Sunday, November 16, 2008

Very Impressive Non-Answer

...And today's Very Impressive Non-Answer award of yadda-yadda articulation goes to.......Muslim feminist analyst Dalia Mogahed, who was interviewed here by Warren Larson. Larson, the director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University (a well-known academic center of liberalism), authored Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity?

So a leading Christian publication is running a feature that not only gives Islam a voice, but that voice casts Islam in a progressive and favorable light. To quote Mark Driscoll, "If I may state the obvious, about Christ. Now, I don't mean to stretch it....."

I stopped being amazed by anti-biblical ideology masquerading as Christianity somewhere around 2003, when my church was doing Richard Foster books that promoted zen-like meditation. When the UCC gave up all pretense of following the God of the Bible, I didn't raise an eyebrow. But the space given to Islam in Christian media outlets is not only disconcerting, it promotes a completely false, unbiblical and dangerous ecumenism. For the discerning, it is easy to see through the facade. This Muslim spokeswoman hangs herself on her own words.

Here's the quote:

Larson: Don't all four schools of Sunni Islamic law suggest that a Muslim who leaves Islam and embraces Christianity, for example, should be executed?

Mogahed: We have to look at modern interpretations, because Islamic law is a vibrant, ever-changing set of interpretations. Fiqh, or human interpretation of Shari'ah, maps changes with time and place. Look, for example, at Sheikh Ali Jumu'a, grand mufti of Egypt, whose interpretation of apostasy laws is not to take drastic measures. In the past, apostasy was seen as treason because citizenship in one group was defined by faith, and when people left one faith, they had to work against their community. One's faith today is no longer seen in the same context, because the nation-state has been completely transformed.

Notice she neither answered the question, nor denied that ex-Muslims are persecuted and killed by other Muslims the world over because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Mogahed actually stated in the interview that data indicates Islamic violence is NOT driven by religious extremism, but rather by "extreme political ideology". Mmm, yeah. Like that Danish cartoon incident. That probably had more to do with the severe persecution of Muslims in Copenhagen and Denmark's oppressive economic conditions than it did with fascism. Those crazy

Vikings Danes can be real demagogues.

The 4-page spread in CT "challenges stereotypes" about Islam. Mogahed claims that "Muslims admire democratic values" and that the Koran does not espouse violence (which is a bald-faced lie). For a more accurate, chapter and verse assessment of what the Koran really says, see the writings of former Muslim Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner, including "20 Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam". Notice when questioned about "apostates" (by definition, those who leave Islam for other religions; also known as "infidels"), she evades the question by affirming how wrong it would be to call other Muslims apostates. So I guess the scholarship of Drs. Ergun and Emir Caner, who are both Baptist pastors with PhDs in theology, wouldn't count since they are just "apostates".

Go read their joint project, "Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs" for some quotes that actually contain substance and truth. Careful, though; it's seditious stuff.


Chris said...

A few things:

1) Since when is Columbia International University liberal? Sounds like you're just trying to take a cheap shot.

2) I think the idea of the article was to open Christian's eyes to Islam. That Islam is not all about killing and terrorism. I have known many Muslims who fit the description in the article. They care nothing for the violence that people like Bin Laden care about. Yes, maybe Mogahed gave a non-answer, but maybe you should read whole book as well. I plan to.

3) You recommend the Caner books. I would not recommend their books. I would recommend Phil Parshall's books and Nabeel Jabbour's books.

4) I would encourage you to break out of whatever bias you have.

Marie said...


For Christians' eyes to be open to Islam, the best place is to study the religion itself. The Koran does, in fact, promote both intolerance of other religions ('dogs and pigs') as well as execution of those who convert. The fact that Mogahed (as well as many other individual Muslims)does not agree with violence or terrorism is not the point. Intolerance of other religions is inherent in the Islamic ideology. The fact that a Christian publication presented this slant is (IMO) inappropriate - when is the last time you saw an evangelical Christian spokesperson being interviewed on Al-Jeer or any other Muslim media outlet?

BTW, it was not a book, it was an interview. I did read it, several times to make sure I was not taking Mogahed out of context, and posted the link to the full article. The slant was clearly to portray Islam as a progressive religion of peace. Despite her own moderate views, nowhere did Mogahed decry or deny the atrocities committed in the name of Sha'ria the world over. Want to see the real Muslim attitude towards Christians? Voice of the Martyrs is a good place to start.

I am curious, what is it about the Caners' books that you find disturbing?

Bias? If I have a "bias", that would be toward the inerrancy of (Christian) Scripture. See, Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He died on the Cross and was resurrected on the third day. Muslims say He's not and He didn't. Obviously, we can't both be right. Contrary to what many think, we are not worshiping the same God. Should we all be peaceful and respectful of each other? Obviously we should! But ecumenism is at best misguided.

Thanks for stopping by.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I have the Caners' book and I pass it out free at our Christian book table; I buy them by the case! I have read the Koran and can say first-hand that it indeed advocates violence. I can suggest a couple other good books about Islam:

"Behind the Veil: Unmasking Isam," published by Pioneer Book Company (I can't find an author; it appears to be a "general editors" type of book.)

"Women in Islam," by P. Newton & M. Rafiqul Haqq

"Answering Islam," by Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb

"The Truth About Muhammad," by Robert Spencer

"The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)," also by Robert Spencer.

Muslims who are not interested in violence are not following their faith and are more cultural Muslims than orthodox Muslims. Sort of like Christians who don't follow their holy book!