A YOUNG Arab from a Muslim family who lost his ingrained hatred for Israel after becoming a Christian a few years ago, and who is now suffering at the hands of the PLO Authority's "police" for his faith, told me several days ago. "If it was not for fear of what would happen to them, more than 50 per cent of Muslims in Samaria would convert to Christianity."

It is fear that holds many people in the grip of Islam. And fear, together with misplaced self-interest, leads the "Christian" world to defend Islam even as its adherents rampage across the globe, slitting throats in Algeria, bombing Americans in Arabia, and slaughtering Jews in Jerusalem.

Afraid to call a spade a spade, we refer not to "Muslims" who attack innocent people, but to "Islamic fundamentalists", "Muslim militants", or "extremists in the Muslim world". The intimation is that these people's words and deeds are a perversion of Islam, an aberration.

But in fact it is the Qur'an--the very teaching of Muhammed--which has to be confronted. Because certain Islamic beliefs are in themselves evil.

Yes, some Muslim tenets are evil. Sadly, far too many ofIslam's followers are as well, having fully embraced the dictates of Muhammed, who advocated hatred of the "infidel" and demanded his conversion, persecution or death.

But the vast majority of the millions of Muslims are in bondage, spiritual prisoners some of whom privately admit that they long to be set free from their chains of fear.

Christians should stand against Islam, driven by boldness, compassion and mercy--not fear. We have no need, in fact no right, to fear Islam.

One unbelieving politician in this land has said that Allah has more soldiers in his army than the God of Israel has in His.

Many Israelis may see things that way, but those Jews and Christians who believe the Bible know this is not true.

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