Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Open Letter to Saudi Muslims

I recently read of the martyrdom of Fatima Al-Matayri who was killed in August, 2008, because of her belief in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior from sin.

Saut Ul-ukdud 12/8/2008 – 1:11am
A Saudi citizen working for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in the Eastern Province dared to kill his sister for allegedly converting to the Christian religion. According to sources close to the victim, the murderer attacked the girl by burning her and then he cut out her tongue. When the news broke about the murder of the girl, Christian Internet sites, which the victim had been participating in under pseudonyms, grieved. These sites set apart special pages to mourn the girl’s death, while some of them closed down to mourn her death. Several days before her murder, the victim had written to the “Arab Christians Forum”, of which she had been a member under the pseudonym “Rania”. The girl indicated through her correspondence with the forum that she was living in a very difficult situation, being that her family had begun to doubt her after an argument about religion---and in addition to that, the argument intensified, making her brother demand that she repent. This gave way to her receiving a flood of insults from her brother, who rebuked the Internet, which had contributed, in his view, to the changing of his sister’s morals and religion. This is after his finding a folder containing Christian thoughts, in her pen, as well as a symbol of the cross on her personal computer. The Free Copts site publicized a message and reported that it was received from the victim’s friend. She indicates that obscurity enshrouds the crime, and she confirmed that the killer was behind bars and was under investigation on the notion that the case is related to honor. (Source

Reading of her death saddened me so much for it is hard to think of the brutality of people who kill innocent people. 

Pascal wrote a long time ago about people who do terrible evils thinking that they are doing a good service to God. “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious convictions.” (894) He also wrote, “If it is an extraordinary blindness to live without investigating what we are, it is a terrible one to live an evil life, while believing in God.” (495)  The death of Fatima is not an isolated case. It has been practiced since the early days of Islam. Killing those who disagree with you does not solve the problem. Instead, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of future growth in the Christian view of things. 

Her brother declared: "This Internet changed you, changed your behavior, and changed your religion." This is only half true. What changed her was reading the Bible and learning the truth about it as well as about the Qur’an. She wrote: 

During the past few weeks, I have been doing an honest and comprehensive study of Christianity. Muslims say in their Islamic forum that according to the Quran, the Christian and Jewish Holy Books both mention Muhammad. I read all of the verses, references, and evidence that Muslims use to support their assertion. I found nothing! I wondered, where did the Bible mention Muhammad? Where did the Bible speak about the message of Muhammad? In doing this search, I was honest with myself for the first time in my life! I felt that the Bible was intact and that the evidence offered to support the corruption of the Bible was unreasonable and meaningless. While I was reading the Bible, I felt that God was very near, that there were no barriers between us and that I had no fears. (Source)

What is significant about her comments is this: in her reading of the Bible not only did she find it credible, but God spoke through the words of the Bible and “that there were no barriers between us and that I had no fears.” This is one of the major differences between Islam and commitment to Jesus – no barriers and no fears.   Muslims do not have a sense of the presence of Allah, but the believer in Jesus has a sense of His presence.  The Bible is the book most feared by the Saudi government, for it brings everlasting life to those who trust in Jesus. 

Fatima used the internet to communicate with other believers in Jesus. Saudi Arabia has been a closed society for centuries.  The harsh treatment, and often fatal treatment, of Christians has kept the growth of Christians in the country.  However, modern communication has opened the door and people are learning the real truth about the Bible and about who Jesus really is. 

There are others in SA who have given their hearts to Jesus.  One person was discussing the death of Fatima and remarked, “It’s not that strange. I know others like her.”  Like the story of Elijah (1 Kings 19:18 ) there are Saudis who no longer bow the knee to Allah at mandated times, but have a continuing conversation with Jesus throughout the day.  Their qibla is no longer Mecca, but Jesus.

Fatima’s journey from Islam took her to atheism first. This is very interesting since many former Muslims become atheists. Fatima wrote, “I became an atheist. The shock I felt when I studied Islam was enough to drive me to atheism and away from any other religion!”

If you will check these pages (1, 2) you will discover a large number of people who leave Islam and become atheists or agnostic. There are a number of them who progress from delusion about Islam to faith in Jesus.

There are a number of other sites in which former Muslims give their stories of the journey away from Islam. You can compare them in the following:

If you wish to read more about Fatima, some of her poems and story can be found on this page. This is available in English and Arabic.

There are many people praying for the Muslim world. They are praying that Muslims may be liberated from the slavery of Islam. They are praying for freedom for Muslims to make decisions about God on their own. They are praying that the culture may be changed so that women are not second class citizens, and female children will no longer be “cut” at an early age.

They are praying that rape victims may no longer be viewed as bringing dishonor to the family, but people will pursue the rapists and bring them to justice.  There is a litany of concerns that people share in praying for the Muslim world, and Saudi Arabia particularly.  Most specifically, they are praying that Muslims have a personal relation with Jesus, the source of everlasting life in the presence of God.

May the presence of Jesus come to your lives.

Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.