The Boston Marathon tragedy and other terror attacks have led some Americans to fear their Muslim neighbors. But one group is reminding Christians that we're called to minister to Muslims.
Through a new Christian DVD series called Truth Unlocked they're teaching people about Islam and helping them replace fear with love.
The best part is it's all being done with the help of former Muslims.
The Cultural Shift
Most Muslims come to North America for educational and economic opportunities, while others come to escape oppression. On a rare occasion some, like Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, harm the nation that has welcomed them.
Wadi Iskander is a former Muslim from Sudan. He suggests that the cultural shift plays a role in Muslim fanaticism.
"Suddenly when they come here they change," he said. "They become very liberal or, when they come here, they change to be fanatic."
Unfortunately, government can only do so much to protect us from Islamic extremists. So, how should we respond beyond praying for our nation? The new Christian DVD teaching series provides an educational and spiritual approach.
"I think it's going to help our nations, our countries to be well equipped to deal with terrorism and also to deal with the people here that we need to take care of—the Muslim people that God brought here for us to give them the Gospel," Amani Mostafa, Al Hayat woman's talk show host, said.
The Truth Unlocked series provides an understanding of Islamic religious beliefs.
Tim Clemens, co-producer of Truth Unlocked, says the DVDs "came about with just [his] kids interacting with other Muslim kids within their school and [he] felt very ill-equipped and ignorant towards another culture that had moved in."
Mostafa appears on the Truth Unlocked DVD. She is a former Muslim who says Westerners should understand Islamic culture before establishing a relationship with a Muslim.
"A man and his wife are welcoming a couple into their home, and the man of the house would extend his hand to shake the hand of the wife. Instantly she is offended because she's veiled and she's not supposed to be shaking a man's hand. Right there he broke a rule. So, it takes us a while to correct these things," she said.
Then there are terror attacks like the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, which may cause people to shy away from pursuing a relationship with Muslims. But Mostafa warns Christians shouldn't fear sharing their faith because Muslims hunger for closeness to God.
"When a Christian person comes and presents to me the God that he loves and worships and lives with, that is an eye-opener and a heart-opener to many of us and we see today when Muslims are offered the freedom to choose Christ, they do—by millions," she said.
And Christians don't have to read the Quran before witnessing to Muslims, argues Iskander.
"I think it's a lot more important for them to understand what the Gospels say and how to relate the gospel to them, to the Muslims," Iskander told CBN News.
Mostafa agreed that placing emphasis on truth is the best approach.
"Ask him 'Who is that god you are worshipping?' and tell them the truth—we don't worship the same god and let me tell you why," Mostafa explained.
Tim Clemens says a follow-up DVD called, Far from Home: A Different West, will be available in the near future.
"The big difference is, one is designed for Joe Average in the North American pew; the other is designed specifically to give to a Muslim but also a tool to reach Muslims around the globe," Clemens said.
He suggests the value is found in the creators of the series because most evangelism tools are created and presented by Western Christians. This DVD series is done by former Muslims who now follow Jesus.
"Only someone who is a Muslim background believer can speak with that authority to a Muslim and relate on that same level. This is going to be a very, very powerful tool," Clemens said—one that addresses Muslims' misconceptions and questions about Christianity.
In an excerpt from the DVD series one former Muslims says:
"As a Muslim, I always wonder how could God stoop down and come as a man to earth? I think the question is, why would God want to do that? ... and to me the problem was resolved when I knew that God is not stooping down to the level of man; God loves man," he said. "It's my neighbor, it's my co-worker, it's my child's schoolmate. They are individuals who need Christ as much as anybody else, as much as I needed Christ."
It's this revelation that replaces acts like the Boston bombing with images of former Muslims praying to Christ in churches around the globe.