Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance Advisory Board
Our country is grounded in Judeo/Christian principles. Living in the truth is one such principle. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought by God.”
No one should fear the truth, although at times we may be afraid. The truth is the light which sets us free. It is when truth is suppressed that we should fear, for the light fades and darkness comes forth.
So why am I bringing this up?
Recently a religious organization in Virginia agreed to have a well known and highly regarded historian appear to give a presentation on Islam’s history. A couple of days before the event was to occur, it was cancelled because of a few phone calls and emails from the local interfaith community that said the presenter and presentation were untruthful.
What is troubling is that:
• This speaker had presented a similar topic at the same organization just about a year earlier.
• I have seen most of the speakers presentation, and it is a series of slides containing historical facts and dates.
The presented facts are all verifiable, and what I’ve seen are accurate. They are truth. No one walking in the light should fear facts that are truth.
As to the interfaith community’s actions and the pressure they exerted to cancel the event, the following quote from the Islamist Syed Qutd Shaheed should be instructive. Jahiliyyah means ‘ignorance of divine guidance’, and refers to all non-Muslims—infidels.
“Our first task is to replace this Jahiliyyah with Islamic ideas and traditions. …
“This cannot come about by going a few steps with Jahiliyyah, nor by now severing relations with it and removing ourselves to a separate corner; never. The correct procedure is to mix with discretion, give and take with dignity, speak the truth with love, and show the superiority of the Faith with humility. After all this, we must realize the fact that we live in the midst of Jahiliyyah, that our way of life is straighter than that of Jahiliyyah, and that the change from Jahiliyyah to Islam is vast and far-reaching. The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”
Compassion without truth is not a virtue, it becomes indifference driven by fear and/or ignorance. With all due respect, those within the interfaith community who carried out these actions are at best well meaning fools acting in ignorance. They represent organizations that have blended into the secular culture; they have lost their salt, and are losing their light.
These types of actions raise a serious concern within a community, because they are themselves a repeating of history. During the first wave of Islamization, the church and civic leaders facilitated Islam’s spread within Christian kingdoms. These people were called notables, and are referred to as such in histories written during this period. Why did this occur?
• Few people outside of Arabia spoke Arabic, and the initial text of the Qur’an was unpointed, leading to numerous variant readings of the same verse (see below).
• There were few copies of the Qur’an, and in fact the Qur’an’s fourteen variant readings accepted today were not finalized until a later date (see The Abbasid Dynasty – Part II for more information).
• Initially, the Christian world viewed Islam as just another Jewish or Christian heresy. This notion appears in the Chronicles of Michael the Syrian and others.
The Islamic population was initially in the minority in the lands it conquered, and could not have been successful in their conquests without the native population’s help (see The Abbasid Dynasty – Part III for more on this topic).
Couple the above with civic leader actions related to the building of a mosque within the same Virginia community. Initially, it was opposed by the local government. The federal Department of Justice came and pressured the local Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, behind closed doors, to reverse their decision – despite county rules allowing that initial decision. The contents of those closed door meetings have never been revealed, and those local leaders will not talk about the meeting. Since that time a second mosque has been approved, and numerous laws and regulations overlooked in order for them to be built.
Truth requires light, the light of knowledge. Knowledge comes from an education in both reason and faith. “The exercise of faith directly becomes knowledge, reposing on a sure foundation. Knowledge, accordingly, is defined … as a habit, which cannot be overthrown by reason.” In short “neither is knowledge without faith, nor faith without knowledge.”
Knowledge becomes the wisdom that leads to the light—a virtue. It is something that we must each strive for, as it is through this process we are in a position to fulfill our purpose. We are to stand in the truth to remain free (Galatians 5:1). Are we willing to stand? If our leaders do not stand, are we willing to ask them why? If necessary, and with love, are we willing to turn and accept others to lead who will stand if they will not turn away from an incorrect course?
- John 3:20-21, New American Standard Bible.
- Shaheed, Syed Qutb, Milestones, p. 115, Retrieved from: http://holybooks.lichenbergpress.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Milestones.pdf. Accessed 12/2016.
- Roberts, Rev. Alexander and Donaldson, James, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Fathers of the Second Century: Hermes, Titian, Athenagora, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire), Vol. 2, p. 349, Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989. Stromata, Book II, Chapter II.
- Ibid, p. 444, Stromata, Book V, Chapter I.