“We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples as well as a different societal and legal understanding.” So warns the German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag (World on Sunday).
This is not a fictitious alarm headlined by a National Enquirer-like scandal sheet. Welt am Sonntag has consistently been named European Newspaper of the Year. Its report comes from a security document obtained by the paper and read by top-level German security personnel. This report warns that “the integration of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants [into] Germany is no longer possible in light of the number and already existing parallel societies.” In Germany, “parallel societies” typically refers to insulated Muslim communities.
Could ISIS terrorists be among those immigrating to Germany and the West?
According to one ISIS operative in Syria, the Islamic State has already smuggled more than 4,000 covert gunmen into Western nations. Such an initiative is part of the group’s global strategy: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, God willing.”
Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, warns that potential terrorists could indeed hide among Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Homeland Security officials are alert to this danger, promising “the most rigorous screening” of any potential refugees from Syria.
However, authorities question whether the U.S. intelligence community, with few assets on the ground in Syria, can provide authorities with information needed to determine whether a refugee could pose a threat. “You have to have information to vet,” according to the head of the FBI’s counterterrorism division.
Does this mean that we should fear Muslims coming into the West? Yes and no.
Obviously, we need a different approach to immigrant screening than in the past. There was a time when our chief concerns related to employability, language skills, and cultural integration. Now we must be aware of jihadists seeking entry to nations they intend to attack. A new day calls for a new strategy.
But this new day is also a new opportunity for the gospel. Every Muslim coming from Syria is a person who needs Jesus. It is challenging for Western missionaries to work in Syria, but far easier for Christians to minister to Syrians in the West. If jihadists are indeed among the refugees coming into our lands, it is even more important that we share Christ with them while we can.
If you have Muslim friends, would you stop and ask God to help you make his love real to them today? If you don’t, would you ask God to help you find and develop such friendships?
Jesus won Matthew, and Matthew helped Jesus win his fellow tax-collectors. Jesus won the Samaritan woman, and she helped Jesus win her fellow Samaritans. Jesus won you; who will you help him win?
Famed missionary David Livingstone: “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”