Christian freedom and Islamic bondage
Q8. Host: In this part of our series we will discuss Christian freedom and Islamic bondage, and we will begin by reading an article that Dr. Labib presented. It's from the Washington Post, and it's dated Thursday, August 30, 2001.
The headline reads 'Saudi police arrest Christians'.
As many as ten Christians have been arrested in Saudi Arabia after throwing a party that included a talk about Christianity, a humanitarian group said. Daniel Hopman, the head of the Middle East concern group, said that as many 10 Christians have been arrested in a police crack down on non-Muslim activity in Geda. Hopman said, "The first person to be arrested have been in Saudi Arabia for a long time, and his contracted had ended. His friends organized a farewell party for him, told him to bring friends along, and invited an Indian evangelist." Saudi Arabia bans public display of all faiths other than Islam. There are no non-Muslim places of worship in the country, which is home to two of Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. The arrest coincides with the detention in Afghanistan of 8 foreigners and 16 Afghans accused by the hard-line Islamic Taliban authorities of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
We read that in Saudi Arabia they won't allow its citizens any religious freedoms, but in the West citizens are allowed to have television broadcasts, radio broadcasts, mosques, and also printed books and other materials. Why is that?
Dr. Labib: Well, true religion is the religion of freedom, because God would never accept the worship of anyone who would be forced to worship Him. This is why you read in the book of [Revelations], Christ is saying, "I am standing at the door and knock. If any one hears my voice, open the door, I will enter in." He will never force Himself on any person. But in Islam it is the opposite, because if you think about the history of Islam, you will see that Mohammed himself forced all the tribes in Arabia to accept Islam. On the other hand, he annihilated all together Judaism and Christianity from the Arabian Peninsula. Why? Because Islam and other religions cannot live together.
I would say here that Islam is terrified, and I am using a very hard word, terrified, of Christianity. Because if Islam is the religion of truth, Islam is the last religion that Allah gave to humanity. Why should you be afraid of Christianity? I remember one time when I was in Cairo, Egypt, and a Muslim cleric challenged me and he said, "If I had the authority and the power, I would make all the inhabitants of Egypt Muslims." Then I said, "How?" He said, "By Jihad." I said, "What do you mean by Jihad?" He said, "By sword." I said, "Oh, you want to go and fight to convert the Christians in Egypt to Islam." He said, "Why not?" I looked at him very calmly and I said, "Sir, would you allow me to tell you that your Allah is very weak?" He looked at me and he said, "What are you saying?" I said, "Let me ask you a question, who would fight for who? The stronger for the weaker, or the weaker for the stronger? If God is almighty, does he need me to fight for him? Can't he fight for himself? Why should I fight for God? If God is a true God, a mighty God, then He can fight for himself. Your Allah is very weak, excuse me, but I have to say it." Well, to make the long story short, we had a long discussion, and you would be amazed that this man, after, at the end of our discussion said, "Do you have a Bible?" And I was really amazed, because when your Allah commands you to go and fight for him, if you use your brain for one moment, you would say, "Good bye Allah. I am not going to fight for you. If you are that weak, I don't need you. But if you are almighty, you protect me, you fight for me, you take care of me. I am not going to take care of you. And that's logic." But then to let the Muslim go and fight for Allah, I don't accept it. Again I would say, the true religion is the religion of freedom of choice. I told one of the officers in Egypt one time, when he called me to question me about some meetings, some articles I wrote. I said, "Sir, listen, I will have my account with God in eternity, in the day of judgment. Why should you bring me here and question me? Religion is a personal experience. If I choose to be an Atheist, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Muslim, I choose whatever I want. At the end of the tunnel I will encounter God himself, and He will decide. But you, to decide for me here, and He to decide for me there, this is too much. And he said, "What you are saying is good for the US, not for Egypt."
Usually this is the whole thing, freedom is a gift, and if you force people to choose, you are robbing them from the gift God has granted them to have. In Saudi Arabia, they don't accept any other religion or right. Why do you come here, in the US, in England, in Australia, in Norway, in Scotland, all the way, and spread the Koran, spread your books, have radio broadcasts, have mosques built here and there, and no one is saying anything. You know, Christianity is not afraid of Islam, is not, because Christianity is God's religion. He is the one to protect that religion. He is the one who inspired the Bible. He has to protect the Bible. He is the one who sent his Son to die on the cross, and we are proclaiming to the Muslims the message of freedom, of liberty, of forgiveness, of peace, of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, we don't force any Muslim to do anything. Why are they scared of a book? Salman Rushdie wrote his book about the Satanic Verses. What did they say? Khomeini said $5,000,000 is the price of the head of Salman Rushdie. What an expense. Why? Because of a book? What will this book do? There are many, many books that were written against Christ. We don't care. There are many, many books that are written by liberals against Christian doctrine. We don't threaten them. Why? Because we believe in a God that will protect His truth. But with the Muslims, Khomeini, after reading 'Satanic Verses' said, "The price for the head of Salman Rushdie is $5,000,000. Go kill him, and come take the money." I think that that indicates a lot of things. What I want to say is, why this double standard? Why do you come here, in the west, and use radio, television, printed matter, pamphlets, videos, cassette tapes, every kind of media to promote your Islam, and when we go to your land, you say, "Forbidden for any Christian to talk about Christ in Saudi Arabia, or in Libya, or in Tunisia, or in Morocco?" Why? Why? If Islam is God's religion, let God take care of it. If it is not, give people freedom to listen and to hear. And by the way, we are living now in an era of the Internet. And can they prevent people from acquiring a book from the US. Could you prevent them from reading a book on the Internet? What are you going to do? They turn to the Internet and they read the whole book. And if there is a book that we want to print on the Internet, we will put it on in just a moment, and it will be all over the world, in Saudi Arabia, or in Libya, or wherever it is, the Muslims will read it. What would you do? What would you do? I think that the Muslim governments should think twice. If you are coming to the west, and the west is giving you all this liberty to build mosque everywhere, to broadcast in radio, give some people to the Christians to introduce Christ to you, because He is the way, the truth, and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by him. But when Islam began, they used force and they converted Egypt, and they converted Iran, and they went even to Spain. But what was the result? What do we see in these whole nations? I want to ask the Muslims one question, why is it that all the Muslims are seeking to come to the west, to the US, as migrant, and why don't we have people from the US who want to migrate to Saudi Arabia, or to Libya? Why? Why do we attract people to come here, and people do not want to go there? It is because of one thing, human beings want freedom, and he will know that if you would come to the US, or go to England, or Australia, he will have freedom. But if you will go to Saudi Arabia, to Libya, to Tunisia, to Morocco, to all these places, he will loose his freedom. And this is why so many people migrate to the west. None migrate to the Islamic countries. Think about it! This is why we see them. This is why we have read in the Washington Post about Saudi Arabia. A man who was having a party, and an evangelist is talking to Christians, not to Muslims, and they are arrested. Ridiculous! Don't you think so? If the US would do the same with the Muslims, if England would do the same with the Muslims, where would they go? Think about it! To be fair, with no double standard, you would say, "No, this is not right." If we have the freedom to promote Islam, give them the freedom to promote Christianity, and let people choose, they love to choose.