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Death to All Infidels

Many westerners have a distorted idea of the character of Islam. The primary reason for this negative perception is the concept of Jihad.

According to the Koran, Jihad means to strive for a better way of life. In Islamic thinking, Jihad should not be confused with Holy War; the latter does not exist in Islam. The term "Holy War" refers to the Christian invasions during the Crusades. Not only in peace but also in war, Islam prohibits terrorism, kidnapping and hijacking, when carried out against civilians. Whoever commits such violations is considered a murderer, and is to be punished by the Islamic state.

Those standards appear to be at odds with what we see happening in the world. Muslim terrorists kill women and children indiscriminately in their Jihad, trying in the name of Allah to punish those whom they deem to be the enemies of Islam. We are appalled by a religion which would condone this kind of murder in the pursuit of religious purity. It is demented to believe that suicide bombers will be rewarded in heaven for their obscene acts.

Christians distain a religion so primitive as to label everyone who disagrees with them as an infidel, an enemy of God who deserves destruction. Followers of a loving Jesus imply that their religion is more sophisticated than one which encourages its people to blow themselves up in public as a service to God.

But think again. The Bible contains several relevant passages. Two of them read:

Whoever believes in the Son is not judged; but whoever does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in God's only Son. (Jn. 3:18)

When the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, with a flaming fire, [he will] punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord. (II Thess. 1:7)

Christianity, just as Islam, believes that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those whom God loves and those who are "infidels." It teaches that God is on a Jihad, that he is out to destroy everyone who is not Christian. The main tenet of the Christian faith is that one must be saved by faith in Jesus in order to avoid condemnation by God. Therefore, a righteous God will consign everyone who is not a Christian to hell.

Christians may not be on a worldwide crusade to kill Muslims, but they accept a belief system which says that God is prepared to do the job for them. They need to remember this the next time they hypocritically denounce Muslims for engaging in Jihad.

Until we learn to make room in the Kingdom for those who believe differently than we do, religious people will continue to kill each other.

Posted 10-10-05

Copyright: John W. Sloat 2005