I was "stumbling" using StumbleUpon earlier today (give it a shot if you've never tried it … it can be addictive … or maybe I just have too much free time) and was presented with this flash movie about Islam:


At first, I thought "Oh no, more Islam-bashing." But it turned out that it is actually a pro-Islam piece that emphasizes the real Islam as being a religion of peace, love and charity. Great! It is probably helpful for people to see the other side of Islam, that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists or pro-terrorism.

I do object to how they quote the Qu'ran when they quote part of surah 5 as (seemingly) totally supportive of nonviolent peace. Here is the full quote with the "…" filled in (from the Qu'ran 5:32): "We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people" The underlined part was the part edited out in the Flash. It really bugs be when people (Christian or not) do this with Bible verses or any text since it is clearly deceptive.

That said, I'm glad that this wasn't an attack on Islam. To paint the entire religion a certain way just because of the actions of a small radical portion of it would be wrong.

However, the Qu'ran does teach the concept of "holy war". The word "jihad" is certainly used in the Qu'ran to mean "personal spiritual struggle", but it is also used to indicate "holy war". Muhammad himself was engaged in and led military campaigns. Please don't misunderstand me, I don't mean to imply that all Muslims are terrorists! The vast majority are not, and are decent people! But the facts need to be considered regarding what the Qu'ran teaches and how Muhammad acted in war, since although Muhammad is not worshipped he is still held up as the role model of sorts for Muslims to follow.

Now, you may be saying, "Even if that's true, Mr. Why-Faith-Christian-guy, what about the Inquisitions? What about the witch hunts? What about …" Yes, it's true, many hundreds of years after Jesus, so-called Christians were also involved in their own sort of "holy wars"; but this is contrary to Jesus' life and teaching. Greg Koukl explains it this way:

It's my understanding that much of Islam has been spread by the edge of the sword. That isn't because Muslim advocates were particularly violent. It's because their religion actually advocates this kind of thing. The difference between that and Christianity is that when Christianity was spread by the edge of the sword it was done so in contradistinction to the actual teachings of Christianity. This is when individual people who claim to be Christians actually did things that were inconsistent with their faith. (Greg Koukl)

Again, I'm not trying to suggest that all Muslims are terrorists, nor that all Christians are great people. We know (not just from the Bible but also unfortunately from daily experience) that all people stumble, meaning that we all sin. Even though "if we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth", Christians nonetheless put our hope in Jesus so that "if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." (1 John 1:8.9) Is that foolish? Only if Christianity is untrue.