Read Clint Decker’s December HOPE FOR TODAY blog post here or on the blog site.

Former Republican President George W. Bush stated less than three weeks after America was attacked in 2001 that “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Current Democratic President, Barrak Obama, agrees along with many other elected officials. Is it true? Is Islam a religion of peace?

I respectfully disagree. Yes, the majority of Muslims are peaceful but Islam itself is not. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, declared that “Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are unless they convert to Islam.” Where does Mr. Gomaa and other scholars get such ideas? Their teachings come from Islam’s sacred text and the example of its founder, the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran says, “Slay them (the infidels) wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter” (2:191). Some Muslim’s may choose a moderate approach and ignore this, others may counter it with an opposing Quran teaching, but others obey this command.

If someone is a non-Muslim, albeit an atheist, Christian, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist, and refuses to convert to Islam, they are an infidel and vulnerable to confrontation, especially if they live in an Islamic nation. If someone abandons their Muslim faith, tries to evangelize Muslims, speaks out against Islam, or violates Islamic Sharia Law, their lives are at risk.

Islam itself, not fringe groups or leaders, provide the foundation for the appalling Islamic-motivated atrocities we have witnessed in breaking news stories. It is just too wide spread to deny. One expert found that since 9/11 there have been over 20,000 of these attacks, averaging about one every five hours, somewhere in the world.

The stark contrast between Christianity and Islam is found in Jesus’ own words when He stated that “In me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). How did He overcome? It was not done with a sword but with His cross. He voluntarily laid His life down on that gruesome and torturous cross that others might live. Then, He rose again showing His power over evil and death. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, His goodness and peace is available to all – Muslims, Jews, and people of any or no religion. His kindness and compassion is heralded across the globe with His words “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).