In 2009 John Brennan, then the White House adviser on Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism delivered a speech declaring that the United States is not engaged in a war on terrorism. In 2010 he argued that the term ‘jihadists’ should not be used to describe America’s enemies.
“Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children, Brennan said.
Erwin Lutzer, the author of “The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent,” disputed that notion, arguing the nation is at war with radical Islam and warned that if the government turns a blind eye the long term implications “will be very chilling.”
“Jihad is a holy war,” said Lutzer, pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. “Jihad is a holy war against unbelievers.”
Lutzer’s book explores Islam’s war with Christianity and what it means to the United States.
“In the minds of most Americans, as long as terrorism is under control – they think we are relatively safe,” he told Fox News. “What they don’t recognize is that we have a stealth jihad in America.”
Lutzer said Islam is inserting itself and its views into the federal government as well as the culture at large.
“The government seems to be turning a blind eye to these kinds of intrusions,” he said. “It’s because of political correctness. I believe it has paralyzed us.”
He said the administration’s current response to the war on terror is not working.
“In Islam, when you show weakness, it actually invigorates them,” he said. “They say to themselves that ‘American – the Great Satan – is rolling over and playing dead and it’s happening much more easily and quickly than we ever could have expected.’”
In his book, Lutzer noted that countries like Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq were once Christian strongholds.
“Today, the few Christians who live in these places risk their lives if they attempt to share their faith with others,” he wrote. “Could their story be our story?”
He said American Christians should look no further than Europe to see what happens when Christianity falls and Islam rises.
“What Islam historically has done by force is now being accomplished in Europe through the purchase of churches and other properties, the building of mosques, and the growing insistence that Europeans respect the rights of Muslims in the name of cultural or religious sensitivity,” Lutzer wrote.
“The non-Muslims of Europe, paralyzed by political correctness and having self-consciously despised their Christian past, are powerless to withstand Islam’s growing presence.”
Lutzer predicts that Islamic control of Europe will grown and the region “will experience the exponential expansion of Islam, and the Europe we once knew will come to an end.”
The pastor issued a warning to Americans.
“We are very naïve as Americans if we judge Islam by its more tolerant American version,” he said. “If you really want to understand Islam, you have to go to Egypt and see what the Christians are enduring there. You have to go to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq – this is really Islam and what the religion is once it begins to take over a country.”
Lutzer said Islam has two faces – the more tolerant side seen in the United States -- and then there’s the other kind.
“Many Muslims live in peace and strongly disagree with what the bomber did,” he said, referring to the Boston Marathon attacks. “At the same time, the bombers are going to point to the Koran for what they do. “
Lutzer said pastors need to be preparing their congregations for what could be a very different United States.
“I foresee a time in America when Islam is going to have a tremendous amount of effect in our culture,” he said. “We must recognize that as not only a distinct possibility, but something that is already happening.”
But he said that Christians should not be fearful of what the future may hold.
“We take courage from the fact that God has called us to minister and to represent His interests in the world at this time in history and we gladly take that responsibility and we move forward.”