Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quran 9:5: Does it Really Sanction Violence Against ‘Unbelievers’? ~ According to this report if you believe that the Koran does ~ you are 'hell-bent on hatred'

Muslims need to own up to their religion and to its history. Stop making believe. And worst demanding that others go along with it. We pick apart this criticism!

Does the Quran Really Sanction Violence Against ‘Unbelievers’?

Recently some prominent talk-show hosts, Sean Hannity among them, have been referring to certain verses in the Quran that appear to call for Muslims to kill non-Muslims. These verses have too often been quoted with what appears to be a willful disregard for the context in which they occur, thus inflaming the emotions of listeners, perpetuating grave misunderstandings, and contributing to the potential for violence on all sides.

Opening statement ~ you are wrong to point out that the Koran advocates violence against others. As well as irresponsible as it can cause violence on all side.

Though we may not be able to influence those who are hell-bent on hatred, an explanation is owed to all reasonable people who are interested in the truth of the matter and are not looking to create enemies. The vast majority of Muslims deserve to be seen as allies in a common quest for social justice and human dignity — assuming, of course, that we as Americans have the same goals in mind.

Reality: Here we go again ~ the distinction between ~ the reasonable people who for example take Muslims' word about the Quran without question ~ and the unreasonable-hell-bent on hatred people ~ who simply look at the Koran and come to their own conclusions. And then the tone becomes almost like a threat ~ reasonable people seek the truth ~ the truth being of course what Muslims say. And the unreasonable people ~ are looking to make enemies. Sound like a 'peace treaty' with Americans.

Fiction: A careful and unbiased study of these and other verses, in their proper context, will reveal that the exhortations to fight “idolaters” and “unbelievers” are specific in nature and are not general injunctions for the murder of all those who refuse to accept Islam as their way of life.

Yup: Among the most often cited verses is this one: “Kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and capture them, and blockade them, and watch for them at every lookout…” (Quran 9:5).

Reality: Here's Muhammad:

Hadiths: Muhammad sent Khalid Ibn al-Walid to the tribe of the children of Haritha and told him: "Call them to accept Islam before you fight with them. If they respond, accept that from them, but if they refuse, fight them." Khalid told them: "Accept Islam and spare your life." They entered Islam by force. He brought them to Muhammad. Muhammad said to them: "Had you not accepted Islam I would have cast your heads under your feet"

Fiction: According to Islamic belief, the Quran was “revealed” to Muhammad in a process of dialog with the Divine, and some parts of the Quran refer to specific situations, while other parts offer universal spiritual principles. To understand this passage, we must take into account the historical circumstances at the time of its revelation.

The “idolaters” (Arabic: mushrikeen) were those Meccan “pagans” who had declared war against Muhammad and his community.

Reality: These 'pagans' worshipped Allah'and His three Daughters ~ when Muhammad tried to make one god out of Allah ~ they got pretty pissed off. Remember also these weren't simply 'pagans' ~ they were Muhammad's own relatives. They were keepers of the Kaaba for 700 years before Islam. To appease them Muhammad agreed for awhile that the Daughters of Allah ~ Allat, Manat and Al Uzza should be worshipped [53:19] but after some months the Angel Gabriel appeared to him again with another revelation ~ he was to go back to his one god idea. Which is the stuff of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses book ~ verse 53:19 called the same as it was believed that for Muhammad to have said these things he would have been tempted by Satan.

Fiction/ Half Truths: The Meccan oligarchs fought against the Prophet’s message from the very beginning. When they realized that the flow of converts to Islam was increasing, they resorted to violent oppression and torture of the Prophet and his followers. The Prophet himself survived several assassination attempts, and it became so dangerous for the Muslims in Mecca that Muhammad sent some of his companions who lacked tribal protection to take asylum in the Christian kingdom of Abyssinia. After 13 years of violence, he himself was compelled to take refuge in the city of Medina, and even then the Meccans did not relent in their hostilities. Eventually, various hostile Arab tribes joined in the fight against the Muslims, culminating in the Battle of the Trench, when 10,000 soldiers from many Arab tribes gathered to wipe out the Muslim community once and for all. As we know, the Muslims survived these challenges and eventually went on to establish a vast civilization.

Reality: Example of Muhammad 'the victim'

Muhammad told him / Hadiths: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to realize that there is no God but the only God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "I do believe that." Muhammad then said to him: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to know that I am the apostle of God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "By God, O Muhammad, of this there is doubt in my soul." The 'Abbas who was present with Muhammad told Abu Sufyan: "Woe to you! Accept Islam and testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God before your neck is cut off by the sword." Thus he professed the faith of Islam and became a Muslim."

Fiction / Half Truth: At the time Verse 9:5 was revealed, Muhammad and his followers had begun to establish themselves securely. They had returned triumphantly to Mecca without violence, most Meccans themselves had become Muslims, and many of the surrounding pagan Arab tribes had also accepted Islam and sent delegations to the Prophet pledging their allegiance to him. Those that did not establish peace with the Muslims were the bitterest of enemies, and it was against these remaining hostile forces that the verse commands the Prophet to fight.

R: They were frightened to death.

Reality / a Second Opinion: Muhammad - a man whom every Meccan knew since childhood, in 10 years of preaching in Mecca, could get only about 100 followers. After 10 years of trying and failing to convince people of his claims to Prophethood, he left for Medina, and returned later to Mecca with the sword in hand. Once he offered the "convert or die" choice to the pagans of Mecca, his ranks quickly swelled to almost 35,000 followers by the time he died a few years later. This is the way Islam spread. Not by peace, but ENTIRELY by the sword. The numbers tell the whole story. His first 10 years of peaceful preaching got Muhammad 100 followers. His last 2 years of using the sword brought him 35,000. Islam had discovered the magic formula for fast expansion - put the sword on the neck and say "Convert or die!" [+]

The verses that come immediately before 9:5 state, “Those with whom you have treaties are immune from attack.” It further states, “Fulfill your treaties with them to the end of their term, for God loves the conscientious.”

Say what: Muhammad creates a treaty ~ then its, God loves the conscientious ~ and those who do not follow my treaties would be killed ~ very God father-like.

It goes on/ Arabian Nights / and other tales : Now, in its proper context, verse 9:5 'can' be properly understood.  This was a guidance to the Prophet at that specific time to fight those idolaters who, as 9:4 mentions, violated their treaty obligations and helped others fight against the Muslims. It is not a general command to attack all non-Muslims, and it has never signified this to the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout history. Had it been so, then every year, after the “sacred months are past,” (The “sacred months” are four months out of the year during which fighting is not allowed) history would have witnessed Muslims attacking every non-Muslim in sight. This yearly slaughter never occurred. Though the present verse is only one example, none of the Quranic verses that mention fighting justify aggression nor propose attacking anyone because of their religious beliefs.

Patently False: Nor were forced conversions recognized as valid under Islamic law.

Islamic hadiths: He brought them to Muhammad. Muhammad said to them: "Had you not accepted Islam I would have cast your heads under your feet"

Reality: As for a specific time to kill the isolators ~ it seemed that for Muhammad there was no time like the present!

Islamic hadiths: Ali Ibn Abi Talib encountered a man called 'Umru and told him, "I indeed invite you to Islam." 'Umru said, "I do not need that (Islam)." Ali said, "Then I call you to fight." 'Umru answered him, "What for my nephew? By God, I do not like to kill you." Ali said, "But, by God, I love to kill you"'

Some more thoughts/ back up: [I] find the above a very telling incident. It shows just how naive to Muhammad's new way of thinking the pagan Arabs of that time were. Umru is still treating Ali with love, addressing him as "my nephew", and stating that he would not like to fight Ali. But Ali's reply is very Islamic - "By Allah, I would love to kill you." Ali's thinking is now simply this - those who don't convert to Islam must be killed. That has been the pattern repeated throughout history. [+]

No one could have imagined the blind cruelty of this emergent ideology.

Deliberate deceit or delusion: The fundamental Quranic principle is that fighting is allowed only in self-defense, and it is only against those who actively fight against you. Indeed, Islam is a religion that seeks to maximize peace and reconciliation.

Ahem: Yet, Islam is not a pacifist religion; it does accept the premise that, from time to time and as a last resort, arms must be taken up in a just war.

So Godfather Trilogy: If the enemy inclines toward peace, however, Muslims must follow suit: “But if they stop, God is most forgiving, most merciful” (2:192).

Touches on truth of Islam's violent ideology but doesn't quite grasp it: Also read: “Now if they incline toward peace, then incline to it, and place your trust in God, for God is the all-hearing, the all-knowing” (8:61). How then do we explain the early spread of Islam through military conquest? In the two decades following the death of Muhammad, Muslim armies challenged and largely overcame the world’s two greatest powers, the Persian and Byzantine empires. Were these conquests truly justifiable according to the Quranic principles outlined above?

Hmm..: It is a complex question and not one to be readily answered within the limits of a blog post such as this.

Perhaps those early Muslims misunderstood Islam ~ just as so many Muslims around the world today ~ all accept western Muslims who understand Islam best.

Deliberate deceit: It deserves to be understood, however, that the Muslims fought imperial armies, not civilians, and were forbidden to harm non-combatants or destroy property. Islam guaranteed religious freedom for Christians, Jews, and other minority sects, even while they obliged these “protected” minorities to pay a small tax in exchange for being absolved from military service.

Reality: Surely he has read Koran 9:29

Koran 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.

More reality: As a result of this verse all religious minorities in the Islamic world ~ live as 'protected' citizens ~ clearly from death ~ none are allowed to have equal rights. And up until the colonial period had to play ~ an exorbitant tax ~ now it is only collected in the Taliban controlled regions of Pakistan. You pay the tax or you are attacked or previously would have been enslaved. {{ Can we have some more!! }}

... There is even a rape verse ~ Muslims are so slushed out on this ~ they would accept anything. Muhammad orders his men, to rape women [of course non-Muslim] in front of their husbands ~ when he saw they were reluctant to. And from this hadith/ angel inspiration came Koran 4:24, where men are allowed to 'go with' a captive women/ women in his possession.  

Now 14 centuries have passed, and it needs to be recognized that the Quran does not have an inherent, built-in agenda for aggression or domination. [Cough, 150 million killed to take India/Afghan regions for Islam]

The vast majority of Muslims are content to live and let live. [And which part of the world are these?]

In fact, that is part of their religion. [In fact, after they are made dhimmis first !! And you say that with a straight face !!]

Delusional: Relations with other religious communities are based on 'acceptance' and 'encouragement' to follow the best of your own religion:

'acceptance' and 'encouragement' ~ here we are looking at Islam's supremacist element. As the overseer and protector ~ of others after they have been attacked and brought under Islamic control. It is clear they are not used to dealing with others as equals. This adds to the culture shock of leaving the Islamic world. And particularly acute for them is having their beliefs criticized or even analysed.

Sharia-cide: To each community among you has been prescribed a Law and a way of life. If God had so willed He would have made you a single people, but His plan is to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you differ. (5:48)

Islamic hadiths: Muhammad's followers met a man and asked him to become a Muslim. The man asked them, "What is Islam?" to which Muhammad's followers explained Islam to him. He then asked, "What if I refuse to convert to Islam? What would you do to me?" They answered, "We would kill you." Despite that, he refused to become a Muslim and they killed the poor man after he went and bade his wife farewell. She continued to weep over his corpse for days until she died of grief over her slain beloved who was killed for no reason other than that he refused to accept Islam. [+]

After they killed everyone, with their eye on the rest of the world ~ now we are all brothers: And Muslims believe that the God of Islam is not other than the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus and that the diversity of religions is according to Divine plan: “Truly those who keep the faith, and the Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans — whoever believes in God and the Last Day and performs virtuous deeds — surely their reward is with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve.” (2:62)

Reality: Jesus would have never followed this guy ~ and likely if he didn't manage to escape ~ Muhammad would have offered to put his head at his feet!!

BS: Perhaps these verses help to explain why in the city of Jerusalem, which has been ruled by Muslims for most of the last 13 centuries, the sacred sites of Jews and Christians have been protected, and those communities themselves have for the most part been able to live in peace together with Muslims. The assertion that Islam or the Quran inherently call for a “war on unbelievers” is sheer fallacy and fantasy. Peace be with you.

Reality: There is no peace in Islam ~ not even with itself!
It is a wolf struggling to keep on its sheep's clothing!

Parts of this post first appeared in The BeliefNet Guide to Islam by Kabir Helminski & Hesham Hessaboula. For a more thorough discussion, read “Is Islam a ‘Religion of the Sword’?”

Some added exerpts from Convert or Die, by Thoughts of a Nationalist Indian.

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