It is the conviction of President Obama that the interests of America and its allies are best served by engaging, rather than isolating controversial regimes and nations such as North Korea, Cuba, Burma, and, currently, Iran. Those who support him would say that his proposed deal with Iran is the only option that will avert war. Those who disagree would say that his proposed deal ultimately speeds Iran on the road to becoming a nuclear power.
The raging debate over the proposed deal with Iran misses or downplays historical and religious realities that I would like to put before you. I want to focus on what is not being discussed by the pundits (often because of “political correctness”):
Who Are We Dealing with, Really?
As long as the answer is simply “Iran,” then negotiations will be conducted according to past foreign policy models and the parameters of traditional nation-to-nation political (or even military) dialog. But if the answer is “Muslims” or “a Shi’a Muslim regime” – which, to this administration, is so politically incorrect — then, the proposed deal is fraught with danger.
We are dealing with Muslims, and more specifically religious leaders who tend to take the issues outlined below far more seriously than ordinary Muslims. Iran is in the hands of the mullahs. And this means we need to seriously take into account the following matters.
The mullahs do not and will not separate politics from religion. In fact, religion must dictate politics. Iran will not enter into any agreement that does not square completely with the beliefs of Islam and, particularly, Shi’a doctrines. The Qur’an allows them to negotiate and come to an agreement with non-Muslims only if they fear danger from them (Qur’an 3:28), but even so the negotiations must be done strictly according to Islamic beliefs. This administration and other Western nations are either ignorant of these beliefs or simply don’t realize their impact on the foreign policy of Muslim nations.
The mullahs (and 99% of Muslims) believe in “situation ethics” — the circumstances dictate the morality to be followed — and this means that the end always justifies the means. This is based on the Qur’an. 99% of Westerners ignore that Islam’s holy book allows what is morally reprehensible under certain circumstances (lying and even denying one’s faith under duress: Qur’an 16:106; eating what is forbidden: Qur’an 24:33; and even prostitution or human trafficking: Qur’an 24:33). Distrust of the Iranians should not be based only on their three decades record of duplicity. It should take into account this Qur’anic teaching.
This brings us to the practice of taqiyah (or taqiyya) in Islam, and particularly in Shi’a Islam, which is the use of deception when dealing with non-Muslims or even Muslims who allegedly stray from Islamic orthodoxy. It’s a practice that finds support in the Qur’an and many Hadiths. In the days of the Shah of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini clearly established taqiyah as a duty for the Muslims of Iran to cunningly thwart and ultimately overthrow the Shah’s regime. Taqiyah is ingrained in Islamic politics and is a trump card in foreign policy matters. Thus the Iranians will convincingly tell you with their mouths and pens what you are eager to hear or read, while in their hearts they intend all along to pursue their own predetermined agenda.
What Is the Predetermined Agenda of Iranian Muslims?
The answer is not simply, “they want to have a nuclear bomb.” Rather, it’s what they want to do with it and why. First, I would like to suggest that you purchase a copy of the book, Showdown with Nuclear Iran: Radical Islam’s Messianic Mission to Destroy Israel and Cripple the United States (Nelson Current, Publisher) by Michael D. Evans with Jerome R. Corsi – written in 2006 – and share it with your friends after you’ve read it. What I want to emphasize below is either what Evans and other pundits have not focused upon or where I think they are a little off.
First: As Shi’a Muslims, the mullahs want to put an end to Sunni dominance. They don’t want to wipe out the Sunnis. They just want to put them in their place and have an equal, if not a more prominent, voice in Islamic affairs. This is far more important to the Iranian religious psyche than westerners imagine. A long war with Saddam Hussein demonstrated that they can’t do this with conventional weaponry.
Second, while the dominance of Islam over the entire world is a cherished ideal for them, for now their focus is more on justice and countering the spread of evil, very much in the same way that the coming Mahdi would do someday. The Mahdi is understood by all Muslims — Sunnis and Shi’as alike — as a preacher of righteousness for the end times. For some Shi’as the Mahdi is no less than the return of their twelfth Imam (who mysteriously had disappeared a long time ago). In line with a spirit that I call “Mahdism,” the mullahs have embarked on a cleansing mission (this is paradoxical and ironic in light of their theology which permits the setting aside of truth and morality under some circumstances). Anyway, in this regard, they believe that America — first as a supporter of the Shah, and second as the exporter of cultural trends that are increasingly perverse — is the catalyst of evil in the world. Am I saying, as Evans does in his book, that the mullahs want to nuke the USA? No, they just want to be in a position of strength vis-à-vis America and have no serious interference from the U.S. about the matters mentioned above, and especially about Iran’s openly stated agenda for Israel.
Third, you will not hear the political pundits talk about Islamic eschatology or doctrines that have to do with end times events and the hereafter. These particular Islamic beliefs are owed more to the Hadith than to the Qur’an. In the Hadith (collections of reports about what Muhammad said, did or did not do in every imaginable arena of life), we have the record of Muhammad’s predictions or prophecies about what will happen before the end of the world and judgment day. The nature and number of those prophecies is understood differently by various schools of Islam. Most would agree there are 10 of them, but there is some disagreement as to which ones should make the list. However, there is one prophecy that makes all the lists in all branches of Islam, and that is the genocide of the Jews at the hands of Muslims. This, Islam says, must happen before the end of the world.
Some Hadiths teach that when the annihilation of Israel comes, nature will cooperate to aid Muslims in achieving this task. Even trees and rocks will be given voice to inform Muslims of the Jews’ hiding places. Imagine what it would do to the prophethood of Muhammad if this prediction were not to be fulfilled. It has to come to pass! This explains why the mullahs are 200% committed to the destruction of Israel, and why they will never give up their pursuit to get a nuclear bomb. Muslims know that they cannot wipe out Israel with ordinary military means. Whether trees and rocks help them or not, they cannot do it without first becoming a nuclear power.
When the USA asks for assurances from the leaders of Iran that Israel will not be harmed, do not be surprised that taqiyah comes into play. But given the fact that Israel is a nuclear power, would the mullahs be so foolish to risk attacking the Jews with nuclear bombs? I answer this with another question: Have we not learned anything about self-sacrificing Jihadism?
How would the Iranians do this? Unlike Evans, I do not believe that the use of missiles will be the primary method of inflicting nuclear disaster upon Israel. The use of missiles would give Israel just enough warning to launch missiles of its own, thus ensuring the obliteration of Iran. Instead, the mullahs will be more inclined to turn to one or more terrorist organizations that it supports to carry out this grim task with miniaturized nuclear devices smuggled into Israel. Hamas is as good a candidate as any.
What Should We Do as Believers?
We should speak and pray, and pray and speak. Speak up and warn about the imminent danger we are facing because of these Islamic beliefs. Write your congressman. Share with your Christian friends so they, too, will write our politicians. Bombard the internet with carefully researched and buttressed arguments and true (verifiable) case studies that will inform and alert all reasonable people (including many Muslims who want an alternative to all of the above) about the underlying factors at play here. Do not be silent. Pray the leaders of our nation will diligently take these things into account when they evaluate the proposed deal.
Here is a clear admonition from the Word of God: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4) And yet, we don’t see enough of this kind of intercession in our local churches. We are faced with great dangers. There is a need to pray for our leaders; to pray for a return to what is right and acceptable to God; to pray that we never forget that God wants all men — even the Muslim mullahs who endanger us — to be saved.
Every follower of Christ that either has Muslim friends or knows how to use the internet should gently, humbly, and respectfully put before the Muslim world the need to question the veracity of some hadiths, even if Islam says they come from the most reliable collections of Hadiths (such as the Sahih Al-Bukhari and the Sahih Imam Muslim among other “Sahih” or “true” collections). Muslims need to be urged to reconsider the so-called end-time “prophecies” of Muhammad and other claims attributed to him. For example:
The Qur’an clearly states that Muhammad did no miracle. Yet the Hadith collections are full of miracles attributed to him. Either the Qur’an is wrong, or those hadiths are wrong. Which is it? Muslims must be lovingly urged to answer this.
There are gross contradictions in the Hadith collections and sometimes within a single hadith. In Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, and hadith number 414 we are told: “He (Muhammad) said, ‘First there was nothing but Allah, and then He created His throne. His throne was set over the waters, and He wrote everything in the heavenly Book, and then He created the heavens and the earth.’…” The order of creation is a real problem here. Would Muslims agree to say that Muhammad really taught this absurdity? This is just one little example from over a hundred such reports.
One of Muhammad’s end-times “prophecies” in the Hadith states that the sun will rise from the west (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, hadith number 421), and this will be witnessed by the whole world, and then mankind will go on to other end-times events before judgment day. Scientifically, for the sun to rise from the west, the earth’s rotation would have to be reversed, thus killing everyone and there will be no one to witness other end-times events. Muslims must be asked if they can embrace this absurdity as truth.
Muhammad’s end-times “prophecy” of the genocide of the Jews with rocks and trees literally speaking with a human voice to inform Muslims about the Jews’ hiding places also comes from a long list of hadiths that should be questioned. We should humbly and respectfully challenge Muslims about such teachings. Just because it was attributed to Muhammad by a so-called “chain of trustworthy narrators” does not make it true. Unless Muslims are challenged over this issue, the Mullahs will continue to pursue the destruction of Israel by any means, including the use of a nuclear bomb. Imagine the international reaction … Imagine bringing the entire world to the brink of annihilation on the basis of a nonsensical and morally objectionable hadith!
We cannot remain silent! We should flood the internet with videos, articles, and chats that create an awareness of what is driving Iran in this proposed nuclear deal and its consequences for Muslims. There must be TV ads and billboards all over the world challenging the validity of some of these hadiths. Followers of Jesus should lead the way.
Although Reverend Franklin Graham and others have asserted that there are Muslims in the White House advising the Obama administration on foreign policy matters, such reports have neither been confirmed, nor have they been invalidated. My personal bias is that there definitely are a couple of Muslims who might be, right now, directly advising President Obama on his dealings with Islamic nations such as Iran. In any case, the Bible indicates that it is the prerogative of believers to ask God to raise up voices within this administration that would powerfully counter the advice that any Muslim might give the President. We have a biblical precedent for this in 2 Samuel 15:34-36 and 2 Samuel chapters 16 and 17. We are told that Hushai came to the court to frustrate the advice of Ahithophel to Absalom when he sought to harm King David. 2 Samuel 17:14 tells us that the Lord honored this move in order to spare David and Israel. We must pray for God to raise up good advisers to counter what is going on in Washington regarding America’s dealings with the Muslim world.
Even though we are warned that wars and rumors of wars will prevail in the end times, and even though we know that military conflicts can’t always be averted, and even though Jesus warns us that they will increasingly happen (on a scale never seen before), still, we should never hurry to war. We should speak up for continued sanctions. Military conflict can and must be delayed, because our mandate is to first and foremost be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).