Inside the RevolutionJoel Rosenberg examines how “the followers of jihad, Jefferson and Jesus are battling to dominate the Middle East and transform the world.”
His name was Aladdin. In the late afternoon on a sunny day we met on a walking path that circled a beautiful man-made lake. Aladdin was reticent at first, but eventually he acknowledged that he was a Muslim from the Middle East. He seemed astonished at my unfeigned delight in meeting him. For I had been having conversations with Muslims from several countries, and I still had some burning questions. So to spend the next hour walking and talking with Aladdin was for me a most delightful treat.
In fact for some time now I have been looking for resources to help me better understand the Muslim world. And that is why I was so interested just recently to come across an excellent documentary that explores modern day Islam.
Joel C. Rosenberg’s Inside the Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World found its way to number three spot on the New York’s Times best seller list in April of this year. This fascinating book with its related DVD documentary by the same title portrays an exclusive insider look at the multifaceted world of present day Islam. The author shines a spotlight on radical Islam, then on those intent on reformation, and finally on a group he terms the revivalists.
The documentary has mesmerizing interviews with noteworthy figures like Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel; Porter Goss, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Lt. General Jerry Boykin, a former Delta commander. One of the most interesting interviews involves Tass Saada, a former PLO sniper and author of Once an Arafat Man.
Rosenberg avoids using a wide brush to portray all Muslims as being the same. He states that the majority of Muslims around the world (93 percent) are a moderate people who simply want to live a decent life. Among these moderates he claims there’s a movement dedicated to reforming Islam so that the jihadists will no longer kill and terrorize in the name of Allah. A Moroccan journalist horrified at the violence of Osama Bin Laden says of him, “For me he is not even a Muslim.” For these moderates the answer is still Islam, but armed jihad is not part of the solution. Rosenberg especially highlights Turkey, Morocco and Iraq as Muslim countries that are taking a lead in standing against violence and terror by the radicals.
In the first part of the documentary Rosenberg explores these radicals—the jihadists who though forming only a tiny percentage of Muslims worldwide (7 percent) nonetheless have tremendous influence and power. Rosenberg states that “the radicals say that Islam is the answer and violent Jihad is the way.” The radicals want to purify Islam by driving out the West, ridding the world of Jews and Christians, destroying the United States and setting up a world wide Muslim Empire. Perhaps the most chilling scenes on the jihadists deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president makes no secret of his intention to foment a second holocaust by ridding the world of the nation of Israel. The narrator shares at one point, “Never before in the nuclear age have the leaders of a revolutionary country held to the belief that the end of the world was at hand and that they were chosen to bring it about”.
Rosenberg concludes the documentary by exploring the phenomenon of so-called “revivalists” who inhabit the Muslim world. He explores the influence of various former radical Muslims who have been changed and are now reaching out in love as opposed to terror. In this section he also mentions what I have heard repeated from many reputable sources, to wit, that many Muslims around the world are experiencing dreams and visions of one of their prophets, Jesus Christ. The experience of former PLO sniper Tass Saada is a case in point. According to Saada the profound hatred he felt for the Jews since childhood was immediately taken from him after he experienced one of these visions.
Inside the Revolution is well researched and supported by a number of prominent experts in the field. People of varying persuasions, including Muslims themselves will profit from viewing it, and all of us will be better prepared for whatever the future holds.
But as good as documentaries and books are, there may be a better way to learn. Many of us have people living on our street with names like Maryam, Hassan, Mohammed, or even Aladdin. Perhaps these are Islamic friends we simply haven’t met yet?
Royal Hamel is Executive Director of Light the Darkness Ministries. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in the Guelph Mercury, September 29, 2009.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Christianity.ca. C07OC09