I am always interested in the similarities and differences in different religions. I believe that all religions have grains and seeds of the One Truth. So, when I saw this book on one of the display shelves in the library, I was very interested in what this book had to say about the ending days and Islamic jihad and how it’s related to Christianity.
The author, interestingly enough, is of Egyptian and Middle Eastern descent, even though he is a Christian and was one of the founding pastors of The Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael Youssef explains on the back cover that he would “provide answers that are concise and biblically accurate.” As a historian, this really intrigued me because it seemed like it would be a pretty unbiased book, though with a hint of Christian perspective.
But, I was wrong.
The first few chapters were interesting. It talked about some of the basic of Islam, as well as the historic culture of the Arabs and how that influenced the culture of Islam. Just like Mormonism, sometimes it’s hard to tell between the culture and the actual religion. However, I already knew that information from high school and college history classes. But, I don’t really keep up with the news well, so the next part was interesting to me: he explained the difference between “moderate” Muslims (the ones that believe their religion is one of peace), ISIS, The Islamic State, The Muslim Brotherhood, Al’Qaeda, and other fractions and fanatic/terrorist groups.
Once Youssef set that up, he started to sound very anti-Islam on a whole. He said that those fanatic groups, although evil, had more of a truth on what the Koran says than the “moderate” Muslims. He would like to believe the “moderate” Muslims were the true Muslims, but they didn’t really understand their Allah’s commands of subjugation and creating a world caliphate according to the Koran. He used passages from the Koran to show that the goal of Muslim religion is to dominate the world into a theological dictatorship known as the World Caliphate. He claims that the word Islam doesn’t come from the Arab word for peace, but subjugation. He says that the violent actions against infidels, unbelievers, and hypocrites, is the true jihad, and jihad of inner struggles and against Satan are secondary. He says that most governments, including the US’s has been compromised by Islamists connected to the Brotherhood and they are taking down our government and subjecting us very subtly from the inside out.
I hated the way Youssef started to sound! He also used Bible quotes to prove that the AntiChrist will be the Islamic prophesied savior, their version of a Messiah. He uses Bible prophecies to connect them to Muslims, as if Islam is the Devil’s tool. It made me sick. Half the book just sounded like he was better because he was Christian and automatically saved. It read very conspiracy theory. I mean, he says he has studied this and researched it and read sources of all sides. Well, I have read the Koran as well, and have had numerous Muslim friends. The Koran was peaceful and respected the Christians and Jews (although almost in a patronizing way) and a lot of the teachings of the Koran is parallel to the teachings of the Bible! Also, for crying out loud! Using the Koranic passages that talk of war against non-Muslims during the time of Muhammad to show how “evil” Islam is…does he not realize that God of the Jews commanded them to do the same to non-Jews in the Old Testament, even to kill all the herds and animals of the tribes they were to decimate?!?!
Overall, this was a really disappointing book. Although, it did teach me a little bit more about the fanatic Islamist groups. It was also a little ironic because I had finished it a few days before the Paris attacks, and I had started to write this post during the weekend. We now know that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, as well as a few other suicide bombings (and then, coincidentally, a few natural disasters) in other countries on the same day. So, there was a little apoplectic/conspiratorial part of me that thought, “he was right!!” But, that only lasted for 5 minutes.
What is your opinion on this book, the attacks on Paris, and just current news with fanatic Islamist groups?