One can perhaps understand why some
politicians are trying to put a good "face" or "spin" on the Islamic religion,
but why do so many other
Americans also try to mimic this politically correct mantra?
I have in mind the piece "Evil or Wicked" by my friend Wolf Fuhrig, which appeared in the Dec. 16 Journal-Courier editorial page.
Dr. Fuhrig faults Franklin Graham for not having "done his homework" for recently saying that Islam is "an evil and wicked religion."
Had Dr. Fuhrig done a little more of his own homework, he might have been less quick to fault Mr. Graham, because the Qur'an has many more incriminating passages that advocate violence than the one he cites.
Moreover, the context of Sura 9:5 that supposedly purifies this passage's violence is not in its preceding verses. To day so is eisegesis.
Here are some examples of the Qur'an's other passages advocating violence:
"And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed achieves victory. We will bestow on him a great reward." (Sura 4:74).
"Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve in the cause of Satan. So fight against the allies of Satan." (Sura 4:76).
"Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and his messenger . . . is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from the opposite sides." (Sura 5:33).
"I will instill terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads then, and strike off them every finger-tip." (Sura 8:12).
"Kill those who join other gods with God (Allah) wherever you find them." (Sura 9:5).
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah." (Sura 9:29).
"If you do not fight, (Allah) will punish you severely, and put others in your place." (Sura 9:39).
"O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them." (Sura 9:75).
"So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike their necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds . . . And those who are killed in the cause of Allah never will waste their deeds." (Sura 47:4).
These passages cannot be minimized or explained away by saying, "We need to look a the context." Please do examine the contexts, and you will find that the contexts of the above passages only underscore their barbarism and inhumanity.
The Qur'an not only advocates violence toward "unbelievers" (non-Muslims), but it also prescribes violence regarding its women. For instance, when wives disobey their husbands, the Qur'an in Sura 4:34 tells Islamic husbands: "Admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them . . . " (emphasis added).
It is also undeniable fact of history that Islam was founded by the sword. Mohammed himself participated in more than 60 bloody battles to establish his religion, and he personally assassinated countless opponents.
In his battle against the Quraiza Jews, women and children were sold into slavery, and the captured men were executed. When some of his own were horrified, Mohammed said it was God's righteous judgment, according to Anis A. Shorrosh's 1988 work "Islam Revealed."
It is not without cause that Islam call him "the Prophet with the sword." Let's also remember that the symbol of Muslim world is the crescent and that the acimitar is modeled from the crescent.
In short, to call Islam a "peaceful religion," as some Americans are currently doing, and ironically so, especially since Sept. 11, can only be understood in light of their wanting to be politically correct or that they have never studied the Qur'an.
Finally, the violence advocated in the Old Testament and in the Qur'an cannot be equated, as Dr. Fuhrig does, with what some Christians did in history.
Because even the leaders of the Crusades in the Middle Ages, who indeed thought they were doing God's will, did not (and could not) cite any passages from the New Testament that Christ or the apostles taught in support of their nefarious deeds.
When it comes to committing and justifying violence against individuals because they are unbelievers, Muslims can (and do) cite the Qur'an in support of violent acts.
That is a chasm-wide difference underlying the violence practiced by Qur'an-believing Muslims vis-à-vis the violence of some erring Christians.
Guest Essay reprinted from the Journal-Courier, Jacksonville, IL. December 30, 2001
Dr. Schmidt of Jacksonville is an emeritus professor of sociology at Illinois College.
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