The gruesome and tragic reports of persecution—against Christians, moderate Muslims, and others—carried out by the terror group ISIS continue to dominate the headlines. A coalition of nations is now ready to take significant military action to stop the genocide in places like Iraq and Syria, including authorization of the U.S. military to arm and train Syrian rebels. Not since the aftermath of 9/11 has such a broad array of countries appeared so intent on joining together to combat the human rights abuses of ideologically driven extremists.

But do the ideologies of ISIS and similar groups reflect a traditionally accepted interpretation of the Qur’an, or are their tactics a modern perversion of true Islam? Listen as I interview a former Muslim and Qur’an scholar who converted to Christianity and is now involved in ministry to Muslims. In this conversation, Al Fadi (whose true name is not being revealed for security purposes) cites passages from the Muslim holy book that radical groups like ISIS use as justification and motivation for their actions. He talks as well about how and why their reading of the Qur’an differs from that of moderate Muslims.

He also discusses the other motives ISIS has for claiming territory in the Middle East, the conditions that have helped fuel the terror group’s rise to power, how it attracts followers even from the West, and just how brightly the hope of the gospel can still shine amid such a horrific backdrop. As Al Fadi’s insights help add understanding to the situation, let them also sharpen your prayers for him and other believers who are living in or have close ties to this volatile part of the world.