Answering Jihad

imagesTerrorist attacks by Muslims have almost become a routine of 21st century life. Daily it seems we read of new assaults by Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, and now, in Europe and North America. A very natural question to ask concerns the religion of Islam itself. Is Islam a religion of peace, as many claim, or is it a religion of violence, as my daily newsfeed suggests? Is the problem “radical” Islam or “fundamentalist” Islam or just run of the mill Islam? In our politically correct environment, these are not easy questions to answer. Yet, they have real implications: should America send troops to fight ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda? Should America allow Syrian refuges to enter the country? Should the future president ban all Muslims from entering the United States?

In his tightly argued book Answering Jihad, former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi argues that we should respond to Muslim Jihad with truth and love.

Qureshi argues we should tell the truth about Islam. The truth is that “Islam’s foundations contain a tremendous amount of violence.”[1] Qureshi’s own investigation of the foundation of Islam led him to a crisis of faith. If, he argues, the life of Muhammad and the Quran are to remain essential pillars of Islam, then the inescapable conclusion is that Islam is not a religion of peace. This realization led Qureshi to a three-pronged fork in the road with respect to his Islamic faith: he had to choose either apostasy, apathy, or radicalization. He chose apostasy by rejecting the Muslim faith.

Qureshi argues also that we (Christians, Americans, all) should exercise compassion for Muslims. “We need to show compassion for Muslims and befriend them, not only because they are people who are inherently worthy of love and respect, but also because we can only speak into their lives and decisions if we have earned the right.”[2] What is needed is the kind of love envisioned by Jesus, “a decision to engage others as image bearers of God, to put their needs and concerns above our own, even at the cost of our own.”[3]

Qureshi’s book is a helpful primer addressing many questions non-Muslims have regarding Islam. As a former Muslim, he writes with compassion for the 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, most who are peaceful (and who think Islam is a religion of peace). As a Christian, he calls us to love Muslims routinely as Jesus does—both sacrificially and in truth.

See also Nabeel Qureshi’s recently released best seller No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the evidence for Islam and Christianity.

 

 

 

[1] Nabeel Qureshi, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 144.

 [2] Ibid., 145.

 [3] Ibid., 146.

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