What we saw on our TV screens on 11 September can be very easily supported from the holy book of the Muslims. (There are MANY verses in the Koran that say things like: "Wait in hiding for the infidel, catch him, cross his hands and feet, cut them off and kill him." That is an actual verse from the Koran. And there are at least ten more verses in the Koran that make explicit reference to "using force" to "fight against the infidel." Why do you think that all the terrorist groups we know are Muslim terrorist groups?!)
How, then, can so many Muslims be the truly peace-loving, kind people that they are? Many of them follow an "Islam" they have created in their head. They didn't get their "brand" of Islam "from the book." Many that we know in ______ know much less about their book than we do! In fact I have read some of these verses to several of my close friends (this is a delicate subject... you don't just go up to any "Tom, Dick & Harry"--uh, over there I guess it should be "Tanju, Deniz & Hasan", and discuss this with him) and say to them:
"I am confused. I know you well, and I know that you have NO intent on obeying these verses. If you were a "good" Muslim, you should be slitting my throat, 'cause I'm that infidel this verse refers to...you know I don't believe this book came from God. Now I know you have no intent on doing that (and I'm sure glad that you don't). But yet you say you believe in this book and are ordering your life by it. I don't get it."
In EVERY case where I have done this, they have NEVER seen these verses--and many other verses in there, for that matter--before. They are simply "following" a religion that their parents followed, without carefully examining what the "source book" says. So their response to me has ALWAYS been: "You're misreading the verse."..to which I turn the book toward them, hand it to them and tell them to read it and tell me what those words mean.
[Now, remember, these are very close friends I'm doing this with that I have spent m onths and years building a relationship with. I don't recommend doing this with "casual" Muslim acquaintances you have...BECAUSE it will look like you are simply "attacking" their book. If you've got close Muslim friends, try it out...because if they are close friends, it means s/he--like our friends--is living out her/his Islam the way they WOULD LIKE IT TO BE, not how the book says it should be conducted.]
My friends have ALWAYS been stumped. The verses are blatantly clear as to their meaning. Then I say to them: "My dearest Ahmet" (and they know I mean that...I've shown them that they are dear to me) "the principles by which you live your life are not found in your book. They are found in another book." Then I take them to where our Lord rebuked Peter for cutting off the ear of the High Priest's servant, where He said that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who oppose us, etc. Those verses are not found in their book.
That is the "bottom line" of this letter. Pray that around the world these literal millions of Muslims that are like our friends would sovereignly be directed to these verses I've referred to above in their book and realize that these heinous acts--that we are being told repeatedly these days on the TV is not part of Islam--have solid "footing" in their book. I think it is probably fair to say that the majority of Muslims don't want to obey these verses that call for "Jihad." Let's pray that the Holy Spirit would use this terrible event to open the eyes of millions of Muslims to see that they cannot "pick-and-choose" the verses they like from their book...and ignore the ones they don't like; and that many, many would be stirred at this time to pick up a New Testament and have their eyes opened to these glaring contrasts to what the two books say on this issue. May God turn this tragedy into a catalyst for a serious turning of many Muslims to Himself and salvation.