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From Vienna to Oklahoma

The world was shocked by a recent mass shooting in Vienna, Austria. The shooting was carried out by a 20-year-old Austrian born Muslim youth who had just completed a prison sentence for ties to a terrorist group. He had been linked to a terrorist group and was caught attempting to travel to Iraq to join ISIS. The mass killing has shocked this restive European city and left it asking, “Why?” Across Europe, the larger questions are: “What would motivate a youth born into a Western society of freedom to turn against its own citizens?” “Is this the beginning of a new type of radicalization in Europe?” Many have anticipated such an attack seeing it rooted in the Islamic ideology of the blasphemy laws in some Muslim lands. Terrorism from within has startled some people in France, while other people think it is an anomaly. They believe a person raised with a secular worldview would not commit such acts. This incident, however, exemplifies how Islamic ideology can impact a Muslim raised in a secular environment.

Across the Atlantic, as election returns are coming in across the United States, one winner stands out. Maureen Turner, a young Muslim, won her race for election to the Oklahoma state house by a large majority. Her district in Oklahoma City tends to be open to diversity. What is more striking than her religious affiliation as a Muslim is that she is also openly nonbinary. She will join five public LGBTQ elected officials in Oklahoma, a state known for its conservative base. Nonbinary, or commonly called genderqueer, is a gender identity that is not exclusively masculine or feminine but “outside” gender. This, too, is an example of a secular ideology having a profound impact on a Muslim raised in a secular environment.

From Vienna to Oklahoma, we are seeing the impact that secular ideology and Islamic ideology are having on Muslim youth. These may be isolated incidences in Vienna and Oklahoma, but they are proof of a shift in our world. It serves as a call for the church to be actively engaged in reaching the Muslims of our world before radical Islam or secular humanism produces more of such cases. Islamic ideology has a global plan—to revert all people to the religion of Islam. The secular ideology is just as diabolical, as it tries to deny all divine influence in the affairs of humankind. Both of these worldviews deny the God of the Bible, deny the person of Jesus Christ, and deny the true need of mankind, which is the need of a Savior. Please pray for the Muslims of our world who are finding no hope or peace in Islam, which draws some people to radicalized forms of Islam or secularized humanistic worldviews. From Vienna to Oklahoma, the Muslim world is changing. Please pray!

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