defend their faith with firmness
Washington DC, Jan 17, 2007 / 11:12 am (CNA).- A prominent Catholic convert from Islam told a group this week not to shy away from sharing Jesus with their Muslim neighbors, assuring them that most Muslims respect a clear and well-argued defense of faith and despise weakness and a lack of firmness in apologetics.
During a speech for a seminar called, "What Every Catholic Should Know About Islam," in Virginia, Daniel Ali, an Iraqi who converted from Islam in 1998, told the more than 400 people in attendance, "The first line of defense is to know your faith." The baptized should be willing to stand up when their beliefs are being attacked, he said.
When Christians encounter Muslims, "They cannot be silent about Jesus in order to get along with those who profess the Islamic faith. They do not like people who are weak. They have more respect for those who defend their convictions," Ali said.
He noted that it is very common for Americans "to defend what they believe, but when it's the Christian faith, people are afraid to speak of it."
Ali also underscored that there are two kinds of jihad. The "great jihad" is the daily struggle of individuals to live their faith, and the "minor jihad" is the struggle against the enemies of Allah.
Christians and other non-Muslims should be more concerned about the second jihad, Ali added. "It is very sad that tragedy makes us pay attention to the most challenging moment of our time," he stated, in reference to the 9-11 attacks. "When the Muslims talk about taking over the West, they are not kidding. I know their minds, I think that they really believe what they are saying," he asserted.
Ali is co-author with Robert Spencer of the book "Inside Islam: A Guide For Catholics," which describes how Muslims consider Jesus to be a prophet but they deny his death on the cross and condemn belief in his divine nature.