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Islamic History and Global Islam

QUESTION: Islamic History – The Vision of Global Islam


In concert with historical determinism is the Muslim hope that Islam one day will span the globe with all peoples and nations being Muslim. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, for example, states that jihad is “a Divine institution of warfare to extend Islam into the Dar al-harb (the non-Islamic territories which are described as the ‘abode of struggle,’ or of disbelief) or to defend Islam from danger.”1

Islamic History – What is the True Nature of Jihad?
While there are many opinions within global Islam regarding the definition of jihad, it would be naïve and deadly to deny the record of history.2 On the one hand, many Muslims express a moderate view in which the aggressive nature of Islamic teaching and practice has been curbed by such realities as the western value of civic tolerance and pluralism.3 On the other hand, the Islamic worldview retains the essential hope that all humanity will one day bow to Allah freely or by force. While it may be that only a fraction of Muslims are expressive militants, a much larger number manifest emotional, vocal, and monetary support of jihad.The negative reaction expressed by some Muslims when witnessing the collapse of the World Trade Center towers is unable to erase doctrinally engrained and historically buttressed Islamic hope that arises from the fall of the infidel. Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews(Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Cyril Glasse, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1991), 209. Cited in Alvin J. Schmidt, The Great Divide: The Failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2004), 222.
2 One of the more sobering analyses and recollections of the threat of Islam’s inherent militancy is found in Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet: Islam, History, Theology, and Impact on the World (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2002). See also the Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, trans. Miriam Kochan and David Littman (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002).
3 See, for example, Bassam Tibi, The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998). Tibi, a Muslim, distinguishes between what he describes as the religion of Islam, as a personal and corporate practice, and what he called “Islamic fundamentalism,” which he believes opposes worldwide security and stability.

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