12/30/2008

Islam and Violence According to Gallup

The quotes below are from Dalia Mogahed in an interview with Warren Larson (“Islam According to Gallup: Analyst Dalia Mogahed says it's time to rethink what we think we know about Muslims.” posted 11/14/2008 09:04AM at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/november/26.38.html?start=1). Dalia Mogahed is a “senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies,” and her comments are based on a standard scientific survey that covered “90 percent of the global Muslim population.”


How do you respond to conventional wisdom that says the Qur'an espouses
violence?

First, [violent] verses have a historical context and must be understood and interpreted in a specific way. Second, if the Qur'an espouses violence, then we should have a greater percentage of Muslims involved in violence. Violence is usually politically, not religiously, motivated. Third, terrorist sympathizers or the "cheering section"—the 7 percent who are politically radicalized—are no more religious than mainstream Muslims who abhor violence and say it is morally unjustified. Muslims are as likely as Americans to denounce attacks on civilians. Finally, people defending their position on 9/11—the 7 percent who think it's completely justified—do so because of political and geopolitical perceptions, not theology. Not one referred to the Qur'an. Their responses could have come from an atheist. They see the U.S. as an imperialist power trying to control the world. Those who condemned 9/11 quoted Qur'anic verses that forbid killing innocent people. So moral objection to terrorism is competing with political rage, and people can go either way.

I cannot help but wonder what we can do politically to undermine terrorism. I know what we can do from a religious perspective (see posts here and here). I hear of the current religious climate in Iran, and hope and pray God gives our current and future political leaders wisdom and a winsome spirit.

How should evangelicals respond to what seems to be the spread of extremist
Islam globally?

Evangelicals should respond the way everyone should respond. Understanding the cause of the problem is important. The data clearly show it is driven not by religious extremism but by extreme political ideology. Second, as a human family, look at the extremists as an outside group, rather than as an outgrowth of religion. This builds bridges between people of different faiths all fighting a common enemy. Let's not forget that Muslims are the primary victims of violent extremism. People in majority-Muslim countries, unlike Americans, say their greatest fear is terrorism. Third, evangelicals should help empower those trying to make positive change peacefully. At the end of the day, this battle is not for the soul of Islam. It's the road to reform.

The grievances terrorists champion are strategically chosen and ones the vast majority agree with. Others try to address these same issues peacefully. To the extent these people are effective, terrorists are seen as ineffective and their methods as barbaric. Finally, evangelicals should vocally and unequivocally denounce anti-Muslim hate speech. When prominent Christian leaders make degrading statements about Islam, it feeds [Osama] bin Laden's claim of an American "crusade" against Islam and Muslims. Hateful statements against what Muslims hold most dear are a gift to bin Laden and a slap to mainstream Muslims who fear and reject his methods and therefore should be seen as allies, not enemies, in the fight against violent extremism.


The approach Mogahed recommends does seem to be more conducive to missions to the Muslim world. And if we are to make lasting change in the religious / political systems that produce terrorists at home or abroad, the only thing that will work is the life change that individuals experience after they come to Christ. Military might, although sometimes a valid approach to terrorism, is not the primary solution.

Thanks to Gallup for informative research.

16 comments:

steve martin said...

Islam believes in conquering the whole world, by force if necessary. It is all over the Quran.

Why is 95% of terrorism directly related to Muslims?

Why do the so-called "moderate Muslims" not protest and have massive demonstartions against the slaughter of innocent civilians by Muslims? Where are these protests? They are virtually non existant.

It is irrelevant that there are many many really nice and peacful Muslim people. Absolutely as irrelevant as the fact that there were very many wondeful Nazi families that attended church every Sunday.

The radicals are in control in many many places and they are growing in number.

These people would be quite happy to slit your throat, the throats of your wife and children, and mine as well. They actually get points for it. That too is in the Quran.

What to do, then?

Fight them. There is no other way to survive. Either fight them, or give into them and lose your freedom and maybe your life.
I'd rather lose my life than be forced to live under Sharia Law and be made a slave to Allah.

J. K. Jones said...

Steven,

I am not a pacifist; I just think there is a better way to combat the problem: lead them to Christ.

Please see my comments at:

http://jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com/2008/01/koran-quotes.html

steve martin said...

J.K. Jones,

I'm all for leading them to Christ in the micro.

But in the macro we must fight or be swallowed up by this Christ denying religion that is growing at an alarming rate.

Europe will be lucky to survive Islam within the next 40 years.

You want to see how much Muslims ant to get along? Look at the Middle East. Israel constantly offers them everyhting under the sun and receives rockets and threats of total destruction.
They do not want to get along.

The word Islam literally means 'submission'...YOUR submission. OUR submission to that evil brand of totalitarian subjegation. When they say that Islam means "peace" they are outright lying to you. The whole religion is built upon lies and death. They worship death.

Beleive me J.K., I witness to Muslims, I pray for them, but I know the realities also.

We must not give in to them. We must make a stand for Christ. I believe we have a Christian duty to protect our families, or neighbors, and our way of life, from the threat of Islam.

Thanks J.K.!

J. K. Jones said...

I don't think you read the comments I left at the address I gave above.

steve martin said...

I did not. I'll go there now.

Sorry about that...Chief (Get Smart)

steve martin said...

I read your comments.

Good comments.

Evangelize where possible. Where not possible and where military action is needed, then do what is necessary to protect others from the evil that is Islam.

There are not a lot of witnessing opportunities in Iran right now. Or Egypt, or Syria, or Jordan, or Saudi Arabia.

That article was such a huge propaganda piece by the Muslim woman. How ironic that the religion that treats women like cattle (cattle have it better than many) would use a woman to tout the greatness of that same slavish, demonic system.

I actually think that because of pluralism, and the decline of Christianity in ther West, that we are in for a very rough go of it, and our survival will very much be in doubt.

We are at war. The Muslims realize it. We are the ones with our heads in the sand.

J.K., thanks very much for tackling a very touchy, but extremely important topic.

- Steve

J. K. Jones said...

Anonymous,

Do not post advertizements on this blog.

JK

J. K. Jones said...

Steve,

Thanks again for your comments.

As to Iran, you might find this story interesting:

http://jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com/2008/12/iraqi-christians.html

steve martin said...

J.K.,

I went to that address but only found a story about Iraqi Christians.

We have a Iranian woman in our congregation who is from Tehran and she goes back there every so often to visit her family.(hasn't been back there in about two years)

She tells us that she has to keep quiet about her Christianity to keep herself, and her family safe.

Converts to Christianity in Muslim countries are are just a little lower than scum and are targets for assasination.

steve martin said...

Now Hammas has legalized crucifiction for the enemies of Islam.

Read about it here
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111707087&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

J. K. Jones said...

Steve,

I have not forgotten about you.

It is difficult to give you the proper link to the post I had intended. I am commenting from my iPhone, and it does not cut and paste.

I have a link to a US Center for World Missions article on the growing church in Iran. The gospel is gaining ground dispite violent opposition.

KJ

J. K. Jones said...

Try this one:

Www.jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com/2008/09/Islam-in-Iran

steve martin said...

Will do, J.K.!

Thanks!

J. K. Jones said...

Here's the full link:

http://jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com/2008/09/islam-in-iran.html

I had not typed in ".html"

You mgiht try this blog:

http://my2shekels.blogspot.com/2009/01/now-thats-not-very-neighborly.html

He lives in Israel, and his opinions carry weight with me. He has multiple posts on the Arab / Israeli conflict that I find very helpful.
Keep in mind that I do not oppose political, legal or even military intervention in efforts to promote religious freedom. I just think that the only way to make lasting change is the propagation of the Christian religion, and I pray that we would prioritize evangelism among Muslim peoples.

Andy Crawford said...

I posted a long time ago on your weblog and you asked if I had one. I since have written some entries and wondered if you would look at it.

http://andybrookecrawford.blogspot.com

J. K. Jones said...

Andy,

Good to hear from you again.

I am adding your blog to my feed-reader (Google Reader).

See you around.

JK

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