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The mainstreaming of Muslims

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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American Muslim girl with US flag painted on her face (Credit: Mangagirl3535 via DeviantArt)

Islam is making headlines this morning.  We begin with Time magazine’s decision to name “The Protester” its “Person of the Year.” The story starts in Tunisia and spreads to Egypt and across the Arab Muslim world and beyond.

You may have heard of “All-American Muslim,” a reality TV show that debuted Sunday night, November 13.  The series looks at five Lebanese-American Shia Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan.  Lowes Home Improvement was criticized by a conservative group for advertising on the show.  When the company pulled its ads, an online petition gathered nearly 20,000 signatures calling on the store to reinstate them.

Meanwhile, a Maine senator has blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence”.  Sen. Susan Collins worries that this euphemism overlooks the continued peril of terrorism against our nation’s military.  Since the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, there have been some 20 threats against servicemen and women stationed in America.  Sen. Joe Lieberman says our military has become “a direct target of violent Islamic extremism” within the United States.

And Shahid Khan’s purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars was approved yesterday by the NFL.  Mr. Khan is a Pakistani-born Muslim businessman, the first member of a minority group to become the controlling owner of an NFL team.

What do these stories have in common?  We are watching the mainstreaming of Muslims in America.  As Islam continues to grow in the Western world, its influence will become even more pervasive and accepted.

I agree with Time that the protest movements are the lead story of the past year, and am not surprised to see reality shows depicting Muslims or successful Muslim businessmen.  But I agree with Sen. Collins that whitewashing the threat of radical Islam is a potentially disastrous exercise in political correctness.  And I worry that such tolerance will mislead Americans about the differences between Islam and Christianity.

According to a recent poll, 57 percent of evangelical church attenders believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.  Let’s be clear: Islam and Christianity are not different roads up the same mountain.  The Qur’an explicitly rejects the death, resurrection, and deity of Jesus (4:156-159, 171), as well as the Trinity (5:73).  Salvation in Islam is earned through obedience to the teachings of Muhammad.

By contrast, Christianity offers us grace none can earn but all can accept.  At Christmas, the Son of God became man that men might become the sons of God.  But there’s a catch–Christmas gifts must be opened.  Have you unwrapped God’s grace yet today?