Muslim reporter goes undercover to attend Lou Engle’s Detroit prayer rally
I’m the one they’re after. I’m ‘the enemy,’ the believer in the ‘false idol,’ ‘the darkness’ Jesus needs to cast out of America, the reason they’re spending all night in Detroit’s Ford Field, sending prayers over Michigan mosques ‘like sending special forces into Afghanistan.’ And there are thousands of them, come because Pastor Lou Engle asked them to.
Founder of TheCall, Engle warns that an Islamic movement is rising in Dearborn, Michigan—’Ground Zero’ for America’s spiritual future (and site of a new TLC reality show, All-American Muslim). When I heard the goals for TheCall Detroit—healing America in a time of crisis, accomplishing racial reconciliation, and (here’s where I come in) bringing Jesus to Muslim hearts—I figured a Muslim in the crowd could be a nice twist.
So I was there with them for hours into the late night and hearing their ex-Muslim speaker ridiculously early in the morning, the undercover Muslim surrounded by tens of thousands beside me, praying for Jesus to invade my heart. My plan was to report from the inside, to talk to the attendees as one among devoted thousands (though probably not revealing my religious background, unless I had to and knew where the exits were).
I’d observe firsthand what goes on at a gathering like this. I’d try to understand how such Christians understand Islam. Lou Engle’s world is alien from my New England roots and New York life. I’d attended churches before, but nothing like this. We need to know where this fear and hate come from, what its intentions are, and who it appeals to.