Apologetics

Separating the Fact from Fiction about Islam and Manchester

On May 22, 2017, a great tragedy in England happened. It is almost beyond comprehension what happened there, but this is the new normal. It is going to continue to get worst as the days drag on, partly because of how Western leaders are reacting to these kinds of tragedies. You think of what Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said right after the tragic terrorist attack. She vowed to “defeat the ideology,” but she does not understand the ideology; she has a false narrative with respect to the ideology, and goes so far as to render what happened a function of a “warped and twisted mind.”

What is behind all of that? I am not going to get into a lecture on Islam right this minute, although I did do a Facebook live session on it. Let me say, all of Islam is segmented into two parts. Bifurcated if you will. One part is the house of Islam, and the other part is the house of war. If you are not part of the house of Islam, then inevitably you are part of the house of war.

Lest someone think this is hyperbole, all one needs to do is get out one of the legal books, the Sharia books. There are five schools that can be counted, four prominent schools. But, you look at a book like Reliance of the Traveler, a classic book on Islamic law, and you find that this very presupposition is not only communicated but underscored.

We need to know what Islam means with respect to women. Inequality is enshrined as a core value. We need to know what Islam portends when it comes to war. We need to know more specifically what it portends with respect to Western civilization.

My heart goes out, as the hearts of many of you, probably all of you, to those who suffered the horrific tragedy in Great Britain. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I can say that because this is a systemic problem. There is migration without assimilation, which is the python swallowing its prey with a long, slow digestion.

Recommended for further study:

MUSLIM: What You Need to Know about the World’s Fastest Growing Religion (Hank Hanegraaff)

Jihad, Jizya, and Just War (David Wood)

Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up? (David Wood)

Ambiguous Islam (John Ferrer)

Submit or Die: The Geostrategic Jihad of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Part One) (Charles Strohmer)

Submit or Die: The Geostrategic Jihad of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Part Two) (Charles Strohmer)

Did Muhammad Believe in Women’s Rights? (Mary Jo Sharp)

This blog is adapted from the May 23, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Grieving the Palm Sunday Terrorist Attacks in Egypt

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Palm Sunday Attacks in EgyptI came into the studio today (April 10, 2017) with a great deal of sadness. As I was worshiping on Palm Sunday, in Egypt there were more than forty-four people killed and over a hundred injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Orthodox Churches, each carried out by Islamic jihadists. They were at Saint George’s Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, and then at Saint Mark’s in the coastal city of Alexandria. The attack came just after the leader of the Orthodox Church in Alexandria finished services.

An Islamic State affiliate released a video on Monday vowing that Egyptian Christians are their favorite prey. “God gave us orders to kill every infidel,” cried one of the militants.

Of course, this is nothing new. I think back to a short while ago in Syria. Muslim militants tried to force two Christian women and six Christian men to convert to Islam. Upon refusal, the women were brutally raped and then they were beheaded alongside the men. The same day, militants cut off the fingertips of a twelve-year-old boy in a failed attempt to force his Christian father to convert. When the father refused the forced conversion, he was tortured and subsequently crucified in adherence to the Qur’anic command “Cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Surah 8:12).

This has been going on in a place that was once won by the Word. The early Christian church was willing to do all because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They left their sacred fortunes, all that was dear to them, because they loved Jesus Christ. As a result, Asia Minor became Christian. But what was gained by the Word was retaken by the sword, the sword of Islam. Today, the mass genocide of Christians in the Middle East is squarely in the blind spot of so many Christians.

I suppose I start of the broadcast today by simply saying, Pray for the persecuted church, particularly in the Middle East, but all over the world, pray for the persecuted church. Pray. Prayer ultimately is firing the winning shot.

—Hank Hanegraaff

This blog adapted from the April 10, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Infidels on the Run from ISIS

CRI-Blog-Belz, Mindy-InfidelsWe are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10, NIV).

Hank Hanegraaff: As prologue to an interview with Mindy Belz, let me say this: While Christians are being marginalized in the West, they are being martyred in the East. In Iraq a vast majority of Christians have been either executed or exiled. In Mosul, this is one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, almost every Christian in the city fled after the Islamic State offered exile or death. Churches across Iraq now stand empty. We can say the same thing about Syria. Islamic State has almost wiped out Christians in that country altogether. Added to the persecution problem is a very real propaganda problem. Over and over and in a myriad of ways the West is being seduced into believing that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, on the other side of the coin, Christianity is a Crusader religion, and as such the epitome of intolerance. In the midst of the propaganda and the persecution often in the blind spot of the West you need this resource: They Say We are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

Well, Mindy Belz, you are an incredible human being and you just returned from your travels to places like Iraq and Syria—places that have recently been liberated from the Islamic State. You have seen firsthand the destruction and the challenges for Christians who would deeply love to return to their homes and churches. Tell us a little about that.

Mindy Belz: I get a lot of encouragement from being with the Christians in the Middle East and particularly the Christians who are now displaced as refuges in Iraq. But I have to tell you that this most recent trip I just returned from was incredibly discouraging to me, walking through the cities and towns that have been liberated in Nineveh Provence, which is all the surrounding area outside of Mosul and actually walking through Mosul itself. Seeing the destruction of churches. Seeing the way everything connected with Christianity has been desecrated and the way that lives past, present and future were attacked by ISIS. It is monumental and it continues to be really amazing to me that in the West we are not calling this what it is, were not calling it genocide, were not calling it war crimes, when every time I go there I am confronted with the evidence of war crimes.

Hank: So many people in the West think that we could have established a democracy very easily in Iraq, we failed to do that, but what you experienced, and you have traveled throughout the Middle East, is the very reality that in the Middle East Sharia is state and state is Sharia; therefore, it is very, very difficult to establish a genuine democracy that would keep safe Christians without them having them to pay a gangster protection tax—the jizya. .

Mindy: That is right. I think definitely Christians have been caught in what sometimes is referred to is a war within Islam, there is a lot of debate of what that actually constitutes. I think it is really clear that radical Islam—fundamentalist Islam, whatever you want to call it, Jihadi Islam—is on the rise. I trust the Islamic experts who say that if you trace the origins of violence of Islam back to the original text, they are there for everyone to see. What we are seeing now among Muslim majority countries is this return to a sort of Islam as it originally was, which as we know is a conquering beast that spread out across three continents within less than the first 100 years of the coming of Muhammad. We are seeing violent Islam as we have not seen it—not in my lifetime until recent decades. We are seeing that the victims of it are people that we Christians in the West would consider to be brothers and sisters in Christ.

Muslims are victims too. I meet plenty of people who without wanting to participate in terrorism and without wanting to see their families be victims of this kind of Islam, you know have been caught in the midst of it, they too are homeless. They too sometimes have children—I was in a hospital where a 10-month-old child had lost both of her arms due to an ISIS explosion—these are everyday realities and they do affect Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Turkmens every group there.

The reality that we keep coming back to is that ISIS is really targeting all of these groups and most especially non-Muslims to adhere to and come into conforming to its brand of Islam. It is its stated goal not to stop this kind of fighting, this kind of war, until that happens. We have this tremendous battle that we militarily, culturally, ideologically, and evangelistically, and I fear that we just do not see it quite that way in the West as people in the Middle East are confronted with.

Hank: I spoke in Iran at the University of Tehran and Allameh Tabataba’i University. I walked the streets in the middle of the night, and I was met with one random act of kindness after another. You can say, on the one hand, that Islam has many people, who are adherents, who are genuinely peaceful and tolerant. I have met many of them personally. On the other hand, if I would have taken my Bible out and sat in a public square reading the Bible, or if I have been speaking publicly about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you would immediately see the lack of tolerance. I think as someone that knows this better than probably most on the planet, Mindy, you can give us a little insight on that distinction. On the one hand, there are peaceful and tolerant Muslims, on the other hand, Islam is anything but peaceful and tolerant.

Mindy: I think what we see is the fear of ISIS and the fear of radical militant groups. Groups that are blowing up children. ISIS is now using drones armed with grenades in Mosul. That is kind of a new thing that has been happening in the last couple of weeks. Those are falling on marketplaces and soldiers and all kinds of places. There is a kind of evil here is really hard even as I have looked at it up close. It is really had to fathom. The fear it instills makes a lot of people want to conform to the brand of Islam, if you will, that they are teaching, and that is having an effect all across the region. You encounter the kind of things you are talking about, where there is freedom but only to a point.

I see churches continuing to operate, continuing to hold worship services, and continuing to gather on regular basis. They are doing it against incredible odds. They are incredibly brave believers. If you have decided to stay, I feel like anybody who is still worshipping Christ openly in this part of the world is doing it having counted the cost and having chosen to in spite of that cost. They have a lot to teach us about the depth of their faith and the depth of their commitment in the faith of the kind of peril that you are describing.

You know I think that it’s a great moment. We too sometimes succumb to a sort of fear of ISIS and we forget that we have a God who is bigger and a Gospel that is better that what the Jihadists are holding out. I met a refuge in Europe this past summer from Iraq who told me that after making this incredible trek, an illegal trek that we have heard a lot about, and arriving in western Europe. The first thing he said when he met someone was “Can you find me a church?” This person looked at him because he is clearly an Iraqi Muslim man and said, “Why are you looking for a church?” He said, “Because Islam has brought me nothing but trouble.” In the midst of all of this trouble there is a great moment where many Muslims are asking questions and are looking for this better Gospel, and this loving God that we have. It is a real challenge to continue to hold that out in the midst of the dangers and the fear. That is what keeps me going back is that I keep seeing the Iraqi Christians and other believers in the Middle East doing just that.

Hank: I find it quite ironic in that while the faith is being deconstructed in the West, often times Western Christians regard Christians in the Middle East as suspect because they are involved in what they think are dead churches that are just repeating liturgies that are without any life whatsoever, but you found the opposite to be true. You found that through the liturgies people have stayed with a fantastic fidelity to the faith once for all delivered to the saints. I was very struck by reading that in your book.

Mindy: That is sort of my story. In many ways, I am a cloistered Western Christian. I have lived on the Eastern seaboard, and had a somewhat sheltered upbringing. My forbearers came here in the 17th century, and here we have been ever since.

In many ways, these Christians (in the Middle East) have been through tumultuous times not just in this century but in centuries previous. One of the things that has been eye opening to me was visiting the old churches. Keep in mind that there are young evangelical churches that continue to meet and worship in Iraq as well. One of the things that was really striking to me is that part of the isolation that these groups have felt, part of the effect of being shunned, if you will, by the Western Church, is that they have also been somewhat kept from a lot of the liberalizing influences that we have seen in the Western Church. They have continued to hold on Scripture in its original form. Many of the churches that I have been in are still worshiping in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, they are chanting their liturgy, and they are singing in that language. They feel very strongly about holding onto what came before them. That also means holding on in some ways to an unadulterated Gospel. That is not always the case. Obviously, there are going to be dead churches and people who have fallen away from the faith, and we see that here in the United States as well. But, it is striking how many have held onto what many of us would recognize as vibrant faith.

Mindy Belz is Senior Editor of World Magazine and author of They Say We are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

This blog was adapted from the February 23, 2017 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Exposing the Whitewashing of Jihad

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On February 16, 2017, many businesses and restaurants across the nation closed in protest against President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban. The next day there were students on various campuses, particularly in Charlotte, North Carolina where I live, staging a walk-out. This in protest to the ninety day ban on travelers from seven countries that were identified by the Obama Administration as sources of terror—the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

I can understand the worry that the list is insufficient. What about Pakistan? What about Saudi Arabia? One should never forget that no less a luminary than Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Saudi Arabia is not just a source of terrorist funding, but the source. “Donors in Saudi Arabia,” said Clinton, “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Even more alarming still is the fact that according to former Democratic Senator from Florida, Bob Graham, Saudi Arabia has direct ties to the massacres of September 11, 2001. In fact, Graham said there was “a solid case for the position that there was significant Saudi involvement going up at least to the Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar in the time leading up to 9/11.” Not insignificantly fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi nationals. (Graham overtly dubbed ISIS “a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money, and Saudi organizational support.”)

All of this of course is being whitewashed because Sharia subservient states, including Saudi Arabia, are portrayed as peace loving allies in the fight against terrorism. Little wonder then that when the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared it necessary to destroy every church in the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, Western governments did not so much as blink. To date the worst co-belligerent to Islamic jihadism—and I hate to say this but it is absolutely factually based—has been the past eight year Obama Administration. I wonder why there were no protest then?

As painful as it is to remember, the Obama juggernaut actually advanced the agenda of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi. We all know who he was. Well known for proud membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. That despite Morsi’s in your face recitation of the Muslim Brotherhood maxim. It is hard to believe when you hear this maxim that you had Western leaders like Obama advancing this agenda. Morsi said, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”

Unfortunately, people are not up on the facts.

—Hank Hanegraaff

This blog adapted from the February 17, 2017 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Interesting Hits and Major Misses in the Jesus of Islam

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Talk about the Jesus in the Bible and the Jesus in the Quran.

On the one hand, it is kind of encouraging to see Muslims agreeing with us on so many things. Muslims agree with us on a lot of things about Jesus that most other people in the world do not agree with us on. For instance, Muslims believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. Who agrees with us that Jesus was born of a virgin? The Muslims do. Muslims believe that Jesus lived the most miraculous life in history. Of everyone else in history, they say Jesus was the most miraculous. They believe Jesus was the Messiah. They believe that He had a miraculous end to His earthly existence. They do not believe He died and rose from the dead, but they believe that Allah miraculously rescued Him. They believe that Jesus is going to return to play some important role in a future judgment.

We look at that and we see a lot of common ground between us and Muslims. Those can be very interesting points of to lead off in conversations. But, Muslims do that as well. Muslims draw attention to these similarities to say, “Hey, you know you Christians, you believe Jesus was born of the virgin? We do too. You believe that Jesus performed miracles? We do too. You believe that Jesus is the Messiah? We do too. Look at all this common ground we have.” Muslims will use that in their efforts at da’wah, which is sort of Muslim evangelism.

What is interesting is that when we look at the areas where they disagree with us on, it is kind of exactly what you would expect given what the Gospel is in the New Testament. In other words, when the Apostles went out and preached the Gospel, Jesus had taught them many things but when they condensed it, what is the core message of the Gospel, they always preached about Jesus death for sins, His resurrection, and that we have to submit to Him as Lord. Death, resurrection, and deity this was the take away message from the Apostles. When we look at Islam, Islam agrees with us on Jesus on almost everything else except those three things. They will say Jesus did not die on the cross, He did not rise from the dead, and He is not Lord.

The Christian response when Muhammad came along should have been something on the lines of “Wow, we have been expecting you because we have been told that false teachers and false prophets are going to come and corrupt the Gospel, and you have just nailed all the core of the Gospel while agreeing with us on so much else.”

Talk about the misunderstanding that a Muslim would have or the misapprehension with respect to the phrase “Son of God,” where Allah contends that this has to do with sexual procreation and whereas a Christian says that this has to do with special relationship.

It is really actually a problem for Islam. In other words, if a seventh-century Arab caravan trader like Muhammad hears Christians talking about the Son of God, misunderstands the phrase, and thinks that we are talking about God producing an offspring. That would not be very surprising. We would at least expect God to know what we mean by the phrase Son of God and to respond to what we actually believe. What we find in the Qur’an is that Allah says how can he have a Son when He has no wife (Surah 2:116; 6:100-102; 39:4). It is presupposed in the Qur’an that the only way for God to have a Son is to have a husband and a wife.

Now on a kind of side note, what is interesting about that is when the angel announces to Mary, in the Qur’an, that she is going to have a son, she raises the same objection. How can I have a son when no man has touched me. Allah’s response is that it is easy for Allah (Surah 3:45-47). In one part, it is impossible for God to have an offspring without having a wife, but Mary can have an offspring without having a husband. A bit of an inconsistency there.

When you look at the Bible, there are a variety of uses for the phrase “son of God.” It can mean that you sort of reflect God’s will. When it says blessed are the peacemakers they shall be sons of God (Matt. 5:9). God is not producing an offspring, it is where sort of we have a kind of family resemblance if we are doing God’s will. Israel is called God’s son because God plays a direct role in starting Israel and so on (Exod. 4:22-23). Jesus is the Son of God in a unique sense in terms of His relationship with the Father and because He is the Messiah (John 3:16; 20:30-31; Luke 22:66-71). What is interesting of all the different uses of “son of God,” angels are called sons of God in certain contexts and so on (Job 1:6; 2:1), but of all the different uses of “son of God” none of them have anything to do with God actually physically producing an offspring. Yet, according to the Qur’an that is the only thing Christians can mean.

Muslims look at this and say, “You Christians have a problem because you are saying God has a son” and the response should be “No, you Muslims have a problem because your God, who wrote your book, did not know what was even meant by the phrase ‘son of God.’” It cannot be a revelation from God.

—David Wood

David Wood, PhD, is host of the Trinity Channel’s live talk show Jesus or Muhammad? He has participated in more than forty moderated public debates in the United States, Great Britain, and France.

For further study, see “Jesus in Islam” by David Wood in the Christian Research Journal 40-1.

Blog adapted from the February 2, 2017 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Is Allah the Same as God the Father?

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I have a friend who is Muslim. He was born in Iraq and speaks Arabic. He is very interested in Christianity. I am trying to explain the Trinity. I do not know much about Islam. I told Him that Allah is the same as God the Father. Is that right?

Well perhaps not. I think what is important to realize is that Muslims believe in what is called a Unitarian God. They believe that God is one. They believe that God is a singularity. Christians believe in one God revealed in three persons who are eternally distinct. We believe in a Triune God. They believe in a Unitarian God. That is a very significant distinction.

Muslims, in fact, think that Christians are polytheistic. They think that we believe in three Gods. Often times they get this idea from their own teachings that the three polytheistic1 Gods that we believe in are the Father, the Son, and the Mother—Mary (Sura 5:72-73). They have confusion with respect to the Trinity. What we have to explain to them is that Christians are not polytheistic at all. We are fiercely monotheistic.2 We believe only in one God.

Think about this. The Muslim God, by definition, has to be morally defective, because independent of the universe—a universe being out of the picture—you have a Muslim God who cannot manifest the attribute of love, since there is no object for his love. This is very, very different with the Trinitarian God. Even independent of the universe, a Trinitarian God can experience love within the Godhead. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son. There are love relationships within the Godhead.

This is a very important point: The Muslim God is morally defective. The Christian God is precisely as we would suppose Him to be—a God of infinite love. A God who in fact allows us as human beings to be brought into the relationships within the Trinity. Put it another way, we can experience life in the Trinity, and that is the apex of the Christian experience. This is not just some kind of theoretical idea. This has a real practical implication on how you live and how you can love, not just human beings but the one who created all things.

When a Muslims leans about the monotheism of the Christian faith and the true idea of a Trinitarian God, not being three different Gods, but on God revealed in three different persons, it helps them to understand how they can have a God of love, a God with whom they can identify. A Muslim cannot identify with the Muslim God. They cannot relate to the Muslim God. The Muslim is ineffable. He is unknowable. He is even capricious in the truest sense of the word. The Christian God is at once ineffable and also knowable in incarnation. This makes all the difference in the world.

Now there are many other things that Muslims misunderstand. When the Bible says that the Son is the only begotten of the Father (John 1:10), the Muslim says God begets not nor is He begotten (Surah 112:3). In fact, they believe to say that God begets is an unforgivable sin. Why is that? When they think about begotten, in their mind there is the idea of sexual procreation. But this is not the biblical understanding of begotten. Begotten does not have to do with sexual procreation, but it has to do with special relationship.

All of these things are wonderful to be able to communicate to Muslim friends. I was just talking to a friend of mind, who is working in the Middle East, and he was talking about all the Muslims who are coming to faith in Christ and one of the things that he does is to explain the very thing that I have just explained. Good for you for making friends with your Muslim neighbors. We are called to reach not repel, and always give an answer for the reason of the hope that lies within us with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Is the Trinity Biblical? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Is the Allah of Islam the God of the Bible? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Allah Does Not Belong to Islam (Helen Louise Herndon)

Allah, the Trinity, and Divine Love (Jonah Haddad and Douglas Groothuis)

Facing the Islamic Challenge (David Wood)

Loving the Trinity (James White)


Notes:

  1. Polytheism is the belief in many gods.
  2. Monotheism is the belief in one god.

This blog adapted from the September 29, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Making Sense of Peaceful Muslims and Violent Islamic Ideology

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Hank Hanegraaff: Good to have you back on the broadcast Raymond.

Raymond Ibrahim: Hi, Hank. Good to be with you again.

Hank: I want to set something up for you and then have you give a perspective that all of us need to have.

During the 33rd anniversary of the overthrow of the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), I personally experienced a portrait of peace and tolerance vis–à–vis Islam. I waited in line to board a United Emirates flight from Dubai to Tehran. While I was in line I had a conversation with a man and his father. The father happened to be 100 years old. I had a very, very pleasant conversation. Both of them were Iranians. Then on the plane I sat next to a very accomplished Persian woman with two masters degrees and she offered me assistance if I needed it while I was in Tehran. When I deplaned I was kissed by two Muslim men and I heard the word “salaam” [peace]. The following morning I met a translator named Fatima and she was absolutely delightful. She was amused when I told her that I had not ventured out of the hotel, and she told me that I could walk the streets out in the middle of the night with complete confidence. Turns out she was right. When I spoke at the universities of Tehran and Allameh Tabataba’i (the sociology university in Tehran), students and faculty were more than polite and engaging.

All that, Raymond, seems to fit into a narrative that we hear in the West about Islam being a religion of peace. Now, obviously, my experience tells me that there are perhaps millions and millions of very peaceful Muslims but is Islam really a religion of peace and tolerance?

Raymond: Yes. What you bring up is very important. It is useful for us to make a distinction. The short answer, the quick answer, which I will then elaborate, is that, even listening to you, what you basically delineated is what everyone does. They tell me of Muslims and they say that is a reflection of Islam. I think that’s the fallacy. Islam is an objective ideology. Muslims are regular humans like the rest of us who can to varying degrees subscribe or not subscribe this ideology. To elaborate I often use an analogy that I came up with a few years ago. The analogy—which I find very helpful and some others do—is as follows:

Today all of us would condemn and denounce the ideology of Nazism. We call it supremacist. It’s inherently violent towards those deemed inferior, and so forth. There is no controversy about this. Everyone will agree to that. At the same time, we know historically that there were many Germans including officials in the Nazi Party who were actually good people and went to great lengths to help Jews and others, and often to their own danger, putting their own life on the line. For example, popularized by the movie Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler was an actual ranking Nazi member, yet at no little risk to himself, he put his neck on the line, and he helped a lot of Jews and others escape. What do we make of this basic contradiction?

Obviously if you ask someone, “Well, what about Oskar Schindler and these people, these other Germans and so forth, were they moderate Nazis?” I think the answer is “No.” They were Nazis in name and maybe they adhered to certain tenants of Nazism, but when it came to the really nasty stuff, they just said no to it, they didn’t subscribe to it, and they did the opposite of it. That neither means that Nazism is now exonerated, nor that there is a radical Nazism verses a moderate Nazism. It just means that in all ideologies and religions you are going to have people to varying degrees will subscribe to varying tenants of set religion.

I think that is the most useful way to understand those many Muslims that you alluded to and I, in fact, agree with you, there are many people who identify as Muslims, or we think of them as Muslims, and they’re very good people, they don’t subscribe to the sorts of things that we discussed in the last show and so forth (i.e. the September 1, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast), but in no way, shape, or form in my mind does that suggest that there is a valid moderate form of Islam. That simply tells me—just like Oskar Schindler and so forth in that analogy—these people are just not buying into and working in that supremacist aspect of Islam for whatever reason. That is why they are the good people that they are, but Islam is still Islam.


Learn more on Islamic ideology in Raymond Ibrahim’s Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, which is available through CRI.

Raymond Ibrahim, Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and Al Jazeera and testified before Congress on the plight of persecuted Christians. Ibrahim is the author of The Al Qaeda Reader, and his writing has appeared in a wide variety of media including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, Jane’s Ilsamic Affairs Analyst, the Middle East Quarterly, the World Almanac of Islamism, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and United Press International, as well as his own website, RaymondIbrahim.com.

This blog adapted from the September 8, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Islam’s Two Qur’ans

Islam’s Two Qur’ans

Q: You are familiar with what happened here in Orlando, Florida at Pulse, the gay bar. What happened is the Islam community took a page add in the Orlando Sentinel apologizing and said they had nothing to do with that shooting. Part of the add went, “We affirm that the mass murder that took the lives of so many innocent people was a vicious aggressor whose actions do not represent Islamic values. The Qur’an says, ‘Do not be brutal or commit aggression, for surely God does not love aggressors’ (Surah 2:190)” Are they missing the part where the Qur’an says that all people must be converted to Islam and the teachings of Muhammad, and that all those who do not believe in him will be either eliminated or killed? Isn’t that too part of what Islam teaches?

Hank Hanegraaff: Well, absolutely. I think what’s important to realize is that you really have two Qur’ans as opposed to one. You have a “Meccan” Qur’an and you have a “Medinian” Qur’an. When Muhammad was in Mecca, he was a struggling itinerate preacher. He had a very long road to hoe. As a result of being a struggling preacher, he said things—part of the Qur’an—that were peaceful at the time because he was in a great minority. He had very few followers. When you get to Medina, Muhammad was a bloodthirsty warlord. Therefore, the tenor of what he communicated was far different from when he was a struggling preacher in Mecca.

So, you have two Qur’ans. You can pick and choose between the two, but if you want to know what Islam is all about, conceding that there are peaceful Muslims, you can never concede that Islam is a religion of peace. It has always advanced by the sword.

If you look at the history of Christianity it has advanced by the Word not the sword. You don’t find suicide bombers in the Christian faith. If you do, they are an aberration.

Inevitably, when you hear of a suicide bombing, you can immediately deduce that it must be Islamic. The fact remains that all of history has been a history of violent jihad within Islam. Look, for example, at Muhammad’s life and then the four Caliphs that followed him, a twenty-nine-year reign collectively. These were very violent years whereby Islam advanced by the sword. Look at the Umayyad Caliphate, again a bloody one, if there ever was one. The Abbasid Caliphate, often times considered the greatest of all of the Muslim caliphates, advanced by the sword. Look at the Ottoman or Turkish Empire throughout the world, and you find violence, destruction, and death. In some cases, there was complete genocide. Now you have the Islamic State following in the footsteps of previous Caliphates, calling themselves a Caliphate, wanting to unite all of Islam under their ghastly reign, and they are inspiring a whole host of people based not on some weird radical theology, but on the essence of what was taught to them and modeled for them by their leader Muhammad, modeled for them in the Qur’an, the Al-Hadith, the Surah, the Sunna, Sharia law, and interpreted even by those today who are the experts.

You find nothing in the history of Islam but a legacy that either says that you submit, and if you happen to live in a Muslim country then you become a dhimmi, which is a proposition whereby you are inferior and you have to pay a protection racket to stay alive, or you say the Shahada, which is the means of saying, “I have just converted to Islam,” or you face the sword. Those are the three options you have. What Muhammad taught and what Islam has always taught is that there are only two houses—the house of Islam and the house of war. If you’re not part of the house of Islam, you’re part of the house of war.

Now do I concede that there are many Muslims that do not understand their own legacy, their own history? Of course. But, this is very akin to what you ultimately put your trust in. The founder of Christianity or the founder of Islam, as two primary sources. You have the two fastest growing religions in the world, although Islam now is the fastest growing religion in the world. If you look at the legacy of Christ, He told to put up your sword, if you advanced by the sword, you will die by the sword (Matt. 26:52). Muhammad did exactly the opposite, beheading Jews—very much like the Islamic State does today. Calling People of the Book the vilest of all creatures (Surah 98:6).

There are Muslims that know what they’re doing, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is a great example. They are simply playing off the ignorance of people within the American community who think that Islam is a religion of peace. It isn’t even a religion in the Western sanitized sense of the word. It is a socio-political economic system that rides on the rails of Sharia, and in the process subjugates people. Look at how women are subjugated under Islam and wonder how Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can speak of Islam in breathless terms with soaring rhetoric. You have Obama denouncing Scripture, but revering the Qur’an, and you find in that there is either duplicity or ignorance. I don’t know which but one or the other. This kind of duplicity is being communicated over and over again, particularly in the wake of the kinds of tragedies experienced in Orlando.

For further study, please see the following:

Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up? (David Wood)

Jihad, Jizya, and Just War (David Wood)

Muhammad and Messiah: Comparing the Central Figures of Islam and Christianity (David Wood)

The Rise of the American Jihadist (David Wood)

Ambiguous Islam (John Ferrer)

Submit or Die: The Geostrategic Jihad of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Part One) (Charles Strohmer)

Submit or Die: The Geostrategic Jihad of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Part Two) (Charles Strohmer)

Did Muhammad Believe in Women’s Rights? (Mary Jo Sharp)

Blog adapted from the July 8, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Islamic Culture’s Denigration of Women

Islam, women Christ

Robert Spencer director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Gide to Islam (And the Crusades) as well as The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran was guest on the March 2, 2016 edition of the Bible Answer Man broadcast. Robert was asked a variety of questions related to the topic of Islam. The following are some highlights from the discussion.

Hank Hanegraaff: I want to ask you about Islam and women because there seems to be a cognitive dissonance in society, particularly Western society, when it comes to, on the one hand, being very, very attuned to the rights of women, the equality of women, and yet in Islam, which today is being touted in a politically correct way, there are not the same kind of rights for women in Islam that there are for women in Christianity or Western Civilization at large.

Robert Spencer: No, they’re certainly aren’t, Hank and it’s very clear, Islam allows for polygamy, which devalues and dehumanizes women, commodifies them. Islam allows for easy divorce for men, all a man has to say to a woman to divorce her is you are divorced—talaq—and that’s it. If he says it three times it’s irrevocable and the woman has to actually go and be married by somebody else and divorced by him before she can go back to her husband. This rule is in the Qur’an and made there because it’s so easy to divorce a woman in Islam that it’s often done by men in a fit of anger and then they make up, he rescinds it the next day, but if he does that three times, then they can’t be remarried, until she remarries and divorces somebody else. It’s an absurd rule. It’s in the Qur’an. Also, a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man. Above all, I’m sorry not above all first, but first the inheritance is less for a daughter than for a son. And above all, there is wife beating. If a man fears disobedience, not even that the woman is disobedient but he fears disobedience from her, then he is to give her warnings, send her to a separate bed, and then third beat her. Now, spousal abuse, of course, is something that is found everywhere among all cultures and all countries, but only in Islam is it given divine sanctions, such that in Islamic courts, Sharia courts, if a woman comes in and says, my husband’s beating me, they’ll say, well you need to work harder to please him. They’re not going to say, you have any human rights to avoid this beating.

Hank: Reading USA Today this morning, there’s an article titled, “Shedding Light on Honor Killings,” and this has to do with four years ago an online wedding video that went viral cost three brothers their lives. The video shows the brothers dancing and women clapping at a wedding party in Northern Pakistan, and a council of elders issued a death sentence against the pair as well as four women and a twelve-year-old girl. Their crime? Well, it was beginning to be a dishonor on the families by violating a strict local code against men and women mingling. Talk about honor killing and how pandemic that is within Islam.

Robert: Honor killing is an extraordinary phenomenon that is rooted in Islamic teachings. The idea is that this is particularly something that victimizes young women. If they are considered to have committed an act of immorality, which could include being raped because in the Islamic scheme of things if a young woman is raped, it’s her fault. This is the understanding behind the veiling of women. Men are considered to be unable to control their temptations and so if a woman wants to make sure not to be raped then she has to veil and cover herself up and if she is attacked, sexually assaulted, then it’s her fault, and her responsibility. The honor of the family can then be cleansed by killing her, and this happens all too often. As a matter of fact, there are many countries in the Islamic world, where there are lesser penalties for honor killings. If a person commits murder, then he’s punished for murder. But, if he can establish that he did it because of honor, to cleanse the family’s honor, then he gets a reduced sentence, and sometimes no sentence at all. This comes directly from the idea that is enshrined in Islamic law that there is absolutely no penalty for a parent who kills a child.

Hank: What about the women that say that the burka, the veiling, an act of liberation for them?

Robert: Well, this is part of the deceptive campaign that Islamic supremacists have undertaken in the West to fool people into thinking that all these things are benign, to make them more acceptable to the West, as well as to make converts. The thing about it is that the veil might be somebody’s individual choice, there’re so many individuals in the world, that I’m sure there are many women who decided to veil, but the fact is that there is a long history of women who have been brutalized, victimized, even killed for not wanting to wear the veil. It is very much something that is a tool of violent intimidation and women find themselves brutalized on the basis of this threat of what will happen to them if they don’t wear it. So, when I hear women saying this is my free choice, I think well that’s wonderful but what about all the women who try to exercise their free choice in the other direction and are no longer with us? Even in the Western world Aqsa Parvez was a teenage girl in Mississauga, Ontario Canada. 2007 or 2008 she was murdered by her father and brother for refusing to wear the head scarf. There were two girls in the Dallas area who were killed by their father for adopting Western values and having non-Muslim boyfriends. This kind of thing happens far more than people realize in the West and certainly it is ramped in the Islamic world. A child’s life—a girl child in particular—is considered to be forfeit, if she besmirches the family honor in some way, and this is completely acceptable under Islamic law.

To request your copies of Robert Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Gide to Islam (And the Crusades) and The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran, click here.

(Interview taken from the March 1, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.)

Apologetics

Discerning Truth from Fiction about Violent Intolerant Islam and “Peaceful” Muslims

Spencer, Robert-Islam Intolerant to Jews Christian non Muslims

On the March 1, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast, Hank Hanegraaff interviewed Robert Spencer director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Gide to Islam (And the Crusades) as well as The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran. The following are some highlights from their discussion.

Hank Hanegraaff: It’s great to once again have this opportunity to speak to the nation, indeed to people from around the world about a crucial subject. We are in the midst of a clash of civilizations and someone who knows about this subject as anyone on the planet has joined me. His name is Robert Spencer. He’s the director of Jihad Watch, it is program the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is also the author of fourteen books, catch it, fourteen books on Islam and jihad. He’s led seminars on Islam and Jihad for the FBI and many other very significant groups. Robert Spencer is a man who is willing to stand for truth no matter what the cost. That’s precisely what you have been doing. You’re standing for truth no matter the cost. If you at what happened historically, you know better than just about anybody Robert, what has in history, you can go back to the seventh-century poetess who Muhammad himself murdered for a poetic slight, all the way to what happened with Theo van Gough the Dutch filmmaker murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri for artistically objecting to the subjugation of women. This is not child’s play.

Robert Spencer: No, it’s not. I know what’s at stake, but the thing is that—you know the signers of the Declaration of Independence, they said at the end of the document that to the great cause that they were delineating in the document, they were pledging their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor, and I think that if we do not have people now who are willing to defend the freedoms that we enjoy in Judeo-Christian Western Civilization, and that are derived ultimately from Judaism and Christianity, from the Old Testament and the New Testament, that if we are not. If we don’t have people willing to defend with their lives those things, then we will certainly lose them. So, it’s imperative to take a stand. It’s not as if any of us have immortality anyway, I am willing to dedicate my life to this because it has to be done, and needs to be done, and I’m in a  position to do it, so that’s really there’s to it.

Hank: You should be admired for what you’re doing. You know I mentioned at the open, Robert, the common refrain that’s reverberated throughout the West—Islam is not our enemy—those were precise words spoken by Hillary Clinton right after the Paris terrorist attacks. What do you make of those words?

Robert: Well, it depends on what one means by it. I mean she’s probably conflating Islam and Muslims as most people do, when actually there needs to be a distinction drawn between the two. Certainly Muslims believe in Islam, but how much any particular person of any religions believes in the religion in a real sense, or lives out the teachings of the religion? That varies widely and of course we know that there are many Christians who bear the name of Christian, would say they are Christians, but they don’t live in any Christian manner. There are many Christians who don’t even know what it would be to be living in a Christian manner because they don’t study the Scriptures. They’re not aware of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and yet they would still call themselves Christians. Then, of course, there are Christians who are very observant and devout, and knowledgeable. It’s a spectrum. It’s the same thing in Islam. So, Hillary Clinton is probably concerned that we say that all Muslims are not our enemy and that’s obviously true. All Muslims are not our enemy.

But is Islam our enemy? Well, Islam teaches, the Qur’an teaches that it is the responsibility of a leader to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers under the rule of Islamic law, and deny them basic rights as part of that subjugation.  So, is Islam the enemy of all non-Muslims? Well, the Qur’an would say yes. The Qur’an says Muhammad is the apostle of Allah and those who follow him are merciful to one another but ruthless to the unbeliever. That’s sounds to me as if Islam is at war with the unbelievers. When the Qur’an says to fight against even the people of the Book, which is the Qur’an’s designation primarily for Jews and Christians, and says they must fight against the people of the Book until the people of the Book pay the jizya, which is a special tax, with willing submission and feel themselves subdued, they’re saying that Muslims have to fight against Jews and Christians until they conquer them, and make them submit to Islamic hegemony, which would indicate here again that Islam is at war with non-Muslims. That doesn’t mean every Muslim is pursuing the war but we would be naïve and would be rejecting simple reality, if we would pretend that these teachings are not in the Qur’an and that Muslims are not taking them seriously. Unfortunately, many Muslims are.

Hank: That is, I think, a very charitable collegial answer. But, I want to ask you about Barack Obama, who said that “throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” Now, he says that and he prefaces his remarks by saying that he’s “a student of history,” he says I know this.

Robert: It’s just not historically true. It’s become a very common historical myth., as a matter of fact. I cannot understand why Obama would repeat it. There’s just no basis for it. Most of the time, people who say that Islam has created societies that were beacons of tolerance and pluralism, they point to al-Andalus, Muslim Spain in the Middle Ages, and they say that Jews and Christians lived in Muslim Spain in peace and were able to practice their religion and they interacted frequently with the Muslims, and it was a wonderful proto-multiculturalist paradise. Now, unfortunately, anybody who looks into the reality of Muslim Spain, looks at contemporary documents—I’ve discussed this in another book that I wrote years ago called Onward Muslim Soldiers, and there’s a new book about it called The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise—the fact is that the Jews and Christians lived a very precarious existence in Muslim Spain. They were tolerated to be sure but only in so far as they accepted and observed the restrictions, humiliating and discriminatory regulations, that mandated their second class status. In so far as they obeyed and abided by those restrictions then they were able to live in peace, but if they were to actually ask for equal rights, or to say that they ought to have equal rights, then that was out the window. So the idea that Islam has ever been tolerant in a real sense of non-Muslims is historically false. There actually is no Islamic society today, there’s no majority Muslim country today, and there has never been in history any majority Muslim country that ever granted full equal rights to Jews, Christians or other non-Muslims. That’s never been so in history that Jews Christians or other non-Muslims have ever enjoyed full equality of rights with Muslims in an Islamic society. It’s never happened and it’s not happening now.

Hank: We’ll be taking a few calls during the broadcast. In fact, we’ll go right to Christy in Saint Louis, Missouri. You’re on with Robert Spencer. Hi, Christy!

Christy: Hi, Hank. I feel like my question was somewhat answered just now. I work with several people who claim, you know, to be practicing Islam but they’re peaceful—peaceful Islam. You know, my question: Is that even considered true Islam? Wouldn’t that be the equivalent to a Christian saying, “I’m not concerned with winning souls, but I’m a Christian,” you know? So, I mean, peaceful Islam is there really even such a thing, or is that’s just something that, you know, they say?

Robert: Christy, the thing is this: The Qur’an and all the sects of Islam, and the example of Muhammad, they’re all unanimous. There is no form of Islam other than arguably the Ahmadiyyas, who are about 1.8% of Muslims worldwide and are persecuted as heretics in Pakistan because they are peaceful. There’s no other sect or school of Islamic law that doesn’t teach that Muslims must wage war against unbelievers.  It’s a universal teaching. It’s not like some tiny minority of extremists that devised this twisted version of Islam and all the rest of it is peaceful. That’s a media myth. It’s not the case. Now, that being said, what are your co-workers all about? Well, there’s no telling really. They could really believe that Islam is peaceful and that they should be peaceful people as Muslims, because they might not know, or they could be deceiving you and others because the Qur’an allows for deception of unbelievers, if one considers oneself to be under pressure. So, there’s really no way to tell. They could know better and be lying because that’s allowed, or they could simply not know better and think that this is really the real thing.

Complicating this is the fact that if you’re Muslim you have to pray in Arabic. You have read the Qur’an in Arabic. Most Muslims today are not native Arabic speakers. The largest Islamic country is Indonesia. That’s not an Arab country. The second largest Muslim population in the world is India, not an Arab country. The fact is that when Muslims today are not Arabs, they still have to pray in Arabic, so they are just most of the time reciting syllables that they do not understand the meaning of when they are praying and reading the Qur’an. So, it’s entirely possible that your co-workers don’t even know the teachings of Islam and still consider themselves to be devout and observant because they pray their prayers five times a day without necessarily knowing what they mean. It sounds absurd, but it’s a fact. I was speaking with a Pakistani Muslim a few years ago, and he says to me in all seriousness—when I tell the story people think it’s a joke—but he was quite serious, he said I’m very proud of my religion, and I’ve memorized almost all the Qur’an, and one day I’m going to get one of those translations and find out what it means.

To request your copies of Robert Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Gide to Islam (And the Crusades) and The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran, click here.

(Interview taken from the March 1, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.)