Book #5: It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate, Glenn Beck:
Since 9/11/01, we have become increasingly aware about terrorism and the threat of terrorism. And much debate has happened over what motivates groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram and ISIS. In this book, Glenn Beck outlines the argument that terrorist groups are motivated by an apocalyptic agenda that is deeply rooted in Islamic theology. He shows how radical islamic terrorist have been trying to infiltrate and degrade the culture of the west and return the world to 7th century islamic caliphate. This book is a chilling read as you see how terrorists have infiltrated our country and see their future goals.
What is my personal take on this book? (sorry, this is going to be a long one)
This book does a good job and a harrowing job of describing radical, fundamentalist Islam. There is certainly a group of individuals who are on an apocalyptic, jihadist mission of world domination with eschatological motives. However, I believe (and this book is careful to state as well) that the mission and motivation of these individuals (Islamists) are not representative of all 1.5 billion muslims that live worldwide. We can argue whether Islam is a religion of peace or submission but most muslims are peaceful individuals who live and work within their communities beside others of differing faiths. So the question comes down to this, “What is true Islam?” I am not sure I have a good answer to this question yet. Through this book and others, I firmly believe that individuals in groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS are motivated by their theology. These men who kill and torture others, abuse women and children and seek to oppress communities under the banner of sharia law do so with the authority of the Q’uran and Hadith. And to deny that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism is doing nothing more than sticking our head in the sand and setting ourselves up for a catastrophic surprise. So what should we do?
#1. From a biblical perspective we need to remember that whatever happens God is in control, he will build his church and establish his kingdom. If this sounds familiar, I was surprised by this too. Islam and Christianity are similar yet fundamentally different faiths. Where Islam tries to establish a kingdom on earth through violence and submission, the kingdom of Christianity is not of this world and is established through the grace of God and the finished work of Christ on the cross. Where one compels submission out of fear the other compels submission out of love. Islam calls us to submit to Allah as revealed by Mohammed. Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden.” We must decide in the words of Joshua, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”
#2. From a policy perspective, we need to clearly define the problem and our cultural values. We as a nation need to be clear that are a people that respects individuals of all races, classes and faiths and we welcome people from all nations. From the time of our founding, we have always been a beacon of freedom in the world. We have always been a nation that has stood firmly in the principles that all are free to live, work and worship as we choose. We stand in firm opposition to anyone or any group that seeks to dictate how we can live and who we can worship. Therefore, we need to be extremely clear, that we oppose the radical Islamist ideology that seeks to impose Islam, Islamic law and Islamic traditions on others both here and abroad. This is the problem with our current leadership: they are unwilling to call these people who they are and unwilling to draw a line in the sand to protect our cultural values from the outside forces that seek to undermine who we are as an American people.