I received an email from my dear friend, Christopher Alam, and thought you might enjoy reading it:
You have all heard of the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan earlier today. Since I was born in Pakistan, several of my friends have e-mailed me asking me what I think of this. This is a short piece that I put together to share with you, my friends:
This is the work of Islamists who vowed to kill her because she promised to fight terrorism if she came into power. I personally have never been a Bhutto fan because both she, and her father, who was Prime Minister before her, were very corrupt; but nevertheless, what has happened is a most appalling tragedy.
Islam as it is does not advocate democracy of any kind, but a Caliphate, an “Islamic theocracy”. Islamists, therefore want a Caliphate, an Iran/Taliban-style state led by mullahs whose interpretation of the Quran dictates how everybody else should live. This is the battle, and Islamists will use any means possible in order to attain this goal. Their goal is a Caliphate that encompasses the entire world, and not just Muslim countries.
We Americans must also keep the whole concept of “Democracy” in perspective. For example: The US wanted the Palestinians to be “democratic” and hold “free and fair” elections. This was duly done, and see who won! Hamas! Yes, the terrorists won the election because everybody was fed up with the PLO’s corruption and wanted change!
One thing Americans must understand is this:
This thing we call “Democracy” does not always work in “uneducated” societies where tribalism, religious fanaticism and ethnic loyalties override things like common sense and intelligence. That is why the entire Middle East is ruled by monarchs and dictators who maintain some kind of outward “stability” by strong-arm tactics and repression. Of course, the downside is that dictatorships like these are rife with human rights abuses, torture, government-sanctioned murder and lack of basic freedoms for citizens. And then on top of this America has a long history of supporting such regimes just because they “support American Interests” (whatever that means!)– This provides perfect breeding grounds for Islamic fanatics and terrorists who look at America as “The Great Satan” that must be brought down. For these people, anybody who speaks in terms that sounds even remotely “American” is a puppet of America and should also be exterminated.
Such is the mind-set of these people. This is the tragedy of most of the Muslim world today.
So really, before “democracy”, what these people most of all is the Gospel of Jesus, and then education!
As things are today, Pakistan’s best chance right now is in President Musharraf. I pray that he stays on. He may not be a democratically elected leader, but he is a good and honest man (served under my dad!) and has been good for the country. One may call him a sort of “benevolent dictator”. He has stood up to terrorism, but his popularity has largely eroded because in his war against the Islamists a majority of Muslims consider him a “puppet of the American infidels”. The average Muslim actually thinks like this, “Osama Bin Laden and his friends may use methods that are extreme and questionable in Allah’s eyes, but as fellow-Muslims they are still our brothers; so in their war against America we have to side with them, at least morally and sentimentally. We cannot support anybody who sides with the infidels against our Muslim brothers.”
So now you see how mixed-up human beings are in this world today? That is precisely we must preach the Gospel.
There was a time when the Church in America lived and breathed with a sense of Diving Calling and destiny to preach the Gospel to the heathen in every nation. That missionary zeal is greatly diminished; preachers have been replaced by humanitarian workers. Also, the American church today has become very “political”. American Christians today are largely Americans first and Christians second. That is why their hearts do not burn for the preaching of the Gospel because they do not really see the Power of the Gospel as the answer to the problems that beset mankind today. Their expectations of changing the world are pinned on American politicians and on American military power, instead of upon the power of the Gospel of Jesus.
As a Christian and full-blooded Pentecostal I can say that all these things that are happening around us are a sign that we have to rise up to the Great Commission to Preach the Gospel to every creature. We have to step up our efforts to take the Gospel of Jesus to the Muslim world. Only the Gospel of Jesus can overwhelm and destroy the power of Islam. I believe this with all my heart, because I myself was a misled Muslim with a Jihadist mindset who came to Jesus because there was somebody who actually believed in the Power of the Gospel enough to preach Christ to me!
My family comes from Al-Salt in Jordan, a town that has the dubious reputation of having spawned forth an inordinately large number of terrorists and suicide bombers, including the infamous Al-Zarqawi. These are my roots. Can you imagine what I would be if Jesus had not Saved me???
That is why the Gospel of Jesus must be preached!
I just called Pakistan today and spoke to one of my old classmates in the military, a high-ranking officer. He was distraught and bewildered. He was saying, “We are peace loving people, and we are very confused because we do not understand how and from where do such demented killers like suicide bombers rise up from amongst us. Where do they come from? Alam, tell me, what should we do?”
My answer to him was, “Become like me. Become a Christian and follow Jesus! That is the only solution. Nowhere in the teachings of Jesus can one find anything that can even be misinterpreted to mean that it is all right to kill innocent people in God’s Name!”
That, my friends, is the answer!
In Christ, your brother,