Extract from Countdown book written in 2010
Many people have pointed out that the EU only occupies one half of the territory of the old Roman Empire. In its latter days the Roman Empire was divided between the western empire with its capital in Rome and the eastern empire with its capital in Constantinople (the present Turkish city of Istanbul). After the fall of the western Roman Empire, the eastern empire continued as the Byzantine Empire which was dominated by the Orthodox Church. In 1453 Constantinople fell to the Turks and since that time the former eastern Roman Empire has been dominated by Islam.
In modern times we have seen a rise of the power of Islam. Since the discovery of oil in the Middle East and the dependence of the world economic system on the availability of oil, this region has become vitally important to the whole world in modern times. Formerly poor desert regions have become very rich through oil revenues, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states in particular. These countries are dominated by Islam and have used their wealth to spread the influence of Islam throughout the world. At the same time as the rebirth of Israel in the Middle East, we have seen the renewed power of the Muslim countries of this region. The world’s dependence on oil means that no country wants to offend the oil suppliers who for the most part are Islamic.
Some have claimed that the Islamic nations will form the Antichrist power of the last days, even pointing out that there are 10 nations mentioned in Psalm 83 – already quoted in relation to the nations round about Israel that seek to ‘cut off Israel from being a nation.’
Many Muslims believe their time has come and are looking for the world conquest of Islam. A former Jordanian Minister Ali Al-Faqir declared that Islam will conquer Palestine (Israel), Spain and Rome and that America and the EU will soon come to an end:
We must declare that Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is an Islamic land, and that Spain – Andalusia – is also the land of Islam. Islamic lands that were occupied by the enemies will once again become Islamic. Furthermore, we will reach beyond these countries, which are lost at one point. We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once. We will rule the world, as has been said by the Prophet Mohammed. (Memri 2/5/08)
The leaders of the Iranian revolution believe in the coming of the Mahdi, an Islamic Messiah figure who will lead the Muslims to defeat ‘the Great Satan’ (the USA) and the little Satan (Israel) and set up an Islamic world government. According to the Shiite Muslim belief held by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad there will be a time of great trouble on the earth before the Mahdi arrives. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website says the world is now in its ‘last days.’ It claims that the Mahdi will first appear in Mecca, and then Medina. He will conquer all of Arabia, Syria, Iraq and destroy Israel. Then he will overcome enemies and ‘will eradicate all corruption and injustice from the face of the earth and establish the global government of peace, justice and equity.’
From Pakistan to Afghanistan, from Gaza to Lebanon, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia, the threat of Islamist based terrorism has become a major threat to the world. It is becoming even greater as both Sunni and Shiite groups seek to get hold of and deploy nuclear weapons.
Libyan leader Ghaddafi said Islam will take over Europe without violent force within a few decades in a speech aired on the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera (10/4/06):
We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades. Europe is in a predicament, and so is America. They should agree to become Islamic in the course of time, or else declare war on the Muslims.
This aim was expressed 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)
Christian leader, Patrick Sookhdeo has written an article ‘The Islamisation of the West’ (Barnabas Aid, July 2010) in which he shows the means by which this process is going ahead. He writes:
Islamists want Islam to be not just an equal alongside the many other faith communities, but to be privileged and protected. Islamic norms and practices are promoted as Muslims make their presence felt in politics, economics, law, education and the media. … Islamist movements are dedicated to ‘da’wa’ (Islamic mission) as part of their attempt to make Islam the dominant religion in the world.
Western governments bend over backwards to accommodate Muslim demands, so that now we have halal meat being served in a variety of public places in Britain without any information that this is the case being given to the public. Halal meat, prepared in accordance with Sharia law, requires the cutting of an animal’s throat, without stunning the animal first, during which process Islamic verses are recited. We have Muslims in Paris and New York taking over streets for Friday prayers, illegally blocking them to traffic, and the police standing by and allowing this to happen. We have liberal clergymen like the Archbishop of Canterbury proposing that Muslim Sharia law should be permitted to function alongside the law of Britain.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) seeks to give Islam a special place in all societies. They claim that Islam, the Quran, Sharia and Mohammed must all be protected from criticism however factual the criticism may be. Islamist organisations in the West also use laws on libel, human rights and equality to silence any criticism of Islam.
The OIC and its member states are also pressurising other countries at the UN to work on a binding treaty which would protect the religion of Islam from any kind of criticism. The end would be to ban criticism of the beliefs of Mohammed worldwide and therefore outlaw attempts by Christians to show the errors of Islamic beliefs and proclaim that Jesus is the one way to God. In effect this would create a ‘global blasphemy law’ which would mean that any nation that subscribes to the UN Charter on Human Rights will also have to enforce the blasphemy laws against Mohammed. This could make preaching the Gospel to Muslims illegal according to international law.
Islam certainly has many characteristics of antichrist. After the fall of Communism there has been no other world movement with a stated aim of dominating the world. Muslims in power will not tolerate any opposition to their rule. In the west they are increasingly able to dictate to the rest of society what they want to happen. Generally one does not have to worry too much about making a critical remark about the Pope or Freemasons or New Agers in our society, but if you stand up in public and criticise Mohammed, Islam or Muslims you may well face a death threat.
However it also has many weaknesses. In the Middle East there is a great division between different branches of Islam. This has led to conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, especially in Iraq. The Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia are very anxious about the growing power of Shiite Iran and the way Iran is stirring up unrest among Shiite minorities in the Gulf region. There may be 50 million Muslims in Europe but they are far from being united in the purpose of Islamising Europe. There are those who are moderate and do not wish to live in an Islamised state. We meet many people from a Muslim background in our street evangelism in London who are very negative about Islam. This applies especially to Iranians. The Islamic revolution in Iran has not produced a stable and good society, but a corrupt, incompetent dictatorship. As a result of this there is a great rejection of Islam amongst many Iranians. Many of them are turning to Christ as the answer. Given the opportunity to do so without fear of reprisals, there is no doubt that large numbers would leave Islam if they could.
From the point of view of end time prophecy there are aspects of Islam which make it unlikely that it will form the final Antichrist world government. While the Beast of Revelation 13 does behead his opponents, which is an Islamic practice, he also brings in an act of idolatry, which would be against Islamic teaching. The passage in 2 Thessalonians 2 about the coming Antichrist has him proclaiming himself as god. This would be in direct conflict with the Muslim concept of Allah being totally separate from his creation. In Revelation 13 it is implied that the Beast is initially welcomed as a Saviour figure by the people of the world, whereas radical Islam is seen with fear and hostility by most people in the world. If Islam had world domination it would soon make an end of Israel. The Bible prophecies indicate that despite all the hatred and opposition which Israel receives from Islamic nations and forces it will remain until the end of this age. In fact the defeat of the allied forces of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-9 would include mainly Muslim armies and could result in a shattering of Islamic power and faith.
There is no doubt, however, that Islam and the Middle East will continue to play a major role in the end time scenario of world events. The wealth of the Middle Eastern countries and their oil reserves mean that they will continue to be a powerful force in the coming days. As we shall look at in chapter 12 of this book Islam contains a strong anti-Christian message.