Christian MediaEngaging Culture

Radical Islam and the Media – What’s Your View?

One of the subjects religious media doesn’t touch too often is radical Islam, and the impact terrorism is having on this country and the world. Occasionally the rare TV or radio ministry will discuss these issues, but for the most part, on religious media, the subject is relegated to the fringe. And that fact represents one of my biggest pet peeves about religious media today. What’s hottest in the mainstream news, fills the conversations of people everywhere, and imperils our way of life, doesn’t even seem to exist on religious media.
Where are the in-depth documentaries and investigative reports? Where’s the intellectual analysis of Islamic theology and culture? Where’s the reports from Christians inside these countries? Where are the mission updates? One of the greatest threats we’ve ever experienced is just barely a blip on the Christian media radar.

I’m going to be talking more about more about this issue in upcoming posts. From the fact that Al Jezeera has their own network headquarters in Washington, D.C., to how effectively radicals are using the Internet for worldwide mobilization, to the way they skillfully use the courts to gain more and more influence. Islamic radicals understand the power of the media and are maximizing it’s reach and impact throughout the world.

Keep your eye on this issue, because it’s a real concern. How do we balance the rights of people in a free speech culture with the very real issues surrounding the rise of radical Islam and their use of the media to further their cause? Where do we cross the line?

We start with knowledge – knowing what they are doing and how they are doing it. Keep me posted on areas where you find the media influence of Islam growing. Let’s start a conversation about the role media is playing in the spread of terrorism, and explore our options for dealing with the threat.

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6 Comments

  1. Phil, you have touched on one of the most important issues of our times, how a Western World and the Christian faith understands (for better or worse) the religion of Islam and radical Muslims. You are right, Christian television barely touches on islam. Most docs produced already have an evangelistic slant, anti-Islam attitude imbedded in the program. The only show I can think of that tackles these thorny issues on a regular basis is Christian World News produced by CBN and broadcast on The Family Channel and others like TBN. As a veteran traveller that has shot in 92 countries on assignment and been to 124 countries personally, I have spent considerable time in Muslim nations, from Morocco to Chad to Iraq to Indonesia. I have shot in most of the great mosques of the world, save Mecca. There are times I have encountered great hostility and been pushed around, literally. Often my job was to shoot interviews of Christians working quietly within Muslim societies where in many cases it was illegal for these believers to be missionaries and share their faith. On a personal level, I have two Muslim friends who treat me better and with more consideration than many of my Christian friends. One of them, Ali, is like a brother to me. He is one of the finest human beings I know on the face of God's earth. That said, I find Islamic nations and Muslim people today in both conflict and paradox. Here's how: the majority of Muslims are wonderful, devout people. They are trying to find the answers to their life's problems like anyone. Only a few are radical enough to want to bomb or terrorize Westerners. They have been deceived into believing this is the path to eternity and the ultimate purpose of their lives. But this terroristic chaos is what sells newspapers and gets on the news. That's the purpose to begin with, along with serving Allah. Sadly, many Muslims are often stirred up by fire and brimstone Imams who bash Israel and the USA every Friday at the mosque. This misinformation forms opinions weekly and daily for millions of men, women and children across Islam's crescent. Also, unfortunately, most Muslims live in countries where there is no freedom of religion, no democratic process and no freedom of both the airwaves or newspapers. They are swimming in a sea of Islam. To convert to Christianity can mean being disowned by one's family and is sometimes punishable by death. In addition, what most Muslims see when they view our Western movies and tv are loose morals with loose men & women depicted, which also forms their opinions of what they perceive are Christians. This is offensive to them and their faith. On top of this, the majority of our TV preachers are so overtly pro-Israel and wrap our Christian faith in the American flag that Muslims are both angry and confused by these mixed messages. Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are powerful flash cards too. Any Muslim cousin being persecuted is a cousin to be helped. Phil, I certainly don't have all the answers, but we must somehow show both on the airwaves and in our lives that God loves everyone, including Muslims. While we support Israel, we need to tone it down, gain understanding of Muslims and Islamic cultures…and show our faith not by just what we say, but how we act – even on TV. Our walk is the greatest witness of the gospel, not our finger pointing or Islam bashing.

  2. Radical Islam is hardcore and islam in general a touchy subject in the media. We got blasted by muslims in the US for our breif portrayal of hezbollah as a "terrorist organization"…Which I thought was a fair assesment, but that is not how many Islamic people see it..even in the US and we got what I would classify as "hate" mail for what was percieved as a negative presentation of Hezbolla…the rest of the viewers probably didn't even know what hezbollah was..until the Isreal conflict recently

  3. As Christians we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.  One of those teachings is to love our enemies and to bless those that curse us.  Unfortunately I think that many Christians don't know how to do that or are incapable of loving an enemy.  It is very difficult to love someone that wants to destroy you.  I know that I'm not there yet.  That being said, those in Christian media instead of lashing out in defense of Christianity like we would want to we don't do anything.  It's kind of like our mothers used to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all."

    Proverbs 17:28(NLT) 28Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; when they keep their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

  4. Craig, very insightful. As a screenwriter. your words "what most Muslims see when they view our Western movies and tv are loose morals with loose men & women depicted, which also forms their opinions of what they perceive are Christians" struck a nerve with me. Perhaps one thing we can do is support Christian writers who are trying to make movies with conversion messages that can move the hearts of men & women everywhere.

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