A Terrorist Next Door?

The confluence of two potent scenarios meet: the angst of radical Muslim terrorism visiting our shores, and the reality that our government can’t keep us safe. Keep your powder dry! The Issis Caliphate’s the size of Indiana. They launch assaults on nations with jihad attacks from France to San Bernardino. Terror alerts range from Geneva to Minneapolis, and London to Sydney. There’s no geographic safe-haven. Our national security’s been breached, and our borders are porous. Donald Trump’s call for a “temporary ban” on Muslims entering our nation created a firestorm on the Left and Right. Rand Paul suggests the ban should be geographic. Others oppose any ban. Hitler wasn’t a Muslim-he slaughtered 6 million Jews. The question, “Is it the sludge of the Fall, and man’s unbridled, unregenerate nature masquerading in manifold forms universally?”

Islam and the West differ on nearly any issue. Most significantly is whether the institutions of church and state should be separated. Hundreds of years of Western tradition have demonstrated the wisdom of keeping those separated, and the ensuing danger when the ecclesiastical and civil are joined at the hip. In the Islamic world the notion of secular and religious are melded so closely, the dichotomy is literally unknown. Turkey’s first President, Kemal Ataturk, was able to part the two, with strong leadership, and a new constitution in 1924. He knew the Republic had to modernize into a secular state. He understood the danger of a Caliphate.

Most Americans are clueless to what makes the Muslim jihadist tick. We mistakenly call it a religious battle, seeking a convenient bifurcation betwixt the “silent, peaceful Muslim” and the “jihadist Muslim Terrorist.” It’s more of a geo-political movement masquerading as religion. According to the Middle East Quarterly, the principle of “Abrogation in the Qur’an,” must be understood. For example, any verse that once taught tolerance, a later verse, like obligatory 9:5, the “verse of the sword,” nullified, abrogated, and cancelled 124 verses that called for peace, tolerance and compassion. Because of The Prophet Muhammad’s ultimate revelation claim, (2:190-2) created a license for future Muslims to kill non-Muslims on the basis of their refusal to embrace Islam, according to David Powers, a research scholar of Islam.

Professor emeritus, Bernard Lewis, an Islamic scholar, writes of the growing clash between civilizations, “In the classic Islamic view, to which many Muslims are beginning to return, the world and all mankind are divided into two: the House of Islam, where the Muslim law and faith prevail, and the rest, the House of Unbelief, or House of War, which is the duty of Muslims to bring to Islam. It should be clear by now that we are facing a mood and movement far transcending the levels of issues and policies, and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations-perhaps irrational, but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the world-wide expansion of both.”

Some reject the “clash of civilizations,” claiming that we are at war with the “Muslim Intelligentsia.” An educated, uber rich sector, with a perverted sexual appetite, and expansionist dreams. One writer compares them to the student revolutionaries of the 1960’s on American universities. We know it’s not poverty that drives their maniacal jihad.

Some invoke it’s reminiscent of 1938, and Nazi Germany. While older generations had to fight against Nazism and Communism, this fight is different in that fewer believed in the former. With an estimated one billion Muslims worldwide, if only ten percent believed from the vast sects of Hamas, the Taliban, Islamic jihad, the Wahhabism, Hezbollah, mosques in London, Detroit, Paris, and worldwide, we face at least 100 million true believing warriors. This staggering number poses an unprecedented existential threat from of a group of people who vow to destroy us. We’re unprepared to wage a war we’ve never waged. William Tucker, wrote in the “American Spectator,” “Our current conflict is not a war with an entire civilization.” He points out that these jihad warriors are despised as much in their own country as they are in the West.

In remote Wyoming what have we to fear? There’s a new Mosque in Gillette. Not surprisingly, there’s a group opposing it, called “Stop Islam.” The Sunni Muslims have a link to the Khan family that claim a heritage of more than thirty years in Northeast Wyoming. Aftab Kahn, a spokesman for the Mosque, was quoted by the CST, “We all have the same enemy here,” declaring all Muslims he knows are vehemently opposed to terrorism. With Governor Meads, 2013, letter to the Office of Refugee Settlement, to initially relocate 1600 refugees in Gillette, many fear the outcome of such a deal, if consummated. The Mayor of Gillette welcomes refugees with open arms.

We’re prone to embrace the quixotic. Comprehending this Muslim Terrorist threat is more like peeling an onion. It’ll bring you to tears, and takes longer to get to the core. There’s a compelling, 2002, book, “Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross,” by Norman J. Geisler, and Abdul Saleeb. It’s a penetrating analysis of the complexity of Islam’s view on Christianity, and the clash of the Koran and the Bible. When asked about the violent side of Muslim religion, Saleeb responded, “It’s a very difficult and complex question.” He believes that Western European and American Christians mustn’t respond to Muslims out of fear or hatred. He’s convinced that God has brought this mission field to our doorstep.

Evangelicals must understand there’re deep rifts and conflicts among various Muslim communities like the Sunnis and Shi’ites, and within those communities. It’s incumbent that Christians grasp an accurate understanding of Islam, and present the Gospel in a cogent, respectful manner. What will radicalization usher into our world? Biblical scholars, and we with an eschatological bent, attend our ear. The Jews cry out at the Wailing Wall. Iran writes their obituary. In 1934, Winston Churchill warned of imminent peril in Europe. What do you think?

Mike’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s roderickstj@yahoo.com

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