Panel says Muslims must be engaged with Christian truth claims

“You can’t destroy radical Islam with bombs. Sooner or later you have to take on that ideology. Someone’s got to start confronting that which is motivating them,” said Islam expert Jay Smith of London as he displayed a copy of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. “This is what destroys them. This book makes them do what they do.”

As one of six speakers at the Inter-Faith Workshop on Islam hosted by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary last fall, Smith advocated the confrontational style of evangelism for which he is famous in England. There he participates in Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner where Christians and Muslims openly air their disagreements.

The speakers in Kansas City attempted to dismantle what they said are popular misconceptions that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Patrick Sookhdeo of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Sasan Tavasolli of the Outreach Foundation, Samuel Shahid of Good News for the Crescent World, as well as Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts and missions professor Robin Hadaway spoke during the workshop.

“There’s not one seminary, one Bible school that’s taking this on,” Smith charged as he called for more thorough preparation of Christians to understand Islamic teaching and apologetics.

Roberts seized the opportunity to accept Smith’s challenge, pledging further detailed studies of Islam if Smith would return to teach.

The fear of confrontation neutralizes the Christian’s witness to Muslims, Smith said. Noting that some 43,000 videos attacking Christianity are available on YouTube?offered up in English from sources in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh?he found only six Christian videos challenging Islam.

Since that survey, Smith and others have uploaded dozens of films attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers to his rebuttal of Islamic beliefs. Smith said Christians cannot depend upon government to counter the Islamic convictions that are at the root of much terrorist activity. He recalled former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s contention that he only saw peace and tolerance represented in the Quran after reading it three times.

“As a politician he cannot say what he knows. You can only imagine the vigilantism that would take place. He is elected to office by a constituency and many of them are Muslims. But I’m not elected to office and I don’t have a constituency, save one. His name is Jesus.”

Sookhdeo, referring to United Nations projections, said, “Muslims are very conscious of the idea that they will ultimately out-populate us.” He factored the impact of legalized abortion to present a dismal forecast for Europe as the increasing Muslim population becomes a majority by 2022.

“The argument is made that massive labor shortages require opening doors to principally Muslim immigrants,” Sookhdeo said in describing Europe’s dilemma. “Haven’t we killed off a whole generation? Then we will end up with a community that will ultimately destroy us. We will have reaped what we have sown. All of these things are interlinked.”

He explained how the strategy of Islamization differs from the expansion of Christianity. Having served in Christian ministry for 40 years, Sookhdeo has found that missionary endeavors often lack an ecclesiology that disciples and equips believers.

“We believe what we’ve got to do is get out there and get as many people as possible saved and then we leave them be,” Sookhdeo noted.

“Islam is very different,” he said, describing provisions for meeting basic needs, particularly with the influence of Saudi money pouring into countries to build new mosques, schools, hospitals, radio and television. “Every conceivable aspect of Muslim life brings them back to the Quran, Muhammad and sharia?a set of rules, guidelines and principles that govern all of Islamic society.”

He shared his frustration with media analysts who say terrorism has nothing to do with religion or ideology and more often point to “poor Muslim young people who can’t get work” as the cause.

“Most of the great analysts have never read Islamic theory, the books that reveal the strategy of the doctrine of separation of parallel societies.”

Sookhdeo explained the process of first creating a consciousness of Islam, requiring every woman to wear hijab to affirm her morality, and Muslims defining themselves in terms of Islamic identity. “Then they create institutions?an Islamic Legal Society or Islamic Women’s Society?all based on sharia principles,” Sookdheo said.

From there they approach local, regional and national governments, arguing for observance of Islamic holidays, separate space in swimming pools. “Then they begin to say, ‘We are here, you mus

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