Our culture looks to be coming apart at the seams. The June 14 attack on the GOP Congressional Baseball team is only an exclamation point in an increasingly hostile, increasingly violent, premeditated campaign by Democrats and other leftists to create an atmosphere of ungovernable anarchy. The Christian church has not escaped this agenda. In fact, it has become a major target. The Left, in concert with its allies among atheists, Islamists, and the homosexual lobby, is engaged in a multi-front war to destroy what remains of our nation's Christian bedrock. One of the fronts in this war comes under the innocuous heading "Interfaith Dialog". It sounds so compelling: a mutually beneficial outreach for "differing faith traditions" to find common ground and join forces to mend the fractious divisions between Muslims, Christians, Jews, and for that matter, practically everyone else.
But that is not what is accomplished. As Robert Spencer repeatedly argues, most Muslims want to live their lives like the rest of us. They want nothing to do with the radical jihadis, Islamic terrorism, or indeed much of the classical interpretations of Islam that classifies women and non-Muslims as second-class citizens. The problem is that while apologists reassure us that we have nothing to fear, those in the forefront of this battle, like the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood front groups, are determined to use every tactic at their disposal to deconstruct our laws, our Constitution and our religious and secular institutions, to replace them with the Islamic version, Sharia law. As Spencer says, "They take advantage of our ignorance about Islam to mislead people into complacency about Islam."
And while the political side pushes for Muslim "rights", the violent side communicates its intentions with murder. Both seek destruction of Western society, they just use different methods. This is little different from, for example, the campaign of violence conducted for decades by the Irish Republican Army, and its political arm Sinn Fein, which pushed for, and obtained, representation in Ireland's government. The IRA/Sinn Fein are Marxist, and these are the tactics communists have successfully pursued all over the world. The Islamists have adopted this strategy and now work with them. We call it the Red-Green Axis.
Chris Gaubatz investigated CAIR undercover for six months while posing as an intern, and provided the raw material for his father's explosive book, Muslim Mafia. He has also testified before the U.S. Congress regarding Islamic subversion tactics. Gaubatz warns about the interfaith dialog:
Their whole purpose with this [interfaith dialogue] narrative war is to shut the discussion down because if you can shut the discussion down…and distance Islam from any part of the problem, then the people that are charged with protecting citizens are always looking elsewhere for the problem…and the problem is, and always has, been rooted right in Islam and right in the Sharia, they’re intertwined.
James White is a well-known conservative Christian evangelist who has been seduced by the siren call of the Interfaith Dialog, and has partnered with a Muslim Imam, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, to "educate" Americans on the Muslim religion. White finds their budding relationship "refreshing" and expounds on how much he has learned about Islam from his newfound friend. He calls Qadhi his "mentor" on aspects of Islam. He bristles at those who suggest he is being used, and instead has gone on offense, engaging his allies among Christian conservatives to attack his critics. And just as the #NeverTrumpers have created a war within the GOP, and assisted in Democrat efforts to make our nation ungovernable by vilifying and hobbling President Trump, so Christians like this have created new fissures in the Church that will not advance the Christian message, but rather further dilute and weaken it by allowing clever, articulate Muslims to explain why Islam is the ultimate religion.
From the Muslim perspective, White probably couldn't have picked a more effective apologist. Yasir Qadhi has an engaging manner, is very articulate and seems conciliatory. His speeches show that he is absolutely unwavering in his defense of Islam -- which White acknowledges -- while he recognizes the major Judeo-Christian "prophets." In a discussion with White, Qadhi states that Islam is essentially the same as Judaism and Christianity. "This in a nutshell is Islam: that there is but one God; this God is worthy of veneration and worship; and to be a good person you have to believe in Him, worship Him, follow the law, obey the commandments, and if you do so there will be a life after death and there is heaven or hell where there is accountability..."
Yasir Qadhi (L) and Dr. James White (R)
Sounds nice. But it reflects a basic misunderstanding of Christianity that he can only get away with because unfortunately it has become a mainstream assumption about "Christianity" in our increasingly secular society. Christianity, unique in all religions, does not condition salvation on works. Christians believe you don't get to heaven by being "a good person," or obeying the commandments. Indeed, the whole point of Christianity is that no one is good enough, no one can earn his or her way to heaven, as the New Testament makes plain, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). Christians believe that was the entire point of Christ, who came to earth to intercede on our behalf. Christians believe that without Christ, we are all destined for Hell. We are all sinners. Christians are not saved by doing good works or being good. They are saved purely and solely by the grace of God alone through faith. As the Apostle Paul says, "And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And there is the key, "so that no one may boast." Any religion that justifies salvation through works deifies pride. Not the pride of workmanship or accomplishment, but the pride of self. And that kind of pride is #1 on the list of the seven deadly sins. It elevates mankind for his works, and says, "We are better than you because of what we do." That kind of thinking justifies practically every form of evil on earth, from prejudice to genocide.
Christians don't come before God saying "look what I've done! Aren't you proud of me?" Christians come before God begging for mercy, because they believe, to a man, that we have sinned and fallen short. And while there may be individuals in history that justified violence on behalf of Christianity, nowhere does Christianity advocate it. Instead, it says we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and forgive others "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:22). Christianity calls for humility, not self-righteous preening, and the good works Christians do are supposed to be out of gratitude to their Savior, and to honor Him, not as a way to curry favor with God.
Not so with Islam. It is all about works. Furthermore, according to Qadhi, Islam is supreme. In a keynote speech before the 2016 Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)-Muslim American Society (MAS) Convention, Qadhi described Moses' miracles -- turning his staff into a snake and parting the Red Sea; he described how Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. (He did not discuss Jesus' resurrection however because Muslims don't believe Jesus is the Son of God, nor that he was ever resurrected). Qadhi says you would have had to live in those times to witness those miracles.
But not so with the Koran, which he describes as "the greatest miracle" because it lives on to this day. The Koran is "the eternal miracle." No other miracle is needed in Islam, and Qadhi quotes Mohammad as saying that "the only miracle Allah has given me is the Koran." In other words, Islam is supreme. Furthermore, Islam is a religion of works. You must believe, or else. If you pray towards Mecca five times a day and follow all the other Muslim commandments, you are free to engage in all kinds of barbaric lunacy, from child rape to beheading, all in Allah's name. Not only does Islam tell you what works you must perform, it specifies the punishments you are allowed to mete out to those who don't follow the law.
Qadhi claims to oppose violent Jihad and characterizes ISIS as "crazy," "something we have never seen before." For that he has been called "apostate" in the ISIS publication, Dabiq, along with Keith Ellison, Huma Abedin, Mohamed Elibiary, and others. However, it is difficult to understand how someone so certain of Islam's supremacy could at the same time work against it as ISIS claims he is doing. But Qadhi has much bigger problems that Dr. White is either unaware of or dismisses:
- According to the New York Times, Qadhi is a Salafist, an ultraconservative sect of Islam associated with, but predating Saudi Wahhabism. Osama bin Laden was a Salafist.
- Qadhi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). The AMJA is at the forefront of legal battles to legitimize Sharia law in U.S. courts.
- Qadhi is both Dean of Academic Affairs and instructor at the Al Maghrib Institute, which has produced numerous jihadis. He personally taught Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian "Underwear Bomber."
- His speech at the ICNA-MAS convention is just one of many he has given at functions produced by organizations associated with radical Islam.
◦ MAS is a Muslim Brotherhood front.
◦ At the 14th Annual ICNA-MAS conference, MAS Immigrant Justice Ctr. Director Khalilah Sabra called for an Egypt-stylenationwide street revolution.
◦ At that same conference, CAIR Director Nihad Awad declared CAIR's alliance with Black Lives Matter. CAIR has since participated in nationwide BLM protests.
◦ Anti-Trump protester Linda Sarsour has also spoken at ICNA-MAS conferences.
◦ ICNA is the American branch of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
◦ JI's military wing owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden hid out and was finally killed by U.S. Special Forces.
◦ JI rivals the Muslim Brotherhood in its influence in modern Islam and is allied with the Brotherhood as well as Saudi Sunni Islamists.
◦ Like the MB, it developed a modern "revolutionary conception of Islam".
- According to Understanding the Threat, Qadhi works with Hamas and other terrorist groups and has publicly defended notorious Islamists, including Sami al Arian, convicted terrorist Ali al-Timimi, American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh and al Qaeda terrorist Aafia Siddiqui.
- Qadhi invited Imam Siraj Wahhaj, "an all-time favorite of all of us," to speak at Qadhi's "Pleasant View" Islamic school in Memphis, TN. Wahhaj is a member of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and spoke in court in defense of the so-called "Blind Sheik", Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted as the bombing's mastermind.
Now, Qadhi is not alone in lionizing Wahhaj. The Democratic Party featured Wahhaj in its first-ever Jumah, held at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. But this is not evidence of his moderation. Instead it shows just how far off the edge the Democratic Party has gone.
So never mind the doctrinal differences, Dr. White seems to have really picked a winner here. Now, in fairness to Dr. White, he plainly states that there are problems with Islam -- with its doctrine and its violence. Rather than being helpful, however, this simply disarms us by reassuring us that he is aware of the problems. So what does he do about it? He asks Qadhi to make a video that explains Islam to Christians. So, even assuming Qadhi means what he says, do you really expect him to get into those inconvenient truths?
One can find many passages in the Old Testament that call for extreme punishments. For example, Mosaic law treats adultery, homosexuality, incest, and bestiality as capital crimes. (Leviticus 20), but does that happen today? Only in Islam are these and other extreme punishments meted out for such behavior. Only in Islam is stoning and beheading still a routine form of execution. You could argue that ISIS does not follow Islamic law, but only in some of the novel forms of execution ISIS has dreamed up.
Conservative Christian evangelist and radio show host Brannon Howse has taken White on. Howse explained his case in a recent post:
I am saddened and heart-broken that people from conservative Bible and reformed institutions and churches think that holding a dialogue with a Jihadi imam in a church is acceptable. But to some, it now appears to be.
I have been writing and speaking on radio about Yasir Qadhi for several years, so it is not like I went looking for this controversy. I found it because I was on YouTube listening to speeches by Yasir and stumbled on videos of James White in a church in my hometown facilitating what was described as an “interfaith dialogue.”
Howse said that "participating in this sort of event with non-believers clearly violates the teaching of 2 John 9-11 and 2 Corinthians 6:14." Howse believes that White is simply playing into the Islamist's hands, and calls him a "dupe" and "useful idiot."
These terms may sound harsh, but are very apropos in this circumstance. "Useful idiot" is a term coined by Soviet leaders to describe Western liberals who enthusiastically promoted the communist line without knowing it. Today the "Interfaith Dialog" seeks to do the same for Islam.
Instead of considering that reality however, White's friends and allies have gone on the warpath. Probably the most prominent is Phil Johnson, Executive Director of John MacArthur's Grace To You ministries, who said on Facebook that "Howse's critique is overblown and exaggerated to a shameful degree," despite acknowledging that, "In the years I've been at GCC (Grace Christian Church) we have never sponsored any kind of debate with an unbeliever."
We are facing a multi-front, aggressive effort to disarm, emasculate, and delegitimize our nation. Apologists like Mr. Qadhi assure us there is nothing to fear, while the Islamist political operatives viciously attack us as "bigots" and "Islamophobes" when we express the slightest skepticism. Meanwhile our instincts and the increasing frequency of deadly attacks played out before our eyes every day, tell us otherwise. We really do need to confront the dangers posed by Islamic terrorism and the subversive effort to advance the conquest ideology of Sharia law. The answer, however, is not to make pretend there is no problem.
James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His latest book is The Red Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook.
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