The religion and culture of Islam is currently colonising the Western world. This is a case of role reversal. The West once did the colonising, but in the space of a generation everything has reversed. This new development was not in our script. Some call it assimilation, others call it multiculturalism, still others call it a clash of civilisations. But it’s actually much bigger than all of those terms. It’s the history and future of the world. This essay will explain why that is so.
The current Islamisation of the West is but a small battle in an epic 1,400 year war for power and control of humanity and the planet. The Islamic worldview has already subdued the Middle East, North East Africa, Central Asia, and parts of South East Asia and South Asia. The war will continue until either Islam wins the planet, or loses to a stronger worldview and disappears. There is no other option.
Islam suffered through several civil wars in its first hundred years. Genghis Kahn, one of the world’s greatest mass-killers, almost destroyed Islam 800 years ago. European colonialism humiliated Islam 150 years ago. Communism came and then went just 30 years ago. But apart from those cultural and demographic dents, The Islamic theological, cultural and political empire has been on a path of unrelenting expansion since it mysteriously rose out of Arabia and onto the world stage around 600AD.
History has forged only one worldview capable of confronting the very well-crafted, all-invasive globally-aspiring worldview of Islam, and it is not Western secularism, evolutionary theory, Hinduism, Buddhism, Communism or atheism. It is Islam’s old nemesis, Christianity.
From day one, Islam made it a core goal to subdue the Christian Byzantines, Christian North Africa, newly Christian Persia and then the heartlands of Christian Europe itself. Islam instinctively knew that if it did not subdue Christianity, it would one day be subdued by its great enemy.
In the modern era this epic war has largely, though not entirely, left its respective armies behind. It has become a war between the temporal political kingdom, culture, demographic growth, and worldwide imperial ambitions of the Arab god Allah preached by Muhammad, and the spirituality, love, forgiveness, supernatural power and offer of relationship with the Hebrew god Yahweh that was preached by Jesus. This is a battle to the death of the two most powerful worldviews on the planet started by the two most influential men in history, Muhammad and Jesus. Power pitted against love. Which one will win?
To understand the future unfolding of this epic war we must first look at the past. Most Westerners do not know their deep history, so let me start with a short summary. Over the last 2,000 years both Christianity and Islam, the two great missionary worldviews, have slowly but surely created the two largest blocks of human culture and ideology on earth. Christianity, in its many guises; primitive, Orthodox, Nestorian Coptic and Catholic versions had a six hundred year head start and won Europe, North Africa, sections of the Middle East and parts of Central Asia. It even made it to China along the Silk Road. Islam then appeared with the express goal of usurping Christianity and continuing on to world domination (Q 8:39, 9: 29-30, 36, 73, 123, Q 48:28, Q 61:9). It conquered and then destroyed Christianity from all of those arenas except continental Europe. Islam then spread into South Asia, China, South East Asia, East Africa and finally Eastern Europe itself in the Fifteenth Century via Constantinople.
But by that time European Christendom, the somewhat imperfect culture that grew up around Christianity in Europe, was benefiting from the combined winds of Luther’s Reformation, global exploration and increasing scientific advantage. European powers laid claim to the Americas, the Pacific, Southern Africa, the Middle East and parts of East Asia. The Christian missionaries and their faith went along for the ride. By 1900AD, Christianity had encircled and dominated a very technologically backward Islamic world. Round Two to Christendom.
The Twentieth Century saw the 1,400 year old war delayed by the fleeting distraction of Communism. But as I write, in the early Twenty First Century, the war between the two ideological giants is on again in earnest. On one side we have a Christianity, now largely free from its European, colonial and cultural baggage, growing rapidly in East Asia, South America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. On the other side we have an increasingly fundamentalist Islam. With its famously high birth rate it is colonising the nearby Post-Christian Western world. The global demographic score card now stands at 32% for Christianity and 23% for Islam.
As a consequence of this 1,400 year-long clash of the titans, large numbers of minor religions have disappeared from the earth. As we speak, the new atheistic religion of Western secularism, which largely banished a culturally enfeebled Christianity, is self-imploding due to the lowest birth rates in history. It therefore presents no long term threat to either Islam or true Christianity on the world stage. The future of the world will be a long, grubby and traumatic battle between a resurgent Islam and a resurgent Christianity. The planet belongs to only one of these religious giants. On appearances, if you only follow Western media, Islam looks like being the winner, but looks can be very deceiving.
This essay will explore in depth the big-picture history of these religious giants, with a particular emphasis on Islam; its ideological DNA, its 1,400 year war with Christianity, and its predicted future to the end of the Twenty First Century and beyond. Even though it will be many generations before the war ends, by 2100AD we will begin to see the specific contours of a final resolution. The first shadows of those contours are emerging as we speak, and they are surprising.
Other essays in this series will explore the evolution of Muhammad, the evolution of the Qur’an, the pagan roots of Islam, Islams theological contradictions, Islam in 2100AD and the rise and fall of Christendom.
This essay is divided into the following topics:
- When and how did the war start?
- Islam’s lust for Europe
- The era of colonial humiliation
- The current state of the battle
- Islam will never be a religion of peace
- the Qur’an’s teachings guarantee future conflict
- Twenty First Century demographics favour Islam
- Hurdles facing Islam this century
- Christianity is going viral inside Islam
- Looking through a glass darkly at the Twenty Second Century
- Statistics on Christian growth inside Islam
- Final Thoughts
So, lets get started.
1. WHEN AND HOW DID THE WAR START?
About 4,000 years ago to be exact. But let’s begin by stating the obvious. The sceptical secular Western mind doesn’t have a clue nor care about the long, strong and emotional memories of history embedded in the Middle Eastern mind. We tend to forget that the Middle East, not Europe or America, was actually the cradle of human civilisation. Most people from that region can trace their ancestry, ethnic loyalties and religious traditions back thousands of years. From this region and those next door to the east, came all five of the world’s great religions and civilisations; Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.
The events and trends that started in Middle Eastern antiquity are what have shaped the world today, from the way well tell the time and the coins we use to buy and sell, to our bath towels and business suits, to the wheels on our cars, the grains we eat and the fabric that clothes us. In ways that are beyond the scope of this essay we are hugely endebted to our collective Middle Eastern heritage.
In the realm of religion one name from this era stands above all others. Secular scholars now tell us that the man called Abraham was very likely a real figure of history. If so, then the account of the life of Abraham leads directly to the creation of three of those five religions mentioned above. The Jews trace their ancestry from Abraham’s son Isaac, and by theological extension, so do the Christians. The Arabs trace their ancestry to Abraham’s other son, Ishmael. Until the advent of Islam, the people of the Arabian Peninsula were actually called Ishmaelites. According to the Jewish writings, both lines were promised abundant descendants (Genesis 17:19-22), but only Isaac was promised the favour of God and a global heritage (Genesis 17:19). That’s exactly where the problem starts.
In the early Christian era, the Arab Ishmaelites worshipped a multitude of gods like their Hindu neighbours to the east, and were considered culturally backward by the monotheists to their west in Europe and north in Persia. They could look in most directions and clearly see the literary, cultural, imperial and commercial superiority of their monotheistic near neighbours to the West. For the Arabs of late antiquity, monotheism therefore came to mean progress and empire, power and prestige. The relative backwardness and polytheism of his fellow Arabs was one of the chief reasons why Muhammad, or whoever it was that started Islam, demanded a monotheistic religion. With it would come an empire for the Ishmaelites. In the Arab mind all great religions needed a prophet, a holy book and a single god, so Islam was created and launched.
According to the Islamic version of history, Muhammad initially wanted a fraternal religion to his superior cousins, as he craved legitimacy in their eyes. But it all changed when the Jews and Christians of the Arab Peninsula did not accept his theological paradigm and claims to legitimacy. Muhammad then turned to “plan B”, which was bitter competition and conquest. But how would he theologically justify this new plan?
The answer came together over just a few years of planning. Muhammad cleverly and deceitfully stated, without a scrap of proof, that Ishmael was the son of promise, and that both Judaism and Christianity had therefore corrupted their respective holy books, which once preached Muhammad’s new pure religion. The Christians and Jews could therefore now be held in contempt. He then turned prayer away from established centres of religion in southern Israel and Nabataea toward Mecca (Q 2:142-144). He then began advancing into their territory, subjugating Arabs, Jews, Christians and any other party that was in his way, appropriating their lands. On his death bed he issued marching orders for his armies to finish the job he had started, to conquer, convert and subdue all Christians, non-Muslim Arabs, back-sliding Muslims and Jews (Surah 9). All non-belief was in his cross-hairs. The challenge worked. Many military victories followed in surprisingly quick succession, and were all seen as proof of divine blessing. The Arabs were getting their empire.
By 637AD Islam had taken control of the holiest of all cities on earth, Jerusalem, the centre and symbol of the spiritual world. This was the ultimate proof of Islamic/Arab legitimacy as a religion, and superiority as a people. Divine and imperial progress was now definitely heading toward the Ishmaelites and not toward the Jews or Christians. The next logical step was the conquering and destruction of European Christendom itself.
2. ISLAM’S LUST FOR EUROPE
Why was Europe such a highly prized conquest for the new religion of Islam? As you just read, Muhammad was rejected by both Christians and Jews. He knew instinctively that the greatest threat to his worldview came from the large, proximal and formidable empire of Byzantine Christendom and the former Western Roman empire. He feared their power and it helped mould his theology of hatred. In his mind the world belonged to Allah, Islam was Allah’s religion and Muhammad was Allah’s head of state. Therefore the whole world must be shown its grave error and brought to its knees under the truth of Islam. It was as simple as that. The call to conquer the world was a call to liberate the world from the evil and deception of Christendom and Christianity. Islam saw Europe as the heartland of a great lie. Military triumph in Europe would therefore be the ultimate validation of Islam’s cause and worldview. It would also conveniently enrich the growing Arab empire along the way.
Conquest and empire became a literal manifestation of the ever-expanding Islamic kingdom of Allah on earth, conveniently wrapped in the mantle of Arab imperialism. Muslim armies offered non-Muslims an opportunity to embrace the truth. If the infidels refused, the Muslim position was that they have committed an “aggression” against Allah and Islam. Therefore, Muslim armies were allowed to fight these arrogant “aggressors” who had insulted Allah until they submitted or were killed. Resistance quickly crumbled from the two great empires, Persia and the Byzantines, who had exhausted themselves after fighting each other for 600 years. Their lands were quickly taken and then Islam now looked across both the Gibraltar and Bosphorus straits into the heart of Europe.
The assault on Europe was a launched on two flanks. First, after conquering Christian North Africa, Islamist armies quickly moved through Spain and conquered South Western Europe in the Eighth Century. However, the strategy stalled, and then reversed, 300km short of Paris in the Battle of Tours in 732AD. Second, on the Eastern flank, the Byzantine capital Constantinople itself was under attack as early as 674AD and would remain so on and off for some fifty years. It would not fall but would be crippled. Within 400 years of its birth, Imperial Islamic armies had conquered and retained most of the Jewish and Christian lands of the Byzantine Empire to the east of Constantinople in modern day Turkey. Islam then tried coming up through Italy in the Ninth and Eleventh and Sixteenth Centuries, but failed again due to the determination of Norman knights and the knights of St John.
Then Christendom belatedly hit back. The crusades into the Middle East were Europe’s somewhat feeble attempt to take back lands that were actually once theirs. They especially wanted Jerusalem. The crusades eventually failed miserably, but in the turmoil they still managed to bring back a treasure trove of ancient Greek manuscripts that eventually kick-started the renaissance, the enlightenment, the reformation, modern capitalism, the scientific revolution and Western technological superiority. The crusades to eradicate Islam from South West Europe and Southern Europe were much more successful, but were only completed in the 1490s, freeing Spain and Portugal from Islamic domination. Eventually, however, Islam conquered the eastern flank of Constantinople in 1453AD.
During this medieval period Islamic scholars had already found and studied many of the ancient Greek manuscripts that were littered around their conquered Christian libraries. As a result, mathematics and science flourished in Islam’s golden age of learning. In the early Middle Ages the Islamic empire was the symbol of academic progress, until Genghis Kahn decimated the Middle East and murdered a majority of the populations of many Islamic regions. Running parallel to these developments in Europe and the Middle East was the continued expansion of Islam into Asia and East Africa via the great global trade routes.
In the late Medieval period the Ottoman Empire, now based triumphantly in Constantinople, took up the flag of Islamic imperialism. It quickly took control of the Balkans and rapidly pushed up to within sight of Vienna in 1683AD, only to be eventually pushed back into the Balkans by superior European armies working together. The Ottomans also tried relentlessly to take control of the Mediterranean Sea so they could conquer and spread the Islamic religion once again in Southern Europe. It was only the combined might of the Venetian, Genoan and Spanish Navies that finally stopped them in the Battle of Lepanto of 1571AD. But it was not until 1815AD that all Muslim attacks and enslavement of Europeans in the Mediterranean region were stamped out by the newly minted US navy. By the time the Islamic slave trade was stamped out out some one million Europeans had been abducted by Islamic pirates. Christian technology and civilisation was now pulling ahead of Islam.
3. THE ERA OF COLONIAL HUMILIATION
With the eventual rise of Western technology and capitalism came Western imperialism. The heartlands of the Saudi Peninsula suffered less than most parts of the Islamic world, but the Arabs of that region felt an abject humiliation due to their custodianship of Islam, their eschatology of global triumph, and past history of victory over Christendom. How could the sole protectors of Allah’s truth be trampled, dominated and exploited so easily by an obviously inferior culture of infidel crusaders? It didn’t make sense. Muslims were conquers, not the conquered. This chapter of the war wasn’t in their script.
In short order, all of the Islamic world was easily conquered and carved up into European colonies, and then exploited. New imperial masters meant that many Islamic cultural systems were swept away. The old roles had now reversed and it wasn’t taken well. In the Islamic worldview there was no separation of religion and state, so this invasion was obviously a religious conquest by Christians and an attempt to destroy Islam itself.
There was no greater proof of this intent than the eventual creation of the Jewish state. Jerusalem, in the minds of every Muslim, was the very image and symbol of Islamic religious and imperial superiority. It had logically, inevitably, righteously passed from Judaism, to Christianity to Islam. But now it was gone, and worse, occupied by the hated Jews. This obvious collaboration between the infidel Christians and Jews was a declaration of war against Allah, his prophet and Islam itself, a position not lost on Osama bin Laden or ISIS to this day. The fact that it was a response to appalling atrocities committed by Nazism is completely lost in the strict Islamic theological narrative.
But colonialism was sometimes a blessing and eventually it gave culturally-backward Muslim nations physical infrastructure, technologies, education, some human rights and public services. This paved the way for the new era of nation states. Those parts of the Muslim world that were most deeply influenced by the West, such as Turkey, Malaysia and North Africa, eventually prospered the most. Those least effected, such as the Arab Peninsula and Afghanistan, lagged the others significantly, until the discovery of oil.
This new era has changed Islam forever. The nation-state is a European invention of some five hundred years standing, and fits uneasily with the history of an Islamic brotherhood and the almighty Caliphate. Previous to the coming of the Europeans, Islam saw itself as a single religious empire led by a single Caliph, the successor of Muhammad. It was divided into dynasties languages and kingdoms, but not nation states. It was a brotherhood, or ummah.
Let me illustrate. The words Syria, Palestine and Libya are names that were not used from Roman times until the coming of the European masters. Tunisia and Algeria do not even exist as Arabic words. The word Arabia is not even in the Arabic language, and the word Pakistan never existed until midway through the Twentieth Century. The fact that the first thing ISIS did once it had a geographical footprint was to attempt to obliterate national boundaries and revive the Islamic Caliphate is instructive. The fact that it has been bitterly opposed in every Muslim country outside Saudi Arabia is even more instructive.
Added to this destruction of the classic Islamic system of government was the influence of outside trends and ideologies. For a time Communism took hold easily in the Middle East, as did Fascism. They were embraced because both opposed the Western colonial powers. But these solutions were frustratingly un-Islamic. Western education, foods, goods, fashion, music and technology then arrived in the Twentieth Century and spread quickly through the growing number of newly-educated university youth. By the 1960’s university students in Iraq and Iran were wearing Western clothing and listening to rock and roll. God forbid.
In reaction to these trends, secular higher education itself became increasingly seen by some Islamic scholars, such as the Ayatollah Khomeini, as yet another Western infiltration of Islamic values. The epicentre of Western cultural trends, the USA, soon became known as The Great Satan because of its corrupting influence on “innocent” Islamic youth. In reaction to the increasing Westernisation of Islam, a new Islamic fundamentalist pride was gathering pace.
No essay on the future of Islam is complete without addressing the issue of Wahhabism. Back in 1744AD the obscure Wahhabi religious movement in Saudi Arabia grew out of frustration with modernisation, the slow and relentless corruption of pure Islam and territorial advancement from Christendom in India and in the Balkans. The Wahhabi contract with the House of Saud has been perhaps the most important long-term Muslim theological response to the era of colonial shame.
In 1804-6 the Wahhabi’s, along with their Saudi political friends, conquered Mecca and Medina, demolishing tombs, desecrating holy places, executing writers, burning their books, slaughtering men, women and children of impure sects, and imposing a brutal version of Islamic purity. They were soon crushed by the Ottomans but came back from the brink after World War One to establish the modern Saudi state, the world’s first Wahhabi state. With the discovery of vast amounts of oil in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism was able to export its violent, puritanical, bigoted, perverse version of reality to the whole world on a grand scale.
In the late Twentieth Century Wahhabi theology spawned daughter organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah. Radical terrorist and Jihadist movements ( sympathisers would say Islamic freedom fighters) quickly spread into Afghanistan, Palestine, North Africa, and the Middle East. The 1970’s oil crisis emboldened the Islamic oil exporters to hold the entire Western world to ransom. Islam was back.
Running concurrently to this Sunni/Wahhabi tsunami was the successful Iranian Shiite revolution of 1980, which set the scene for a full-scale revival of the traditional sense of Islamic superiority inside the minority Shiite wing of Islam. Everything Western and Sunni that had infiltrated Iran began to be tossed out. Shiite revolutionaries spread out over the Middle East, stirring up trouble along the fertile crescent through to Lebanon and Israel. An Islam that increasingly reflected Muhammad’s Qur’anic worldview was resurging, but it was a two headed monster that would increasingly try to tear itself apart.
4. THE CURRENT STATE OF THE BATTLE
This brings us to the present. The wholesale abandonment of Christianity in most Western countries has led to a cultural and spiritual vacuum evidenced in catastrophic family breakdown, rampant sexual degeneracy, resulting demographic decline, and financial decay. This cocktail is a cultural death-wish, and militant Islam senses this feebleness in its old enemy.
Islam is not a street-corner religion like Hinduism, Christianity or Buddhism. Yes, Islam does tick Western boxes as a legitimate religion, but this religion also demands submission by all outsiders. Muhammad conceived and constructed a religious totalitarian way of life for all of those who, both voluntarily and involuntarily, fell under his embrace. The word Islam itself means submission, or the breaking of the human will. Muhammad demanded total obedience from all who followed him in their politics, laws, behaviour, family, gender relations, attitudes to war, religious practices, personal beliefs and finances. Islam therefore shares many traits with Communism, Nazism and the all-powerful Catholicism of the Middle Ages. Thinking all religions to be weak compared to secular humanism, the West has forgotten the potency of its old ideological enemy
However, not every Muslim is an ideologue. My experience is that many Muslims are decent people who love their family, espouse a morality similar to Christianity and just want to get by in life making a decent living for their kids. They try to do their best to be good moral citizens. They live politely and obediently within the confines of a restrictive worldview without looking too deeply into the Qur’an, which is an utterly confusing book for the uninitiated. These people don’t question the meta-narrative they live within, just as most in the West embrace the meta-narrative of atheistic/evolutionary theory while never actually having examined the truth-claims behind it. Others, who have told me personally that they are secular Muslims, do not follow the practices of Islam at all. Some estimates put this category at around 50% of all people living inside some Islamic countries. They are stuck inside the Islamic world with no escape but passive resistance. Intriguingly, this is as it was from the beginning. Muhammad was constantly furious with those who would not fully commit to his ideology of total obedience, death and glory (Q 9:61-69).
But there is a significant minority of Muslims, depending on the country and sect, who are deeply engaged with the core beliefs espoused by Muhammad and want those beliefs to be extended around the world. They push for Sharia Law in both their own lands and the West. From this group comes a smaller group again who are actually willing to act on these beliefs and follow the violent path of jihad laid down for them by Muhammad. It is their deep engagement with the mind and will of Muhammad via his Qur’an that drives their worldview to commit acts of unspeakable violence against innocent people around the world today.
This rising tide of violence and aggression against the West is being financially and ideologically driven by that thorn in the flesh of both moderate Muslims and Westerners alike, Saudi Wahhabism. Wahhabi teaching has now morphed into the most powerful threat to both Western security and its long term future through brand names all too familiar in the current line-up of global terrorist organisations. It is the very core foundation behind militant Islam today. It rightly loathes the moral degeneration of the West but sadly sees violence against the West as swift judgement deserved. Interestingly, Wahhabism is strictly monitored in many Islamic countries but untouched in the West because of the reluctance of the state to interfere in the free exercise of religion. It is therefore a Trojan horse in our midst. Extreme Islam is now mainstream. Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism is akin to the Klu Klux Klan gaining control of America and its foreign policy!
We in the West take the separation of religion and state, human rights, cultural pluralism and freedom of speech for granted. These are the legacy of a thousand years of Christian theology and cultural development. Unfortunately Wahhabi Islamic theology lumps the current wave of Western atheistic moral degeneration along with these great Christian and secular cultural achievements. Wahhabi theology sees both secularism and Christianity as morally corrupt, weak, and abhorrent to Allah. In fact all human systems of interaction that lie outside Islamic Sharia law are considered, by definition, illegitimate. The Western secular/atheistic mind just doesn’t get this total worldview, especially in Europe. Collective denial would be the best term to describe the Western mindset.
In the minds of the current European intellectual elite, all religions and especially Catholic Christianity, were supposed to be dealt a cultural death-blow by Charles Darwin’s intellectual justification of atheism. Christianity in Europe has been successfully eradicated from intellectual life and resigned to the emotional fringes of politics and society. This has created a spiritual, moral and demographic vacuum with empty churches, decimated marriage rates and abysmal birth rates. Immigrants are now desperately needed to keep Europe from falling into a Japanese-style demographic death spiral. Enter the Muslims. But instead of assimilating, many of these new arrivals are now caught up in the Islamic Wahhabi revival sweeping the world. Cultural integration has slowed, and in many cases gone backwards as Muslim communities sense the weakness inherent in Western secular culture.
The political response to this growing tide of people and political agitation is a quasi-official policy of Islamic appeasement, especially in Western Europe. Governments are bending over backwards to help Muslims blend in in the name of cultural tolerance. As a result, rights and privileges are now demanded by, and sometimes freely given, to Muslim communities. This is allowing alternative legal and education systems, criminal justice standards and restrictive public customs to grow unchecked. Criticising Islam is actually now illegal in many Western countries and comes under the all-encompassing umbrella of religious vilification and islamophobia. Conservative Muslim leaders in Western European countries, as in all countries they migrate to, just keep pushing for more. But the more European politicians give in, the less respect is accorded them.
It is interesting to note that nearly all Eastern European countries refuse to accept any Muslim immigrants and refugees in defiance of EU orders. They have fresh memories of totalitarian regimes, can recite their history of Islamic invasion, and can sense the danger. Consequently, apart from their own demographic decline, they do not have any of the existential cultural problems facing Western European countries.
In stark contrast to all these grim developments in the West, the internet is now playing havoc with the traditional Islamic stranglehold on its own people. As late as 2000AD only a few hundred books were being translated into Arabic each year. The emergence of the internet and the free flow of ideas, religious as well as secular, is now allowing liberal, nominal and curious young Muslims to anonymously investigate ideas once taboo and forbidden. As a consequence there has emerged, for the first time in history, a mass movement of dis-engagement with Islamic culture and an acceleration of Western influence among Muslims. Parallel to these developments is a movement into a strongly evangelical but Islamically indigenous Christianity, often with great danger to personal safety. More on that development shortly.
So how will the 21st century unfold for the West? The wave of Islamic immigration, religiously inspired violence and demands for the Wahhabi inspired Islamisation of Europe and the Western world will continue until one of four things happens:
- West rises up to reclaim their long-forgotten Christian culture and religion. This is not likely.
- Islam morphs into a garden variety peaceful religion on any other street corner in Brussels and Berlin that sticks to itself, as did the Jews for a thousand years. Not likely.
- Islam will come to control Western Europe on this, its fourth attempt to do so. Possibly.
- The core of Islam, the Middle East dis-engages with Islam, turning to another worldview. Possibly.
Which will it be?
5. ISLAM WILL NEVER BECOME A PEACEFUL RELIGION
The term, a religion of peace, has been popularised in recent years by many Western leaders such as George W Bush and Barak Obama, usually after a Muslim terrorist attack on their soil. But the term did it exist until 1930 when Indian historian, Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi, wrote a book on Islam titled Religion of Peace.. The use of the term today is simply another example of political wishful thinking and collective denial. Many Islamic scholars find this term particularly jarring and an attempt to erase the proud history of jihad from the minds of Muslims.
The term Islam, as well as meaning submission, can also mean surrender. Unfortunately it is a military metaphor, not a devotional one. It signifies peace after violence or the threat of it, not the absence of violence. Muhammad famously said “Aslim taslam”, which means “If you surrender, you will have peace.” This was a play on words as aslim also means becoming a Muslim. What he meant was “If you surrender to Islam you will have physical peace”. Those with a Western mind would like to see this as a spiritual/metaphorical surrender. But the life of Muhammad, screams otherwise. Let me elaborate.
From the time he had a following large enough to engage in violence and get away with it, Muhammad launched raids and battles every year of his life until his death in 632AD. According to David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad, During his years in Medina Muhammad ordered or participated in somewhere between 63 and 86 battles or violent raids. Victory in battle quickly became the definitive sign of Allah’s favour, and death in battle guaranteed passage to heavenly oasis with a never-ending supply of houri, or immortal beautiful young virgin women (Q 56:22-38). The Hadiths are riddled with back up material on this topic!
Muhammad’s glorification of violence and death culminated in the last and most authoritative revelation supposedly given to Muhammad just before he died, Surah 9. All contradictory teachings that come before it in the Qur’an were superseded and annulled. Islam calls this convenient process abrogation. In this Surah, Muhammad commands all treaties with non-Muslims nullified, the cutting off of all family relationships with non-Muslims (Q 9:23), the conversion of all polytheists in Mecca to Islam or face death (Q 9:5). It also decrees war on all Christians and Jews (Q 9:29-35) for not believing in Islam.
Perhaps the greatest proof that Islam is not a religion of peace is the interpretation of Surah 4:89 that belligerently declares if anyone wants to leave Islam, they will be put to death. This makes it the religion of intimidation, violence and fear, not peace. The peace spoken of by Islam only comes when subjugation is complete. This is the bizarre logic behind bombings of innocent people, including women and children today.
6. THE QUR’ANS TEACHINGS GUARANTEE FUTURE CONFLICT
The word Qur’an is derived from qara, which means to read or recite. Because he performed no miracles when challenged, Muhammad justified himself by claimed the Qur’an itself was the miracle and the basis of his authority (Q 2:23). However, Muhammad is the sole source of this claim. No external evidence exists to back it up. The Qur’an is only divine because Muhammad said so, and Muhammad was Allah’s prophet only because He and his Qur’an said so (Q 4:163-6). It is therefore a circular argument, cleverly placing both Muhammad and his Qur’an beyond question by any follower. It was laughingly doubted by many in his day, so Muhammad’s Qur’an kept suspiciously decreeing a multitude of curses and judgements on anyone who challenged him on this issue (Q 26:190-192, Q10:104, Q 4:167-169). He even ordered the personal assassination of several of these critics. The known list includes two Meccans by the names of Al-Nader and Ocba, the Medinan female poet Asma, the 100 year old Abu Afek, and Kab Ibn Al-Ashraf, among others.
Because Muhammad claimed the Qur’an was divine (Q 2:23, 10:37-38), then by extension the Arabic language was the language of heaven (Q 26: 194-5). This signed, sealed and delivered proof drives disdain for all other literature and languages within the conservative Islamic worldview. This also explains why fundamentalist Islam places so much emphasis on memorising the whole Qur’an in Arabic only, and little on any other type of learning, especially for girls.
Islamic doctrine also holds that the Qur’an is the exact copy of an original, errorless, uncreated prototype kept on special tablets in heaven (Q 5:15, 16:89, 25:1) and these are an extension of the character of Allah himself. Islamic tradition claims the Qur’an was transmitted to Muhammad either via angels, or a pure trustworthy spirit (Q 16:2 16:102 26:192-200). It is therefore to be not only believed, but obeyed perfectly and never questioned or critiqued. To do so is to challenge Allah himself. This destruction of critical thinking is the fundamental reason why Islam became a backward culture compared to the West in the last 500 years.
From this critical external perspective we can make the following observations. If Allah is the true creator of the universe, the custodian of the pure Qur’anic tablets in heaven, and gave an accurate revelation of his nature via the Qur’an, then it makes Allah look like a very scheming god. Shockingly, the Qur’an actually admits this. The correct Arab word translated as planner in English versions of Q 3:54, is actually khayru almakireen, or schemer and plotter.
Exactly what sort of scheming and plotting does Allah get up to? Here is a sample: The Qur’an/Allah justifies gruesome violence on many occasions (Q 2:216, Surah 9), it sanctions religious killing (Q 2:190-193), demands your execution if you leave Islam, condones deception and lying to further the cause of Islam (Q 16:106), suppresses human rights and encourages slavery (Q 16:75), demands economic and legal subjugation of other faiths (Q 9:29), reeks of religious arrogance (Q 3:110), engages in constant religious vilification (Q 2:89-2:90), justifies genocide (Bukhari vol 5, book 58, No 148)…and adultery (Q 4:24, Kitab Al-Nikah 711)…and theft (Q 8:69)…and sexual slavery (Q 23:5-6, Q 70:29-30)…and torture (Q 24:2, Q 22:19-22)…and discrimination, amongst others I could list! All of this is the perfect will of the Muslim god. Does this list honestly sound like it comes from the creator of nature, the cosmos, the miracle of genetics and the abundance of beauty on earth?
With the advent of the internet, many financially and culturally frustrated young Muslim men are reading the above passages on violence from Qur’an for themselves, instead of relying on conservative local mullahs to interpret and water it down for them as they have in the past. During the Christian Reformation 500 years ago the words of the Bible left the cloistered hands of the Catholic clergy, came to the people and created the modern Western civilisation. Today the Qur’an is now leaving the cloistered hands of the mullahs and is being read on iphones everywhere by young, poor, unemployed, angry Muslim men who yearn for vengeance against the imperialist West and a return to Islam’s glory days of empire building through conquest.
The violent consequences of these Qur’anic teachings are going to be with us for at least half a century until Islamic populations age significantly, a topic we will now go to.
7. TWENTY FIRST CENTURY DEMOGRAPHICS FAVOUR ISLAM
Muslim nations have the highest birth rates in the world, especially in Africa. God promised Abraham in Genesis 16:10, 17:20 and 21:13 that because Ishmael was also his son, the children of Ishmael would be too numerous to count. This certainly seems to be coming true in this century! The world’s Muslim majority countries have a population growth rate significantly higher than the global average, while the Western birth rate is significantly below the global average. By the end of this century it is estimated that only 12% of the world will be caucasian. There will be many more from a Muslim cultural background and the world will not be ruled by rich Western men in suites. Some estimates suggest that 2/3 of global population growth for the remainder of this century will be from the Muslim bloc.
Europe will be approximately 17% Muslim by 2050AD, while 27% of the world’s population will be Muslim in background. Some countries in Europe, such as Germany are actually on track to become majority Muslim sometime in the mid-22nd Century because of its open door policy for refugees. However, even though population growth in the Islamic world now averages 2.2% a year, it will drop in the coming decades to around 1.5%. This lower number will still add about 4 billion Muslims to the world by 2100AD. During that time Islamic majority countries are on track to grow from 22.6% of the global population to 32%.
In the decades ahead, America’s military hegemony will inevitably collapse due to its own unavoidable financial demise. It has hocked it’s future. This fact, combined with the relative youthfulness of the Muslim world, will unleash a global tsunami of radical Islamist attacks and revolutions as young Muslims seek revenge for the injustices of Western imperialism, the two Iraq wars, the existence of Israel, military bases on Islamic soil, and the wars in Afghanistan and against ISIS. The rise of Militant Jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram is just the start of this wave. The decades ahead will become very tough and quite dangerous for the secular West before they get better. Demographics is squarely on the side of Islam until about 2050AD.
The youthful demographic profile of the Islamic world, combined with the world-wide spread of strict Arabian Wahhabi doctrines has created a flood of radical young soldiers for its course. If the present is an indicator to the future, Western leaders will continue to ignore 1,400 years of aggressive Islamic territorial and global expansion. This denial plays into Islam’s hands.
However, because of its history of violence, dictatorship, corruption and political instability, First-World capitalism and economic development in Islamic majority countries is rare and will continue to be so. There is a huge and growing disparity between Islamic nations that lack oil and the rest of the world ex-Africa on multiple indices from human rights, to economic development, to healthcare, to basic freedoms, to governance, corruption and violence. A simple internet search will find that most of the world’s most economically backward and despotic regimes are Islamic. Fundamentalist Islam is its own economic worst enemy. We will continue to see abject poverty and corruption all through the oil-poor Islamic world, and then in the Middle East when the oil runs out or is no longer needed. High birth rates and low economic development in any country is a perfect recipe for future poverty.
This demographic and economic predicament plays straight into the hands of the radicals who always blame everyone else in the world for their mess except the religion that created the mess. Islamic theology is incapable of internal questioning or reform so will continue to lash out at a world that is leaving it behind. And it will do this in the only way it knows how, by returning to its core theological and territorial drive that it believes to be its rightful eschatological destiny, global domination.
But it yet may become a victim of its own worldview. The future is by no means inevitable. History is littered with ideologies that confidently claimed a coming global victory, who then fell flat on their face. Pride comes before a fall. Just ask the Japanese and the Communists. There are now many cultural, technological and religious counter-forces at play in the world that are creating huge hurdles for fundamentalist Islam’s dream. We will examine some of them now.
8. HURDLES FACING ISLAM THIS CENTURY
Islam’s desire for expansion and control faces many internal and external obstacles that will intensify in coming decades. Its growth is by no means assured and I have listed here a few of the formidable obstacles it will face this century:
First: Fundamentalist Islam’s values of violence and intolerance are opposed to those of the modern world, which were adopted largely from 19th century English Christian human rights campaigns. The more history moves forward, the more ordinary, educated and well-travelled Muslims are seeing a disconnect between human dignity and Islamist values. It is no surprise to find that the 9/11 disaster caused millions of Muslims to become nominal or abandon their religion altogether to adopt a secret Christian faith. I have personally met leaders of such movements who speak to me about exponential growth in Islamic-background Christians in South Asia after the 9/11 attacks in America. Violent Islam is its own worst enemy, alienating its own moderate majority, as did the Communists last century.
Second: Islam now faces a formidable enemy in the strength of a spiritually vibrant Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Asia. According to Islamic experts quoted on Aljazeera, Islam is losing up to 6 million African followers a year to an energetic Christianity that understands demonic strongholds, the power of prayer and the role of miracles in reaching Muslims. Islam is losing the fight for the heart and soul of Africa and will continue to lash out violently along cultural fault lines such as Nigeria and Sudan in the century ahead because of this ongoing development. I personally know of a Christian rally in an overwhelmingly Muslim majority country during 2016 that attracted some 400,000 attendees, with some 90,000 making decisions to become Christian. Something big is going on under the radar.
Third: The internet has opened the world of alternative worldviews to Muslims once restricted in their access to new ideas. Islam is famous for restricting its people’s access to outside information, especially Christian ideas. Many Christian leaders inside Islamic cultures now call the Internet The Fifth Gospel, or St Google. This has led to a broad-based questioning of Islam among middle class youth. Many internet networks of secret believers have sprung up in the last decade and there is a huge and growing hunger for the Christian gospel across the Islamic world being satisfied through the internet.
Fourth: There will be a catastrophe and crisis of confidence in Islam as it approaches the middle of the century. This will be caused by the collapse of Middle Eastern economies as a result of oil depletion and/or irrelevance due to the electric car revolution. To give you some idea of the problem, Saudi Arabia has spent trillions dollars of its oil revenues since 1962AD in promoting Wahhabi Islam and mosque building around the world. More recently it had to also dramatically increased its welfare programs in the wake of the Arab Spring to buy loyalty from its disaffected youth. One day soon, when the money runs out, so will Wahhabi evangelism. The collapse of the oil states will be exacerbated by over-population and a lack of natural food and water supply. This event is largely locked in and will cause many Muslims to question the divine favour they currently feel. Expect increased emigration and Sunni-Shia conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran to be part of this volatile mix.
Fifth: Cultural adaptation is not in the DNA of Islam. This is largely due to the fact that Islam itself is in many ways simply an organised expression of Medieval Arab culture and social structures, a culture foreign to much of the rest of the world. Converts are therefore few. Islam’s cultural imperialism severely limits its appeal to many of the world’s diverse philosophies. Islam will find it difficult to gain ground in South America, large parts of east and south Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. My experience with Muslims in Turkey is that many have already left these archaic cultural practices behind.
Sixth: The Qur’an is now available in the local language of most Muslims for the first time in history. This has been a disaster for the alleged divine status of the Qur’an now that its claim to divine origin can be scrutinised by moderate laymen and women alike in their own language. It is also creating an unprecedented hunger for the true identity of Isa, or Jesus. Jesus is given a status above Muhammad on at least 20 occasions in the Quran. These references are igniting interest in who he really was and creating insatiable demand for the Injil, the New Testament, especially in Iran. I have met an Islamic background believer who came to Christ simply by reading the Quran. I have his book on my shelf. It beautifully highlights the elevated status of Jesus above Muhammad in the Qur’an.
9. CHRISTIANITY IS GOING VIRAL INSIDE ISLAM
Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19, Luke 24:47, Acts 1:8). This was to done through preaching, showing unconditional love and by the demonstration of the supernatural. It was not by coercion, intimidation or force. Christianity was never going to be a faith that you were born into, but one that you were born again into. For over a thousand years this mandate was lost and Christianity stagnated into just another dead, offensive religion. However, the fulfilment of Christ’s original mandate has accelerated dramatically over the last century. The worldwide community of dedicated followers of Jesus, as differentiated from those who are Christian in culture only, has grown from around 1% of the world’s population in 1900AD to around 8% now.
As if those figures were not amazing enough, something strange has happened in the last 20 years that has huge implications for the future of the great war between Islam and Christianity. Until now the vast majority of the world’s people belonging to the Muslim faith have been stubbornly resistant to the mission and message of Jesus, and with all that you see in the Western media at the moment one could be forgiven for believing this is the great century of Islamic ascendancy. This scenario is now unravelling rapidly.
In recent decades great seasons of Christian prayer have led, for the first time in history, to many spiritual strongholds being broken over the House of Islam. In the 1,200 years until 1870AD there were no recorded mass movements of Muslims into an evangelical faith in Jesus. A mass movement being 1,000 believers or a hundred house church plants. This was simply because evangelical expressions of Christianity were so rare, even in Europe itself. Then, between 1870 and 1920AD, there were two mass movements. One was in Ethiopia, led by Shaikh Zakaryas. The other was in Indonesia, led by Sadrach Surapranata. In the 20th century there were a further 11 movements recorded, mainly after the fall of Communism.
However, in the first 12 years of this new century there have already been some 69 such movements recorded. They are now popping up in such rapid succession in all parts of the Muslim Empire that it is almost impossible to keep count anymore! These movements already represent one in every 400 Muslims on the planet, or some 5-8 million people. They are also completely outside Western denominational church structures. In fact most Western Christians are totally unaware of their existence. These new expressions of faith in Jesus are culturally indigenous and often use the Qur’an to great effect in bringing others to Christ. One third of these new believers claim to have had supernatural encounters that shook their faith in Islam.
If these mass-movements to Christianity continue on current trends, and there is no reason to suggest they won’t as they’re accelerating rapidly, then some 100 million Muslims may cross over into Christianity by 2050AD, with several hundred million more by 2100AD. Thus we can now predict, based on current trends alone, that roughly 10% of the three-four billion plus Muslims alive in 2100AD will have spiritually moved into evangelical Christianity while maintaining their Muslim culture. The table at the end of this essay has all the figures to back up this claim.
Intriguingly, at the present time the greatest influx of Muslims to Christianity seems to be taking place in Islamic countries that have previously embraced violent radical Islamist revolutions and theocratic governing structures. It seems that as the revolutionary generation grows old, the next generation is repulsed by widespread religious abuse, political corruption, and violence in the name of Islam. A case in point is Iran, the first nation to undergo a 20th Century Islamic revolution. True Christianity there is now growing at 20% a year, the fastest growth rate of any country in the world! In fact, if present trends continue then Iran is on track to be around 50% evangelical Christian by 2100AD. This extraordinary growth is in the face of some of the most severe persecution and human rights abuses imaginable. It could well be the first Middle Eastern country in history to come back into its pre-Islamic Christian heritage via a grassroots movement.
Other Muslim countries with fast growing churches where conflict has recently raged are Algeria (8.1% Christian growth per annum), Eritrea (4.6%), Libya (5.2%), Kuwait (7.2%) and Somalia (6.1%). The never-ending turmoil in Afghanistan has also seen the birth of an indigenous church there for the first time in 1,400 years. One thing is clear, for the first time in history the rise of the Islamists is seeing a parallel rise in a culturally indigenous Christianity. These Christians will be almost impossible to root out as they are deeply embedded within the culture of Islam and are some of the toughest Christian evangelists in the world.
The latest development in this pattern of Christian growth inside Islamic culture involves Muslim refugees and immigrants to the West seeking out churches so they can embrace what they call The Religion of Peace. Reports are just now coming through that evangelical and Catholic churches in Germany and Austria are full to overflowing with these new believers. In addition, many of the newly arrived African immigrants to Europe are starting evangelical churches that are situated alongside and inside Islamic suburbs. These believers are not afraid to reach out to their new neighbours.
10. LOOKING THROUGH A GLASS DIMLY AT THE TWENTY SECOND CENTURY
From 2100 to 2200AD it gets very difficult to predict but potentially monumental. If the flickering fire of Christian spiritual awakening now visible inside Islam continues into the Twenty Second Century then a huge change is going to occur on planet earth. The years between 2100 and 2200AD will be the century that sees a massive movement out of Islam and into Christianity for the Arab heartland when the sons of Ishmael finally come home into the covenant of Isaac and Jesus.
The Islamic harvest seems to be starting at the Islamic periphery this century in countries like Indonesia, India and northern Africa. Next century it will then move into the Islamic core, Arabia. God’s plan to set the Arab people free seems to be to first surround them and infiltrate them with a culturally familiar, distinctly non-European style of Christian faith that doesn’t require a Muslim to take on Western culture in order to accept Jesus as the son of God.
The multiple political, economic and spiritual crises that confront the Islamic world later this century will create the conditions for this spiritual homecoming. As the Wahhabi fundamentalist Islamists try to usurp the Western world, the creator of the universe and the father of our souls, Yahweh, will bring the Middle East back to its pre-Islamic Christian roots.
Most Muslims who come to faith in Jesus in the years ahead will not be joining a Western denomination but underground house church movements which are a return to New Testament church structures. They will therefore be invisible to Western media and culture. None of them will appear on secular internet statistics because they will meet in homes, dress like Muslims, keep their Muslim names and habits, and often attend the mosque to pray for their friends. They will be invisible to the Western secular and religious eye but they will pray to Jesus and belong to his family. The Middle Eastern church of the 22nd century will be truly Islamic in culture but Christian in spirituality. I have already personally seen this model in action in India, and it is working a treat
11. STATISTICS ON CHRISTIAN GROWTH INSIDE ISLAM
To conclude, below is a table I have compiled using 2010AD figures from Operation World that illustrate the growth of Christian believers inside all the world’s majority Muslim nations in the years ahead. It shows you the current trends and extrapolates out to 2020, 2030, 2050 and 2100AD. Enjoy.
12. FINAL THOUGHTS
This century is going to be one of great cultural and religious upheaval around the world. We can all feel it instinctively but few can put it into words. History was meant to be over. The Communists lost, Christian morality had been banished. The demographic dividend felt great and made us rich. Sexuality was liberated. Cash was abundant. Technology blossomed. We began to eat, drink and be merry. Then it all changed as we watched the World Trade Center disintegrating before our eyes. That event symbolised the opening shot of a new battle in the longest war in history that we in the West had collectively forgotten, a war for the future of the planet.
This is a new, unfamiliar and disturbing type of cultural and spiritual battle, one the West is struggling to understand because it has abandoned the truth which made it great, a truth is found only in Christianity. Westerners are now asking questions like “Why do they hate us and kill us?” “Why do they want to change the best culture in history?” “Why aren’t our leaders standing up for our heritage and our future?” “Who will win?” “Should I emigrate to Australia!?” A sudden and self-doubting fear has entered Western culture. It has no answers, no weapons suitable for this new battle because it has denigrated the only weapon capable of winning this new cultural battle with Islam, true Christianity.
True Christianity is now a Third World religion. It fights Islam in all parts of the world without governments, with little money, and with no armies. But it has prayer, unconditional love and increasing spiritual power. Islam is fighting with numbers, legal systems, armies, radicalisation programs, state finance and cultural intimidation. The third party in the drama, atheistic secularism, is demographically dying and culturally timid. It has already lost its cultural confidence and is caving in to the demands of Islamic immigration.
Our lifespans are but a fleeting moment in the long and inter-connected fabric of history and it is hard to see the big picture. The long-term future belongs to either Christianity or Islam, nothing else. Because of what I have told you in this essay, I believe it belongs to Christianity. I trust I have been able to show you a glimpse of the future, and proof of that future that is both accurate and hopeful. Pray with me for the salvation of the Islamic world.
I will finish with some excerpts from the Bible that hint at this coming victory:
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9)
In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (Daniel 2:44-45)
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. (Matthew 13:32)
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (Psalm 2:8)
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him. (Psalm 22:27)
He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:4)
Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you. (Isaiah 55:5)
Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)
My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 1:11)
And repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47)
Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people. (Revelation 14:6)
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. (Revelation 21:24-26)
Thank you for reading.