Low Blows and Lying - 06/01/2003
I just wanted to write and let you know how disappointed I am with your article on Islam and Jihad. I realize that your web site is about promoting your version of Christianity, but you break one of the ten commandments in doing so. Thou shall not bear false witness. Your information on jihad and violence in Islam are off base and show a lack of research and knowledge of the subject. Had the author of those pages done a decent job of researching the back ground you would find that all the sura verses you reference relate to defensive military action and actions done to obtain back those things that were taken away from the early Muslims.
I believe, like you, that Jesus Christ is our savior, but at the same time I also believe that even though we find another religion to be contrary and even offensive to our beliefs, that does not give us the right to make up lies about that religion in order to debunk it. Do you not have enough faith that Jesus Christ will give us what we need to spread his Good News without resorting to low blows and lying?
May Christ's Peace and Presence be with You,
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Kevin. Thanks for writing us at Contender Ministries and sharing your concerns. There are a few points I must respond to here. You suggest that we have borne false witness against Islam with our information about jihad. The only contention you make to support that view is that you claim the Qur'anic verses we use refer to only defensive military action. That is patently false. I suggest you purchase a Qur'an or check one out from your local library. As an example:
Sura 9:30 "Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God, or in the Last Day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled. The Jews say, "Ezra is a son of God"; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is a son of God." Such the sayings in their mouths! They resemble the saying of the infidels of old! God do battle with them! How are they misguided? They take their teachers, and their monks, and the Messiah, son of Mary, for lords besides God, though bidden to worship one God only. There is no God but He! Far from His glory be what they associate with Him! Fain would they put out God's light with their mouths: but God only desireth to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it. He it is who hath sent His Apostle with the guidance and a religion of the truth, that He may make it victorious over every other religion, albeit they who assign partners to God be averse from it."
The verse above orders Muslims to make war on Christians and Jews? Why? For being Christians and Jews. Is that defensive? I think not! Some Muslims who have written us say that there is no compulsion of religion in Islam. According to this verse, there is indeed compulsion of religion. With one caveat: Christians and Jews may pay for the right to not be killed for their religious beliefs. From the Hadiths, we have the following:
All burnt some people and this news reached IBn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish anybody with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, "If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him." - Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260, Narrated Ikrima
Pay close attention to the words of Muhammad in the last sentence. This is why it is a capital offense for a Muslim to convert from Islam in those Islamic countries whose laws are based on shariah law. Is this a defensive action? No, this is religious compulsion. Muslims are put to death in those countries for leaving Islam. Christians are routinely imprisoned or put to death for sharing the gospel or "blaspheming" Muhammad. These sentences are imposed in accordance with Islamic law, not some extremist form of Islam.
You insinuate that the Jews in Israel are some kind of occupying force, and the Muslims are simply trying to reclaim stolen property. For one thing, the Jews were given that land by God. They were dispersed because of sin, but biblical prophecy was fulfilled when the UK decided to set aside a portion of the British Mandate to be a Jewish Homeland, and they were later recognized by the U.N. as a sovereign nation. To see a historical timeline of Israel, see:
http://contenderministries.org/middleeast/timeline.php. To see a more detailed account of Israel over the past century, see: http://www.contenderministries.org/articles/israelhistory.php. They only want to live in peace in their tiny corner of the Middle East. To see how tiny, I recommend you check the following page: http://www.contenderministries.org/articles/occupation.php. Yet their Arab neighbors have been trying to drive them into the Mediterranean ever since. Why? Why not allow Israel their tiny dot on the map? Not because of self-defense, but because of a hatred for the Jews and Christians that is written in the Qur'an.
We have not made up any lies regarding Islam. The only inaccuracy is the false notion that all calls for violence in the Qur'an are for defensive purposes. I will not accuse you of bearing false witness though, as I think your allegation was based on misinformation, rather than an intentional falsehood.
Christ's peace and presence IS with us, Kevin. We want His peace to be with everyone in the world - including those who currently believe in Islam. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life - no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Yet Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ. We speak out against false religions Kevin, because we sincerely desire that all people will accept and experience the peace and salvation of Jesus Christ.
Ben and Jennifer Rast