My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic (anti-Islam) evangelicals to choose

By Brian McLaren, Special to CNN

I was raised as an evangelical Christian in America, and any discussion of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations around the world must include the phenomenon of American Islamophobia, for which large sectors of evangelical Christianity in America serve as a greenhouse.

At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed over an offensive, adolescent and puerile film targeting Islam – beyond pathetic in its tawdriness – we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia.

Many of my own relatives receive and forward pious-sounding and alarm-bell-ringing e-mails that trumpet (IN LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!) the evils of Islam, that call their fellow evangelicals and charismatics to prayer and “spiritual warfare” against those alleged evils, and that often – truth be told – contain lots of downright lies.

For example, one recent e-mail claimed “Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents.”  Of course, that claim has been thoroughly debunked, but the sender’s website still (as of Friday) claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing” Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy “naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio.

Janet Parshall, for example, a popular talk show host on the Moody Radio Network, frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned.  John Hagee, a popular televangelist, also hosts Shoebat as an expert on Islam, as does the 700 Club. Read further.

6 replies

  1. Salam.

    “Janet Parshall…frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned.”

    This is also the way how evangelicals act in Germany. They bring so called “Islam experts” who never practice the Islam in their earlier live. But after conversion to them they behave like they were imams.
    For example here in Germany Sabbatina James. She claims in TV shows to be persecuted by Muslims but a magazine from Austria researched her not reliable life and found that she married a Muslim in Egypt after her conversion to Christianity only for money.

    But many people still believe in her only because she speaks against Islam. I don’t know how it us in the US but here the evangelicals don’t say open that they are evangelicals. They act like they were just loyal to the law and defend it against Islam cause Muslims were not law abiding citizens. They hide their real motives. The
    same thing I read about the makers of the Anti Islam movie. At first they announced that they were Jews but now it comes out that it was a Christian with criminal background in cooperation with evangelicals and even the actors of the movie didn’t know that the movie is about islam. Shame on such people who cannot live respectable life and shame on such Muslims who answer to them with violence in the name of Allah swt and confirm their absurd conspiracy theories.
    Wasalam from Germany

  2. Why do we (Muslims), believe that we HAVE to react to every little anti-Islam statement ANYWHERE in this world?

    If we continue in this manner, we will surely give our enemies more and more ammunition to continue hitting us with. Why don’t the world’s Muslims understand this simple fact?

    The best way to react (if it is at all necessary), is with logical, learned arguments or simply ignore it.

    The way Muslims are behaving now – they are giving undue publicity to issues which would hardly see the light of day, otherwise.

    So, I wish and pray that Muslims will apply their God given grey matter in future regarding anti-Islamic matters and give due thought before they react. And when and if they do, it should be non-violently!

  3. Tayyab,
    do you really think that the fear of apostates is just fictional? You know that the hadith demand the killing of apostates just as Sabbatina James. Why is it in so many countries the law to kill or imprison apostates? Just coincidence? Come on, open your eyes and let criticism of some aspects of your religion happen. I know that Ahmadiyya postpone the punishment for apostasy to the afterlife and let God judge, which is totally fine. I hope also in practice. But I really cant understand why you as Ahmadiyya who you are seen by some muslims as kafirs totally reject that the law exists. Look at wikipedia in which countries there is penalty for this “crime”. In western countries if there are conversions from christians to islam or to other religions these are often openly admitted in the news or somewhere else. Nothing happens to these people. Freedom of religion, also to be without a religion or change it! The other way not. What do you think if in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or even Turkey a muslim openly says: “hey,now im a christian!”. I think we both know, thats the reason why it is not made public. And people dont believe her just because she is christian. They believe her because anyone can read islamic sources such as the Quran or the hadith on his own and verify or deny her sayings.

  4. Thanks Zia for the interesting links. The problem is that obviously sunnis and shias prefer the saying of Mohammed: “Whoever leaves his religion. Kill him!” and use this as argumentation that apostates have to be killed. Luckily Ahmadis dont. Is the solution to say that the hadith are wrong to abolish these unpleasant facts amongst others from Mohammeds life? Is the solution to say the hadith are true but Mohammed was not right in all the things he has said and done? Is the solution to say to adapt your religion to present time and change it even if the scriputers tell something different? How much Islam is then left? Only the spiritual part without sharia? I really wonder what way the muslim world will choose.

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