Reformed Reflections

Should Christians Help Build Muslim Mosques?


Should Christians help build Muslim Mosques? This question was raised by Rev. J. Slomp, former missionary to Pakistan and now serving as an evangelist on behalf of the Reformed Church in The Netherlands (GKN) to the 200,000 Muslim in The Netherlands. Rev. C.M. Boersma, who belongs to the same denomination as Rev. Slomp, says that in his judgment Muslims are not unbelievers, but people who believe differently. Rev. Reedyk, a Reformed (GKN) pastor in Rotterdam, tells the story how he helped Muslims in Rotterdam find a place of worship. He also. thinks that the God of the Jews, Muslims and Christians is the same God. I cannot understand why these questions should be raised or how a Christian pastor can spend time and effort helping Muslims find a place of worship! Shouldn't the church have a vigorous evangelistic approach towards Islam? 

Islam is anti-Christian. It denies that God, as the Muslim scholar Isma'il R.A1 Faruqi says, "had to ransom humanity by means of oblation and sacrifice." Islam denies that a man can be saved by faith alone. Faith, according to the Muslim, is that which one must have to enter the community of Islam. A Muslim is a man in pursuit of righteousness. And not for one moment can the Muslim ever be sure of his standing with Allah. 

Islam is by its very nature world-embracing. It aims to include all nations within its fold. "Islam asserts," states Isma'il R.A1 Faruqi, "that the territory of the Islamic state is the whole earth, or, better, the whole cosmos since the possibility of space travel is not too remote." Islam as a universal religion is missionary minded. Every Muslim wishes that all mankind would accept Islam. This missionary spirit or da'wah' (literally calling people to Islam) drives Muslims to missionary endeavour. 

The movement from Islam to Christianity or any other religion is strictly forbidden. To convert from Islam means becoming a traitor. And as a traitor, convicted after due process of law of treason, the convert can be either banished from the Islamic state, receive life imprisonment or capital punishment. 

Islam is a militant religion. An article written by Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan, chairman of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission, called for Muslim countries in Asia and Africa to use oil as a weapon to force access to nuclear technology. 

Libya has been threatening to cut off exports of oil to India unless the Indians parted with some of their nuclear knowhow. In 1979, the Arabs told Japan's International Trade And Industry Minister, Masumi Esaki that oil supplies might dry up unless his government gave support to the Palestinian cause against Israel and Egypt. The result of this warning is not left to anyone's imagination. Some months later, Tokyo endorsed the "legitimate rights (of the Palestinians), including the right to establish an independent state." 

In the beginning of this year (1980) the Pakistan government hosted the first-ever extraordinary session of the 44 nation Islamic Foreign Ministers' Conference (IC). At the conference, its president and Moroccan Minister, Mohammad Boucetta warned that "serious repercussions" would follow if the Philippine government didn't settle its conflict with its Muslim population in Mindanao. The IC provided the Moro National Liberation Front, led by Libyan-based Nur Misuari, with $240,000 on top of the $1.5 million U.S. given already during its Daka conference last year. 

In South Korea, the Korean Muslim Federation is very active in its missionary outreach. Its first major achievement was the building of an ornate $500,000 mosque on the outskirts of Seoul. 

Islam is anti-Christian, militant and missionary. Muslims desire freedom of religion in Western countries. Some Christians try to aid them with finding worship centres, or even claim that Allah is the same as the God of the Christians, but Islam states do not allow freedom of religious expression within their own borders. For example, in Iran the Anglican Church has endured several months of harassment and physical assaults, including an assassination attempt on its bishop and the murder of a priest. Two church-owned hospitals have been taken over by revolutionaries and turned into Muslim institutions. The Anglican Church of St. Luke's in Isfahan, some 200 miles south of Teheran, has been practically closed. 

Islam must be confronted by a vital and Biblical Christianity. The church must go with the message of the Gospel into all the world, including the world of Islam, as "Salvation is found in no one else (Jesus Christ); for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 N.I.V.). 

Johan D. Tangelder