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Embassy bombings could reflect Koran’s teachings, evangelist says

WASHINGTON (BP)–Media speculation quickly pointed to the possibility of terrorism by Islamic extremists in the wake of the Aug. 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people, including a dozen Americans in Nairobi.
Officials cautioned that an investigation could prove lengthy, while USA Today reminded that Mideast terrorists were first thought to be behind the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. “It turned out to be one home-grown demented individual,” the newspaper quoted Robert Oakley, a former State Department counter-terrorism official, as saying Aug. 10.
In Islam, nevertheless, such violence is an ever-present possibility, said Anis Shorrosh, a Southern Baptist evangelist and native Palestinian who has debated Muslims on three continents. Shorroh is the author of “Islam Revealed,” a book providing an in-depth examination of the Koran’s teachings, now headed toward its sixth printing with Thomas Nelson Publishers.
“According to the Koran, the world is divided into two worlds,” Shorrosh said Aug. 10.
One is the “house of peace,” or dar es salaam in Arabic, encompassing the Muslim nations, Shorrosh said, noting that it also is the name of Tanzania’s capital.
The other is the “house of war,” or the non-Muslim nations, Shorrosh said.
Shorrosh cited several key passages from the Koran which call for warfare against non-Muslims, such as Women Surah 4:74, “Let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell the life of this world for the other: whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
Shorrosh said Muslim extremists often seek to justify terrorism by bringing up the Crusades, the military expeditions that began in 1095 A.D. recover the Holy Land from the Muslims.
“The Crusades were never sanctioned by God nor ordered by an angel or even a prophet, whereas fighting in Islam is ordered by God Almighty through the angel Gabriel to his messenger Muhammed,” Shorrosh said.
“Christianity, according to the revealed gospel of Jesus Christ, teaches to love your enemies and turn the other cheek.”
In countries where Muslims are in the minority, Shorrosh said, “they play the role of devoted, dedicated people who are peace-loving and genuinely good citizens in the country of their adoption.”
But it’s a different case wherever Muslims are in the majority, Shorrosh said.
“One wonders why, with the exception of Turkey, every Muslim country is a dictatorship, whether the head is president, king or prime minister. In researching the Koran and the history of Islam, one discovers that Islamic governments cannot coexist with democracy, and free expression and individual freedoms are rare.”
No Southern Baptist missionaries were reported injured in the Aug. 7 explosions. In Kenya, 81 missionaries work under International Mission Board auspices, while 97 missionaries are stationed in Tanzania.
Missionary Bob Allen, in an Aug. 10 e-mail from Nairobi, commented on the shock by the bombings by reflecting, “Nothing like this has happened in either country since they gained their independence in the early 1960s.”
Allen noted that some Southern Baptist personnel “were apparently within a few blocks of the embassy in Nairobi when the blast occurred.”
“As far as I know, there has been no trouble or threat of more trouble in either country apart from the bombs,” Allen, from Greenville, S.C., wrote.
The organization of Baptist missionaries in Kenya began a previously scheduled spiritual emphasis retreat the afternoon of Aug. 9.
“We spent the first session in a time of prayer for those involved,” Allen recounted. “Immediately after supper, I drove a group of seven volunteers and two journeymen (young adults who serve as missionaries for two-year periods) to one of the hospitals so that they could give blood. Many others will go in today.”
Allen concluded, “You all can help us most by praying: pray for those injured to receive the treatment they need; pray for the families of the dead and injured, some of whom may have gotten news of family members when they saw them on television; pray for those investigating these disasters to have extraordinary wisdom and insight; pray that those who instigated and carried out these horrendous attacks would feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and that they would repent; pray that Christians will take advantage of every opportunity to share Christ during this time.”