The Islamic Middle East
By: John Rosenstern
The Bible speaks of the escalation of wars and rumors of wars in these Last Days. God’s Word also speaks of nations becoming confederate to cut Israel off from being a Nation. The events happening in the Middle East are shaping the nations that will play a part in God’s Prophetic Plan. Countries like Libya, Egypt, and Ethiopia are mentioned by Daniel the Prophet 2,500 years ago. Syria, Lebanon, Philistia, modern day Gaza, Iran, formerly known as Persia, Turkey, and many other Middle Eastern nations are also specifically mentioned as players in the last scene of this Age. The one thing that all these nations have in common is Islam. There’s no doubt the world is vastly changing, and with Islam being a major catalyst. To better understand this let’s examine the role of Islam in the Middle East by looking at some of its origins and governing law known as Sharia Law.
The spirit of Islam
The spirit and character of Ishmael and his descendents is described in the Bible in Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (These predictions describe the Arab people perfectly. They cannot get along with anyone in the world, and they cannot even get along among themselves. The descendants of Ishmael dwell in the presence of all his brethren [Israel], but do not subdue them and, in fact, never will subdue them!)”
The literal translation reads, “And he is a wild-ass man, his hand against every one, and every one’s hand against him – and before the face of all his brethren he dwelleth” (YLT). This aptly describes the spirit of those who follow Islam. The tribal life of the Middle Eastern Bedouin was embroidered into Muhammad’s Islamic dream. The hero image of the warrior male, and submissive women who were their rewards, characterized the essence of male glorification and mistreatment of women. The use of the word Islam since the time of Muhammad means submission but, before Muhammad it meant “warrior like.” Changing the use of the word did not change the spirit behind it.
Today, the nations of the Middle East have predominately remained uncivilized. Nearly 70% of the worlds’ Islamic population is illiterate. Many Muslims quote the verses of the Koran in their prayers with little comprehension of what it says or means. Their religious zeal can often be manipulated and aroused to jihad by a perceived threat or alleged criticism of its prophet Muhammad, or religious book. A recent example of this was witnessed after Pastor Terry Jones in Florida followed through with his burning of the Koran. The Islamic furor that followed saw at least two Christians killed and multiple churches attacked in Pakistan, says Asia News.
According to the outlet, two Christians were killed when Islamic extremists attacked a Pentecostal church in Hyderabad. The group originally showed up to burn the church, but were unsuccessful. Instead, they confiscated copies of the Bible and burned them.
In a similar attack, a mob reportedly attacked the Full Gospel Assembly Church, in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore. There, Asia News says, the attackers “threw copies of the Bible into the street and accused the Christians of blasphemy, claiming they found pieces of the Koran, not far from the church.” In countries like this blasphemy is punishable by death, according to Sharia Law. And in yet a third incident, a group of seven armed men attacked the Catholic Church of St. Thomas in the military district of Wah.
Afghan protesters angered by the burning of the Koran killed up to 20 United Nations staff, beheading two foreigners when they overran a compound in a normally peaceful northern city in the worst ever attack on the United Nations in Afghanistan. At least eight foreigners were among the dead after attackers took out security guards, burned parts of the compound, and climbed up blast walls to topple a guard tower, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern region. Five protesters were also killed and around 20 wounded.
Sharia Source and Definitions
The term Sharia literally means “the path to a watering hole.” To a Muslim, Sharia is a religious code for living. Sharia is used to refer both to the Islamic system of law and the totality of the Islamic way of life. Sharia is derived both from the teachings of the Koran and the Sunna, which is referred to as Islamic custom and practice; particularly that which is associated with the exemplary life of the Prophet Muhammad, comprising of his deeds and utterances as recorded in the hadith. The word hadith literally means “report” or “narrative.” Whatever Muhammad said or did is what a Muslim says or does. The way he fought, treated others, and even the manner of how he cleaned himself is closely followed and imitated. Islam can be better understood by the west as the “cult of Muhammad.” Although he is not to be worshipped as god, Muslims around the world will defend his honor above the name of their god Allah. Recently, cartoon pictures of Muhammad were circulated by a Dutch artist. Muslim scholars issued fatwa’s, legal rulings, to kill anyone who participated in the act of desecrating Muhammad in such a manner. There were uprisings of Muslims as they went to the streets in many countries to protest with chanting threats and vandalism of property.
Founders and Schools of Islam that formed Sharia
There are two predominant recognized founders of Sharia Law in Islam. Although their names may not have great significance to the reader I will mention them for clarity of understanding; Malik ibn Anas and Ibn al-Shaf’i. The first established the Maliki School of jurisprudence and relied heavily on the hadith to establish how a Muslim should live. Al-Shaf’i was one of his students and disagreed in part with his teacher about the reliability of the hadith’s. He felt that it was necessary to trace each hadith from the time of Muhammad through its chain of devout followers. Out of this suggestion Muslim scholars began to question which hadith were true and which were not. The conflicts amongst scholars led to different applications of Islamic law. To add to the evolution of Islamic Sharia Law, Ibn al-Shaf’i promoted the idea of reasoning by analogy to develop new laws from existing laws. He also incorporated a technique of accepting consensus of the Muslim community. His reasoning was Allah would not allow an entire community to be in error on a basic Islamic principle. This is what is so confusing to the west when dealing with Muslims. Here in the United States of America (USA) Islam is recognized as just another religion and we should champion its freedom to practice its expression of worship. True adherents to Islam know that Islam goes beyond just worship but incorporates all aspects of their lives. In other words a Muslim cannot be limited to just worship, he must ever be seeking to establish Sharia Law to govern his whole life and thinking.
Strategy of Muslims to Obtain Sharia in Secular Societies
The reader must never underestimate the goal of Muslims in the USA to establish Sharia Law. The first step is for them to create a dual legal system. Many majority Muslim countries have a duel legal system in which the government is secular but Muslims can choose to bring familial and financial disputes to Sharia courts. Examples of this can be seen in Nigeria and Kenya, which have Sharia courts that rule on family law for Muslims. In Tanzania civil courts apply Sharia Law or secular law according to the religious backgrounds of the defendants. Lebanon and Indonesia have a mixed jurisdiction of courts based on residential colonial legal systems and supplemented with Sharia Law. Qatar officially uses a dual legal system. Their civil courts operate independently of the Sharia system to legislate secular laws. In 2008 Britain allowed Sharia tribunals governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance to make legally binding decisions if both parties agreed. The controversial Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Roman Williams, argued that this would help “maintain cohesion” in European societies increasingly divided by religion. What a spiritually blind person!
Sharia in America
Sharia is creeping into America and our legal system is beginning to recognize it! In Tampa, Florida, a dispute arose over who controls the funds a mosque received in 2008 from an eminent domain proceeding. Former trustees of the mosque are claiming in court they have the right to the funds. Current mosque leaders are disputing that claim. The current mosque leaders want the case decided according to secular, Florida civil law, and their attorney has been vigorously arguing the case accordingly. The former trustees of the mosque want the case decided according to Sharia Law. Here’s the kicker. The judge recently ruled, “This case will proceed under Ecclesiastical Islamic law,” (Sharia Law), “pursuant to the Qur’an.” Until America awakens from its sleep of unrealistic expectations born out of apathy and political correctness Islamic law will gradually make its way into every aspect of legal resolutions, civil matters, and special rights given to Muslims who cry victimhood at every occasion. I applaud the efforts of many states to preemptively stop Sharia Law in the USA. Next month I will detail how Sharia Law, and its rulings from a variety of countries, has brought great suffering to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Please pray for Muslims, they are the biggest victims of Islam. They need the Gospel of Jesus Christ, now more than ever. Please pray for our leaders for they are blinded by the wealth of the Islamic nations made rich by American money; and protected by American blood. We gave them the wrong sacrifice. We gave them our lives instead of the life God gave for us all, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.