Isn’t it interesting that in all the conversations about the crisis inflicting the Islamic faith – I’m thinking of young Muslims killing themselves and scores of innocent people as part of the militant outworking of their beliefs – that none of these conversations bring up the life of the founder of Islam?

Muhammad founded the Islamic religion and immediately began spreading the faith. His methodology involved conquering the cities around him and forcing their citizens to convert to Islam. This type of conversion has never really stopped. The people of any land Muslim forces have taken over in the past have been forced to convert to Islam or face severe consequences. ISIS is simply following suit. Conversion at the point of the sword.

Contrast that with the founder of Christianity. Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek, to do good to those that hurt us. While Muhammad tells his followers to subjugate their enemies and conquer in the name of Allah, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. Unfortunately, much conquering and warfare have been done throughout history in the name of Christ, but these actions do not reflect the founder’s desires for interactions between people. Muhammad brings a different modus operandi. His teachings and the life he led reveal his belief that might and power and subjugation work. Love is trampled under the boots of the conquerers.

Is it any wonder that followers of Islam read the texts proscribed by Muhammad and take them seriously? Of course they do, it’s what any true follower of a religion or belief system does. When the founding father led by violence then we should not be surprised that we see violence in the actions of his followers. It’s hard to make a case otherwise.

Better by far to follow the Prince of Peace. Jesus is the Savior of all peoples. Ironically and hopefully, Jesus is considered a prophet by those of the Muslim faith. Let’s pray and encourage our fellow seekers of God to find the true King, the Prince of Peace, and turn toward his timeless teachings of peace and love.