“My dream is that the USA will become an Islamic nation by the year 2000.” These words, spoken just a few years ago by the vice president of the Islamic College in Chicago, express the feeling of the majority of Muslims around the world. Islamic publications worldwide are full of excitement over the achievements of Islamic organizations in the West. The New Testament church must take heed to Islam’s advances, regain lost territory (souls), and bring Muslims to Jesus. The church of Jesus Christ needs to awaken to Islam’s growth in America and the reasons for that growth. At the dedication ceremony of the Islamic Center in Stockholm in 1983, the speaker said, “In the next fifty years we will capture the western world for Islam. We have the men to do it, we have the money to do it, and, above all, we are already doing it.” These are not just empty words. Muslims are taking an aggressive role in propagating their religion in America. With almost unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries, Muslims are actively engaged in organized programs aimed at improving their image and at converting both black and white Americans.
In the last decade or so, the USA has experienced an explosion of Muslim immigrants, students, and visitors. With the increase in numbers we see an increase in Islamic activities and programs. There is hardly a major city in North America that does not have Islamic centers, supermarkets, restaurants, and mosques. Muslims are also getting into the media. There are many Muslim publications—books, magazines, and newspapers. Muslim TV and radio programs air in major cities from coast to coast. It is estimated that there are six to ten million Muslims in America. And it is estimated that hundreds of Americans are converting to Islam every year, with many coming from Christian and Jewish backgrounds. Why is this happening? Where has the church failed?
What Are the Muslims Doing?
For the past several years Muslim leaders have gathered together to strategize on the Islamization of America. They have formed nationwide networks to connect the scattered mosques and give Islam a stronger voice in America. They have accessed American colleges through Muslim student associations. These associations not only provide a strong sense of community for Muslim students but also seek to convert Westerners and teach them the ways of Islam. There are at least three hundred of these groups, and the number is growing every year.
The governments of Islamic countries are also offering millions of dollars’ worth of grants to universities to help improve the image of Islam in the US. One such grant was given by Saudi Arabia to Harvard Law School to develop a Center for Islamic Law. Hiring Muslim professors is a part of that contract.
Every year new mosques are being built. In America there are now approximately 1500 mosques, with several hundred Islamic training centers attached to them for education, community support, legal representation, political involvement, and training in the propagation of Islam.
An entire Muslim community has been built in New Mexico. Dar Al-Islam advertises its boarding school as a place to protect children from the immorality, violence, and drugs rampant in public schools.
Islam is spreading far more quickly in American prisons than most Americans can even imagine. In one prison three Protestant chaplains were replaced by one Muslim chaplain.
Many Muslim men are deliberately marrying non-Muslim American women. Not a few of these women are churchgoers. After the wedding, the young wife is often pressured to adopt Muslim practices. It is not unusual for her to be coerced to cut her ties with Christian friends. When children are born, the husband usually insists that they be raised as Muslims, in compliance with Islamic law.
Recently the United States Army selected and commissioned Captain Abdur Rashid Muhammad as its first Muslim chaplain. The reason? There are approximately 10,000 Muslims in the US Armed Forces. Muslim representatives have also expressed a desire to provide Islamic awareness seminars to non-Muslim soldiers and to military organizations. These seminars actually are opportunities for Muslims to spread their religion, a practice consistent with the stated goals of Muslims.
The political arena is another major focus for Muslims. In many communities, leading Muslims seek to be on first-name basis with city officials. Some join commissions and community programs, attempting to influence and to convince their communities that their presence is an asset. Nationwide organizations, such as the American Muslim Council, have placed the infiltration and influencing of Washington, DC, at the top of their list of priorities.
Perhaps unknowingly, non-Muslim Americans seem to be aiding the Muslim cause. Increasingly the American media are painting a positive picture of Islam. Communities that welcome the building of mosques receive glowing headlines in local papers. In such articles, Islam is often openly praised while Christianity is criticized.
Muslims are using their American freedom to advance their cause, which they have the right to do. But such freedom is completely unavailable to Christians in Muslim countries. While recognizing that Muslims, like followers of other religions, must be allowed to exercise this freedom, we must actively inform our political leaders about human-rights abuses in Muslim countries. We must demand that Muslim countries give the same freedoms to non-Muslims that Americans show toward Muslims.
Jesus understood His times. He was not ignorant of the corruption, hypocrisy, and deception of the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders. He also knew the sin and darkness of the people He met every day. Yet His attitude was that of compassion because they “fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
Following Jesus’ example, we must first realize, of course, that Muslims are lost. We need to understand the deception of Islam, the incorrectness of the Muslim view of God, and the dangers of the Muslim political agenda. Yet we need to have the compassion of Jesus toward these people as we recognize their need to know the good news of God’s love and salvation. We must learn to love and accept them without accepting their beliefs.
On the Day of Pentecost people from many lands, including Libya, Turkey, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern nations, were present. They were in Jerusalem by God’s providence to hear the gospel and carry the good news back to their nations. Today each American city is a modern Jerusalem. We must see the influx of Muslims to America as both a challenge and an opportunity to proclaim the gospel to them and through them to the entire Muslim world.
After I arrived in the US and settled in Detroit, the Lord put a great zeal and burden in my heart to reach the Muslims. I found that there was no Fundamental Baptist work among American Muslims. These people needed somebody to teach them; the Bible says, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). The Lord called me to this ministry to reach my native people because I know their culture, religion, and language. I decided to put all my efforts toward winning Muslims to Christ.
Now many Muslims from different Islamic countries have come to faith in Jesus Christ through the Light of Life Ministry. This ministry captures every opportunity to bring God’s love to the Muslims in America. We reach the Muslim in many ways: through a radio program, door-to-door evangelism, Bible distribution, correspondence courses, home Bible study, hospitality, and a cassette ministry.
The Light of Life Ministry is the only Fundamental Baptist ministry work among the Muslims in the US. We need the Baptist churches to open their doors so that we may present our ministry to their people. We need to raise our support as soon as possible because the time is very short. We need to establish a radio program in many large cities in America. We need to have a TV program to reach the Muslims. We need to spread the Word of God to every Muslim in America, and we need to purchase a large quantity of Bibles every month. These things will not happen without the help of Fundamental Baptist churches standing behind us.
At the First Fundamental Bible Baptist church among the Muslims in Detroit, we have begun to make new disciples so that they will be able to reach their people. The Lord has also given us the opportunity to conduct seminars in many Fundamental Baptist churches in America. We are able to provide your church with different tools in the Arabic and English languages for the ministry to Muslims.
What Should Christians Do?
Islam’s challenge to Christianity is becoming urgent, but we must remember that “the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Ps. 110:1). Thus we are confident with John that “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
Each individual must ask himself, “Can God use me in missionary work?” If you cannot enter a foreign mission field because God has not prepared you or called you for such work, then please think of how you can feed those here at home who hunger to hear the Word of God. Muslims need to know that Jesus is the Light of this world. They need to know Him as their Savior.
Four thousand years ago, Abraham cried out to God, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” (Gen. 17:18). Today the four million Muslims in our country still wait for Abraham’s heir, Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to give you a burden to care for the lost souls of Islam. Four thousand years of waiting is long enough.
Evangelist Monthir Abdullatif is a home missionary to Muslims with Light of Life Ministry, PO Box 283, Hazel Park, MI 48030 (www.lightoflifeonline.org).
(Originally published in FrontLine September/October 1999 and republished March/April 2011. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)