I am sure that the people of Paris felt secure as they went about their business on Friday evening, November 13. For some, they were attending a concert; others, a soccer game. Even more were just having a pleasant dinner. But for 130 people in Paris, a typical Friday night ended in tragedy as members of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, struck in a barbaric way.
Most of us are following the news and at times, it's overwhelming—that's for sure.
The Bible says "weep with those that weep" (Rom. 12:15). I just saw the Head of France say that they declare war against Muslim terrorists—but for the sake of political correctness, probably did not use the world "Muslims." I sympathize because his job is basically impossible. Let us renew prayer as the Bible teaches that we should pray for all government leaders.
In my view, when cartoons were released against Mohammed, they already declared war against all who are Muslim and honor Mohammed as their prophet. Why can we not try to understand Muslims and what they believe?
We know that's hard as they have many streams of Islam, but we know one thing they share—even the most moderate liberal Muslims—is their incredibly high (impossible for most non-Muslims to understand) honor, respect and almost worship of Mohammed. Is it asking too much to ask all people to respect that?
That one act in France and other places has turned millions of Muslims across the world into what we call "terrorists." (How dare we say this is not a religious thing!)
That is just one example and there are so many. Consider Niger, a land where Christians and Muslims lived together for a long time and there were quite a few church buildings and peace and friendship to some degree.
After the cartoon incident, the Muslims completely changed (which is what extremists are working for all over the world and, to some degree, achieving). In Niger, they went on rampage and destroyed most of the churches. You can multiply this hundreds of times across the whole world, but in different ways. Often the change at this early stage is only in the mind but, with time and circumstance, turns into action.
Do we really think what happened in Paris would have happened in France if social media had not already declared war on Islam (albeit unintentionally)? That is the way huge numbers of people across the world see it. If we fail to face this, we are on wrong footing. Can the major leaders meeting in Turkey not see this?
We are not firstly battling people with weapons; we are battling for their minds. They might be some of the most sincere people on planet earth right now, ready to give their lives for what they believe.
For some years I have mentioned that we could learn from Northern Ireland. How long did it take one of the best armies in the world to bring it under control? In the end it ended not due to bombs and bullets, but by winning and changing people's minds. (Though bombs and bullets were a factor, of course.)
The U.K. is about to spend funds on 1,000 more spies. It blew my mind when I heard that. How much are we willing to spend to win peoples' minds and hearts? Most Muslims at present—and it's changing—here in U.K. are normal, ordinary people who want to get on with their lives. Most are what could be called moderate, but some extremists see everyone as not just a potential follower, but a suicide bomber.
In so-called modern warfare, this is by far one of the most complex things to battle. Study the Sri Lanka model or the Nigerian model. This is why every day we delay produces more potential suicide bombers.
Let's look at the Catch-22 of the masses of Muslim immigrants flooding into Europe. Do you think they are arriving with a plan to attack and destroy us? I don't think so, but there might be a few "sleepers" among them. Yet the way we are behaving, in accordance with our fallen human nature, you can be sure a percentage will become extremists and some of them will be ready to die even as suicide bombers. It's only a matter of time.
This in varying ways is taking place in almost every nation of the world. It means that, in time, just as France has declared war on them, every nation in the world will become like France—or worse. I am no pacifist and honor the Armed Forces, but do we really think this can be resolved with bombs, drones, bullets and spies?
We must win people's hearts and minds, but presently most people are not even talking to Muslims. On the other hand, endless negative books and articles about them—as if there is no dark side in Christendom—has produced fear, alienation and much worse. Forgive me, but has anyone even seen a leaflet or a website that give reasons for not becoming a suicide bomber?
Do we know what's going on in some of the extremist schools in Pakistan and other similar nations (including the U.K.)? Millions are being taught to embrace an extreme fundamentalist form of Islam like they have in Saudi Arabia, who are often financing the spread of this all over the world. The great embarrassment that Saudi Arabia and other similar nations face is that this teaching lays the foundation for terrorism.
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