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When you study the world of Islam, you find that there is a lot of diversity. It is not the monolithic faith that people make it out to be. The extreme Islamist side to Islam is a part of that diversity but it is a small part on the fringe. Most Muslims who immigrate to the USA and Canada are moderates who want to adapt to their new homes and countries. This means that they are open to democracy, and learning the ways of the local culture. They want to become good citizens and seek prosperity for their families. In this way they are like you and me.

The second part to this question is demographic. Muslims are only a small percentage of the USA (1%) and Canada (3%) so there is no need to worry about the immediate implementation of Sharia Law. Even in places where Muslims are concentrated, such as Dearborn, Michigan, there is no call to implement Sharia Law. Muslims also value the rights and freedoms that we hold dearly in western societies and they are willing and ready to adapt. Let’s be good neighbors and offer them hospitality rather than fear them.


Greetings Greg:

    I asked a couple of friends who are former Muslims what they thought of your post. Sorry to say, but comparisons to something that an ostrich does were made. This is painful, especially in light of the fact that you appear to want to diminish wrong ideas about Muslims, as people, and as neighbours.

    If I can level with you, this series of questions comes with very mixed messages. You pose questions, but actually they are only the springboard for making assertions--whether directly or not---that would make Islam seem closer to Christianity, more benign, and more acceptable as a so called "peaceful religion."  

   Might I suggest talking with Nabil Quereshi and David Wood in Dearborn? They have a much different view than you. Might I refer you to a Toronto Sun article of this last February which detailed the incursions of Sharia-thinking in Canadian universities? Might I refer to a recent news event where in Mombassa Muslims were instructed to "kill the kuffar."? Might I suggest that what is happening with Boko Haram in Nigeria is consistent with Islamic theology, and not a lunatic fringe as you seem to assert?

  Greg, I think you misunderstand Islam's structure. At the un-negotiable core are the Qur'an, the Sunnah or hadiths, and the Sira or life of Muhammad. All Muslims circle around this center of gravity, like it or not. The distance at which they circle is different in each case, which you have observed above. But that does not take away from the core. Careful distinctions here are vital, or you will send mixed messages that are confusing at best, and misleading at worst.

The demographic argument means nothing. Lenin asked for 12 dedicated men. Jesus had about the same. Both turned the world around them upside down with just a few people. If you take the example of CAIR in the USA, they are using the political system to their full advantage to make the US Sharia compliant. . You cannot say, "peace, peace when there is no peace"---witness the worldwide news, and the enormous challenge that the likes of Geert Wilders and others must exercise in order to speak truth. That said, neither must we be fear-mongerers, as I believe you would rightfully assert.

As to the program for Islam, it pictures itself as the solution to humanity's problems, as the superior religion, as the final religion, and that all others are living in ignorance. No wonder the USA Muslim Brotherhood documents reveal that its stated plan is to destroy Western civilization [say Judeo-Christian ethics and all] from within. For one to say, "peace, peace" with these facts in mind, might be a case of willful or unwitting ignorance or as stated above, an ostrich posture. 

I close with a challenge for you to engage with more former Muslims who are now in Christ. I think of the vital question raised by .   Abdu Murray in his new  book, "The Grand Central Question" (IVP, 2014) where he asks "Can the gospel satisfy the Muslim mind’s desire to apprehend God’s greatness while satisfying the Muslim heart’s longing to submit to it in awe?" (p. 170). Now that is a question!


Thank you Salaam for your reply. I appreciate your responses and admit that we do need to hear both sides of this debate.The way in which Christians respond to Muslims will only become more and more imperative as globalization continues to bring us together. My goal is to break down some of the barriers that have been built up in the media and other places that separate our two faiths. We have been led to believe there has to be a clash of civilizations and that religion leads to conflict (aka Richard Dawkins). On the other hand, I am not so naive that I do not see challenges to other faiths in the Islamic worldview (particularly their desire to create an Islamic state). However we have to be careful that our efforts to label the other in certain ways does not blind us to our own militaristic efforts to spread western ideas (conflated with Christianity).


I do have Abdu Murray's book on my reading list so hopefully I will get to that in the next few months. In my efforts to build bridges with people of other faiths I continue to believe that Jesus is the only way, truth and life and that there is only one mediator between God and humankind. I just want to steer clear of religious arrogance that is based more in religious systems rather than actual faith in Jesus. Thank you for mentioning that fear mongering is not our best approach. I continue to be concerned about the level of anti-Muslim sentiment in our churches and hope that we can find a realistic and peace oriented approach to our Muslim neighbors.


I am sorry to say that you are very naive in your understanding of Islam as a faith.  While you are right that it is not a monolithic faith--the question is what is the teaching of the founder.  He was an extremist Muslim.  Any Muslim who adheres to the 7 pillars of Islam--is committed to Jihad--the 7th pillar.  Benizir Bhutto--former Prime Minister of Pakistan once noted that only 10% of Muslims are exteame--that still represents 100,000,000 Muslims.  So it is not a "fringe". 

It is also important to observe that this form of Islam, which the "Prophet" practiced himself--going to the battlefield 29 times, slaughtering people who did not convert---is the pattern for doing Jihad.  Saudi Arabia was unified under the Saud family following the same practice--known as Whabism.   Islam grew across the Middle East--Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and North Africa in 2 years.  This did not happen with "idea prosetylization" but through war and coercion.  Isis, Al Queda, etc. are all committed to this form of "evangelism"

An interesting U.S. constitutional question is whether we shoud permit "freedom of religion" for a religion that over its history has been committed to coercive conversion that would take away other peoples "freedom" of religion.

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