Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lodi parents complain that textbook emphasizes Islam

Lodi parents complain that textbook emphasizes Islam
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 10/30/2007 11:53:32 AM PDT

LODI, Calif.—Parents at a Lodi elementary school are complaining about a history textbook they say pays a disproportionate amount of attention to the teachings of Islam.

The seventh-grade book has three chapters about the Islamic faith. It mentions Jesus twice and devotes a paragraph to other major religions, said Jim and Korina Self.

The couple is collecting signatures on a petition asking the local school board to remove the textbook from classrooms.

The book should be used as part of a broader curriculum, said Natasha Martin, a spokeswoman for the Rancho Cordova-based publisher, Teachers' Curriculum Institute.

She and Lodi school officials said the text was approved by the California State Board of Education.

"It is common for parents in the state to raise concerns about the teaching of Islam because they do not know that it is required by the state standards, and they don't understand that all major religions are taught as part of the sixth- and seventh-grade world history courses," Martin said in a statement.

"History Alive!: The Medieval World and Beyond" also drew protests in an Arizona school district. It was withdrawn by the publisher before the end of a trial period there.

The Prophet's Mosque in Medina

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spirit of Islam = Spirit of Antichrist?

So claims one Egyptian pastor:

Egyptian Pastor and Advocate for Persecuted Seeks to Expose 'Spirit of Islam'

EL CAJON, Calif., Oct. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Native-born Egyptian David Joseph, of El Cajon, Calif., in "Let My People Go So They Can Worship Me," shares his vision that Christians "prepare the highway of the Lord" between Egypt, Israel and Assyria (Isaiah 19), by exposing the spirit of Islam, and praying for Muslims in order to win them to Christ.

In his autobiography, Joseph, now a U.S. citizen, also details the founding of his ministry to youth in Egypt in 1981, the difficulties he faced as a pastor harassed by Egyptian police, and how God led him to the U.S. in 1991, where he established an international ministry reaching Muslims for Christ.

"The spirit of Islam is a spirit of antichrist. Islam says Jesus is not the Son of God, is not God, and was not crucified. It's also a spirit of depression, control, and violence," Joseph said. "Christians will help prepare the highway in the Middle East for the return of the Lord Jesus by praying against this demonic spirit, and by helping to remove the stones of misunderstandings that keep Muslims from knowing who Jesus is."


"Christians are the largest religious minority in Egypt, and they are deprived of basic human rights," said Joseph. "The U.S. State Department released the 'International Religious Freedom Report' in September stating respect for religious freedom in Egypt has declined.

"The right of free speech and the right to express ideas have never been worse in Egypt than it is currently. The world community needs to give more attention to what is going on in Egypt and the other Arabic countries in the Middle East," he said.

Christianity growing faster than Islam?

I know that more people convert to Christianity every year than to Islam, but I thought Islam was growing faster because of a high birthrate among Muslims, especially in countries in the Middle East and places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where birth rates are very high. But Diniesh D'souza says no, check it out and see if you agree with him:

Is Islam the Fastest-Growing Religion? Guess Again
by Dinesh D'Souza

Many people think Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. Not true. Islam is growing fast, but Christianity is growing faster. Indeed there are twice as many Christians as Muslims in the world today and the gap is becoming larger. Moreover, Christianity has become the world's only religion that is truly universal.

Islam too has a wide reach, but Islam has only a small presence in the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and Australia. Christianity, by contrast, is strong everywhere in the world except the Middle East. Islam is growing mainly through reproduction, which is to say by Muslims having large families. Christianity is growing both through reproduction and through conversion.

So if Christianity is growing so fast, why don't we see it? Because the growth is occuring mainly in Asia and Africa. The full story is told in What's So Great About Christianity but here are some examples. In 1900 less than 10 percent of Africa was Christian. Now it's around 50 percent. That's an increase from 10 million Christians in 1900 to more than 350 million today. The story is pretty much the same in Asia. China now has an underground church numbering in the tens of millions. In Korea, Christians outnumber Buddhists and, in a remarkable historical reversal, now send missionaries to Europe to convert the natives. Some Asian and African churches have so many members that pastors have to tell people not to come very Sunday, because there is not enough room in the pews. [...]

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Virtue of Patience

The religion of Allah Taa'la is 100% complete and was brought to us by the best of mankind, the Holy Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him). Allah Taa'la used the Holy Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) to perfect this religion of His, meaning that the Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) was the perfect example for us to follow.

The Prophet May Allah send peace and blessings upon him taught us what to do in every stage in life. This is one of the qualities that makes the religion of Islam very unique and standout from other religions which are practiced in many parts of the world.

The religion of Islam tells us what to do as soon as we open our eyes in the morning and throughout the remainder of the day and night till we close our eyes and go to sleep. For this and many other reasons the religion of Islam is the most complete.

Not only is this religion complete on telling us how to live our lives, but there is reward for all the good deeds we do and punishment for all the sins we commit.

I would like to discuss the rewards and virtues of one particular good deed: Patience. First I would like to put forward an example of the Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) being patient.

The story takes place in the city not far away from Mecca , known as Ta'if. The Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) went there to preach Islam to the locals. The Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) approached the leaders of Ta'if and called them towards Islam. Not only did the leaders reject the call to Islam but they reacted in such a way that they set young children upon the Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) to taunt him, stone him and chase him out of Ta'if.

The Holy Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) bled till his footwear was drenched in blood. The Angel Jibra'eel [Gabriel for you Christians] (Alayhis Salaam) came to the Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) and said, “If you wish, then I will give the order for two angels to crush the residents of Ta'if between the two mountains in which it lies.” The Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him) replied in the negative and said, “I am hopeful that their descendants will accept Islam.”

Allahu Akbar. This was the patience of the Prophet (May Allah send peace and blessings upon him)!

(Abu Daoud says, read it all HERE.)

Ex-Muslim convert in Egypt goes into hiding

From HERE:

• An Egyptian convert to Christianity has gone into hiding following calls for his execution. Mohammed Hegazy, the first Muslim-background believer to seek to have his religion changed on his national ID card, has been threatened by clerics and, he claims, tortured by police. Though conversion is legal according to Egyptian law, many Muslims uphold an Islamic law that proscribes death for apostates.

Encouraging news from Saudi Arabia

Looks like King Abdullah of KSA is interested in science and education even if breaks some of the taboos present in KSA today. I hope he will be successful, but it seems like there are many challenges. Would love to here from our readers in KSA about this. I found the entire article to be fascinating:

Saudi king tries to grow modern ideas in desert
By Thanassis Cambanis
Published: October 25, 2007

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia: On a marshy peninsula 50 miles from this Red Sea port, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is staking $12.5 billion on a gargantuan bid to catch up with the West in science and technology.

Between an oil refinery and the sea, the monarch is building from scratch a graduate research institution that will have one of the 10 largest endowments in the world, worth more than $10 billion.

Its planners say men and women will study side by side in an enclave walled off from the rest of Saudi society, the country's notorious religious police will be barred and all religious and ethnic groups will be welcome in a push for academic freedom and international collaboration sure to test the kingdom's cultural and religious limits.

This undertaking is directly at odds with the kingdom's religious establishment, which severely limits women's rights and rejects coeducation and robust liberal inquiry as unthinkable.

For the new institution, the king has cut his own education ministry out the loop, hiring the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco to build the campus, create its curriculum and attract foreigners.Supporters of what is to be called the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or Kaust, wonder whether the king is simply building another gated island to be dominated by foreigners, like the compounds for oil industry workers that have existed here for decades, or creating an institution that will have a real impact on Saudi society and the rest of the Arab world.

"There are two Saudi Arabias," said Jamal Khashoggi, the editor of Al Watan, a newspaper. "The question is which Saudi Arabia will take over."

Read it all at IHT.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pakistan: where the jihad lives now

I've been saying for some time now that Pakistan is the country we should be most concerned with, even more so than Iran. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons, does not have Western troops (like Afghanistan and Iraq), and has a huge and jihad-oriented population. Check out this article from Newsweek for more bad news:

Where the Jihad Lives Now

Islamic militants have spread beyond their tribal bases, and have the run of an unstable, nuclear-armed nation.

Benazir Bhutto was worried she would not survive the day. It was, for her, to be a moment of joyous return after eight years of exile, but also an hour of great peril. Just before she left Dubai for Pakistan on Thursday, Oct. 18, Bhutto directed that a letter be hand-delivered to Pervez Musharraf, the embattled Pakistani autocrat with whom she had negotiated a tenuous political alliance. If anything happens to me, please investigate the following individuals in your government, she wrote, according to an account given to NEWSWEEK by her husband, Asif Ali Zardari. Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister, then proceeded to name several senior security officials she considered to be enemies, Zardari said. Principal among those she identified, according to another supporter who works for her Pakistan People's Party, was Ejaz Shah, the head of Pakistan's shadowy Intelligence Bureau, which runs domestic surveillance in somewhat the way M.I.5 does in Britain. Shah, a longtime associate of Musharraf's, is believed by Bhutto supporters to have Islamist sympathies. And Bhutto had boldly challenged Pakistan's Muslim extremists, declaring before her arrival that "the terrorists are trying to take over my country, and we have to stop them."

Bhutto was certainly prescient about the threat. On Thursday, as her motorcade inched along a parade route guarded by roughly 20,000 Pakistani security forces, one or more suicide bombers set off twin explosions that killed at least 134 bystanders and police, and injured 450 others. The bombs narrowly missed Bhutto, who had ducked into her armored truck minutes before. Shaken but uninjured, she was rushed to safety. Musharraf's government quickly fingered Baitullah Mehsud, a longtime Taliban supporter and director of some of the most lethal training facilities for suicide bombers in the far-off mountains of Waziristan. Mehsud had reportedly threatened Bhutto. She and her husband, however, pointed much closer to home. "We do not buy that it was Mehsud," Zardari told NEWSWEEK. There was no immediate evidence that Shah was connected to the bombing. At a news conference the next day, though, Bhutto noted that the streetlights had mysteriously been turned off on her parade route and said: "I am not accusing the government. I am accusing people, certain individuals who abuse their positions. Who abuse their powers."

Whoever the real culprits turn out to be, the truth is that Pakistan's government has only itself to blame for the carnage in Karachi. Pakistani leaders created the Islamist monster that now operates with near impunity throughout the country. Militant Islamist groups that were originally recruited, trained and armed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) have since become Islamabad's deadliest enemies. Twice they have nearly succeeded in assassinating Musharraf, who was once among their strongest supporters. In the last six years extremists have killed more than 1,000 Pakistani troops.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Erik from ...Of Priests and Paramedics

Had a very splendid time this evening with my good friend Erik Twist, blogger over at ...Of Priests and Paramedics. He and his wife have decided to leave the Anglican Community and enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

We have known each other for many years--going all the way back to our undergrad days, though we studied at different universities. We last met in Rome in May of this year and attended a papal audience (where Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Tertullian), and visited the Basilica of Saint Peter where that apostle's body lies awaiting the day of the resurrection. I suspect that played part in this decision that has been long in the making...

I still remember years ago debating with him about women's ordination when he was advocating that position! How the times have changed, but for the better in his case, I think.

May God bless the Twists and guide them in this new stage of life.

...of priests and paramedics

Central Mosque in Abuja, Nigeria

Big new building!


Excerpt from: How are we Saved? The Understanding of Salvation in the Orthodox Tradition by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy) Ware.

By this time it will be abundantly clear that, when we Orthodox speak about salvation, we do not have in view any sharp differentiation between justification and sanctification. Indeed, Orthodox usually have little to say about justification as a distinct topic; I note, for example, that in my own work The Orthodox Church, written thirty years ago, the word “justification” does not appear in the index, although this was not a deliberate omission.

Orthodoxy links sanctification and justification together, just as St. Paul does in 1 Cor. 6:11: “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” The reference to justification in the opening chapters of Romans (for example 3:20, 24, 28), we understand in the light of Romans 6:4-10, which describe our radical incorporation through baptism into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

Salvation, as already stated, is not a single event in our past life but an ongoing process of growth in Christ. It is not simply to turn our face in the right direction and to take the first step on our journey, but it is to continue walking until by God’s grace we attain our journey’s end. We Orthodox, then, “see ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’ as one divine continuous process,” to use the words of the Common Statement issued by the Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue in North America.

As Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis says: “Justification is not a separate act of God but the negative aspect of salvation in Christ, which is freedom from sin, death and the devil; whereas sanctification is the positive aspect of God’s saving act, that of spiritual growth in new life in Christ communicated by God’s Holy Spirit.” The two aspects, negative and positive, form a single undivided reality.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Leaving Islam outlawed in Algeria

Hat tip to Wahaudi:

UN Human Rights Committee considers report of Algeria

from the United Nations Human Rights Committee

Explaining why activities leading to conversion from Islam to another religion had become criminal offences, the delegation said that Islam was the official religion of the Algeria. It was practised by more than 99% of the population. Having noted the exploitation of certain difficulties persons were facing to spread doubt in their faith and to seduce them into other religions, measures such as this one had been implemented to invite anyone preaching a religion to respect the law ... a UN official noted that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allowed freedom of religion, but it was clear that the sharia law did not ... The Algerian delegation, which presented the report, included members of the Algerian Permanent Mission in Geneva; the Ministries of Justice, Communication, Health, National Solidarity, Foreign Affairs, and the Interior; the Gendarmerie Nationale; and the National Security Service.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Call to Prayer


God is most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no God except God.
I testify that there is no God except God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success! Come to success!
God is most great. God is most great.
There is none worthy of worship except God.

[Abu Daoud says: note that some prefer "come to well-being" rather than "come to success."]

Mecca in Archeology

From Does archeology support the Quran?

According to the Qur’an, Mecca was the first and most important city in the world. Adam placed the black stone in the original Ka’ba (sanctuary) there, while Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the Meccan Ka’ba centuries later (Sura 2:125-127). Mecca was allegedly the centre of Arabian trading routes before Muhammad’s time.

Yet there is no archeological corroboration for this. Such a great ancient city would surely have received a mention in ancient history. However, the earliest reference to Mecca as a city is in the Continuato Byzantia Arabica, an 8th century document. Mecca is certainly not on the natural overland trade routes- it is a barren valley requiring a one hundred mile detour. Moreover, there was only maritime Graeco-Roman trade with India after the first century, controlled by the Ethiopian Red Sea port Adulis, not by the Arabs. If Mecca was not even a viable city, let alone a great commercial centre until after Muhammad’s time, the Qur’an is seriously in doubt.

Why Muslims Follow Jesus

Please read it all, and bookmark this if you don't have time right now to read the whole article. From Christianity Today:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," Charles Dickens said about the time leading up to the French Revolution in A Tale of Two Cities. The same could be said today of Christian witness to Muslims, who belong to a bitterly divided community undergoing a revolution.
Related articles and links

The anti-Christian part of the Islamic resurgence certainly qualifies as the "worst of times." It burst onto the world scene with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and into everyone's living room on September 11, 2001, leaving victims and sometimes churches in its wake.

In the eyes of those who long for Muslims to know Jesus as they do, the unprecedented trickles—and in a few cases, floods—of Muslims who have chosen to follow Christ in previously evangelistically arid lands undoubtedly constitute the "best of times." In the late 1960s, there was a major turning to Christ among the Javanese in Indonesia, following a conflict between Muslims and communists. We have seen similar movements in North Africa and South Asia, along with smaller ones elsewhere.

In fact, and perhaps counterintuitively, the number of new Christians each year outstrips the number of new Muslims, even though the annual growth rate is higher for Muslims (1.81 percent) than for Christians (1.23 percent). Over the last century, Christians have grown at a slower rate than have Muslims, with Muslims increasing from 12 percent to 21 percent of the global population during that time. But this is hardly surprising. Christianity has more total followers than Islam. More people need to become Christians annually simply to remain at roughly a third of the world population. Muslims are increasing in sub-Saharan Africa and among African Americans by conversion, but elsewhere the growth is mostly by birth or immigration. The major growth for Protestants, especially evangelicals and Pentecostals, has been by conversion.

So what attracts Muslims to follow Jesus? Between 1991 and 2007, about 750 Muslims who have decided to follow Christ filled out an extensive questionnaire on that basic question. The respondents—from 30 countries and 50 ethnic groups—represent every major region of the Muslim world. (Copies of the questionnaire are available from The participants ranked the relative importance of different influences and whether they occurred before, at the time of, or after their decision to follow Christ. While the survey, prepared at Fuller Theological Seminary's School of Intercultural Studies, does not claim scientific precision, it provides a glimpse into some of the key means the Spirit of God is using to open Muslim hearts to the gospel.

Seeing a lived faith

First, we can look at the experiences that most influenced Muslims. For example, respondents ranked the lifestyle of Christians as the most important influence in their decision to follow Christ. A North African former Sufi mystic noted with approval that there was no gap between the moral profession and the practice of Christians he saw. An Egyptian contrasted the love of a Christian group at an American university with the unloving treatment of Muslim students and faculty he encountered at a university in Medina. An Omani woman explained that Christians treat women as equals. Others noted loving Christian marriages. Some poor people said the expatriate Christian workers they knew had adopted, contrary to their expectations, a simple lifestyle, wearing local clothes and observing local customs of not eating pork, drinking alcohol, or touching those of the opposite sex. A Moroccan was even welcomed by his ... Christian [former] in-laws after he underwent a difficult divorce.

Many Muslims who faced violence at the hands of other Muslims did not see it in the Christians they knew (regrettably, of course, Christians have been guilty of interethnic strife elsewhere). Muslim-on-Muslim violence has led to considerable disillusionment for many Muslims, from those who survived the 1971 war between the Bengalis of East Pakistan and the Pathans, Sindis, and Punjabis of West Pakistan, to Arab and Berber tensions in North Africa, and to Arab herdsmen fighting black African farmers in Darfur.

The next most important influence was the power of God in answered prayers and healing. Like most of the factors that former Muslims list, experiences of God's supernatural intervention often increase after Muslims decide to follow Christ.

In North Africa, Muslim neighbors asked Christians to pray for a very sick daughter who then was healed. In Senegal, a Muslim marabout (spiritual leader) referred a patient to Christians when he was not able to bring healing. In Pakistan, after a pilgrimage to Mecca did not cure a disabled Shiite girl, she was healed following Christian prayer.

Closely related was the finding that some noted deliverance from demonic power as another reason they were attracted to Jesus. After all, he is the healing prophet in the Qur'an and has power over demons in the Gospels. In northern Nigeria, a malam (what some might call a witchdoctor) used sorcery against a man who was considering following Jesus. The seeker became insane, and his extended family left him. But then he prayed that Christ would free him, and he was healed.

It helps to note that a third of the 750-person sample were folk Muslims, with a characteristic concern for power and blessings. It is also worth noting that the Jesus portrayed in the Qur'an is a prophet who heals lepers and the blind and raises the dead. Not surprisingly, many Muslims find him attractive. Of course, power and blessings do not constitute the final word for Muslims. The Bible also offers a theology of suffering, and many Muslims who follow Christ find that their faith is strengthened through trials.

The third biggest influence listed by respondents was dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they had experienced. They expressed unhappiness with the Qur'an, which they perceive as emphasizing God's punishment more than his love (although the Qur'an says he loves those who love him [3:31]). As for Islam's requirement that liturgical prayer should be in Arabic, a Javanese man asked, "Doesn't an all-knowing God know Indonesian?" Others criticized folk Islam's use of amulets and praying at the graves of dead saints.

Some respondents decried Islamic militancy and the imposition of Islamic law, which they said is not able to transform hearts and society. This disillusionment is broad in the Muslim world. Many Iranians became interested in the gospel after the Khomeini revolution of 1979 brought in rule by clergy. Pakistanis became more receptive after President Zia ul-Haq (1977-1988) tried to implement Islamic law. And Afghans became more open after Islamist Taliban conquest and rule (1994-2001).

As with Paul and Cornelius in Acts, visions and dreams played a role in the conversion of many. More than one in four respondents, 27 percent, noted dreams and visions before their decision for Christ, 40 percent at the time of conversion, and 45 percent afterward.

Many Muslims view dreams as links between the seen and unseen worlds, and pre-conversion visions and dreams often lead Muslims to consult a Christian or the Bible. Frequently a person in the vision, understood to be Jesus, radiates light or wears white (one respondent, though, said Jesus appeared in green, a color sometimes associated with Islamic holy persons). An Algerian woman had a vision that her Muslim grandmother came into her room and said, "Jesus is not dead; he is here." In Israel, an Arab dreamed that his deceased father said, "Follow the pastor. He will show you the right way." Other dreams and visions occurred later and provided encouragement during persecution. A Turkish woman in jail because of her conversion had a vision that she would be released, and she was. A vision of thousands of believers in the streets proclaiming their faith encouraged a young man in North Africa to persevere.
The message is the medium

The gospel message, especially its assurance of salvation and forgiveness, is also a significant attraction to Muslims. The Qur'an states that "those who repent and believe, and work righteousness … will enter paradise" (19:60). Yet it also states that God forgives whom he wills and punishes whom he wills (2:284), so Muslims do not have certainty of salvation. One Indonesian woman spoke of her fear, based on a tradition attributed to Muhammad, that the bridge over hell to paradise is as thin as a hair. An Egyptian said he was attracted to Christian faith because it preaches that people can be sure of their acceptance by God.

Next in attraction for Muslims is the spiritual truth in the Bible. The Qur'an attests that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel (commonly understood as the New Testament) are from God. Even though Muslims are generally taught that these writings became corrupted, they often find them compelling reading and discover truth that they conclude must be from God. The Bible helped one Egyptian understand "the true character of God." The Sermon on the Mount helped convince a Lebanese Muslim that he should follow the one who taught and exemplified these values.

Respondents were also attracted by the Bible's teaching about the love of God. In the Qur'an, although God loves those who love him, his love is conditional. He does not love those who reject faith (3:31-32). There is nothing in the Qur'an like, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10), or, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

A West African was surprised by God's love for all people, even enemies. Likewise, although the Qur'an denies that God is a father (37:152), many Muslims find this a comforting concept.

Particularly attractive to Muslims is the love expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus. The Qur'an already calls him faultless (19:19). Many Muslims are attracted to him by his depiction in the Qur'an and then go to the Gospels to find out more. A Saudi was first drawn to him at a Christmas Eve service in Germany—even before he knew German. Like many, an Iranian Shiite was attracted to Christ before he was attracted to Christianity. A North African Sufi found Jesus' portrayal as the Good Shepherd particularly meaningful. When Christ's love transforms committed Christians into a loving community, many Muslims listed a desire to join such a fellowship as next in importance.
Subconscious influences

For the most part, respondents did not say that political or economic circumstances influenced their decisions. But it's hard not to notice that Iranians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Bangladeshis, and Algerians became more responsive after enduring Muslim political turmoil or attempts to impose Islamic law. Christian relief and development agencies try hard to guard against spiritually misusing their position as providers of desperately needed goods and services. But natural disasters in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Sahel region inevitably put Muslims in contact with Christians trying to follow Jesus. It is no surprise that some of these Muslims also choose to follow Christ.

Yet while it is the "best of times" for Christian witness to Muslims, it remains also the "worst of times." In many places, apostasy is tantamount to rejecting family, religion, culture, ethnicity, and nationality. Thus, many Muslim converts face persecution from family, police, or militants. Two friends were unable to fill out the questionnaire—one because he was apparently poisoned by his own family, the other because the government imprisoned him and later his tongue was cut out by a warlord so that he could no longer say the name of Jesus.

But Muslim converts to Christ know that such persecution can, in a mysterious way, be part of the best of times. Jesus, in fact, said it was a blessing. That's because with or without persecution, Muslims are discovering an experiential truth unknown to them before. As a Zambian Muslim exclaimed, "God loves me just as I am."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

EU promoting Islamization?

From the Brussels Journal:

Egyptian-born scholar Bat Ye'or, author of the book "Eurabia," ... explained how the European Union (EU) has become a vehicle for the Islamization of Europe and how the EU has promoted "a massive Muslim immigration [...] hoping that the Euro-Arab symbiosis through economic development, soft diplomacy and multiculturalism would guarantee [Europe] peace, markets and oil."

The citizens of Europe are extremely worried by this Islamization process, but their political leaders impose it on them against their wish. Europe is in worse shape than America because European democracies lack two pillars of freedom that America still has – solidly enshrined in the first and second amendments of its Constitution. In many European countries, freedom of speech no longer exists. It has been restricted by laws intended to curb so-called "hate speech." These laws forbid people to express their worries about massive immigration and about the Islamization of their nations.

Europe, with few exceptions, such as Switzerland, is also unfamiliar with the second pillar of free societies: the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. In countries such as Belgium even pepper spray is an illegal weapon. The result is that the law-abiding citizens are at the mercy of criminals, many of them of foreign extraction.

Read it all Here.

Want to study Islam? Try the Zwemer Center

Here is a great program for Islamics at a Christian university:

The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University

Named after Samuel Zwemer, the greatest American missionary to work in the Muslim World, the Zwemer ministry is a program established in 1979 as the Zwemer Institute at the U.S. Center for World Missions in Pasadena, California. Over the years Zwemer has offered in-depth courses in Islam, produced papers, fostered dialogue, and facilitated research on pertinent topics, earning an esteemed position in Christian mission circles. In 2003, the Zwemer Institute merged with the Muslim Studies program at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC to become "The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies" and is directed by Dr. Warren Larson. (From their website.)

Most of the classes are intensive one or two week courses, so attending does not mean you need to drop everything and move permanently. There are also distance education courses.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rioting in Amsterdam


Every night since the beginning of last week, immigrant youths have been torching cars and clashing with police in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district. The incidents started on Oct. 14 when a policewoman shot dead Bilal Bajaka, a 22-year old ethnic Moroccan, whilst he was stabbing her and a colleague with a knife. The officers were stabbed in the breast, face, neck and back. Surgeons could only narrowly save their lives.

Since the incident, Slotervaart has seen rioting almost every night. The Amsterdam Moroccans are “shocked” because one of them has been killed by an infidel woman. According to his family, Bilal Bajaka was mentally deranged and had a suicide obsession. Ahmed Marcouch, the Moroccan-born Socialist mayor of Slotervaart, criticized the Dutch authorities for failing to provide adequate health care for Bajaka’s mental problems.

Read it all HERE.

Twelver Shi'ism

Twelver [Shi'ism] (اثنا عشرية Ithnā 3ashariyyah), is the largest denomination within the Shi'ite sect of the Islamic faith. An adherent of Twelver Shi'ism is most commonly referred to as a Twelver, which has been derived from their belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, or Imams. Approximately 80% of Shi'a are Twelvers, representing the largest school of thought in Shi'a Islam.

Twelvers share many tenets of Shi'ism with relating sects, such as the belief in Imams, but is contrary to that of the Ismaili and Zaidi Shi'ite sects, who each believe in a different number of Imams, and for the most part, a different path of succession regarding the Imamate. They also differ in the role and overall definition of an Imam.

The Ithna-'Ashariyya faith is predominantly found in Azerbaijan (est. 75%), Iran (est. 90%) , Iraq (est. 63%), Lebanon (est. 35%), Kuwait (est. 35%), Saudi Arabia (est. 20%), Bahrain (est. 70%) and parts of Afghanistan (est. 15%) and Pakistan (est. 12%). They form an overwhelming majority in Iran and Azerbaijan with a majority in Iraq and Bahrain.


How do Sunni Muslims view Shi'a Muslims?

Twelver Shi'a Islam is the predominant form of Shi'a Islam and differs significantly from Sunni Islam. Here is a partial list from Islam Q&A regarding the deficiencies of Twelver Shi'a Islam:


They exaggerate about their imams, claiming that they are infallible, and they devote many acts of worship to them such as supplication, seeking help, offering sacrifices and tawaaf (circumambulating their tombs). This is major shirk which Allaah tells us will not be forgiven. These acts of shirk are committed by their scholars and common folk alike, without anyone among them objecting to that.


They say that the Holy Qur’aan has been distorted, and that things have been added and taken away. They have books concerning that which are known to their scholars and many of their common folk, and they even say that believing that the Qur’aan has been distorted is an essential tenet of their beliefs. See the answer to question no. 21500.


They regard most of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) [companions of the Prophet Muhammad] as kaafirs, and disavow them, and they seek to draw closer to Allaah by cursing and reviling them. They claim that they apostatized after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) except very few (only seven). This is a rejection of the Qur’aan which affirms their virtue, and says that Allaah was pleased with them and chose them to accompany His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). [...]


They believe in taqiyah (dissimulation) which means showing outwardly something other than what one feels inside. In fact this is lying and hypocrisy and skill in deceiving people. This is not something that they do at times of fear; rather they regard use of taqiyah as a religious duty for minor and major matters, at times of fear and times of safety.

[Some forms of Sunni Islam practice taqiyye as well--Abu Daoud.]

Monday, October 22, 2007

How can I meet Muslims in the USA?

I think there are a good number of people who would like to form friendships with Muslims but they just are not sure how to get started. So here are a few ideas:

+ Find out the places owned by Muslims and go there: think of places like restaurants, books stores, ethnic grocery stores, cultural centers, Islamic centers, and neighborhoods that are known for having concentrations of Muslims. You can start by just looking through the yellow pages for restaurants that serve Arab or Persian food, for example.

+ Call a few larger evangelical churches and ask if they have any ministries to Muslims going on. Even if your church is not doing anything (it probably isn't) most churches are glad to have others join in their ministry as long as you are a good team worker and will submit to the leadership.

+ Invite Muslim families over for dinner. Make sure to observe the Islamic dietary rules, of course. Muslims generally come from very community-oriented cultures and an invitation for two families to have dinner together is not odd or strange, even if you do not know them very well it is OK. Go out on a limb, it's radical hospitality.

+ Teach English as Second Language (ESL) at a community center in a neighborhood with immigrants. Chances are that a good number of your students will be Muslims. You can also tutor in math.

+ Contact the agency in your city that settles refugees. Ask them how you can help. If you put together a team of three or four families who are used to life in the USA and show that you are reliable, they may eventually ask you to help settle a new family from a country like Iraq, Afghanistan, or Nigeria. They may or may not be Muslim, but it is a good deed and will allow you to help people who are often in great need of help.

Whatever you do, remember that you are called above all to show the love of Christ in what you do. That must be your main aim, and be ready to give an answer for your faith at all times.

High Tech Borders for KSA

KSA is into building high tech borders, just like the USA and Israel. From HERE, hat tip to Armies of Liberation:

Now Saudi Arabia, like India, is building not one, but two separate border fences on different fronts. The first is on its southern border and is intended to try and get its illegal immigration of 400,000 people a year from neighboring Yemen under control. The second, far more ambitious one, is along the Saudi border with Iraq and is an attempt to prevent Islamist extremists in Iraq, both Sunni and Shiite, from exporting their violence and doctrines back into Saudi Arabia.

However, modern barriers are not just about orders for barbed wire and concrete: They are also about night-vision enhancers and sensors, and every kind of high-tech electronic gadgetry to detect explosives, weapons, drugs and whatever else terrorist organizations and drug gangs try to get across closely monitored borders.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Immigrant youth riot in Amsterdam

From Radio Netherlands:

It has been an unusually violent week for Amsterdam's western Slotervaart district. Cars were torched and youths clashed with police on several consecutive nights after a 22-year-old ethnic Moroccan was shot dead at a police station. He was killed by a policewoman he had just stabbed a number of times. The riots that followed reminded Amsterdam's Chief Commissioner Bernard Welten of a major nightmare for Western European cities: violence on a Parisian scale. Every major town in the Netherlands has its share of so-called problem youths, the type of violent adolescents who gang up to terrorise the neighbourhood. Many of them are the children of migrant workers of Moroccan descent who arrived in the Netherlands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Dutch called them guest workers, the operative idea being that they would return to their country of origin when they were no longer needed. So nobody bothered to teach them Dutch, or much of anything else for that matter. The guest workers had their wives come over, but they, just like their husbands were not expected, or encouraged, to integrate into Dutch society....

The Reverse Jonah Effect

I just returned from a meeting that brought together dozens of ministries that have a desire to see Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ as well as a good number of Muslim-background Believers (MBB's). Great work is being done in inner cities among Black Muslims, immigrants from places like Turkey, Yemen, Iran, and Bosnia. There are some vibrant student ministries that are thinking creatively about witnessing to students who come here to study from places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

One of the speakers called it "The Reverse Jonah Effect." Jonah, you will recall, heard the Lord and ran away. The Reverse Jonah Effect stipulates that there are people who have not heard the Gospel and come to us. And it is happening.

I don't want to sound triumphalistic though: every year about 50,000 people in the USA convert to Islam. Every year in the USA about 20,000 Muslims convert to Christ. (Note that I do not say they convert to Christianity because there is a debate among those who evangelize Muslims as to whether deciding to follow Christ necessitates adopting the title 'Christian', but that's a topic for another day.) So the balance is not exactly in our favor, and if one factors in demographics, Islam is growing quite well in the USA and even more so in Canada.

Many denominations were represented at this meeting--even the Orthodox! (One person, a priest no less.) Except for the Catholics. Are there NO ministries in all the USA/Canada run by Roman Catholics that have the desire to share the Gospel with Muslims, and if they receive it to baptize them and teach them all our Lord has commanded us?

For shame. I would love to see the emergence of an RC ministry that serves the Muslim community, being ready in and out of season to give an answer for their faith. You start with a love for Muslims, with the conviction that the Gospel is in a very real GOOD NEWS, about peace with God, forgiveness of sin, inclusion into a community of life and rebirth (the Church), and you serve. You serve with the conviction that Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said that men would see our righteous deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.

So, there is the challenge, my dear Roman Catholic brothers. Post it on your blogs and forward it to your friends. Pray and fast and ask how you can reach Muslims in your city with the Gospel. Pray without ceasing.

And then, I hope, in two years when this convocation comes together again, we will see Catholic laity and clergy in attendance with sundry evangelicals sharing ideas, strategies, and experiences regarding how they have, by God's mercy, brought Muslims into the Kingdom of God.

I am pretty sure that Blessed Raymond Lully is somewhere up there praying for you Catholics, that you would get with it and like my old pastor used to say, "Read the Bible and do what it says."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm Back

Back from a VERY helpful meeting about ministering to Muslims in N. America. Will share some info and insights tomorrow (Sunday), but first must go to church and teach Sunday School and preach a sermon :-)

Did you know that about HALF the Muslims in N. America are converts to Islam?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Part VII: Reformed Islam

[Abu Daoud says: I will be gone for a few days so not much blogging will take place I think. I leave you with part VII of my series on Islam, which was originally posted over at Of Priests and Paramedics. Please read carefully. I think it's pretty good material and helpful for putting things into an accurate and historical perspective.]


Part VII: Reformed Islam
by Abu Daoud

Dear Friends,

I have noticed a good deal of talk regarding the hope that exists in the West of a Reformation for Islam. There are two points I wish to make in response.
The first is regarding what exactly constitutes a "reformation." Historically the term refers to a decentralized group of reformation movements throughout western Europe in the 16th Century. But there is a significant gap between what the Reformers intended and actually accomplished. The complete picture is complex, but Calvin and Luther (among others) would be horrified to see the seemingly endless multiplication of Protestant-tradition churches we see today--that is, the continual splitting of denominations and ecclesial bodies.

The Reformers did, however, claim that they were returning Christianity to its original, if obscured, Apostolic and Biblical roots. There was a concrete and pervading desire to reject what the Reformers understood as traditions that departed from the original Biblical mandates. The relation of the believer to God was also made more direct, jettisoning the role of the priest or the bishop as the representative of Christ. The Reformers also introduced what were either entirely new or recovered principles of interpreting Scripture. Inherent in this entire and largely uncoordinated group of reform movements was a decentralization of power from the bishop of Rome (the Pope) to local pastors, congregations, laity, royalty, and governments.

So the second question is what would "Reformed Islam" look like? Well, it would discard centuries of traditions that people adopted to live with the presence of diversity and plurality--even taking into account how minor those accommodations were. It would also release the individual Muslim from accountability to his community, making him directly accountable to God and his mandate for perpetual and global jihad. It would finally lead to a proliferation of schools of interpretation, many of them accusing the other of faithlessness in right interpretation of the Qur'an.

I would therefore argue that we have in our midst a highly-Reformed Islam in the form of what is alternately called Wahabi or Salafi Islam. There is an interesting history behind each of the words and they are not identical. Suffice to say that followers of Salafiism understand themselves as interpreting and living out the Qur'an and Hadith (sayings of Muhammad) in accordance with the original and plain meaning understood by Muhammad and his companions (the salafi, which is Arabic for "predecessors.")
It was indeed this school of Reformed Islam that highly influenced the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Not for centuries have we seen a government that so faithfully and perfectly obeyed the pattern of the early Muslims (salafi). In other words, Afghanistan under the Taliban was Reformed Islam. It was Islam stripped of accretions not mandated by the Qur'an or his companions (who play a role like the Apostles in many ways), who understood themselves as interpreting the Qu'ran plainly and simply, without the influence or intermediary of distracting scholars and philosophers and theologians.

Part of Reformed Islam is the return to active, vigorous and perpetual jihad, as was the custom of Muhammad and his companions. Muhammad himself was part of over 70 battles/raids during his own lifetime, very few of which were defensive. The expansion of jihad we see today is not radical or fundamentalist Islam. It is Islam in its most historically accurate and pure form.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 17: Feast Day of Ignatius of Antioch, martyr, bishop

From Here:

October 17, 2007
St. Ignatius of Antioch
(d. 107?)

Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.

Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to Churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.

The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. "The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ."

Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.

Artist defiantly draws Prophet Mohammed


Artist defiantly draws Prophet Mohammed

by Paula Newton

HOGANAS, Sweden (CNN) -- Swedish artist Lars Vilks says all he's doing is taking a stand in the name of artistic expression. But because of that stand, on this afternoon he's lying low -- on the ground, in fact -- looking for bombs under his car.

Al Qaeda has put a $100,000 price on his head and offered an extra $50,000 for anyone who murders him by slitting his throat after the eccentric artist and sculptor drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

"I don't think it should not be a problem to insult a religion, because it should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way, " says Vilks from his home in rural Sweden.

"If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones."

His crude, sketched caricature shows the head of Prophet Mohammed on the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and any depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden.

Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction. Video Watch "I should slaughter you" »

"That's a way of expressing things. If you don't like it, don't look at it. And if you look at it, don't take it too seriously. No harm done, really," he says.

When it's suggested that might prove an arrogant -- if not insulting -- way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.

"No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it," he says.

Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he's an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile. [...]

Islam and Democracy?

From an interview with Salman Rushdie:

Reason: Where does this leave us on the question of democratic reform in Islamic countries? Do you think that Islam lacks a crucial piece to build a foundation for freedom?

Rushdie: What it has is an extra piece that believes that religion can be the foundation for a state. It's a question of removing that piece rather than adding something. There have been various moments in the history of Pakistan when attempts to Islamize the country were resisted strongly by both generals and civilian governments. It's not inevitable that a country full of Muslims will seek to Islamize its structures. But I do think there is a need for a widespread realization among Muslims that you cannot build a state based on religion. Pakistan is proof of that. Here was a state that was built on religion, but a quarter of a century after it was founded it fell apart, because the glue is not strong enough.

Naughty Riba

Riba is the receiving, paying or charging of interest on loans or deposits, something forbidden by Islam. Islam, in addition to being a religion and system of civil and martial law, also contains many elements of economic policy, this being one. But do you want to know how bad Riba is? Check this out:

Muslim (1598) narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him)said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it, and he said: they are all the same.

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A dirham of riba that a man consumes knowingly is worse before Allaah than committing zina thirty-six times.”

Narrated by Ahmad and al-Tabaraani; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ no. 3375.

Church planting in France

I am always glad to read about various new missionary endeavors. One that I just learned about is an American family moving to France with the goal of planting churches and reaching the unevangelized and unchurched. Here is a summary of the work they hope to do from their website:

Anticipated Ministry Focus The Butchers’ vision is to creatively communicate the gospel to start churches through new technologies and meaningful relationships.
The People The unchurched population in and around Paris: French people, refugees and immigrants of all ages.
Ministry Experience Blaine and Abigail have been involved in various ministries: drama, youth, children, refugees, construction, medical missions, evangelism, discipleship, preaching and choir. They’ve been on several mission trips to places like Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Brazil, and Ecuador. Abigail helped start a ministry in San Antonio developing friendships with women from Iran and other countries from that area of the world. Blaine served as a youth pastor for four and a half years. He also spent a year working with college students in Slovenia. He volunteered in church ministries for 13 years.
Prayer Focus Pray for the Butchers to have unity, learn to use their God-given gifts in ministry and to grow stronger in their walk with the Lord.

This young family (and I have met Abigail personally, though it was many years ago) is in the exciting phase of raising support for their mission. This is an excellent time for building bridges between Catholics/Orthodox and evangelicals like the Butchers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they received a gift from a Catholic parish with a note saying that they will be in their prayers?

While many of the unchurched in France are nominally Catholic they never attend church, read the Bible and rarely pray. Their life choices are not informed by Christian ethics and Biblical virtues. Many of the immigrants there are Muslim, something the Butchers are well aware of, making this an important missionary effort in the heartland of Eurabian Islamdom.

I will commit to supporting the mission of the Blutcher family with $30/month or $360/year. It is not much, but many grains of sand make a great beach. It can be done easily through their website at WorldVenture.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Conceptual Terrorists Encase Sears Tower In Jell-O

From The Onion:

CHICAGO—In what is being called the first conceptual terrorist attack on American soil, the landmark Sears Tower was encased in 18 million tons of strawberry gelatin early Monday morning, leaving thousands shocked, angry, and seriously confused.

Authorities called to the scene of the senseless attack said they could do little to control the large crowds of dangerously bewildered citizens, many of whom searched desperately for some semblance of meaning in what had just taken place. As of press time, 11 night security guards were still trapped inside the famous structure, their rescue unlikely until the Jell-O melts.


"Your outdated ideas of what terrorism is have been challenged," an unidentified, disembodied voice announces following the video's first 45 minutes of random imagery set to minimalist techno music. "It is not your simple bourgeois notion of destructive explosions and weaponized biochemical agents. True terror lies in the futility of human existence."

Tribal Revolt pushes Pakistan to brink

I have been saying for a few months now that Pakistan is ripe for a coup, or perhaps more likely, a protracted and violent civil war. For example:

Tribal revolt pushes Pakistan to brink

by Saeed Shah from The Scotsman

In the North West Frontier Province last week, bombs have been placed in record shops and barbers, despised by Islamic extremists who regard music and clean-shaven men as Westernised heresy. They espouse the obscurantist creed of Wahhabi Islam preached by Osama bin Laden ... In the valley of Swat, in the North West Frontier Province, a religious fanatic, Maulana Fazullah, has taken over the area. The police are too afraid to patrol and the local administration has gone into hiding. Pakistani army battalions have been sent to the area but as yet they are still in camp, awaiting instructions to deploy. Fazullah issues decrees over his own FM radio station, and his men have even taken over traffic control duties. Analysts point out that the same Pushtun tribesmen are settled in Karachi, the massive port city in the south of the country.

(Hat tip to Wahaudi)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Global Christianity in 2007

Well, I am posting ONE item today (Sunday the 14th) and it is this link to Intentional Disciple which contains some very excellent information on world missions and the state of Christianity today. This info is must-read for all Christians, really.

Please read it, there are also several very helpful graphs and the layout is very easy to understand:

Global Christianity in 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Advice from a Martyr

From Christian History and Biography. Great quotes from a very early Christian leader, it is likely that he knew some of the Apostles personally. Note how he emphasizes authority of the bishop. Clearly the early church was not following a congregational model like in many evangelical churches today. Here you go:

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 — c. 107) was so eager to be martyred for Christ's sake that he even begged the Roman church not to prevent his death. Before his death, Ignatius wrote to seven churches instructing them to be unified, to trust their leaders, and to be steadfast in the faith.

Ignatius has long been esteemed as one of the church "fathers." His lifetime even overlapped with Christ's disciples and he was purportedly a disciple of the Apostle John himself. Here are some excerpts from Ignatius's letters to the Ephesians and to the Romans.

Worship Together
Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. Nothing is more precious than peace, by which all war, both in heaven and earth, is brought to an end.
—Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 13

Be Silent Witnesses
It is better for a man to be silent and be [a Christian], than to talk and not to be one. It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. … There is nothing which is hid from God, but our very secrets are near to Him. Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples, and He may be in us as our God, which indeed He is, and will manifest Himself before our faces. Wherefore we justly love Him.
—Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 15

Pray Unceasingly
And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to God. See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting: to their blasphemies your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye steadfast in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness. While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Lord (who ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned?), that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Jesus Christ, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.
—Letter to the Ephesians, 10

Respect Church Leaders
We ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself. And indeed Onesimus himself greatly commends your good order in God, that ye all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you. Nor, indeed, do ye hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ speaking in truth.
—Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6

Avoid False Teachers
For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God … ,—even Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 7

Be Steadfast
Stand fast, brethren, in the faith of Jesus Christ, and in His love, in His passion, and in His resurrection. Do ye all come together in common, and individually, through grace, in one faith of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son, and "the first-born of every creature," but of the seed of David according to the flesh, being under the guidance of the Comforter, in obedience to the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote which prevents us from dying, but a cleansing remedy driving away evil, [so] that we should live in God through Jesus Christ.
—Letter to the Ephesians, 20

Dying for Christ
Now I begin to be a disciple, and have no desire after anything visible or invisible, that I may attain to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let breakings, tearings, and separations of bones; let cutting off of members; let bruising to pieces of the whole body; and let the very torment of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ …

All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing. It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. "For what shall a man be profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?" Him I seek, who died for us: Him I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me. Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to God, do not ye give me over to the world. Suffer me to obtain pure light: when I have gone thither, I shall indeed be a man of God. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my God.
—Letter to the Romans, Chapters 5, 6

Al Qaeda Mastermind Becomes Christian?

From Here, hat tip to

THE mastermind of the first terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Centre claims to have converted from Islam to Christianity.

Ramzi Yousef, a self-proclaimed Muslim extremist with past links to al-Qaeda, plotted with others to blow up the twin towers in lower Manhattan. Six people died in the February 26, 1993, bombing.

Yousef was sentenced to life in prison plus 240 years for the New York bombing and another on a Philippines Airlines plane in 1994 in which a Japanese man died.

A report to be broadcast on 60 Minutes in the US this weekend claims Yousef has now converted to Christianity but the former warden of the supermax prison in Colorado has scoffed at the claims....

Robert Hood, its warden from 2002 to 2005, told 60 Minutes Yousef was a special case.

He never left his cell because he did not want to face the indignity of a strip search required for recreation, he said.

When told that Yousef had begun leaving his cell and now claimed to be a Christian, Mr Hood said: "He's playing a game with someone. If he's doing that, he's doing it for the reaction ... he is the real deal.

As a Muslim, Yousef prayed almost every hour, Mr Hood said.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shadows of the Swords

From Here:

The tradition has been narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Qais. He heard it from his father who, while facing the enemy, reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Surely, the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords. A man in a shabby condition got up and said; Abu Musa, did you hear the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say this? He said: Yes. (The narrator said): He returned to his friends and said: I greet you (a farewell greeting). Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, advanced with his (naked) sword towards the enemy and fought (them) with it until he was slain.
Sahih Muslim Book 020, Number 4681

This quotation from the Sahih Muslim hadith afford us a look into the mindset of a person who desired his own death in Allah's Cause.

1. He trusted the words of Muhammad implicitly.
2. He was motivated by a promise of an eternal heavenly Paradise.
3. He reassured himself that he heard correctly by asking Abu Musa. We see that he was very careful not to make a mistake, since his own life and eternal destiny were at risk. He wanted to make sure that Paradise would be achieved.
4. He said his final farewell greeting to his friends. He did not rush to death because he had no friends. He had friends who understood his motivation.
5. He unsheathed his sword and threw the sheath away, because he was resolved not to return from the battle alive. He chose to die in battle as a martyr in Allah's Cause. Casting aside his sword's sheath strengthened his resolve to bring about his own martyrdom.
6. He fought the enemy fearlessly until he was slain.
7. Finally, we see that Muhammad's objectives were achieved, because his followers were utterly fearless with their lives in Allah's Cause. This fearlessness struck terror in the hearts of those they attacked.

Steeds of War

And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allâh and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allâh does know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allâh shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.

Qur'an 8:60

Beautiful Preaching

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..." -- Qur'an 16:125

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Scary Comments

But she's an ex-Muslim, though not a Christian, and I think this is representative of the kind of talk that will become more common the coming years:

Reason: [When you say that Islam has to be defeated] Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

Reason: Are we really heading toward anything so ominous?

Hirsi Ali: I think that’s where we’re heading. We’re heading there because the West has been in denial for a long time. It did not respond to the signals that were smaller and easier to take care of. Now we have some choices to make. This is a dilemma: Western civilization is a celebration of life—everybody’s life, even your enemy’s life. So how can you be true to that morality and at the same time defend yourself against a very powerful enemy that seeks to destroy you?

Reason: George Bush, not the most conciliatory person in the world, has said on plenty of occasions that we are not at war with Islam.

Hirsi Ali: If the most powerful man in the West talks like that, then, without intending to, he’s making radical Muslims think they’ve already won. There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don’t all follow the rules of Islam, but there’s really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.

Reason: So when even a hard-line critic of Islam such as Daniel Pipes says, “Radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution,” he’s wrong?

Hirsi Ali: He’s wrong. Sorry about that.

Reason: In Holland, you wanted to introduce a special permit system for Islamic schools, correct?

Hirsi Ali: I wanted to get rid of them. I wanted to have them all closed, but my party said it wouldn’t fly. Top people in the party privately expressed that they agreed with me, but said, “We won’t get a majority to do that,” so it never went anywhere.

Reason: Well, your proposal went against Article 23 of the Dutch Constitution, which guarantees that religious movements may teach children in religious schools and says the government must pay for this if minimum standards are met. So it couldn’t be done. Would you in fact advocate that again?

Hirsi Ali: Oh, yeah.

Reason: Here in the United States, you’d advocate the abolition of—

Hirsi Ali: All Muslim schools. Close them down. Yeah, that sounds absolutist. I think 10 years ago things were different, but now the jihadi genie is out of the bottle. I’ve been saying this in Australia and in the U.K. and so on, and I get exactly the same arguments: The Constitution doesn’t allow it. But we need to ask where these constitutions came from to start with—what’s the history of Article 23 in the Netherlands, for instance? There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists. They had no idea.

[From Here, Hat tip to

2000 Converts to Christianity in Yemen?

Now I've heard it all (but I hope the part about Christianity spreading is true):

Yemeni clerics are warning that Christianity is spreading in the country and called on President ‘Ali ‘Abdallah ‘Salih to stop this phenomenon, the Yemeni weekly Al-Ghad reported, according to UPI.

One hundred Muslim clerics convened in the capital, Sana’a, over the weekend. They claimed that approximately 2,000 Yemeni citizens from the old city of Sana’a have recently converted to Christianity as a result of the cooperation of the local citizens with foreigners in executing terror attacks.

The clerics also warned of the spread of dangerous phenomena of deviations and sinful activities.

(Hat tip to Armies of Liberation)

Abu Daoud in the Lone Star State

Well here I am in the Lone Star State for some teaching and meetings and preaching and so on. If anyone hereabouts wants to see about meeting or just chatting on the phone let me know. I am available (sometimes) to share with churches about Islam and missions.

Iraqis flooding Jordan get free schooling

From CNN:

[...] The reason behind the jump in the number of Iraqis at the school is a new government policy: For the first time since the start of the Iraq war, Jordan is allowing all Iraqi children -- regardless of refugee status -- to enroll in state-funded schools.

Simply, this means that even illegal refugees with no paperwork can send their kids to school with no questions asked.

The move is cementing a massive population shift in the Middle East. More than 2.2 million Iraqis have fled the violence in their homeland, most of them seeking refuge in neighboring Jordan and Syria, according to humanitarian officials.

Jordanian Minister of Education Khalid Touqan says he expects Jordan to accommodate 40,000 to 50,000 Iraqi students this year. That's more than double the number of Iraqi children enrolled in public school two years ago.

Harb, on the front line of the phenomenon, says the influx is putting a strain on her school. Even with some U.N. and U.S. aid to Jordan, there's still not enough money.

"We need more teachers here, more resources, more buildings, more chairs for all Iraqi students and our students," she says.

In a nearby neighborhood, in the study room of the Ahmed Toukan School for Boys, a handful of Iraqi kids talk of their experience living far from home. Seated at a rectangular table covered with a red and white tablecloth, the boys tell stories of horror and displacement. [...]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Maronite Patriarch on Lebanon

Lebanon is characterized, in this region of the world, by what can't be found in other countries, an atmosphere of freedom and humane warmth. This freedom does cloak it with charm that makes it lovable to Easterners and Westerners alike, if it were not for the frivolity of some of its children who want to monopolize it and mark it with a character of violence and individuality. Over and above, God has granted it with beauty of nature, moderate climate, rich history and culture which made its children be open up to the East and West. The Lebanese have spread over most countries in the world, this brought the poet Hafez Ibrahim to say about them: "They sought the springs in the world, and if it were found in the milky way there they would ride up to". In spite of that, the authorities here have been reluctant, since long, to register them as citizens having, like other citizens in the world, the right to participate in parliamentary elections and national life. Doing so is enriching the homeland and is a fortune for it.

From Here

Pray for Lebanon, it is the only Arab country where a person can legally convert from Islam to Christianity.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dietary regulation on meat, more

Here is the origin of the Islamic practice of hallal meat, this is from a commentary on the chapter of the Quran entitled "The Cattle" or al baqara in Arabic. There are some other goodies too:

Verses 118-121 tell Muslims not to eat meat unless Allah’s name has been pronounced over it; this is the foundation for the halal preparation of meat, which dictates that the jugular vein, windpipe and foodpipe of the animal be severed after the butcher recites “In the name of Allah.” Then the blood is drained out. The Muslims would be “pagans” if they obeyed the advice of unbelievers in this matter (v. 121). According to Ibn Kathir, this means that “when you turn away from Allah’s command and Legislation to the saying of anyone else, preferring other than what Allah has said, then this constitutes Shirk.” (Shirk, of course, is the greatest sin of all, the associating of partners with Allah.) This is one reason why democracy has had such difficulty taking root in Islamic countries.

Verses 122-134 return to the perversity of the unbelievers who demand signs from Allah but wouldn’t believe even if they received them. Whether or not someone becomes a Muslim depends entirely upon whether Allah wills to lead him to Islam or to lead him astray (v. 125). By following the “straight path” (v. 126) of Islam, Muslims will make Allah their friend (v. 127). Verses 128-131 address jinns as well as humans, warning them of the same Judgment. Ibn Jarir and Dhahak say that jinn prophets were sent to the jinn; however, Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj contend that the jinn listened to the human prophets. This is the more common view.

As Egypt cracks down, charges of wide abuse

From the CS Monitor:

Cairo - The regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is in the midst of one of its largest crackdowns against public dissent in a decade.

Seven journalists have been given prison sentences in recent weeks; more than a thousand activists of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's most popular political opposition, languish in jail; and labor organizers involved in a wave of strikes at government-owned factories have been detained.

On Sunday, fighting between rival Bedouin clans in the Sinai Peninsula quickly spiraled into a riot targeting the police and President Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP). While local grievances sparked the fight, regular reports of widespread police brutality and torture fed anger in the Sinai, where locals called for the police chief's resignation, and are fueling public outrage around the country.

As the government cracks down hard in both the Sinai and on opposition activists, such as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is increasingly being charged with the use of torture on detainees.


Saudi king issues decree detailing regulations to implement succession law

[...] The 2006 law that established the Allegiance Commission aims at defusing internal power struggles over which of the younger generation of royals will be appointed crown prince when the last son of Abdul-Aziz becomes king.

The kingdom's rule has been passed down to the sons of Abdul-Aziz, but they are aging and succession could become more complicated. There are believed to be some 6,000 Saudi princes, dozens of whom are considered contenders in the line of succession.

Previously, the only time family feuds came to the surface was in the 1960s when King Saud was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of King Faisal due to economic mismanagement.

(From IHT)

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Beauty of the Infinite

All done with The Spirit of Islamic Law and am now moving on to The Beauty of the Infinite by David B. Hart, an American theologian from one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches (not sure which one). I am very much looking forward to this book, I haven't read any good, difficult contemporary theology in quite some time. The truth be told most contemporary theology is mediocre, dealing with questions that are totally uninformed by persecution and mission and the reality of what it looks like to live with costly faith and grace that is not cheap.

But enough of my griping. Am interested in knowing if any of you have read this book, and if so what you thought about it. I have heard this book described as the best book of theology written by an American in the last decade or so. We shall see.

And Happy Birthday to my good friend Erik over at Of Priests and Paramedics who kindly gave me this book as a gift.

Israelis debate Torah-mandated sabbatical for the land

[Abu Daoud says: OK, so the blog is not called Islam and Christianity and Judaism, but what happens in the Holy Land affects everyone, and the article is really interesting and well-written.]

Israelis debate Torah-mandated sabbatical for the land

by Steven Erlanger

JERUSALEM: As Israel's Jews start a new year, the country finds itself in the middle of a fierce religious dispute about the sanctity of fruits and vegetables.

Rabbis are pitted against one another, the interests of the state and the religious authorities are in conflict, the Supreme Court is involved, the devout are confused and the cost of produce is rising.

And a country in love with flowers, proud of "making the desert bloom," is, in its own disputatious way, letting much of its land go to seed.

This year, 5768 by the Jewish calendar, is a shmita, or sabbatical year. Jewish-owned land is supposed to be left fallow, whatever grows there is supposed to be free for everyone, and at the end of the year, all personal debts are supposed to be forgiven.


That presumably worked fine in a primitive economy before decent fertilizer, but shmita presented problems for the new Jewish state. Zionism was founded on the notion of a return to the land, but a modern country cannot live on what falls to the ground, and Israel's agribusinesses would fail.

So a compromise was found by respected rabbis from both the Ashkenazi and the Sephardic communities of Israel, including Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Rabbi Yaakov Shaul Elyashar. Charged with interpreting religious law, or halacha, they came up with the idea of "heter mechira," meaning sale permit, which allows Jews to "sell" their land pro forma to non-Jews for the shmita year, so the land may be cultivated.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Father's consent required for marriage?

From a Fatwa of a well-known and well-respected Saudi cleric, Sheikh Aziz bin Baz:

...The father must seek her permission if she is nine years of age or above. Similarly, her other guardians may not marry her off except by her permission. This is obligatory upon all of them. If o­ne is married without permission, then the marriage is not valid. This is because o­ne of the conditions of the marriage is that both partners accept the marriage. If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The o­nly exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based o­n the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith. However, if she is nine years old or more, she cannot be married, even by her father, except with her consent....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Christian Split in Lebanon Raises Specter of Civil War

From NYT, hat tip to Titus 1:9:

With the Islamist group Hezbollah having brought Lebanese politics to a standstill, the country’s once-dominant Christian community feels under siege and has begun re-establishing militias, training in the hills and stockpiling weapons.

Many Lebanese say another civil war — like the 15-year one that started in 1975 — is imminent and that the most dangerous flash points are within the divided Christian community.

Christian youth are signing up for militant factions in the greatest numbers since the end of the civil war, spray painting nationalist symbols on walls and tattooing them on their skin, and proclaiming their willingness to fight in a new civil war — in particular, against fellow Christians.

“When the war begins, I’ll be the first one in it,” said Fadil Abbas, 30, flexing his biceps in Shadow Tattoo as an artist etched a cross onto his shoulder. “I want everyone to know I am a Christian and I am ready to fight.”

The struggle is over who gets to be the next president, a post reserved for a Christian under Lebanon’s Constitution, and which must be filled by the end of November. But the larger question — one that is prompting rival Christian factions to threaten war — is whether Lebanese Christians must accept their minority status and get along with the Muslim majority (the choice of the popular Gen. Michel Aoun) or whether Christians should insist on special privileges no matter what their share of the population (the position of veteran civil war factions like the Phalange and the Lebanese Forces).

Questions and Conversion

Loved this section from an account of a Muslim who converted to the way of Christ. He was asking questions of both religions, and I think that when you ask questions of both religions, generally speaking, people will go with Christianity. But that's just me. Check out this man's questions and ask yourself if you can answer the questions he had about Christianity:

I reached a point where I was not sure how to deal with some of the difficulties in the Bible that were very unclear such as:

1. Why four books to present the "gospel" and not one, as Quran teaches of one gospel.
2. The whole issue of Sin and the need for shedding of blood and a Savior.
3. Jesus being God and Man and the whole concept of the Trinity.
4. Did Jesus really die on the cross and was he resurrected or not?
5. How could followers of Jesus commit the atrocities that are part of the church history such as the crusades?

But also in my quest to use the Quran as my standard, and the teaching and life of Mohammad as a model for life, I had some significant difficulties, for example:

1. The whole concept of "abrogation". That God chose to reveal verses in the Quran that supersede earlier revelation in the same Quran. How an eternal revelation of God could have such time bound revelation seemed at odds with the nature of God.
2. The inconsistency of the messages, for example facing Jerusalem and then Mecca; or fornication being a sin, but one can have sex with many slave women that have no legal marriage status; tolerance and peace message of earlier revelation, but the command to fight all unbelievers in later revelation.
3. The need for revisions of the Quran to standardize it and ordering the burning of all the older copies. Why this need to leave no trace of what the edited version did not contain and why.
4. The unequal status of woman compared to men in area of marriage, rule of law, social etiquette, modesty, etc.
5. Treatment of non-Muslims in the community and the command to Jihad.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Christians and the Burmese Crackdown

This is an interview with a Burmese pastor from Christianity Today:

Here is one section, but read it all, Here:

Two ethnic groups—the Karen and the Chin—have historical ties to Christianity.

Pastor David, a Burmese church planter who has been working in Myanmar for the last few years, spoke with CT about the situation of Christians in the country

What's happening with the protests? Why was the sudden rise in oil prices the catalyst?

The government doubled the price on the morning of August the 15th without any prior notice to the public. So what happened is that there was a sudden raise in the price, buses and public transportation cannot operate. There is simply no public transportation, so people who need to go to work got stranded. There was a lot of chaos.

I was still in the country at that time and I knew at that moment that something was going to happen. Now before the raising of oil prices, there was a convention going on on the northern side of Rangoon. And there was already quite an atmosphere in the country: There were officials going about, raiding churches.

In fact, the Bible school that I have the privilege of directing—we had to shut it down on the last week of September with all this going on.

In the midst of that, they doubled the [oil] prices, and that really sparked the fire. And that's when people said, "we can't stand this anymore," and they began to rally. And at first it was a very small rally. It wasn't getting any international attention. It was only when the Buddhist monks began to come out and began to rally that the international community began to focus their attention on Burma.


Would they be targeted because they're Christians?

Christians usually don't have the same protection that a monk would have, simply because we are Christian and they are Buddhist. But for the monks who rally and demonstrate, there is still the moral respect that they have. There is a tradition that grants them some protections, and they enjoyed that in the midst of their rally. But we as Christians, who are seen as secondary citizens, do not have that [protection]. [...]

The Blogging Parson: The collapse of the evangelical consensus?

Interesting questions here: The Blogging Parson: The collapse of the evangelical consensus?

Is evangelicalism as a "movement" collapsing, at least in the UK? How is that related to what is happening in the USA?

What happens with evangelicalism will be important for world missions because almost all the missionaries out there trying to convert non-Christians are evangelicals. A handful are non-evangelical Protestant, and a couple here or there are Catholic. I have heard that there are Orthodox working in this area of converting the unbaptized, but I have never met one or known one personally.

For better or for worse, evanglicalism with all its warts and blemishes is carrying the torch of the church's mission to the nations.

The article at Blogging Parson is short, but here's the heart of it:

The common diagnosis of the problem is that, in the 60s, there were three or four leaders of the evangelical movement around whom we all (or our spiritual parents) gathered - Stott, Lloyd-Jones, perhaps Packer. Since then diversity and infighting has been the rule - disputes over charismatic gifts, women in ministry, the new perspective, social action and so on have meant that the movement has no clear common ground anymore. There seems to me to be a significant erosion of what evangelicals used to hold as points of unity: the atonement, the bible, the priority of evangelism/conversion, justification by faith, the work of the Spirit in sanctification of the believer, and so on. Reasserting these, and shouting them more loudly has been the strategy of some, but it isn't working to unify [evangelicals today].

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Abu Daoud, Abu Daoud, and Abu Daoud

Funny things happen when you Google your own name.

The first Abu Daoud on Google is this Abu Daoud:

"[He] was the leader of the Black September, the Palestine Liberation Organisation splinter group that carried out the 1972 Munich massacre. Many of its members were killed in Israel's campaign Operation Wrath of God, although Daoud was never assassinated. In 1981, Daoud claimed that the Mossad tried to assassinate him while in Poland, although it is not clear who was behind the attempt. In 1996 he was permitted to travel through Israel to attend a PLO meeting in the Gaza Strip. During that meeting, Daoud voted in favor of the resolution to rescind the section of the PLO's charter calling for the destruction of Israel" (Wikipedia).

The next Abu Daoud in Google (the eighth hit!) is yours truly.

Then there's this other Abu Daoud who helps train terrorists for Al Qaeda.

Then there's the guy who is an Iraqi refugee in Jordan who can't get a job. There's also some diving site named Abu Daoud.

Abu Daoud is also the name of the pastor who discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls up in that cave.

And all the way on page six of the Google hits you finally find the Islamic scholar Abu Daoud who compiled hadiith of Muhammad's life. He was the only one I already knew about.