Is ISIS extreme or are they just logically carrying out the teachings of Islam?
This is the big question about ISIS. Most people, especially Muslim Americans, will say that ISIS is extreme. They’ll say that ISIS is not doing what the Koran really teaches Muslims to do. One Muslim man I interviewed who is the office manager of a large Islamic Center and Mosque in a big Californian city said regarding ISIS, “they’re just a bunch of thugs.” But that begs another question. If so, then why are so many Muslims in virtually every country where they appear in large numbers prone to intolerance and violence? Look at these statistics…
- 18,000 deadly terror attacks committed explicitly in the name of Islam in just the last 10 years. (Other religions combined for perhaps a dozen or so). 
- Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists have carried out 28,129 deadly terror attacks worldwide. 
- In 2014, there were 3,000 Islamic attacks in 55 countries, in which 32,862 people were killed and 27,522 were injured. 
This Islamic international violence and intolerance towards other faiths isn’t just an isolated phenomenon to the last 50 years. This has actually been the consistent attitude of Muslims for centuries!
- From its inception in the seventh century, Muslims have made attacks in virtually every continent on their side of the globe by the 1800s. Here’s the list:
– The entire Middle East
– South Asia
– Central Asia
– West Africa
– North Africa
– Central Africa
– Eastern Africa
– And more…
- Muslim history has been one of almost continual warfare. There are very few periods in history where Muslims have not been actively waging war on another people in order to spread Islam, their religion of “peace”. For instance, in the entire eighth century, the Muslims engaged in major warfare an average of once every 2.12 years. 
- Within the first few decades following his death, Muhammad’s Arabian companions invaded and conquered Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands. A mere 25 years after his death, Muslim armies had captured land and people within the borders of over 28 modern countries outside of Saudi Arabia. 
- From the 16th to 19th century, Muslim pirates called the Barbary pirates or Ottoman corsairs, engaged in “Razzias,” which were raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands and as far away as Iceland. These attacks were for the main purpose of capturing Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade. Corsairs captured an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people as slaves.  
Let’s Be Fair
Let’s be fair though. I am a big advocate of the principle that you should never judge a religion by its abuses. In almost every religious you can find good, honest people and you can also find devils. I’ve found that both groups of people are scattered a little bit everywhere. Even in my faith which is Protestant Christianity, acts of violence have been carried out towards people of other faiths and even people of certain racial groups throughout the centuries. Do I feel that those tragic events accurately define my faith? No way! I argue that Protestants who have committed those acts were not in fact acting as true Protestants.
To judge religions by their abuses would mean the downfall of all religions. Unless however, those abuses were the logical outworking of that religion’s teachings. Then and only then can we say we have a case for a BAD religion. And in a religion whose teachings allow for acts of violence and persecution towards those of other faiths we would expect to see higher than normal occurrences of violence towards others, wouldn’t we? Well, is this the case for Islam?
Islam in the United States has been taking a very mild stance and positions themselves to be a religion of good virtues and tolerance. According to reputable Imam, Kashif Ahmed, “The three major dimensions of Islam include beliefs, ritual practices, and the goal and effort to improve one’s character and actions.”
According to the same source, the tenants of Islam’s “Deen” or system of morality in society are:
- Equality among human beings
- Sanctity of human life
- Love of neighbors
- Love and respect of parents and family
- Mercy welfare system
About Islam’s regard for other faiths he says,
“Christians and Jews served in Muslim governments, were guaranteed equal rights, and generally lived without persecution in Islamic society.” (Emphasis added.)
The word “Islam” is derived from the root “Silm” or “Salam” which means PEACE! It’s the same root word for the holy city Jeru-salem, which means “city of peace.” In reference to the world, Imam Ahmed said Islam encompasses the idea, “To live in peace with the Creator, within one’s self, with other people and with the environment.”
Is this an accurate reflection of the teachings of Islam? Is Islam truly a religion of peace? There seems to be a growing idea in certain corners of Christianity that Muslims and Christians even worship the same God. This was such as in the controversial case of Associate Professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins at Wheaton College who made a huge stir by saying that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” 
So many Westerners are thinking, “Maybe they’re right, maybe ISIS is just a bunch of extremists taking an otherwise good religion and making it what it’s not. Maybe Al-Queda and the dozens of other such terrorist groups are just the lunatic fringe within the Muslim world.” But, what if they’re not? What if they’re not the lunatic fringe but they’re the logical fringe carrying out Islam to its rational end? Let’s look closely at some of the teachings of Islam and you can decide for yourself.
- Muhammad said in many places that he has been “ordered by Allah to fight men until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.” Within the last nine years of his life, Muhammad ordered roughly 65 military campaigns doing exactly that. 
- Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, had people killed for insulting him or for criticizing his religion, including women. Muslims are suppose to emulate the example of Muhammad. 
- The Quran advocates the chopping off the heads and crushing every finger and toe of any disbelievers that stand against Allah and his messenger. Here is the quote directly from the English translation (Yusuf Ali version) of the Quran:
“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment” The Quran 8:12, 13.
- The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Such as…
Quran 2:216 “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”Quran 2:191-193 “And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it; so if they fight you (in it), slay them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is only for Allah. But if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.”Quran 2:244 “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”
- The Quran never once speaks of Allah’s love for non-Muslims, but it speaks of Allah’s cruelty toward and hatred of non-Muslims more than 500 times. 
- Islam teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human. Muhammad said that Muslims can be put to death for murder, but that a Muslim could never be put to death for killing a non-Muslim. 
- Islam is the only religion that retains its membership by formally threatening to kill anyone who leaves. This is according to the example set by Muhammad.  
- Muhammad directed Muslims to wage war on other religions and bring them under submission to Islam. 
Doesn’t sound like “Salam” or a religion peace to me. In light of these teachings, can we really say that ISIS is being fanatical? It seems rather that ISIS is being logical in the fullest extent of Islam’s teachings. Muhammad claimed that he was ordered by Allah to fight until the world was submitted to Islam. History plainly testifies that this is exactly how they interpreted their marching orders. They were to make converts by conflict, to witness by warfare, and proselytize by persecution. When we simply look at the teachings of the Quran, not judging Islam by its abuses, we find that surprisingly those abuses aren’t really abuses but are the correct uses!
Bernard Haykel, a Princeton scholar and the leading expert on the theology of ISIS, told Graheme Woods of the Atlantic Monthly that Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of ISIS’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.” Haykel says, “the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous [meaning ever-present]. ‘Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly.’” He believes, that ISIS is an “authentic throwback to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war.” This includes “a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. ‘Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings.’” As Haykel puts it, ISIS fighters are “smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day.” 
Another very important question we haven’t discussed is, are good ideals enough? Even if a religion has what most people might call “good teachings” such as nonviolence, peace, honesty, charity, etc., is that enough? Think about it. The claim of every religion is always to make you a better person. Which religions say, “the purpose of our faith is to make you worse”? They all claim to benefit humanity.
But here’s the BIG problem. People are evil and violent by nature. The Bible and statistics plainly declare it.
Psalms 51:5: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Romans 8:7: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Galatians 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,”
Out of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for only 268 of them. That’s only 8% of recorded history! And the 20th century has been the bloodiest of them all.
Even now you look at contents like Africa, China, Central and South America, the Middle East, and India — these are known for being dangerous countries! That’s most of the world right there.
Even in our “civilized” country we are becoming less and less moral and more and more violent. Why? Because the natural heart of man is vicious and evil. Therefore, it would make sense that the best religion would be the one that has the greatest power to subdue and put to death the naturally evil heart of man and replace it with God’s character of love. So even if a religion’s tenants are exemplary like do good, be honest, help people like Islam claims, but yet provides no divine power to put down our carnal, evil natures, then those tenants are useless! They sound good but only serve as a frustrating ideal that the parishioners can never attain to.
With Islam we have a double whammy. First, it has no power to restrain the evil passions of the carnal heart because it does not have the gospel. No Savior from sin. Just Allah telling you that if you follow the Muslim guidelines such as no pork, no alcohol, no gambling, pray the Salat, participate in the Hajj to Mecca at least once in your lifetime, then you’re pretty much guaranteed into heaven. It’s a legal religion. Islam is very firm that “God is one.” Their version of Jesus therefore is that he is just a prophet next to Mohammad and therefore can only give you good advice, not divine power. Christians know full well that no amount of good works can save us from our depravity. What we need is a changed heart, and only Jesus can provide that for us. And until that miracle which is called conversion takes place, we are under the bondage of sin with all of its passions and lusts. Jesus, and Jesus only, can put to death the flesh and can create a clean heart renewed in the image of God to reign in humans. So in the religion of Islam and any other Christ-less faith, the flesh is still wide awake and very active. This is problem number one.
The second problem is that not only is man’s carnal heart allowed to remain active in Islam, but the very worst acts of the flesh are encouraged such as violence, oppression, prejudice, hate and lust. And not just any encouragement, but the highest commendation possible is given to fuel these evil tendencies which is that Allah Almighty has commanded it. These acts are considered permissible and even honorable as long as you do it for the cause of Allah. The worst types of crimes are committed when people feel they have a divine right to do so. Nothing makes the conscience more silent than the belief that divine ends justifies any means.
So, is ISIS radical or extreme? No they are just logical, carrying out the teachings of Islam to its rational end. It’s not just the terrorist groups that are wrong, it’s the underlying corrupt teachings that gives them the green light to commit their monstrous, evil acts.
Does this mean you we should be mean and violent ourselves to our fellow Muslim Americans? No, but we also need not be in the dark in regards to the truth about Islam and the potential threat it causes to every country in which their teachings gain ground.
In my estimation there’s only one other power that rivals Islam and even exceeds the danger and threat to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. That is the Antichrist power. The amount of blood this power has shed makes ISIS and even the entire reign of Islam look quaint. Islam is mentioned in Bible prophecy, but the amount of time devoted to Islam pales in comparison to the tremendous focus that is placed on the Antichrist Beast in the books of Daniel and Revelation. If you haven’t seen my presentation entitled “Unveiling the Antichrist” you need to see it for yourself.
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Speaker / Director
13. Translation of Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260: Narrated Ikrima
14. Al-Nisaa 4:89
15. English Translation of the Message of The Quran, Sura 9, At-Tauba 9:29