Is America the Great Satan?
The regular accusation by
radical Muslims across the Islamic world is that America
is “the Great Satan.” Surely
they say this because of what they see in the United States
that they find wrong. They believe that America is full of
corruption, immorality, debauchery, licentiousness, and unspeakable
perversion. Additionally, they think that this country is
opposed to Islam on many fronts, that it supports the Muslim
enemy of Israel, and that there is little good in the nation.
They oppose the principle of freedom and insist that entire
nations should be ruled by the Koran and Sharia Law. Many
Muslims do appreciate the technological advancements and
the abundant resources in America, but this is not sufficient
for them to overlook the wickedness they find in the country.
Is America “the Great Satan”? This may be answered
in more than one way. The term, “Satan,” in itself,
comes from the Greek satanas, “a Greek form derived
from the Aramaic,” and it means “an adversary” (W.
E. Vine, Expository Dictionary). In the Bible, Satan refers
to the arch-enemy of God, a supernatural spiritual personality
that opposes righteousness and the God of righteousness.
He is also known as the “devil,” a word from
the Greek diabolos, meaning “an accuser, a slanderer” (Vine).
This is a frequent designation (cf. Matthew 4:5; James 4:7).
Satan is referred to as “the tempter” (Matthew
4:3), since he tempts mankind to violate the will of God
and sin. The follower of Christ must resist him (1 Peter
5:9) and not be ignorant of his schemes (Ephesians 6:11;
2 Corinthians 2:11). Indeed, Satan is our malicious enemy, “the
prince of the power of the air” and “the spirit
that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians
Therefore, America cannot
be considered Satan embodied. America is a nation, whereas
Satan is an evil spirit. Yet,
we must admit that most of the citizens, those who do not
know God, are following the ways of Satan. Jesus went so
far as to say that most people are children of Satan (John
8:44) and John said the same (1 John 3:8, 10). The devil
definitely is “working” in most of the American
citizens, as he is in citizens of every other nation on earth.
The apostle John plainly says the truth when he wrote, “The
whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John
We must conclude that the
Muslim claim that America is “the
Great Satan” is only a half truth. If they mean by
this that America is the “adversary” of Islam
(taking the term in its real meaning), even this also is
a half truth. America is a land of liberty and freedom and
doesn’t oppose any religion, per se. This country opposes
the radical elements of Islam that are intent on terroristic
acts of violence, and only in this sense is it an adversary
of Islam. Since America values and promotes freedom, they
oppose the restrictions and oppression found in most Islamic
lands. (Studies indicate that Islamic nations are among the
greatest persecutors of professing Christians.)
Let’s stop for a moment,
however, and consider further why devoted Muslims (not
just the terroristic brand) might
oppose America. It is why they would oppose all Western nations
and many others as well. When we consider the kind of life,
convictions, and standards that devoted and sincere Muslims
hold, it is not surprising that they would not agree with
America and what they find in this nation. Notice, we are
not speaking of hypocritical and liberal Muslims here (who
do not follow the dictates of the Koran), but those people
who are sincere in their Islamic faith. Put yourself in the
shoes of such a Muslim and consider how you would view life
in the United States:
1. In America, adultery is commonplace.
a. In Muslim lands, adultery is a criminal offense!
b. True Christians would agree and recognize that adultery
is a sin that will keep one from the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians
6:9-10) and bring the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:3-7).
In America, sodomy or homosexuality has increased and gained
respectability, with an increasing number of states
recognizing the perversion of “homosexual marriage”!
a. In Muslim lands, homosexuality is denounced as a criminal
b. True Christians would
agree that sodomy (homosexuality or lesbianism) is an
1:26-27) and will
prevent one from entering God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians
3. In America, pornography is not only legalized but has
become a vast business enterprise, with major segments of
the population following this moral filth.
a. In Muslim lands, pornography is considered a grave sin.
b. True Christians would agree that pornography manifests
lusts that degrades marriage (Hebrews 13:4) and will bring
judgment (Matthew 5:27-30; Romans 1:24).
4. In America, crime of many kinds is taken lightly, with
criminals given light sentences.
a. In Muslim lands, criminals are often subjected to quick
and serious punishment (even to the point of unreasonable
punishment, in some cases).
b. True Christians recognize
that God has appointed the state to punish all criminal
and is “an avenger
who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans
5. In America, feminism is running rampant, with women demanding
equality with men in every sphere of private and public life.
a. In Muslim lands, women are greatly restricted and prohibited
from having domination over men, to the point that they are
b. True Christians do recognize that the man is the head
of the woman (1 Corinthians 11:3) and the husband has authority
over the wife (Ephesians 5:22-27; 1 Peter 3:1; Colossians
3:18), yet there is an equality of access to God and blessings
in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
6. In America, nudity of various kinds is practiced by the
vast majority of the citizens.
a. In Muslim lands, women must be fully clothed and immodesty
is severely condemned and punished.
b. True Christians do promote purity and modesty in appearance,
of both men and women (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4; Matthew
7. In America, drinking and drunkenness is protected by
law (except while driving), and the majority of the citizens
do consume alcohol.
a. In Muslim lands, alcoholic consumption is prohibited.
b. True Christians strongly
assert that those who fall into drunkenness will not
kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
8. In America, all kinds of religions are tolerated and
the government is no longer interested in acknowledging God.
a. In Muslim lands, Allah reigns supreme and he is thought
to be the most important consideration of life.
b. True Christians strongly oppose all religions that are
not in harmony with the truth of Jesus Christ and they believe
that God should be acknowledged in every sphere of public
life (although they would deny that the Islamic god is a
true belief of the Scriptural God whose Son, Jesus Christ,
died for our sins.
Every person who values truth and hates dishonesty must
look at these facts and soberly ask himself, who is right
here? Should I accept Islam in light of the fact that some
elements in the Islamic world are more righteous than those
practiced in America? Should I condemn Islam in light of
the fact that they may have a better perspective of some
things than many Americans do? If we side with America and
oppose Islam in these things, we are opposed to God who reveals
His will in His Word.
On the other hand, we must not go to the other extreme and
condone everything that Muslim nations practice! The Christian
is able to stand aloof from nationalistic prejudice that
would cause him to be biased in favor either of the United
States or of the Islamic nations. They are able to view everything
more objectively, in accordance with the truth of God. Notice
the following aspects of Islam that the follower of Jesus
Christ must reject:
1. False prophet. By a false prophet, we refer to a prophet
or one who claims to be a prophet but who stands for the
false or teaches falsehood. Since Muhammad taught false doctrine,
the Word of God would identify him as a false prophet. (1
2. False religion. Since the religion of Islam is built
on a false prophet, this would say that its very foundation
is false, and the religion itself thereby collapses. (1 Corinthians
3. False standard. Since the religion of Islam is built
on a false prophet, the book that Muslims claim came through
him is faulty. The book itself comes from a generation after
the time of Muhammad, and there are numerous logical contradictions
in it. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
4. False teaching. Muslims flatly reject that Jesus is the
Son of the living God. They reject the fact that He died
on the cross for our sins and was resurrected from the grave.
They utterly oppose the truth that Jesus is the only way
to God in heaven.
5. Polygamy. Although Muhammad had numerous wives and promoted
polygamy, a Muslim man today must not have more than four
of them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
6. Paradise. The Islamic paradise is filled with sensual
pleasures and numerous wives for each faithful Muslim. In
the true paradise, there is no marriage and no selfish indulgence.
(Revelation 21:8, 27)
7. Oppression. Islamic oppression of women is well-known.
8. Slavery. One of the greatest promoters of slavery in
the past has been Muslim nations.
9. Opposition to liberty. Although the way of Christ does
not force anyone to accept the teachings of Christ, we know
that faithful Muslims promote full Sharia Law, with all of
its harsh restrictions.
10. Submission rather
than love. Islam means “submission” and,
indeed, true Christianity wholeheartedly teaches submission
and obedience to the living God and Jesus Christ who has
all authority (Matthew 28:18). But a self-giving, sacrificial
love is noticeably missing in the Muslim belief system and
lifestyle, the very principle that Jesus taught so much.
11. Violence. Muhammad
extended his influence through the power of the sword.
Throughout the following centuries, Muslims
spread across the Middle East, North Africa, and as far as
Spain through the barbaric use of the sword. Even today, “radical” terrorists
kill tens of thousands of innocent people in the name of
their religion. The teaching of jihad (holy war) says that
war should be waged against enemies of Islam.
Obviously, we don’t want to give an exhaustive treatment
of this issue. Our purpose here has been to show how false
the Muslim claim that America is “the Great Satan” is
and to show that Satan is very active in both America as
well as all of the Islamic lands. He holds the entire world
in his malicious and deceptive control (1 John 5:19). Every
person on earth is influenced by the devil until he is liberated
from this diabolical grasp through the power of God in the
person of Jesus Christ.
The Christian must realize
that it is not part of God’s
will for him to bring violence on either America or Muslim
countries. The true believer in Christ does not exercise
judgment but is peaceful in nature (Matthew 5:9, 38-44; 26:52).
While God opposes sin in every nation on earth, He is the
One who will decide when to bring judgment—and this
He will do in His own good time and in His own way. When
Jesus returns in judgment, “in flaming fire,” He
will deal out retribution “to those who do not know
God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2
Thessalonians 1:7-8), and this applies to ever person on
earth in every nation on earth—whether it be the United
States, Iran, Iraq, the Sudan, or Egypt.
Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way, and the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John
14:6). He is the only way that Muslims (as well as Hindus,
Jews, Buddhists, and false “Christians”) may
be saved from sin and find eternal joy in God’s presence.
Jesus has said, “If the Son makes you free, you will
be free indeed” (John 8:36). He offers true freedom
from sin, false religion, and nationalism when one is willing
to come to Him in repentant faith expressed in baptism.
America is definitely not “the Great Satan”—but
Satan is active in the life of every person who refuses to
bow the knee to Jesus Christ and confess Him as living Lord,
wherever he or she lives.