Thanking God…and Maajid Nawaz

That screeching sound you’re hearing is me, putting on the brakes…

My recent Islamic investigations have led me to the point of crossing a line. It did not happen quickly, nor even carelessly, but happen it did. She who (meaning, me) usually advises a cautious, balanced approach and definitely advises holding back that root of bitterness, not letting it go down & spread….spat out insults at an online picture of two Islamic radicals. I was revolted, sickened by the expressions on their faces, and even now, seeing them in my mind’s eye, I feel the same revulsion.
I’d also just started leaving Facebook comments to this effect. Mild by most standards, I’m sure, but for me, almost revolutionary. Two days ago, for the first time ever, I started thinking about becoming a gun owner. (Not that this is a bad thing…”…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”, right, folks?! Just unlike me…)

I’ve become beware of a personal inner schism developing, and am concerned. I’m not clear on how to reconcile opposition that may involve force/violence, or an absolute separation, and the enmity/hostility that may accompany it, with “…the greatest of these is love.” Some of you, and those who actually know me in person, may see me as ‘sweet’, but I work at keeping anger in check. (So, by the way, did George Washington.) Cooler heads need to prevail. Clear thinking is paramount, and especially so in times of war. But perhaps even more important is the condition of one’s soul.


“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”  (Proverbs 16:32)


A reason that the awareness of a schism within myself, and its outward projection, concerns me is this: “For he is our peace…who hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Ephesians 2:14). These Scriptures go on to say that in breaking down that dividing wall, Christ “abolished…the enmity…contained in ordinances {Law}…making peace.” (v.15)  Point being, deepening a divide isn’t the point! Jesus removed walls, tore the Veil that separated. He makes a way, is accessible. I understand this cannot always be the case, in this life, in this world. Peace is not always possible. ( I think that’s obvious!) And, not at any cost, nor by any means, because each situation, each conflict has its own conditions, elements & parameters…BUT becoming entrenched and intractable in a hostile mindset? Is that helping? And I fear I’m seeing myself heading in that direction.

Recently, I signed an online petition to refuse entrance to the United States to any & all Muslim immigrants, until a successful method of absolutely determining their intentions can be developed & implemented. It wasn’t an easy choice. I stand by it, I’d do it again. But before I clicked “Submit” that day, I thought, once I’ve done this, will I have changed something within myself, permanently? Am I starting a divide from which I will be unable to recover? Frightening thought, but losing our American freedoms is more so. I was not happy about clicking that button, but an inner death I feared might take place if I did so was a price worth paying, to guard our liberty.

I don’t think I’ve been the same since that moment. I accept that. But in that moment, I did not hate. I did what I felt had to be done.

The Scriptures warn of a hardening of hearts in “the last days”, that the love of many will grow cold because of the rise of evil in the world. I don’t want to be one of those who have no love in their heart. That, my friends, is at least a form of hell. It will destroy. So my question often is, how does one strike a balance? Are we really going to, uh, just love everyone, welcome with open arms and then get blown up? Worse, live as conquered beings under the laws of a perverted, satanic rule? Who else is thinking, No…?

Now here is where it starts getting good, for me at least…

This past July, I posted “Countering the Narrative in Extremism”, a piece about former Islamic extremist Maajid Nawaz, who today works ceaselessly to, as the title suggests, counter the teachings of radical Islam. For some reason, I pulled up that post a few days ago. As I re-read it, I felt impacted by Maajid’s mission more immediately, more here-and-now than I had when I wrote the post. In it, I quoted Nawaz as saying:

“There are people who are as frustrated as we are with extremism in their own country, in Pakistan. But they’ve never had anyone to articulate that frustration, to organize them and to help them work along those lines…That means work. It means we have to be in it for the long haul. And it means the solution isn’t going to come through bombs or through prison. It has to come through the ideas debate, which is by definition a long strategy.”

Maajid Nawaz, formerly a leader of
 Hizb ut-Tahrir

 “…in it for the long haul”, “…by definition a long strategy.” These are the phrases that caught my attention, and prompted an Internet search of Nawaz. What I found has stopped me in my tracks. Salvation has come to me! There IS hope! I think I’d reached that point spoken of in 1 Corinthians, telling us that God will not suffer us to be ‘tempted’ beyond that which we can endure, but will with the difficulty provide an escape. And I see here that this isn’t an ‘easy out’ exactly: “…that ye may be able to bear it” is how this verse finishes up! I am so relieved! And so glad!

Possibly the best part here? This answer for me was already in place, put right there in my own site seven months ago, by myself! for such a time as this – working out my own salvation, in fear & trembling, because it IS GOD who is at work within me…(Philipians 2:12,13)  ( Not meaning this to be about me, but about the profound faithfulness of the Savior, about the One who knows the end from the beginning and works marvellously.)
What I found may not thrill anyone else, but it did me. Coming next post, more about Maajid Nawaz.

…for the Lord Jesus Christ, and for America…

4 responses to “Thanking God…and Maajid Nawaz

  1. I'm thinking I should wear a bellfor the tremblingI feelMaybe it will tell when I need to relaxor slow it down –with so many curves aheadGod forged in mea complicated rhythmforged a solemn heartwith a gleeful mindso did He not foreseehow things will beand how I get therehow I navigate with signs ?I should wear a bellaround my neckon a chain for whenmy breath is being heldbut I cannotsay for youwhat you should do.

  2. I am hoping Marinell would not misunderstand, when I say, Patrick, I love you! Thank you for this prosaic comfort.I'm always catching myself holding my breath…

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