An English convert to Islam, Lauren Booth, published an article on CNN “Muslims and extremists – we’re not the same.”
There are many opinions like this, telling us we are wrong about Islam. It is not a violent religion of terrorists and murderers.
This defense of Islam is misguided. People I know think about Islam about as much as they think about Hindus or Jehovah’s Witnesses; and we don’t think all Muslims are terrorists.
I met a Muslim at work who was a complete fanatic. He was from Pakistan and every conversation was about his beliefs. I enjoyed talking to him because he taught me so many things I didn’t know. Things about the sport of cricket. He was a sports fanatic and his fondest wish was for Pakistan to defeat India on a cricket pitch. He never talked about religion to me. If you meet a Pakistani, mention cricket and you will not hear much about religion.
Most Muslims are ordinary people who follow the religion they were born into. They don’t get to choose, and they have other interests.
Lauren Booth is an English woman who converted to Islam. She describes herself as “reverted,” believing that everyone is born Muslim and most of us fall away. Converting is just returning to the truth we abandoned. She is convinced.
One crisis for all religious people is the challenge from the world. We don’t live in small villages anymore and people around us have other ideas. I think Lauren Booth is stressed in a world where people think. Many Muslims believe the terrorism from among them is wrong and I have seen demonstrations in my city; Muslims protesting Muslims.
I also believe her defense of Islam is a confession; things are very bad. Has anyone seen an article “We’re not all terrorists” by a Buddhist, or a Baptist, or a Jew? When your best argument is “We’re not as terrible as you think we are,” you have a serious problem.
The Bible is very clear, the fruit identifies the tree.
You will know them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7: 16 and 17)
Islam has produced a large number of very violent terrorists, who murder in the name of God. I remember when the Ayatollah in Iran sent violent mobs to seize the U.S. Embassy and hold the staff hostage for months. Recently Boko Haram in Nigeria has murdered thousands, and kidnapped girls from a high school. Those poor girls were sold as slaves and seem forgotten now. And Syria and Iraq, and sometimes Egypt and Libya and Tunisia are stressed by the violence of Muslim believers.
You will know them by their fruit.
As a Christian I believe God is love. Crude hatred of our fellow human beings is not from God. Muslims who try to explain religious terrorism in their community should instead repent and confess. The blame shifting to “what you think about us is wrong” should be “we’re sorry and we want to do better.”
Sunday sermons tell Christians to repent and confess and do better every week. It’s normal for people who follow God.
God has a better way.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7 to 12)