Salt Lake Tribune: Qur’an doesn’t command violence against nonbelievers


In this article, one of the endless stream of mainstream media pieces designed to convince us, despite all the mountains of evidence to the contrary, that Islam is a religion of peace, that the Qur’an rejects “violence against nonbelievers,” and “nowhere” does the Qur’an say that “Muslims should launch jihad against their enemies” — “at least not without interpretive biases.”

Actually, one would need some powerful “interpretative biases” not to see Qur’an verses such as these as mandating that “Muslims should launch jihad against their enemies”:

2:191-193: “And kill them wherever you come upon them, and drive them out from where they drove you out; persecution is worse than slaughter. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is all-forgiving, all-compassionate. Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”

4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore do not take friends from among them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, seize them and kill them wherever you find them; do not take for yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth to do corruption there: they shall be killed, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall be struck off on opposite sides; or they shall be exiled from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”

8:12: “When your Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers; so strike the necks, and strike every finger of them!”

8:39: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and religion is all for Allah; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”

8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatever you spend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”

9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”

9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice 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.”

9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”

9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”

“Where does it argue women should be kept inside or cover themselves completely?” That’s a straw man. This article is about the Qur’an alone, but those commands aren’t in the Qur’an, but the Hadith. Nonetheless, those commands are authoritative in Sharia: the fact that all Sharia states mandate that women cover themselves and not venture outside unless a male is accompanying them or gives permission is testimony to the authority the relevant hadiths have.

Maysa Kergaye

“Utah Muslims: What Islam’s holy book really says — and doesn’t say — may surprise you,” by Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune, June 4, 2016:

What most Americans think they know about Islam’s holy book is that it endorses violence against nonbelievers and the oppression of women. And on those issues, they surmise, it’s way worse than the Bible.

Because of such assumptions, Utah Muslims often get these questions: Where does the Quran say that people should blow themselves up for God? Where does it argue women should be kept inside or cover themselves completely? Or that Muslims should launch jihad against their enemies?

Answers: Nowhere — at least not without interpretive biases.

What most Americans don’t know about Islam’s sacred volume is its statements about tolerance, its condemnation of suicide, its retelling of biblical stories with a twist (like how God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, not Isaac), its view that Jesus was a divine messenger who will be resurrected or its progressive-for-the-time approach to women’s inheritance rights.

Or that the text was dictated by an angel.

Apparently, lots of Muslims don’t fully understand the book’s meanings, either.

Shuaib Din, imam at the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy, believes churchgoing Christians know the Bible better than mosquegoing Muslims know the Quran.

“The problem with many Muslims today,” Din says, is that they see the Quran as a “blessed book and rewarding but not as personally life-changing or used to better society.”…

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