The War by Militant Islam against the United States and Christianity
Middle Eastern Terrorists have repeatedly attacked US interests since 1979, but these attacks have been treated as criminal violations rather than acts of war until the attack of September 11th, 2001.
The litany of attacks:
The first attack came on a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval. A group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was essentially an attack on America. It was an attack that held the world’s most powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on the U.S. embassy was the first of a series of attacks to be perpetrated against US interests by various Middle Eastern groups over the next 23 years. America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the Cold War threat from the Soviet Union was still very much alive. President Carter attempted to rescue the Iranian hostages in a daring but ill-fated mission.
After the Tehran experience, Americans were kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East, but our retaliation for these acts was ineffective or non-existent.
In April of 1983, a large vehicle loaded with explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. The explosion killed 63 people. Six months later a truck with 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut and 241 US servicemen were killed.
Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives was driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait.
The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gate of the US Embassy in Beirut. The terrorism then spread to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb exploded in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid. Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives was driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main – 22 were killed. 59 days later, a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro was hijacked and we watched as an American passenger in a wheelchair was singled out and executed. The terrorists then shifted their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bombed TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986, killing 4. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland was bombed, killing 259. In January 1993, two CIA agents were shot and killed as they entered CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists were arrested after a rented van packed with explosives was driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people were killed and over 1000 injured.
In November 1995, a car bomb exploded at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women. In June of 1996, a truck bomb exploded only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroyed the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500.
Next, the terrorists executed a simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. They killed 224. America responded by sending in cruise missile attacks. The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12 October 2000. A small craft pulled alongside the ship and exploded killing 17 US Navy Sailors. The FBI was sent to investigate the crime.
And of course, on 9/11/2001, the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked with hijacked aircraft. The War on Terror was officially declared by President Bush. News commentators, analysts, and partisan politicians have made accusations about high government officials, implying they were complicit, complacent, and/or incompetent. The purpose of this analysis is not to exonerate or condemn the Bush Administration for its execution of the War on Terror. But rather, we shall consider the question of how America should best confront and solve the issue of world terror. But, to solve the problem of the terrorist attacks, we must first understand the cause, the motivation, and the drives that move the terrorist to act. Theories abound on this subject.
Theory #1: President Bush declares that we were attacked because our attackers hate freedom. He implies that the tyrants, dictators, and warlords who control the nation-states love power and the privilege it brings, and they have attacked America because we represent a threat to their continued existence. They have attacked our interests abroad and seek to weaken us at home in order to bring chaos and instability to our governing institutions, military, and economic centers. In turn, our ability and willingness to challenge their regimes of oppression will be diminished. The corollary of the “Bush Theory” is that because we are free, it just makes them mad, and they are willing to do anything they can, including sacrificing their own lives, just to inflict some pain on the American psyche. Inherent within this theory is the belief that the terrorist masterminds who engineered 9/11 thought that taking down a building in NYC, the Pentagon, and the possibly the capitol or White House would throw the nation into a disorganized state. And, possibly from that place of being without leaders, and with a crippled economy and military, that the US would be susceptible to overthrow from without, or that the people would rise up from within and depose the current administration.
Theory #2: Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Burzynski in his book, “The Grand Chess Game,” makes the case that a primary goal of US foreign policy is to manipulate world events, governments, religions, and political factions in such a way as to continue to supply raw material, cheap labor, and land for the benefit of Big Industry. Those who follow the Burzynski theory believe that the Muslim terrorist jihad is being used by the coalition of Government and Big Industry to manipulate nations, governments, and world opinion to support and allow actions that favor Big Industry. The implication of this theory is that the 9/11 attacks were planned or allowed as collusion with governmental-military cooperation so as to mobilize national opinion to attack Afghanistan and thereby secure the territory necessary for a trans-Asia pipeline through Pakistan and Afghanistan. And further, since the oil in Iraq was high sulfur and unusable by the American economy, the motivation of Big Business to attack Iraq for its oil was to have leverage on the rapidly growing Chinese economy. The critics of President Bush’s War on Terror claim that the US government is engaged in a policy of trading blood for oil.
Theory #3: That GWB was engaging in a grudge match against Sadam for having tried to kill his father.
Theory #4: Dr. Stanley Montieth, host of Radio Liberty (www.radioliberty.com) heard on many small Christian radio stations, presents the view that the central governing factor of history is the attempt by a cabal of the European Bankers and Masonic lodge members to control the world through the money supply in his book “Brotherhood of Darkness”. The chief exponents of this thought are The John Birch Society (Gary Allen, None Dare Call it Conspiracy), Caroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, Macmillan, Company, New York, 1966. These books expose the motivation of the bankers is to bring about a One World Government and a World Religion. In this view, Satan is seen as the controlling spiritual force orchestrating world events to bring about this Anti-Christ religion and its associated tyranny of government and business.
Theory #5: I believe this world is influenced by Satan. But, I do not believe that he has absolute control of the course of human events. I believe that Satan’s spirit moves in the minds of men to tempt us to act outside of the will and ways of God. I believe that our character is developed and tested through the never-ending sequence of daily temptations and seductions. Those who believe and act on the lies of Satan cut their lives short and show their immaturity in the ways of Godly character. I believe that the purpose of life is the development of Godly character; and that the character we develop in the process of life follows us as our reward and inheritance through eternity.
Our current society worships tolerance, attempting to place all peoples, and all religions as equally valid. Such a concept appears valid superficially since it embodies the principles of fairness. But, there are other conceptual polarities and virtues in life which must be satisfied besides equality, tolerance, non-discrimination, and fairness. In particular, God has established eternal Law and a structure to the universe. Implicit within a universe governed by law and structure are good and evil, error and truth. It appears that those who worship fairness, tolerance, and equality are fighting God, and want to believe that only man is the arbiter and judge of acceptable human behavior. I believe that man is inherently programmed to oppose God and exalt himself. The rejection of our national Christian heritage is a rebellion against God. The Bible is explicit in its declaration that Jesus is the best way and only way to the highest spiritual accomplishment. Such doctrine is anathema to those who want to deify man, and his right to choose any system of spiritual doctrine that he chooses. It is this declaration of the singularity and exclusivity of truth that causes the nations to rebel against Christianity. But, inherent within the concept of truth is the concept of singularity and non-contradictory exclusivity.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
To an outsider such as me, Islam appears to be a religion that strongly regulates the lives of its followers. But, to say that everyone who follows Islam is destined to hell would be too strong a statement for me to make. I do not know God’s plan for the followers of every religion on the planet, especially those who are sincere in their faith and were brought up in that tradition and were really never given a chance to be exposed to the Gospel. Using Biblical texts, it would be easy to argue that everyone is going to hell who does not believe.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Clearly, this scripture states that people who do not come through the gate of Jesus do not see the Father. Likewise John 3:18 states that everyone is already condemned who do not believe in Jesus. But the condemnation is then described; that they have already chosen their condemnation; that the joyous light of the Kingdom of God is forsaken for the mundane similarity of the darkness of the life they are living. The implication of this statement is that those who are committed to Jesus, believe in his sacrifice, have disciplined their hearts to follow His way are rewarded with a new experience. And, that those who have not appropriated that sacrifice will continue to face the same drama, the same temptations, the same darkness in this life and the next. This passage has the possible implications of reincarnation; that those who are unbelievers may continue on in the same darkness, meaning a life like they are currently living. But reincarnation is conventionally disacknowledged by the scripture:
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
Thus, reincarnation may not be the method by which unbelievers continue to experience the fruit of their own life. But, God is fully capable of constructing an individually perfect reward for those who have chosen another path to follow, besides the path of accepting the perfect sacrifice of Jesus and attempting to follow His perfect example.
All of that to substantiate my belief that Christianity is the most complete and righteous religion when followed as Christ taught it. I do not have any difficulty with the “fairness” of a God who could send aborigines to hell because they had not heard of the gospel. I believe God is fully just, and people will get exactly what they deserve, and on some level, everyone knows that it is fully justified.
Having said all that, I believe it is important to witness to the Muslim community and nations. I believe the Muslims are suffering under a terrible burden of man-made duties which they must follow to please their god. I do not believe these duties are necessary, and that if they would redirect that same religious devotion and passion toward developing new and Godly habits of relationship and personal discipline, I believe they would reap a greater harvest of reward for their religious efforts.
The major problem with Islam is that it is an incomplete religion because it does not acknowledge the divinity and sacrifice of Jesus. The followers of Islam will suffer because of their errors in belief and practice, but Islam, as it is elaborated in the Quran, is a rather benign religion in terms of its threat to the greater world community.
The same is not true of the beliefs of Militant Islam, which has rewritten the basic tenets of Islam. The Wahhabi sect has added precepts that glorify and reward martyrdom in the fight against Christianity and Judaism. The problem is magnified by the fact that Satan gives great rewards and applies great spiritual pressure on the minds of the followers every religion, philosophy, and movement that opposes Christianity. Because Militant Islam is overtly committed to destroying Christianity, Satan will move strongly to motivate and give guidance and instruction in destroying his enemies. As a result, the Militant Islamists do not need a central command to coordinate their attacks among the various nations, sects, tribes, and regions as they mount their attacks on Christian (i.e. non-Militant Islamist) nations. Thus, since Satan is controlling the move against Christianity, I believe Militant Islam is extremely dangerous.
We could assume the motivations of the terrorists who attack us are based on a nationalistic chauvinism and a hatred of an occupying/colonial force in their homeland. Certainly, national allegiance, territorialism, and hatred of outside foreign powers are a plausible motivation to attribute the acts of terror against the US and her interests. Likewise, the great disparity of wealth between the West and the Muslim countries is another plausible explanation for the fervor of the attacker’s hatred.
But, when considering all the factors and theories used to explain the motivation of the attacks against the US, the obvious unifying factor among all the attackers is the fact that they, in general, have a common spiritual perspective. The attackers all have a Militant Islamic mindset at some level. Still, attributing the entirety of the motivation for the attacks against America to be only Militant Islamic fervor is probably simplistic. Nevertheless, I believe a spiritual battle rages in the heavenly regions and that the minds and actions of men are the pawns of these larger forces. There is little doubt that poverty and oppression play a role in influencing the minds of men to act. But in this case, there is equally little doubt that the religious fervor stirred by the doctrines of Militant Islam has fanned the flames of passion and motivated many to sacrifice their lives in hopes of glory and out of a belief that their cause was just, good, and godly.
The goal and hope of those who engage in terrorism is elusive. It appears that they believe that wreaking destructive havoc on random sites in Western society will in some way advance the cause of Allah’s dominion of the whole world. It appears that Militant Islamic philosophy views any attack on the infidel’s social, economic, or governing structure as beneficial to the cause of Allah. The struggle has been proceeding for millennia, and it appears that part of the standard Militant Islamic strategy has become to create chaotic states in the opponents of Allah.
Still, the progression between random terrorist attacks and the eventual dominance of Allah is hard to justify. Probably the best understanding of the Militant Islamic mind is that religious fervor can lead its followers to act on a vision or belief rather than on well-defined facts and logic leading to a justifiable conclusion. Fanatical followers of a religion may take actions that are directed in scripture, or by its leaders, and use general principles of the religion as a justification for actions that would otherwise be too hopeless, futile, or painful. When considering the motivations that drive men to act, religious fervor cannot be underestimated in its power to activate men to overcome otherwise insurmountable barriers of the psyche. Thus, when we see the themes of terrorist acts perpetrated by Militant Islam, it is not necessary to hypothesize a unified/central command to produce actions that broadly coalesce around an identifiable common theme of attack.
Thus, while the exact intentions and end point of this incursion against the West/Christianity are somewhat unclear because of the lack of homogeneity of the attackers, an identifiable theme of action can be clearly seen. The terrorist’s actions appear only partially driven by the economic disparity between the East and West and the colonial/oppressive presence symbolized by bases, ships, embassies, and business. Rather, the more plausible explanation for the terrorist’s fanatical willingness to sacrifice is found in the teachings of their belief system. Little subtlety and sophistication is required to come to the conclusion that the motivation of the attackers is based on religious goals and principles. The hatred of the Palestinian/Islamic people of Israel is clearly based on religious biases. Likewise, hatred and motivation can be clearly seen in the rhetoric articulated by the Militant Islamic groups as they have beheaded their captives. And, the video and audio tapes of Osama and Al Zarqawi make it exceedingly clear that they believe the USA is an infidel nation of great evil. Such declarations make it easy to identify the contribution that religious ideology plays in motivating the Militant Islamic mind.
While there is no single Militant Islamic threat upon which all jihadist violence can be attributed, the Wahhabi sect is the most clearly identifiable face of Militant Islam. And, when examined statistically, I believe that many of the terrorist attacks will be seen as having been influenced by Wahhabi teaching and leadership. But even though there are a few high profile leaders in the Militant Islamic movement, the goals of the attacks are poorly defined, and the targets of the Militant Islam’s terrorist attacks do not appear to be tightly coordinated with a grand strategy. Rather, it appears that the threat they present is more akin to an ant colony eating an apple pie in a picnic basket than part of a well-planned attack coordinated by a central authority.
Again, I believe the appearance of unity expressed by the Militant Islamic jihad against the West, is most easily understood by recognizing the powerful unifying force that can be provided by a common spiritual father. In fact, the random attacks made by the Militant Islamists may be precipitated by the satanic force operating in their minds.
I believe the prime motivation for the acts of terror is the extreme devotion to a religious principle. While the teachings of Militant Islam do not accurately reflect the teachings of the Quran, they nevertheless spring from aspects of Islamic tradition. Whether they are divine or generated by humans, ultimately their power rises from the influence they have on motivating human action. If Satan is using his spiritual power to give influence to the teachings of Militant Islam, then the attractiveness and success of their missions become more understandable. The poor economic conditions and the presence of troops in their countries give a list of plausible grievances that could be used to justify the terrorist acts. But, I do not believe these factors adequately explain the ferocity and sacrifice of those who have attacked the US with their bodies. The inequity of compensation for resources and the location of troops, ships, bases, and embassies in resource-rich nations to protect the foreign interests are likewise a plausible irritant. But when placing these factors in perspective, I believe economic and political considerations are secondary irritants compared to the religious fervor that directs the Militant Islamist to act against the infidel west.
If this thesis is correct, that the terrorist mind is more motivated by religion than economics or politics, then extinguishing these behaviors will require a deeper intervention than simply killing or restraining the few men who are willing to commit violent acts. The hearts and minds of those under the influence of Militant Islam must change. Those who blindly follow Allah need to realize that other religions offer a similar promise of paradise. But before our Christian witness will be truly effective in the Islamic countries, we must engage in a sincere cleansing of own society.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, we are attempting to give these countries a democratic government. The theory is that democracies are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior toward other nations. The vision of a world filled with nations governed by democracies is noble and probably ideal. But the transition between tyranny and self-rule can take time. The people of the society must grow and learn the responsibilities and behaviors expected of a free and self-governing people. Clearly, it is better to participate in the self rule of mature adulthood than under the authoritarian rule of an abusive parent or dictator. But, it takes time and training for people to transition from the habits and skills needed to function in a dependent-fear society to the more mature and self-reliant skills of a free democracy. In essence, we are giving people the authority and responsibility of adulthood. But, a rapid transition to having adult responsibilities can be shocking and take a significant period of time when the citizens of these liberated countries have lived their entire lives with little personal responsibility in the realm of self-governance.
The dictator uses his country to enrich himself, feed his ego, and meet his needs for pleasure and power; the entire population is his servant and is subject to his whims. But, democracy requires every person to act right, support themselves, and respect the property and person of everyone else. Thus, the missing ingredient in the transition from dictatorship to self-rule is a proper sense of social ethics. As a Christian Nation, we have that behavior set given to us as our implicit social skill-set. But, as we move from honoring the God of our Fathers, and become a secular state, our own stability as a people who can govern ourselves as “We The People” comes into jeopardy. So much more is the difficulty for a new nation attempting to establish self-rule after decades to millennia of veritable slavery.
The New World Order people are no doubt trying to channel the passions of the Islamist to their benefit, as are the industrialists and communist/socialists.
The President is right to call this a “war” on terror. It appears that we have enemies who have been at war with us for at least the past 23 years. And, this war will probably continue until we as a people decide to confront and overcome those who attack us. We must ultimately win those nations and peoples with love. But using force to repel and destroy those who are committed to do harm to us will be necessary. Just as extremely toxic and rapidly multiplying bacteria must be destroyed by antibiotics when the immune system is weak or overwhelmed, it is likewise necessary to kill or capture those people who are committed to disrupting a society. America needs to act decisively. The force of arms is necessary, but we must be willing to lead with prayer, missionaries, and an example of our own excellent witness as a Christian Nation. Listening to their rhetoric, and watching their actions, it appears that our enemies are committed to destroying us and subjecting us to their god. Our oceans cannot protect us against terrorist threats and actions. We must make the sacrifices necessary to ensure our way of life. In the case of confronting Militant Islam, it may not be possible to convert and redeem every follower of the Wahhabi sect. But, as a nation, we can strengthen our own immune system and make it very hard for the teachings and tactics of Militant Islam to prosper.
We have a strong heritage as a Christian Nation, although our execution and practice as a Christian Nation has not been monolithic. We need not to apologize for attempting to reverse the hands of time and reinstitute Christianity into the fabric of society as we once did as a nation. The Supreme Court of 1892 declared that we are a Christian Nation. Likewise, Congressional Committees in the 1860s declared that we are a Christian Nation. (See Link) As such, we have the legal and historical precedent to reinstitute prayer, public displays of faith, and incorporation of Biblical principle into the debates of courts and the training of our children. We should not require Christianity, but we should use Christianity as our standard of judgment of public morality.
When we return to our Christian heritage, and overtly declare in our schools, businesses, and governmental institutions, that we are a Christian Nation, we will find that we are no longer susceptible to the ravages of terror. Our God, the true God of heaven will protect us. We will be a light to the nations. When we act what we preach, when we can hold a family together, when we protect the environment, when we export health, and when our laws are just and do not just favor big money and industry, we will be the envy of the world. When we truly are a righteous and Godly society, we can export our faith, our government, and our culture of righteousness. When the world is full of people of faith, who live and act their faith in the True God of Heaven, we will soon solve the problem of terror. Terrorism is a symptom of a deep social moral illness. Plausibly it indicates deep oppression. But in the case of the terrorism that arises from a society infected with Wahhabi Islam, it indicates the presence of a deep sickness of the soul. The people of that religion are promised a life in paradise for fighting the evil oppressors in this life. The blend of economic and political oppression and the teachings of a fanatic religion combine to inspire the followers of Militant Islam to make the ultimate, but futile and wrong, sacrifice for their cause.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said: “…it seems that we have awakened a sleeping giant.” It is time for us to awaken and unify our hearts against this enemy. We have not yet awakened in righteous outrage and taken effective action against the spiritual evil that has infected Islam, and in turn is attempting to infect and kill our Christian Nation.
The country united in a spasm of God-fearing grief and outrage for a moment. But the intensity of the outrage was poorly directed. Waving flags and bumper stickers with “United We Stand” and “God Bless America” are good, but ineffective in reaching into the heart and soul of America and transforming it into the righteous society.
We have within our own borders a well-meaning, but a misdirected contingent of Americans who have elevated peace and non-violence to the level of highest principles. Howard Dean tapped into the Baby Boomer anti-war sentiment of the ’60s. The sex, drugs, and rock and roll generation was brought back to their glory days of the War protest. The Democratic Party saw the opportunity to utilize the angry mob mentality and has taken us down the road of appeasement, isolation, and retreat. John Kerry simply adopted this seductive antiwar platform when the spotlight turned on him. But, he was not the man America needs. We need real leaders who can lead the nation back to God. We need a revival of righteousness in every heart in the nation, and we need to export that righteousness to the world. It’s time to reign in our senses, learn to act wisely and in concert with the basic rules that God has given us to govern our individual and corporate lives.
Providing for the general defense is the primary job of government. America is now at war in Iraq. As a campaign strategy, the Democrats have used accusations that the Republicans knowingly used fabrications of fact as a pretext for going to war. Granted, that issues of truthfulness, effectiveness in leadership, and proper values are important campaign issues. The actual facts and intent of the people who made the decisions cannot be known. But, regardless of the reason for entering Iraq, we have made great strides in freeing a people from a brutal dictatorship and the remnants of his regime. We have likewise, gone far toward bringing democracy to the region.
But now, the survival of America and our way of life are at stake. If we do not act now to oppose the terrorist threat, our children, or their children, may find that the freedoms we enjoy have been taken. We must take action against those who want to dominate, eliminate, and/or convert us. To the Militant Islamist, we are the “Great Satan”. Their actions demonstrate the intensity of their fear and hatred of us. Their actions, however random and futile, nevertheless communicate clearly the level of extreme evil they believe we personify. If they could obtain and use the ultimate weapons of mass destruction against us, they would do so, and believe it was a service to their god to do so. Their willingness to sacrifice their own lives, committing suicide so that Americans will die, demonstrates their commitment to the cause of their religion.
Military action is necessary to serve as the antibiotic against the virulent and deadly strains of wrong religious philosophy of Militant Islam that is forcefully attempting to harm and destroy us. But, the more important action against this evil we confront is teaching the Gospel, living it in our lives, embedding it in our laws and courts, and teaching it in our homes and schools. Ideally, every person in the world would bow to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ideally, the United States would again overtly declare itself to be a Christian Nation. But words and claims of right philosophy are ineffective. We must show the world that our God is a God of miracles. We must give evidence with our lives that faith and works in the name of Jesus actually have true spiritual power. Those who call themselves Christians should evidence of that power in the quality of their lives, the excellence of the family structure, the effectiveness of the educational institutions, the joy and peace in the houses of worship, the integrity and fair dealing in every phase of the business world, and the appropriate and right laws passed in every level of government. When honesty, fidelity, patience, peace, and trust are established deeply in the American social structure, we will have a witness that will win the hearts of the nations. When we live the principles of Christ in every aspect of our lives, the world will look to us as the shining city on the hill.