Question: I saw on CSPAN, May 21, a Muslim scholar who was lecturing to a large and receptive audience concerning a reformation he says is taking place within Islam today. He claims that there is a growing reaction among Muslims against the violence of extremists who are giving Islam a bad name. He likened this to the Christian Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries and pointed out that all religions have exhibited a violent streak on the part of fanatics from time to time so that Islam is no different from other religions in this regard. Have you noticed this reaction among Muslim leaders and wouldn’t it be a good thing if Islam could experience a true reformation?
Answer: In my latest book, Judgment Day: Islam, Israel, and the Nations, I document a recent and growing movement within Islam that decries violence and is slowly gaining strength. It is, however, a movement among intellectuals and thus is unlikely to affect the masses of ordinary Muslims. It has been brought about by the embarrassment among primarily educators and the media, caused by the fact that so much of Islam is completely contrary to the conscience that God has given to all mankind and that even Islam cannot totally subdue or corrupt.
It is impossible, however, for Islam to experience a “reformation” like the 16th-century Christian Reformation. This is because the latter involved getting back to the true teachings of the Bible, which brings salvation and the “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance” (Gal:5:22,23) that it produces. Any “reformation” that would return Muslims to the true teachings of Islam would have the opposite effect and would only increase violence and terrorism.
In fact, such a “reformation” within Islam is already underway, involving a return to the fundamental teachings of the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad and his early successors, the “rightly guided caliphs.” It calls for exterminating the Jews and beheading all others who refuse to convert.
Terrorists are not extremists, as the Muslim reformers try to say, but they are fundamentalists who practice true Islam as Muhammad founded and practiced it and as the Qur'an requires. No “reformation” of Islam could possibly do away with terrorism. Islam itself would have to be changed completely by scrapping Muhammad as its prophet and the Qur’an and Hadith as its authoritative holy books. Any attempt to do that would pit Muslims against each other in a never-ending bloodbath.
As for all religions having a history of violence, that is true. But biblical Christianity is not a religion, nor has it been involved in violence. The crusaders could not have been true Christians or they would not, under the banner of the Cross, have killed innocent and defenseless Jews all along the way to Jerusalem and throughout the entire land of what was once Israel and had become known as “Palestine.”
Any violence done in the name of Christ is a violation of His teachings and example. Violence and terrorism done by Muslims, however, are in obedience to the teachings of the Qur’an and of Muhammad and the example he set.