “The Scriptures” of the Christian faith. No, the Bible and the Koran are as non-comparable as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Handel’s Messiah:”
- The Bible is a library of 66 books written over two thousand years by over forty authors. This breadth of confirmation makes it unique among books and clearly inspired. The Koran is a book of “writings or recitations” by one man over twenty-two years and compiled forty years after his death.
- The Bible describes the origins of man and earth, the history of the Jewish nation, contains four eye-witness accounts of the coming of the Messiah Jesus (Isa in Arabic), the history of the Early Church and its mission, contains inspiring prophetic books and clearly describes the end of time (Revelation). The Koran contains few of these things and sports numerous historical errors.
- The Bible contains beautiful poetry, songs, and wisdom literature and shares some of the most memorable sayings and parables the world has even heard. The Koran has nothing memorable and is very poorly written.
- The Bible speaks of a God of love who came to earth to die and redeem humanity from their rebellion and sin. The Koran describes a warring and distant God who tells his followers in 109 different war verses to kill others to advance their cause. Here are three examples from the Koran: “Seize them and put them to death wherever you find them” (Sura 4:89). “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you” (Sura 9:123). “When you meet unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly” (Sura 47:4).
- Muslims don’t like to translate the Koran into other languages because it is an embarrassment. Followers of Christ are passionately trying to translate the Bible into all 7,000 languages that all might come to know the Savior.
Let’s first of all admit that the Bible and the Koran are not the same. The Bible is a symphony of revelation. The Koran is not. That’s the simple truth.
And the Koran is at the heart of the problem with Islam. Those doing terrorism and promoting “holy war” in the world today are reading and taking seriously Mohammed’s poorly written book.
You saw the Koran on the table of the killer’s home in San Bernardino.
The Koran is the problem.
Let’s also be honest about those who call themselves Muslims around the world–both Sunni and Shiite. First of all, most of them are peaceful people who don’t believe in killing innocent folks if left to their consciences and sensibilities.
Most human beings don’t murder people.
Secondly, many Muslims in the 55 Muslim-majority nations (primarily in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia) and also scattered elsewhere are “nominal” in their beliefs. They may or may not attend a mosque. They have a general belief in Allah and some of the moral principles of their tradition.
But they don’t sanction murder, sharia law, and other hard core teachings of the Koran (Writings), Hadith (Traditions) or Sunna (Practices) found in Islamic theocracies.
Most Muslims in the world are peaceful people or nominal followers. We don’t need to fear them–and freedom of expression is theirs in all free societies as Senator Sasse affirms.
It’s the other group of Muslims we are fighting–the ones that follow the Koran. These include ISIS, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the imams and spiritual leaders in numerous Muslim nations.
The greatest freedom threat to the world right now is the ISIS caliphate. They are ruthless killers who must be defeated militarily.
That’s the role of governments.
But when we think of global Islam, what one thing should be encouraged that could positively influence its one billion followers?
Rejecting the Koran. Starting an Islamic Reformation that repudiates the false teachings of Mohammed.
Muslims can keep four of their five pillars of faith:
- Prayer (Salah). Talking to God (Allah is the generic word for God in Arabic) is a good thing.
- Fasting (Sawm). Usually done during Ramadan to focus on dying to fleshly desires.
- Giving (Zakat). Encouraged by all people and beliefs.
- Pilgrimage (Hajj). Maybe this is a stretch, but allow the trip to include Jerusalem and other sacred parts of the Middle East.
But Number One must go–the Confession (Shahadah). Mohammed’s jihadi words and actions are not inspired and he and his book must be rejected.
“Submission to God” (Islam) is good. The Koran’s distortion of God’s true nature and false methods of submission are not.
Let’s expose the Koran. Read it for yourself. Then encourage peaceful Muslims to break its chains and reject its murderous violence (and slavery, subjugation of women etc.). Let’s expose mosques that preach venom. Let’s work for a needed reformation of Islam all over the world.
And finally, let’s pray that all Muslims worldwide add one crucial pillar to their understanding:
“God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son (Isa). That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”