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Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam

Slavery, Terrorism and IslamA Book Review 
By: David Harris

I took a class in world religions at my community college this last semester as an elective. I had certain expectations of what the atmosphere in the classroom would be like, and what the views of the professor would be like. The majority of the class was spent on the eastern religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, etc; several days were spent on Judaism and Christianity, and exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes was devoted to the religion of Islam. You would expected to hear a thing or two about the prophet Mohammad, the Caliphs, or five pillars of Islam- but no; my professor spent nearly an hour and 15 minutes trying to make sure that we all understood that Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance. My professor could have done some good from reading Peter Hammond’s “Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam”.

The author- Dr. Peter Hammond- is the director of a South African based mission called Frontline Fellowship that has done much laboring for the sake of the gospel all over Africa. One particular area of concentration for Frontline is Sudan. The people of southern Sudan have suffered under the oppression of Islamic ideology for over a century. The current state of Christians in Sudan could be described as a genocidal holocaust- in which the Muslim government of Northern Sudan is trying to eradicate the Christian south. The Frontline base in Southern Sudan has experienced numerous aerial attacks from the Northern Sudanese military, and Peter Hammond has been present for many of these attacks. This alone gives him a good degree of credibility and believability as he presents his thesis in Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam. While I do not wish to simply give away the whole book, (I think it would greatly benefit whoever reads it in the understanding of this “religion of peace”) I would like to cite a few of the areas of concentration: The book bounces back and forth between several main ideas concerning slavery and terrorism, relating them back to Islam- and how the religion empowers these activities. Contrary to popular belief, slavery did not die out with its outlawing in Europe and the United States. As a matter of fact, not only is it still VERY prevalent today in Islamic countries, but it always has been most widely practiced in those countries. Hammond does an exceptional job of showing the various roots of the justification and propagation of within the religion of Islam, more specifically within its’ holy book, the Koran. Not only is it allowed, but suggested in the pages of the Koran. The shocking abuses of men, women, and children (possibly most shocking through the practice of child concubines) cannot simply be ignored by the Christian world- it must be struggled against.

Hammond also points out that the second word in the title of the book, Terrorism, is not a fringe practice by radical Muslims, but a central, core pillar of the Muslim faith. Mohammad said that Jihad was the second most important deed of Islam (The Hadith). With that in mind, the question is asked: is it any wonder that on September 11th, 2001, a group of true Muslims put their hateful ideology into action? No. Of course not. It’s something to be expected! Several chapters of the book focus on perhaps one of the most misunderstood periods of time in history: The Crusades. Hammond points out that in the 700s; Charles Martel was opposing a huge force of Muslims coming into France. France? But France is QUITE far from the Middle East or Northern Africa. Well, that’s because in the 700s, The Muslim advance in Western Europe had taken over most all of Spain, and was coming north to France. Therefore in the 900s a movement was started to free fellow Christian brothers and sisters suffering under the burden of Sharia Law and Muslim theocracies. He goes on tracing the various historical roots of the Crusades, the shameful conditions of Christians in Muslim controlled lands, and the historical inaccuracies portrayed in films like Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven”.

As mentioned earlier, Hammond’s personal experience and study gives him a good deal of credibility for this book. I would highly recommend ordering it from Frontline Fellowship (the order may take a while because it comes from Cape Town). I would highly suggest this book for any college taking any western civilization class, anyone interested in reaching Muslims with the Gospel of Christ, or anyone interested in the subject of either slavery or the crusades. 

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