Pakistan’s political party set to restore jihadi Quranic verses in Pakistani textbooks


(By: NDTV) Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf is set to restore “violent jihadist content” removed from school textbooks in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, according to a media report today.download (7)
After the Awami National Party (ANP) came to power in the province in 2008, education officials removed Quranic verses preaching jihad or holy war and illustrations depicting weapons or violence.

Chapters covering Islamist figures and ideology were replaced with lessons on local poets, philosophers or the region’s Pashtun identity. These drastic changes were introduced by the ANP in textbooks used from the first to 12th grade in public schools.

However, Imran Khan’s party, which now rules Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami, has announced its intention to “restore violent jihadist content in school textbooks”, Radio Free Europe reported on its website today.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Information Minister Shah Farman told a news conference on August 21 that the government will “rectify” what it calls “holes and mistakes” in textbooks published by the previous government led by the ANP.

“What kind of sovereignty, freedom, and Islamic values is this when Islamic teachings, jihad, and national heroes are removed from textbooks? Jihad is part of our faith. We will not back down (from our decision),” he said.

The provincial government has not said when the changes will be implemented but they were not in time for the new school year that began on September 1.

7 thoughts on “Pakistan’s political party set to restore jihadi Quranic verses in Pakistani textbooks

  1. Verses in Qur’an indeed incite us to perform jihad in the cause of God but no verse in Qur’an encourages us to blast oneself in a mosque among prayerful Muslims. Imran Khan is a great politician. Rahul Raj, stop maligning him. He opposed removal of such verses because it seems like these verses are causing terrorism however this is a false notion about Islam. Terrorists misinterpret these simple verses because they’re fools and their (so-called) scholars are pupils of the Devil. Thus, there’s no need removing these verses. We only need to teach our students their real meaning.

    • MM/Raj, for all the “fighting” verses the explanation has already been forwarded here. just refer to the past comments by Plum.

      When those verses are read in full context, you will immediately notice those verses refer to “fight” against those who begin or began hostilities towards Islam.

      Let me ask you, if Pakistan begins hostilities towards India and dares to kill her people or drive her folks(citizens) out of their ancestral land and grabs part of India, then what would be india’s reaction????????? You see how right the Quran is????

      I hope this clears the matter for once and all….or not???

      Regards

      Plum

    • Hi MM/Raj, Let’s take a hypothetical situation here, which heaven may forbid.

      Assume that there had been a truce, a treaty, a pact…or a signed agreement between the two warring nations viz., India and China. Just after the treaty, Indian forces withdrew in honesty as per the treaty but China attacked India, when it was at its weakest due to withdrawal pact, and killed some of its people, what would the reaction of India be once it got its forces re-deployed and re-organised, along the front lines???

      Wouldn’t India react in a like manner to Chinese atrocities? What would the head of the army saying, “……kill…kill…plunder…take captives..chase them away from our land..or would he be saying, “…..don’t fight them…no..no…we are not cruel.. dance. ..ho. .hoo..dance…”??

      Got the point?

      What the verses : “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter… But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful… If they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression” (2:190-193).

      60:7 Pickthall: It may be that Allah will ordain love between you and those of them with whom ye are at enmity. Allah is Mighty, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

      Regards

      Plum

      • Plum looks like a preacher gathered by fools. He tries to wake them up but they laugh at him however one day they’ll be laughed at.

        • Hi MM/Raj, haa..haaa….do preachers reason and allow a discussion two way traffic? Do they really weigh things? Or do they just prevent followers from expressing their views?

          31:18 Pickthall: Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not each braggart boaster.

          17:70 > message :
          Respect and honour all humans… irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job or otherwise.

          22:30 “… and shun lying speech”.

          2:42 (P) : Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.

          4:5 Yusuf Ali: … feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

          23:3 Yusuf Ali: .. avoid vain talk;

          24:30 Pickthall: Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest.

          24:15: Pickthall: When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah it is very great.

          24:16 : Pickthall: Wherefore, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this.

          17:36 : Pickthall: (O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge.

          49:11 Pickthall: O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith.

          4:36 : Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess.
          5:2 :And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.
          2:44 Pickthall: Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practise it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?
          16:125 Pickthall: Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way.

          And so on and on. When Quran is very clear on guidance then why should the Muslims follow any other source????

          Regards

          Plum

        • Hi MM/Raj,..do preachers of any religion, reason and allow a discussion to go two way traffic? Do they really weigh things? Or do they just prevent followers from expressing their views?

          31:18 Pickthall: Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not each braggart boaster.

          17:70 > message :
          Respect and honour all humans… irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job or otherwise.

          22:30 “… and shun lying speech”.

          2:42 (P) : Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.

          4:5 Yusuf Ali: … feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

          23:3 Yusuf Ali: .. avoid vain talk;

          24:30 Pickthall: Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest.

          24:15: Pickthall: When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah it is very great.

          24:16 : Pickthall: Wherefore, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this.

          17:36 : Pickthall: (O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge.

          49:11 Pickthall: O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith.

          4:36 : Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess.
          5:2 :And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.
          2:44 Pickthall: Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practise it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?
          16:125 Pickthall: Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way.

          And so on and on. When Quran is very clear on guidance then why should the Muslims follow any other source????

          Regards

          Plum

    • Does the Qur’an really contain verses promoting violence? http://tpo.net/Quran/ http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm Summary Answer: The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter. These verses are mostly open-ended, meaning that the historical context is not embedded within the surrounding text – as are nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Qur’an. Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. This proclivity toward violence – and Muhammad’s own martial legacy – has left a trail of blood and tears across world history. The Qur’an: Qur’an (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” There is a good case to be made that the textual context of this particular passage is defensive war, even if the historical context was not. However, there are also two worrisome pieces to these verses. The first is that the killing of others is authorized in the event of “persecution” (a qualification that is ambiguous at best). The second is that fighting may persist until “religion is for Allah.” The example set by Muhammad is not reassuring. Qur’an (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.” Qur’an (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 Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding caravans with this verse. Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (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’). Qur’an (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. Qur’an (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…” Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (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 not only criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, but it also demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the Qur’an, 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). Qur’an (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? Qur’an (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” Qur’an (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. Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah” From the historical context we know that the “persecution” spoken of here was simply the refusal by the Meccans to allow Muhammad to enter their city and perform the Haj. Other Muslims were able to travel there, just not as an armed group, since Muhammad 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.” Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives 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 religions Five Pillars. Qur’an (9:14) – “Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace…” Qur’an (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 “striving” spoken of here is Jihad. Qur’an (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. 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 just the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths. Qur’an (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!” Qur’an (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. Qur’an (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). Qur’an (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. Qur’an (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.” Qur’an (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 Qur’an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” Qur’an (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” Qur’an (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?” Qur’an (25:52) – “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an).” “Strive against” is Jihad – obviously not in the personal context. It’s also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse. Qur’an (47:4) – “So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners,” Qur’an (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,” Qur’an (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? Qur’an (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. Qur’an (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way” Religion of Peace, indeed! Qur’an (61:10-12) – “O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity.” This verse was given in battle. It uses the Arabic word, Jihad. Qur’an (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 (52:220) – 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 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 Jihid 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).” 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. Ibn Ishaq: 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: 990 – Lest anyone think that cutting off someone’s head while screaming ‘Allah Akbar!’ is a modern custom, here is an account of that very practice under Muhammad, who seems to approve. Ibn Ishaq: 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. 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. Few verses in the Qur’an can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood Those that do are earlier “Meccan” verses that are obviously abrogated by later ones. Small wonder that Muslim apologists spend a lot of time speaking of the “risks” of trying to interpret the Qur’an without their “assistance.” Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Qur’an have played a key role in actual 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, including the massacre of those who 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 what was once the property of others for his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and killed those whom he could take prisoner. He inspired his followers to battle even 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. It is important to emphasize that Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and it was the companions of Muhammad who made the most dramatic military gains in the decades following his death. The principle set in motion early on 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 Muslim apologists often claim that Islam only attacked in self-defense, this is not only an oxymoron, but it is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Muslim historians and others going back to the time of Muhammad. 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, women’s rights, sexuality, warfare…) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be absolutely 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 verses of violence so dangerous. They are given the weight of divine command. While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in the Qur’an, 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. In fact, many Muslims are simply unaware of the Qur’an’s near absence of verses that preach universal non-violence. This is because their understanding of Islam comes from what they are taught by others. In the West, it is typical for Muslims to come to believe 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 Qur’an and the bloody history of Islam are very much in contradiction to this. For their part, Western liberals would do well not to sacrifice critical thinking on the altar 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 Qur’an literally… and too many others who couldn’t care less about the violence done in the name of Islam. Flying Hijacked Planes into Glass Houses A response to the American Muslim article: Throwing Stones at the Quran from a Glass House In an article entitled, “Throwing Stones at the Quran from a Glass House”, The American Muslimclaims that the verses of violence and war in the Bible can be misread in “exactly the same way as some verses in the Qur’an” (emphasis ours). In other words, the on-line magazine alleges that, like the Quran, there are Biblical verses with open-ended commands to violence that are not bound by historical context within the passage itself. Our first clue that this probably isn’t true is the scarcity of Christian terrorist groups. Not too many people are losing their heads to fanatics screaming praises to Jesus (or Moses, Buddha or the many Hindu gods either) as they are to shouts of “Allah Akbar!” That there are so many Islamic terrorist groups composed of fundamentalists (or purists) of the Muslim faith is enough to impress any reasonable person that there is something far more dangerous about Islam. Nevertheless, to support their claim, The American Muslim quotes sixteen of the worst passagesthat the Bible has to offer in the way of violence. Others are alluded to as well, but delving into these particular verses should be a large enough sample to expose whatever sophistry might be at play. Their first try is a passage from Deuteronomy that might appear to command present-day believers to take a city by force and slaughter the inhabitants on order from God: “When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you. Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:10-17 – As quoted by The American Muslim Except for the part about sparing women and children, this sounds similar to a verse from the Qur’an: And when We would destroy a township We send commandment to its folk who live at ease, and afterward they commit abomination therein, and so the Word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation. (Quran 17:16) But, in fact, the Biblical passage is not an open-ended command to “kill anything that breathes”, but instead, a story of history bound within the text. Having trouble seeing this? That’s because the author of The American Muslim piece cleverly left out this part of the passage: “Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you” These are the discrete targets referred to in the last part of the quoted text. The rest of the passage is bound by context as well, given to “Israel” (verse 3) and those “brought out of Egypt” (verse 1). These would be specific instructions to the ancient Israelites, which is why today’s Christians and Jews do not treat these verses as present-day imperatives. Strategic omission is just one way that Muslim apologists manipulate Biblical passages. (In this case, The American Muslim editors did not even include an ellipsis in place of the omission, since it may have raised the suspicions of the reader). The next passage that The American Muslim claims promotes violence is from the apostle Paul, who writes: “Hymenaeus and Alexander I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Timothy 1:20) The violence in the passage is not exactly evident from this reading. In the context of the previous verse, these two men “suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith,” but there is nothing to indicate that they were physically harmed as a result. It was the practice of the early Church to excommunicate apostates, and there is every reason to believe that this was the “fate” of these two individuals. They were expelled from the Church by Paul. The Christian Church does not advocate killing apostates. Contrast this with the words of Muhammad: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.\'” (Bukhari 84:57) Not much ambiguity there. Abu Bakr, the first caliph and several other Muslims testified that Muhammad had indeed put Muslim apostates to death. For this reason, the practice is coded in Islamic law. The next passage that is supposed to inspire Christians to violence is the recounting of David’s victory against the Philistines: “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it…. And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.” (1 Samuel 17:46 – As Quoted by The American Muslim) This is actually parts of verse 46 through 54. We won’t waste much time here, because it is apparent that this is a recounting of an historical event. The omitted passages from within the text make it even more obvious. Compare this to the word of Allah in the Quran: “I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” (Quran 8:12) There is no historical context to mitigate this Qur’anic exhortation either in the verse or in those that surround it. (The American Muslim actually makes a monumental effort to bring historical context to the verse from sources external to the Qur’an in this article, which contains several inaccuracies regarding the timing of the “revelation” of the verse, the justification for attacking caravans, and the fate of hostages taken in battle, some of whom were actually put to death). The next five passages quoted by The American Muslim, in trying to make the case that the Bible can be used to command violence, all suffer from the same problems as above: “Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.”… And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore hold him not guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.” (2 Samuel 16:9, 1 Kings 2:8) “ When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him. They took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night, and brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” (2 Samuel 4:7) “That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David; give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab.” (2 Samuel 20:21) “at Jezreel by this time tommorrow…And when the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons, and slew them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.”. (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 6) “God has now fulfilled the prophecy of the prophet Elijah. So Jehu put to death all who were left of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, as well as all of his close friends and priests, until he had left not one single survivor.” (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 10) “He put to death all of Ahab’s house, who were left there and so blotted it out, in fulfillment of the word which YAHWEH had spoken to Elijah.” (2 Kings Chapter 10 verse 7) “When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you. And when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.”(Deuteronomy 7:1-2) No doubt this was not the best of times for Shimei, Ishbosheth, Sheba or Ahab, but they obviously aren’t around anymore to complain. Same with the tribes mentioned in the passage from Deuteronomy. This is history, of course, not some open-ended instruction like: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are ruthless to the Unbelievers, but merciful to each other.” (Quran 48:29) At this point, The American Muslim pulls two verses out of the New Testament Gospels. The first is quoted as if they are the words of Jesus: “I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”(Luke 19:26-27) But, in fact, this is the tail end of a parable being told by Jesus. The words actually belong to one of the characters in his story. Again, contrast this with the actual words of Muhammad: [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) We don’t have to play the same games here that The American Muslim does to try and convince Christians that they should kill based on the words of a parable. Not only are these Muhammad’s own words, but there are many Muslims at this very moment who are trying to kill Jews in Israel. Their religious leaders quote this passage to inspire them. Moving along to the second New Testament verse that supposedly advocates violence: “Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35) Though not quoted in the article, the passage actually goes on to say, “Your enemies will be the members of your own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. “ Obviously, Jesus is speaking of the impending hardships that will be suffered by Christians (ironically, the worst abusers eventually turned out to be Muslims). Even Pope Urban, in his call for the Crusades, never quoted this passage, as it is obvious that the “sword” is a metaphor for the persecution against believers, not an admonition for them to take up arms. If Jesus were speaking literally, then he would have produced the sword of which he was speaking. In fact, the only time one of his followers produced a sword in his presence (to defend him), Jesus issued a harsh rebuke against immediate and general violence. In keeping with his pacifist teachings, none of his disciples formed an armed militia of any sort despite tremendous persecution. There were no armies claiming to be “Christian” for many centuries – and well after the church structure had been co-opted by the government, in contradiction to what Jesus taught. By contrast, Muhammad was a military leader who killed people in battle, executed captives and enslaved women and children. When he said that “Jihad in the way of Allah elevates the position of a man in paradise” (Sahih Muslim 20:4645), his followers knew what he meant. They engaged in warfare following his death, which continues to this day. The American Muslim then moves back to the Old Testament: “I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” (Exodus 23:27) Is this an open-ended imperative for present-day Christians and Jews? Hardly. Here’s the next verse: “I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way” Again, not a good time to be a Hivate, Hittite, or a Canaanite… but who is these days? By contrast, the Qur’an speaks ill of Christians, Jews, “unbelievers” and “pagans,” and commands its readers to “slay the infidel wherever ye find him.” The historical context of the verse is apparently not all that conspicuous, judging by the fact that so many Muslims are trying so hard to kill these people in the name of Allah. The American Muslim tries again: And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. At God’s instructions, the Israelites “utterly destroyed the men, women, and the little ones” leaving “none to remain.” And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. (Deuteronomy 2:33-36) At this point, you can probably guess that there is something being left out. If you look at the original passage, you’ll find that it refers to the Battle of Jahaz and even says “at that time” (emphasizing that this is history – not edict). Next is this passage from Joshua: Joshua said to the people of Israel, “The Lord has given you the city of the all silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: They shall come into the treasury of the Lord. The people utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua 6:21-23 as Quoted by the American Muslim) The manipulation of the original passage is so extensive that the verse is barely recognizable. The author employs both omission and juxtaposition to try and emphasize that the city in question was destroyed. In fact, the original does say that not everyone within the city was killed. Even so, this is still a violent passage… but it is not open-ended instruction. The city in question was Jericho, and the verses tell of the battle between the ancient Israelites and the inhabitants therein – and the subsequent massacre. It is obviously a historical passage, and it no more inspires violence than reading an account of the Japanese slaughter of the people of Nanjing in 1937. The American Muslim then pulls a verse from the Old Testament that it says can be interpreted to mean that apostates should be stoned: “And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, …and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die.” (Deuteronomy 17:3-5, as quoted by the American Muslim) What does the ellipsis leave out, you may be wondering? Well, it turns out that this was yet another specific command handed down to a specific people at a specific time: “If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death” (Actual text) No Christian in their right mind would kill someone for worshipping a different god based on this passage. While it’s true that Christian apostates have been killed in sporadic and rare historical incidents, it was not the example of Jesus, nor is it a part of Christian teaching. As we have already pointed out, however, Islam’s most reliable Hadith mandates the execution of apostates from Islam. It is firmly established in Islamic law, since it is the example set forth by Muhammad himself. The American Muslim then submits a rare New Testament verse as proof that Christians can interpret the Bible as a command to murder in the way that Jihadis wage holy war: “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:20-32, as quoted by the American Muslim) It is unclear why the author cites verses 20-32 but quotes only the last verse. The full text of the passage actually contains a rebuke against killing and it assigns judgment to God alone. The next verses in sequence confirm this: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”(Romans 2:1) God is the judge, and not man, according to the context of this passage. How anyone is supposed to interpret this to mean exactly the opposite – that they should kill another human being – is a leap of logic that escapes this writer (and generations of Christians as well, apparently). Muhammad’s own words, however, contain no such cryptic message: “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.” (Quran 2:216) Now, at last, The American Muslim pulls out the grand finale – the famous passage from Numbers that is quoted so enthusiastically by the detractors of Western religion: “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:17-18) From the way this is quoted, it sounds as if God is telling today’s Bible-thumpers to kill every man within reach and enslave their women and children. What a horrible world this would be if Christians took this fragment literally and killed the nearest person. So why aren’t the Jews and Christians of today doing this? Well, it’s most likely because there aren’t any Midianites around, since that was the unfortunate tribe on which this vengeance is specifically commanded – as is obvious from the surrounding verses. Again, this is a historical narration that clearly refers to an obscure tribe, unlike many of the open-ended passages of violence against unbelievers, “idolaters,” polytheists, Jews and Christians found in the Qur’an (verse 9:29 tells Muslims to fight and subjugate non-Muslims simply on the basis of their disbelief) Contemporary Islamic apologists, such as the author of this American Muslim piece, apparently borrowed the research of secular critics of Christianity, who use passages such as these to make dark insinuations about the character of the god of the Bible and thus bolster their rejection of all religion. This certainly makes for some strange bedfellows, given that most atheists would concur that the god of Muhammad is far more violent than the god of the New Testament. (Those who may not agree are free to travel to a Muslim country and see how publicly denying Allah there compares to Christian “intolerance” at home, but they may want to make out a will beforehand). We’ll leave it to the theologians to respond, since the character of God and the nature of progressive revelation falls outside the scope of this discussion. Our only interest here is in the argument that Muslims are trying to make by citing such passages. Since Muslims do not argue the point that Muhammad commanded the slaughter and enslavement of others at various times in his last ten years (a practice that his followers faithfully apply, even to this very day), their logic here is quite tenuous. At best, these apologists appear to be trying to bring other religions – particularly Christianity – down to the level of Islam. What makes this noteworthy is that Christians and others do not act as if they need to bring Islam down to their religion of choice. The reason is that no other religion regularly kills members of every other faith explicitly in the name its god. And, on the rare occasions when this does happen, the response is anger and denouncement rather than the general indifference that Muslims have for Islamic terror (aside from the 15% or so who openly endorse it). Islamic terrorists wage holy war on a daily basis because it is the literal command of the Qur’an. Western Muslim apologists (concerned solely with the image of Islam) window-dress these violent passages through a complex series of appeals to a patchwork of external Muslim sources. Then, after delicately arranging the products of this Herculean charade in such a way as to convince the rest of us that these Qur’anic verses of violence are not what they appear, the apologist steps back, wipes the sweat from his brow and says, “See how clear it is? No Muslim could possibly interpret this command to kill as a command to kill.” Well, why are these verses in the Qur’an at all, then? If they are supposed to be history, then why do they appear as imperative? Why isn’t the context right there in the text as it is in the Old Testament? After all, this is supposed to be Allah’s perfect book. How is it that it is so vulnerable to the worst sort of “misinterpretation”? Lacking a decent answer to these questions, Muslims attack the Bible instead. Christianity and Islam: A Side by Side Comparison* * It is not the purpose of this site to promote any particular religion, including Christianity. However, we do enjoy refuting nonsense, such as the claim that Muhammad and Jesus preached a morally equivalent message, or that all religion is the same. “Allah:” “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” (Qur’an 8:12) Muhammad: “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq 992) Jesus: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 5:14) Each year, thousands of Christian homes and churches are torched or bombed by Muslim mobs, and hundreds of Christians, including dozens of priests, pastors, nuns and otherchurch workers are murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists. The so-called justification varies, from charges of apostasy or evangelism, to purported “blasphemy” or “insulting” Islam. Innocent people have even been hacked to death by devout Muslims over cartoons. Yet, there is little if any violent retaliation from religious Christians to the discrimination,kidnapping, rape, torture, mutilation and murder that is routinely reported from nations with Muslim majorities. Neither is there is any significant deadly terrorism in the name of Jesus, as there is in the stated cause of Allah each and every day. Muslim clerics in the West do not fear for their safety as do their Christian counterparts. The “Christian world” and the Islamic world contrast sharply in other ways as well, from the disparate condition of human rights and civil liberties to economic status. An astonishing 70% of the world’s refugees are Muslims – usually seeking to live in Christian-based countries. While Western societies take seriously “scandals” such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (where no one has actually been killed), Muslims routinely turn a blind eye to their own horrible atrocities, even those committed explicitly in the name of Allah. The Muslim world has yet to offer a single apology for the tens of millions of lives consumed by centuries of relentless Jihad and slavery. These sharp differences are almost certainly rooted in the underlying religions, which begin with the disparate teachings of Jesus and Muhammad… Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus Muhammad… Jesus… Said Allah hates those who don’t accept Islam. (Qur’an 30:4, 3:32, 22:38) Said God loves everyone. (John 3:16) “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” (Muslim 1:33) “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) Stoned women for adultery. (Muslim 4206) “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7) Permitted stealing from unbelievers. (Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764) “Thou shalt not steal.” (Matthew 19:18) Permitted lying. (Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857) “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (Matthew 19:18) Owned and traded slaves. (Sahih Muslim 3901) Neither owned nor traded slaves. Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys. (Sahih Muslim 4390) Beheaded no one. Murdered those who insulted him. (Bukhari 56:369, 4:241) Preached forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38) “If then anyone transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him” (Qur’an 2:194) “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39) Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold. (Muslim 4645) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God” (Matthew 5:9) Married 13 wives and kept sex slaves. (Bukhari 5:268, Qur’an 33:50) Was celibate. Slept with a 9-year-old child. (Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236) Did not have sex with children. Ordered the murder of women. (Ibn Ishaq 819, 995) Never harmed a woman. “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” (Qur’an 9:123) “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) Ordered 65 military campaigns and raids in his last 10 years. (Ibn Ishaq ) Ordered no military campaigns, nor offered any approval of war or violence. Killed captives taken in battle. (Ibn Ishaq 451) Never took captives. Never killed anyone. Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women. (Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’an 4:24) Never encouraged rape. Never enslaved women. Demanded captured slaves and a fifth of all other loot taken in war. (Qur’an 8:41) “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28) Was never tortured, but tortured others. (Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764) Suffered torture, but never tortured anyone. “And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah” (Qur’an 8:39) “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) Blessed the brutal murder of a half-blind man (al-Tabari 1440) Healed a blind man (Mark 8:28) Ordered a slave to build the very pulpit from which he preached Islam. (Bukhari 47:743) Washed his disciples feet. (John 13:5) What are the Greatest Commandments? “Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause” (Muslim 1:149) What are the Greatest Commandments? “Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:34-40) Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship (Qur’an 4:102) Chastised anyone attempting to defend him with force. (John 18:10-12) Died fat and wealthy from what was taken from others in war or demanded from others in tribute. Demanded nothing for himself. Died without possessions. Advocated crucifying others. (Qur’an 5:33, Muslim 16:4131) Was crucified himself. According to his followers: Had others give their lives for him. (Sahih Muslim 4413) According to his followers: Gave his life for others. (John 18:11 and elsewhere) Differences Between Early Muslims and Early Christians Muhammad’s Companions… Jesus’ Disciples… Lived as warriors. Lived like harmless hippies. Slew and persecuted religious minorities. Were slain and persecuted as a religious minority. Emphasis on Jihad (the way of Muhammad) “He who fights that Allah’s word should be superior fights in Allah’s cause” (Bukhari 53:355) Emphasis on Evangelism (the way of Jesus) “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 15:16) Attacked and conquered the populations in parts of 28 modern countries in just the first three decades following Muhammad’s death. Did not resort to violence of any sort, despite tremendous persecution. Declared holy war on the people of five major world religions in just the first 100 years following Muhammad’s death. Went centuries without declaring ‘holy war’. Plundered and lived off the wealth of others. Gave away their possessions to those in need. (Acts 2:44-45) Captured and enslaved non-Muslim people. Considered themselves to be slaves of others. Waged war to keep members from leaving the religion. Put apostates to death. No record of aggression toward apostates. Muhammad’s own family members quickly fell into armed warfare against each other. Jesus’ disciples never resorted to violence against one another (or anyone else). First 240 Years: 11 of the first 32 caliphs were murdered by fellow Muslims. First 240 Years: 14 of the first 25 popes were martyred by pagans (none by fellow Christians). Caliphs were polygamous and maintained harems of hundreds of captured sex slaves. Popes were expected to be celibate. Islamic mosques sustained by taxes forced from subjugated non-Muslims (the jizya). Christian churches sustained by voluntary tithes from Christians. Differences Between Islamic Teaching and Christianity The Qur’an The Bible External sources (the Hadith and Sira) necessary for translating the Qur’an Historical context contained within the text of the Bible Must know Arabic in order to “fully understand” the Qur’an (according to Muslim apologists) Universal. Can be translated into other languages without excessive commentary. Chronological progression of the Quran is from peace to violence. Chronological progression of the Bible is from violence to peace. The words ‘torture’ and ‘punishment’ appear six times more often than in the New Testament. The word ‘love’ appears five times more often in the New Testament than in the Qur’an, Contains not a single original moral value. The ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and others. Suffering is an excuse for violent revenge and establishment of Islam by force “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” (Qur’an 2:191) Suffering builds character “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:4) Emphasis on this World “And Allah has made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property” (Qur’an 33:27) Emphasis on the Next “Mine is not a kingdom of this world” (John 18:36, see also Luke 14:33) Kill, convert or subjugate Christians and Jews. (Qur’an 9:29) Share one’s faith with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15) Martyrs as Killers “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” (Qur’an 9:111) Martyrs as Martyrs “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:36) Killing Apostates “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” (Qur’an 4:89, also Bukhari 52:260, 83:37…) Letting God Judge Apostates “For we know Him that has said, ‘Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord shall judge his people\'” (Hebrews 10:25-30) Punishment “Let not compassion move you from carrying out God’s law…” (Qur’an 24:2) Mercy “Love is patient. Love is kind… It keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5) Charity and Non-Believers Mercy toward fellow Muslims – ruthlessness toward unbelievers. Muslims are warned not to befriend those outside the faith. They must even ensure that their charity tithe (zakat) stays within their own identity group. (Qur’an 48:29, 3:28, Sharia) Charity and Non-Believers Christians are specifically told that even those who hate them are entitled to kindness and charity. They should be loved and cared for as surely as any fellow believer. (Mark 10:25-37) The Qur’an does not command husbands to love their wives, but it does give men permission to beat disobedient women. (Qur’an 4:34, Sahih Muslim 2127) “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (No permission to beat women) (Colossians 3:19) Explicitly allows Muslim men to rape their female slaves, even those already married. (Qur’an 4:24, 70:29-30, 23:5-6…) Tells masters and slaves to serve each other as if serving God. (Ephesians 6:7-9) Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are ruthless to the unbelievers” (Qur’an 48:29) “Do good to them that hate you” (Luke 6:27) Allah wills those that stray and are lost (Qur’an 16:93) God wants all people saved (1 Timothy 2:4) Warns Against Questioning Faith. (Qur’an 5:101-102) Welcomes Intellectual Challenge. (1 Peter 3:15) Violence as Virtue “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.” (Qur’an 2:216) Violence as Sin “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him… ‘” (Romans 12:19-20) Hell for unbelief. Good deeds count for naught (Qur’an 18:102-107) Hell for bad deeds and the failure to do what is right (Romans 2:6-8, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 25:41-45) Judging “Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them…” (Qur’an 9:73) Judge Not “For when you pass judgment on another person, you condemn yourself…” (Romans 2:1) Taking wealth from others “Allah promiseth you much booty that ye will capture…” (Qur’an 48:20) Working for and giving wealth to others “The thief must no longer steal but must work hard and do what is good with his own hands, so that he might have something to give to the needy.” (Ephesians 4:28) Calls down Allah’s curse on Christians and those of other religions. (Qur’an 9:30) Calls down God’s blessing on those who curse Christians. (Matthew 5:44) Arrogance & Privilege “Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind” (Qur’an 3:110) Humility & Servitude “If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) “O you who believe! do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends: Would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth? (Qur’an 60:1) “Love your enemies…” (Luke 6:27) Differences Between the Islamic and Christian-Based Worlds Muslim Legacy Christian Legacy Countries that Muslims want to escape from. Countries that Muslims want to escape to. Madrassahs that indoctrinate Muslim children with bigotry and terror. Mission schools that teach reading and writing to Christians and Muslims alike. Suicide bombings for Allah No suicide bombings for Jesus International terror organizations. International charities. No formal charities for non-Muslims. Leading provider of disaster relief to Muslims. Murder of aid workers. Supply of aid workers. Christians in jail for apostasy or blasphemy. Religious freedom. Modern-day slavery in the name of Islam. Abolition in the name of Christianity. Muslim clerics who engage in or condone terrorism. Christian clerics murdered each year by terror groups rife with Muslim clerics. Daily religious violence against Hindus. None. Daily religious violence against Jews. None. Daily religious violence against Buddhists. None. Daily religious violence against Muslims. None. Religion Technology & Medicine Censorship Freedom of speech Intolerance for criticism of Islam. Tolerance for religious dissent. Restricting other religions from preaching faith. Allowing all religions the same right to evangelize. Conversions allowed to Islam only. Freedom of conscience. Converts to Christianity beheaded. No dead converts to Islam. Most famous Muslim: Osama bin Laden. Most famous Christian: The Pope. Whether true or not, everything that secular critics say they don’t like about Christianity, from women’s issues to slavery, is not only a tangible part of Islam, but usually magnified. While the Catholic church is demonized for not allowing female priests, the fundamentalists of Islam force women into burqas and blow up schools that educate girls. Even activists known for championing women’s rights in the Muslim world still rationalize keeping captured women as sex slaves, since it is explicitly permitted in the Qur’an. And, while Christians might object to extra-marital sex, only Islamic purists plant consenting adults in the ground and stone them to death. Theocracy (in the form of Sharia) really is the the explicit goal of Islamic teaching, whereas Christianity leaves room for the separation of religion and government (Mark 12:17, John 18:36). Terrorism really is an expression of devotion to Allah (here’s an example) – and not just criminal activity or warfare by disinterested parties with a nominal religious identification (ie. “born a Catholic”). If threatening people with eternal damnation is considered distasteful, then Christianity has far less to be ashamed of than Islam, which not only mentions the terrible fate awaiting unbelievers on nearly every other page, but also includes vivid descriptions of torture at the hands of a sociopath known as Allah. The two religions contrast sharply even in their positive aspects. The morality of the Qur’an is amateurish and frustratingly obscure for those who try to compare it to what is contained in the Bible. Most of Islam’s holiest book is devoted toward distinguishing and heaping abuse on unbelievers. There are no verses that promote universal love and brotherhood. The few verses that are sometimes held up as examples of tolerance and peace generally require separation from textual and historical context. The difference between Christianity and Islam starts at the top: Muslims are told that Muhammad – a slave-owner, sexual glutton, thief and killer – is the most “beautiful pattern of conduct” and “example” for mankind to follow (Qur’an 33:21), as well as the “exalted standard of character” (Qur’an 68:4). Christians are told to emulate Jesus – a pacifist and servant – and “walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). Unlike Muhammad, who ordered military assaults against Christians, for example, Jesus told his followers not to resort to violence and to pray for one’s enemies. These two men could hardly have been more different in how they lived or in what they taught others. Why should we not then expect starkly contrasting legacies – from the conduct of their closest companions to the livability of modern-day countries influenced by the predominance of one founder’s teachings over the other? As Wafa Sultan (who describes herself as a Muslim who does not adhere to Islam) puts it: “The problem with Christians is they aren’t as good as Jesus. But thank God most Muslims are better than Muhammad.”

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