We have heard about Islam, mosques, and freedom of religion a whole lot lately. Much of that conversation has been energized with passions and fears. In light of it all, I find myself really torn by the whole discussion about Islam and the Church’s response. Let me be clear it is fair to be confused by Islam, even concerned by it.
Most of us do not know the difference between Sunni, Shia and Sufi Muslims, or how to read the Quran or each Hadith. In the midst of the current conversation, I offer my own perspective. My experience of Islam is very different than what I most often see in the media here in the US–for two key reasons. First, my experience with Islam really began in Southeast Asia where the Muslims see themselves differently than those in the Middle East.
Second, and more importantly, my focus in Southeast Asia was to share the Good News of Jesus with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Freethinkers alike. As a result, I am fascinated by the variety of expressions of Islam. There the three main schools, Sunni, Shi’ite and Sufi””which have protestant, catholic and charismatic qualities. They also have their own progressives, secularists, fundamentalists, off-shoots, and cults.
Furthermore, I have a deep assurance that Islam does not stand up well to the witness of Jesus Christ.
Read it all.