Will Islam Rule

Khaled Mash’al, leader of the Hamas movement which won the Palestinian elections in January 2006 gave a speech in Damascus which was broadcast on al-Jazeera TV on February 3rd 2006. He told the European nations to apologise to Islam because: ‘Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation.’ His speech went on to say that the first phase of the Islamic world conquest would be the elimination of Israel and the defeat of the West in Iraq.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agrees. He said in Iran’s holy city of Qom on 5th January, ‘We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It’s a universal ideology that leads the world to justice.’ He believes his main mission is to ‘pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.’ According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. They believe he will return and be known as the ‘Mahdi’ and reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

At the same time the entire Islamic world has been roused to fury over cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper. We have evidence (available on request) which shows how the cartoons row has been cleverly manipulated by Islamic radicals with the aim of uniting Muslims against the West in order to create submission to Islamic demands and to defend Iran and Syria against censure from the UN. It is not a co-incidence that Denmark is set to assume the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council — at the very time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time the Security Council wants to question Syria and the regime of President Assad about the murder of Lebanese President Hariri. To portray Denmark as ‘an enemy of the Prophet’ would be helpful to the Islamic world in creating the idea that all censure of Muslim countries is part of an anti-Islamic western conspiracy.

In the UK, Islamic leaders are using the cartoons controversy to put pressure on the government to limit what can be said in the press about Mohammed. Patrick Sookdheo of the Barnabas Fund comments on this, ‘If we pass laws or even simply create a new code of practice for the press specifically to protect Mohammed, I fear it could prove to be the thin end of the wedge. From self-imposed censorship we could soon move to more serious situations. In Pakistan there has been a mandatory death sentence since 1991 for ‘defiling the name’ of Mohammed.’ He goes on to show how the Muslim Action Committee is using the cartoons furore to reverse the defeat suffered by the Muslims when the House of Commons unexpectedly voted to pass the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill in a form which does not provide the protection for Muslims which the government had intended.

The cartoon controversy led to a demonstration in the streets of London with slogans calling for ‘infidels’ to be beheaded and showing support of suicide terrorism. One said ‘Europe you’ll come crawling when Mujahadeen come roaring.’ There was widespread outrage at this demonstration and moderate Muslims sought to distance themselves from it. However days later a poll of British Muslims revealed that 45% favour the establishment of Shari’a (Islamic) law in Britain.

This is in line with the world vision of Islam which from the days of its inception is to bring the world into subjection to Allah as defined in the Koran. Mohammed’s mission was universal, with the aim of not only preaching, but also changing all existing societies into an Islamic society governed by the laws of Allah, known as the Shari’a.

Therefore Islam grants radical Muslims a mandate to change the existing society into an Islamic society, to make Islam supreme, and thus dominate every aspect of society. This is not only the desire of fundamentalists like Osama bin Laden, but would seem to be the desire of a large number of Muslims all over the world.

This desire is reflected in a document written in 1980 entitled The Islamic Movement in the West by Khurram Murad who was then the head of the Islamic Foundation with branches around the world. He outlined his Islamic revolution and the blueprint of how to bring it about in the West.
On page three of his document he posed the question: ‘What is an Islamic movement?’ He goes on to answer: ‘An Islamic movement is an organised struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Koran and the Sunna, and make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant.’

Such views can find ample justification in the Koran which teaches that Muslims must be supreme over non Muslims and should be engaged in a jihad to achieve this until the Day of Judgement.

‘So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For you must gain mastery, if you are true in faith. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya (poll tax to be paid by non Muslims living in a Muslim society) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.’ Sura At-Tawba 9:29 (Yusuf Ali’s Translation).

So will Islam rule the world? Of course expressing the aim of world domination and achieving it are two different things. Hitler promised 1000 year Reich but in 1945 Berlin lay in ruins and the Nazis were shattered. The Communist Manifesto spoke of the inevitability of world revolution and Communist dominance, but in 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and in 1991 the Soviet Union fell. I remember talking to wild eyed Maoists at Speaker’s Corner in London during the 1970s who said their brand of Communism would be victorious and the thoughts of Chairman Mao would last 10,000 years. Now capitalism has come to China and Mao’s Red Book is a collector’s item. Will the same thing happen to the Islamic radicals? Can we find any clue about this in the prophecies of the Bible?

What the Islamists have going for them is the wealth generated by oil reserves in Middle Eastern countries which has financed much of the spread of Islam worldwide. It also provides a powerful means of exerting pressure on the rest of the world. ‘Don’t upset us if you want a regular supply of the oil necessary to keep your system going.’ They also have a world wide network of mutual support groups through the mosques and Muslim organisations and the concept of ‘umma’ which ties Muslims to each other and means that if one is offended all are offended.

There are a number of things they do not have going for them however. While it is true that the West is dependent on oil most of which comes from Muslim countries, the Muslims are also dependent on the West to supply technology and trade. If they destroy the West they also will be destroyed in the process. It also needs to be said that despite the concept of ‘umma’ the Muslim world is divided along many lines – Sunni and Shi’a, moderate and radical, Arab and non Arab. In fact the biggest killers of Muslims in the world today are other Muslims. Amongst non Muslims terrorism and the kind of agitation unleashed by the cartoon controversy has increased a feeling of fear and hostility towards Islam in much of the world.
When we come to the Bible there are two major issues we need to look at relevant to this question. Firstly the issue of Israel and the surrounding nations. There are a number of passages in Bible prophecy which show that at the end of this age the Jewish people will return to Israel and make the once desolate land a fertile one again (Ezekiel 36). Jerusalem will be focal point of world attention (Zechariah 12.2-3).

The surrounding nations will be hostile to Israel and fulfil the words of Psalm 83.4, ‘Come let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more’. In verses 6-8 of this Psalm there is a list of nations, which can be identified with Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and Iraq. In 1948, 1967 and 1973 Israel has had to fight wars for survival against superior armies from these countries bent on pushing the Jewish state into the sea.

In this Psalm there is a reference to Zeba and Zalmunna, who said, ‘Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession’ (v 12). We find reference to Zeba and Zalmunna in Judges 8. They were kings of Midian, leaders of the army, which came against Israel in the days of Gideon. In Judges 8.21 we read: ‘Gideon arose and killed Zeba and Zalmunna and took the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks’. The Hebrew word used for ‘ornaments’ is ‘ha saharonim’, an unusual word, which is correctly translated in the New King James Version as ‘crescent ornaments’. The crescent ornament showed dedication to the moon god of paganism. Today there is a world religion, which also uses the crescent as its symbol – Islam. Islam embodies everything spoken of in this Psalm in its attitude towards Israel. It is the dominant religion of the countries, which surround Israel. Nevertheless the countries which come against Israel in Psalm 83 are defeated and are not successful in their aim.

The prophecy of Ezekiel 38-9 goes further and brings in a great power to the uttermost north leading the armies of Gog and Magog which include Persia in their number. While there is much debate amongst commentators as to the identity of the nations involved there is no doubt where you get to if you go to the uttermost north of Israel – Russia. Russia today is emerging from the humiliation of the collapse of the Soviet Union to become a major player in world affairs with its huge oil and gas reserves and its growing arsenal of weapons. Russia has a large Muslim population within its borders and the Asia republics of the former Soviet Union have Muslim majorities. Although Russia became unpopular with the Islamic radicals over its policy in Chechnya, it has historically favoured the Arab states hostile to Israel. President Putin has invited Hamas leaders to Moscow and the Russians are supplying the material for the construction of the Iranian nuclear power station in Busheir which is the cause of the current crisis. If the United States or Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities it could bring Russia into the fray of the Middle East powder keg.

Whether Russia is the subject of this prophecy is debatable (we have a tape / CD on the subject available on request at £3 including postage). What is not debatable is that Iran / Persia is. Apart from the possibility of Russia, the nations which come against Israel on this occasion are Islamic. They come with the intention of wiping out Israel but they meet their doom on the ‘mountains of Israel’ as God intervenes directly and destroys those armies. (Ezekiel 38.18-23).

The next question to ask is whether or not this event is the same as Armageddon (Zechariah 14, Revelation 16 and 19). There are a number of reasons why I believe it is not (given on the tape already mentioned). If it comes some time before Armageddon one has to ask ‘What would be the effect on the Islamic world of such an event?’ Far from conquering the world by first conquering Israel, Islam would suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of God not any human power. The Bible says that this event will cause the Lord (i.e. the God of Israel) to be ‘hallowed in the sight of many nations’ (Ezekiel 39.27). The clear implication of this is that Islam will not succeed in ruling the world.

The Bible teaches that ‘the Antichrist is coming’ but also that ‘many antichrists have come’ (1 John 2.18). It is my view that the Islamists are one of the ‘many antichrists’ who will come before the end of days but not the Antichrist. While they have many characteristics of antichrist – denial of Jesus as Son of God, persecution of Christians, a goal of worldwide rule – there are a number of features of the Antichrist which do not fit in with Islam. The main ones are these.

According to 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4 the second coming of Jesus will be preceded by the revelation of the ‘man of sin … who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’ In other words he opposes not only the true God but all gods. This is also shown in Daniel 11.37 and Revelation 17.16-17. He also proclaims himself to be god (just as the Roman Caesars did). Both of these aspects of the coming Antichrist are entirely contradictory to Islam which believes in submission to Allah and is wholly opposed to anyone claiming to be a god equal to Allah.

In Revelation 13 the false prophet sets up an image to be worshipped by all and causes all to receive the mark of the beast without which they cannot buy or sell. The worship of images is forbidden under Islam so how could an Islamic leader bring in such a system? This also implies a highly technological society which has developed the means to give everyone a number and to control them by some kind of mark which gives them the ability to buy or sell. This fits in much more with a society dominated by the technology developed in the West.

The Bible teaches that at the end of days the Beast or Antichrist will rule the world: ‘And authority was given him (the beast) over every tribe, tongue and nation.’ Revelation 13.7 and that he and the dragon (Satan) who gives him his power are worshipped by all peoples. As we have seen Islam aspires to world dominion. However in my opinion it lacks the ability to deliver on this. You can threaten countries with terrorism and cause chaos but this does not make you popular. The implication of Bible prophecy is that initially the Antichrist will be popular offering people ‘peace and safety’ (1 Thessalonians 5.3) and be worshipped in return, just as Hitler was very popular when he came to power and was worshipped by people raising their hands and saying ‘Heil Hitler’. It is hard to see how Islam could ever be in such a position worldwide.

Finally the prophecies of Daniel 9.27 and Isaiah 28.14-19 imply that at the end of days the Antichrist will make a deceptive peace treaty with Israel. If Islam succeeds in ruling the world it would simply snuff Israel out like a child blowing out a candle. Why bother with a peace treaty?

Putting all this together in my judgement the most likely scenario goes as follows. There will be a failed Islamic assault on Israel with many seeing that God is not fighting for but against those who seek to destroy Israel. Out of the fear created by this war which threatens the safety of the whole world the Antichrist will arise offering ‘peace and safety’ probably out of the EU or the UN (or both). He will use the advanced technology of the West to impose a one world economic system backed by an occult religious system which will appeal to people disillusioned by the mess of contemporary religions (including Islam and nominal Christianity). Once this is in place the final period of the great tribulation will begin and a great time of persecution will take place.

The world will gather for the final battle of Armageddon involving all nations led by the beast and the false prophet. They will meet their doom when the Lord Jesus returns in power and glory with the saints (believing Christians). As a result of this the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11.15). In that day ‘The Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be ‘The Lord is one and His name one.’ Zechariah 14.9. Hallelujah!

Islam’s Bigger Picture

How the plans to build a Mosque near Ground Zero have incited fervor, and exposed us for who we really are.

Since it has been proposed, there has been heated verbal exchanges surrounding the construction of the 13 story “Park 51” Islamic Center and Mosque in Downtown Manhattan. It has become a clash of politics and passion. But reason suggests that angst on either side of any issue can neither be dismissed with cavalier disregard, nor should irrational precepts determine our actions. The concerns that inspire our feelings over whether this Mosque should or should not be built must be addressed honestly, so as to constitute their legitimacy or lack thereof. If we hope to achieve any judicious socio/political resolution, the reality on which our perceptions are based must in fact BE reality, and not arrived at through censored language so as to accommodate special interests.

Americans are in an age where we are inundated with information, both accurate and otherwise. With honest introspection becoming increasingly rare, the prevailing tendency is to gravitate towards abstracts which will subscribe to our predilections. It is the nature of human subjectivity to justify our predispositions, and as a result there is often a lack of consideration for opposing viewpoints. The indignation that comes with certainty does not accord constructive dialogue. Worse yet, is when that very sense of self-righteousness is derived through bias, and a lack of factual information.

Which raises the simple question: Does Islam pose a legitimate threat to America or is it, in fact, a religion of peace compromised by extremists?

As I write this, I am troubled by my own lack of neutrality concerning Islam. As someone whose sensibility will not allow for the leap of faith it takes to believe in an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is an according lack of sensitivity on my part towards any of man’s interpretations of God’s will. Although religion and I have never been very compatible, I am hoping that my lack of faith in regards to any system of supernatural belief will offer some rational, unbiased perspectives. However as I gather information and try to temper it with reason and historical context, there is evidence that bears out some uncomfortable, and politically incorrect truths.

While most Americans recognize the Constitutional right to freedom of religion, many are conflicted about violence that is being carried out in the name of Islam, and are having difficulty reconciling religious liberty with the governments responsibility to ensure domestic tranquility, and to protect the citizenry from all threats, foreign and domestic. The concern is whether any newly introduced culture’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will come at the expense of our own. It is not unreasonable to inquire whether Islamic doctrine can allow Muslims to effectively assimilate into American culture and if the Koran is open enough to interpretation for them to do so.

There is much about Islam that is difficult for non-Muslims in the West to intellectually harmonize with. Culturally, we operate from such different premises that there are some counter intuitive dynamics to Sharia (Islamic Law) that simply do not coincide with our sense of propriety. Indeed, there is much about the Islamic faith which offends the American sensibility, particularly where it concerns misogyny, censorship, and personal liberty… and while state and Federal laws have legal jurisdiction on domestic soil, they are difficult enough to implement inside the home, let alone within the hearts and minds of the faithful. It invariably becomes a matter of trying to enforce the laws of the land, opposed to what many Muslims feel is the law of Allah.

It is also important to acknowledge that these conditions are not unique to Muslims, and they actually occur in one form or another across virtually every ethnic and religious population here in the United States. But just as this might be the case, the disparity between Western culture and Islam is particularly diametric. While there are many Muslims, both here and abroad who are liberal in their faith, and who feel that the West has much to offer, the determining factor as to how the social, economic, political and religious landscape of the world will be shaped in the future is most likely dependent on how America negotiates Islamic assimilation.

At over 1.5 billion people, Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth. It would be unwise for America to ignore that fact. However it would be even more foolish to believe that we can respond by pompously imposing Western values around the globe. As Islam increases its appeal to the economically oppressed who cannot conceptualize freedom, it becomes our responsibility to introduce humanitarianism or risk isolation and ideological conflict. In the global recruiting war, Islam is clearly winning the battle for the souls of the impoverished, and disenfranchised. Governments around the world are compelled to acknowledge this as a growing political force. This fact alone is foreboding.

But with religion having significant political power both in America and abroad, few (if any) dare attempt to define where the line is between religious, and political precepts. In this regard, virtually all religions are complicit in each other’s efforts to control public thought, and by extension, political influence. Thus it makes it extremely difficult to present the merits of Westernized freedom and the separation between Church and State versus the promise of eternal paradise. Regarding religion’s global socio/economic power one must ask what determines any religion’s viability.

To offer some perspective: As offensive as this may be to some, if a group of people were to create a religion based on Nazism, and adopted Mein Kampf as their God inspired holy writ, and Adolf Hitler as their prophet… it would not be difficult for them to meet standardized religious criteria. In fact, in comparison to Islam there are some staggering parallels. Both ideologies are derived from totalitarian doctrine. Both are vehemently anti-Semitic. The Koran consistently commands that infidels (non-believers) be either killed, or converted, whereas Mein Kampf mandates a “New World Order”. Indeed, both set out to conquest via jihad.

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

“The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.” (Surah 3:19)

Those who are offended by the comparison will point out that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not condone violence perpetrated in their religion’s name, which is true. However the same could be said of any individuals who identify with various tenets of philosophy that conflict with one another. So while it is important to acknowledge that an individual should not defined by his or her affiliation alone, ideologies need be culpable for when violence occurs in accordance with it’s convictions. There is simply no denying that Islam is at the center of much of the world’s conflicts, and it would be injudicious to not seek the answer as to why.

So what actually determines how we perceive what constitutes religion as opposed to a political platform? Is it longevity, population, or the mere assertion that a philosophy is God inspired? One must consider what makes it so politically incorrect to contrast one belief system with another. Surely time helps shape perspective, but so too do the media, and those who write history. Although it would be irresponsible to unilaterally cast a billion and a half human beings in an oblique light, it would be equally nonsensical to ignore the accompanying social trends in countries where Muslims have immigrated to, both past and present.

From a historical perspective, Islam is approximately 600 years younger than Christianity, which weighs heavily on how Americans perceive it in relation to our predominantly Judeo/Christian Culture. If we were to turn back the clock to this point in Christian lineage, the contemporary Islamic mindset is more easily recognizable in ourselves. During what we refer to today as “The Dark Ages”, there were countless atrocities carried out by Papal mandate in the name of Christianity. The Inquisitions, in a fanatical search for heretics were ruthless in their tactics, and the Church itself endowed inquisitors with the ability to use torture as a means to coerce confessions. Devices were invented to increase a victim’s suffering while simultaneously sustaining agony. Murder was committed with abandon, and women who dared voice an opinion were denounced as “witches” and burned alive. By today’s Christian standards, the barbarism that took place is unthinkable.

Of course, as evidenced by our being here, things eventually changed. What allowed Christianity, and moreover, humanity to evolve out of the Dark Ages and into what we now refer to as “The Enlightenment” can be traced back to the introduction of a single concept. Martin Luther’s challenge of the Papacy empowered people to express skepticism regarding Church Law, and as reason gathered momentum, new ideas sprouted in it’s wake. Questions were asked, and answers were sought. Art, literature and science thrived. Hypothetical, and theoretical constructs which were once considered heresy by the church (e.g. gravity) were able to be written about and discussed openly, without fear of holy retribution. The concept that religious doctrine could be interpreted as metaphor was of particular significance, because still allowed people to maintain their faith while asking questions.

…and herein lies the hope for American Islam.

However there are some compelling differences between medieval Christianity, and contemporary Islam, the most notable of which involves their canons. For instance, it is extremely difficult to read the New Testament on which Christianity is based and justify any acts of violence carried out in it’s name, let alone the savagery of the Inquisitions. And despite a wrathful Old Testament, this ethical contradiction made the questioning Church authority much easier. But the same cannot be said of Islam and the Koran, which is replete with directives to kill in the name of Allah, and dissociate one’s self from no-believers. It is simply more of a metaphorical challenge to interpret “When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads” (Sura 4-89) as “live and let live”.

Another noteworthy difference is that we now live in a nuclear age. While we can only speculate over what medieval Muslim conquerors or Christian Crusaders would have done with weapons of mass destruction in the fourteenth century, several modern Islamic regimes have defiantly expressed their intentions should nuclear weapons come into their possession. They would use them…on us.

This becomes all the more alarming when we consider the amount of Islamic immigrants to both the United States, and our European NATO allies. Presently, there is a cultural “Islamification” occurring in England, Italy, France and Spain where a disproportionate influence on government policy is being imposed by a small, but growing Muslim population. The looming threat of violence, as well as actual acts of terrorism are giving Muslim protestors increasing leverage, as they petition to have Islamic Law institutionalized throughout Europe. The religious and cultural “tolerance” that is demanded is rarely returned, and it seems the peace they claim to be seeking can only be arrived at through subjugation.

A growing concern is that by utilizing the same tactics that have won so much political leverage across the ocean, Islamics are taking advantage of American tolerance and a politically correct, albeit historically ignorant media.. Fully aware that choosing a location so near to Trade Center attacks would create public outrage, executive director of Park 51, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf arrogantly moved forward with his building plans with utter disregard for people’s sensitivities. Having written a book Titled “What’s Right With Islam is What’s Right With America” Rauf surely understands that the tenets of Islam reject much of the American constitution, and why many are cynical as to his intentions. A simple castigation of Islamic human rights violations would go a long way to ease people’s fears and allow for a level of hope, but sadly those words never seem to come. Even promoting individual liberty, equality of men and women, equality of Muslims and non-Muslims, the right to private property, and freedom of religion would allow for a certain level of optimism. To the casual observer, Rauf doesn’t seem remotely concerned with his public image, and that many feel he’s pouring gas on his own fire, and burning the very bridge he is alleging to build.

The Contradictions, if not the hypocrisy are equally infuriating. While Imam Rauf is utilizing the first amendment, and his right to both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, he and his supporters (including NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg) are offended by those expressing opposition to an ideology that does not seem willing to adapt to American principles. Perhaps this is because Sharia prohibits preaching religions other than Islam, and does not allow for critical speech. In the spirit of political correctness, American magnanimity must include tolerating other people’s intolerance, or else be labeled as bigoted.

Yet the significance of The Park 51 Islamic Center are even more profound when we consider recent history. Following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, Osama bin Laden gave a chilling videotaped speech to the Muslim world that few Americans recall beyond the anger they were feeling at the time. After praising Allah for the Towers coming down, he then spoke of reestablishing Islam in Granada, Spain, which was liberated from conquering Moors by native Spanish Christians in 1492. Two years after the Trade Center attacks, the Mosque of Granada was erected, symbolizing Islam’s return to al-Andalus – the Arab name of their paradise in the Iberian Peninsula. In 2004, Spain was rewarded for their religious tolerance with an Islamic train bombing in Madrid, Killing 191, and injuring 1800.

Likewise there have been similar terror attacks all over Europe and even a few failed attempts here in the United States since 9/11. The more accommodating we become in our desire for peaceful interaction, the more dire the cultural relationship becomes. One could easily assert that what ideological Islam couldn’t maintain militarily in the early part of the last millennium, they are attaining through (mostly illegal) immigration today. The conquerors are returning to Europe, only this time the invaders are utilizing the infidel’s benevolence in lieu of swords. And despite what is apparent, America remains in denial as to this clear and present danger.

In order for 21st century Muslims to be able to peacefully cohabitate with the rest of the world, history has shown the path they must take. Fundamentalism as to excuse violence must be denounced. The concepts of analogy and implied comparison must be acknowledged so as to create an exchange of dialogue and culture. A prominent Muslim, in the spirit of Martin Luther must be brave enough to stand up and recognize that ideas, and the human spirit can never be contained by holding them hostage, and that in order to avoid needless bloodshed Sharia Law must adapt itself to accommodate the West, and not the other way around. But such idealism is bloodless on paper, and to date, no Islamic leader, including Feisal Abdul Rauf has shown such impetus.

Certainly there are Muslims who see the futility of extremism and violence. All one has to do is search the internet for Middle Eastern dialogue where Muslims are defending Western civilization on Arab television, let alone acknowledge that there are in fact, many European and American Muslims who are making real efforts to peacefully coexist. Once the socio/political strife is put aside, there is much that Middle Eastern culture can offer the West. Islamic contributions to Art, Mathematics, Science, Literature and Architecture are staggering. To deny this is as ignorant as those who believe that fundamentalism can be diplomatically negotiated with altruism.

Therefore it is incumbent upon The United States to protect these people. Their interests are ours. Their willingness to acclimate both here and abroad needs to be cultivated if we hope to expose the senselessness of violent extremism to the world. Although presently there may be too few to make a significant change in the prevailing ideological mindset, that doesn’t negate our responsibility. But willfully overlooking history and current European sociology in regards to Islam betrays both Americans, and peace seeking Muslims.

What is disturbing to many Americans, is that politicians unilaterally claim Islam to be a “religion of peace” without ever having read the Koran. Very few in a position of authority are even asking questions about Islam for fear of what the answer might be. Rather than braving a socially awkward observation, the climate of political correctness dismisses any suggestions of violent cultural assimilation. As a result, instead of making determinations based on factual information (even if those very same facts would lead them back to their original affirmations), cowards on both sides of the political aisle are making assertions based on how they will be portrayed in the media.

Although opponents of Park 51 are referring to its construction as a “Trojan Horse”… whether it truly is or not remains to be seen. It has, for better or for worse drawn national attention to Sharia law. It has also focused on the larger issue of how America will address Islamic acculturation moving forward. How can we balance reason, fear, and the dictates of our passions? Will we take the politically correct approach, and capitulate to cultural demands even when they violate our Constitution? Or will we protect the American Muslims, as well as the majority of Americans who desire peace but require reciprocity for our tolerance?

America has it’s own dark history, no doubt. Our international reputation for arrogance is undeniable. But in just over 200 years our sensibilities have evolved significantly, and phony nationalism notwithstanding, we do have a lot to be proud of. Although we are subject to human frailty and still struggle with ethical issues, the freedoms and equality that Americans have is worth defending. It is neither arrogant, nor boastful to claim that a culture that values human life, individual liberty, and free speech is better than one that would apply draconian executions on homosexuals and adulterers… or stone a pregnant woman to death in public.

Spirit of Islam A Primer

Last time I wrote a message on Islam, a Catholic priest said he reported me to the FCC for broadcasting what he referred to as “an eMail hate letter.” Several long-time subscribers of various other denominations ALSO gave me a tongue-lashing… just before unsubscribing.

In contrast, many others thanked me. It’s for them, and all other the seekers of truth, that I write. Not to mention the fact that, since early this morning, the phrase, “We become as the gods we serve” has been rolling around in my spirit.

I had no choice but to write this.

Moscow, October 25th, 2002, a special forces assault on a Moscow theater after a three-day siege left more than 90 hostages dead, but 750 others were rescued and dozens of their Chechen captors killed. What is the spiritual slant of these Chechens? They’re Muslims.

Here in the states, a man goes on a killing rampage, randomly murdering 10 innocent people throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Three others, including a 13-year-old boy, were critically wounded. The sniper’s last name? Muhammad, a follower of Islam.

I could go on and on with worldwide reports of atrocities going on as we speak, direct results of Islamic aggression. It would be depressing.

Here’s an interesting snippet I found on the REAL Muhammad whose upstart religion is now covering the planet: “Muhammad gained wealth & power when he led raiding parties against innocent caravans. Zealous followers of Muhammad raided the rich caravans traveling to Mecca for polytheistic worship. “In 624 Muhammad and 300 Muslims attack Meccan caravan at Fabr (Vabr) … In 626 drives out Jewish tribes … In 628 – 629 attacks Jewish Oasis at Khaibar.”
Arabs in History by Bernard Lewis: Harper & Row – 1966 revised edition.

After reading that, one might say that terrorism is in the Islamic blood.

ALLAH IS LOVE?

Muslims today portray Allah as loving and kind yet obligate each follower to obey whenever one of Allah’s “spokesman” calls for a jihad or holy war. By the way, according to Paul Harvey on Friday, August 19, 2005, Pakistani schools are now teaching “Jihad” to their children. Since Allah is not the one and only true loving God of which the Bible speaks, suicidal terrorists were assuredly most unpleasantly surprised on September 11, 2001 after they caused the very planes on which they traveled to crash into American buildings. Surprise! They had believed all their lives that they would enter into Paradise and live happily ever after with Allah and Muhammad and a bevy of virgins. They had put “faith in faith” rather than putting faith in Jesus Christ.

The object of one’s faith is of utmost importance. If Jesus had been that object, rather than the Islamic Spirit of Religion, these attacks would never have happened. You see, if it is not the Holy Spirit who we allow to lead and guide us, SOME spirit WILL gladly fill that position. Spirits of Religion, Murder, Chaos and others, all operate in unison through Islam as they launch their constant assaults against humanity worldwide. These demonic spirits know us quite well and focus their attacks upon mankind’s religious nature, i.e., our desire to please a god of some sort in an effort to obtain his blessings and favors … regardless of that god’s blood thirsty tendencies.

But you see, right there is where most Christians lose their impact in spiritual warfare: the majority of us don’t even BELIEVE in demon spirits as being much more than mere symbols of evil.

Satan LOVES that about Christians!

BACK TO ISLAM

The simplest way to describe Islam is that it is a religion of submission to the will of Allah. To Muslims, Allah is the God that they worship, the one TRUE God. But his character revealed in the Qur’an is not the same as the character of the God of the Bible. If one is to submit to Allah, one must submit to Muhammad and all the people that are leaders of Islam. Faith in Islam is based upon the fundamentals of the Qur’an as well as the lifestyle of Muhammad. True, his historical life was not all that exemplary. According to Islam, however, Muhammad was actually sinless. He is portrayed as having been the holiest person on planet Earth. He is a revered by Muslims worldwide.

AYATOLLAH YOU SO!

Remember Ayatollah Khomeini from Iran? He was from the head of the Shiite sect and was called ‘Ruhollah,’ meaning ‘the spirit of Allah.’ That’s what the Iranian people believed. They thought Khomeini was very holy. His words were the laws of Islam though he altered the law and regulations strongly. According to Reza Safa (a former militant Shiite Muslim) in his book Inside Islam, Khomeini’s reign of terror was equaled to what happened in the French Revolution. Whoever resisted Khomeini and his regime was resisting Allah. When the Iranians started the war with Iraq, over 1 million Iranians and Iraqis died.

Unbeknownst to its followers, the Islamic jihad is a spiritual force that wants to wage war against everything that is from God; everything that is holy MUST be destroyed. It is oppressive and controlling. Again, we have to go back to the fact that Islam means submission, total submission; that it is a theocracy centered on the supreme will of Allah. To refuse obedience to Allah, or to those in leadership who serve him, is to be counted an infidel and an enemy of Islam.

TV’s talking heads would have us believe that Muslims are very peace-loving people and that there’s nothing in Islam that encourages war. Though the majority of Muslims are good people (all the ones I know are great!), in actuality, through warfare and terrorism, Islam has spread since the 7th century devouring nation after nation as Christians neglected the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus to “go and make disciples.”

There are currently about one billion adherents to Islam. In Safa’s book, there is a passage taken from Sura 9:5 of the Qur’an: “When the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them with every kind of ambush But if they convert and observe prayer and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way.”

To those who fear the impact of Harry Potter books, THIS is the real book to be concerned about!

Are today’s fanatics yielding to these teaching? You better believe it. Does the average Muslim know the Qur’an? Most Muslims I’ve met here in the USA are pretty clueless. Is the typical Muslim even able to read the Qur’an? Fact is, just as is the case with most Christians, the majority of Muslims are ignorant of what their holy book actually teaches. Though some may have an idea regarding its message, the majority are led about by their leaders like lambs to slaughter. Most people cannot understand the Qur’an, because it is in Arabic and they are told you have to understand the Qur’an in Arabic or you don’t understand what it’s saying at all. For all the Muslim nations that are not Arab, such as Iran, the Muslims must learn the language and study the Qur’an in Arabic. Most won’t put forth the effort. They claim Islam they one would choose its favorite soccer team. They follow the instruction of Muslim clerics for a multitude of reasons. Imagine being taught to hate the Christian and the Jew from age 4. Imagine being taught that, to die as a martyr was a quick ticket to Paradise. Folks, this could be a very long war.

DO THEY KNOW?

Most Muslims are completely unaware of what their holy book teaches, just as most Christians are pretty clueless about the bible. Here are a few things the Qur’an has to say about Jesus:

His virgin birth…
When the angels said, ‘O Mary, ALLAH gives thee glad tidings of a son through a word from HIM; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God; ‘And he shall speak to the people in the cradle, and when of middle age, and he shall be of the righteous. She said, ‘My Lord, how shall I have a son, when no man has touched me? He said, ‘Such is the way of ALLAH. HE creates what HE pleases. When HE decrees a thing HE says to it ‘Be,’ and it is;” — Qur’an, Surah 3:38-48

His Resurrection…
“Thereupon she pointed to him. They said, ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’ Jesus said, ‘I am a servant of ALLAH. HE has given me the Book, and has made me a Prophet; ‘And HE has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me Prayer and almsgiving so long as I live; ‘And HE has made me dutiful towards my mother, and has not made me arrogant and graceless; ‘And peace was on me the day I was born, and peace will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again.’ That was Jesus, son of Mary. This is a statement of the truth concerning which they entertain doubt.” — Qur’an, Surah 19:30-35

DOES GOD LOVE MUSLIMS?

Of COURSE He does. The vast majority are wonderful, loving, hospitable folks who, just like the rest of us, must trust Jesus ALONE for their salvation. We must differentiate between these people and those who have yielded to the spirit of jihad and resist the tendency to prejudge every Middle-Easterner. Typically, once a person yields to the Islamic spirit, they fall within the grasp of a very vengeful, hateful, demonic, Spirit of Death. The determining factors regarding whether or not a person chooses to participate in a jihad might include the leaders one is listening to, and how strictly one decides to adhere to the militant teachings of the Qur’an. Islam actually has two major demonic entities at its helm: First, there is the Spirit of Fear. Islam creates fear and rules within the atmosphere it creates. Second, is the Spirit of Death. War, terrorism, and suicide are all well-represented within every jihad.

What are we up against?

Safa knows.

I recall sitting in Bible College, listening with more than a little synicism to the prophetic warnings of a former 8-year missionary to South Africa. His warning? Islam is coming! At that time, I couldn’t even recall SEEING a person from the Middle East there in Arlington, Texas.

A billion people currently adhere to Islam, a religion growing at a rate of 50 million a year. How many have yielded to this jihad spirit? No one knows for certain but by the commentary I’m hearing, even within so-called Christian circles, very few “experts” understand what we are up against. We are facing an enormous demonic stronghold – one to which the world, including “Christian America” – has given place.

Islam is nothing less than an allegiance to a demon spirit. Though the West is not at war with Islam, Islam has certainly waged war against us. “The weapons we use are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds,” 2 Cor 10:4. Islam has permeated countries such as Iran, Iraq, North Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Sudan. France has more mosques than churches and England is being overrun by those of the Muslim faith. Regarding Pakistan, Safa writes in his book that “Pakistan has 120 million Muslims,” he says. “Out of that, 10-15 percent are the radical Muslims–the Taliban variety.”

At the very root of Islam is Satanic involvement. “Spiritually speaking, Islam is one of the wisest moves of Satan,” Safa says. Muslim tradition holds that the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad and gave him revelations that formed the Qur’an. “When Gabriel appeared to him (Muhammad) he would get a revelation. Sometimes he would see a cloud and at the sight of the cloud he would shiver and go home and hide himself under a blanket, such fear would come upon him,” Safa says. Fear, as with death, has been part of Islam since day one.

Because the true battle with Islam is in the spiritual realm, Safa believes the West’s reliance upon military might will ultimately fail. “… showing the strength of the arm doesn’t stop them — it increases their resolve,” he says. I have stated from day one, if we killed Sadaam and Osama, there would be a thousand more right behind them. Frankly, if we REALLY wanted to defeat the Islamic spirit, we would bombard theirr children with the gospel through coloring books, candy wrapped in tracts, puppet shows, movies and videos.

At the heart of Islam is works-based righteousness. “They work so hard to please God,” Safa says. “The pinnacle of that law is martyrdom.” In Islam, Martyrdom is the only way to assure one’s salvation.

In “Inside Islam,” Safa tells of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s televised appeal for ten thousand volunteers to fight against Iraq. Young boys who volunteered became known as the basiji, meaning, “the mobilized.”

“The next day all the boys on the street who had volunteered had a piece of red tape on their foreheads. The basijis volunteered to clear the minefields with their bodies, and they did it. Military leaders would send out as many as five thousand boys at once to run through the fields and trip the mines,” Safa writes.

“Many of the boys were only 12 or 13 years old,” he adds. “To them, Khomeini gave the promise of behesht (“paradise”). To symbolize this false promise, he gave them a key which they hung around their neck–a key with which they could open the gate of heaven.”

The suicide bombers of 9-11 are just another case in point. “These people are already dead before they attack us,” Safa says.

THE GOOD NEWS?

As Islamic terrorism grips the nations, a confident, peaceful Church will be given the Divine opportunity to tell the world about our source of peace amidst the Islamic storm. This is exactly how Reza Safa, an ex-radical Muslim from Iran was saved: through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We can tell them about what it is we’ve found through the intimacy of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You DO have that type of relationship with Him, don’t you?

Reza Safa’s quotes from Monday, January 28, 2002 report by ASSIST News Service as well as his book, Inside Islam.

CLOSING QUESTIONS & COMMENTS

To my thinking Muslim friends, I have these six brief questions to ask regarding Jesus, followed by a few comments…

1) Does the Qur’an say that Jesus was sinless? Was He a perfect man?

2) Does the Qur’an tell Muhammad to repent?

3) The Qur’an says many times that Jesus is the Messiah? Agree?

4) Was Mohammad the Messiah?

5) Where’s the body of Jesus?

6) The body of Muhammad is buried in Medina, as you may know. Why did God take Jesus but NOT Muhammad?

Strangely, Muslim teachers today allege that Jesus’ message was given to the Jews only, yet the Qur’an mentions Jesus as being “a sign for all peoples [beings]” (Surat 21:91). While Muslims call Jesus ‘Nabi Isa’ (literally Jesus the Messenger), the actual message he brought is not recorded in the Qur’an; it is found in the Gospel.

The Qur’an teaches: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob … to Moses and Jesus and that given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no differences between one and another of them” (Surat 2:136).

To justify such contradiction to the Qur’an, Muslim teachers declare that the Bible, which originally recorded the messages of “Abraham … Moses and Jesus”, is no more the Word of God, but has been changed and corrupted.

That again is not what the Qur’an teaches, when it says: “People of the Book! [commonly accepted as referring to the Jews and the Christians] … stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord” (Surat 5:68). These words were written in the seventh century. Many old Bible manuscripts still in existence today are considerably older than that, yet they do not differ from today’s Bibles. One would expect Muslim teachers to state when the Bible was supposedly changed, by whom, and for what purposes, but they do not.

The Qur’an actually challenges Muslims: “If you were in doubt as to what we have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee,” (Surat 10:94). Which Book? The Book given before the Qur’an, of course! No man can honestly claim, on the basis of the Qur’an, that the Bible has been corrupted. It actually orders: “Ask those who possess the message,” (Surat 21:7). Those were the Jews and Christians, the People of the Book.

The Media’s Portrayal of Islam and the Hijab

Time, people, culture, society, and the environment we are surrounded by, can produce the formation of many perspectives regarding an issue that we see in today’s society. One of many controversial topics is Islam and the Hijab. Many questions and generalisations are often formed in the minds of many non-Muslims in regards to the concepts behind the Hijab through the influence of the media.

Throughout the years of conflict between the “West” and “Islam”, the media has strongly altered the minds of non-Muslims by negative exploitation of Islam, and Muslims, in particular on Muslim women. Misconceptions such as, “Are you bald underneath” “Do you go to sleep with that on?” to the association of “terrorism” that contrasts to what Muslim women believe the Hijab represents.

A common misconception is “the Islamic Hijab is something cultural, not religious”. The use of the word “cultural” is faulty when describing the Hijab as it implies that it is a result of customs and practices that are something separate from Islam. The cultural dress is referred to the ancient Pre-Islamic Era (Jahiliyah). It is the veil from the Pre-Islamic Era that is considered as “traditional” which stops women from contributing in society. On the contrary, the Islamic Hijab is not considered as an informal tradition, nor does it lower her self-respect. The Hijab is aimed at presenting women with poise and equality in society. An example of Pre-Islamic era in our modern world is the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban are a party who regard such activities un-Islamic for women, who are prohibited from exercising their primary rights. The Taliban have banned women from employment outside the home, apart from the health sector, and have terminated education for girls.

Prophet Mohammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim”. Even Henry VIII forbid women to study the Bible when the first English translations began to appear. It’s an irony although the Taliban claim their guiding philosophy on women are in place to ensure the physical protection and self-respect of women, where as, many Afghan women have been killed, beaten and publicly hung. For many Afghan women fear of being severely punished by the Taliban is their main security concern.

Another misconception is “Muslim women have no right in Islam”. Islam gave women rights over 1400 years ago, which is still ignored by many Muslims and non-Muslims today. Firstly, Islam has given women the basic right to freedom of speech. In the early days of Islam, the leaders of the Islamic state regarding legal issues consulted women. Rights that were appointed to Muslim women since the beginning of time are only just surfacing for non-Muslims. In Islam, a woman is free to be whom she is inside, and protected from being portrayed as a sex symbol and lusted after. Islam praises the status of a woman by commanding that she “enjoys equal rights to those of man in everything, she stands on an equal footing with man” (Qur’an, Nadvi: 11) and both share mutual rights and obligations in all aspects of life.

Many women are treated in ways far from Islamic ideals, yet in the name of Islam. The Taliban is an example of a cultural and political name that has been branded with Islam. There is no freedom for women if they are imprisoned in their home in the name of the Hijab and Islam. Moreover, the veil of Islam is not associated with the veil of oppression.

Women that are regaining their identity and role in society, are now wearing the Hijab and are embracing its concept of liberation. They are taking their lawful places that Islam had awarded them fourteen hundred years ago. In fact, the western women had no rights nor did they have rights over their husband. Not only were woman the property of their husband but so were their possessions. In 1919 women in England fought for their rights to be elected to parliament. Because of their demands, they were imprisoned by the government and suffered greatly. It was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when women were given these rights.

A quote from the Qur’an in Surah 2: 26 states:
“And for women has rights over men, similar to those of men over women.”

The background history between Islam and the West will shed some light as to why Muslims are portrayed so negatively in the media. Some strong contributing factors are the medieval western conflict, the crusades, the oil crisis of the 1970’s, the Lebanese civil war, the Iranian revolution, the Gulf war, and the explosive Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the September 11 bombings, the Bali Massacre and the London bombings. All these events have caused Islam to be consistently associated with violence and unresolved conflict. Furthermore, the view of Muslims as being violent typically explains why Muslims are seen to establish a threat to the West. One of the most effective ways the media attempts to somehow prevent Islam being seen in a positive frame is to develop propaganda against Muslims and Islam.

The media is able to use the Hijab as a means of exploiting Muslim women, and degrading them. The media assumes, in some cases, that the actions of one Muslim are representations of the general Muslim population. This is generalisation. This sets a example for members of society to abuse and degrade them.

An image of a Muslim woman wearing the chador was labelled as “like death out for a walk” in the Australian Magazine, 25-26 Jan. 1995 issue. The media implied to locate the position of women in Islamic society as dominated. The image also portrayed the difference between Muslim and Western Women in today’s society.

In current affair programs, people watching are bombarded with images of Muslims as savage terrorists, killing innocent people with no remorse. What results from this is the viewers of these programs, recognise and accept only the labels, and therefore with Islam immediately associating it with negative images.

I asked a resident from Parramatta, who wished to be kept anonymous if “the September 11th bombings altered their mind about Islam and Muslim women?” He said “I never knew Islam and the Qur’an preached terrorism. It has made me aware of Islam and the teachings. It increased my awareness of the complexities of Islam and politics in the Middle East including the veiling of Muslim women”. This answer shows how influential the media is towards its viewers.

Throughout the western society, the practice of Muslim women wearing the Hijab has resulted in extreme points of view towards their so-called “oppression” and lack of freedom. Despite the obvious portrayal of Muslim women and myths that surround it such as; “Muslim women are oppressed”, there continues to be an abundance of Western women reverting to Islam. What Islam uses to protect women is the Hijab. This is ironic because the Western media often portray the Muslim veil as a suppressive force in a woman’s life.

Every Muslim woman is required to wear a scarf or some sort of head covering and loose-fitting, modest attire. This is not a means of controlling a woman’s sexuality or suppressing her but rather, a means for protection. It implies by dressing this way she will not be seen as a mere sex symbol but will be appreciated for her intellect. Furthermore, it will not subject her to harassment. It is interesting to state the head covering for women is not an Islamic innovation but was also practiced by Judeo-Christian women centuries earlier, and yet is laughed at by the West today.

Naima Omar, a student of University of Western Sydney says “It is funny to say the same veil worn by catholic nuns for God is despised and presented as a symbol of subjection and domination when it is worn by Muslim women for the intention to protect themselves and devoting themself to God”.

The term Islam means “submission to the will of Allah” and “peace”. Muslims believe Islam is not a religion but a gift that has been awarded to them. They believe Islam is the way of life and that is harmonious however the media portrays the opposite.

Maria Moskovakis, 18, a Greek Orthodox says “yes of course Muslims are presented negatively in the news. An action by one Muslim is presented with so much bias. If one Muslim commits a crime, it is not the person but the religion presented that goes to trial. What we hear and see is all controlled.

As El-Gharib (1996-97) noted, television, books, newspapers, and magazines are used to present Islam as being a backward and barbaric religion. It has been seen as oppressive and unjust; and more than this, it is seen as being most oppressive to women. These various forms of media misrepresent Islam in different ways, however largely achieve the same negative result – the creation of a growing barrier of misunderstanding and hostility between Islam and it’s followers, and the West.

Muslims have an obligation to fulfil which is to educate themselves, their children to gain knowledge which is ordained upon them regardless of their race, gender and marital status etc.
A Hasan Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah in the Qur’an states:
“Seeking knowledge is a duty on every Muslim” and therefore gaining knowledge is regarded as an act of worship. Stopping any Muslim from gaining an education regardless of age and sex is not Islamic.

Prince Karim Aga Khan A True Leader of Islam

11th July 2007 marks a landmark in the history of the Ismaili Muslim community, as this day marks the completion of the 50th year of Imamate of the leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, Prince Karim Aga Khan 1V. He is the current (49th) Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. His contribution in the field of education, medicine, architecture, social work, institution building, relief work, etc., is spectacular. He always tried to bring the positive image of Islam in front of others. His attractive personality has influenced many Muslim brothers to work for the welfare of the people. He is the direct descendant of Sir Aga Khan 111, whose contribution for the establishment of Pakistan can never be forgotten.

Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV is the eldest son of Prince Aly Salman Khan and his wife, Princess Tajudowlah. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland on December 13, 1936. His brother name is Prince Amyn, and sister name is Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. The Aga Khan spent his childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where his early education was done by private tutoring. The Aga Khan later attended the Institute le Rosey in Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a BA Honors Degree in Islamic history. As a modern leader of Islam, he always tried to emphasize to improve the lives of the Muslims.

Following the death of his grandfather, Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan, Prince Karim, at the age of 20, became the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims on 11 July 1957.

Upon becoming the Imam, the Aga Khan stated that he intended to continue the work his grandfather had pursued in building modern institutions to improve the quality of life of the Ismaili community. The main themes that the Aga Khan emphasized are development, education, interracial harmony, and faith in religion. He elaborated on this concept in a 2006 speech in Germany stating,

“The role and responsibility of an Imam, therefore, is both to interpret the faith to the community, and also to do all within his means to improve the quality, and security of their daily lives.” Throughout the early years of his Imamate, the Aga Khan continued his grandfather’s work through the establishment of institutions such as the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi in 1958, and primary and secondary schools in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in the 1960s, The Aga Khan Hospital in Pakistan, and numerous educational institutions throughout the world. We can say that he is the leader of a common man. He is the King of the Muslim community. He always work for the betterment of the lives of the people of the third world country.

The Aga Khan has been particularly interested in the elimination of global poverty; eradication of illiteracy; the advancement of the status of women; the promotion of Islamic culture, music, art, and architecture, upgrading the economical status of the third world country, etc.

Prince Aga Khan always believes in building bridges between religions. He always tried to restore peace in the world and brought the positive image of Islam in the modern world.

In 1977, the Aga Khan established the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a premier award recognizing excellence in architecture that encompasses contemporary design and social, historical, and environmental considerations. It is the largest architectural award in the world.

He is the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world, which works towards social, economic, and cultural development in Asia and Africa. The establishment of the AKDN brought under the same umbrella a number of development agencies and institutions that The Aga Khan’s humanitarian endeavors draw inspiration from ethics of compassion, generosity, sincerity, etc.

Few of the agencies of AKDN are as under:

Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AAKAM) Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS) Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) Aga Khan University (AKU) The University of Central Asia (UCA) Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the AKDN, is responsible handling disasters. Recent example includes the massive earthquake in Pakistan, Oct 8, 2005. Prince Aga Khan team handled the prevailing problematic situation effectively.

He is also the Chairman of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, which he founded in 1977. This institute is one of the best Institutes, where different Islamic degrees programmes for our younger generations are being offered. The objective of IIS is to promote scholarship and learning of Muslim cultures and societies, historical as well as contemporary, and a better understanding of their relationship with other societies and faiths.

The Aga Khan has been recognized by several national and international organizations for his service to humanity. Few of them are as follows:

The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has awarded him the title of His Highness on July 26, 1957. On August 12, 1957, the Sultan of Zanzibar invested the title of Brilliant Star of Zanzibar. It was his first visit to Pakistan with his wife when the President of Pakistan granted the title of Nishan-e-Imtiaz on January 15, 1970.

The World Monuments Fund honored the Aga Khan IV with its prestigious Hadrian Award for his vigorous and fruitful efforts to preserve and revitalize historic cities in Islamic world on October 28, 1996 at New York.

In 2003, he was named Knight Commander in the Order of the British Empire (KBE) “for services to international development, especially in Asia and Africa, and to UK-French relations.” In 2005, he was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy, the 2005 Die Quadriga and the 2005 Vincent Scully Prize. He was also named Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada. His Highness has been awarded honorary degrees by universities in Pakistan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has also received numerous awards and prizes from various professional organisations in recognition of his work in architecture and the conservation of historic buildings. There are around more than 18 million followers of Prince Aga Khan throughout the world. Whatever he has done for boosting the economy of Pakistan by investing in to various sectors like hotel industry, banking, etc., are laudable. His Highness the Aga Khan donated $50-million to support rehabilitation, socio-economic development, and earthquake-preparedness in areas of the North West Frontier Province and Azad Jammu and Kashmir affected by the 8 October 2005 shock. Prince Aga Khan provided a combination of financial and technical support to the urban and rural communities in high-mountain, seismically sensitive areas in Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. There are many schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan as well, which were created by him for the development of intellects in Pakistan.

Scholars have called his community, the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the most progressive, organized, schooled and financially well-off sect within Islam.

Today, he is working all over the world to eradicate the social problems. His basic concern is of Muslim brothers and sisters, for whom he works day and night for their upliftment. He is creating a positive image of Islam globally for which we salute him.

He is truly the leader of Islam in this modern world. Wish him a very happy Golden Jubilee.