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Showing posts from August, 2007

Q&A: How do I Join Al Qaeda?

And other burning questions!

Thanks to MEMRI for this great information:

On August 26, Islamist websites posted an item titled "How to Join Al-Qaeda." It is not clear when the item was written; it was produced by the website Al-Thabitoun 'Ala Al-'Ahd, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Egypt and is currently inactive.

[...]

"You feel that you want to carry a weapon, fight, and kill the occupiers, and that it is our duty to call for jihad as much as to call for prayer... All that is required is a firm personal decision to fulfill this obligation, and participation in jihad and the resistance...

"Do you really have to meet Osama bin Laden in person in order to become a jihad fighter? Do you have to be recognized by Al-Qaeda as one of its members to become a jihad fighter? If Al-Qaeda commanders should be killed, would the jihad be eliminated? What would you do if Al-Qaeda did not exist today? How is Osama bin Laden different from you? - [yet] he managed to estab…

Does moderate Islam have a future in the world?

This question was asked and here is my answer:

Moderate Islam is a myth. Any form of true Islam must be violent and use force because that was the pattern of life established by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, the perfect man.

So to refer to your question specifically, I am not saying yes or no. I am suggesting that the very term "moderate Islam" is a fabrication and a term lacking a referent.

Statistics are very difficult to come by because there is no freedom of the press, religion, or assembly in any of the Muslims countries of the Middle East.

A poll was taken in Jordan within the last year and it found that something like 80% of people viewed Osama bin Laden favorably, but it was found to be politically expedient for both Jordan and the USA to not have those results released on a large scale.

Taliban vows more abductions

From CNN.com:

JANDA, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban militants released the last seven South Korean hostages on Thursday under a deal with the government in Seoul, ending a six-week drama that the insurgents claimed as a "great victory for our holy warriors."
art.final.afp.gi.jpg

Two hostages, left and right, walk with a Red Cross official Thursday after being released in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi vowed to abduct more foreigners, reinforcing fears that South Korea's decision to negotiate directly with the militants would embolden them.

"We will do the same thing with the other allies in Afghanistan, because we found this way to be successful," he told the Associated Press via cell phone from an undisclosed location.

Saudi Arabia: The Islamist Cage

Hat tip to Wahaudi. This is from the New York Sun.

Saudi Arabia: The Islamist Cage
by Youssef Ibrahim from the New York Sun

By the late '90s, there were full-size mirror images of Saudi Arabia's stilted brand of Islam in Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Kosovo, as well as among Muslim communities in Europe, Australia, and America. More mirror images are in the making. the Saudis do little except rattle around within the cage of their own fundamentalism. This deep confusion is reflected throughout the ruling family, which contains both princes who are Westernized — in such vulgar aspects as drinking, womanizing, gambling, and wearing diamond-studded Rolex watches — and others who leave a mosque only to enter a charity that nurtures madrassas turning out little bin Ladens. Their schizophrenia is exemplified in such global personalities as Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a multibillionaire businessman who simultaneously invests his billions in America whil…

Do Catholics Believe That Muslims Worship the True God?

Thanks to Taylor Marshall over at Canterbury Tales (cantuar.blogspot.com) for notifying me of this interesting article he wrote. I have read the section of the Catholic Catechism that he discusses here. Following his short article is the response I left at his blog.

Do Catholics Believe That Muslims Worship the True God?
by Taylor Marshall

Some Protestant readers have alleged that the Catholic Church teaches a certain form of universalism or relativism and they quote paragraph #841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to prove it:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

A few observations. The plan of salvation includes Muslims. This is common sense. God desires all men (including Muslims) to be saved. …

Spencer: Why I wrote Religion of Peace

Spencer is the author of several books, most recently Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam isn't. Here he outlines what motivated him to write that book:

Front Page: What inspired you to write this book?

Spencer: For six years now, almost invariably when I would talk about the elements of Islam that jihadists use to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, people would respond by referring to violence in the Bible and the sins of Christianity. Over time I came to see that the all-pervasive sense of guilt and self-hatred that blankets the West in this age of the dominance of multiculturalism is the single greatest obstacle keeping us from meeting the ideological challenge that the jihadists present. Insofar as Westerners are ashamed of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and so many are, they will not defend it.

This is not a matter of faith. Whether or not one is Jewish or Christian, Judeo-Christian civilization has given the world numerous ideas of h…

Islamic Ethics and Hacking Websites

I have come to enjoy reading the daily Islamic Question and Answer. There are usually about three to five questions posted each day about everything from ritual ablution to fasting to dishonesty. I also like the these scholars (whoever they are) are very conservative. Their answers are not always very coherent or concise, but generally they quote from the Quran or the hadiiths and then from other scholars, and give their decision.

Here is one of the questions today with the abridged answer:

Question:
Is hacking or destroying permissive and perverted websites – may Allaah protect us from them – halaal or haraam?

Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

One of the worst things with which people are being tested nowadays, which is different from past centuries, is what they see and watch of the spread of nakedness, promiscuity and permissiveness, and all types of desires which are not deterred by morals, modesty or religious commitment...

As Islam calls for reform and purification, it has enjoined everyone…

UN to tackle Islamophobia?

From CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) - "Islamophobia" and the defamation of Islam are the most conspicuous forms of racism and intolerance today, and a global U.N. conference on racism planned for 2009 should come up with practical solutions to deal with them, an Islamic bloc representative told a preparatory meeting in Geneva Monday.

The 2009 meeting is intended to review a U.N. conference on racism, held in Durban, South Africa, just days before 9/11, but the 56-nation Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) wants Islam to be high on the agenda.

"The world since 2001 has not remained static and witnessed new forms of racism and racial discrimination," Pakistan's representative to the U.N., Masood Khan, said at a meeting of the planning body, or "prepcom bureau," according to prepared remarks.

Speaking on behalf of the OIC, Khan told the meeting that "there has been a stark rise in hate crimes, discrimination, racial profiling and intolerance against …

Chinese Christians and the Mission of the Church

From Breakpoint, (nod to Shawblog):

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, 10,000 Chinese become Christians every day. That’s 70,000 a week!

At the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, there were 4 million Christians in China. Today, there are an estimated 111 million, which makes China the third-largest Christian country in the world, behind the United States and Brazil. By 2050, the Center estimates that the number of Christians will have doubled.

The explosive growth of Christianity in China is only part of a larger story. The ordeal of Korean missionaries at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan reminds us of Christianity’s growth in Korea.

A happier story is the one Chuck told “BreakPoint” readers about the people called the Nagas. Little more than a century ago, these people living in the area where India and Burma meet were headhunters. Today, an estimated 90 percent of the population attends church on Sunday, and Christian leaders there have set the goa…

Sura al Nisa (The Women)

Spencer on this important Surah of the Qur'an:

Verses 20-21 continue with these exhortations toward just treatment, telling men that if they have decided to “exchange one wife for another,” they must not take back the dowry they have given to the wife who is to be discarded. Verses 22-25 prohibit marriage with various women who are related by blood or marriage.

V. 23 refers to “foster mothers,” or more literally “mothers who suckled you,” as being among those with whom marriage is forbidden. Men and women who are not related are forbidden by Islamic law to be alone together, but a man and a woman who are forbidden to marry each other – i.e., who are related in some way – can be alone together. Once a woman came to Muhammad and told him that her husband, Abu Hadhaifa, was angry because a freed slave of his, a young man who had reached puberty, “enters our house freely.” Muhammad told her: “Suckle him and you would become unlawful for him, and (the rankling) which Abu Hudhaifa feels i…

Pakistan call for Jihad against India

Hat tip to Jihadwatch. This is from the Indian newspaper, The Hindu:

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s Islamist media published a series of explicit calls for violence against India in the six weeks before the Hyderabad bombings — a development that analysts believe reflects the weakening of General Pervez Musharraf’s regime, and raises fears of a renewed wave of terror strikes.

In an editorial published in the Jamaat-e-Islami-affiliated Daily Jasarat’s August 19 Friday supplement, the newspaper demanded that the “slogan of jihad should reverberate in every nook and corner of Pakistan. If Pakistan allows jihadis to infiltrate into India then Kashmir could be liberated in six months.”

“Within a couple of years,” the newspaper asserted, “the rest of the territories of India could be conquered as well, and we can regain our lost glory. We can bring back the era of Mughal rule. We can once again subjugate the Hindus like our forefathers.”

"Evangelicals Turn Toward...The Orthodox Church?"

This is a GREAt article. As someone who regularly attended the Divine Liturgy at a congregation belonging to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem (though not IN Jerusalem), Orthodoxy is very significant and, at times, attractive. Truly, "it is significant nonetheless that a growing number of Southern Baptists and Presbyterians and Assemblies of God members have left the evangelical fold, turning to a religion that is not only not American, but not even Western. Their flight signals a growing dissatisfaction among some evangelicals with the state of their churches and their complicated relationship with the modern world."

I think this shift is very significant precisely because it is a departure from Western Christianity (Protestants, evangelicals, and Roman Catholics are all Western Christians, generally). Rather we see Americans embracing Eastern Christianity. In some ways the gulf between Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity is wider than the gulf that Americans focu…

Saving Rome from the Caliph

Great historical lesson, please read it all at Chiesa:

How the Eight Hundred Men of Otranto Saved Rome:

They were martyred five centuries ago in the easternmost region of Italy, the spot most exposed to attack from the Muslims. The objective of the caliph Mohammed II was to conquer Rome, after having already taken Constantinople. But he was stopped by Christians who were ready to defend the faith with their blood.

"Strive to enter through the narrow gate."

From Mike Liccione, commenting on this Gospel passage:

Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.

After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from.' And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.' Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!'

And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out.

He makes this important point:

On an obvious, historical level, Jesus seems to be speaking about certain Jews of his day. Assuming he himself is the "master of the house," he has himself saying someday to certain people in the parable "I d…

Blasphemous Footballs

From the BBC:

"Blasphemous" Balls Anger Afghans
By Alastair Leithead

A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah.

The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.

The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.

The footballs were dropped from a helicopter in Khost province.

Some displayed flags from countries all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam - the declaration of faith.

Football dropped by US troops
The balls were intended as a gift to Afghan children

The words, which include the name of Allah, are revered, and Muslims are very sensitive about where and how they can be used.

Saudi Arabia has complained to the World Cup's ruling body in the past about the use of its flag on footb…

‘9/11 brought Americans closer to Islam’

From Here, a newspaper in Pakistan:

LAHORE: 9/11 has brought Americans closer to Islam, since the Americans started studying Islam after the bloody attacks and realised that Islam was a peaceful religion, said Walter Russell Mead on Saturday. The US foreign policy expert and Henry Kissinger Senior Fellow for the US Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations was speaking at Jamia Ashrafia on ‘The Influence of Religion on the US Foreign Policy’. Osama was not a true leader of Islam and his acts were against the teachings of Islam, he said. Mead said as far as war on terror was concerned, the American Muslims were not a problem, but a solution, since they could act as a bridge between Islam and West. Answering a question regarding the US support for military regime, he said there was not true democracy in Pakistan and the United States wanted to see Pakistan a truly democratic Muslim state with better socio-economic conditions. Religion was never a controversial issue in the world…

A Sacred Triumph

From altmuslim:

[...]

Composed by a famous convert to Orthodox Christianity, inspired by a Sufi sage, commissioned by the future head of the Church of England and performed in a Roman Catholic cathedral, The Beautiful Names is a testament to Tavener's confident spiritual universalism, his willingness to have his faith enriched by other traditions. The political impact of this exploration isn't lost on him. He hopes the piece will, "contribute a little to an inward healing of the appalling strife that permeates the modern world." For Tavener this is an act of devotion, of drawing close to God unashamedly, of turning to religious tradition for solace precisely at the time when religious practice is increasingly maligned and deemed anachronistic. The Beautiful Names is a bold musical rebuff to the narrow-mindedness of fundamentalist bigots (Muslim and Christian) and secular fanatics (like Dawkins and Hitchens) alike. Neither would be too pleased with his accomplishment.

Th…

Allah before Islam

I thought this was common knowledge, but maybe not:

[...]

What Archaeology Says about Allah

Muslims claim that in pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets and apostles. Indeed, the credibility of Islam as a religion stands or falls on its core claim of historical continuity with Judaism and Christianity. No wonder, then, that many Muslims get uppity when the claims of Islam are subjected to the hard science of archaeology.

Because archaeology provides irrefutable evidence that Allah, far from being the biblical God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was actually the pre-Islamic pagan moon-god. Indeed, it is an established archaeological fact that worship of the moon-god was the main religion of the ancient Middle East.

But what about the Arabian Peninsula, where Mohammed (570-632) launched Islam? During the last two centuries, prominent archaeologists have unearthed thousands of inscriptions which prove beyond any doubt that the dominant religion of Arabia duri…

Islam and Mormonism

In studying world religions, I have noticed several similarities between Mormonism and Islam. Sure, there are significant differences as well (Monotheistic Islam vs. Polytheistic Mormonism for example), and I would not suggest that they are theologically compatible, but the foundings of both religions are surprisingly similar and worth noting.

Here are 12 of the parallels that have been noted (this list is by no means exhaustive):

Both claimed that the original meaning of the teachings of Jesus and those who preceded him had either been forgotten or corrupted.Both prophets are reported to have come from humble beginnings with no formal education and were barely literate. Holy Books: Both prophets wrote a new holy book that was apparently inspired by God, and both claimed that their holy book was the most correct and perfect book on earth. Also, they both claimed that their holy books were based upon a record stored in heaven. Both religions claim that their Holy Books have been preserve…

Justification

Fletcher and I have been having an extended conversation about all things Christian, with an emphasis on Catholicism. So here is the main section on justification in the Catholic Catechism. Would like to know what you all think. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

I would also like to hear the opinion of our Muslim readers on this topic. FYI the word we use in Arabic for "justification" is "tabriir" and the verb in its root is "barrar":

GRACE AND JUSTIFICATION

I. JUSTIFICATION

1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism:

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives…

The UN: A Ridiculous Waste of Time and Money

So this is not a (very) political blog, but sometimes you read things and just realize that truth is truth. The UN is a waste of time and money:

Despite its numerous calls for Israel's destruction, and repeated denials of the Holocaust, Iran has been selected by the United Nations for a leading position in a committee that will plan the 2009 UN World Conference against Racism.

The planning committee, which will meet for the first time in Geneva on August 27, will be made up of an inner circle of 20 UN member-states, to be headed by Libya.

From Here.

Islam and Science

Interesting observation from American Thinker. This is from Anthony Bostom's review of Spencer's new book: Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't.

o Spencer cites Professor Rodney Stark's observation that Islam lacks "a conception of God appropriate to underwrite the rise of science...Allah is not presented as a lawful creator, but is conceived of as an extremely active God who intrudes in the world as he deems it appropriate. This prompted the formation of a major theological bloc within Islam that condemns all efforts to formulate natural laws as blasphemy in that they deny Allah's freedom to act." Not surprisingly leading historians and sociologists of science have concluded "...it is indisputable" that modern science -- an organized, empirically directed effort to explain natural phenomena through theory construction and testing -- that modern science "emerged in the seventeenth century in Western Europe and now…

Dispatch from the Eurabian Front: Italy, Flanders, the Netherlands

From The Brussels Journal

A newly arrived Moroccan immigrant in the Italian village of Valaperta di Casatenovo, near Lecco, could not stand the statue of the Virgin Mary in a niche opposite the house which had been assigned to him. The immigrant’s Muslim faith forbids the depiction of humans. Every morning the poor man was confronted with the statue of the Madonna – an intolerable affront to his deeply-felt religious convictions. Consequently, yesterday morning the immigrant filled up the niche with concrete. Two elderly ladies were able to save the statue of the Holy Virgin, but two statues of little angels surrounding the Madonna were walled in by the zealous Moroccan.

The Madonna of Valaperta di Casatenovo had been in the niche since the 1850s. The statue was a popular place where the villagers came to pray. One wonders why the Italians do not do this sensitive immigrant a favour and send him back to Morocco or to a place where he will not be offended by statues of the Virgin Mary. S…

"Redeeming Time"

Image
So what am I reading these days? I just started this book yesterday and am finding it very nurturing, both spiritually as a Christian and intellectually as a scholar (or wannabe scholar).

TS Eliot is my favorite poet, and in my view, a prophet through and through. He is in many ways one of my heroes. He and CS Lewis were both Anglicans and were both significant in bringing me into and keeping me in Anglican Christianity. Lewis is beloved for being able to reduce complex and nuanced notions to simple phrases. I love Lewis, but Eliot was very invested in larger questions about philosophy, theology, metaphysics, culture, history, sacramentalogy--you name it. "Redeeming Time" is a book about Eliot's final major poem and masterpiece, Four Quartets. He deals with issues of Christian mysticism, redemption, time, and identity.

If you haven't read Eliot, or if you have just read his pre-conversion poems (The Wasteland and The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock), or if you have ju…

The Early Life of Muhammad

From "The Spread of Islam" by S. Beck

Muhammad in Mecca

In 570 after a Kinana man defiled a cathedral in San'a that had been built to draw pilgrims away from Mecca, the Abyssinian ruler of Yemen, Abraha, attacked Mecca with an army. According to tradition the elephant at the head of that army refused to march on the holy city. That year Muhammad was born in Mecca, where his paternal grandfather 'Abd al-Muttalib had the honored position of providing water from the Zamzam well for the pilgrims to the Ka'ba, founded according to tradition by the Hebrew patriarch Abraham. Muhammad was the first child of his father 'Abd Allah, who died before his wife Amina had her child. 'Abd Allah left his son five camels, a flock of goats, and the slave-girl Baraka. Since Mecca was considered unhealthy for infants, his mother Amina took the baby out into the desert, where he was nursed by a Bedouin named Halima for two years until he was weaned. Thus Muhammad first learned th…

Are you called to the field?

I think this is a question that every Christian must take seriously. Are you being called to the mission field? It is true that many are called to support missionaries, but the rest are called to actually be missionaries. That takes many forms: being doctors, businessmen, teachers, evangelists, scholars, administrators, logistics specialists, and so on. The call is for the young: John was probably about 18 when Jesus called him to be a disciple. Mary was about 15 when Gabriel told her that she was going to give birth Jesus! The call is also for the old: Abraham was an old man when God called him to leave his home land and go to a place "that I will show you."

The call is for married people and single people. It is for the educated and the uneducated. It is for those who are important and powerful and for those who are weak in the eyes of the world. AFM which is a fine organization and I encourage all our readers to consider attending this conference:

Crime Scene Investigati…

Eastern Orthodoxy (Part III)

From Frederica Mathewes-Green:

Orthodoxy also expects that there are evil spirits. I was talking with an Emerging Church leader a couple of weeks ago, and he indicated that this would be a "deal breaker" for him. He said that Jesus performed exorcisms on people who today we would diagnose as having bipolar disorder, for example.

Orthodoxy is not so interested in exorcisms and demonic possession, however -- while that no doubt still exists, it's extremely rare. But there are all those other references to the devil or evil spirits in Scripture, eg, "I saw Satan fall like a lightning bolt from heaven," or Jesus' temptation in the wilderness--there were no witnesses to that, so we know about it only because Jesus decided to tell his disciples the story. He must have wanted to equip his disciples for such attacks. St. Paul and St. Peter also stress the presence of evil spirits and how to guard against them, and those passages aren't about exorcisms or polterge…

AFM: The Most Unreached

Here is a really outstanding list at the website for Anglican Frontier Missions. It is a list of the 25 most populous unreached people groups in the world. That means that these groups have no indigenous Christian presence of any kind. Such a list presents a great challenge to Christians everywhere.

People Group Profiles

Prayer

Wife is very pregnant and the baby is breech. Pray she will flip over soon!

Nahool the Bee and the Criminal Jews

Hamas's approach to jihad: Start 'em young
The group takes a patient approach to deriving political support from religious conviction.
By Dan Murphy | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

from the August 20, 2007 edition

Gaza City, Gaza - As a weapon in its struggle with Israel, Nahool the Bee doesn't look like a particularly threatening addition to the Hamas arsenal. He doesn't even have a stinger.

But what the bright yellow star of "Tomorrow's Pioneers" on Hamas-owned Al Aqsa television lacks in muscle he makes up for in fervor. Speaking in a recent episode, Nahool vowed to help take back Jerusalem from the "criminal Jews" and expressed his hope that he and all of his listeners would grow up to become holy warriors.

The show, along with paramilitary-style summer camps for Gazan boys, reveal a key element in Hamas's long-term strategy.

Like Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned Hamas, the group takes a patient approach to tapping …

In case you haven't read it yet

There are some great comments on the Tri-theist post for several days ago. Check them out here.

"The Earth on Fire"

Mike Liccione over at Sacramentum Vitae comments on these verses from Luke 12:

I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."


[...]

The reason I love this passage is its clear implication that those who follow Jesus must draw a sharp line in the sand that will not be erased with the soft passage of time. I don't mean the obvious line we draw against certain kinds of felonies; among Nice People Like Us, that is uncontroversial. I mean t…

"The Sunna Shines..."

A nice example of Saudi preaching, from MEMRI:

Following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid, which aired on Iqra TV on July 26, 2007:

Sheik Muhammad Al-Munajid: This is a nation of monotheism, and this is the Islam that Allah wants to spread throughout the world, and to rule the land it its entirety. Allah wants this. He sent down the Koran and the hadith for that purpose.

[...]

Humanity can have no happiness without Islam. Humanity can enjoy no goodness, unless the sun of monotheism, the Koran, and the Sunna shines upon it. The world without the sun of the divine revelation is a place of eternal darkness, as we can see today – a world of frustration, collapse, injustice, arbitrariness, and wrongdoing. The world today is a jungle – a world of barbarism of all kinds. People in many parts of the world are not happy, because they do not walk in the path of Allah.

[...]

There are rules of shari'a in everything. We have counted almost 70 rules about how to u…

Evangelizing Muslims and Light

In this section, Abd al Haq explains a little about how he shares the Gospel with Muslims. I want to clarify that his approach is far from universal, but he makes a case for it and you can evaluate it as you see fit. In many ways it is the same as Paul's approach when he was in Athens.

Let me also point out that I know some Muslims read this website and I see no problem with discussing these topics in their presence. This sort of material is not some kind of secret of Christians or anything of the sort. Jesus said we are children of light so we must live in the light, not keeping secrets or living deceitfully.

The reason I feel this way is that the purpose of Christian evangelism is not to enforce one view on another person. Nor is it "tunsur al diin," to make the religion victorious. The purpose is to respectfully present the truth that we believe God has revealed about himself and us humans to others, giving them the opportunity to accept this gift of God's grace or …

Christians are Tri-theists

Well, we Christians can insist up and down that we believe in one God, but that doesn't matter. Muslims know what we believe better than we do. Here in fact is the proof that you (if you're a Christian) do believe in three gods, even though you don't know it.

How do you respond to the critique? And can you outline how he has misrepresented the doctrine of the Trinity?

From Answering Christianity:

Trinitarians often like to claim that they have a monotheistic belief, and that the Trinity is not the worship of 3 Gods rather it is the worship of One God. Basically they say the Trinity doctrine is as follow:

1- God is made up of 3 persons

2- The three persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

3- All three persons are distinct from each other, The Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Father etc.

4- Each person in the Trinity has a role of their own

5- Jesus is the Son in the Trinity

So basically that is the dogma of the Trinity.

Now let us show exactly why Christians d…

Muhammad in Habakkuk?

From Answering Christianity, what do you think about this prophecy? (I have not edited all the spelling and grammar and punctuation mistakes.)

Here is some Further proofs about Prophecies of the Bible about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)..

Habakkuk
3:3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
3:4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
3:5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.

In fact This is a Clear Prophecy about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as he was the Only Prophet coming from "Mount of Paran" in Mecca..This is a Clear Verse.

Of Fish and Sharks

Here is a nice example of how Islam is really lacking in self-confidence. I saw this a lot back in the ME. I guess it goes back to the desire for honor. Since Islam can not earn honor and respect the old-fashioned way by establishing just, prosperous, and fruitful societies, it resorts to...bumber stickers, among other things:

In my new book Religion of Peace?, I tell the story of a bumper-sticker war that broke out in Cairo a few years ago. When Coptic Christians began putting the Christian fish symbol, long popular with American evangelicals, on their cars, Muslims responded with their own bumper stickers depicting sharks. An Egyptian Muslim explained: "The Christians had the fish so we responded with the shark. If they want to portray themselves as weak fishes, okay. We are the strongest.”

--Robert Spencer

Paul's False Miracles

Also from Answering Christianity:

"The “miracles” attributed to Paul are myths, based on hearsay, not eyewitnesses (who are they?). But the Hadith (based on eyewitnesses) narrates the Holy Prophet did over 300 miracles. The Hadith are based on isnad (chain of narrators) yet the Gospels have no isnad."

Here is a fine example of the mediocrity of Islamic apologetics (of course there is plenty of Christian apologetics that is mediocre). I mean, really, this is anachronism at the worse. Isnaad refers to the links show in that various hadiith are valid. John said that Jim said that Abdullah said that he heard Muhammad say... That is how the hadiith all begin. And is that not entirely "hearsay"? I mean, Isnaad IS hearsay, and nothing more.

Of course there is no need for isnad with Acts. The claim of Acts is that it is written by Luke, who saw these things personally and knew Paul personally. That seems pretty straight forward and, um, more convincing than, five or six peopl…

Paul the False Apostle

"Christians worship Christ, not Jesus. Christians follow Paul, not God. The false apostle believed Jesus rose from the dead as a spirit, not a physical body."

From Answering Christianity

Radicalization in America

I have said before that I do not like the term radicalization. The word, "radical", is derived from the Latin word for "roots". So the idea is that the difference goes to the very roots of what it means to be Muslim. I do not think the difference is that fundamental. To go from cultural Islam or non-observant Islam to militant Islam or violent Islam is not to move from one religion to another. It is rather to retrieve the true meaning of Islam, which is and has always followed the (sometimes violent) example of its founder, Muhammad.

There is not much new information here, but it's still a nice summary put together by the AP:

An NYPD report released Wednesday warns of a "radicalization" process in which young men — otherwise unremarkable legal immigrants from the Middle East — grow disillusioned with life in America and adopt a philosophy that puts them on the path to jihad.

"Hopefully, the better we're informed about this process, the more li…

Yemen needs electricity and jobs

Nod to Armies of Liberation.

This is from an article in the Yemen Times:

Recent studies referred that Unemployment in Yemen increased sharply due to the government failure to improve the economic policies and enhance the life standards of Yemen. According to the 2006 annual economic report, unemployment average in Yemen has rocketed up since 2003 – 05 to 34%, which is regarded as the biggest number so far.

The report stated also that the number of young people graduating every year from universities and private institutions reaches up to 188000 graduates, while the available annual vacancies are not more than 16000 jobs.

Unemployment in Yemen is a real hassle facing the development as it has economical and social effects. The person average daily income has been affected due to the recent price hikes and the increase of unemployment. Studies conducted by both local and international institutions show that poverty is the main cause of violence and crimes.

The young people spend their time h…

Revelations to Muhammad

I wanted to post a few hadiith about the nature of the revelations that Muhammad received. Specifically, the contain his description of how those revelations came to him, that is, when Gabriel (Jabriil) would speak to him. The circumstances tend to be quite bizarre and there is no shortage of suggestions as to the nature of these occurrences: seizures from epilepsy, demon possession, some other mental condition, or simply what was convenient for him at the moment.

The quality and nature of the revelations changed with time. At first they were more poetic and focused on worshiping Allah (who was a know god at that time), but within the context of monotheism--that is, that there are no other gods. This was a novelty among the pagans of Arabia. The confession, There is no god but God, certainly precedes Islam and was simply borrowed by Muhammad. In Arabic the phrase is quite poetic: la illaha illa allah. Again, the novelty of Islam was not to create something totally new, but in what it …