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Quran

Type: Opinion

Summary: 

As I have said quite a few times before, it is simply wrong to say that Islam and Christianity have much the same view of war and peace. Judging from its founding texts, Christianity is a pacifist religion, for its founder rejected violence. Islam’s founder was a warlord.

As I have also said quite a few times before, the real issue is not violence or terrorism but theocracy. Islamist violence stems from anger that Islam’s theocratic potential is being thwarted. Again, it is Christianity that is different: its founding texts reject theocracy.  For many centuries this was obscured, but then it was gradually understood and put into practice – which entailed the invention of modern politics, as I explain in my new book God Created Humanism.

Summary: 

One of the most frequently quoted Quranic verses is chapter 9 verse 5. This verse is known as "The Verse of the Sword." Muslim terrorists cite it to justify their violent jihad. Correspondingly, critics of Islam claim that it commands Muslims to act with offensive aggression towards the non-Muslims of that period, and contributes to Islam’s final theological doctrine of aggression towards all non-Muslims of all times. Apologists for Islam claim that 9:5 is purely defensive. Which side is right?

As the Islamic source materials are examined it will become evident that verse 9:5 is part of the theology of jihad and is meant to be both offensive and defensive. It is directed against Pagans living both near to and far away from Muhammad.

Understanding 9:5 in context requires an examination of the passage in which it is found. This passage consists of 29 to 41 verses or so (depending on which scholar’s view you hold). Because of time and space constraints however, I will only review the first 8 or so verses. I believe that they set the passage’s tone and belay its directives.

Islam’s final theological position regarding the use of violence to further its domain does not rest upon one verse or passage. Rather the entire Quran, other Islamic source materials, and Muhammad’s actions and lifestyle (Sunnah) must be examined and evaluated. We’ll do that with a view toward Sura 9:5.

I have attempted to keep this article focused on 9:5 within the broad theology of jihad. 9:5 is a foundational stone in the building of jihad and general aspects of jihad must be discussed. There is also the related topic of abrogation, but that has been dealt with elsewhere1, 2, 3, 4.

Summary: 

Most people living in Belgium assume that Islam is a religion like any other, that brings a mostly spiritual message to which each adherent tries to live up as well as possible. They are mistaken. Islam deeply permeates the daily life and social interactions of a Muslim. It is true, as Muslims tend to say, that Islam is an all-encompassing system, that at least includes the following human activities:

 

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CULTURE: the way in which people perform daily routines: e.g. how one should greet the other, who should greet first, personal hygiene (showering, toilet, …), how to eat and drink, how to treat guests, …

 

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SOCIAL SYSTEM: Islam determines the relationship of the Muslim with other Muslims and Muslimas, with those of different religions, with slaves (Islam did not abolish slavery), …  

 

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LEGAL SYSTEM: a good part of what a society needs in legislation, such as family law, inheritance law, property law, transactions, contracts, legislation regarding slaves, … is provided for by the Qur’an and the traditions/Hadith of Muhammad. Believers can only make new laws for matters that are not provided for in the Qur’an and the Hadith.

 

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RELIGION: rules for prayer, fasting, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, almsgiving to the poor, being good to your parents and fellow Muslims, …

 

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MILITARY: The last 10 years of his life, Muhammad was constantly at war. His successors have continued this permanent state of war. So, the Qur’an contains quite a lot of rules pertaining to war, and these are an integral part of Islamic law. The ideology of Jihad, waging war to protect Islam and to spread it, sometimes called “holy war”, is very well-developed and is a part of Islamic law. No other religion has such an elaborate war doctrine as Islam has.

 

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JUDICIAL PROCEDURES: islamic scholars have compiled law books based on the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad. Quite a bit of attention is given to procedures of witnesses. Islam did not bring an organized judicial apparatus with procedures of defence, appeals, ... Muhammad himself was the judge and what he decided was executed. He even had people executed without putting them on trial. His successors have simply continued in the role of being a judge as well. Saudi Arabia tries to copy the situation that Muhammad instituted (or didn’t institute) as much as possible, resulting in a condition where in the 21st century they still don’t have a judiciary where the rights of citizens are protected. And they still carry out punishments that were common in the 7th century, but that are now regarded as abhorrent.

 

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POLITICAL SYSTEM: in an Islamic system there is no separation of powers, all power (political, judicial, military, …) is in the hands of the Caliph or his representative. Citizens in this Islamic system must be unconditionally obedient to the Caliph, unless he deviates from Islamic law. The system of a Caliphate is a continuation of the principle that Muhammad held all power. One of the shortcomings of Muhammad is that he didn’t institute a system with elections or democratic representation, resulting in a lot of problems with his succession, especially the fourth Caliph, Ali. These problems caused the split between the Shiites and Sunnites.

Summary: 

1. Sources. An article that fails to quote authentic Islamic sources is without value. For instance, many texts have been written on the concept of ‘Jihad’. Jihad is explained therein as a spiritual struggle. Generally, these texts tend to omit references to the generally recognized Islamic sources, since such ‘spiritual’ references are well nigh non-existent. In contrast, there exist hundreds of references depicting Jihad as a war against non-Muslims, in both a defensive and offensive sense.

2 For or against Islam: identical sources.  You will not fail to note that articles severely critical of Islam are rife with quotes from the Koran and the authentic traditions passed on by Muhammad. In turn, articles in defence of Islam quote generously from the self-same sources to prove exactly the contrary. As a rule both versions make cogent points, for, indeed, what they proclaim stands written! You can choose material from the Koran and the authentic traditions, applying some creative interpretations of your own, to  back up just about any argument you wish to make. Here we see the Koran as a supermarket of ideas, and the gullible Muslim believer as the shopper whose shopping cart is loaded with products of his or her own choice. This has led us into a somewhat disturbing situation. We all are familiar with people who commit terror acts in the name of Islam. They volubly quote from the Koran to justify their acts. And on the other hand there are the peace loving Muslims,  coexisting harmoniously with ALL of their neighbours, irrespective of religion, race, appearance,  who also say they base their actions on the Koran...

3 Abrogation. There is in Islam a principle called abrogation (nasikh wa mansukh in Arabic), both in the Koran and in the Hadith (pronouncements by Muhammad, the traditions as they have been handed down by him). This principle is used to explain away contradictions. For it does appear that there are contradictory instructions in both the Koran and the traditions. In principle, the instructions that were issued last are the valid ones; they cancel the ones prior to them. In general, articles with a positive view on Islam tend to quote the earlier passages, seeing that these are milder in tone. Critical (negative) articles tend to make references to the later passages, seeing that they are more militant and lean more towards violent behaviour. Islamic scholars, however, are agreed that only the later passages are valid. Since the principle of abrogation is truly important for our understanding of the Koran, we have devoted a separate page to this topic. See here.

4 Context 1. Articles that are positive towards Islam tend to dismiss violent or hostile passages from the Koran as being contextual, i.e. only applicable to a given specific situation in the life of Muhammad; whereas positive passages from the Koran are interpreted as having general application. Naturally, the aim is to ease people’s minds and eventually persuade them to join Islam. However, a book that calls for hostile action and even contains warlike instructions (such as large sections of Surah 8 and 9) without making it clear that these instructions are no longer applicable, is a recipe for disaster. To Islamic scholars, all passages from the Koran contain a message, the mild as well as the violent ones. Moreover, their view on the milder verses in the Koran is generally not as positive as one would assume. What is striking is that these scholars generally hold to an interpretation of Islam that corresponds very closely to that of non-Muslims and ex-Muslims who are critical of it.

5 Context 2. When studying Islam, one quickly notes that most of the Koran consists of revelations that followed on from specific events in the life of Muhammad: these events thus form the foundations of the message that Allah proclaims in the Koran. That is to say, the Koran cannot be compared with the stone tablets containing the ten commandments handed over to Moses, by which God passed on His law at that single and singular moment without regard to any attendant context. The fact that the Koran was revealed by way of concrete happenings does not, of course, mean that the message in the book is valid only in the context of those events; if that were so the Koran could be categorized as a historic work, leaving Muslims at liberty to disregard and dismiss it at their whim. That this is not so is proven by the death threats uttered against those who dare to criticize the Koran, as in the case of the Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders. Muslims consider the Koran so holy and untouchable that any negative act or criticism directed against it, either physical or verbal, enrages them.

6 Context 3. Violent passages in the Koran are, as mentioned, mostly tempered and toned down by making reference to their specific context. Without being explicit, their advocates tend to create the impression that if such passages are considered within their context, they will actually turn out to be far less violent, even peace-loving, or at least are representative of understandable or acceptable human behaviour. Nothing could be further from the truth – the context rather makes these passages appear even less palatable, and confirms the aggressive nature of the Koran verses in question. Apologists may try to excuse the violent character of these passages by reference to the fact that Muhammad had many enemies and was forced to defend himself. However, anyone who studies Muhammad’s biographies (books written by Muslims for Muslims) cannot escape the impression that the founding of Islam was accompanied by excessive violence, and that Muhammad shirked neither verbal nor physical abuse and assault. The least one can say is that Muhammad failed to spread his new religion in a peaceful and peaceable manner, with equanimity and acceptance of the “feelings and sensitivities of people that held other beliefs – the unbelievers”. This stands in stark contrast to the preachings and practices of, say, Jesus or the Buddha.

Summary: 
Muslims are adamant in asserting that the Quran is the final Testament of Allah However,the historical reliability of the qur'an  has been challenged by both archeological& manuscript evidence.manuscript,documentary and archaeological evidence all fail to confirm many of the claims of the Muslims
Let's examine some of the external documentary sources and modern archaeology
Summary: 

Does the Quran show that Muhammad made up revelations in order to benefit himself and to respond to situations in his life or do we see it being the ultimate work of a creator from above?

Type: Video

Summary: 

Imam Tawhidi

0:48 "Youths are being radicalised. This happens because of the books that we have, the Islamic scriptures that we have...They are being led to believe that if you go out there, you kill the infidel you will gain paradise"

4:16 "I disagree, for the past 1400 years we have had a religion of war, that's exactly what we have had"

Type: Article

Cannot verify this video but itdoes fit with other evidence

Punishment for not memorising and reciting the koran! #stopislam pic.twitter.com/ZmEtXyA8Tr

— MichaelKeyes (@michaelkeyes) January 4, 2017

 

Type: Link

Type: News

Country: 
China
News Date: 
28/09/2017
Summary: 
  • Authorities in Xinjiang have ordered Muslim families to hand in religious items
  • Ethnic minority neighbourhoods will face harsh punishment if they are found 
  • China has revised its regulation on religious affairs in a bid to reduce extremism
Country: 
Afghanistan
News Date: 
26/12/2015
Summary: 

The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine, shocked Afghans across the country. That is because many of her killers filmed one another beating her and posted clips of her broken body on social media. Hundreds of other men watched, holding their phones aloft to try to get a glimpse of the violence, but never making a move to intervene.

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
01/07/2017
Summary: 
  • A Student Union leader has claimed she would like to oppress white people
  • Zamzam Ibrahim was elected President of Salford's Student's Union
  • She has posted a number of highly controversial messages on social media 
  • Ms Ibrahim also opposes the government's anti-radicalisation Prevent strategy
  •  
Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
16/06/2017
Summary: 

A former teacher at a mosque is facing jail after being found guilty of sexually touching four girls as young as five while they read to him in Arabic from the Quran. Mohammed Haji Saddique, who taught at the Madina Mosque in Cardiff for more than 30 years, would call the girls to sit next to him on the pretence of getting them to read from the Muslim holy book, Cardiff Crown Court heard during his trial

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
19/06/1997
Summary: 

A Hindu video shop owner's plans to stock a controversial Bollywood film about the India-Pakistan war of 1971 prompted 300 Muslim youths to riot outside his shop, it emerged yesterday. Gewal Krishna, who has run Krishna Video, on Harehills Road in Leeds, West Yorkshire, for the past seven years, announced yesterday that he had decided not to stock the film, called The Border, which includes a scene where the Koran is shown in flames, after Wednesday night's violence.

Country: 
United States of America (the)
News Date: 
08/05/2017
Summary: 

“But he also continued to deny he abused his housekeeper and admitted he hasn’t attended sex offender therapy.”

The officials who tried him don’t know the first foggiest thing about Islam, and so they likely didn’t know to ask al-Turki whether he was denying that he had kept his housekeeper as a sex slave, or just denying that he abused her. This is a key distinction that they almost certainly didn’t think to make, because they don’t know that the Qur’an allows for the sexual enslavement of Infidel women (cf. 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30).

Country: 
Austria
News Date: 
16/04/2017
Summary: 

A debate is raging in Austria after a study suggested that Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping to create “parallel societies” or even produce the dangerous homegrown radicals of the future. According to its author, Ednan Aslan, a Turkish-born Austrian professor at Vienna University, some 10,000 children aged two to six attend around 150 Muslim preschools, teaching the Koran much like Christian ones do with Bible studies. At least a quarter are backed by groups propagating arch conservative strains of Islam like Salafism, or organisations that see religion not just as a private matt

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
24/03/2017
Summary: 

A former Labour Party foreign minister has implied the government of Tony Blair was wrong to ignore the religious roots of Islamist terror, urging authorities to ‘take on’ the ideology to defeat terror. Kim Howells, who oversaw the work of MI5 and MI6 during the Blair and Brown years, said Islamist violence is distinct from other forms of terror and Western values such as democracy must be defended. “I was part of a Government that said: ‘Well, we don’t do God.’ But you can’t afford not to do God on this one, I think,” he 

Country: 
Australia
News Date: 
23/02/2017
Summary: 

Why would anyone expect him to say anything different? The mandate to beat one’s wife is in the Qur’an:

“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
23/01/2017
Summary: 

Coun Eustace of the Birmingham City Council said: “I am delighted to have helped organise this facility for Muslims in Birmingham. Respect for each other’s religion is important.” When and how do Muslims in Birmingham or anywhere else demonstrate their respect for non-Muslim religions? Eustace added: “Throwing the copies in the bin or burning them would cause distress and is out of the question. Burying them in Handsworth Cemetery is the best option.” Well, certainly we cannot allow Muslims to feel distressed.

Country: 
Malaysia
News Date: 
05/01/2017
Summary: 

The first Christian to govern the capital in more than 50 years, Purnama is on trial accused of blasphemy over remarks he made about the Quran while campaigning ahead of February elections for the Jakarta governorship.

Country: 
Germany
News Date: 
31/12/2016
Summary: 

The German government’s position here is inconsistent. If it is holy, why did they ban it? If it is “extremist,” and they don’t believe it is the real Qur’an, then why not just burn the copies?

Police have confiscated tens of thousands of copies of a banned version of the Koran that came under fire for promoting religious hatred. Now the authorities must decide what to do with them.

Country: 
Saudi Arabia
News Date: 
18/02/2015
Summary: 

A Saudi Arabian cleric has claimed that the Earth does not orbit the sun and is in fact stationary, making the opposite true. Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari stunned students at a university in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday by telling them the Earth is “stationary and does not move”, Al Arabiya reported.

Country: 
Austria
News Date: 
19/11/2016
Summary: 

After raids on Salafist organizations in Germany, the Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has called for a ban on the distribution of the Islamic holy book.The Salafist organization “The True Religion” were the subjects of a nationwide crackdown in Germany earlier this week as the group was banned in the country. In Austria, the group is still allowed to operate and to foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz this is unacceptable.

Country: 
Switzerland
News Date: 
17/11/2016
Summary: 

Cities in Switzerland are considering banning the distribution of the Koran in an attempt to crack down on radical Salafists proselytising on the streets.Swiss authorities have been pushed to act after the German government launched raids on 200 sites in a probe against Salafist group “The True Religion” on Tuesday.

Country: 
Pakistan
News Date: 
15/11/2016
Summary: 

Two years since a Christian couple were burnt to death in Pakistan, there still haven't been any convictions for their murders. Shama Masih, 24 and five months pregnant at the time, and her husband Shahzad Masih, 26, were beaten by an angry mob and thrown alive into a burning brick kiln in Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab province in November 2014. It's after allegations they blasphemed against the Quran whilst working as labourers at the site.

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
07/01/2013
Summary: 

Sara Ege, 33, was said to have treated her seven-year-old son “like a dog” and repeatedly beaten him with a stick, rolling pin and slipper for failing to memorise the religious text quickly enough......The beatings, often with a wooden pestle, became so bad that on the day he died he was suffering from "serious abdominal injuries" and “multiple fractures”.

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
14/12/2012
Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
19/07/2016

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