The following text is based on a reprint from Foundation magazine, Sept-Oct, 1998, Volume xix, Issue 5, F E.A. Press. Karel Beyer is on the staff of Foundation magazine and the pastoral staff of Fundamental Bible Church. Fundamental Evangelistic Association Box 6278 — Los Osos, California 93412. Emphasis in bold, links and additions in [square brackets] by Ellopos.
[…] Although it had a somewhat unstable beginning, Islam has grown dramatically through the years. Over one billion Muslims populate the world today, and this number is increasing, with mosques (temples or churches) going up virtually daily in the Western world. According to a July 20, 1998, U.S. News and World Report article, the number of Muslims in the United States is now greater than that of Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mennonites, Quakers, Seventh-day Adventists and Unitarians combined.
The purpose of this study on Islam is not to disparage those who participate in this religion but to show from Scripture the true nature and dangers of Mohammedanism, both to its followers and dissenters. Christians must be aware that while some of the teachings of Islam come from the Bible, the Muslim religion actually combines portions of the Word of God with the man-made doctrines found in the Koran, the holy book of Islam. Furthermore, one must realize that leaving this religion can potentially cost a Muslim his life, for Islam is [not really a religion, but] an unforgiving and uncompromising [ideological] system, even though it may outwardly appear to be quite accommodating.
Islam’s intolerance of other religions demonstrates itself in a disturbingly violent manner. The Chicago Tribune carried this report on July 24, 1998:
“The state department condemned the hanging of an Iranian man who, it said, had been charged with converting to the Baha’i faith from Islam. Spokesman James Rubin said Thursday there was no evidence Ruhollah Rowhani was accorded due process of law before being executed Tuesday.”
Furthermore, a July 15, 1998, news summary article from ReligionToday.com, an online religious news service, reported:
“‘A Muslim leader had his 15year-old son killed for converting to Christ. The emir in a North Africa nation had his son publicly beheaded before the boy’s mother and entire village,’ the Christian Information network said.”
Many other such events could be cited to show the fate accorded those who denounce the religion of Islam in Muslim-dominated countries.
Today, Islam’s image in the Western world is a far cry from the emotionalism, fanaticism and violence that characterized it years ago in the Middle East (e.g. the overthrow of the Shah of Iran by the radicals). Today its approach appears to combine intellectualism and generosity; however, as the above articles reveal, in principle, Islam is still as uncompromising and fearful as it has ever been.
Many different sects exist within the religious system of Islam. An offshoot of the Sunni, the largest single Islamic sect, is the Wahhabi Muslims of Saudi Arabia. The second largest group is the Shiite Muslims, found primarily in Iran. The split between these groups stems from the early days of Islam in which a conflict arose as to who would take over Mohammed’s position as Caliph, the spiritual and temporal leader of all Muslims. One of the more recently formed groups is the Nation of Islam, an organization founded by Wallace Fard. In general, most Muslims consider the group’s teachings to be heretical. Under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam has caused havoc in prisons and kindled violence and racism in the inner cities of the United States. Congressman Charles Rangel of Harlem stated, ‘The hatred spewed by Louis Farrakhan is scurrilous and intolerable.” Black racism is just as dangerous and evil as white supremacism. Many of those who embrace the racism perpetuated by Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam accept several additional doctrines that are not adhered to by the rest of the Islamic community.