Friday, September 07, 2007

Evangelism - Islam Style

Osama bin Ladin has released a new video. The present author has no plans to link to it, nor to any transcript of it.


The summary is:


America is bad,
Bush is bad,
Christians are bad,
Capitalism is bad,
Corporations are bad,
Democracy is bad,
Globalisation is bad,
Islam is good,
Terrorism is justified,
Muslims don't incinerate Jews and Christians,
The Qaran and the Gospel are from the same source, and
The Qaran has been preserved from the alterations of men.


And, of course, key quote:


"[T]he greatest mistake one can make in this world and one which is uncorrectable is to die while not surrendering to Allah, the Most High, in all aspects of one's life - ie., [sic] to die outside Islam."


May God have mercy on Bin Ladin, and convert him from the error of his way, before it is too late.


As for his specific claims:


- As a matter of historical fact, the Qaran was subject to alteration and standardization by various people. Furthermore, early Muslims famously acknowledged that much of the Koran was permanently lost: " 'Uthman, A'isha, and Ibn Ka'b (among others) all insisted that much of the Koran had been lost." (source)


- As a matter of theology, the path of salvation in Christianity is different from that of Islam, and the doctrines of the Evangelists are not the doctrines of Islam. Christ is the I AM, and the Muslim denial of that truth is blasphemy.


- Not all Muslim incinerate every Christian or Jew that they meet. Nevertheless, Muslim terrorists routinely incinerate both themselves and the Christians, Jews, and other Muslims they attack. Those young men who foolish follow Bin Ladin and the false prophet of Islam demonstrate that incineration is a weapon that Muslims use. Furthermore, whether or not they use incineration, Muslims are notorious for the use of the sword (whether literally or with reference to modern hand weapons like the gun). Only in the last week it has been reported that Christian missionaries in Pakistan were martyred by Muslims who used a gun.


- Bin Ladin claims that there are no taxes in Islam, but instead "a limited Zakaat totaling only 2.5%." Of course, Muslims famously eradicated Christianity in North Africa not only by the sword but also by confiscatory taxation.


- Terrorism is justified how exactly? Bin Ladin hints that the Christian west, especially America, Britain and France, deserves to be attacked. Why? Apparently because of our continued warfare against Iraq. Huh? It should be fairly obvious to those who read the news that the population of Iraq has accepted the regime change and is fighting a war against radical Muslim extremists who, like Bin Ladin, seek to spread Islam by the sword. We're there to help Iraq - we're not waging war against Iraq. Oh yes, one other thing. Were we at war with Iraq or any other Muslim nation when Bin Ladin attacked on September 11? (He notes that he cannot reasoanbly claim to be innocent of the September 11 attacks.)


- Ironically, Bin Ladin asserts that "our [Muslim] rulers in general abandoned Islam many decades ago." That should make it clear that Bin Ladin is advocating a particular - rather strict - variety of Islam.


- Bin Ladin claims to be "winning ... the war against you despite the fewness of our numbers and materiel." In contrast, however, about 75% of Al Quaeda has been destroyed, and the 25% that remains is mostly either hiding or incarcerated.


- Bin Ladin may be right that democracy is a bad idea (and this blog is not taking a position on that issue), but if it were not for democracy, he would have been long ago destroyed by the Russians. In any event, Bin Ladin is probably confusing democracy with pluralism.


- Bin Ladin uses the communist propaganda against capitalism, asserting that it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. History has shown that capitalism made the Christian world rich when the Muslim world suffered in gross poverty, so that obesity (not starvation) has become the afflication of the poor in Christian nations throughout the world.


- Bin Ladin lumps in globalization with capitalism and democracy - an odd combination, but apparently an appeal to the anti-globalization radicals in America. Interestingly, the forces of globalization have been the major visible cause of improvement in the health and welfare of developing countries.


- Bin Ladin notes "abject poverty and tragic hunger" in Africa, but this occurs mostly in Muslim, former Communist, and pagan societies.


- Bin Ladin asserts that the war has aided "major corporations." What Bin Ladin does not seem to recognize is that "major corporations" are virtually all publicly owned. If Lockheed Martin benefitted, all its stockholders benefitted, and anyone who has money can buy stock in that corporation. Have "major corporations" benefited from the eradication of Al Quaeda? Probably yes. And that benefit has been transferred on to the stockholders, the American and global public.


- Bin Ladin blames Rumsfield for the Vietnam war, yet Rumsfield was a "dove" in the Nixon administration. (source)


- Bin Ladin blames Christianity for the Spanish Inquisition and the "holocaust of the Jews," when he should be blaming athiesm and Catholicism. On top of that, has Bin Ladin forgotten why the Spanish Inquisition was formed? One of the reasons was the invasion by militant Islam in Southern Europe.


- Bin Ladin claims that Bush is try to win the war by turning sect against sect in Iraq. In fact, Bush has already succeeded in uniting multiple sects against Al Quaeda in Iraq.

Finally, a summary of Bin Ladin's soteriology.

Bin Ladin writes (well, the transcript of his speech reads): "And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves' desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused."

This is not so different from an Arminian or Pelagian soteriology.

But compare it to a Reformed soteriology:

All praise be to The One Triune God! He has redeemed His children from out of every land, nation, tribe, and tongue. He will open their eyes to the glory of His name, and they will follow Him. He will riase them to spiritual life from spiritual death, and they will dwell with Him in Heaven forever!

-Turretinfan

4 comments:

Josh said...

Bin Ladin writes (well, the transcript of his speech reads): "And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves' desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused."

This is not so different from an Arminian or Pelagian soteriology.


Pelagians maybe, but not Arminians. Unless you mean to say that Arminians disregard the blood of Christ and teach that future obedience erases past disobedience? Osama is claiming essentially "if I keep the Law tomorrow, then I didn't break it yesterday." Arminians don't teach that. They teach that obedience to Christ is necessary to salvation, but that the blood of Christ erases past sins. It's not the same at all.

Turretinfan said...

Josh,

Thanks for your comments.

The similiarity that I was pointing out was the notion that "only those who refuse" will perish.

You raise an interesting further similarity:
Bin Ladin's explanation regarding the relationship between obedience and salvation is not clear, though it is stated in a way that is quite similar (in effect) to Arminian and Pelagian soteriology, to wit that obedience is a mechanism of salvation (with obedience triggering some further mechanism on God's part).

I understand from other things I have read on Muslim theology that they would actually similarly assert that one's obedience does not erase the past sins, but that God forgives those sins apparently on account of the later obedience.

That, however, is simply an additional further parallel that I had not noticed. Thanks for pointing it out!

-Turretinfan

Josh said...

"I understand from other things I have read on Muslim theology that they would actually similarly assert that one's obedience does not erase the past sins, but that God forgives those sins apparently on account of the later obedience."

Although Islam and modern Judaism both teach this, the question of why God would forgive past sins based on future obedience is left unanswered in both Islam and in modern Judaism. In Christianity God forgives past sins on the basis of Jesus' sacrifices but only of those who accept that sacrifice on the terms laid out in the Covenant, the New Testament. Forgiveness doesn't require perfect obedience to some entire Law, but to the requirements of entering the Covenant (belief, repentance, confessing Christ, being baptized) and then to a continuation of a life of repentance and confession of sins. It isn't a "my good works outweight my bad works" as in Islam, which portrays the path to heaven as a man walking accross a narrow bridge weighed down by his bad works but uplifted by his good, hoping he will not fall off the bridge into Jehinam. Rather, it is simply a matter of accepting Christ's sacrifice on the terms he sets forth. His sacrifice saves, but it can't be accepted by just saying "I accept" but the terms he laid down must be met. It is very different indeed.

Turretinfan said...

Josh,

For your information, in sacrificial systems the person who "accepts" (or not) the sacrifice is the one to whom the sacrifice is offered, not the one for whom the sacrifice is offered.

Same with forgiveness - it is the person who is granting forgiveness that has to accept the person to be forgiven, not the other way 'round.

Furthermore, the Bible does not talk about us "accepting" Christ or His sacrifice, despite the enormous number of Christians who seem to think that it does.

In any event, I'm not sure whether Islam requires one's good deeds to outweigh one's bad deeds, or not. Bin Ladin doesn't seem to think so (he seems to believe entire obedience in everything is necessary), but who knows.

In any event, the fact that some synergists simply require obedience to a reduced set of laws produces only a quantitative, not qualitative difference.

On the other hand, yes - the putative forensic basis is different (the god of Islam apparently gratuitously forgives, whereas God forgives on the basis of substitutionary satisfaction) but forgiveness is not freely given in either synergism or Islam - it must apparently be obtained by meeting requirements imposed.

One wonders how this principle of requirements-based forgiveness is applied to brotherly quarrels by synergists. I suspect they inconsistently take a Calvinistic view and freely forgive their brethren, rather than waiting for some offer-acceptance procedure to take place.

-Turretinfan