Taken from VirtueOnline.org
Were you shocked by this headline? Perhaps you were, especially if you are familiar with that gracious Christian leader Patrick Sookhdeo. Perhaps as shocked as I was to see a headline on blogistan.co.uk reading "Review of rotten book by the Sookhdevil" - quite an attention-grabber.
Indigo Jo, the blogger who coined that headline, is certainly good with words. He is also a convert to Islam, known as Yusuf, original name Matthew Smith. A self-confessed truck driver with a degree in politics who lives with his parents in Surrey, Matthew Smith has become not just a Muslim but an Islamist. This he makes clear on his website where he describes himself as pro-madhhab Le. pro-sharia.
His blog reviews a review of Patrick Sookhdeo`s respected work "Global Jihad: The future in the face of militant Islam". The book was published back in 2007, which raises the question of why Matthew Smith a.k.a Yusuf a.k.a Indigo Jo should on 31 January 2009 post a damning comment about it on his blog. Conveniently he gives us the answer: "Ben White of Fulcrum, a website for evangelical Anglican Christians, has drawn my attention to a review he has written of Patrick Sookhdeo`s 2007 book Global Jihad."
The plot thickens. Why should an evangelical Christian go out of his way to point out to a radical Muslim a negative review of another evangelical Christian`s book? Was he put up to it by the evangelical group Fulcrum? If so, what was their purpose? To destroy the Sookhdevil and his ministry?
As a matter of fact this kind of betrayal of one Christian by another to a Muslim is not as uncommon as you might think, especially if - as in this case - the betrayer is white and the betrayed is not. Let me give you another example.
In December 2005, Pastor Daniel Scot was speaking in Australia to Christians about Islam. Scot, originally from Pakistan, had moved to Australia because of persecution in his home country, where his bold defence of the Christian faith had led to him being accused under Pakistan`s "blasphemy law". In Victoria, Australia, he had fallen foul of the new state law on religious "vilification", in a case brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria. (Incidentally, Gary Bouma, a white Anglican priest, gave evidence for ICV against Scot because he did not like charismatic Christians.) White Christians who attended the 2005 meeting - which was not in Victoria - took Scot`s material to the Islamic Council of Victoria to get him into still more trouble. Imagine the distress this betrayal caused him.
More recently, and back in the UK, consider the case of CRIB (Christian Responses to Islam in Britain), a body which appears to be administered by the umbrella mission organisation, Global Connections. An invitation-only meeting was called by Bryan Knell of Global Connections, on behalf of a group which included Tim Green, Howard Jones, Steve Bell and Colin Chapman. The 22 participants, who met at All Nations Christian College 21-22 July 2008 and included someone from the college, were sworn to secrecy. At the meeting a document was drafted called "Gracious Christian Responses to Muslims in Britain Today". It is embargoed until the CRIB conference this summer in London, but various prominent Christians in the UK are being approached privately to sign up to it.
So what was this secret meeting for? What is this secret document about? Believe it or not, a main aim of both was to discredit two British Christian leaders who are converts from Islam (one being Patrick Sookhdeo) and a British Christian ministry not connected to either of them. What do the three intended victims have in common? Simply that they all draw attention to the ongoing Islamisation of the UK. In a classic case of shooting the messengers, or rather stabbing them in the back, CRIB condemns these timely warnings for instilling a fear of Islam. It almost beggars belief, yet a number of sources have confirmed it. Ben White, whose foolish, ignorant and spiteful review of "Global Jihad" was prominent on the Fulcrum website for some time, claims to have lectured at All Nations Christian College. Do we detect a pattern emerging? A pattern of victimisation? A pattern of betrayal? And it is all tinged with the age-old evil of racism, not to mention the C hurch`s besetting sin, contempt for converts from Islam.
Maybe you are tempted to comment, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. Why such a fuss?" The fuss is because, in the context of Islam, words can all too easily lead to broken bones - or worse. Daniel Scot received death threats in Pakistan and was threatened by an armed mob on one occasion. Another time he would have been thrown off a balcony by an angry mob of students, except that a professor intervened just in time to save him.
The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Rev. Michael Nazir AIi, of Pakistani origins, now has to have a body guard, not just for himself but also for his Englishborn wife and their two sons. His forthright comments on Islam in Britain have led to death threats from the British Muslim community, threats which the police take very seriously. Furthermore, good ministries are being undermined, and might even be destroyed. Ben White`s review of "Global Jihad" soon appeared on the Church Mission Society, and also on the website of Richard Sudworth, one of their missionaries, who urged people to read the review and see what really underpins the ministry of Barnabas Fund.,Barnabas Fund, headed up by Patrick Sookhdeo, is an aid agency sending practical help to persecuted Christians. If Sudworth`s comment damages its work, he will have reduced the support available for faithful Christians living courageously in hostile contexts. But of course, they are mostly non-white and ma ny of them are converts, so their wellbeing is perhaps of little interest to him.
What could be of more interest to him is the evangelical culture of betrayal which might, just might, affect him too one day. Suppose the habit of betrayal spreads, and the betrayers are themselves betrayed. Sudworth was at one time a missionary in Tunisia, who naturally wanted to keep his own material secret. What if he now seeks to return there, and his activities are reported to radical Muslims in the region? Steve Bell, involved in calling the CRIB meeting at All Nations, heads up Interserve, which also sends white missionaries to the Muslim world. The venue itself, All Nations Christian College, exists to train missionaries to share the Gospel with Muslims amongst others. Global Connections, the home of CRIB, exists to link missionary agencies together. Elaine Storkey, chair of Fulcrum, is also president of Tearfund, a vast relief and development agency which sends Christian workers to many.different countries, some of them extremely sensitive. What if they were denounced to local Muslims, followed and killed? The tentacles of treachery can spread far. Canon Graham Kings, the theological secretary of Fulcrum and also vicar of Islington, north London, who seems to have a personal vendetta against Patrick Sookhdeo, might find that missionaries from his church were betrayed as they served God overseas. He himself might be threatened, or his family.
But putting these possible future scenarios aside, what on earth is going on in the evangelical camp right now? Not only have they turned on each other, but they have even enlisted the aid of a radical Muslim in their attempts to destroy one of their own. Is this a series of unconnected events which coincidentally revolve around the same few people and organisations? Or is there a plan? Was young Ben White officially representing Fulcrum when he contacted Indigo Jo? Or is White a na.ivecat`s paw, who was manipulated into taking this outrageous action? Is he linked through All Nations Christian College to CRIB? Was he chosen for his known hatred of Israel, bordering on anti-Semitism? From anti-Israel to pro-Palestinian to pro-Muslim to anti-convert is not a difficult path to follow. Whoever was behind it, did they hope, expect or know that Indigo Jo would literally demonise their fellow- Christian with the epithet "Sookhdevil"?
----I am white Western missionary. I am writing this because of my concern about what I see happening, in particular the attacks on and betrayal of Christian converts from Islam and other non-white Christians by white Western Christians. I have been in full-time Christian ministry, including evangelism amongst Muslims, for many years. I am concerned at the growing divide between missionaries and converts from Islam. February 2009