Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105


What is Islam?

By Patrick Cate, Ph.D.
Understanding and Responding to Islam in the Light of September 11

In this study, we will be seeking to better understand Islam, Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and some of the reasons why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 took place. What is the root of terrorism? Does Islam teach peace, or does it teach Jihad? What are some of the potential issues facing Christians, what are some of the responses we can make, and what are resources to help us? Most importantly, what are some of the key biblical foundations we need to keep in focus during this time of turmoil and change?

Understanding and Responding to Islam in the Light of September 11


In this study, we will be seeking to better understand Islam, Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and some of the reasons why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 took place. What is the root of terrorism?  Does Islam teach peace, or does it teach Jihad? What are some of the potential issues facing Christians, what are some of the responses we can make, and what are resources to help us?  Most importantly, what are some of the key biblical foundations we need to keep in focus during this time of turmoil and change?  

A Few Observations on Islam as a Whole 


--Founded by Mohammed in early 7th century, contact with Jews and some brand of Christians in midst of a pagan idolatrous society in Arabia. 

--Meaning of Islam?

The word Islam means submission, submission to God as a slave would submit to his owner. It does not mean peace. Although the roots of the two words, submission and peace, are related, they are two different words. 


         --one God, creator of heaven & earth, God of Abraham & prophets,

         --His ATTRIBUTEs 99 names

--must believe in God, His Angels, books, prophets and messengers and day of judgment

--Christ had a virgin birth, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, ascended to heaven, is the Messiah and Word of God,

         --Bible was originally given by God.



         --Christ is not God; He is not the Son of God;

         --Death, Resurrection, possibility of substitutionary (no one can pay the price for another person's sin;

         --there is no trinity

         --the Bible is not trustworthy today since it was changed by Jews and Christians.

 (We need to remember that all religions do not teach the same thing, and that opposites cannot both be true.) 


--highest value within Islam is the unity or oneness of God. The first phrase of the Muslim creed is "There is no God but God." Muslims and the Qur'an repeatedly say that God has no partners.  

--second theological value within Islam is the sovereign, free will of God. Throughout the Muslim world, one of the most frequently heard phrases is "Allahu Akbar", "God is great."  God is in complete control and is completely sovereign.

--Man, on the other hand, is primarily responsible to submit. an owner-slave relationship, and man's responsibility is to submit to whatever God wants. Submission is seen in the posture of prayer, where knees and head both touch the ground.

--Qur'an is uncreated, existing in the mind of God from eternity past. Although Muslim scholars believe in the chronological development of the surahs of the Qur'an, they also believe that it existed from eternity past in the mind of God and was given piecemeal to Mohammed. Therefore, they hold that the Qur'an was Mohammed's supernatural miracle, unequaled by any other book, that Islam is God's final religion and that Mohammed is His apostle.  

A Muslim is not allowed to leave Islam without risking his or her life. At birth, an individual is branded "Muslim" or "Non-Muslim," depending upon his or her parents' religion. This status is marked on the individual's birth certificate, identity card or passport. As a result, there are almost no visible churches of Muslim-background believers. They do exist, but they are not public.

         --some recently have challenged this 

America, with its Constitution framed from a Christian world view, is not able to make anti-blasphemy laws. However, Muslim nations and states can, and do. Pakistan has an anti-blasphemy law which allows almost anyone to accuse a Christian of defaming Mohammed and then have that Christian imprisoned, tortured and killed. 


FIVE PILLARS of Islam are:

(1)   stating the creed, "There is no God but God and Mohammed is His apostle,"

(2)    praying five times a day through a prescribed prayer facing Mecca,

(3) giving Zakat, or alms, to the poor at certain seasons of the year,

(4) f asting without food, water, tobacco and sex, sun up to sun down, for the 30 days of Ramadan (The Muslim calendar has 11 days less than our calendar since it is based on a lunar calendar. This year Ramadan begins about November 17 and goes to about December 16, 2001.), 

(5) For those who can afford it, going on the Hajj, or Pilgrimage to Mecca. Each year, almost 2 million Muslims from all over the world make this pilgrimage, observing certain rituals in a prescribed way.

              1 out of 600 Muslims each year observes the fifth pillar.

               --only a small minority observe the sixth pillar of Jihad, as holy war.



There are 1 ¼  billion Muslims in the world. Arab Muslims, with 300 million, comprise approximately 25 percent of the total Muslim population of the world. Of the Arab-Americans in the United States, only 23 percent are Muslim and 77 percent are professing Christian, including: 42 percent who are Roman Catholic, 23 percent who are Orthodox or Coptic, and 12 percent who are Protestant. Within the Arab world, the number of professing Christians may range from 10 percent of the population in Egypt to only a handful in Saudi Arabia. 


--liberals, moderates, conservatives, fundamentalists (militant & non-violent), secular, mystic, folk. 

--Traditional Muslims, which would include both moderates and conservatives, simply follow the faith they were born into, and some do not know much about the religion they follow so faithfully.

--Modern, secular Muslims or liberals, including many who live in the West, are religious occasionally (during certain holidays) but they are more concerned with the things of this world.15 percent in some countries.

--Violent fundamentalists or radical Muslims could be compared to the  KKK or white supremacist groups,small percentage of the total Muslim population of the world today.

-- Most Muslims of the world are against terrorism. 



Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan 

Osama bin Laden is 6 feet 4 inches tall, so he is easy to find in a crowd. He is one of 52 siblings, and the youngest of 24 brothers. His estimated worth at one time was $350 million. He has at least 16-18 children, and some may be located in his home country of Saudi Arabia or in Sudan, but most are with him in Afghanistan. In recent years, he lived with four of his wives and about 15 of his children in a small cave in eastern Afghanistan. There was no running water and only a very simple heating system to guard against the extreme winter cold. He lives continuously guarded against air strikes, commando raids and assassins. Therefore, one of the world's wealthiest men, from one of its wealthiest countries, has been living in poverty in one of the poorest countries because of his commitment to his calling and ideals. 

His father was a very prosperous businessman involved in construction who came from Yemen to Saudi Arabia in the 70s. Osama would break the strict Muslim lifestyle of Saudi Arabia by going to Beirut and visiting nightclubs, bars and casinos. He was a drinker and a womanizer, but in 1973, while he was rebuilding and remodeling the two main mosques of Mecca and Medina, he became spiritually affected with a desire to restore Arab honor. Osama studied under Sheikh Abd Allah Yusuf Assam at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He taught that "Jihad (holy war) and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences, and no dialogues." is what is needed to liberate the Muslim world from Westernization. 

The name of Osama's organization, al Qaida, means "the base," and he most certainly has built upon that base around the world, in Pakistan and Iraq, in New York and Washington, D.C. At the time of this writing, about 90-95 percent of Afghanistan is under control of the Taliban, whose name means "students," as in students of Islam. The Taliban, in turn, has given a safe haven to Osama bin Laden. Only three countries have ever recognized the Taliban government: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Today only Pakistan recognizes them. However the Talibanization of Pakistan has been one of its central political moves. 

Two hours east of the Khyber Pass, near Peshawar, Pakistan, sits the Haqqania Madrasa, the Islamic training school that has trained and placed more of its alumni in Taliban leadership than any other school in the world. Students range in age from 8 to 30, and sometimes, to 35. Twenty-eight hundred students receive free tuition, room and board and learn Jihad, hatred of the West, how to memorize the Qur'an, and how to memorize the answers their teachers give them. Presently, one of the teachers, Maulana Samiul Haq, teaches 9-year-old boys that "America is controlled by the Jews, who, in turn, are controlled by Satan."  Many of the first Taliban began as orphans who lost their parents in the previous 10-15 years of war and were raised in the madrasas, or religious schools, around Peshawar.

So many have never known a mother's love or learned appreciation and respect for women. 

Afghanistan's most lucrative agricultural crop is opium, and Afghanistan is the world's largest producer. As the main source of cash, opium produces an estimated $35 billion each year. From the proceeds, they pay for weapons for their warring sections. Their other principal products include cotton, carpets, natural gas and fruits. The annual income per person is $250 U.S. 

Before September 11th it was estimated that the largest number of refugees in the world were Afghans, and the number has continued to grow rapidly. It is estimated that there are 23 million people in Afghanistan and 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Iran, 2.2 to 3 million in Pakistan, and 0.5 million in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 

Afghanistan is believed to possess among the lowest literacy and life-expectancy rates in all of the world. Adult literacy averages 31 percent overall, 47 percent for males and 15 percent for females. Life expectancy is 47 years for a male and 48 years for a female. Only 12 percent of the population has access to safe water. Most Afghan doctors have already fled their country.  

Afghan women suffer more abuse and restrictions than women in any other country of the world. Afghan women can be beaten or killed for: leaving their home without being accompanied by a husband, brother or son; walking with a man who is not a relative; showing any part of their body in public; laughing in public; seeing a doctor who is not a woman (however female doctors are rare since education for women has been banned); or wearing white (the color of the Taliban flag). One in four women are widows, and many live in poverty. 

There is no guarantee of freedom of press or freedom of speech. There is no constitution, national judiciary, national law enforcement agency, central government, or human rights. The local Islamic faction or the local military commander determines the rules and who will survive. Sharia law (Islamic law) is conducted in impromptu manners, dependent upon the local military and religious leaders. 

Pashtuns, on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, are the politically dominant ethnicity and have been called the largest Muslim tribal society in the world, with approximately 27 million people in more than 30 different sub-tribes. The Taliban is primarily made up of Pashtuns. The Tajik are a people who speak Dari, a language similar to the Farsi language spoken in Iran. The Hazara, or Shiite Muslims of Mongolian descent, have been massacred by the Sunni Taliban, and many have fled to Iran. Their  language is also similar to Farsi 

Osama bin Laden and many of his Arab leaders come from Wahhabism, one of the strictest Islamic sects, which is very hostile to the Savior and to Christians. Many of the suicide bombers in Israel, Luxor, Kashmir, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in recent years have been Wahhabi. Saudi Arabia now leads in the exportation of both oil and religious fanaticism. Saudi Arabia is the richest Arab country and Egypt the most populous. And, together, they have produced most of the terrorists involved in the September 11th attacks and many of those involved in the al Qaida network.

There may be a total of 3,000 Afghan believers in Afghanistan and around the world. Afghanistan is one of five least reached countries in the world, possibly ranking second after Saudi Arabia. There are 70 unreached people-groups in the country. There is not a single church building, but there are 48,000 mosques. Christian radio is one of the basic means of reaching Afghanistan today. The "JESUS" film in six Afghan languages, is available but virtually impossible to view within the country. The same holds true with literature. The "JESUS" film, literature and gospel recordings can be used easily with Afghan expatriates. 

Two decades of war, beginning in 1979, have left the country in ruins. It is estimated that 1 million have lost their lives, 2 million are maimed, and 4 million children have been orphaned (500,000 of them are maimed) during 22 years of war. There are over 12 million uncleared anti-personnel mines in the country, more than in any other country in the world. 

In the Arab language there is a proverb which says, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."  This could be extended to: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend, until we defeat the common enemy, and then my new friends become my new enemy. "The United States financed the Afghan freedom fighters and provided training for some of the al Qaida network, who had a mission to kick out the Russian infidels. When that mission was accomplished, the Afghan freedom fighters looked for a new calling. They, then, turned their U.S. training and some of that equipment against the United States. They now have the passion to kick the infidels out of Saudi Arabia and Israel. 

Afghanistan is a very rugged country with 82 mountains that are more than four miles high. They have a long history of winning wars, partially due to their geography. After 10 years, the Afghans defeated the superior forces of the Russians, who invaded their country in 1979.  

Why Did the Events of September 11, 2001 Happen? Why do they hate America so much? 

1.      First reason is that, since the Gulf War, the United States military has remained on Saudi Arabian soil, where the two holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina, are located. Osama believes that these infidel foreigners are polluting holy soil. Angry at infidel Muslim governments which he would like to see the Saudi monarchy overthrown..

2.      Secondly is the concept of saving face and honor. In the West, freedom, democracy, tolerance and honesty are very high values held by most Westerners. Throughout the two-thirds world, saving face and upholding another person's honor are very high values. Saudi Arabia booted Osama bin Laden out of the country, his home country, and later encouraged Sudan to expel him

 In his eyes, the United States is connected to Saudi Arabia and may have played a part in his double eviction and, therefore, has helped to dishonor him and make him lose face. Within his culture, revenge is an appropriate response when face and honor have been lost.

The first and second reasons are evident in a statement made by bin Laden after 24 Americans were killed by bomb blasts in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, "They have raised the nation's head high and washed away a great part of the shame that has enveloped us." 

3.      Third, the United States and other Western countries have exported a perception of our culture through movies, television programs and videos, and this perception is equated with Christianity, since the West is equated with Christianity. These media promote secularism, materialism, immorality  (the lack of clothes, pornography, homosexuality, adultery and alcoholism/drugs).  

As previously mentioned, a fourth issue is the Palestinian question. Al Qaida's interpretation would be that the United States has financed a war against Muslims, kicking Muslims out of their own country - the epitome of Colonialism. One reason that Osama has mentioned this is in order to try to recruit Muslims in other countries to his side. 

A fifth reason for the attacks would be the desire for all of the world to eventually become Muslim. Some Muslims in the world today consider America as the last great wall that stops Islam from really spreading throughout the world. A minority of Muslims in America and throughout the world have spoken of a day when America will fall to Islam's power. 

On December 1, 1998, the Taliban declared their support for bin Laden's Jihad with the following monumental fatwa, or legal opinion. This fatwa decreed: "Armed Jihad against America by the Islamic world is mandatory and all the Muslims are ordered to rise against America and kill Americans, both civilian and military. No steps for total elimination of America by force should be avoided. America is an enemy of the Islamic world which should be eliminated." The Supreme Court of Afghanistan clarified the fatwa by calling "upon all the Muslim states to prepare for Jihad against America and forces of infidelity the world over" and "to demand that America ... immediately withdraw its forces from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia and stop interfering in the Islamic countries." (p.349 of  "Bin Laden, the Man who Declared War on America" by Yossef Bodnansky: New York: Forum, 2001). Through this fatwa, any method of warfare against Americans anywhere is legitimized. 

A Religion of War or Peace? 

Virtually every Muslim in the world says "hello" with "Salam alukum" which literally means "peace on you."  With 1.2 billion Muslims greeting each other, it means that from 5-10 billion times a day, Muslims greet people with a greeting that peace may rest on them. 

The vast majority of Muslims in this world are warm, friendly people who would not consider harming others. Muslims may be the most hospitable people on our globe. They love to have company and be guests. A guest is a sacred trust from God.

How, then, do you put together a religion of both peace and holy war, of hospitality and terrorism?  How can they come from the same religion? Are all Muslims committed to Jihad? In order to help understand this dichotomy, I would like for us to do a little Qur'anic study. To understand Christianity, one needs to understand the Bible. Likewise, in order to understand Islam, it is best to begin working at understanding the Qur'an. The Qur'an has 114 surahs, or chapters, which are not arranged chronologically. Except for the opening surah, the balance of the surahs are primarily arranged from longest to shortest, just as many of our prophets and epistles have a similar arrangement. Since the Qur'an is not arranged chronologically, if a person reads from the first to the 114th surah, it can appear very jumbled. However, if it is read chronologically from the first surah that was written to the last surah that was written, then a reader can begin to see a development and progression of thought and literary style. 

Mohammed was born in Mecca in A.D. 570 and sensed his call in A.D. 610. He began preaching in Mecca and preached there from A.D. 610-622, frequently as a street preacher. The surahs of Mecca are divided into early Meccan, middle Meccan and late Meccan. In each of these three periods, there is a gradual increase in Mohammed's confirming of the Bible as Scripture sent by God and of Jews and Christians (called the People of the Book) as believers in religions given by God. 

When we get to the late Meccan surahs, we find the largest number of confirming passages. Here, Mohammed says, "If you don't believe me, check with the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians." In other words, read the Bible, which was given by God. His point was that he was preaching the same message as the Jews and Christians, only it was in the Arabic language. Middle Meccan surah 29:46 says, "We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you [the People of the Book]; Our God and your God is one ..." (Yusuf Ali)   

In A.D. 622 Mohammed left Mecca and migrated to Medina. His life changed radically when he got to Medina. Our Lord said of John the Baptist, "Here comes a prophet, and more than a prophet." In his followers' eyes, Mohammed was a prophet in Mecca, and when he arrived in Medina, he was a prophet and more than a prophet; he was a prophet and a statesman. Now, he had about 100 followers who did not have jobs, places to live, laws for their society telling them how to relate to each other, nor acceptance in the community. How were they going to be fed, and how were these needs going to be met?  As a result, all of the Qur'anic passages which deal with rules for a community are Medinan. 

Some people in Medina were doubting Mohammed's prophethood, and he told those doubters to go and check with several Jewish tribes who were in Medina at the time. When they went to the Jewish tribes, the Jews basically laughed and said in essence, "No, he is no prophet at all. He is a false prophet."And from that point on, world history changed as Mohammed turned radically against the Jews, and, to some degree, against the Christians. All of the Jihad and the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish surahs are found in the Medinan surahs. All of the surahs which speak of not making friends with Jews or Christians are found in Medinan surahs. From this point on, Mohammed decided to spread his new religion, by force if necessary. 

For those who want to study surahs of the Qur'an which teach holy war against Jews, Christians and unbelievers, they can study the following Medinan passages: 2:190-193, 216; 4:74, 89, 91, 95, 101, 102; 5:33, 51; 8:12, 39, 60, 65, 67, 69; 9:5, 29, 30, 73; 47:4; 59:2-4, 5,14; and 61:4. Surah 2:190-191a says: "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them ..." (Yusuf Ali). It is just as important to study the context when studying the Qur'an as it is when studying the Bible. Each of these passages has its own context, referring frequently to Jews and/or Christians.

It should also be pointed out that within the Medinan surahs, surah 5:82 says, "The nearest in affection to the believers are those who say, 'we are Christians'" and surah 2:256 which declares, "There is no compulsion in religion." 

Many Muslims do not want to acknowledge that the Qur'an teaches holy war in the Medinan surahs. They either are ignorant of this, want to hide it, or want to explain it away. But those who are practicing holy war are basing their views upon the Qur'an as well as Hadith (traditions of the prophets) and contemporary fatwas (legal rulings). Some might say that the confirming passages of Meccan surahs and the Jihad-type passages of Medinan surahs are clear contradictions within the Qur'an. 

Christians might say, "Well, we have a Bible that tells us to offer animal sacrifices, to worship in a temple in Jerusalem, to worship on Saturday, and not to eat lobster, shrimp or pork." But most Christians do not do these things. Why is that? In our hermeneutic, or understanding of Scripture, especially the Old Testament, a Christian functions between two points of tension. One is our Lord's statement that He came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law. On the other side of the tension, we have the statement that all Scripture is profitable. Much of the Old Testament has been fulfilled, and yet it is still profitable today.  

However, the Qur'an has a different doctrine. Instead of fulfillment with profitable teaching, it is a doctrine of abrogation. In other words, the later surahs abrogate, or replace, the earlier surahs and, therefore, in the early surahs you can have teachings that do not apply today, are not accurate, or have been completely replaced. They do not have to be obeyed or do not apply to life. An example would be the famous Satanic verses, in which the Muslim interpretation is that Satan tempted Mohammed with the worship of three idols but Mohammed turned his back on them (53:19, 20). Others, who are non-Islamic scholars, understand these verses to mean that, at that point, Mohammed was worshiping the three idols. Regardless of the interpretation, those verses have been completely replaced by other verses. The Satanic verses are still in the Qur'an, but are not relevant today as they have been abrogated or replaced by specific verses which came later (22:52, 53). This helps us, as outsiders, to understand how there can appear to be contradictory viewpoints within the Qur'an, how a religion can claim that its name means peace, and yet have a holy book that teaches to kill Christians and Jews. Those who want to study Qur'anic teaching on abrogation or changing of the Qur'an and replacing it with other surahs, may read 2:106; 13:39; 16:101; 7:86.  

Understanding the development of the chronological order of the surahs in the Qur'an can help us to understand how opposing concepts can exist within Muslim minds. Islamic scholars study, and will frequently mention in commentaries, the chronological order of a surah, whether it is an early Meccan, middle Meccan, late Meccan or Medinan surah. But the average Muslim on the street does not stop and think about this, and most may not realize the development of Mohammed's thought during his 23 years as a prophet.

When Muslims are in the majority, they tend to speak from Medinan surahs and repress Christians, not providing them with full freedom. They also deny fellow Muslims the freedom to believe in Christ as Savior. Although it may sound politically incorrect, Islam, when it is the majority religion of a country, is not pro-freedom. When Muslims are in a minority, they tend to speak from Meccan surahs and emphasize all that we have in common. They frequently say, "Muslims and Christians worship the same God and believe the same things, except that Muslims do not believe Christ is the Son of God." So, in reality, which surahs they emphasize may depend on whether they are in the majority or the minority. 

Again, these concepts are not progressive revelation as we have in the Old and New Testaments, but abrogation where the later surahs replace the earlier surahs. Although they are probably not conscious of this practice, when Muslims take action, they are, in reality, acting upon concepts that come out of either Meccan surahs or Medinan surahs.  

What about Jihad? Jihad literally means exertion, exertion in the cause of God, and, frequently, exertion in the cause of God through holy war. Jihad can have two meanings, war against our own sinful natures or war against infidels. It is the sixth pillar of Islam, the first five are the most famous. We noted before that not all Muslims participate in the Hajj, the fifth pillar. Only one out of 600 makes the pilgrimage each year. In the same way, Jihad, in the sense of physical war against unbelievers, is not observed by all Muslims. 

In Islam there is no assurance of salvation. Muslims will never tell you, "I know I am going to heaven." They will frequently say, "I think, or I hope, that I will go to heaven after I burn in hell awhile to pay for my sins, but only God knows if I will make it." However, there is one exception to this. If a person dies in holy war for the sake of God, that guarantees them the assurance of salvation; they would go straight to paradise. This provides a clear reason for willingness to be a martyr for the sake of God in a holy war. 

A handwritten document in Arabic, left behind by the hijackers, was found in three locations after September 11th. It was a note encouraging them with these words, "only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward after death, would be the ones who would be seeking death. You should pray, you should fast. You should ask God for guidance, you should ask God for help. Continue to pray throughout this night, continue to recite the Qur'an." Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini clarified that "the purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah."  

Almost all Muslim leaders will declare their wars "holy wars" as it is the best way to ensure recruitment of troops. Ayatollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein both declared their wars a holy war when they were fighting each other. Any troops who die in the holy war would have a guarantee of going directly to heaven. This helps us to understand why a suicide bomber would not mind dying in a civilian plane transformed into a bomb. 

Cyril Glasses in The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, under his article on "Jihad" (pp. 209-210), says: 

Jihad (from Ar. Fahd, "Effort"). "Holy War" a Divine institution of warfare to extend Islam into the dar al-harb (the non-Islamic territories which are described as the "abode of struggle."are of disbelief) or to defend Islam from danger. Adult males must participate if the need arises, but not all of them, provided that a "sufficient number"...(Fard al-kifayah) take it up. 

According to the Sunnah, a Jihad is not lawful unless it involves the summoning of unbelievers to belief, and the Jihad must end when order is restored, that is, when the unbelievers have accepted either Islam or a protected status within Islam, or when Islam is no longer under threat. It is impossible to undertake a Jihad against Muslims.

Those who die in a genuine Jihad, and the laws determining this are complex, are considered to be martyrs (shuhada), who, as such, have special merit, and enter paradise directly ... a genuine Jihad, as opposed to merely political warfare, has rarely been invoked since Islam's original struggle for survival against the Meccan. 

In speaking of Jihad, The New Encyclopedia of Islam says "The duty of the djihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. 'Until the day of the resurrection' and 'until the end of the world' say the maxims.  Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily"(p. 539). 

The head of Egypt's al-Azhar University, the oldest university in the world and the leading academic center of Islam, says that a self-martyr is permissible as long as it is not against civilians. Suicide is normally forbidden in Islam as self-murder. However, to sacrifice your own life through killing infidels brings with it the highest reward. 

It is wrong to think that the Qur'an is the only authority for Muslims in the same way that Protestants consider the Bible their sole authority. Muslims have other authorities, which include Hadith, or the traditions of Mohammed. An authoritative tradition, Sahih Muslim, book 40, #6985, says, quoting Mohammed, "The last hour would not come til the Muslims fight against the Jews and the Muslims kill them until the Jews hide themselves, and the stones and trees would speak up saying, ... There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him."  There is much teaching of Jihad within Hadith as well as within the Qur'an. 

Another authority is a religious legal ruling, a fatwa. One fatwa issued after September 11th in Pakistan said, "Two Pakistani Christians will be killed for every Muslim who dies during American strikes on Afghanistan." 

Osama bin Laden has declared open war on American civilians, women and children. He says that Islamic scholars have allowed targeting civilians because their taxes support the American military which is on their holy Saudi Arabian soil. According to Osama, "Muslim scholars have issued a Fatwa (a religious order) against any American who pays taxes to his government. He is our target, because he is helping the American war machine against the Muslim nation." 

Bin Laden and thousands of others have received their impetus from Ayatollah Khomeini who returned to Iran on February 1, 1979 to overthrow the Shah, and from his followers in Iran, who took over the American Embassy on November 4, 1979 and held 52 hostages for 444 days.

Jihad is not limited to Afghanistan, New York and Washington, D.C. Just in the last decade alone, Muslim militants in northern Nigeria have been killing Christians, burning churches, and imposing Sharia law on the Christian population. Over 1,000 lives have been lost among Coptic and evangelical Christians in Egypt, as well as tourists. Christians of the southern Sudan, including the Dinkas, have been crucified, raped and sold into slavery by Muslims from northern Sudan. Hindus in Kashmiri, Bahais in Iran, Christians in the southern Philippines and in East Timor have been killed by Muslims. In the southern Philippines, bin Laden is supporting the Abu Sayyaf through his brother-in-law, Khalifa. At the time of this writing, they have kidnaped and held a number of Christians, including two American missionaries, Martin and Gracia Burnham. They have cut the heads off of many of their captives this year. Fred Siegel, a professor at Cooper Union College says, "Why is it that everywhere in the world where Muslims are in the majority, their minorities are persecuted?" At the United Nations Conference on "hate" in Durban, South Africa, Islamophobia was denounced, but Muslim discrimination against non-Muslims was treated in silence. Hatred of Israel is a frequent theme in Arab media, such as a current hit song, "I Hate Israel." 

In his classic work, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," Samuel P. Huntington, the secular world-renowned historian from Harvard University, has studied world civilizations. Concerning Islam, on pages 254-258, he points out "Intense antagonisms and violent conflicts are pervasive between local Muslims and non-Muslim peoples."  He mentions: Bosnian Muslims versus Orthodox Serbs; Kosovar Albanian Muslims versus Serbs; Albanians versus the Greek government; Turks versus Greeks; Muslim Turks versus Orthodox Greeks in Cyprus, the Caucasus, Turkey and Armenia; the Azeries versus Armenians over Nagorno-Karabakh; the Uighurs and other Muslim groups against China; Pakistan versus India; Pakistan versus Kashmir; Muslims against Buddhists in Bangladesh; Myanmar Muslims versus Buddhists; Muslims against Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia; in Thailand, Muslims against the Buddhist government; in the southern Philippines, Muslims against the Philippine Christians; in Indonesia, Muslims against East Timorian Christians; in the Middle East, Arabs versus Jews; in Lebanon, Shi'ites and other Muslims versus Maronite Christians; in Ethiopia the Orthodox Amharas versus the Muslim Oromos; Muslim Arabs south of the Sahara against Christian blacks; in Sudan, Muslims of the north against Christians in the south; in Nigeria, Muslim Fulani-Hausa in the north against Christian tribes of the south; the Chechens versus Russia; the Tatars versus Russia; the Afghans versus Russia. And the list goes on. Huntington says: "Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors. Muslims make up about one-fifth of the world's population, but in the 1990s they have been far more involved in intergroup violence than the people of any other civilization. In 1992 ..., nine of 12 intercivilizational conflicts were between Muslims and non-Muslims, and Muslims were once again fighting more wars than people from any other civilization." 

Huntington continues: "Three different compilations of data thus yield the same conclusion: in the early 1990s Muslims were engaged in more intergroup violence than were non-Muslims and two-thirds to three-quarters of intercivilizational wars were between Muslims and non-Muslims. Islam's borders are bloody, and so are its innards. Muslim states also have had a high propensity to resort to violence in international crises, employing it to resolve 76 crises out of a total of 142 in which they were involved between 1928 and 1979. Muslim bellicosity and violence are late twentieth century facts, which neither Muslims or non-Muslims can deny."        

It should be clarified that all Muslims are not militant or terrorists.Only a small percentage fall into this category. It is just as logical to say that all Muslims are terrorists as it is to say that all Americans are Timothy McVeighs, Terry Nichols, or members of the Ku Klux Klan.  

Most Muslims are very friendly and extremely hospitable and will invite you into their home, office or shop and insist that you have something to eat and/or drink. That is not true of all Americans. Most Muslims will be friendlier than most Americans. They are very warm people. We should not live in fear of Muslims. If we do, we are giving in to what Osama bin Laden desires for us.

The Potential Future 

Concerning the future, along with Amos, I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I am from a non-profit organization. Only God knows the future, but we can and should examine trends.  

In the West, our emphasis on tolerance has produced a natural reluctance to repeat statements which could be considered as negative concepts regarding a world religion. Our fear of appearing intolerant or prejudicial can prevent us from helping many in the world to understand the truth. 

Christ said that the wheat and tares will grow together in the end times. There probably will be both positive and negative ramifications as a result of September 11, 2001. We may be facing some of the following options in our future. 

First, we are facing a very clear decision where we must choose if money, mammon, materialism and military will be the root of our security. During these uncertain days we have an opportunity, as never before in our history, to affirm God's sovereignty over history, putting our faith in Him and His promises. 

Second, many Muslims may come to Christ through this trauma, realizing that they do not want anything to do with a religion which teaches and practices terrorism. It is estimated that, in 1979, there were 250 Persian-speaking, Muslim-background believers (MBBs). In 2001, the figure has increased to 27,500 Iranian MBBs. Iranians around the world have recognized that there must be a better way than Khomeini's path, which he claimed was pure Islam. Many have not wanted any part of his theology and practice. Wherever Iranians have immigrated, they have come to faith in Christ. Over 47 Iranian MBB fellowships exist in the United States, and there are at least 66 in the world. 

Third, it is possible that Christians will overcome their fear of Muslims and will befriend their Muslim neighbors, classmates, fellow workers, storekeepers or physicians, and then help them with their personal needs, and share God's love with them. It is possible that many Muslims will hear the gospel as a result of the heightened awareness of their need. In the West, we do have the freedom of a unique privilege to share our faith, and we should take advantage of that freedom. Let us not, out of fear,

keep ourselves from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and inviting Muslims and non-Muslims to put their trust in Christ. 

Always, when we are working with Muslims, men work with men and women work with women. We should not make exceptions to this. It is preferable to work one-on-one with one Christian and one Muslim together. When we share hospitality with a Muslim, we need to remember that we should never offer alcohol or pork. 

All Muslims speak a universal language, the language of hospitality. They love to have guests in their home and to be guests. Any Westerner can speak that language. Also, to live in the West, in Canada, or the United States, they need to speak English, and we also speak that language in common. I believe that one of the central reasons God has brought Muslims to the West is so that they can hear the good news of Jesus Christ from people like you and me. 

      Let us remember that every Muslim in the world is made in the image of God and should have the right to enjoy Christ's love and be able to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. May we not treat our Muslim neighbors with fear, but with love. 

Seventy-five percent of internationals who come to the United States are never invited into an American home. The stories of five famous world leaders have a lesson for us today. Ho Chi Minh came to the United States from France to find the secret of capitalism and Christianity. He worked in a restaurant, became disillusioned, embraced communism and returned to lead North Vietnam in war against the United States. Leon Trotsky did not have any contact with Christians in New York City. When he returned to his home country of Russia, he aided Vladimir Lenin in overthrowing the Russian czar and beginning the U.S.S.R. Fidel Castro came to the United States with a desire to play major-league baseball. Not finding Americans hospitable, he returned to Cuba to lead the Communist Revolution. Yosuki Matsuoki studied on our West Coast and was treated disrespectfully, which caused him to return to Japan with bitterness, and a vow to get even. He planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. Miriam Haile Mengistu from Ethiopia, studied in Virginia at a military institute. He felt the racists' attitudes and behavior and returned to Ethiopia to convert it into a dictatorship. No Christian made significant contact with any of these five people while they were in the West.  

On the opposite side, stories could be told of internationals who have come to faith in Christ and returned to their countries to become Christian leaders. In almost all of our universities and colleges are future leaders of Muslim countries and other least-reached countries. All of these future leaders speak English. Are we studying what God would have us do to build bridges of love and companionship and to bring the gospel to them?  We need to go fishing, not just maintain our aquariums.    

Since the September 11th attacks, a Muslim-background believer in Christ from the West has said, "Many Muslims and other peoples with darker skin are afraid to go out in public."  One of the most loving things we can do for a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh neighbor is to listen to them, show our concern and offer to take them to a store or the mall. If there was ever a time for Christians in the West to come to the defense of Muslims, to support and encourage them, it is now.  

Of the more than 6 million Muslims who live in the United States, most are very normal people with the same types of hopes and fears, desires to work hard, provide for their families, and send their children to college. May we, Christians, not be known for discriminating or holding prejudice against people of another color who have come from another part of the world. Most of the Muslims in the United States and in the West are in the same state of shock as everyone else; most oppose terrorism and support opposition against terrorism. Leviticus 19:33-34, and other passages, teach us to treat the alien in our midst as a native-born. 

Fourth, God may call many Christians to become missionaries among Muslims. Christians in sending countries may become aware of Muslims and realize that Muslims need to know of Christ and have eternal life. It is possible that others will say, "I want to give financially to send missionaries to Muslims,"or I want to pray regularly to get the gospel out to the Muslim world."  In 1979, when Khomeini took power in Iran, there were about 1,000 missionaries to Muslims. Today, there are 7,000. 

Maybe bin Laden will also be used to awaken again the sleeping giant of the Church to the need for Christ in the largest unreached bloc with the largest number of unreached people-groups, the Muslim world. 

Fifth, it is the prayer and hope of many that Muslims who enjoy the freedoms and tolerance of the West (where they can build almost as many mosques as they want) will write to and speak with people in their home countries and ask them to provide freedom for Christians and those of other faiths. 

Sixth, it is a desire that Muslims in the United States and Canada who enjoy the tolerance that they have received under the Constitution and the Charter Rights and Freedoms, especially freedom of religion , would then allow other Muslims in North America to enjoy the same freedom of religion when they desire to put their faith in Christ. In other words, Muslims in the United States and Canada do not allow freedom of religion to other Muslims who decide to put their faith in Christ. As Muslims have enjoyed religious freedom to build mosques throughout our nations, so it would be wonderful if they, in turn, would provide religious freedom to Muslims who want to believe in Christ as the Savior from their sin.  

These are six positive potential responses. There are also some potential negative results. 

Seventh, there is a very live option that many may fall into fear of Muslims. We need to remember that God is not the author of fear, but of power, love, a sound mind; and perfect love casts out fear. We let ourselves fall into the wishes of the terrorists if we live in fear of Muslims.    

Eighth, another potential negative response could be a backlash from many professing Christians against Muslims, Westerners having their own Jihad against Muslims. In the first week after the bombings, 250 attacks were made against Muslims or mosques across the United States. Suspicions can become rumors, and rumors, as they circulate, can be assumed to be facts. Hatred and fear of Muslims could be a growing phenomenon.  

Some Westerners have ignorantly said, "The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim."  Let us speak out against this bigotry. All Muslims are created in the image of God. 

Of the Arabs who have come to the United States, 77 percent are professing Christians who have left the Middle East because, in their Islamic society, they were either persecuted or treated as second-class citizens.  

They have come longing for freedom. Many are solid citizens, ready to defend the United States. It is a great injustice for them to be either physically or verbally attacked. 

Ninth, on the opposite side, there can be a backlash of Muslims in some countries of the world who would delight in being martyrs and following in the footsteps of the recent terrorists. It has been said that, in the last year alone, 7,000 baby boys in Pakistan were named Jihad and 11,000 Osama. Osama bin Laden has prophesied that, if you kill him, "a hundred Osamas" will arise to take his place.

Tenth, another challenge for the future is the question of how to guide those who were working with Muslims but have had to leave due to the current political instability in their country. Finding answers is more difficult because we do not know how long this situation will last. Whether workers will be out of these countries for one month, one year or one lifetime, will affect how we counsel them. I tend to believe that this war on terrorism will be longer rather than shorter, and that our government is anticipating a three-to five-year war.  

Eleventh, another response is the new phenomenon growing in our country where members of  "communities of faith" are becoming part of a civil religion. In mass prayer meetings, such as at Yankee Stadium, we have had a Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant leading in public prayer. If this trend continues, then a person who holds to the belief that Christ is the only way of salvation may not be considered part of the politically correct civil or national religion. An evangelical Christian may be accused of spiritual racism rooted in hatred. 

Twelfth, persecution of local Christians in many parts of the Muslim world has already begun. On September 11th, in Pakistan, a Christian who owned a restaurant had a gang of Muslim men refuse to pay for their meal and then beat him to death, saying, "Take your payment from America." In countries across the world, including Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan, Christian minorities are terrified. The church and the political leaders of the West have immediately condemned attacks against Muslims. But Christians who live in Muslim countries do not understand why the church and Western leaders have not spoken up in defense of Christian minorities who have been persecuted and terrorized. 

Thirteenth, it is possible that finances for missions could decline in the near future if jobs which have been lost, or are about to be lost, do not begin again in the near future. Both individuals and churches may have less money to support missionaries. 

How Can We Respond? 


o         We can pray for Muslims, and especially pray for the salvation of Osama bin Laden and his network. The same God who saved the terrorist, Saul, and turned him into the apostle, Paul, could save Osama bin Laden, his counselors and his network of terrorists. 

o    Let us pray for guidance on how to counsel returning missionaries. 

o     May we not forget the eight missionaries in jail in Afghanistan who may face martyrdom and, even more importantly, the many Muslim-background believers who face martyrdom. 

o      There are many MBBs and CBBs (Christian-background believers) left behind in the Muslim world. Nationals cannot flee on a jet plane to escape the contemporary problems in their country. May we pray for them to be faithful, to find God's grace sufficient for their challenges, and to grow through the challenges that they must face without the help of their international Christian friends. 

o     We can pray for opportunities for friendship and witness with our Muslim neighbors here and around the world, and for Muslims to put their faith in Christ as their personal Savior. 

Take Advantage of Opportunities

1. God has given us a unique, open window of opportunity. May we take advantage of it while it remains open. We have many opportunities now to befriend Muslims, take their side, encourage them, and listen to them. Many Muslims in the West are people who are without a country, who are scared and appreciate Christian love. 

2. We can assure them that we know that all Muslims are not terrorists, just as all Americans are not Timothy McVeighs, Terry Nichols, or members of the KKK. 

        3. We can have Muslims over to our homes for tea, a meal or hospitality. We can do fun things with them, such as going to a concert, sports event, hike or picnic together. 

4. After we have established rapport with them and built bridges with them, we can share Jesus Christ with them. We need to realize that it is easier to witness to a Muslim than to most Westerners. A Westerner can quickly put up a shield and say, "I believe that religion is a personal issue." However, Muslims love to talk about spiritual things. Words like "Lord willing," "praise God," "In the name of God" and "God is great" pepper the language of most Muslim conversations. (It is true that the percentage of Muslims who come to Christ generally is smaller than the percentage of professing Christians who become born-again Christians.) 

5. We can choose to watch the "JESUS" film together with Muslims in their own language. (These are very easy to obtain. You can also buy a copy of the "JESUS" film in English to watch first if you want to know what it is saying. The words come straight from the Gospel of Luke.) 

6. We can give them a copy of the Gospel of Luke or a New Testament in their own language. These are also easy to obtain. See the following resources.



Islam is the most studied religion, and Muslims are the least evangelized. There are numerous resources to help in understanding Islam and in sharing Christ with Muslims. 

1.         There is a wonderful Web site full of resources:, which is a source for many answers to questions Muslims raise. 

2.         Another site helps those working with Afghans, This is a valuable location of resources by a specialist who works with Afghans. 

3.    At least three books are in print on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, which you can order through your book distributor.

4.         Two excellent CDs are available. One, entitled "The World of Islam," is edited by Dudley Woodberry and produced by Global Mapping. It sells for under $40. Contact Global Mapping International, P.O. Box 25399, Colorado Springs, CO 80936, phone (719) 531-3599 or email The CD has five courses on Islam and over 40 books on Islam that can be of much help. Another CD, by Archie Hensley, provides many valuable resources, some of which are more foundational than on "The World of Islam." This CD is free of charge. Write to Missions by Modem International, P.O. Box 71776, Madison Heights, MI 48071. 

5.         A consortium of workers among Muslims in North America can also provide help. 

6.         One of the best training programs is the Christar Summer Training and Outreach Program (STOP) in Muslim evangelism held during July. This is an intensive, one-month course on how Muslims think and how to share the good news of Jesus Christ with Muslims. Classes are held in the morning and outreach is done each evening. 

7.         During the Muslim observance of Ramadan, there is an intensive time of prayer for the Muslim world. For $3 you can obtain a copy of the 30-day Muslim prayer focus through World Christian News, P.O. Box 26479, Colorado Springs, CO 80936, phone (719) 380-0507, or email 

8.         Three times a year you may also obtain updated material for praying for the Muslim world through the Fellowship of Faith for Muslims (FFM), P.O. Box 65214, Toronto, ON, Canada M4K 3Z2, or via A donation is appreciated. 

9.         Trans World Radio is producing a seven-video series entitled: "Understanding Islam from a Christian Perspective."  

10.    There are numerous books on understanding Islam and sharing Christ with Muslims. A helpful book to begin with is "Reaching Muslims for Christ" by William J. Saul (Chicago: Moody Press,1993). 

11.    I have produced a taped correspondence course entitled "Introduction to Muslim Evangelism" that may be obtained through writing to the Institute of Theological Studies, 3140 3 Mile Road, NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525, calling (888) ITS-LERN or emailing 

12.       Contact Christar for sources for Gospels or New Testaments and videos of the "JESUS" film in various languages spoken by Muslims. 


Box 14866

Reading, PA 19612-4866

Phone: 800-755-7955

13.       In a special tract being produced, Christar will offer a free "JESUS" video and Scripture portions to all Muslims who request them.  If you would like to contribute toward the cost of the distribution of videos and Scripture portions in various Muslim languages, please make your check payable to "Christar," write on a separate note "for Muslim Outreach," and mail it to the address listed in point 12.


Scriptural Resources 

The Word of God has much to say to encourage us and to instruct us in this time of need.  

7.   When we lived in Iran, we traveled across the entire country and interviewed MBBs and their pastors. Fifty MBBs completed a survey of 64 questions. One of those questions was, "What biblical passage means the most to you?" Most of these 50 MBBs, who had never met each other, had in common one favorite passage that the Holy Spirit had used to touch them. I would encourage us to share this with our Muslim friends:   

In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ says, "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." 

2.   We need to realize that our real enemy is not Afghanistan, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden or his al Qaida.  

                Ephesians 6:11-13 tells us to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." 

II Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. An angel is normally a wonderful thing, and light is a characteristic of God. Satan is a master deceiver, specializing in counterfeiting and deception. We need to be careful that we do not get deceived. 

In "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," Martin Luther reminds us that devilish wills can never bring down God's word: 

Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God's own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He,

Lord Sabaoth is His name,

From age to age the same.

And He must win the battle.

3. In Matthew 5:44, our Lord clearly told us how we are to respond to our enemies: "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." 

From the cross, our Savior set the example when he said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."  Just before Todd Beamer and several others confronted a terrorist in a plane over Pittsburgh, Pa. (which probably helped to save our Capitol through the giving of their lives), Todd said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."  Are we forgiving Muslims, terrorists and those who have harmed us? Vengeance is a foreign vocabulary word for individual Christians. Paul says in Romans 12:17-21, "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. Therefore, 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

               4. In the next chapter, Romans 13:4, points out that God has given His power to the state to avenge, for He says: "he [the governing authority] is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." So, the government has the right to bring justice, but not an individual Christian. 

5.  Scripture is filled with much teaching concerning persecution. This is an excellent time for us to study this biblical doctrine and teach it. In the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5:11-12, our Savior says, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." 

In John 15:20, our Savior says, "A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you."  Hebrews 11:35-40 spells out some of the persecution suffered by the prophets who have gone before us. For the missionary who will leave family and lands for the gospel, Christ promises to restore this a hundredfold with persecution (Mark 10:29). 

6. In a concluding paragraph, I would point out from whom our Savior said to make disciples. In Matthew 28:18-20, He said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Our Savior said to make disciples of all nations. In Greek, that is panta ta ethne, A× L× L ethnic groups. "All" includes the nations that curse our nation and bomb our buildings, and those who take missionaries and national believers captive. "All" includes nations that do not give missionary visas. "All" includes Muslim people groups who live, work or study near where we live, work or study. God remains on His throne. He has promised that there will be believers in Christ from every people, tongue, tribe and nation.

Over a billion Muslims live every day of their lives with no church in their language or culture, with no Bible in their hands, and with no friend to tell them the wonderful news of Jesus Christ. What would God have you do at this turning point of history to bring His love, made known in Jesus Christ, to the largest bloc of people outside of Christ, who also have the largest number of least-reached people groups? 

May God give each of us wisdom in knowing how to respond to this tragedy, after which our lives will never be the same. As Charles Dickens stated in the opening words of his book "A Tale of Two Cities," "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ... It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness. It was the winter of despair, it was the spring of hope."  Whether we choose to

live in the spring of hope, the season of light and the best of times will depend upon whether we trust the promises of God and take steps of faith during this window of opportunity in the Muslim world. 

The same sun melts butter and hardens clay. Some people respond to tragedies by hardening their hearts to God, and some by softening their hearts in responsiveness to God and in love toward people. May we have soft hearts toward God and love toward Muslims.



Numerous sources have been consulted in the research for this paper. The following is a partial list: 

1. 'Ali, 'Abdullah Yusuf. The Holy Qur'an; Text Translation and Commentary. Brentwood, MD: Amana Corporation, 1989.

2.      Barrett, David B.; Kurian, George G. and Johnson, Todd M. World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd Ed., 2 Vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

3.      Bodansky, Yossef. Bin Laden; The Man Who Declared War on America. Roseville, CA: Forum, 2001.

4.      Cooley, John K. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism New Edition. Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2000.

5.      Gibb, H.A.R. and Kramers, J.H. Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

6.      Glasse, Cyril. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1989.

7.      Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Touchstone, 1997.

8.      Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.

9.      Johnstone, Patrick and Mandryk, Jason. Operation World, 21st Century Ed.. Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster USA, 2001.

10. Wehr, Hans. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Edited by J. Milton Cowan.    London: MacDonald & Evans LTD., 1974.


© 2001 Patrick Cate, Ph.D. Islamic Studies and President of Christar 


Box 14866

Reading, PA 19612-4866

Phone: 800-755-7955

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