Do Muslims really qualify for religious freedom benefits?


"Islam may be more of a geo-political movement than a religion," says Index Editor J. Gerald Harris. COMSTOCK IMAGES/Getty "Islam may be more of a geo-political movement than a religion," says Index Editor J. Gerald Harris. COMSTOCK IMAGES/Getty[/caption]

Baptist Press reported on May 25 that the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission sponsored a panel discussion in Washington D.C. where universal religious freedom was lauded.

Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, stated, “Our differences are too important to be adjudicated by the state or to be applied through pressure.”

Moore continued, “I am a genuine, creedal, evangelical Christian. I believe that no one goes to heaven except through explicit faith in Jesus Christ. That is why I don’t think that we ought to be harassing our Muslim neighbors or marginalizing our Muslim neighbors. We can either love our Muslim neighbors or speak to them or we can scream at them. We can’t do both of those two things at the same time.”

Dr. Moore put actions to his words when the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission joined the SBC International Mission Board and 18 other civil and religious groups aligned with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to sign an amicus brief in support of a community of Muslims in New Jersey who have been trying to build a mosque for almost a decade.

While Muslims around the world and in our own country are shouting “Death to America” should we be defending their rights to build mosques, which often promote Sharia Law and become training grounds for radicalizing Muslims?

Last year while Secretary of State John Kerry was attempting to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, which resulted in Iran getting $150 billion and the U.S. getting basically nothing, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei along with an unruly crowd was shouting, “Death to America!”

It is bad enough that such venom toward America is being spewed from people in Iran, but now the same kind of rhetoric is being heard from dissenters in America. In April at a political rally in Chicago there was a massive protest outside the rally venue hosting the event with people chanting “Death to America,” Free Palestine,” and “Death to Israel!”

All that simply leads me to say that Islam may be more of a geo-political movement than a religion. Reza F. Safa, once a devout and practicing Shi’ite Muslim and now a minister of the Gospel, has written, “Recognizing Islam as a system of religious belief is the gravest mistake that the Western governments have made in this era.”

Another former Muslim stated, “The Islamic message to the infidels of the West is: ‘We will fight the infidel to death. Meanwhile, American laws will protect us. Leftists will support us. UNO will legitimize us. CAIR will incubate us. The ACLU will empower us. Western universities will educate us. Mosques will shelter us. OPEC will finance us. Hollywood will love us. And the United Nations Secretary will pass politically correct, sympathetic statements for Jihadists.’”

Jody Hice, former Baptist pastor and U.S. Representative from Georgia’s 10th congressional district, stated in his book It’s Now Or Never: A Call To Reclaim America, “Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology. It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”

Hice continued, “Most people think Islam is a religion; it’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component. But it is much larger. It’s a geo-political system that has governmental, financial, military, legal, and religious components. And it’s a totalitarian system that encompasses every aspect of life and it should not be protected.”

“This is not a tolerant, peaceful religion even though some Muslims are peaceful. Radical Muslims believe that Sharia is required by God and must be imposed worldwide,” Hice said. “It’s a movement to take over the world by force. A global caliphate is the objective. That’s why Islam would not qualify for First Amendment protection since it’s a geo-political system .... This will impact our lives if we don’t get a handle on it.”

“These things are in no way compatible with the U.S. Constitution. ... Islam and the Constitution are oceans apart,” Hice said. “It’s about controlling your behavior, when and where you can worship and legal issues. The number one threat is to our worldview and whether we chunk it for secularism or Islam.”

“This is not a tolerant, peaceful religion even though some Muslims are peaceful. Radical Muslims believe that Sharia is required by God and must be imposed worldwide.”

Jody Hice, U.S. Representative, Georgia's 10th District

Rebecca Bynum, Publisher and Managing Editor for the popular web magazine New English Review and author of Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion, stated in a speech in Memphis, TN, “I often liken Islam to a duck-billed platypus, which superficially resembles an otter. Upon closer examination, one finds this animal has a duck-like bill, lays eggs, and has many other characteristics, which are not otter-like. So it cannot therefore remain in the biological category containing otters. It is simply too different and has to have its own category.

“I believe the same thing is true of Islam. It is much too different from the other religions to remain in the religion category. It should be uniquely classified in its own category.

“Islam is not the answer – Islam is the problem.

“We expect religion to uphold morality and civilizational standards. It is clear Islam doesn’t do that.”

So, do Southern Baptists entities need to come to the defense of a geo-political movement that has basically set itself against Western Civilization? Even if Islam is a religion must we commit ourselves to fight for the religious freedom of a movement that aggressively militates against other religions?

Furthermore, is it biblically correct to unite with other entitles like the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, Interfaith Coalition on Mosques, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Muslim Bar Association of New York, New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, and Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey? The Bible asks, “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” (I Cor. 6: 15)

Consider Bud Ahlheim’s persuasive op-ed in Pulpit & Pew. “Let us continue to stand for religious liberty in America. But let us stand first on our firm convictions that our alliance with God is paramount, that He will accomplish His ends without the necessity of our alliances with evil. “Come out from among them” (2 Cor. 6:17).

And on a more personal note for Georgia Baptists, why would Dr. Moore spend his professional capital to defend the religious liberty of Muslims in New Jersey to build a mosque and fail to exert the same energy to get involved in Georgia’s quest to pass religious liberty legislation earlier this year?

Furthermore, it must be understood that to Muslims, freedom of religion means practicing Islam only. Muslims are compelled by the Quran to destroy all other religions by whatever means necessary so that Islam may be the only religion in the entire world. Quran 2:193 says, “Fight them (other religions) until there is no (more) fitnah (disbelief and worship of others along with Allah) and until worship is (acknowledged to be) for Allah.”

Freedom of religion in America is designed to protect the rights and dignity of different religious communities, so they can practice their respective rites and ordinances without fear and interference. However, religious freedom for Muslims means allowing them the right to establish Islam as the state religion, subjugating infidels, even murdering those who are critics of Islam and those who oppose their brutal religion. In essence they want to use our democracy to establish their theocracy (with Allah as supreme). Their goal politically is to destroy the Constitution with its imbedded freedom and democracy and replace it with Sharia Law.

... it must be understood that to Muslims, freedom of religion means practicing Islam only.

Quran 9:5 says, “When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” However, Islam’s use of violence to further its domain does not rest upon one verse or passage. Rather the entire Quran, other Islam source materials, and Muhammad’s actions and lifestyle give evidence of what Muslims would ultimately attempt to do if they were given complete religious freedom in America.

When we engage in a crusade to grant political Islam all the rights and privileges of other religions, we are not engaged on a level playing field. We are not comparing apples to apples. The more leniency we give in the present to Muslims who may desire Sharia Law, the less freedom we will be giving in the future to ourselves.

Baptists live in a new era of the rising tide of Islam. With the growing influence of the Saudis and other political Islamists, we must first consider if a mosque that wants freedom of religion for themselves desire that same full freedom of religion for all others. Americans kept Communism in check during the Cold War, guarding our borders against those who wished to dismantle our way of life. Will we do the same when another political ideology endangers our future?

ERLC, freedom, Islam, mosque, religious liberty, Russell Moore, Sharia Law