Answers on ISIS
Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network, was recently interviewed on Fox News alongside one of the nation’s leading converted Muslims, the Rev. Majed El Shafie, human rights advocate and founder of One Free World International (www.onefreeworldinternational.org).
Before the interview, Rohrer said APN leaders had been discussing how to educate American pastors about Christian persecution, and Islamic terrorism in particular so that they could better teach their congregations about how to respond to persecution. After his time with El Shafie, Rohrer said he posed several key questions weighing on the minds of American citizens, as well as pastors, churches, and Christians generally.
SAM ROHRER: How real/imminent is the ISIS threat to the United States and American and/or Western Christians?
MAJED EL SHAFIE: This is not simply about ISIS. There were other organizations before ISIS, there are others operating as we speak, and if ISIS is defeated others will rise up to take its place. The issue is an extremist ideology that manifests in a multitude of organizations with varied methods but one common goal. Each attack by these groups against Americans abroad or groups actually or symbolically perceived as representing American interests and ideology, such as local Christians, without a credible response from the U.S., diminishes American stature in their eyes and consequently its ability to counteract future attacks. As a result, ISIS and its likes are a very real and imminent threat to the U.S. and American interests at home and abroad.
SR: What practical distinction is there between a moderate Muslim and ISIS/fundamentalist Muslim, of which some say there are 300 million?
MES: There are various estimates of the numbers of fundamentalist Muslims and one must be cautious because the numbers experts use depend on how one defines a “moderate” or “fundamentalist” Muslim. Some people only consider the number of active or potentially active terrorists relevant, which limits the number by age and demographics to a finite maximum depending on the metrics used. On the other hand, if one counts the percentage of the population who support the activities of such terrorists either through active logistical and other operational support or through promoting or simply espousing an extremist interpretation of Islam, the number is much larger. At the same time, polls, as I’m sure you are aware, can be misleading because of the way questions are phrased and/or the willingness or unwillingness of respondents to be candid with their answers. In this case, such polls are all over the map, indicating anything from 20% to 80% support among Muslims for extremist ideologies and activities. Having said this, a conservative view of 20% or even 10% of an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, amounts to 150-300 million people which is a significant number capable of almost anything.
SR: Other than pray, what can American Christians do to help the persecuted Christians in the Middle East in particular and around the world generally?
MES: American Christians must become interested in the lives and circumstances of their brothers and sisters around the world and educate themselves about the persecution that is taking place, not only in Muslim countries, but elsewhere as well. They must educate themselves about Islam generally speaking and about Islamic extremists in particular and about the U.S. government’s policies and actions in this regard, going behind the headlines and the reporting by the liberal mainstream media to seek the truth. Finally, they must get involved, both on the inside and outside, to influence their government to take effective and credible action against this threat.
SR: What should the American church/Christians do to help prevent persecution in America?
MES: American Christians must vote for and promote a strong and determined policy overseas and at home that puts the freedoms for which our ancestors died first, and clearly and directly, from a position of strength, confronts all ideologies and actions that are not compatible with those freedoms. They should get involved and educate themselves and their neighbors to take a respectful but strong and uncompromising stand against any threat to our freedoms.
SR: What would be the most important message we can give to the Christians of America?
MES: To the Christians of America: Our brothers and sisters in Muslim countries have been on the frontlines of this spiritual war for hundreds of years. We must not leave them without our support nor expect that this war will not touch us. If we manage to escape without being persecuted we should be grateful, but we should also know that we will be judged for how we use the freedom that we have been granted. If persecution does come our way, we must remember that we are in this world but not of it. They can kill the dreamer but they cannot kill the dream, or paraphrasing our Lord, “they can kill the body but they cannot kill our soul.”
Rohrer added that on a recent trip to Ukraine for a leadership summit with pastors and elected officials, he made the distinction that the United States was a nation based on biblical principles from a Christian perspective, rather than a “Christian” nation. He acknowledges that while America is home to people of many faiths, the religious freedom we’ve enjoyed by law arises only from a Biblical worldview that recognizes that while God loves every soul, He will not force people to accept His salvation. However, when other religions exist to force people to convert or be killed, this not only threatens freedom but directly attacks our Constitutional system of law and must be opposed.
It is the firm conviction of the American Pastors Network that Islamic sharia law is incompatible with and mutually exclusive to our Constitutional form of government.
It seems that everyone, including our President and Congress, knows what NEEDS to be done; however, no one has the courage to act. Congress should IMMEDIATELY pass law which states unequivocally that 1) under no circumstance may any township, city, county, state or other governmental entity implement any form of Islamic and/or Sharia law and 2) no person(s) may be granted entry to the United States without pledging allegiance to America and denouncing Islam.
The Holy Bible, God’s Word, makes it clear that Belial/Satan cannot co-exist with Christ.
Sam Rohrer and Rev. El Shafie are completely correct. The fundamentalists are doing what the Koran tells them to do. Kill the infidels if they will not convert. Any Muslim could at any time read the Koran and interpret it literally (unlike many Muslims) and then become an extremist desiring to help in the “Holy WAR” for Allah. It is like a time bomb ready to explode. If you look at the history tied to Muslim leaders and Muslim movements you will see a continual pattern of political armed aggression. Like invasions of countries like ISIS now. Islam is more of a political belief system than a religion. I see it as a system of oppression parading as a religion. I think it acts more like a belief system like Communism than a true religion. I think there is very little religion in this belief system and a great deal of hate excusing itself under the guise of a “religion.”
It is a scary world we live in, but we need to not fear, for we know how the story ends. The Christian goes to heaven. In the mean time we need to protect our Christian brothers, and share the gospel. Our hope is that people will choose of their FREE WILL to come to Christ.