Islam, Jihad and Our Jugular Vein

Posted: Apr 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Islam is a religion we can no longer blow off like Courtney Love and relegate to a concerned but removed one-hour National Geographic special.  Since 9/11, Islam has been forcefully, painfully shoved into the American spotlight and our increased awareness has been very unpleasant. 

Ever since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Islam has officially ceased (for many myopic Americans) to be just an out-of-the-ordinary, mysterious religion that we watch from time to time on cable.   Truth be told, at the end of the day, the growing threat of Islamic jihad still hasn?t really got our attention because ?American Idol? is on and Fantasia is about to sing, Crocodile Rock.

No longer a removed religion, separated by thousands of miles, the Muslim world has officially moved next door to us to the tune of five-seven million U.S. residents, with the numbers growing daily. 

Given this emergent Islamic religious sector within our country and the September 11, 2001 attacks by Muslims, coupled with Muqtada Al-Sadr?s murderous insurgency in Iraq, we seriously need to get the skinny on what these people believe.  And, if they want to live in the U.S., we need to determine whether they intend to mitigate the extreme bents of their religion if and when they settle into the American melting pot.  The need to understand Islam, therefore, is an imperative for us ?average Joe?s.?

Islam can no longer remain a puzzling, foreign faith to us.  We?ve got to examine?

· What exactly do Muslims believe? 
· What are the differences that divide Christianity and Western civilization from Islam? 
· Why did Muslims attack us?  What has the United States and much of the rest of the West done to warrant jihad being declared on them?
· Are those who carry out this ?holy war? the eccentrics or the norm ? not according to some wet-eyed religious studies professor somewhere, but to the Qur?an
· Are there just three doors available to non-Muslims in this Islamic version of ?Let?s Make a Deal?:
       o Convert to Islam. 
       o Submit to Islamic rule.  Or ?
       o Be killed! 
· Does Mujahada really mean, ?warfare to establish the religion??
· Why does jihad, at least these days, seek to incorporate non-Muslims into Muslim society forcefully?
· Is there room for a chilled out branch of Islam, an ?Islam-lite?, which tastes great
      but is less filling and not about killing?
· Do moderate Muslims have as much to fear as Jewish, Christian and non-religious, so-called ?belligerent infidels??
· If Muslims detest us and that for which we stand, then why -- why -- do they want to move here? 

As things stand, as I attempt to understand this faith which is radically different from Christianity, there is nothing I?ve found in Islam that makes me believe it is a peaceful religion.  Much as I like and respect you, Mr. President, I?m not dancin? to your ?Islam is a religion of peace? tune.

These cats just don?t fill me with the Brady Bunch sensation.  Is it just me, or are there others out there who aren?t receiving the serenity vibe from Islamic actions and writings? 

It is undeniable that other religions have done stupid things in the name of God.  For Christians, the Inquisition, the Crusades, Ku Klux Klan and abortion clinic bombings are more than embarrassing.  Nevertheless, as far as our scripture is concerned, Christianity uniformly condemns killing those whose beliefs differ from them ? except in self-defense.  Apart from just war and capital punishment, a Christian who kills is clearly ?disobedient? and completely divorces himself from the Christ of the Bible. 

Your see, with Christians, ?Onward Christian Soldiers? has always been a metaphor ? think of the Salvation Army ? for us to fight with love issues of hate, poverty and homelessness.  Not so with Islam and Mohammed.

So what can we do? 

1.  Globally wake up and recognize the nature of radical Islam?s threat. 
2.  Get briefed about Islam.  For starters, read Robert Spencer?s seminal book  
     ?Onward Muslim Soldiers? and check out his informative, carefully researched
     website,  Then, study an unabridged version of the
     Qur?an ... and get ready to be freaked out.
3.  Monitor mosques.  We must check out and, if necessary, prohibit violence 
     being preached and taught in mosques and religious schools in our country. 
4.  Make serious background checks on would be Muslim immigrants.  We must
     find out whether they vocally and consistently have renounced jihad ideology
     and the elements of Islamic Shari?a law that are incompatible with the UN  
     declaration of Human Rights.
5.  Tighten up our borders -- land, sea and air -- against foreign intruders and their
     weapons of destruction.
6. Encourage the Reformation of Islam, from within by moderate
      Muslim scholars.   

My ClashPoint is this:  There certainly are millions of Muslims in the U.S. and abroad who do not support Bin Laden and his lethal ilk and al-Sadr?s bloody threats.  Please correct me if I?m wrong but it seems to me that cool Muslims are the minority report, at least of those who are willing to take a stand.  From what I?ve read of Islamic writings, unlike the New Testament of the Christian Bible, violence seems to be the specialty of the Islamic house.

If it?s not, then moderate Muslim clerics must stand up and be counted.  They need to short leash their violent adherents and revise their owner?s manual, because both clearly work against their newly launched ?peaceful-easy-feelin?? public relations campaign.

Doug Giles? latest book, ?Ruling in Babylon?, is available via .  He pastors a church in Miami and hosts two award winning radio programs [].