ORLANDO – Born and raised in Egypt, Usama Dakdok believes he knows a lot about the Koran and its teachings. He’s studied the religious text of Islam, which Muslims hold is the divine guidance and moral direction for mankind, and the final revelation of God.
“I read the Koran, I studied the Koran, and I learned about Islam,” Dakdok said.
Dakdok was raised in a Christian household in a heavily Muslim country, and now lives in the United States, where he runs the Straight Way of Grace Ministry, a traveling church committed to preaching the glory of Jesus Christ as mankind’s savior – and, he noted “to tell the truth about Islam.”
It’s a truth, he said, that very few Muslims around the world truly understand, because in Dakdok’s view, not many actually bother to read the Koran and fully comprehend what it says. More often, he said, they blindly follow their political and religious leaders’ interpretations.
“My people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge,” Dakdok said. “We all need to be educated.”
On Wednesday, Dakdok was the guest speaker at the Encounter Church, which opened its doors last August in a building at the corner of E. Robinson Street and Bumby Avenue in downtown Orlando. The pastor, Blake Lorenz, said the new church welcomes guest speakers, particularly those who can help them spread the message that Christianity, not Islam, represents the true word of God. The church believes these are the end times, and the conflict between Christianity and Islam is going to grow even greater in the coming years.
“We need to get educated, don’t we?” Lorenz said. “We need to get educated – and act.”
As part of that, Encounter Church is starting a five week course, beginning next week, called “Behind The Veil.”
“It will talk about the historic truth that we’ve got a book written on Christianity, rather than the false message of Islam,” Lorenz said.
On Wednesday, Encounter Church also hosted Alan Korman, the Orlando chapter coordinator ACT! For America, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate Americans about what it sees as the threat of Islamic terrorism, and what its literarure calls the “tyranny of Islamofascism.”
ACT! believes a Jihad (Holy War) has been declared on America, and the people of this nation need to unite and fight back.
It was Korman who sponsored Dakdok’s speaking program at the church.
“We run the (Orlando) ACT! chapter and we’re trying to have speakers once a month,” Korman said. “Usama was born in Egypt, and he understands the Muslim brotherhood and what they mean and how they are a threat to us in America.’
Dakdok said anyone can understand the message of the Koran if they simply read the book, which he has done. But very few people, he said, take the time to do this, so the actual message of the Koran gets lost to millions.
“Islam is not what somebody claims, but what is written in the Koran,” he said. “We get two completely separate versions. Some say Islam is a peaceful and loving religion – ‘I love my neighbor.’ Some would say Islam is the most barbaric religion. Which one is right?”
He noted that in Indonesia, there are “210 million Muslims who have never read the Koran. You go to where they worship and they are chanting, and I say, ‘Do you know what you just said?’ They have no clue.”
The same is true of Muslims in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and other countries, he said.
“None of these people know about Islam. They never learned it,” he said.
Dakdok said he and his church have adopted this mission themselves, “revealing the truth about Islam. Why is it the truth? That’s because it is in the book. As long as this stuff is there, I’m going to teach it.”
Dakdok said the message is one of oppression, not a free exchange of ideas, cultures and religious and political differences. This is particularly true in Europe today, he said, where cities are confrotning painful cultural and religious clashes as the Muslim population there grows.
“People like me 40 years ago spoke in churches in Europe, and 30 years later, Europe is crying out for help, and there is no help,” he said. “The signs of protestors read ‘Democracy Go to Hell, Freedom Go to Hell.’ In Islam – no democracy. In Islam – no freedom.”
Christians, he said, need to understand their values and beliefs are being challenged, even threatened, by Islam.
“Jesus said ‘I will die and I will rise again,’ “ Dakdok said. “Do Muslim people believe Jesus rose again? No. Muslims believe Jesus is a bad person, a blasphemer.”
Korman said this is more than just an academic question for religious scholars. He noted the case of Rifqa Bary, a teenager who fled her home in Ohio after claiming she had converted to Christianity, and her parents had threatened to kill her for it.
The case became a cause celebre, until Oct. 13, 2009, when Orange County Judge Daniel P. Dawson ruled that he would return Bary to Ohio. She was temporarily placed in the custody of the Franklin County (Ohio) Children Services. In June 2010, Bary graduated from high school and on Aug. 10, she turned 18 and her custody with Franklin County Children Services ended.
Korman said the case showed that Islam tolerates no dissension, and does not preach personal freedom.
“You have three chances to go back to Islam,” he said. “She pretended to go back – and she didn’t. This is where political Islam impacted a life here in America.”
Encounter Church is at 2320 E. Robinson St. To learn more, call 407-858-0351 or email email@example.com.
To learn more about ACT! For America, call 407-497-3541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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