Bill Warner is a man with very impressive accomplishments.
He's the creator of PoliticalIslam.com. Since 2007, an ongoing analysis and documentation of Islam as a political force rather than as primarily a religion.
Political Islam - this isn't a term that has always existed. It comes from Bill, to name the reality he and others saw ever more clearly: that Islam is very deeply also a political ideology.
It's so important to have words for things. And in fact, that term, political Islam, is now being used more and more widely.
A very brief definition: Political Islam is Islam's ideology about unbelievers, kafirs. A rough estimate is that 270 million people have been killed by jihad.
More recently, Bill has begun using the term, political sharia, which is also now being used by others - making it clear that sharia is likewise political. Sharia: "a legal/social codification for every society to march in lock-step doing life’s smallest details modeled after what the Koran says and Mohammed said and did." Much of it, like political Islam, has to do with non-believers, kafirs.
And even more recently, he has taken another huge step, moved from the emphasis on facts, to feelings. Where is the moral outrage, he asks when he speaks in churches, about the massive persecution of Christians? We need to touch the emotions, he has come to recognize.
Still, the facts are vital - as in his Factual Persuasion. We've all heard that all religions are basically the same. We've likely learned that this isn't so - that, for instance, the kill-the-infidel message of the Quran. goes way beyond anything found in the Old and New Testaments.
In Factual Persuasion, Bill provides documentation, counting, charts - facts about Islam, the truth about what is in the Quran. and other Islamic religious texts. So if someone says, oh it's the same in all religions, one can go: actually, no, here are the numbers. Facts and more facts. Like, percent of the Quran. devoted to Jihad: 9 - an incredibly high percentage.
If you haven't downloaded your copy of Factual Persuasion, it's available free to everyone who registers for the teleseminar series.
You can also get many of his ideas in this powerful video - Why We Are Afraid, A 1400 Year Secret:
But Bill Warner, the man? What about him?
What kind of man is he?
Now he has an office with Oriental rugs on the floor.
That office - it's so very far from where he started. Dirt poor, no indoor plumbing until he left home after high school. "White trash" is a popular term for the people he came from. That wasn't Bill's experience. A strong moral and religious upbringing. By the time he was 16, he was teaching adult Bible classes.
So, did he go in a straight line from Bible thumper to anti-Islam bigot?
The first person from his town to go to university, he was drawn to exploring different ways of seeing the world. Different art, like Oriental art. And from that to Oriental belief systems, like Taoism. Later, for a year, Sufism - mystical Islam. But then he left. There were aspects that left him unquiet - violence lurking at the edges.
It was decades later - still years before 9/11 - that he took another look at Islam.
But the moment his life changed happened on 9/11. It was when he saw the second plane crash into the second tower. He knew at that moment that his life had changed forever, and he knew what his mission was.
Bill Warner, a soft spoken man who has always cared to look deeply, to explore, and to reach others. Friendly, considerate - and yet you can hear not just the power of his convictions, the depth of his knowledge, but also his love for our world with its freedoms.