Published: 00:00 GMT Daylight Time - Tuesday 17 April 2007
Why some Evangelicals can't understand the true nature of Islam
Some Christians seem to be bothered by Barnabas Aid exposing negative facts about Islam. These argue that we should not busy ourselves with trivial matters, but concentrate on the main issues of presenting Christ and loving all people.
We have received some criticism of our recent communique on Faye Turney, the British servicewoman held captive in Iran and recently released with the other fourteen captured servicemen. As we now know, she was not only forced to wear the oppressive hijab, but underwent intimidation, mental torture and cruel manipulation tactics: she was isolated and blindfolded; stripped down to her underwear and feared rape; was told her colleagues had been released and she was the only one left in captivity; was measured for what she thought was her coffin as she could hear the sound of sawing wood and nails being hammered outside her cell; and was threatened that she would face trial for spying if she did not co-operate with her captors' demands. This treatment was meted out by the Islamic Republic of Iran, that claims to believe in human rights, religious freedom and human dignity. We cannot understand why some Western Christians questioned our highlighting this story or even defended what was done to her. Can they justify inhumanity and injustice to a vulnerable woman?
Christians in the West face two converging threats: one from an increasingly secularised society, intolerant of public Christian expressions of their Biblical faith, and the other from an increasingly confident Islamic community bent on reshaping the West in its own image. These two naturally hostile forces have found a common agenda in ensuring that Christianity is diminished in its influence on Western society.
In the name of multiculturalism, tolerance and political correctness, this coalition is intent on eroding freedoms and liberties accepted as basic in Western societies, especially freedom of speech. Islam, as a religion antithetical to Christianity, is culturally accepted, while Christianity, especially evangelical Christianity, is maligned.
A variety of legislative and other measures, each apparently of small effect, are being introduced that have a progressive cumulative impact on long-cherished liberties and freedoms. This results in efforts to suppress any criticism of Islam, ignore unpleasant facts about it and institute what can only be called a censorship regime.
Christians must wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as a trivial matter in this process. The whole programme is planned as a piecemeal strategy that will gradually constrict the living space for Christianity while according more space to neo-pagan liberal humanism and Islam. The fact that these two ideologies are incompatible does not bother them at this time - once they have achieved their objectives there might be a fierce conflict between them for ultimate power in the emerging new order.