Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Can We Talk? Otherwise We’re Not Solving The Problem


Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward
Nabeel Qureshi, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2016


 
I had read this author’s former bestseller Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and was overwhelmed with the personal price he had to pay with respect to his own family when he left the ‘faith of his fathers’ and embraced new faith. When this book came out and he was coming to my city to speak about it I made sure I was there. I also bought this book and read it.

Nabeel Qureshi’s speaking engagement in Toronto had to be moved from its original venue at the University of Toronto (at one of their religious colleges, Anglican in fact) because the faculty had been warned by administration that there could be trouble as this converted, well-educated, medical doctor would likely annoy many Muslim students.  Fortunately, a nearby church welcomed the event. Qureshi was up to dealing with all comers in his usual soft-spoken, respectful, manner, affirming each member of the audience, regardless of their religious stripes – after all it was not too long ago that he would have died for Islam.

In this book, this former Muslim attempts to clarify “both the reality of violent jihad in Islam” and the response that we should have to that. He bravely calls for a “compassionate approach to our Muslim neighbors”. That alone was enough to make me think twice about writing a review recommending Answering Jihad even though, whether we like it or not, Islam has, and continues, to change our world. But as I read, I found that Qureshi succeeded in his hopes for the book, and in the process, radically changed my own mind on the subject.

He remembers hearing a slogan at his mosque that he shared with many: “The terrorists who hijacked the planes on September 11 also hijacked Islam.” And he proceeds to show us how that happened. But while he speaks highly of the millions of peaceful Muslims who have been deceived about what is or is not the true origin and circumstances of their faith, he extends no such excuses for Islam itself.  Much of the book is spent on exposing the recorded and known behavior of the religion’s founder, Muhammad.  He does so with excellent references, almost all Islamic in origin.

His conclusion is that “as long as Islam is practiced in a way that calls Muslims to return to its foundation, violence will follow.” To counteract that, he believes that “the Christian teaching of loving one’s enemies, even in the face of death, might perhaps be the most powerful answer to jihad at our disposal today.” And then he gives his reasons.

If I were to quote here every part of the book that I underlined as a key or unique thought, no publisher would allow me to share my review of Qureshi’s book.  Suffice it to say, that he deals with the origins of jihad and jihad today in a most interesting and complete fashion. In the third part of the book, he answers some very pressing questions many of us have wanted to ask, such as: Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? How Does Jihad Compare with Old Testament Warfare and the Crusades? What Does Jesus Teach About Violence? What Does Jesus Have to Do with Jihad?

He concludes with a chapter entitled “Answering Jihad” and then follows all this up with some very valuable appendices on: Timeline of Jihad in Islam; Muhammad’s Words on Jihad; What is the Caliphate?; and more, as well as an excellent glossary of terms.

You owe it to yourself to hear from a former passionate lover of Islam to learn how best to address the challenge it presents to the world today.

Answering Jihad is dedicated to the author’s sister whom he misses very much and yearns for the day that they can worship the God of Truth together.

--  By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 11, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

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Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

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