What is the missions fallout from September 11?

It is quite plain how antipathetic the majority of the Afghans are to all that the Taliban were seeking to do. So we have hope and prayer that this might yield good opportunities for Christians. As for the wider implications, the greatest challenge is not so much what some are calling the "clash of civilizations," the Muslim-West clash. The biggest conflict is going to be between the largely silent Muslim majority and the very vocal Islamist minority. The Islamist minority now has center stage. It has done a lot towards winning the propaganda war, and sometime or somehow the Muslim majority is going to have to speak clearly from a theological and social perspective about what needs to be done about the future. Otherwise, relationships could be very difficult between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world.

What makes you think that there is a silent Muslim majority?

Because of the way Islam is built up. It's very hard to find in Sunni Islam—as opposed to Shi'a Islam—a spokesman who can speak out clearly on theological positions. And to make matters more difficult, if somebody expresses a moderate position, he is putting his head above the parapets and may be threatened with death.

But what makes you think the majority isn't behind some form of radicalism right now?

I think that in the hearts of many, many Muslims there's a tremendous fear that the Islamists might gain control. But they dare not say it because it looks un-Islamic. I'm leaving aside the Palestinian issue and speaking now in more general terms. In Indonesia, the majority of Indonesian Muslims are horrified by what the extremists are doing. The same is true in many Muslim countries. Many of the leaders ...

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September 11 Prompts Sober Missions Thinking
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