With Easter Sunday approaching, CNN was chomping at the bit to broadcast a story about Muslim students from Saudi Arabia handing out flowers in Times Square in New York City.
Does handing out roses mean Islam is a religion of peace?
Many in media attempt to portray the religion as peaceful. Just this week on the popular FOX News Channel show The Five, Bob Beckel chastised Muslim extremists for demeaning the Prophet Muhammad with their terrorist tactics. Dana Perio followed up by saying that Muhammad was tolerant of Christians and Jews, and cited his Christian wife as proof.
Beckel and Perio were wrong.
Muhammad did have a Christian wife during his time in Mecca when he was founding Islam. That was a time before he became a warrior, however, and it was even before Islam existed as a religion. So while Muhammad’s first wife was Christian, it was not due to the prophet’s tolerance for her faith.
Islam began in 622 with the Hijra, which was the year Muhammad departed Mecca to live in Medina. During his time in Medina, the prophet was involved in more than 80 battles, married a girl who was only six or seven-years old, depending upon the source, killed and raped thousands of Jews and Christians, and established the most violent religion in history.
Muhammad was not tolerant of Christians or Jews. Muhammad, like radical Muslims today, referred to non-believers as apes and pigs. Throughout the Koran, Muhammad state through Allah that he would drive Christians and Jews out of the Arabian Peninsula.
Saudi Arabia is a strict Islamic state. There are no churches, no synagogues in Saudi Arabia. There is no religious tolerance.
Distributing roses does not alter history.
According to CNN, Muslim students in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England formed a campaign to explain the Prophet Muhammad’s message of peace. Based upon Bob Beckel’s comments, he would agree that Muhammad was a “prince of peace.”
Despite the positive sentiment, the following quotes from the Koran demonstrate the violence of the religion:
“Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers.” – Surah 2:193
“Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land.” ‒ Surah 5:33
“The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you can terrorize them.” ‒ Surah 8:59
Commentators often counter the argument about violence in Islam by talking about violence in the name of Christianity, including the unspeakable violence of the crusades.
One major difference is that during his lifetime, Jesus Christ was was never involved in a war, nor did he ever preach violence.
Muhammad was a warrior and advocated violence. The Koran reports both.
Handing out roses to pedestrians is a nice gesture. It does not, however, transfer Islam to a religion of peace.
A more accurate term for what the Muslim students are doing, harkening back to the fight in the mid-1400s for the throne of England, would be “A War with Roses.”