“Pilgrim’s Progress” : “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers….”

The Quran FROM The Religion Of Peace.com
The Quran: Quran  (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo!  Allah is forgiving and merciful.   And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”  The  historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims  had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan  adversaries.  In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that  Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did).  The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is  thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and  oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse).  The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can  mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation.   Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized  until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their  unbelief.Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth  all things.”

Quran (2:216) – Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is  possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing  which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”  Not  only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also  contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the  audience was obviously not under attack at the time.  From the Hadith, we  know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in  this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that  they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.  This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity  (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for  the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious,  on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”  The martyrs of Islam are  unlike the early Christians, led meekly to the slaughter.  These Muslims  are killed in battle, as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the  cause of Allah.  Here is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the  same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in  the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize  them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or  helpers from their ranks.”

Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and  those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their  persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with  their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith)  Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished  above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-”  This passage  criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting  them know that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes.  It also  demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the  Quran, but  rather a spiritual struggle.  Not only is the Arabic word used in this  passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the  physically disabled are given exemption.  (The Hadith reveals the context  of the passage to be in response to a blind man’s protest that he is unable to  engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then  surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”  Is pursuing  an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and  strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered  or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides  or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this  world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore  strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”  No  reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

Quran (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not  your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless  maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath  from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”

Quran (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder,  unbelief) and religion should  be only for Allah”  Some translations interpret “fitna” as  “persecution”, but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported  by the historical context (See notes for  2:293, also).  The Meccans were simply refusing  Muhammad access to their city during Haj.  Other Muslims were allowed  to travel there – just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on  Mecca prior to his eviction.  The Meccans were also acting in defense of  their religion, since it was Muhammad’s intention to destroy their idols and  establish Islam by force (which he later did).  Hence the critical part of  this verse is to fight until “religion is only for Allah”,  meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the  opposition.   According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that “Allah must have no rivals.”

Quran (8:57) – “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in  those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”

Quran (8:59-60) – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s  Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape.  Make ready for them all thou canst of  (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of  Allah and your enemy.”

Quran (8:65) – “O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”

Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters  wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait  for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the  poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”  According to this  verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam  (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion’s  Five Pillars).  This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence  within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as  well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack.   Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make  it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months).   The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by  Muhammad and posed no threat.  Once the Muslims had the power, they  violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

Quran (9:14) – “Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to  disgrace…”

Quran (9:20) – “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth  and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These  are they who are triumphant.”  The Arabic word interpreted as  “striving” in this verse is the same root as “Jihad”.  The context is  obviously holy war.

Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that  forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge  the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they  pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”  “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews.  According to  this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification  being their religious status.  This was one of the  final “revelations” from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military  expansion, in which Muhammad’s companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the  Christian world in the next 100 years.  Islam is intended to dominate  all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The  Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate  the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are  turned away!”

Quran (9:38-39) – “O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to  go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the  life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as  compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a  grievous penalty, and put others in your place.”  This is a warning to  those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41) – “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and  your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.”  See also the verse that follows (9:42)  – “If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would  (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed)  on them”  This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in  self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long  distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case,  according to the historians).

Quran (9:73) – “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be  unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”  Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that they are merely  firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter.  It also explains  why today’s devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

Quran (9:88) – “But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with  their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they  who will prosper.”

Quran (9:111) – “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for  theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and  slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the  Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah?  then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement  supreme.”

Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and  let them find in you hardness.”

Quran (17:16) – “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people  of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves  true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.”  Note that  the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is “utter destruction.”   (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an  invitation to Islam).

Quran  (18:65-81) – This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a  family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either  through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion.  The story (which is not  found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with  “special knowledge” who does things which don’t seem to make sense on the  surface, but are then justified according to later explanation.  One such  action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74).  However, the wise  man later explains that it was feared that the boy would “grieve” his parents by  “disobedience and ingratitude.”  He was killed so that Allah could provide  them a ‘better’ son.  (Note: This is one reason why honor killing  is sanctioned by Sharia.  Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says  that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills  their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

Quran (21:44) – “We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until  the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land  (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?”

Quran (25:52) – “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the  utmost strenuousness…”   “Strive against” is  Jihad – obviously not in the personal context.  It’s also significant to  point out that this is a Meccan verse.

Quran  (33:60-62) – “If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the  alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them,  then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while.  Accursed, they  will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”    This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered “merciless” and “horrible murder”  in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to  “fight in the way of Allah” (3:167)  and hence don’t act as Muslims should), those with “diseased hearts” (which include Jews and  Christians 5:51-52), and “alarmists” or “agitators who include those who merely speak  out against Islam, according to Muhammad’s biographers.  It is worth noting  that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today’s  terrorists do.  If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of  Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah’s eternal word to Muslim  generations.

Quran (47:3-4) – “Those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe  follow the truth from their lord.  Thus does Allah set forth form men their  lessons by similitude.  Therefore when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks  until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners,”  Those who reject Allah are to be subdued in battle.  The verse goes on to  say the only reason Allah doesn’t do the dirty work himself is in order to to  test the faithfulness of Muslims.  Those who kill pass the test. “But if  it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them  (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But  those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be  lost.”

Quran (47:35) – “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be  uppermost (Shakir: “have the upper hand”) for Allah is with you,” 

Quran (48:17) – “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is  there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth  Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers  flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.”  Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means ‘spiritual struggle.’   Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted?  This verse also  says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

Quran (48:29) – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless)  against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”  Islam is not about treating everyone equally.  There are two very  distinct standards that are applied based on religious status.  Also the  word used for ‘hard’ or ‘ruthless’ in this verse shares the same root as the  word translated as ‘painful’ or severe’ in verse 16.

Quran (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way”  Religion of Peace, indeed! The verse explicitly refers to “battle array”  meaning that it is speaking of physical conflict.  This is followed by (61:9): “He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the  religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even  though the infidels may resist.”  (See next verse, below).   Infidels who resist Islamic rule are to be fought.

Quran (61:10-12) – “O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you  from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ),  and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and  your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will  forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and  pleasant dwelling in Gardens of ‘Adn – Eternity [‘Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is  indeed the great success.”  This verse refers to physical battle  in order to make Islam victorious over other religions (see above).  It uses  the Arabic word, Jihad.

Quran (66:9) – “O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be  stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.”  The root word of “Jihad” is used again here.  The context is clearly holy  war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include “hypocrites” – those who  call themselves Muslims but do not act as such.

From the Hadith:Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be  established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will  be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” Bukhari (52:256) – The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to  attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women  and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are  from them (i.e. pagans).”  In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is  permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy.   This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings.

Bukhari (52:65) – The Prophet said, ‘He who fights that Allah’s Word,  Islam, should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.  Muhammad’s words  are the basis for offensive Jihad – spreading Islam by force.  This is how  it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today.

Bukhari (52:220) – Allah’s Apostle said… ‘I have been made victorious  with terror’

Abu Dawud (14:2526) – The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things  are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, “There is  no god but Allah” and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and  not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be  performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day  the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist)

Abu Dawud (14:2527) – The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah  (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler,  whether he is pious or impious

Muslim (1:33) – the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to  fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that  Muhammad is the messenger of Allah

Bukhari (8:387) – Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the  people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’.   And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we  slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not  interfere with them except legally.”

Muslim (1:30) – “The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so  long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Bukhari (11:626) [Muhammad said:] “I decided to order a man to  lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their  houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.”

Muslim (1:149) – “Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which  of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and  Jihad in His cause…”

Muslim (20:4645) – “…He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said:  There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade  one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal  to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that  act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!”

Muslim (20:4696) – “the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:  ‘One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any  desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'”

Muslim (19:4321-4323) – Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over  the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against  unbelievers.  His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”

Muslim (19:4294) – “When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)  appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort  him… He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight  against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…  When you meet  your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If  they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from  doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you,  accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to  accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from  them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help  and fight them.”

Bukhari 1:35  “The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty ( if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise ( if he is killed).” 

Tabari 7:97  The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew  who falls under your power.”  Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s  men because he insulted Islam.  Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his  orders to kill.  An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his  Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

Tabari 9:69  “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us”  The words of  Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Tabari 17:187  “‘By God, our religion (din) from which we have departed is better and more  correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them  from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.’ And they  returned to their former religion.”  The words of a group of Christians  who had converted to Islam, but realized their error after being shocked by the  violence and looting committed in the name of Allah.  The price of their  decision to return to a religion of peace was that the men were beheaded and the  woman and children enslaved by the caliph Ali.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 327: – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A  slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of  this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires  killing them to manifest the religion.’”

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 990: –  Lest anyone think that cutting off someone’s head while screaming ‘Allah Akbar!’  is a modern creation, here is an account of that very practice under Muhammad, who  seems to approve.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.”  Muhammad’s instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

Saifur Rahman, The Sealed Nectar  p.227-228“Embrace Islam… If you two accept Islam, you will remain  in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember  that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your  land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship.”   One of several letters from Muhammad to rulers of other countries.  The  significance is that the recipients were not making war or threatening Muslims.   Their subsequent defeat and subjugation by Muhammad’s armies was justified  merely on the basis of their unbelief.


Additional Notes: Other than the fact that Muslims haven’t killed every  non-Muslim under their domain, there is very little else that they can point to  as proof that theirs is a peaceful, tolerant religion.  Where Islam is dominant (as in the Middle East and Pakistan) religious minorities suffer brutal  persecution with little resistance.  Where Islam is in the minority (as in  Thailand, the Philippines and Europe) there is the threat of violence if  Muslim demands are not met.  Either situation seems to provide a  justification for religious terrorism, which is persistent and endemic to  Islamic fundamentalism.The reasons are obvious and begin with the Quran.  Few  verses of Islam’s most sacred text can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance  and universal brotherhood.  Those that do are earlier “Meccan” verses  which  are obviously abrogated by later ones.  This is why Muslim apologists  speak of the “risks” of trying to interpret the  Quran  without their “assistance” – even while claiming that it is a perfect book.

Far from being mere history or theological construct, the  violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and  genocide.  This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of  Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni’s  bloody conquest.  Both he and the later Tamerlane (Islam’s Genghis Khan)  slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from  destruction.  Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian  subcontinent.  Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more  slowly) in areas  conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe,  including today’s Turkey.  Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian  people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

So ingrained is violence in the religion that Islam has  never really stopped being at war, either with other religions or with itself.

Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns,  massacring the men,  raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking  the property of others as his own.  On several occasions he  rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butchered captives.  He actually inspired his followers to battle when they  did not feel it was right to fight,   promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if  they did not.  Muhammad allowed his men to  rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their  husbands and family members were slaughtered.

It is important to emphasize that, for the most part, Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and the religion’s most dramatic military conquests  were made by the actual companions of Muhammad in the decades following his death.  The  early Islamic principle of warfare was that the civilian population of a town was  to be destroyed (ie. men executed, women and children taken as slaves) if they  defended themselves.  Although modern apologists often claim that  Muslims are only supposed to attack in self-defense, this is an oxymoron  that is  flatly contradicted by the accounts of Islamic historians and others that go back  to the time of Muhammad.

Consider the example of the Qurayza Jews, who were completely  obliterated only five years after Muhammad arrived in Medina.  Their leader  opted to stay neutral when their town was besieged by a Meccan army that   was sent to  take revenge for Muhammad’s deadly caravan raids.  The tribe killed no one  from either side and even surrendered peacefully to Muhammad after the Meccans  had been turned back.  Yet the prophet of Islam had every male member of  the Qurayza beheaded, and every woman and child enslaved, even raping one of the  captives himself (what Muslim apologists might refer to as “same day marriage”).

One of Islam’s most revered modern scholars, Sheikh Yusuf  al-Qaradawi, openly sanctions offensive Jihad: “In the Jihad which you are  seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is  invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way.”  Elsewhere, he  notes: “Islam has the right to take the initiative…this is God’s religion and it is for the whole  world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form  of institutions and traditions … it attacks institutions and  traditions to release human beings from their poisonous  influences, which distort human nature and curtail human freedom.  Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life.”

The widely respected Dictionary of Islam defines Jihad as “A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the  mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the  Qur’an and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for  the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims…[Quoting from  the Hanafi school, Hedaya, 2:140, 141.], “The destruction of the sword is  incurred by infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears  from various passages in the traditions which are generally received to this  effect.”

Muhammad’s failure to leave a clear  line of succession resulted in perpetual internal war following his death.   Those who knew him best first fought to keep remote tribes from leaving Islam  and reverting to their preferred religion (the Ridda or ‘Apostasy wars’).  Then, within the closer community,  early Meccan converts battled later ones.  Hostility developed between those  immigrants who had traveled with Muhammad to Mecca and the Ansar at Medina who  had helped them settle in.  Finally there was a violent struggle within  Muhammad’s own family between his favorite wife and favorite daughter – a jagged  schism that has left Shias and Sunnis at each others’ throats to this day.

The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about  Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace.  If every standard by which the  West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny,  sexual repression, warfare…) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating.  Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion,  culture, language or life.  Neither does it make apologies or any real  effort at moral progress.  It is the least open to dialogue and the most  self-absorbed.  It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns  self-examination and represses criticism.

This is what makes the Quran’s verses of violence so dangerous.   They are given the weight of divine command.  While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in their  holy book,  and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to  contradict them – outside of opinion.  Indeed, what do they have?  Speaking of peace and  love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam’s holiest  book either speaks to Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death,  forced conversion, or subjugation, it’s little wonder that sympathy for  terrorism runs as  deeply as it does in the broader community – even if most  Muslims personally prefer not to interpret their religion in this way.

Although scholars like Ibn Khaldun, one of Islam’s most  respected philosophers, understood that “the holy war is a religious duty,  because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to)  convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force”, many other Muslims are either unaware or willfully  ignorant of the Quran’s  near absence of verses that preach universal non-violence.  Their  understanding of Islam comes from what they are taught by others.  In the  West, it is typical for believers to think that their religion must be  like Christianity – preaching the New Testament virtues of peace, love, and  tolerance – because Muslims are taught that Islam is supposed to be  superior in  every way.  They are somewhat surprised and embarrassed to learn that the  evidence of the Quran and the bloody history of Islam are very much in  contradiction to this.

Others simply accept the violence.  In 1991, a  Palestinian couple in America was convicted of stabbing their daughter to death  for being too Westernized.  A family friend came to their defense,  excoriating the jury for not understanding the “culture”, claiming that the  father was merely following “the religion” and saying that the couple had to  “discipline their daughter or lose respect.” (source).   In 2011, unrepentant Palestinian terrorists, responsible for the brutal murders of civilians, women and children explicitly in the name of Allah were treated to a luxurious “holy pilgrimage” to Mecca by  the Saudi king – without a single Muslim voice raised in protest.

For their part, Western liberals would do well not to  sacrifice critical thinking to the god of political correctness, or  look for reasons to bring other religion down to the level of Islam merely to  avoid the existential truth that this it is both different and dangerous.

There are just too many Muslims who take the Quran  literally… and too many others who couldn’t care less about the  violence done in the name of Islam.

Sam Harris on Islam the Religion of Peace
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  • GOD GUTS GLORY and AMMO  On January 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Reblogged this on GOD, GUTS,OLD GLORYand AMMO and commented:
    does anyone except muslims disagree

    does anyone other than muslims disagree


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