Violence in the Name of Religion
"Jihad" is an Arabic word which means fighting or struggle. It is a very important doctrine in Islam but at the same time it is a troubling concept that has been, is being, and will be used to justify violence in the name of religion. The fact that because Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and that religious conflict has often occurred between Moslems and the followers of other religions (especially Jews and Christians) it is a good reason why non-Moslems should know something about jihad. In areas where actual physical fighting has erupted between Moslems and Christians, it is virtually imperative that Christians must know something about jihad, for it is inevitable that some Moslems will use it as a religious justification for physical fighting. It cannot be denied that jihad has been used to justify horrific atrocities such as the vicious attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.
Biblical Prophecies concerning the Descendents of Ishmael
To understand the Jihad between Osama bin Laden and America we have to go back four thousand years to the time when God called Abraham from Ur. God made a covenant with Abraham to make him a father of many nations and give his descendants the land (Gen. 17:1-9). When Abraham and his wife Sarah became old they still did not have a child, so they used the carnal method by making Hagar their Egyptian maidservant to be the surrogate mother of their firstborn son Ishmael.(Gen. 16). The Angel of the Lord prophesied about Ishmael.
"He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." (Gen. 16:12)
It is amazing how this biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and now again in Osama bin Laden; both of them are descendents of Ishmael. The description fits Osama bin Laden like a glove in this present global crisis. He is currently the most wanted man on the face of the earth "dead or alive" . According to God's promise Sarah did conceive and gave birth to Isaac when Abraham was one hundred years old. (Gen. 21:5) From the two sons of Abraham - Ishmael and Isaac two groups of nations would emerge (Gal.4:22-23). Another prophecy states that one nation would persecute the other (Gal. 4:28-31) "But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born accordingto the Spirit, even so it is now." (Gal.4:29)
This prophecy was fulfilled when the nation of Israel was restored in April 1948 and since that time it has been persecuted by the Islamic nations. How does America fit into this prophecy? Here is the connection. Christians are the spiritual seed of Abraham through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26-29). Just as the descendents of Ishmael would persecute the descendents of Isaac, so the "wild man" Osama bin Laden would persecute the spiritual seed of Abraham which is Christian America.
America Founded on Christianity
The United States of America is the only nation on earth that is founded on Christian faith and principles as evidenced by the charters of our Founding Fathers.
The Mayflower Compact
"In the name of God, Amen. ..........Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."
The Pledge of Allegiance
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Declaration of Independence
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--"
The American Dollar
The American dollar is the only currency in the world that has this inscription "In God we trust."
Osama bin Laden hates America
Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh in 1957. Osama's father, Muhammad, is leader of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest construction firm. As the 17th of 52 children, he stands to inherit over $300 million USD. Of course, that is when his father dies. He is likely to not inherit this money as Saudi Arabia has frozen all assets of Osama indefinitely. He graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jiddah in civil engineering in 1979 and left Saudi Arabia for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, a predominately Muslim country, was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1979. Osama bin Laden joined a resistance movement against the "godless" USSR. This resistance, the Mujahedeen, was funded in large part by the United States government. The enemy of our enemy is our friend. For the next ten years, Osama bin Laden provided logistical and humanitarian aid to the Mujahedeen. There is debate about whether he actively participated in battles. Eventually, the Mujahedeen forced the Soviet Union to leave Afghanistan. This was an important turning point for Osama bin Laden. A small group of freedom fighters had managed to beat one of the largest and most powerful armies in the world. This would later serve as a metaphor for his battle against America.
Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1989 a hero. He quickly continued his work by denouncing the Saudi Arabian government that was seen by many as a corrupt regime. King Faisal destroyed any hope of long-term sustainability by focusing on short-term profits for himself. Osama bin Laden fit nicely into the familiar role of freedom fighter. For his actions, he was confined to Jiddah. Normally, such vocal opposition would be met much more harshly in Saudi Arabia but bin Laden's lineage protected him from more serious punishment.
In 1991 the Saudi government asked the United States to intervene in the Iraq/Kuwait crisis. The United States sent troops over to Saudi start the Gulf War. The Saudi government's request was not the reason the US sent troops, but it is essential to understanding Osama bin Laden. From bin Laden and many others's perspective, this was the start of the Ameican occupation of Saudi Arabia. This occupation continues to this day. The Saudi dissident movement seeks to oust the Saudi government. The United States troops are a major obstacle. Saudi Arabia and the US are allies. America also has major economic ties to oil in Saudi Arabia. The dissidents knew that Ameica normally responds with force when their economic interests are threatened. If the dissident movement was to be successful, it first needed to get America out of Saudi Arabia.
The United States stands in the way of Osama bin Laden's goals. U.S. financial and military ties to Saudi Arabia protect its government. Osama bin Laden first needs to oust the U.S. troops before he can overthrow the government. He has experience in fighting huge countries. The success of the Mujahedeen's conflict with the USSR has shown him that he can win. To do so, Osama bin Laden needs a large base of people to join in his cause. Many Saudi's, however, are somewhat comfortable in their luxurious lives. They don't want to overthrow the government. Saudi Arabia does not meet the normal criteria of a state ready for a new government. Many of the citizens derive their living from either the government or the U.S. occupaiton troops. It is against their interests to change. As such, Osama bin Laden needs to recruit people from outside of Saudi Arabia in his goal.
The Jihad of Osama bin Laden and Islamic Extremists
Osama bin Laden has found the perfect vehicle to gain support for his personal jihad: the Islamic religion. Many Muslims, especially in the Middle East, already have at least suspicion of the United States. The US and USSR played the Middle East like cards during the cold war with little regard to how it effected the people. America has unilaterally supported Israel in any dispute with Arab countries. Neocolonialism by American corporations is changing the Middle East, not always for the better. Osama bin Laden has struck a chord with many Muslims, especially those living in the Middle East. He used the existing antagonism and combined it with Islam. By invoking Jihad on August 23, 1996, he catalyzed the more extreme Muslims of the world. He further combined religion into his own nationalistic cause when, in February 1998, he issued a declaration with several extreme Muslim groups that Muslims should kill Americans (including civilians) anywhere in the world. Osama bin Laden has taken his nationalistic campaign global by exploiting Islam.
World Islamic Front Statement
"Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life."
On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Musllim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."
We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.'
We must realize that this jihad is not just the declaration of war on the United States of America by Osama bin Laden but by the World Islamic Front - an extremist terrorist movement that encircles the globe. Even if we got Osama - dead or alive, it is not the end of the war. There are hundreds, if not thousands of extreme terrorists like Osama bin Laden who are resolved to fight America to the bitter end. We need not have any fear because God is with us.
What should Christians in America do in the Jihad?
1. Do exactly what is printed in the U.S. dollar bill - "In God we trust".
2. The battle is the Lord's, not ours. Believe that God will fight for US.
3. This is not only a physical war but also a spiritual war. Endure to the end.
4. Pray for our nation, our president, our leaders, our people and ourselves
5. Support our government's efforts and give generously to our country's cause.
6. Use the love of Jesus Christ and not hatred. We shall prevail.
7. Preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in all the world.