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Death Threats From Muslim Students

Monday, 18 July, American missionary, Timothy Keller, was surrounded by a mob of Muslim students at the University of Pretoria threatening him and demanding that the his missions display be removed. Tim had been officially invited by the University Missions Committee to take part in their “Go Love the Nations” Missions Week 2005.


Within two hours of setting up the Frontline Fellowship missions display, Timothy began to receive hostile reactions from Muslim students, some of whom swore and cursed him, and threatened his life. Soon a mob of fifteen to twenty Muslim students were surrounding the mission display shouting and swearing at Tim. Some tore up or burned the missions literature. A Muslim member of the Student Representative Council then fetched the Dean of students to inform Tim that he had to dismantle the Frontline mission display.

That afternoon, Tim was informed by the TUKS Missions Committee that they could not allow the mission display to be set up again. It was mentioned that the Frontline Fellowship newsletters, in what it reported on the activities and teachings of Muslims, were too offensive to Muslim students.


On the same day, the Frontline Fellowship mission in Cape Town received a number of hostile phone calls. Two phone calls were with people who identified themselves as Muslim students of the University of Pretoria. The first was from a Muslim woman who was quite abusive and emotional. When asked for any specific factual inaccuracies in the mission publications she preferred to curse and threaten retribution for having “insulted the prophet Muhammad”. She asked how dare they come to what she termed “our university”. When asked which university that was, she reiterated: “Pretoria University, our university”. She was asked whether universities were not meant to be places of free speech. Her answer made clear that she believed that freedom of speech should only be for Islam, not Christianity.

When asked her if she, as a woman, would be free to drive a motorcar in Saudi Arabia, or whether she would have the vote in Saudi Arabia, she became particularly emotional and abusive, and asked “what the hell does that have to do with you? Saudi Arabia is our country! It's none of your business what we do in our country!” When asked how Pretoria University could be “her” university and Saudi Arabia be her home at the same time, she slammed the phone down.

The second caller was more controlled, but also threatened serious consequences and hell fire for having “insulted the prophet Muhammad”. The mission made clear that if there were any factual errors in their publications, they would be keen to rectify that. The caller didn't mention any specific inaccuracies in the publications, but only that it was “insulting to the prophet Muhammad”. He defended the fact that there were no churches or missionaries allowed in Saudi Arabia, because it is a Muslim country. When asked how then he could object to a Christian mission having a display at a Christian Missions Week in the University of Pretoria, he reiterated that Pretoria is “our University” and the missionaries were not welcome there.


“These abusive phone calls, coming along with a death threat, received last week, and a Muslim mob intimidating a students Mission Committee to expel a mission to Muslims from the university Missions Week, has ominous implications.” Said missionary Dr. Peter Hammond, the author whose writings seem to have been the focus of the abusive calls.

The death threat informed him that as the Editor of Frontline Fellowship News, he was: “... worthy of death, not by stoning, but to be cut up piece by piece, and your remains given to dogs and hyenas…”

The letter, which came to the mission by fax, said that they “should be eliminated from the face of this earth. You have the audacity to insult 2 billion adherents to this mighty and great religion, the perfect and final religion of the almighty. ... the last and final prophet of god, namely the holy prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) without retribution from just one person of the 2 billion plus Muslim men and women of the face of this earth, .... The Fatwa will definitely come for you, ... You are worthy of death…Go burn in hell…LONG LIVE ISLAM, AMANDLA ISLAM.”


This was not the first death threat that missionary Peter Hammond has received from Muslim extremists. The official Government of Sudan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, website posted an article “Why Churches In Sudan Are Not Bombed” which bluntly stated that Peter Hammond should “expect to be bombed” every time he comes to Sudan, he should “expect to be shot on sight”. They even gave the reason: “Because his writings make him an enemy of the state!” Frontline Fellowship has also had Muslims at the gate of the mission headquarters in Cape Town complaining about their Muslim Evangelism Workshop Manual.

“All of this, taken along with the bombings and assassinations by Muslim extremists worldwide, hardly support the contention of those who say that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance,” was the comment of Rev. Hammond.


“Universities are meant to be places of critical investigation. Freedom of speech is an essential foundation for any serious education. Universities must be a free market place of ideas where dissent, disagreements, debates and open discussion - without threats and interference with the freedom of others.”


“The TUKS Missions Week is the biggest Christian activity on the campus of Pretoria University. That threats by Muslim students should intimidate a missions committee to exclude a mission to Muslims has far reaching implications. If a university cannot protect freedom of speech, and if a missions week cannot exercise freedom of religion, without threats of violence, what are the implications for other universities and missions weeks?”

Dr. Hammond phoned the Chairperson of the Missions Committee and she informed him that the Missions Committee had no choice because: “We were scared for his life”; “We did not want to have trouble…”; “We can't provide 24 hour security…”; “We can't have a riot on campus…”; “Your exhibitor was in danger…”; “He was threatened”.

So, he asked why it was that the victim of this threat of violence was the one being excluded, instead of those students who had done the threatening?


Dr. Hammond was told that the missions’ literature was “insensitive”, that UP is a multi-racial, multi-cultural university which needed to be sensitive to other beliefs. Dr. Hammond pointed out that The End of Islam article was only a reaction to relentless Islamic propaganda against Christianity. The article, and the book on which it is based, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam – the Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, seeks to objectively and factually answer the relentless propaganda of Muslim publications.


Dr. Hammond asked the following questions: “If a group of non-Christians are allowed to interfere with the freedom of conscience, belief and opinion of Christian students and intimidate organisers of a missions event to exclude a mission to Muslims, where is that going to end? If every mission to Muslims is excluded from Missions Weeks, then can the Hindus not insist that missions to Hindus are similarly excluded? Are Missions Weeks only to consist of those organisations which do not offend anyone? Is it possible to undertake missions without offending some people?


“Is it justice when the victims of violent threats are excluded instead of those guilty of making the violent threats? Are the victims always to blame?


“How effective will our universities be, if they tolerate such threats to freedom of speech? How effective will Missions Weeks be if Muslim militants are allowed to determine which missions may participate? Is this part of a larger campaign to sideline Christianity off the campuses?


“I have been a missionary for 26 years. For most of that time I have specialised in Islam. By God's grace, I have had the privilege of smuggling some of the largest shipments of Bibles ever delivered into an officially Islamic country. The Frontline Fellowship mission base in Sudan was bombed ten times by the Sudan Air Force. I've come under artillery and rocket attack and aerial bombardments while preaching in churches in Sudan.

“We expect opposition from militant Muslims. What we do not expect is that Christians would bow so quickly to the intimidation and threats of those people who we should be committed to reaching for our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Dr. Peter Hammond is the author of over 20 books, the Editor of Frontline Fellowship News and Christian Action and an international speaker. The police are investigating the threats on his life. For further information contact:

Frontline Fellowship

PO Box 74, Newlands, 7725, Cape Town

South Africa

E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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