For a while now I have been involved with anti ISIS activities and groups. I visited Muslim refuges who ran away from ISIS controlled areas and I have observed the great decline of faith in Islam among those who ran away and received reports from inside ISIS controlled areas of the decline of the state of faith in Islam among those who have been left behind in ISIS areas.
Two days before Christmas 2014 I received one of these refugees as a sponsor. A young activist who made and his activist friends, the atrocities of ISIS known to the world and their reports are highly visible in the news media we receive about ISIS everyday.
On Christmas day, I had a family gathering that contained some members of my Iraqi Muslim family and my guest. A discussion about ISIS aroused and it took its natural end to discuss the religion of Islam itself. My Iraqi family tried to blame these atrocities done by ISIS on their “wrong” interpretation of Islam and not on Islam as such. I maneuvered in the discussion playing the “ISIS advocate” trying to recruit them to ISIS “extremist” ideology they believe to be wrong.
I started to quote Islamic authorities (Quran, Sunna, and widely accepted scholars) proving ISIS theology to be the right one. The family found themselves in the corner of what I called “following their own made-up god; desire” as they cherry pick their own religious convections according to their personal opinions and desire. When they tried to argue that religion has to conform to reason, I cornered them that they are “following their own made-up god; reason”.
In any way they tried to play this game to excuse Islam from the “misinterpretation” of the extremists, I showed them that they (my family) are not true Muslims (one who surrender to Allah); because they made-up their own god to follow and surrendered to it beside Allah, thus they could be easily labeled as Mushrikun (idolaters) who associate other gods with Allah. They have either to totally surrender to Allah and his judgments or they cannot be considered among those who surrender (Muslim) and therefore they are as the Quran describe them Kafiroon (disbelievers).
An example of a heavy corner they could not escape from in this discussion was these Quranic verses:
“Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.” Quran 5:44
“So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires” Quran 5:49
“Is it a judgment of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking? Who is better than Allah for judgment to a people who have certainty (in their belief)?” Quran 5:50
The young activist guest, confirmed what I have been observing for a while, that in ISIS controlled areas, people either Muslims who support ISIS or as he put it “atheists” who reject ISIS and Islam. He even went further that what he followed as a Muslim and what my Iraqi family follow are the shells of Islam not its core, and if they dived into the core, they will have hard time not to become ISIS supporters.
In a desperate maneuver from my Iraqi family they said that following “extremist” (they mean fundamentalism) interpretation in any religion would lead to violence.
I objected to this escape route and responded, that if you are a Christian “extremist” (fundamentalist), there is nothing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ teach you to kill others; instead the founder of this faith Himself was the one who died for His followers and commanded them to love their enemies and to give the other cheek and go the extra mile because His kingdom is not of this world. They agreed that indeed Christ is a unique person who came in peace and brought peace.
At the end of the discussion, my Muslim Iraqi family said something like: “if this is the true Islam, then I do not want to be part of such religion”. They consider themselves now to be nothing but a cultural Muslims who do not want to get into the core of such violent religion as Islam.
The opportunity we have to minister to those who have been disenchanted with Islam is great and imminent. Though my guest called those who rejected Islam back in his native land because of ISIS as “atheists”, they are not really “atheists”, as they believe in a god. They are mostly “rejectionists of Islam”, a theists (someone believe in a god without rejection of revelation), deists or agnostics, but hardly real atheists.
The opportunity is now and we need to pray for the salvation of those disenchanted “Muslim rejectionists” and all the other Muslims who are still enchanted with Islam. May the spell of Islam break up soon in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.