Do you remember the old TV game show To Tell the Truth? Four celebrity panelists would question three contestants all pretending to be a person the host would describe. Of the three contestants, one was the real person and had to answer honestly while the other two were permitted to lie. After the panelists finished their questions, they would vote for who they thought was the real person, and the host would ask, “Would the real ____ please stand up?”
Today, I often feel like we’re in a real-life version of that game when it comes to Islam.
Whether it’s CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) or the King of Jordan, we have a never-ending parade of people describing Islam as a religion of peace that does not condone violence, yet we witness new converts to Islam strangely radicalized to become violent jihadis, individuals who were otherwise described as anything but violent. How is that possible?
How could a religion of peace regularly produce such violent results? If Islam is so peaceful, why do we regularly hear its leaders call for violent insurrection?
The reality we live in reveals the truth for those who get their news outside of mainstream media. Quite often, mainstream outlets go out of their way to conceal the identity and religious affiliation of an attacker. Any time an act of violence committed is tied to Islam, however, CAIR is not far behind with a media campaign to Islami-splain why the Muslim community needs to be protected.
For instance, when a Somali Muslim stabbed 10 victims in a St. Cloud, Minnesota shopping mall, Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR’s Minnesota chapter, said, “we are definitely concerned about the potential for backlash in the community, both in the immediate run and the longer term.”
After Islamic terror attacks in France, Lebanon, and Turkey, CAIR announced an inter-faith press conference condemning the attacks and called for unity against xenophobia and Islamophobia.
“Imam Kashif Abdul-Karim, Resident Imam of Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford, said: ‘we stand to condemn the terrorist attacks in France, Turkey, Lebanon, Nigeria, and elsewhere in the world, and we call on all people of our state and nation to reject Islamophobia and the fear-mongering that is gripping our country. There is a growing trend of hate crimes against Muslims and mosques around the country and our state is clearly not immune from that.’” ~ CAIR Press Release 11-19-15
Instead of preaching to the world how we should be tolerant of Islam, Muslims should police their own ranks to remove the leaders responsible for inciting violence.
At the 8:40-minute mark in an interview regarding the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, King Abdullah II of Jordan said, “Whether I’m in Washington in the Congress or with the administration, I think maybe there’s a lack of understanding of Islam. Islam is built on moral virtues that you see in Christianity, in Judaism, and other religions. It is not a religion of hate.” At the 2:18-minute mark, however, he described Jerusalem as a city that could, “Bring us together or it could create aggression and violence we have never seen before.”
King Abdullah’s statements regarding the potential for Jerusalem to bring violence are validated by the violent rhetoric spewed by Palestinian leaders and the actual violent conduct of Palestinian agitators.
After three Muslim terrorists killed two Israeli policemen last year, Palestinian Fatah leaders called for violence and rage as they rebroadcast a 2014 speech by Mahmoud Abbas, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Abbas’s speech was broadcast 19 times in 3 days. Violence ensued then, even after Palestinian demands were met, just as it did after President Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
Although important to claims of Islam being a peaceful religion, highlighting their violent rhetoric and aggression is not the reason I felt compelled to write this article. It was solely a point of emphasis for my primary motivation, which was the ‘unifying claims’ King Abdullah made about Muslim beliefs regarding Jesus and the Bible.
At the 9: 00-minute mark of the interview, King Abdullah stated: “We, as Muslims, believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, we believe in the holy virgin mother, we believe in the Bible and the Torah, and I think this is the way all of us were brought up.”
I don’t know King Abdullah or what he was raised to believe, but I can easily compare his claim to speak for all Muslims to the Pope speaking on behalf of all Christians or Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking for all Jews. One man cannot speak for an entire system of belief, but we can compare his claims to what is written in the Qur’ān and Hadith.
Let’s work backward.
Does Islam recognize the Bible, including the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)? Yes and no. Islam recognizes most of its history and prophets, but repeatedly claims the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) have strayed from the truth. According to the Qur’ān, Allah revealed all scripture, but only Muhammed’s final revelation is the truth.
Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the [revelation] to thy heart by Allah’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,-
Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.
We have sent down to thee Manifest Signs [ayat]; and none reject them but those who are perverse. (Qur’ān 2:97-99)
Anything contained in the Bible that conflicts with the Qur’ān is deemed ‘allegorical’ and not to be followed because Allah is the only one who knows the true interpretation.
Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal.
It is He Who sent down to thee [step by step], in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law [of Moses] and the Gospel [of Jesus] before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion [of judgment between right and wrong].
Then those who reject Faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest penalty, and Allah is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution.
He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental [of established meaning]; they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. (Qur’ān 3:2-4,7)
People of the Book who accept the Qur’ān are deemed to have understanding and follow right guidance. On the contrary, those who do not accept the Qur’ān are described as disputing over matters they don’t understand.
The Religion before Allah is Islam [submission to His Will]: Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account.
So if they dispute with thee, say: “I have submitted My whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me.” And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: “Do ye [also] submit yourselves?” If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah’s sight are [all] His servants. (Qur’ān 3:19-20)
Say: “O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we [at least] are Muslims [bowing to Allah’s Will].
Ye People of the Book! Why dispute ye about Abraham, when the Law and the Gospel Were not revealed Till after him? Have ye no understanding?
Ah! Ye are those who fell to disputing [Even] in matters of which ye had some knowledge! but why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and ye who know not!
Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah’s [Which is Islam], and he joined not gods with Allah. (Qur’ān 3:64-67)
From sűra 3:64, it’s clear the Qur’ān teaches Allah has no equal – no partners, no Lord or patron. The argument is that Abraham was a servant of the Islamic god Allah rather than the Jewish God Jehovah (YHWY), since the Jewish faith did not yet exist. Therein lies the problem with claiming the Bible and its heritage for Islam. The Qur’ān itself discredits the entire Bible’s primary claim. The promises of God flow through the Jewish heritage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the throne of David and ultimately Jesus Christ.
King Abdullah claims to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but in what context does he mean Messiah? The Jesus of Islam clearly does not align with the Jesus of the Bible.
Yes, Jesus claimed to be the Jewish Messiah (John 4:25-26). John 4:1-45 is the story of Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman and revealing Himself as the Messiah, otherwise known as the Christ, which comes from the Greek word Χριστός (Christos) (Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary 5547), meaning anointed (i.e. the Messiah). But, He also claimed to be the Son of God Who is one with God (John 10:22-39), equal to God (John 5:18), and God Himself (John 8:58).
John 8:58 is particularly interesting because the surrounding story directly contradicts two main claims in the Qur’ān: Jews don’t understand the true heritage of Abraham, and Jesus is not God.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. (John 8:31-40 ESV)
The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (John 8:48-59 ESV)
Jesus confirmed the heritage of Abraham as the father of the Jews, and directly correlated Himself as the Son of the Jewish God of Abraham. More than that, the Jewish leaders were picking up stones to throw because He claimed to actually be God by saying “before Abraham was, I am,” reflecting God’s conversation with Moses.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 (ESV)
The Qur’ān is very clear that Christ is not Allah, meaning Jesus either cannot be the Christ (Messiah) or He cannot be God.
They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. (Qur’ān 5:17)
The Qur’ān is equally clear that Allah does not have a son.
They say: “[Allah] Most Gracious has begotten a son!”
Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!
At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin,
That they should invoke a son for [Allah] Most Gracious.
For it is not consonant with the majesty of [Allah] Most Gracious that He should beget a son. (Qur’ān 19:88-92)
As a final point of clarification between the Islamic version of Jesus and Jesus of the Bible, the Qur’ān denies Jesus crucifixion.
That they said [in boast], “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-
Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-
And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;- 4:157-159
If Jesus was not crucified, if Allah simply raised Him up before He died, then the core of Christianity is eviscerated.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:12-17 (ESV)
Instead of accepting Jesus’ own claims from the Bible, The Qur’ān (sűra 4:159 above) and Muslim tradition indicate Jesus will be on the side of Islam on the Day of Judgment.
Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Sahih Bukhari, Book 34, Hadith Number 425)
From the Islam Questions and Answers website, Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid offers the following clarification concerning Jesus.
“He will break the cross and kill the pigs” means he will declare as false the religion of the Christians by breaking the cross in a real sense and proving false the Christians’ claims and veneration of the cross.
“And he will abolish the jizyah”:
The correct view concerning this is that he will not accept it, and he will not accept anything from the kaffirs disbelievers but Islam. If any of them offer the jizyah that will not make him stop fighting them. Rather he will not accept anything but Islam or death. This is the view of Imam Abu Sulaymaan al-Khattaabi and other scholars (may Allah have mercy on them).
So, according to the Qur’ān and Muslim tradition, Jesus will be a witness against those who believe in Him as the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14), declaring their beliefs false by “breaking the cross.”
Either King Abdullah doesn’t understand the teachings of the Qur’ān or he is being willfully deceptive. Will the real Islam please stand up?