Khaled Mash’al, leader of the Hamas movement which won the Palestinian elections in January 2006 gave a speech in Damascus which was broadcast on al-Jazeera TV on February 3rd 2006. He told the European nations to apologise to Islam because: ‘Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation.’ His speech went on to say that the first phase of the Islamic world conquest would be the elimination of Israel and the defeat of the West in Iraq.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agrees. He said in Iran’s holy city of Qom on 5th January, ‘We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It’s a universal ideology that leads the world to justice.’ He believes his main mission is to ‘pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.’ According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. They believe he will return and be known as the ‘Mahdi’ and reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.
At the same time the entire Islamic world has been roused to fury over cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper. We have evidence (available on request) which shows how the cartoons row has been cleverly manipulated by Islamic radicals with the aim of uniting Muslims against the West in order to create submission to Islamic demands and to defend Iran and Syria against censure from the UN. It is not a co-incidence that Denmark is set to assume the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council — at the very time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time the Security Council wants to question Syria and the regime of President Assad about the murder of Lebanese President Hariri. To portray Denmark as ‘an enemy of the Prophet’ would be helpful to the Islamic world in creating the idea that all censure of Muslim countries is part of an anti-Islamic western conspiracy.
In the UK, Islamic leaders are using the cartoons controversy to put pressure on the government to limit what can be said in the press about Mohammed. Patrick Sookdheo of the Barnabas Fund comments on this, ‘If we pass laws or even simply create a new code of practice for the press specifically to protect Mohammed, I fear it could prove to be the thin end of the wedge. From self-imposed censorship we could soon move to more serious situations. In Pakistan there has been a mandatory death sentence since 1991 for ‘defiling the name’ of Mohammed.’ He goes on to show how the Muslim Action Committee is using the cartoons furore to reverse the defeat suffered by the Muslims when the House of Commons unexpectedly voted to pass the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill in a form which does not provide the protection for Muslims which the government had intended.
The cartoon controversy led to a demonstration in the streets of London with slogans calling for ‘infidels’ to be beheaded and showing support of suicide terrorism. One said ‘Europe you’ll come crawling when Mujahadeen come roaring.’ There was widespread outrage at this demonstration and moderate Muslims sought to distance themselves from it. However days later a poll of British Muslims revealed that 45% favour the establishment of Shari’a (Islamic) law in Britain.
This is in line with the world vision of Islam which from the days of its inception is to bring the world into subjection to Allah as defined in the Koran. Mohammed’s mission was universal, with the aim of not only preaching, but also changing all existing societies into an Islamic society governed by the laws of Allah, known as the Shari’a.
Therefore Islam grants radical Muslims a mandate to change the existing society into an Islamic society, to make Islam supreme, and thus dominate every aspect of society. This is not only the desire of fundamentalists like Osama bin Laden, but would seem to be the desire of a large number of Muslims all over the world.
This desire is reflected in a document written in 1980 entitled The Islamic Movement in the West by Khurram Murad who was then the head of the Islamic Foundation with branches around the world. He outlined his Islamic revolution and the blueprint of how to bring it about in the West.
On page three of his document he posed the question: ‘What is an Islamic movement?’ He goes on to answer: ‘An Islamic movement is an organised struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Koran and the Sunna, and make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant.’
Such views can find ample justification in the Koran which teaches that Muslims must be supreme over non Muslims and should be engaged in a jihad to achieve this until the Day of Judgement.
‘So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For you must gain mastery, if you are true in faith. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya (poll tax to be paid by non Muslims living in a Muslim society) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.’ Sura At-Tawba 9:29 (Yusuf Ali’s Translation).
So will Islam rule the world? Of course expressing the aim of world domination and achieving it are two different things. Hitler promised 1000 year Reich but in 1945 Berlin lay in ruins and the Nazis were shattered. The Communist Manifesto spoke of the inevitability of world revolution and Communist dominance, but in 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and in 1991 the Soviet Union fell. I remember talking to wild eyed Maoists at Speaker’s Corner in London during the 1970s who said their brand of Communism would be victorious and the thoughts of Chairman Mao would last 10,000 years. Now capitalism has come to China and Mao’s Red Book is a collector’s item. Will the same thing happen to the Islamic radicals? Can we find any clue about this in the prophecies of the Bible?
What the Islamists have going for them is the wealth generated by oil reserves in Middle Eastern countries which has financed much of the spread of Islam worldwide. It also provides a powerful means of exerting pressure on the rest of the world. ‘Don’t upset us if you want a regular supply of the oil necessary to keep your system going.’ They also have a world wide network of mutual support groups through the mosques and Muslim organisations and the concept of ‘umma’ which ties Muslims to each other and means that if one is offended all are offended.
There are a number of things they do not have going for them however. While it is true that the West is dependent on oil most of which comes from Muslim countries, the Muslims are also dependent on the West to supply technology and trade. If they destroy the West they also will be destroyed in the process. It also needs to be said that despite the concept of ‘umma’ the Muslim world is divided along many lines – Sunni and Shi’a, moderate and radical, Arab and non Arab. In fact the biggest killers of Muslims in the world today are other Muslims. Amongst non Muslims terrorism and the kind of agitation unleashed by the cartoon controversy has increased a feeling of fear and hostility towards Islam in much of the world.
When we come to the Bible there are two major issues we need to look at relevant to this question. Firstly the issue of Israel and the surrounding nations. There are a number of passages in Bible prophecy which show that at the end of this age the Jewish people will return to Israel and make the once desolate land a fertile one again (Ezekiel 36). Jerusalem will be focal point of world attention (Zechariah 12.2-3).
The surrounding nations will be hostile to Israel and fulfil the words of Psalm 83.4, ‘Come let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more’. In verses 6-8 of this Psalm there is a list of nations, which can be identified with Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and Iraq. In 1948, 1967 and 1973 Israel has had to fight wars for survival against superior armies from these countries bent on pushing the Jewish state into the sea.
In this Psalm there is a reference to Zeba and Zalmunna, who said, ‘Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession’ (v 12). We find reference to Zeba and Zalmunna in Judges 8. They were kings of Midian, leaders of the army, which came against Israel in the days of Gideon. In Judges 8.21 we read: ‘Gideon arose and killed Zeba and Zalmunna and took the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks’. The Hebrew word used for ‘ornaments’ is ‘ha saharonim’, an unusual word, which is correctly translated in the New King James Version as ‘crescent ornaments’. The crescent ornament showed dedication to the moon god of paganism. Today there is a world religion, which also uses the crescent as its symbol – Islam. Islam embodies everything spoken of in this Psalm in its attitude towards Israel. It is the dominant religion of the countries, which surround Israel. Nevertheless the countries which come against Israel in Psalm 83 are defeated and are not successful in their aim.
The prophecy of Ezekiel 38-9 goes further and brings in a great power to the uttermost north leading the armies of Gog and Magog which include Persia in their number. While there is much debate amongst commentators as to the identity of the nations involved there is no doubt where you get to if you go to the uttermost north of Israel – Russia. Russia today is emerging from the humiliation of the collapse of the Soviet Union to become a major player in world affairs with its huge oil and gas reserves and its growing arsenal of weapons. Russia has a large Muslim population within its borders and the Asia republics of the former Soviet Union have Muslim majorities. Although Russia became unpopular with the Islamic radicals over its policy in Chechnya, it has historically favoured the Arab states hostile to Israel. President Putin has invited Hamas leaders to Moscow and the Russians are supplying the material for the construction of the Iranian nuclear power station in Busheir which is the cause of the current crisis. If the United States or Israel attacks Iranian nuclear facilities it could bring Russia into the fray of the Middle East powder keg.
Whether Russia is the subject of this prophecy is debatable (we have a tape / CD on the subject available on request at £3 including postage). What is not debatable is that Iran / Persia is. Apart from the possibility of Russia, the nations which come against Israel on this occasion are Islamic. They come with the intention of wiping out Israel but they meet their doom on the ‘mountains of Israel’ as God intervenes directly and destroys those armies. (Ezekiel 38.18-23).
The next question to ask is whether or not this event is the same as Armageddon (Zechariah 14, Revelation 16 and 19). There are a number of reasons why I believe it is not (given on the tape already mentioned). If it comes some time before Armageddon one has to ask ‘What would be the effect on the Islamic world of such an event?’ Far from conquering the world by first conquering Israel, Islam would suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of God not any human power. The Bible says that this event will cause the Lord (i.e. the God of Israel) to be ‘hallowed in the sight of many nations’ (Ezekiel 39.27). The clear implication of this is that Islam will not succeed in ruling the world.
The Bible teaches that ‘the Antichrist is coming’ but also that ‘many antichrists have come’ (1 John 2.18). It is my view that the Islamists are one of the ‘many antichrists’ who will come before the end of days but not the Antichrist. While they have many characteristics of antichrist – denial of Jesus as Son of God, persecution of Christians, a goal of worldwide rule – there are a number of features of the Antichrist which do not fit in with Islam. The main ones are these.
According to 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4 the second coming of Jesus will be preceded by the revelation of the ‘man of sin … who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’ In other words he opposes not only the true God but all gods. This is also shown in Daniel 11.37 and Revelation 17.16-17. He also proclaims himself to be god (just as the Roman Caesars did). Both of these aspects of the coming Antichrist are entirely contradictory to Islam which believes in submission to Allah and is wholly opposed to anyone claiming to be a god equal to Allah.
In Revelation 13 the false prophet sets up an image to be worshipped by all and causes all to receive the mark of the beast without which they cannot buy or sell. The worship of images is forbidden under Islam so how could an Islamic leader bring in such a system? This also implies a highly technological society which has developed the means to give everyone a number and to control them by some kind of mark which gives them the ability to buy or sell. This fits in much more with a society dominated by the technology developed in the West.
The Bible teaches that at the end of days the Beast or Antichrist will rule the world: ‘And authority was given him (the beast) over every tribe, tongue and nation.’ Revelation 13.7 and that he and the dragon (Satan) who gives him his power are worshipped by all peoples. As we have seen Islam aspires to world dominion. However in my opinion it lacks the ability to deliver on this. You can threaten countries with terrorism and cause chaos but this does not make you popular. The implication of Bible prophecy is that initially the Antichrist will be popular offering people ‘peace and safety’ (1 Thessalonians 5.3) and be worshipped in return, just as Hitler was very popular when he came to power and was worshipped by people raising their hands and saying ‘Heil Hitler’. It is hard to see how Islam could ever be in such a position worldwide.
Finally the prophecies of Daniel 9.27 and Isaiah 28.14-19 imply that at the end of days the Antichrist will make a deceptive peace treaty with Israel. If Islam succeeds in ruling the world it would simply snuff Israel out like a child blowing out a candle. Why bother with a peace treaty?
Putting all this together in my judgement the most likely scenario goes as follows. There will be a failed Islamic assault on Israel with many seeing that God is not fighting for but against those who seek to destroy Israel. Out of the fear created by this war which threatens the safety of the whole world the Antichrist will arise offering ‘peace and safety’ probably out of the EU or the UN (or both). He will use the advanced technology of the West to impose a one world economic system backed by an occult religious system which will appeal to people disillusioned by the mess of contemporary religions (including Islam and nominal Christianity). Once this is in place the final period of the great tribulation will begin and a great time of persecution will take place. The world will gather for the final battle of Armageddon involving all nations led by the beast and the false prophet. They will meet their doom when the Lord Jesus returns in power and glory with the saints (believing Christians). As a result of this the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11.15). In that day ‘The Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be ‘The Lord is one and His name one.’ Zechariah 14.9. Hallelujah!