The Threat of Radical Islam

I.    INTRODUCTION

A.  Our Goal

1.   Our goal tonight is to gain a better understanding of what Radical Islam is & why understanding it is important.

2.   Radical Islam is one of the defining influences in the world today.

3.   Its impact is felt in politics, economics, & religion.

4.   Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today.

a.   Entire regions of Europe have been taken over by Islam thru immigration & birth.

b.   In counties like Germany & France, ethnic Europeans aren’t having enough children to replace the population that’s dying.

c.   Muslim immigrants on the other hand are having 4, 5, 6 & more children.

d.   The result is that entire neighborhoods have become completely Muslim.

e.   In England, the national government has turned over entire regions to Muslim authorities so that Muslim/Sharia law has been imposed.

f.    There are places in the US, like Detroit, where something similar is occurring.

5.   So, as the followers of Christ who are called to win the lost of faith in Christ, chances are we’ll eventually come face to face with an Islamist.

6.   Understanding their history, values, & goals will go a long way in sharing the Hope of Christ with them.

B.  Barbary Pirates

1.   In 2006, Keith Ellison was elected to the US House of Representatives from Minnesota.

2.   He was the first Muslim to be elected to the US Congress.

3.   He asked to be sworn into office, not on a Bible, which has been the tradition for Congress for over 200 years, but on a Qur’an.

4.   Nancy Pelosi obliged

5.   The press made a big to-do of the fact that the Qur’an used was owned by Thomas Jefferson.

a.   They made it seem that his owning a Muslim holy books was another evidence of his broad-mindedness & religious tolerance.

b.   Not quite. That Qur’an has a much different history than Jefferson’s tolerance.

c.   It was one he picked up in Europe while an ambassador to France.

6.   You see, the United States was having problems with the Barbary Pirates, who were a part of the Ottoman Empire.

a.   The pirates were seizing American ships, stealing their cargo & selling their crews into slavery.

b.   So Jefferson met John Adams who was the ambassador to England in London.

c.   Together they met with the Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain.

d.   Tripoli was the main capital of the Barbary States.

e.   Jefferson & Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty & protect the United States from further piracy.

f.    The Americans were baffled on how a government could adopt an official policy of piracy.

g.   Adja told them that it was part of Islam. Jefferson quoted him as saying,

“that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

7.   Tripoli demanded a million dollars a year, which Jefferson & Adams were both against, but they took the proposal back to Congress, which agreed to pay it.

8.   They did so for 15 years! It was 20% of the annual national budget!!!

9.   But when Jefferson was elected president, the ruler of Tripoli demanded an additional payment of a quarter million dollars.

10. Jefferson refused & instead sent the new US Navy’s best ships, which over the next 4 years beat the Barbary Pirates badly.

11. The reason Jefferson decided to end the tribute & go to war with Tripoli, Tunis, & Algiers is because after hearing what Adja had to say he got a Qur’an & read it.

a.   He came to realize there was only one way for the US to deal with the Muslim threat of that day; to resist, to fight.

b.   Little has changed in Islam from that day to this.

c.   Winston Churchill once said, “The further you look back into the past, the further you can look into the future.”

d.   We’d be wise to heed his advice & examine why Jefferson decided to go to war with the Muslim Barbary Pirates.

C.  Bernard Lewis

1.   Bernard Lewis is internationally recognized as the 20th Century’s greatest historian of the Middle East.

2.   His books & articles are considered by many as the definitive source in understanding the Middle East & Islam.

3.   He’s even greatly respected by Muslim scholars for his accurate review of history & understanding of their religion.

4.   Many of them say they’ve become better equipped to understand how to relate to Westerners by reading his explanation of Islam.

4.   Lewis’ The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what’s really going on with Radical Islam.

II.   A RELIGIOUS STRUGGLE

A.  Bin Laden

1.   9/11 was the West’s wake-up call to the global threat of Radical Islam.

2.   At the launch of the War on Terror, President Bush & other Western politicians took great pains to make it clear the war was against terrorism.

a.   It was not a war against Arabs, nor, more generally, against Muslims.

b.   On the contrary, Muslims were urged to join in the struggle against a common enemy;

c,   One that had perverted & hijacked an honored religion with a noble past.

3.   For his part, Osama bin Ladin's message was the exact opposite.

a.   He said for him & those who follow him, this is preeminently a religious war.

b.   It’s Islam vs. Infidels.

c.   And the US is the primary target because it’s the greatest power among the infidels.

4.   Bin Ladin’s pronouncements carry great weight with many in the Muslim world because he makes frequent use of 2 things . . .

a.   Qur’an & Hadiths

b.   History

5.   In a videotape a month after 9/11 he referred to the “humiliation & disgrace” Islam has suffered for “more than 80 years.”

a.   While Westerners scrambled to find out what he was talking about,

b.   Muslims picked up the allusion immediately & appreciated its significance.

B.  The End of the Caliphate

1    In 1918 the last the great Muslim empire was finally defeated at the end of WWI.

a.   This was the Ottoman caliphate with its capital at Istanbul.

b.   The city was occupied by foreigners, its sovereign was held captive,

c.   And much of its territory partitioned between victorious British & French Empires.

1) Iraq & Palestine, were under British Mandate;

2) Syria was given to the French.

d.   Though the Turks managed to regain their independence, their new leader, Kemal Ataturk, adopted modern ways & steered the country toward the West.

e.   One of his first acts, was to abolish the caliphate [November 1922]

2    Until that time, the Caliph of Istanbul was widely recognized as the head of all Sunni Islam & the last in a line of rulers dating back to the Prophet Muham­mad in 632.

a.   The Caliph was esteemed as Mohammed’s successor

1) Not in just a religious sense,

2) But as the political head of the Umma = the Muslim state & community.

b.   For 13 centuries the caliphate was a potent symbol of Muslim unity & identity.

c.   Its removal by a double assault of both foreign enemies & domestic traitors, was felt throughout the Muslim world.

d.   Many Muslims are still painfully conscious of this void.

3    Bin Laden & Al Qaeda, along with other jihadists, are among them.

4.   They’ve pledged themselves to re-establishing the Caliphate; no matter what the cost or how long it takes.

5.   If you’ve paid attention at all to the news you know there are 2 major divisions within Islam between the Sunni’s & Shiites.

a.   They divide over the issue of succession from the Prophet Mohammed.

b.   There are other differences between them but none come close to the difference over who has the right to lead the Muslim world; who is Mohammed’s legitimate heir?

6.   All agree that the first 4 leaders, called caliph’s = deputy, were the rightful leaders if Islam.

a.   Called the Righteous Four, they were

·        Abu Bakr

·        Umar

·        Uthman

·        Ali, son in law of Mohammed.

b.   Ali was murdered after only 5 years as caliph, in 661.

7.   This is where the problem arises & the break comes.

a.   Sunnis say the caliph is elected by Muslims.

b.   Shiites say the leader of the Muslim community has to be a relative of Mohammed & a descendant of Ali.

c.   They call Ali, the last Caliph & first Imam

Sunnis                                                                               Shiites           

Righteous 4                                                                        Righteous 4

Umayyads                                                                          Hassan

Abassids                                                                            Husayn

Ottomans                                                                           9 more of these guys

 

 

 


                                                   al-Mahdi [the 12th Imam]

8.   Western media loves to repeat the line that the Sunnis & Shiias hate each other & would never cooperate.

a.   This idea has framed a lot of our nation’s foreign policy as well,

b.   And that’s devastatingly unfortunate because it’s simply not true!

c.   In 1992, bin Laden, a Sunni, made overtures to Shiite terrorist groups to work together to combat the West & Israel.

d.   While Sunnis & Shiias do hate each other, they hate us more.

e.   They’ve agreed to set aside their differences to fight the larger enemy.

f.    Once they’ve defeated the West & reclaimed Palestine, then they’ll settle their differences.

9.   And so Hamas, a Sunni terrorist group, works with Hizb’allah, a Shiite terrorist group.

10. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a Twelver-Shiite, one who believes in the imminent appearance of al-Mahdi.

a.   The Twelvers believe al-Mahdi will appear at a time of great global crisis.

b.   He will then lead the Muslims to global domination.

c.   This is why Iran is rushing to produce a nuclear weapon.

d.   Ahmadinejad wants to use it, even the program to produce it, as a means to cause war!

e.   He thinks this will bring forth the Mahdi.

C.  The Importance of History

1.   For many Americans, the phrase "That's history" is often used to dismiss something as irrelevant.

2.   Modernity tends to place greater value on what’s new while denigrating the past as backward & uninformed. The result is a shocking historical short-sightedness.

3.   Most of the Muslim world however, is keenly aware of history & understands its role in shaping the Umma.

4.   The problem is, that awareness only begins with the birth of Islam in the 7th Century.

a.   They have little knowledge of or care for either pre- & non-Islamic history.

b.   This lack of concern stems from the idea that Mohammed was the greatest prophet & Islam is the perfect will of Allah.

c.   Non-Muslims are considered as having nothing of value to add.

d.   This is why the Taliban destroyed the priceless ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan when they took over

D.  What History?

1.   When dealing with radical Islam, it’s important to keep history in the center of the discussion because it’s central to understanding the Muslim Mind.

2.   But we need to ask an important question à What history?

3.   You see, in the West, the primary unit of human organization is the nation.

4.   This is then broken down into smaller units such as race, politics, economics & religion.

5.   When we examine history, we usually look at a nation & follow its timeline.

6.   Muslims don’t start with a nation. They start with a religion & follow its development.

7.   They don’t see a nation with many religious groups; they see one religion spread over many nations.

8.   It’s important to realize that the nations making up the modern Middle East are relatively new creations -

a.   Left over from European Imperialism following the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

b.   It was Western powers that drew often arbitrary lines in the sand then stuck labels on them that had little to do with the actual territory.

c.   For example:

1) Iraq was a medieval province, with borders very different from those of the modern state.

2) Syria, Palestine, & Libya are names from classical antiquity that hadn’t been used in the region for over a thousand years before they were revived & imposed again with new & different boundaries­.

3) Turkey wasn’t adopted as the name of the nation until 1923 when its ruler took the title Europeans had used for the region since the Middle Ages.

4) Most remarkable of all, there is no word in Arabic for Arabia.

9.   In the early centuries of the Muslim era, the Umma [Islamic com­munity] was one state under one ruler.

10. Even after that community split up into many states, the ideal of a single Islamic entity persisted.

11. In the vast amount of Islamic literature chronicling their struggles with Christian Europe from the 8th to the 20th centuries, the enemy is never referred to in territorial or national terms.

a.   The enemy is simply “kafir” = infidel.

b.   Rarely he’s given a vague description as a Frank or Roman.

c.   They never referred to their own side as Arab, Persian, or Turk; they are Muslims.

12. Bin Laden & his fellow Jihadists see themselves as nothing less than direct spiritual descendants of Mohammed, given the task of returning a pure form of Islam to the lands it once ruled, then renewing its mission of global domination.

13. Al Qaeda & other jihadist groups see no real break between themselves & Salah al-Din who defeated the Crusaders & recaptured Jerusalem.

14. We see this in their constant reference to Europe & the West as “Crusaders.”

15. Muslims believe that land once ruled by Islam is a part of the Umma forever & can never be renounced.

a.   Therefore, if they suffer a reversal & their lands fall to an infidel, it’s the duty of the Faithful to recover them.

b.   Thus, there are vast regions of Europe the jihadists see as needing to be restored.

16. And their goal is nothing less than a Global Domination by Islam.

a.   They hold a fundamental belief that there is only one ruler of men, Allah.

b.   And he has commanded his followers to unite the world under one religion & way of life =  Shari’a.

c.   All governments must ultimately submit to Islam & its ruler, the caliph.

E.  Bin Ladin’s Declaration

1.   While the War on Terror has been mostly successful in scattering Al Qaeda as it originally existed, it’s now morphed from a organization into a movement.

2.   This shift from a highly effective, well-organized, trained, & funded group to a grassroots movement of diverse & disconnected units means we’ve not seen the kind of major operations that marked the original Al Qaeda.

3.   The current Al Qaeda & its companion jihadist groups are composed of Muslims inspired by the original Al Qaeda’s successes in striking out against the Infidels & by an article that appeared in the February 23, 1998 issue of the Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, published in London.

a.   On that day, they printed the full text of a statement faxed to them, with the signatures of Osama bin Ladin & the leaders of other Jihadist groups.

b.   It was titled, Decla­ration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews & the Crusaders.

4.   Now à It’s important to spend a little time here because what Bin Laden wrote gives us keen insight into the Jihadist mindset.

5.   What he wrote, for the most part, is precisely what drives the movement.

6.   The Declaration was a magnificent piece of elo­quent, at times poetic Arabic prose.

a.   It contained a version of history most Westerners are unfamiliar with.

b.   It began by quoting the more militant passages of the Qur'an & sayings of Muhammad.

1) Now, let me give a quick aside before we move on.

2) Some people, including moderate & liberal Muslims, claim the Qur’an does not advocate violence & that jihad is misunderstood –

3) That it’s simply referring to the inner struggle the Muslim has with surrendering to God.

4) There is indeed that aspect of jihad in the Islamic faith.

5) But there are many passages in the Qur’an & in the Hadiths which call for the Faithful to take up the sword & make war against Infidels in the name of Allah.

6) What’s confusing to the reader of the Qur’an is that these militant passages are scattered among other passages which call for Muslims to live at peace with their neighbors & avoid conflict.

7) It’s from Muslim scholars themselves we sort out the meaning of it all.

8) The Qur’an isn’t laid out in chronological order. Later passages often occurred earlier in Mohammed’s life & teaching, & vice versa.

a) The Qur’an is divided into suras = chapters.

b) The suras go from longest to shortest.

9)   In the early years, when Mohammed’s followers were a weak minority, he advocated peace & harmony.

10) But once the Umma became the dominant power, the more militant passages were written.

11) According to Muslim theology, later revelation supersedes the earlier.

12) And Mohammed’s life provides the template all Muslims must follow.

a) Mohammed was the perfect human.

b) Following his example exactly is the way to please Allah.

13) Fundamentalist Muslims are those who believe this basic tenet of Islamic doctrine & take it literally.

14) From their perspective, Jihadists are neither radical nor particularly violent.

15) They simply see themselves as faithful.

c.   So their joint declaration of February, 1998 opens by quoting the militant sections of their sacred writings as a way to remind the faithful of their duty to engage in jihad.

7.   Then it continues:

 

Since Allah laid down the Arabian peninsula, created its desert, & surrounded it with its seas, no calamity has ever befallen it like these Crusader hosts that have spread in it like locusts, crowding its soil, eating its fruits, & destroying its verdure; & this at a time when the nations contend against the Muslims like diners jostling around a bowl of food.

 

8.   From here the declaration goes on to talk of the need to understand the situation & act to put it right.

9.   It says the facts are known to everyone & are set forth under 3 main headings . . .

FIRST

For more than 7 years the United States has occupied the lands of Islam in the holiest of its territories, plundering its riches, over­whelming its rulers, humiliating its people, threaten­ing its neighbors, & using its bases in the Arabian peninsula as a spearhead to fight against neighboring Islamic peoples.

SECOND

      Despite the immense destruction inflicted on the Iraqi people at the hands of the Cru­sader—Jewish alliance, & in spite of the appalling number of dead, exceeding a million, the Americans nevertheless, in spite of all this, are trying once more to repeat this dreadful slaughter. It seems that the long blockade following after a fierce war, the dismemberment & the destruction are not enough for them. So they come again today to destroy what re­mains of this people & to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

THIRD

      While the purposes of the Americans in these wars are religious & economic, they also serve the petty state of the Jews, to divert attention from their occupation of Jerusalem & their killing of Muslims in it.

                                

      There is no better proof of all this than their ea­gerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest of the neigh­boring Arab states, & their attempt to dismember all the states of the region, such as Iraq & Saudi Arabia & Egypt & Sudan, into petty states, whose division & weakness would ensure the survival of Israel & the continuation of the calamitous Cru­sader occupation of the lands of Arabia.

 

      These crimes amount to a clear declaration of war by the Americans against Allah, His Prophet, & the Muslims. In such a situation, it is the unanimous opinion of the ulema [Muslim clergy] throughout the centuries that when enemies attack the Muslim lands, Jihad becomes a personal duty of every Muslim.

 

10. Various Muslim authorities are then quoted to support the foregoing.

11. It ends with the most important part of their declaration, the fatwa, laying down that . . .

      To kill Americans & their allies, both civil & military, is an individual duty of every Muslim who is able, in any country where this is possible, until the Al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem] & the Haram Mosque [in Mecca] are freed from their grip, & until their armies, shattered & broken-winged, depart all the lands of Islam, incapable of threatening any.

12. After citing some further relevant verses from the Qur’an, the document continues:

      By Allah’s leave, we call on every Muslim who believes in God & hopes for reward to obey Allah’s command to kill the Americans & plunder their possessions wherever he finds them & whenever he can. Likewise we call on the Muslim ulema & leaders & youth & soldiers to launch attacks against the armies of the American devils & against those allied with them from among the helpers of Satan.

F.   Shari’a

1.   To further understand radical Islam & the Jihadist movement, we need to know that just as they look at history from the perspective, not of nations, but religion,

2.   They also make no distinction between religion & the State as the West does.

3.   Separation of Church & State has become a nearly hallowed cultural value in the West.

4.   But there is no such division between mosque & State in Islam.

a.   Islamic law IS the law of the land.

b.   In the pure Islamic State as envisioned by Mohammed, the religious leaders are the rulers.

c.   That’s what prevailed through most of Islamic history & what the Iranian Revolution reinstalled in 1979 when the Shah was deposed & Ayatollah Khomeini took power.

5.   Muslim fundamentalists see the Iranian Revolution as merely the first of many steps back,

a.   from the arbitrary European divisions of the Middle East,

b.   to the Muslim hegemony of the region from the 8th to the dawn of the 20th Century.

6.   Islamic law, called “Shari’a” governs every aspect of both daily, social, & civic life.

a.   It covers politics, economics, business, family, sexuality, & hygiene.

b.   Sharia, when strictly enforced, would mold culture into that which existed in 7th Century Arabia – at the time of Mohammed, because he was the perfect human being and Muslims ought to strive to copy his example exactly!

c.   That’s why when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, the lifestyle of the people seemed so primitive.

7.   And this is what adds fuel to the fires of the Jihadists’ hatred of the West.

a.   Men like bin Ladin see the impact Western society has on the culture of the Middle East & consider it a moral & spiritual corruption that has to be eradicated.

b.   It’s this battle that’s earned America the title “Great Satan” by the radical Islamists.

8.   Add to this the presence of American military troops on the sacred soil of the Arabian Holy Land & you have all the triggers necessary for the ever-lasting anger of the Jihadists.

9.   While we see the War in Iraq as one of the main fronts in the larger War on Terror, the Jihadist see it as the infidel occupying what for hundreds of years was the center of IslamBaghdad!

10. And remember, lands that once belonged to Islam, always belong to Islam.            

11. The capstone of the Jihadist animosity toward the West is its support of Israel, which they see as usurpers & squatters on the holy city of Jerusalem & the Al-Aqsa Mosque – 3rd holiest site in Islam.

G.  The Chief Outrage

1.   But the chief outrage the radicals feel toward the West is the presence of infidels in the Holy Land – by which I mean Arabia & specifically the Hejaz, the region of western Arabia that holds Mecca, Medina.

2.   Mohammed said the Hejaz was only for the Faithful.

3.   The 2nd Caliph Umar enforced that rule & banished all Jews & Christians.

4.   Ever since the Hejaz was supposed to remain clear of infidels.

5.   But with the expansion of European Imperialism Westerners began showing up.

6.   At first they were quarantined in Jeddah, but with the discovery of oil, pressure mounted to allow them into more of the peninsula.

7.   When large numbers of American & European military arrived during the 1st Gulf War, it fanned the relatively small flame of resurgent Muslim fundamentalism that had been sparked about a hundred years earlier.

8.   That was Wahhabism, which lies at the center of today’s jihadist movement.

H.  Wahhabism

1.   While there have always been sects within Islam that held tightly to a more primitive form of the faith,

2.   Wahhabism is the most significant modern movement whose aim is to restore the original teachings of Mohammed.

3.   Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab was an Islamic scholar who lived in Saudi Arabia in the 18th Century.

a.   He advocated a return to the practices of the first 3 generations of Islamic history.

b.   Distressed by the political & moral corruption al-Whahhab saw around him,

c.   He blamed it on the liberal interpretations of Shari’a being used at the time.

d.   He called for a return to the Qur’an & Hadiths & a strict interpretation of Shari’a based on them.

4.   His straight-forward appeal to reform based on a literal interpretation of the Qur’an had wide appeal.

a.   The House of Saud, the rulers of modern Saudi Arabia were supporters of Wahhabism.

b.   Although that is not what they call themselves.

c.   Wahhabi is considered a derogatory term since it was applied by opponents of Abd-al-Wahhab to his followers.

d.   They simply refer to themselves as “Salafists = the faithful.”

5.   Let me use an analogy we can probably relate to.

a.   During the late 18th / early 19th Century, Liberal theology infiltrated Christian colleges & seminaries, indoctrinating young men training for the ministry with a liberal view of the faith.

b.   They then went out & infected the pulpits of many churches & the leadership of mainline denominations.

b.   Cherished doctrines of the Faith were set aside, & as they were spiritual corruption spread.

c.   In reaction to this liberal trend the fundamentalists rose, calling for a return to the Bible & the historic Christian Faith.

d.   Over time, fundamentalism mellowed & moved from being merely reactionary to being a well-rounded movement in its own right.

e.   Morphing into Evangelicalism, its adherents now hold to classic orthodoxy, the primacy of The Bible, & a conviction that the Gospel is the only means of salvation, which they have a duty to share in a loving & winsome way.

6.   The modern Jihadist movement parallels the emergence of Christian fundamentalism.

a.   Radical Islam is the largely the result of Wahhabist reforms with its literal interpretation of their scriptures & a commitment to follow the example of their leader.

b.   The big difference between Christian & Muslim fundamentalism is of course what a literal interpretation of their sacred writings command.

c.   Christians are called to love & serve while Muslims are called to Jihad, a conquering of the world for Islam through whatever means necessary.

NOTE: There’s a major move underway in the West to make a distinction between moderate Islam & Radical/Jihadist Islam.

7.   So are Christians. But we’re called to spread our faith by the sword of God’s Word, not one made of steel.

a.   We are to be known by our love, not hatred, not violence.

b.   The Muslim or critic might ask, “What about the Crusades?”

c.   Our reply must be – “What about them?”

1) Even a surface knowledge of history reveals the Crusades weren’t really about religion; they were about politics & economics.

2) Oh sure, European rulers USED religion to dupe the masses of uneducated, but faith wasn’t the real reason that sparked the Crusades.

3) They were an attempt by European leaders to lift Europe out of the morass of the Dark Ages.

4) They were about securing wealth & power.

5) In fact, one of the reasons why the Crusades were dropped was because of the Reformation which put the Bible into the hands of the common people where they could see for themselves that being a follower of Christ had nothing to do with such things.

d.   In contrast, in Islam, the more people learn about the Qur’an & the Hadiths, the more they’re inclined TO jihad.

8.   When Wahhabism began to rise as a potent reform movement in Saudi Arabia, the region was dominated by the European powers.

a.   Western culture had made huge inroads into the Middle East.

b.   Since a strictly observed form of sharia would restored the culture of 7th Century Arabia, it was inevitable that the Wahhabists would come into conflict with anything that was out of place, anything foreign or hostile to sharia.

c.   Once they removed western influences from the Holy Land (the Saudi Peninsula) they set their sights on the surrounding regions.

d.   While the countries were Muslim in name, their rulers were often seduced by western wealth & luxuries, so they were opposed by the Wahhabists & other groups inspired by their fundamentalist reforms.

e.   When the reformers managed to overthrow the Shah in Iran & establish Shari’a as the law of the land, it was a great boost to the jihadist movement.

f.    Another huge boost was the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

g.   Other Middle East leaders were targeted & for the first time in generations, lands that had at one time been under the crescent moon were eyed as the objective.

h.   As the jihadist reformers gained ground & power, being funded with ever more oil wealth, they renewed their mission of global domination in earnest.

1) It was big news earlier this year when Exxon reported quarterly earnings of $11 billion.

2) Saudi Arabia makes that in 3 DAYS!!!

i.    And just as earlier, they saw nominal Middle Eastern Muslim rulers as opponents to replace, now they see the bastions & centers of Western culture as adversaries to overcome.

j.    Since the United Sates is the world’s leading exporter of Western culture, it’s the primary enemy & main target.

k.   They see the US military as the enforcer of Western culture so it’s the major objective.

1) Any attack that harms or kills US military is a victory to them, no matter how many fighters they lose in the attempt.

2) Next in line is any military force allied with the US or that’s seen as supporting Western ways.

l.    Since American & European taxpayers fund their governments & militaries, civilians have become fair game in the Jihadist campaign.

m.  If terror in the European & American heartlands will cause people to rise up against their government & demand the removal of troops & businesses from Muslim lands, then it’s for a good, & in their mind, holy cause.

n.   They took great encouragement from their Madrid train bombing because a month later, during the Spanish elections, the minority party won office because they promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.

9.   A madrassa is a private school for educating Muslims.

a.   Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars all over the world building & funding madrassas.

b.   The Islam taught in nearly all of them is Wahhabism.

c.   There are hundreds of madrassas in the US.

d.   According to a law enforcement seminar on Radical Islam I recently attended, 3 out of every 4 mosques & Islamic Schools in the US is devoted to radicalism.

11. The prison system has become a ripe recruiting ground for Radical Islam.

a.   There are currently 350,000 inmates in federal, state, & local prisons who identify themselves as Muslims.

b.   30 to 40,00 are being added each year.

c.   Prison conversion accounts for one of the fastest avenues of growth for Islam in the US.

12. Shari’a has come to the streets of America.

a.   On New Year’s Day of this year, 18 year old Amina Said and her 17 year old sister Sarah were shot to death by their Egyptian father because they had dared to date non-Muslim boys.

b.   Following the demands of Islamic law, because the girls had disobeyed their father, he was permitted to kill them in what is known as honor-killing.

c.   Now, here’s the added absurdity to this story—When the FBI issued a wanted poster for their father, saying he was suspected of committing an honor-killing, the Council on American-Islamic Relations complained, and had the part about honor killing removed from the poster.

d.   Yet everyone who knows the case knows precisely why Yaser Abdel Said shot his 2 teenage daughters.

III.  CONCLUSION

A.  10%                       

1.   There is so much more we could & should address as we address the issue of radical Islam but time does not allow us to.

2.   Let me end with this. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims

3.   Most scholars estimate Radical Islamists constitute about 10% of that.

4.   But 10% of 1.5 billion is 150 million! That’s a lot of people.

B.  Our Response

1.   What ought our response be?

2.   As the followers of Christ, we ought to deal with them as anyone else, with love & concern for their eternal destiny.

3.   Saul persecuted the Church & did so for religious reasons.

a.   His zeal for God was misplaced & moved him to hatred & violence.

b.   But those early believers no doubt prayer for him & God saved Paul.

4.   Here’s our template for dealing with Jihadists: Let’s pray for God to open their eyes, even while they are on the Road to some modern day Damascus where they intend to do harm.