I Don’t Care About “Your” Quran – I’m Worried About What the Violent Muslim Thinks

I received a comment on a previous piece, in which I outlined why I am not a Muslim. You can read the piece for the whole reason, but mainly I find Islam narrow-minded in its view on humanity finding fulfillment. The commentator took it upon him- or herself to machine-gun me with bullets of quotations from the Quran that speaks of human rights and equality and other nice stuff.

Many “liberal” Muslim scholars, like Tariq Ramadan and Reza Aslan, speak similarly and beautifully about Islam and its past. Indeed, Aslan’s debut, No god but God, was a lovely book on the history of his particular form of a particular faith. I found a lot of his arguments unconvincing, since in order to repudiate his claims for peace, love and equality in Islam we can look to the same source as Aslan – namely, the Quran.

Anyway, the point being that in order to discuss Islam there is a paradox: the Quran is literally the Word of Allah and must be obeyed to the letter. It is eternal, perfect and must never be altered or changed. It also supposedly loses many meanings through translation, thus in order to understand it one must read it in original Arabic – or so that poor argument goes. This is nonsense, however, since the majority of Muslims are not Arab-speakers and thus this claim is hollow. Nevertheless, a point I want to make clear, especially concerning aforementioned comment, is this: It does not matter what you think the Quran says, or what Islam means, what matters is what the Quran says and what Islamic leaders say. These are the men – no women of course – who decide for a whole nation or Islamic society, how to deal with a current “crisis”.

The Ayatollah Khomeini was an instance of this – he took it upon himself to decide that Rushdie must die. He was of course justified, according to his magic book. To carry this point further, look at this reply to the Jyllends-Posten cartoons, issued by Al Ghurabaa:

The recent cartoons that appeared in a Danish newspaper (Jyllands-Posten) and that were then re-printed in a Norwegian magazine, The Paris daily France Soir, The German Welt daily, Spanish and also Italian newspapers and which insult the Messenger Muhammad (saw) carry the death penalty in Islam for the perpetrators, since the Prophet said ‘Whoever insults a Prophet kill him’ [For example in the narration collected by Al-Haakim, upon the authority of Hussain Bin Ali (ra)] In this respect Muslims do not make any distinctions between any of the Prophets of Allah (SWT) and so this would also apply to any insults levelled against Essa (as) (Jesus) or Musa (as) (Moses) or Ibraheem (as) (Abraham) etc…Allah (SWT) sent his Messengers and Prophets to mankind to guide them from the darkness of following their own whims and desires into the light and beauty of obedience and subservience to him.

For example, the Quran informs us to kill unbelievers (2:191-2), that unbelievers will suffer doom and death and fire (3:131, 3:151, 3:177, passim.) and so on. Fine. Sure. See, we can quote and belabour this point till Judgement Day – which to many can’t occur soon enough – but the point remains that quoting does not help apologists. And religious groups and leaders issue statements like the above all to often to somehow render Islam peaceful and lovely.

So, my previous commentator can tell me all sorts of lovely things in the Quran; (s)he can talk to me all about the sophistry, sorry, “theology” of Islam that has the doctrine of abrogation (where the violent parts are not really true only in that context even though it is an eternal book but no wait we are peaceful, they are not true Muslims). Frankly, I don’t care whether the Sunni’s got it right but for some reason you think you have it spot-on. It doesn’t matter. It is the same problem I have with Karen Armstrong (who I genuinely am in awe of): she has a beautiful view of faith, backed up by years of scholarship into the history and plethora of religions and cultures. But the problem is, the dangerous, horrible, terrible people – who get into mobs to kill people they barely know about an unproven “crime” of blasphemy – do not render their faith in such beautiful language or focus on those nice lines.

The point is, they have told us explicitly what they think of the Western world and its ideals especially when we insult their religion; the West and its ideals of equality and justice; its progress toward the betterment of everyone regardless of religion or lack thereof; the emancipation of women and the placing them on the plateau of treatment. Sure, many Muslims can say: “See? The Quran also speaks about equality, justice, liberty. It justifies my religion and makes me feel good to be part of such a progressive, universal religion.” But many Muslims, who have more of an impact in our society by diminishing lives as opposed to benefitting them, do not and can justify their anti-rights, anti-women, anti-liberal, anti-freedom views by pointing to the Quran with one hand and pointing to the promise of paradise with the other.

So, I don’t really care if you think that Islam is beautiful and lovely and so on. This really is not the point. I am not going to try reform those who think that it should serve as a tool for the destruction of lives, happiness and the denigration of women. Instead, we can pull the carpet out completely instead of trying to clean it with a soap even dirtier than the filth it targets. I have no problem with those who love their religion and believe in equality and liberty and other things. But they must remember that people – who possibly believe even stronger than themselves – threaten death, violence and bloodshed to those they do not know, for “crimes” that have harmed no one physically. Call yourself a Muslim but remember how many kill in that same name, die because they believe so strongly, and rape and torture and belittle their wives and daughter because, well, the Quran says so, as does the hadith… basically, god said so.

PS: Please note, the article sounds more harsh than I actually intend it, mainly for brevity’s sake.

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4 thoughts on “I Don’t Care About “Your” Quran – I’m Worried About What the Violent Muslim Thinks

  1. I am a Christian. I am not going to belabor that point here. I just wanted to let you know that I intend to link to this post. I think you hit the nail on the head when you point out that the Quran is as useful for fostering violence as it is for promoting peace … and the violent interpretation is dominant.

    Exactly -why- it is dominant is the subject for a separate post; but I think it is because the vast majority of main-line Muslims are actually rooting for the extremists.

    The whole Blackwater/Xe thing shows the danger of arming Christian fundamentalists, too.

    Since being “a Christian” means following the pattern set by Christ Jesus, no Christian can aim at another human being and pull the trigger.

    That is -MY- understanding and there is no scripture from the time of the Messiah’s birth forward to contradict me.

  2. Well written piece Tauriq.

    I can see the comment by Bill engages in intellectual juggling – must we really quote Revelations from the bible which would fit perfectly in line with “there is no scripture from the time of the Messiah’s birth forward to contradict me”.

    I’m sure being thrown into the pit of fire by the messiah is “peaceful” along with the various gnashing of teeth “metaphors” that the ‘good book’ engages in.

    And if you engage in that whole trinitarian dogma – Jesus is god etc……then everything that was said & done by the god of the old testament was in fact (ie instructions for genocide, mutilation, rape etc etc – just think Moses, Joshua)……was said & performed by Jesus himself.

    How DO you guys perform such intellectual juggling tricks?

    If you need biblical quotes I can provide but its gets tiring when people claim these “holy” texts dont have violent & immoral parts.

  3. After 9-11 there has been various debates about Islam. Some have said that the terrorist are Islam’s true spoken. The so called moderates practice taqiya. Taqiya is the deliberate lying for the faith. They say Islam is a violent religion that commands Muslims to kill non Muslim. Non Muslims have 3 choices, either they convert, pay the jizya(tax) or die. They say Muhammad was peaceful for PR reasons and once strong showed his true colors and preached violent jihad. They say all the peaceful verses were abrogated after his final victory with this verse:

    9.5. But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    And also this verse:

    9.29. Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God 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.

    This verses are chosen for a reason. When read alone it implies a command to attack until they convert. Of course there are other verses in the Koran that talks about fighting. But why do they tend to focus on this one? Its simple, the other verses tend to show the defensive nature of the jihad and also the malicious intent and behavior of the pagans. Thus never cited. Lets look at some of them:

    2.190. Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors

    2.191. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith

    2.193. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God, but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression

    Also:

    2.217. They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: “Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.

    All these verses talks about fighting, however within these verses the defensive nature of the verses and the malicious behavior of the pagans is cited. Thus those who wish to attack Islam never cite those verses. Its a deliberate attempt to hide what the Koran as saying and using selective verses to imply what they know the verses does not mean.

    Lets however look at the verse that is often cited. This time we will take the verses before and after it to see what is the context this verse is talking.

    9.4. (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous.

    9.5. But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    9.6. If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

    9.7. How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.

    However in the same chapter in explains the intention behind this verse:

    9.13. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is God Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!

    Its important for us to understand what the Koran is saying. When the koran says if they repent and establish regular prayers and so on, its not a command to attack them till they do that. Its a command to say if they choose to one day becoming Muslims, do not despise them because of past blood. Let bygones be bygones because now there are your brethren. If he chooses to remain pagan then let him be and do not fight him unless he chooses to fight you. The verse are read wrong, since many pagans converted to Islam and some of the earlier believers had problems with individuals who they fought before or were persecuted and oppressed by them before.

    The verses clearly indicate that no forced conversion was there.There are standards that the Koran established for fighting.

    As for such who do not fight you on account of faith, or drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to deal with them with equity, for God loves those who act equitably. God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of faith and drive you forth from your homelands or aid in driving you forth. As for those from among you who turn towards them for alliance, it is they who are wrongdoers. 60:8-9

    Permission (to fight) is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged, and verily, God has indeed the power to aid them. Those who have been driven from their homelands in defiance of right for no other reason than their saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ 22:39-40

    However both Sunni Islam or Shia islam do not follow the Koranic guidance. They follow whats know as the hadiths. The hadiths are the supposed “oral” prophetic traditions they say was passed along orally across time and was collected and written down 2 to 3 centuries after the prophet. The prophet and his companions never left behind them any text except the Koran. The hadiths emerged during the reign of the Abbasid empire and was a way to establish an orthodoxy and give legitimacy to a corrupt dynasty by using the prophet’s name. Everything from executing apostates, to stoning adulterers and labelling other monotheist as infidels have their support not in the koran, but in these so called hadiths. So hadiths have the same place in sectarian Islam as do the Talmud in Judaism. The Koran condemned the Talmud and Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 7 also condemned the Talmud. The Koran only recognizes the Torah and the Gospel. However like Islam, both these religions have abandoned these scriptues for either a supposed “oral” tradition that emerged centuries later or a supposed “holy ghost” who was to interpret the Gospel in ways not supported by the Gospel.

    The Koran makes clear the job of the prophet:

    16:82 But [b]if they turn away from you, your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message[/b] .

    6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides Him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you a guardian over them.

    4:79-80 Say:’Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper.”

    11:28 He (Noah) said “O my people! think over it! If I act upon a clear direction from my Lord who has bestowed on me from Himself the Merciful talent of seeing the right way, a way which you cannot see for yourself, does it follow that we can force you to take the right path when you definitely decline to take it?°

    17:53-54 And tell my servants that they should speak in a most kindly manner. Verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men; for verily; Satan is mans foe …. Hence, We have not sent you with power to determine their Faith.

    88:21 22; And so, exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.

    But most of all the Koran asks the prophet himself this question:

    10.99-100. If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe! No soul can believe, except by the will of God, and He will place doubt (or obscurity) on those who will not understand

    The prophet’s answer must have been no!

    109.1-6 Say : O ye that reject Faith,! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship, And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship, To you be your Way, and to me mine

  4. assalamu alaikkum brothers and isters,

    Hope u can understand quran well, but u did nt read properly and u said the Quran informs us to kill unbelievers (2:191-2) just read fully befor and after verses wat i t mention that quran, u r lieing and making wrong,

    inshallah u can understand,

    And u know one thing if anyone say lahilah illalah he is nt a m,uslim, Allah will test who is true believer and who is not, next if u wanna quote read properly and send to all.

    thank u

    Allah hafiz

    reagards

    Mohammed

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