Why Islam as a Religion Does Not Compute

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Plenty of spokespeople, both within the Islamic community and outside it, keep telling us that “Islam is a religion of peace.”  Plenty of thinking observers have pounced on the “peace” claim, showing that the Islamic sources and their faithful adherents see things otherwise. In a recent comparative study of ten religions, Islam was found to be the most violent in both theory and practice – and the only one which causes its practitioners to become more violent as they become more devoted to it.

Relatively few have zeroed in on the “religion” claim, i.e. that the goal of Islam is to commune with God and/or to train people to live righteous lives.

THE PRIORITIES OF ISLAM

The idea of Islam as a religion is so universally assumed that most readers would be surprised at this challenge. However, the conduct and teachings of Muhammad, the model for all practitioners of Islam, show that he had neither righteous living nor enjoyment of God’s presence as priorities.

Presenting Islam as a way to “have a relationship with God” is misleading. While those from a Jewish or Christian background will be thinking of the intimate interaction between YHVH and His people, the only relationship to be had with Allah is one of obedience to a strict master who can punish you at any time. Despite the wording of the Basmala, which describes him as “the most gracious, the most merciful”, this god offers no grace to the sinner or mercy to the undeserving. The concept of “drawing near” (Wasila) deals with fulfilling obligations so that you will (hopefully) have your needs met, and avoiding violations so that you will (maybe) escape hellfire.

The proof of Islam as a praiseworthy code of conduct is limited to individual examples of decent Muslims. As a communal code, it fails miserably. No Muslim nation or neighborhood has a track record in safeguarding human rights, upholding civil laws, tolerating different lifestyles, or keeping agreements. The justification of such (mis)conduct is based on a peculiar Islamic redefinition of all these values to transform violations into compliance. (The details are grist for a separate essay, still in progress.)

Suffice to say that the evangelistic Muslims, i.e. those who want to bring Islam to the world, see their task of establishing religious obligations and codes of conduct as only a means to the ultimate goal, bringing the world under Islam. This is supported by a survey of Muslim-majority countries. The religious duties of a Muslim (five daily prayers, giving charity, the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, shunning pork, abstaining from alcohol, fasting on Ramadan) may be kept, downgraded or neglected as circumstances dictate. Even the treatment of women is not the same in every Muslim country. The one non-negotiable value that unites all Muslims is the obligation to preach Islam (known as doing Dawah) and gain converts in country after country, until the whole world submits to their god.

But the dedicated faithful of all religions want the world to accept their message, right? What’s the difference with Islam?  

A ‘RELIGION’  UNLIKE ANY OTHER

Every other religion is built up through people adopting its beliefs and practicing its precepts. Peace is achieved by setting things right within oneself, fulfilling one’s obligations to God (or the gods), and demonstrating a model of behavior which convinces others to join. Those who leave the faith community are either sought after with pleas to return, or they are mourned and disowned. Sometimes they are penalized for leaving, but rarely does that include torture or murder.

Now consider the practice of Islam. The Islamic god communicated two basic messages to mankind: that Muhammad was to be obeyed unquestioningly as the channel of the best and final revelation, and that Muslims are so superior they should rule the world. From the fact that the 64 percent of the Koran and 60 percent of Sharia (Muslim law) is devoted to the Muslim treatment of conquered non-Muslims, it’s clear that Islamic peace does not depend on everyone practicing Islamic faith, but rather everyone accepting Islamic rule. This is why a growing Muslim community (as opposed to a Muslim individual) will gradually invest its energies not in building peaceful relations with those outside Islam, but in making demands of them and dictating restrictions to them. The sight of Christian neighbors practicing or proclaiming their faith is answered with violent aggression, whether it’s Pakistan, France, or Michigan. And the more zealous the Muslim, the higher the priority of dying in a battle against non-Muslims (a value derived from the life and sayings of Muhammad).  

A STRAIGHT-FORWARD ‘RELIGION’, EXCEPT WHEN IT’S NOT

The confusion about who or what represents true Islam is due to another Islamic precept known as “Taqiyya“, a divine license to fabricate, misrepresent or conceal the truth… what used to be called “lying”. As one basic example, major Dawah organizations are advertising to the English-speaking world that the word Islam is derived from Salam and means “inner peace”, when it is actually Arabic for “surrender”. Many sites will also lie about lying (see Dawah “tip” no. 5 here). No wonder people are confused.

Mainstream Muslims and authoritative texts approve of this deception, as long as it is practiced only on non-Muslims. The moderates endorse a peaceful form of Taqiyya: Islam smuggles its practices and restrictions into the lives of the clueless infidels, to condition them to accept this superior culture. For the jihadists, Taqiyya is a war strategy in which Islam tricks the hostile infidels into submission, and then imposes restrictions to humiliate them and remind them who’s boss.

As Islamic rule takes root, the unbelievers are then pressured to join (that is, to surrender) gradually by invitation and education (moderates), or abruptly by ultimatum and force (jihadists). For years Muslim leaders, ranging from ranting extremists to rational moderates, have been instructing their followers  that planting Islam in non-Muslim territory will be achieved through both attack and immigration, or even through attack by means of immigration. Why are so many contradictory methods all considered praiseworthy? All these methods were practiced by Muhammad at one time or another.

A ‘RELIGION’ WITH NO EXIT DOOR, REVERSE GEAR, OR EJECT BUTTON

However it comes about, the surrender cannot be reversed. Leaving Islam is punishable by death, a sentence frequently carried out with sadistic brutality as a warning to others. Likewise for “blasphemy” (insulting or criticizing Islam) and even embracing the ‘wrong’ version of Islam. As for those who didn’t accept Islam, the “protected” status of dhimmis (non-Muslims under Muslim rule) is forfeited at the first sign of defiance, resulting in death or slavery.

In short, Islam does not depend on religious adherents for its validation. It depends on colonizing and dominating others. The accent is on colonizing, which is a once-and-forever acquisition. This explains Muslim calls to reoccupy Spain, since it was under Islamic rule centuries ago; along with hints of a right to “reoccupy” North America, based on a Muslim rumor (repeated by the leader of Turkey) that “Islam had spread in the American continent before Columbus arrived.” Against this background, the otherwise laughable claim that the famous astronaut Neil Armstrong converted to Islam while on the moon becomes a fantasy of irrevocable Islamic land-rights extending even beyond the earth.

The Islamic obsession with controlling territory is so great that it’s difficult to say which is considered the worse offense: leaving Islamic faith for another religion, or surrendering Islamic land to a non-Muslim. In the Palestinian Authority, for example, Muslims who become Christians are sometimes murdered by unacknowledged enforcers of Sharia, but Muslims selling property to Jews are officially sentenced to death by government-enforced Sharia.

THE ‘RELIGION’ OF PURE, ORIGINAL ISLAM

The vital importance of territorial conquest is underlined by the organization Hisb-ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation), which published a scholarly explanation of war and peace based on Sunni Islamic sources:

The term Dar al-Harb (land of war) is synonymous with Dar al-Kufr  [land of unbelief] as in origin the aim of Islam is to spread to all lands until the Islamic state encompasses the whole globe. However there is a difference between those nations which are considered as Dar al-Harb Fi’lan (actual land of war) like the state of Israel which occupies Islamic land and Dar al-Harb Hukman (potential land of war) which include other states which are not occupying Islamic land or engaged with a direct war against our lands. 

Notice that in this prevailing tradition (90 percent of Islam is Sunni), fulfilling or neglecting one’s religious duties toward man and God have nothing to do with peace or war. Neither is war triggered by hostility toward Islamic countries. It’s all about gaining/regaining and holding “Islamic land” until it includes “the whole globe”, i.e. political supremacy. The issue of Kufr or unbelief is merely a pretext for targeting those “other states” as “potential land” for new conquest. This was indeed the way Muhammad spread his message in the Medina period of his life; and as “al-insan al-kamil”  or the “ideal man”, he is the supreme model for Muslim conduct. In short, Hisb-ut-Tahrir is citing pure, original Islam.

This group, which is dismissed by moderate Muslims as marginal, has branches in 50 countries and is considered by some analysts to be more dangerous than ISIS. The organization is banned in Germany, Russia and several Arab countries, but reportedly dominates the Muslim community in the UK.  

And how do these Islamic purists describe their religious convictions?  The founder of the American branch of Hisb-ut-Tahrir, Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, has urged the Muslim faithful to liberate Islam from the confinement of “a religion” which was forced on them by “the infidels and their collaborators”. The only religious conviction Dr. Malkawi expresses here is when he tells the Western democracies that they can “go to hell”. “The Party of Liberation” has been busy all year taking its message across the USA.

Even while distancing themselves from the ISIS caliphate, Hisb-ut-Tahrir shares the same contempt that ISIS expresses for anyone (including Muslims) who would object to life under Sharia law. But this competing caliphate wannabe is explicit about being “a political party whose ideology is Islam,” showing that the ultimate purpose of Sharia in pure, original Islam is political control.

For any who would doubt Islam’s political control over Christians living under its rule, note the reaction in Jordan last May (2015), when the international evangelical group “Empowered21” scheduled solidarity conferences with Arab Christians in Bethlehem and Amman. The group was disinvited from Amman at the last minute, not because of its evangelistic goals which might offend Muslims, but because its support of Israel marked it as an “infidel movement” according to Jordanian Christians. In Bethlehem, Muslim governor Abdel Fattah Hamayel simply overruled Christian mayor Vera Baboun, citing unidentified “political and religious pressures” exerted on him.

FATAL ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THIS ‘RELIGION’ AMONG THE SAINTS

This continual blend of “religious” and “political” is lost on most Westerners, especially Western believers in Yeshua/Jesus, who are aware of Islam’s obvious spiritual component.  Living in democracies, where religion and politics are legally kept from dictating to each other, Christian and Jewish believers can assume that spiritual attacks on our faith and freedom will choose either a religious track or a political one. If it promotes a god, it’s a religion; if it promotes a lifestyle or a form of government, it’s politics. Islam’s god identifies it as a religion.  

But this assumption is not supported by either Scripture or history. We know from the Bible that both religious and political movements are driven by spiritual forces. We know that many political empires through the ages have tried to force a specific god on their conquered populations.

The mistake of Christians trying to relate to Islam as a religion is not an abstract issue: it has real consequences. This came out recently at Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian institution which happens to be where I earned my BA (class of 1976)… and, ironically, where I recovered my Jewish identity.

Wheaton political science professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins announced that during the 2015 Advent (pre-Christmas) season, she would be wearing a hijab (Muslim headscarf) “in religious solidarity with Muslims”. The College sent her home on paid administrative leave for the rest of the year – not because of her action, but because of her theological statement which accompanied it: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

Although probably meant as a demonstration of Christian charity, this statement revealed a dangerous ignorance of Islam. First, it is Jews and Christians who are described as “people of the book”, whereas Islam is superior to both. Second, these people are false Jews and Christians unless they also submit to Muhammad’s revelation, which supersedes their books. The Koran, considered the only authorized record of Jesus’ teachings, says that the Muslim Jesus (‘Isa) is a follower of Muhammad who will send both Dr. Hawkins and Pope Francis to hell for believing Paul’s message of “first importance” that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor.15:3). Christians converting to Islam are ordered to publicly declare that Jesus is the slave of Allah and of Muhammad. And as for Pope Francis, his expression of religious brotherhood with Muslims was answered by a political prediction that he is “the last pope”; Islam will soon abolish his position when they “conquer Rome“. No paid administrative leave for him: they plan to behead him in St. Peter’s Square.

Then there is the Christian ignorance about the exclusive politics of Muslim solidarity. Dr. Hawkins’ “religious” act was actually a political statement, but it was the inclusive sort promoted by democracies. This was amplified in the report by World Net Daily, which broke the story:

Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the private Christian college in Illinois, announced she would be wearing a hijab during Advent to show her solidarity with Muslims whom she believed were being unfairly scrutinized in the wake of the terror attacks [perpetrated by Muslims over the past months].

The Wheaton College administration likewise understood her action as a Christian defense of Muslim civil rights, and in true democratic fashion it refrained from any religious criticism of the political gesture:  

The College has no stated position on the wearing of headscarves as a gesture of care and concern for those in Muslim or other religious communities that may face discrimination or persecution.

However, what counts here is the Muslim position on this Muslim tradition, not the Wheaton position.

HOW ISLAM USES THE HIJAB

According to Islamic law, Dr. Hawkins’ religious identity as a Christian already has political significance, and the political significance of a Christian woman “wearing hijab” (the Islamic way of expressing it) is one of surrender to Islam. As Muslim-background followers of Messiah noted in another WND article, Dr. Hawkins was voluntarily taking her place among Christian female dhimmis, who are required to wear the hijab in the presence of Muslims to confirm the superiority of Islam over Christian faith.

This last reality was explicitly denied by a spokesperson for CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations, notorious for its Hamas connections), who told the Chicago Tribune: “There’s a lot of misconception about why women wear hijab and this idea that women are forced to wear it.”  That statement was an outrageous example of Taqiyya which could be debunked by anyone monitoring Islam in the news. It is no secret that Muslim women are often forced to wear the hijab, particularly in Iran. Perhaps less known but still public knowledge is that this symbol of submission is being forced on Christian women even in “moderate” Islamic countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Iraq, and Jordan. Muslims are occasionally forcing non-Muslim women to put on a hijab in democratic countries as well, with incidents reported in Australia, the UK, and the USA.

With the truth readily available, how does Islam manage to keep these myths going in the West?

HOW ISLAM USES WESTERN GUILT

Muslim contact with Western societies has apparently taught them that the latter are anxious to make amends for all the wrongs (real and imagined) which their Judeo-Christian culture has inflicted on others, to the point of uncritically accepting all other cultures as springing from religions better than their own. This is ideal for politics passing as  a religion. Western Christians who will not hesitate to denounce a domineering and violent political view will shrink from denouncing a domineering and violent religious narrative – especially if they are first put on the defensive with an accusation of being “racist Islamophobes” for being critical. (By the way, the “racist” charge is more Taqiyya. Many have yet to notice that Islam is not an ethnic group; it is not limited by race, nor do jihadist groups respect racial kinships.)

Those put on the defensive are easy targets for political bullying. The best bullying strategy is to be the first to take offense: thereafter, the most brutal things can be done as a ‘response‘ to the named offense, and guilt-ridden Westerners will ‘understand‘ and protect the responders. The tactic is working well in 21st-century America.  As I write, 73 members of the US House of Representatives are promoting a bill that “condemns violence, bigotry and hate rhetoric” only when aimed at Muslims, thereby pretending that it never comes from Muslims. By the time they catch on that the goal is not to right a wrong but to impose control, it will be too late. Western Christians will be facing the choice of serving the conquerors, joining the ranks of the conquerors, or becoming martyrs like their Iraqi, Nigerian, Pakistani and Syrian brethren.

THE ONE ISLAMIC ISSUE WHERE BOTH ‘RELIGION’ AND ‘POLITICS’ ARE IRRELEVANT

According to ISIS, which supposedly emulates Muhammad in every way, his practice of forcibly converting Jews to Islam is no longer an option. They will be given no choice but death. The threat begins with the usual territorial claims in Palestine, but it doesn’t end until the last Jew is exterminated, and then they will go on to “eradicate this disease from the world”. Here we see that peculiar Islamic hatred for Jews which sounds like Nazism translated into Arabic. On the contrary, it was introduced years before Hitler entered politics by the Palestinian appointed by Britain in 1921 as Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. His skill at inciting violence against the Jews by spreading malicious rumors among the ignorant Muslim peasants was admired and eventually harnessed by Nazi leaders. It was ignored by the Allied nations. As then, also now: the same Nazi libels against the Jews that are so strongly banned in Europe are tolerated when Muslims voice them.

Islam’s exemption from accountability for its Jew-hatred has a spiritual impact on the rest of the world that transcends both religious and political affiliations.  A perceptive observer of the 2015 “March for Dignity” in Paris noted that the “anti-racist” demonstrators carried flags of the racist Hamas, and that they would “verge on hysteria” at the mere sight or mention of Jewish symbols. He mused about the phenomenon and then explained why he was focusing on it:

 What demon possesses these people the minute the name of Israel is pronounced or the Star of David makes its appearance?… Why raise the recurring issue of hatred for the Jews now, a hatred which has turned into hatred for Israel?  Because this is at the heart of this current rabid insanity.  Because it is the seed of hatred that the Islamists have planted against Western civilization.

No, “the seed of hatred” was already within Western civilization. The pogroms, expulsions and mistreatment of Jews in Europe go back centuries, independent of Islamic propaganda. Islam today is simply giving the West a political pretext to resume the racism that was exposed (and temporarily shamed) by the Holocaust. Casting the IDF as the new “Nazis” and the Palestinians as the new “Jews” is widely repeated despite its cynical inversion of reality, because it allows Jew-hating Europeans to project their Holocaust guilt onto the Jews, whom they resent now more than ever because of the Jewish state’s remarkable success.

But there is another reason for Islam’s adoption of an alternate “holocaust” narrative. This European history and imagery has no relevance for Islamic culture. The Muslims have plenty of their own imagery with which to demonize the Jews and curse Israel, currently on parade from Iran to Algeria. The script of “Israeli Nazis perpetrating a holocaust on the Palestinians” is strictly for Western consumption. What is its value for Islam? Being able to equate bashing Jews with defending Muslims makes conversion to Islam even more attractive for European or American Jew-haters. It’s another brilliant evangelistic tactic used by this “religion of peace”.

ISLAM: DEEPER THAN RELIGION, WIDER THAN POLITICS

Not only is Islam not “a religion of peace”, it is not really “a religion” at all, any more than is Marxism or Nazism. But it is not like Marxism or Nazism either.  Islam is a bid for spiritual power far beyond that of a religion OR a political system. Once the Body of Messiah internalizes this truth, the “current rabid insanity” sweeping across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East will suddenly make horrible sense. The competition, confusion and irrationality all disappear into a clear, far-reaching spiritual logic.

We will realize why the butchering of Christians and Jews is cheered by Muslim leaders (religious and secular alike) who praise “Allah” for every atrocity and yet “don’t speak for Islam”. We will look with new eyes at the historic alliance of Haj Amin al-Husseini with Adolf Hitler for “the elimination of the Jewish national home” and a declaration of war on Christian Zionism, years before the state of Israel even existed… and we will understand why the only newsworthy part of that story this year for Time Magazine and the rest of the world was the Israeli Prime Minister’s “false accusation” that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had influenced the Fuehrer to exterminate the Jews of Europe. It was not newsworthy that Netanyahu has history and even leftist historians on his side, or that today’s Grand Mufti of Jerusalem promotes the same extermination plan to all Muslims as their “destiny”; but this selective reportage in the ‘free’ world will no longer leave us mystified.

We will also get why anyone defending Israel’s rights – be they atheists or evangelicals, Jewish Israelis (leftwing, rightwing) or Muslim Israelis, identifiable Jews of any kind with no connection to Israel – have all become fair game as the “Zionist enemy”. We will no longer wonder how this one hatred can unite the Iranian Shi’ites, the Hamas Sunnis, the secular PLO, the multicultural UN, the gay-rights movement and the anti-religious political left.

Last but not least, we will not be so surprised at the response of culturally Christian leaders to the slaughter and expulsion of Christians by the millions… an obscene replay of the Jewish experience of only 70 years ago. The spectacle of the US State Department refusing Christian refugees, because they don’t want to favor one religion over another, will be as predictable as the fact that their religion is the reason why they are hunted down.

Once Islam is recognized as a spiritual hierarchy which merely uses or discards the trappings of religion and political domination as needed, it all computes.

At the moment, however, many Christians are still distracted by the trappings; the big debate is whether Islam is a heretical or a compatible theology.  The global media, educators, corporations and politicians are distracted by the methods; they are placing their bets on who will control the emerging world political system. Neither approach is confronting the spiritual deception that gives such compelling power to this hybrid. That leaves the spiritual entities free to operate.

I trust I’ve proven my point. But (speaking to the Body of Messiah) now what?  

Are we to just fatalistically wait for the sword of Islam to come down on our necks and make us all martyrs for Yeshua? Or can this restored truth help us to fight back?

NEEDED:  A SPIRITUAL RESPONSE TO A SPIRITUAL ENEMY

We are explicitly told (Eph.6:12) that our battle is not with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits described as “rulers, powers and world forces” (NASB). Truth is part of our spiritual armor in that fight. As a matter of fact, it’s the first essential in Paul’s famous list. Therefore, we can conclude that possessing the truth about Islam is definitely going to help the saints fight back against these spirits.

But we need to restore our understanding of what fighting back means, and what it doesn’t mean. In that well-known Ephesians spiritual-warfare passage, we are not told to attack or chase the spiritual world forces, but to “resist” them, defined by the repeated admonition to “stand firm” (v.11,13,14).

Finally, and most important: we need to restore our awareness of what these Islamic rulers want to take from us.

At the risk of stating the obvious, spiritual rulers have no craving for physical territory or earthly assets. Unlike humans, who are constantly distracted by the input from our flesh-and-blood senses, spiritual rulers are never confused about the real value of things. Demons know that this world is not worth fighting over – it’s a momentary blip on the radar of eternity!  This is a no-brainer for Bible believers, and yet we can find ourselves investing our energies and prayers in protecting the things that don’t ultimately interest our enemy. Their great effort in gaining control of global media, laws, education, political machinery, security services and especially religious institutions, is all in the service of acquiring the real prize: human souls.

It’s surprisingly hard to remember this in the face of the horrific bloodshed and political advances of Sharia-faithful Islam, along with their strutting threats about who is “next” on the list.  It helps to remind ourselves that the lying spirits practice Taqiyya even on the jihadists who serve them, deceiving them into thinking that it’s all about territory and political supremacy… while also deceiving the moderates, that it’s all about proving the superiority of their way of life. Meanwhile, Islam owns their souls.

But the value of souls is such that God is also fighting for them. And here is the fear that haunts the spiritual forces driving Islam: They cannot hold onto a soul that cries out for the real God.

Moreover, there is a value calculation for the soul, which only the followers of the Way, the Truth and the Life know:  If the Islamic rulers win the battle to control the entire planet, but lose the battle for just one individual human soul, this works out to a net loss (Matt.16:26, Mark 9:36, Luke 9:25).

They are racking up unthinkably huge losses, every day, in every nation, whenever Christians choose martyrdom over conversion, and whenever Muslims find the true ‘Isa, the Heavenly Son of the Living God who alone can forgive their sins and make them citizens of Heaven.  When God’s power delivers these treasures from Islam’s spiritual control, there is nothing Islam can do about it… except try to hide the losses and juggle the ledgers so to speak. They are forced to use Taqiyya in presenting their flesh-and-blood carnage as “victories”, all the while knowing that to kill a body owned by a redeemed soul gives them nothing (Luke 12:4). Actually it’s worse than nothing! Physical death puts that soul out of their reach forever.

HITTING ISLAM WHERE IT HURTS

So the way to hurt the enemy forces… not just annoy them, but do real damage… is to “stand firm” in the truth that we are revisiting here, and swing the Sword that Islam cannot withstand: the Word of God.  Dare to open up the Way to another priceless individual soul, especially one held prisoner by Islam.  But beware of trying to do that with mental or theological arguments. The spiritual grip must be broken with spiritual weapons. Take to heart Paul’s example in 1 Cor.2:4-5: “My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

Speaking of the power of God, the Islamic enemies stand to lose untold worlds of spiritual assets because of one tiny, stumbling nation that they have not been able to take down. Despite over 100 years of their best efforts to throttle that nation (with both physical and spiritual attacks), it is not only surviving but thriving. Even after surrounding it with spiritually drugged masses, invading it with tide after tide of suicidal violence, and convincing the non-Muslim world to not interfere, God’s promises to Israel are taking root anyway. Israel is moving towards Redemption. In this context, the above-mentioned “hysteria” exhibited by the Paris “March for Dignity” pro-Hamas demonstrators when they were reminded of Israel’s existence was not from hatred alone, but from the impotent rage and gut-wrenching fear in their spirit guides. The devil himself freaks out over the reappearance of Israel, in part because it means his time is almost gone (Rev.12:12-13).

Thus there’s another way to hit the Islamic enemy where it will hurt the most: Take an active part in God’s restoration of the Jewish people to their promised homeland. And “stand firm” in the truth on their behalf.

But seeing that physical territory is not the point, why should the physical land of Israel be such a coveted prize for the spirit of Islam?  Simple: because God promised it to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It’s not about the land, it’s about the Promises. What’s more, God in His sovereign wisdom has connected the physical restoration of Israel with the spiritual restoration of Israel (Ezek.36, Jer.31). That’s exactly why the Islamic rulers want to disconnect them… in everyone’s minds but their own of course.

The same goes for a certain physical city. Although Jerusalem was never the capital of an Islamic empire and is not mentioned even once in the Koran, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, insisted last year that it’s time to change that; Jerusalem needs to be “the capital of capitals” in a global Islamic state. When pressed for an Islamic explanation by his skeptical Palestinian interviewer, he gave none. There is no explanation for this ambition, other than the fact that Israel’s God has promised that He “will again choose Jerusalem” (Zech.1:17, 2:12) for Himself.

As the Israelis say when faced with an absurd demand, “They can want.” Khatib’s branch of the Islamic Movement was subsequently outlawed by the Israeli government, after they continued issuing calls to violently “purify” the Temple Mount of all Jewish presence (a call echoed by the secular Mahmoud Abbas, whose talk in Arabic contains nothing of the Oslo Taqiyya). When Khatib’s son, a spokesman for the Islamic Movement and an Israeli citizen, was confronted by a fellow Arab-Israeli citizen about the group’s encouragement of suicidal stabbing attempts, he hid behind the Taqiyya of victimhood… which didn’t fool the interviewer. But the Israeli government and media can only do so much. It is the God of Israel who is frustrating the Islamic attempts to remove all traces of the first time He chose Jerusalem.

What should be our conclusion as the saints of the Most High God? We know that Islam is already defeated in all the ways that count. Let us face whatever temporary hardships might come with that truth firmly attached to us, so that we “will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to STAND FIRM.” (Eph.6:13)