Subject: Christianity and Islam Part 13 – The Caliphate vs the Bible
Genesis 16:12 “He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren..”
When ISIS captured the ancient biblical city of Nineveh back in 2015, they announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate across Iraq and Syria. For those of us unfamiliar with the term, a ‘caliphate’ means an official Islamic state led by a ‘caliph’. The word ‘caliph’ means a ‘successor’ to the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The caliph has absolute power and authority over the state. How does the caliph implement absolute power? Through Sharia law (see last week’s article for details). When ISIS took control over Nineveh and instituted the caliphate, they released a document called the “Contract of the City” which contains rules imposed on the citizens of Nineveh. Here are ten of those rules:
1) Money taken from the government is now public; 2) Whoever steals or loots faces amputations; 3) Anyone who threatens or blackmails will face severe punishment (Quran verse Al-Ma’idah:33 is then quoted: “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.”); 4) All Muslims are encouraged to perform their prayers with the group; 5) Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are banned; 6) Rival political or armed groups are not tolerated; 7) Police and military officers can repent, but anyone who insists upon apostasy faces death; 8) Sharia law is implemented; 9) Women are to stay home and they should not go outside unless necessary. They should be covered, in full Islamic dress; 10) Be happy to live in an Islamic land.
It would seem that people of goodwill (including many decent Muslims) would speak out publicly in America against a caliphate and the implementing of sharia law. I can think of three good reasons to do so: 1) to learn the moral views of that person, 2) to learn how widespread in the Islamic community these views are held, and 3) by having as many Muslims as possible condemn Islamist violence, any person claiming to be a follower of Islam would be discouraged from supporting or engaging in terror. In civilized societies with moral standards, people are expected to condemn those who murder in the name of their religion.
But with our President’s message to America is that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance (take for example his August 2009 message during Ramadan: “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”), Americans remain uninformed of the full intentions of those practicing more fundamental Islam.
What do we mean by ‘fundamental’ Islam? In December 2010, a revolution in the Arab world known as Arab Spring began, with country-wide protests aimed at replacing moderate Islam with the fundamentalism of Muhammad. Today there is the Wahhabi in Saudi Arabia, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ahmadinejad in Iran, and Erdogan in Turkey. What are they enforcing? The Qur’an is no longer to be taken in allegorical fashion – fundamental Islam takes it back to literalism. Even moderate Muslims are now considered infidels in their own lands because they don’t see the Qur’an in the same light as the more literalists.
Professor Ergun Caner (former Sunni Muslim who converted to Christianity) explains: “The Wahhabi, a subset of Sunni sect of Islam, are in Saudi Arabia. They believe Muslims must go back to the days of the prophet and dress like this, talk like this, walk like this. They want a reformation back to the violent days when Muhammad held power. And in the America, as much as 80% of the 1200-plus mosques and masjids and madrasahs in America are built by the Wahhabi. They are trained imams who were brought over here; they have billions of dollars provided. They are what the media refers to as the radicals.”
In our verse this week, Genesis 16:12 explains the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, will be a nation of people who will be against all other nations, and will not conform to any agreements among other nations but rather be wild and live by their own rules. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations. Muhammad is the supreme prophet of the religion of Islam, founded in the Arab world.
As we watch the fundamentalist movement of Islam continue to overtake moderate Islam, we must understand what sharia law and the caliphate mean to a free, democratic nation like America. The God of the Bible was once the foundation of American democracy. We have moved so far away from Him that now we are faced with fundamental, or radical, Islam invading our land.