President Donald Trump recently completed his first foreign tour as president of the United States. His first destination was Saudi Arabia. After receiving a hospitable welcome on the airport tarmac by the Saudi king, he was escorted to the royal family’s palace for a speech.
President Trump had the opportunity to speak to a cooperation of 56 Sunni Muslim states that were invited to participate in this historical event. In his speech to the Arab/Islamic community, President Trump called on the Muslim leaders to “drive out terrorists from your places of worship … Your communities … Your holy land, and this earth.” He announced the founding of “a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, located right here, in this central part of the Islamic world. This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must make an end in combatting radicalization.” He also is seeking to create an Arab-type NATO or Gulf States Red Sea Treaty Organization.
The president sent a symbolic message to the world, especially the Islamic world, that the US is going to align itself with the Sunni Muslim nations. He addressed extremism and their common enemy, Iran. He called Iran “the government that gives terrorists … Safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment.” Although the president mentioned the names of several terrorist organizations, he did not delineate that Hezbollah is Shia Muslim and is backed by Iran, while Hamas, ISIS, and al Qaeda embrace Sunni Islamic ideology and jurisprudence. Shia and Sunni Muslim differences deal more with who should rightfully lead the global Umma Muslim community than the tactics on how that should be accomplished. While President Trump has noble aspirations, we must ask the question, “Are they realistic?”
Sunni and Shia
The Sunni and Shia Muslim separation has been ongoing for 1,400 years. Their historic common enemies have been Jews, Christians, and pagans. Although they fight to gain supremacy for leadership among themselves, they both agree on all the doctrinal essentials of Islam found in the Quran and hadiths. Both sects have participated, sponsored, or recognized various forms of terrorism to meet their religious objectives. Their goal is to have Islam reign supreme throughout the whole world (Quran 48:28).
In their faith, their eschatological (end-time) events encourage followers to live out what is predicted in the Quran and hadiths. Muslims believe that they are all personally responsible for carrying out their duties to make Islam reign supreme by subjugating all other faiths and infidels. When they work toward this goal, they believe their god Allah will help them succeed (Quran 9:14). The means to carry out this monumental task can be done by persuasion, or force if necessary. Deception and lying are tools Muslims can use to fulfill their mandate. They base their actions on the example and life of their prophet Muhammad. He has said, “War is deceit.” The Quran in Chapter 8, verses 12 and 39, says, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those that disbelieve … Fight with them until there is no more unbelief.”
President Trump traveled to Israel to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm the US relationship with Israel. He then shared his support toward brokering a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
The common enemy of the greater Sunni Muslim Arab world and Israel is Iran. Maybe the president believes that by bringing Israel and the Sunni Muslims together to oppose Iran, they may become willing to move toward an Israeli and Palestinian peace deal—a deal where the Islamic Arab world accepts Israel and respects her security; and one in which Israel will not feel threatened and, thereby, be willing to make concessions toward the Palestinians so they may have their own state. The Bible does not have such an optimistic outcome for Israel until she calls upon the name of the Lord, and He returns to fight for her in the battle of Armageddon.
It is possible that the president’s efforts may bring more harm to Israel by placing her in a compromising position to embrace a deal that would marginalize her security and cause her to make additional concessions to the Palestinians as she has done in the past.
Psalm 83 reveals the reasons the nations of the world (especially the Islamic majority nations) seek to destroy Israel. Although Islam is dressed up in religious garb and full of religious piety, we can conclude it is a religion that hates the only true and living God. The psalmist wrote:
“For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult (to make a loud sound, to rage, war, moan, clamor): and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee” (Ps. 83:2-5).
The 20th century successfully brought a newly formed unity unseen throughout history; however, it is a unity that has brought the various nations of the world together to express their mutual and religious hatred of Israel. Since the Holocaust, the United Nations (UN) has hosted a platform for the Arab/Islamic world to complain about Israel in a public forum. The Arab/Islamic nations have sought to destroy Israel by war, or by shaming her publicly to give up land for peace. Israel has seen nearly two-thirds of all UN resolutions levied against her by this ungodly organization.
Psalm 83 deals with those who hate God. Those who hate God are enemies of God. The means to fulfill their hatred of God is to cut Israel off from being a nation and to remove any remembrance of her name! Does President Donald Trump really think that he can remove this hatred by supplying a negotiated peace deal, or by offering Saudi Arabia—the seat of the Islamic world—an opportunity to buy sophisticated weapons in the largest single weapons deal ever offered in world history? Are we equipping those who hate God with the tools they need to satisfy their god, Satan?