Before the 9/11 attacks on the United States a radical Muslim group called the Taliban had taken control of most of the country of Afghanistan subjecting the people to one of the strictest interpretations of Islamic law ever seen. Music, games, television, recreation and sports were outlawed. Girls weren’t allowed to be educated past the age of eight and even that education was restricted to Quranic studies. Women couldn’t have jobs and were forced to wear the burqa, a baggy tubed sheet that drapes loosely from the top of the head to the ground with only a small mesh window over the face. Amputations of hands and feet were public, routinely carried out in the town soccer stadiums, for crimes such as theft.

On the internet there are still pictures of hands and feet dangling from stringers.

In April of 2001 I traveled with another doctor friend, Rick, into Taliban controlled Afghanistan to do a medical evaluation of some communities that were hit hard by the war and a raging famine. Our first stop was a place called Jalozai, a refugee camp reported as, “the worst humanitarian disaster of the time.” Jalozai was situated in a dry riverbed and eighty thousand Afghans were crammed there.  The first person that we met in Jalozai stood pointing at nearby tents and said, “In this past week a person has died here, here and here.”  On both sides of the dirt road into Jalozai we passed countless graves covered with small fieldstones.

The so-called tents were made of a small piece of plastic stretched over a rope between two wooden poles and we were told that families of five to eight people slept under them and had been doing so for up to eight months.  These “tents” had no sidewalls, no front, and no back.

The temperature when we visited in April was 105 degrees Fahrenheit with the real heat coming in a few months.

In the overbearing heat, the stench of urine and feces was barely tolerable and each canvas latrine, smaller than a telephone booth, serviced hundreds of refugees.  Water and food were distributed to leaders among the people, but every leader that we spoke to said that they received a fraction of what was needed.  The families were getting only a few gallons of water each day for washing and cooking and we estimated that it was about one third of what was required for survival.

The leaders told us the same story for the food.  Every day they had to decide who would eat and who would not.  When we asked the families how they lived, they told us that they had been surviving on “grass tea” for eight months.  Honestly, as doctors, we thought that this was impossible, but we interviewed many families and we kept getting the same story.  Regardless of whether they were exaggerating the hardships, it was still inhumane.  It simply was not right.

Those people were of no less value than you or me, any president or king, yet they were humiliated by unfair circumstances and were subjected to unfair suffering.

In central Afghanistan, Taliban soldiers wore black turbans, carried Kalashnikov machine guns and were everywhere. Because of their presence, there seemed to be a great cloud of terror wherever we went.

The Afghani knew not only loss but also had a fear of something worse. The experience of how great pieces of their lives had been ripped away was fresh upon them and was so very evident in their eyes. Their pain was not only from what they had lost but was also from the manner of that loss and they had no option other than to bear this terror, wondering what could happen in the night and what else could be ripped away while they fought on for survival.

Can you relate to that kind of fear?

I hate to use the word hate, but I hate Islam. It is a religion, brilliantly invented in hell, that tells half-truths, mixed with lies, about God and Jesus, as a way to keep people blind to real Truth. And, it provides opportunity for evil men to interpret that religion in such a way as to create organizations such as the Taliban and ISIS.

Something that I also hate, sadly, is a report that I have repeatedly heard that Americans, including American Christians, hate Muslims. What am I missing here? I believe I am justified in hating Islam, as it was created by the devil as a tactic to oppose God’s purposes, but what right does a Christian have to hate the Muslim followers of that religion that are imprisoned by the devil? Weren’t those that pass this judgement prisoners themselves before they gave their lives as slaves to Jesus? It is like someone who receives sight at the hands of a surgeon hating blind people.

Main Point: All of us were prisoners of a lie. All of us were blind before the Holy Spirit opened our eyes.

So What: Because we have been there—we were blindly following our own gods—we are in the best position to fix the problem of Islam and it is not by killing or ostracizing them. It is by loving them. Then, through the gospel, which you carry around inside of you, their eyes can also be opened. True. God isn’t saving most of them, just like he isn’t saving most of us, but he is going to save many of them. Be a part of it.