Myth #7 - Islam is a Peaceful Religion

Myth #7

Islam is a Peaceful Religion

"Et erat longe, mea quidem sentential, qui imperium credat esse gravius aut stabilius vi quod fit, quam illud quod amicitia adiungitur." ("A man is very wrong, at least in my opinion, who believes that power is stronger and more durable when imposed by force than when procured by friendship.")
- Terence, The Brothers

From a sociological standpoint, this is perhaps THE most widely propagated myth about Islam. For decades, Islam has put across to Westerners a peaceful, loving front. This false view of Islam has been spread all the more aggressively since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Muslim leaders in the United States and other Western nations had to push their efforts at hiding Islam's true nature into high gear, trying to counterbalance the impact that was made by the sight of Palestinians and other Muslims (some in this very nation) cheering and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Unfortunately, many theologically liberal and compromising people in most of the mainline Christian denominations have gone right along with these attempts at whitewashing Islam's image, either out of blind ignorance or unthinking sympathy for Mohammed's religion. Even in many traditionally conservative Protestant churches, pastors have invited false teachers from Islam to present that religion to their congregants, and the image given is invariably that of a peaceful, loving, tender-hearted faith whose members are absolutely appalled at the violence committed by "a few fringe radicals".

I have personally witnessed this sort of bald-faced lying done in the name of Islam. On November 11, 2001, I attended a panel presentation on the campus of the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, during which the several panel members each had the opportunity to take 15 minutes and give their thoughts on the events and responses to the September 11 attacks. One of the speakers was a Muslim imam from a local mosque in Durham. Naturally, he took twice as much time as was allotted for him, and did not even address the topic of discussion. Instead, he spent 30 minutes ranting and raving about how peaceful and loving Islam was, and how Islam respects people of other religions. This lying deceiver even went so far as to say that he would be morally obligated to stop a person from defacing or vandalizing a Christian church. In short, his entire diatribe was one giant lie, yet much of the (mostly leftist) crowd ate up every word of it like it was gospel truth. This response demonstrated the desperate need for education about Islam in this nation. Not education in Islam, but education about Islam, so that the majority of the population in Western societies who know little to nothing about the religion can learn the truth about it, instead of being fed sugar-coated lies from Islamic leaders and propagandists. People in the West need to know that the image of Islam as a violent, intolerant, wicked religion is in fact true, and growing more so every day.

So, to ask the question frankly: Is Islam peaceful or violent? To answer equally as frankly: It is violent. It is a religion which was born out of violence, propagated through violence, and which is still accustomed to violence even today. This can clearly be seen by examining the teachings and record of Islam. These are the two primary means by which to judge the character of a religion on some question. You look at the established, recognized, plainly understood teachings of that religion from its holy texts, and then you look at the manner and methodology by which those most faithful to that religion carry out their obedience to their belief system. So let us apply this test to the Muslim faith.

Though violence towards those of other faiths is certainly not unknown among other of the world's religions, Islam goes further than the other religious systems of the world in that its holy texts command and commend religiously-motivated violence against unbelievers. It is not just a matter of tolerating it or of turning a blind eye. Rather, the Qur'an and the ahadith support and encourage the faithful to press violent jihad against non-Muslims.

Violence From the Qur'an

What does Islam teach as far as violence is concerned? Looking at the Qur'an, we see that quite a lot is said about this subject. Muslim apologists will often point to Surah 2:190-193 as proof that Islam teaches only defensive warfare, but eschews offense.

"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. 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. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression."

These verses, it is said, admonish Muslims only to fight against those who oppress or persecute Muslims, and only until the offenders have stopped oppressing Muslims. However, there is a catch to all this. The Qur'an also teaches for Muslims to enter into exile in lands where Islam is not the dominant force, and to stir up trouble, so that this persecution will come as the natives in those lands protect the integrity of their sovereignty and civilization.

"Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave them asylum and aid,- these are all friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, ye owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance. And remember Allah seeth all that ye do. The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, protect each other, there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief." (Surah 8:72-73)

In this passage, "adopted exile" is translated from the root form hjr, which has as its primary meaning the ideas of containment or confinement, and can carry the connotation of being quarantined or compartmentalized. The specific context refers to those Muslims (known as muhajirun) who had left Mecca during the early part of Mohammed's ministry, when the Muslims were coming under persecution, and fled to Medina. There, they joined with Medinan believers (ansari), eventually gathering enough power to be able to conquer Mecca. This exile, however, doesn't have to be in a friendly land. These verses can be understood through an extended application to be encouraging Muslims to adopt exile in a foreign land and voluntarily confine themselves in a non-Muslim society. Then, eschew assimilating into the culture and way of life of the host country, and instead agitate for Islam. When opposition arises, they join together and give aid and fight for Allah against the unbelievers, since voilà, persecution has arisen! Hence, what is touted as a defensive doctrine is in reality carried out in an offensive manner.

This interpretation is not merely theoretical. We can, in fact, see it being applied today in European countries that have become the hosts to large numbers of Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and the Indian subcontinent. It is common for Muslims in these countries to cause trouble, whether through crime or through more organized forms of disorder, and they will not assimilate to the cultural norms and modes of their host countries. When the Europeans defend themselves, or even criticize what is being done by these "guests", the Muslims use this as an excuse to claim persecution and respond violently, often supported by their fellow Muslims in the Islamic world. Sweden has seen an epidemic of sexual assaults upon native-born Swedish women in what is being called the "rape jihad", yet the fault for this behavior always seems to be blamed on the Swedes themselves, for their "racism" and "Islamophobia". In France in the winter of 2005, two Muslim criminals who were fleeing from the police took refuge in an electrical substation and were electrocuted. The country was subsequently wracked by weeks of riots and arson by its large Muslim population, because the deaths of these two youths were "obviously" the fault of the racist, Islamophobic French police for trying to bring them to justice, and not the fault of the Muslim fugitives themselves for committing crimes. In Britain, the Bishop of Rochester complained that certain areas in British cities were virtual "no go" zones for non-Muslims. For pointing this out, the bishop has received numerous death threats, and Muslim commentators issue dire, thinly-veiled threats of "what might happen" if British society continues to be so racist and Islamophobic. Most recently, in Germany, a Moroccan immigrant attempted to rob a 20-year old German, and was killed when the German (rightly) defended himself. As a result, Muslims in Germany have used this opportunity to condemn the racist, Islamophobic German society and to threaten violence and rioting, rather than condemning one of their own who attempted to commit a violent crime. These are just four examples of a much wider pattern of behavior exhibited by Muslim immigrants to European countries - failure to assimilate, the formation of religious enclaves that are actively hostile to the surrounding native populations, criminality and welfare exploitation, followed by threatened or actual violence and civil strife when the Muslims are "offended" by the native Europeans actually defending themselves. This is all shielded by cries of "racism" and "Islamophobia" that are designed to generate sympathy and the fear of lawsuits or legal prosecution by left-leaning governments against those who challenge this state of affairs.

In addition to this roundabout method, there are numerous other, more straight-forward passages in the Qur'an that exhort the followers of Mohammed to war:

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah 9:5)

This passage is found in a portion of the Qur'an dealing with the making and breaking of treaties with pagans (i.e. unbelievers). In context, it is condoned for Muslims to break treaties with pagans if it is to their advantage to do so, unless those pagans have been completely faithful in the discharge of their treaty obligations. But, after the terms of the treaty are met (the forbidden months are past), Muslims are commanded to make war. The historical context is that in ancient times, both in Arabia and elsewhere, treaties were most often made for specific periods of time. During that time period, both parties were expected to be completely faithful in the discharge of their obligations under the terms of the treaty. After the treaty term had ended, all bets were off. Groups that had been allies for a period of time might then turn on each other in the most vicious manner after the treaty time ended, without any loss of honor for either side. In our context, the Qur'an tells Muslims that pagan or unbelieving groups with whom they do not currently have a treaty are open to the prosecution of offensive war. The particular treaty that lies at the heart of this passage was merely temporary, lasting four months, and was interpreted, as we will see, by later Islamic scholars as nullifying any other treaties between Muslims and infidels - which would essentially mean that NO treaties are now to be considered binding. Indeed, as can be seen through the Islamic notion of hudna, radical Muslims do not feel themselves bound to respect any pact which they might sign with non-Muslims, and will break such agreements as soon as they feel it is to their advantage to do so.

Likewise, in Surah 9:73, Mohammed is commanded to press hard war against unbelievers,

"O Prophet! strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed."


"O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). " (Surah 9:123, Pickthal translation)

"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." (Surah 9:29)

Each of these verses, in context, is dealing with waging offensive war against unbelievers for the purpose of spreading Islam. As with the previous verses which we saw, Muslims will often try to claim that these verses promote defensive warfare only, and that offensive war to propagate Islam is not quranical. They say this in the hopes that their audience, most likely non-Muslims, will not be conversant in the Qur'an, and hence will be unaware of the contextual environment in which these verses appear, nor with the history of interpretation pertaining to these verses. A straight-forward reading of the appropriate suwar and surrounding passages using a little common sense will contextually demonstrate the offensive nature of these verses to the unbiased reader.

What Muslim Scholars of the Qur'an Say About Violence

However, many Muslim apologists still attempt to argue that these verses in the Qur'an are being taken out of context. Because of this claim, we should investigate what orthodox Muslim expositors and scholars have to say on this, as their words were much less inhibited by concerns for presenting Islam in a positive light to Western audiences. One of the earliest great Muslim legal scholars, Al-Tabari (838-923), explained that Surah 9:5 commanded the death of infidels if they would not embrace Islam, lest they should enter Mecca 1. Much later, Al-Mahili (d. 1486) also gives a clear indication of understanding Surah 9:5 offensively and aggressively,

"The chapter of Repentance was revealed to raise the level of security which the infidels enjoyed because Muhammad had earlier made a covenant with them not to kill them. After that, this verse was given (9:5) in order to free God and Muhammad from any covenant with the infidels. It gives them four months in which they will be protected, but by the end of the four months (the end of the grace period), the order comes: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. Capture them, besiege them in their castles and fortresses until they are forced to accept Islam or be killed."2

Another of the most historically influential Muslim jurists and quranic exegetes, al-Baidawi (d. 1286), gives a fairly typical understanding of the doctrine, commenting on Surah 9:29,

"Fight Jews and Christians because they violated the origin of their faith and they do not believe in the religion of the truth (Islam), which abrogated all other religions. Fight them until they pay the poll-tax (Ziziya tax) with submission and humiliation."3

The Islamic philosopher and historian, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), who was a jurist of the Maliki legal school affirmed the duty of Islam to gain power over other nations when he stated,

"In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore, caliphate and royal authority are united in Islam, so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them at the same." 4

Other noteworthy Islamic jurists and philosophers promoted the same offensive strategy for jihad. Ibn Kathir (1301-1373) commented that Surah 9:5, seen above, abrogated any covenant which might have been made between Muslims and infidels, and that it stipulated that Muslims fight the infidels anywhere on earth, except for within "the sacred area" (i.e. the haram of Mecca)5. Ibn Hazm (994-1064) provides some interesting commentary concerning the so-called "tolerance" verse, Surah 2:256 ("Let there be no compulsion in religion...."), when he demonstrates the true purpose of the ayah,

"The prophet Muhammad did not accept from the Arab heathens less than Islam or the sword. This is compulsion of faith. No compulsion in faith (or religion) applies only to Christians or Jews because they are not to be forced to embrace the religion. They have the option either to embrace Islam, the sword, or to pay the poll-tax. In this case they can keep their own faith. It was truly said on the authority of the apostle of God that there is no compulsion in the faith." 6

Thus, compulsion certainly was to be applied to any non-Muslims who were not Christians or Jews. These latter two groups were given the third, apparently non-compulsive, choice of submitting to pay the jizyah poll-tax and live out their lives as a permanent underclass. This "non-compulsion" applies only to lands outside the Arabian peninsula. For the peninsula itself, the traditions stipulate that no two religions could exist there, only Islam alone7.

Other medieval scholars arrived at the same general conclusions about jihad that are drawn from the Qur'an. The North African jurist al-Qayrawani (d. 996, of the Maliki school) drawing inspiration from 9:29 wrote,

"Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. Its performance by certain individuals may dispense others from it. We Malikis maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them."8

Al-Mawardi (972-1058), a scholar of the Shafi'i juridical tradition, said,

"The mushrikun of Dar al-Harb (the arena of battle) are of two types: First, those whom the call of Islam has reached, but they have refused it and have taken up arms. The amir of the army has the option of fighting them....Second, those whom the invitation to Islam has not reached, although such persons are few nowadays since Allah has made manifest the call of his Messenger....It is forbidden to begin an attack before explaining the invitation to Islam to them, informing them of the miracles of the Prophet and making plain the proofs so as to encourage acceptance on their part; if they still refuse to accept after this, war is waged against them and they are treated as those whom the call has reached...."9

The Hidayah, the classical manual of law for the Hanafite legal tradition prepared by al-Marghinani (1152-1197), says this about jihad, drawing again upon the command to impose jizyah in 9:29 as it relates to the "three choices" rule (convert, submit, or die),

"It is not lawful to make war upon any people who have never before been called to the faith, without previously requiring them to embrace it, because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith, and also because the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war....If the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do."10

Peters provides the view of Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), the Hanbalite jurist who, as will be seen in the next chapter, was instrumental in establishing the extremely fundamentalist interpretation of the Qur'an and the traditions which stifled Islamic intellectual endeavors starting in the 13th century. Taymiyya wrote about jihad,

"Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight with words (e.g. by propaganda) and acts (e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare)."11

As we can see, prominent Islamic scholars of antiquity from each of the four major schools of jurisprudence in historical Islam (even the "liberal" Hanafites) clearly understood the quranic injunction to holy war. Even al-Ghazzali (1058-1111), a Sufi (who is yet considered "orthodox" by Sunni Islam) and therefore a representative of the mystical (and supposedly peaceful) side of Islam, supported doing whatever it takes to conquer and subdue "infidels",

" must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them....If a person of the Ahl al-Kitab is enslaved, his marriage is automatically revoked. A woman and her child taken into slavery should not be separated....One may cut down their trees....One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide....they may steal as much food as they need...."12

Modern Muslim scholars, historians, and exegetes have taken similar stances on jihad. Al-Buti reveals for us the following,

"The verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that Holy War which is demanded in islamic law, is not defensive war (as the Western students of Islam would like to tell us) because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all Holy wars"13

He likewise states,

"You may wonder now: Where is the wisdom of forcing infidels and their associates to embrace islam? How could the mind set of the twentieth century understand such matters? The answer is: We wonder where the wisdom is when the state forces an individual to be subjugated to its system and philosophy despite the freedom he possesses? How can it be reasonable for the state to have the right to subjugate its citizens to the laws, principles, and ordinances it enacts, while the creator of all does not have the right to subjugate them to His authority and to convert them from every creed or faith to His religion?" 14

And in further refutation of the "defensive war" theory,

"This is the concept which professional experts of thought attempt to conceal from the eyes of muslims by claiming that anything that is related to a holy war in islamic law is only based on defensive warfare to repel an attack....It is no secret that the reason behind this deception is the great fear which dominates foreign countries (East and West alike) that the idea of Holy War for the cause of God would be revived in the hearts of muslims, then certainly, the collapse of European culture will be accomplished. The mind set of the European man has matured to embrace islam as soon as he hears an honest message presented. How much more will it be accepted if this message is followed by a Holy War?" 15

Hence, al-Buti is quite honest about the fact that the Qur'an commands offensive jihad for the purpose of converting infidels to Islam. Other modern Islamic scholars agree. In exegeting Surah 9:29, which commands the laying of the jizyah onto the infidels, Khan states,

"Allah revealed in Sura Bara'at (Repentance, IX) the order to discard (all) obligations (covenants, etc), and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as it is revealed in the verse 9:29). So they (Muslims) were not permitted to abandon "the fighting" against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are strong and have the ability to fight against them.

"So at first the fighting was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory...."16

Thus, the teaching is that Muslims are to fight when they have sufficient strength to win, and that this fight is obligatory. When Muslims are not strong enough to fight their enemies, they are to lie low until such a time as they can fight, according to another prominent modern Muslim scholar. Quoting as-Suyuti, as-Saleh wrote,

"The command to fight the infidels was delayed until the Muslims become strong, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and be patient."17

Essentially, Muslim peacefulness all too often would be a deception that was waiting to be unmasked the moment the Muslims felt themselves strong enough to risk waging war. Saleh goes on to cite Zarkashi in a footnote saying,

"Allah the most high and wise revealed to Mohammad in his weak condition what suited the situation, because of his mercy to him and his followers. For if He gave them the command to fight while they were weak it would have been embarrassing and most difficult, but when the most high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what suited the situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become Muslims or to pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or face death. These two options, to fight or to have peace return according to the strength or the weakness of the Muslims."18

Saudi scholar al-Amin likewise points to the Qur'an for the justification of offensive holy war,

"God had made it clear to us that (we should) call for acceptance of Islam first, then wage war. It is not admissible to wage war before extending the invitation to embrace islam first, as the Qur'an says. 'We verily sent our messenger with clear proofs and revealed to them the scripture and the balance, that mankind may observe right measure, and he revealed iron, wherein is mighty power and uses for mankind and that Allah (God) may know him who helps Him and his messengers, 'Allah is strong, Almighty' (Surah Iron 57:25)."19

This is especially informative for those who may remember that in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks, Saudi religious and political leaders, in the process of extending their condolences to President Bush, also extended an invitation to him to convert to Islam, which was a clear application of the principle shown above. Abdul-Fattah reiterated this when he wrote,

"Islamic law demands that before Muslims start fighting infidels (unbelievers) they first deliver the message of Islam to them. It was proven that the prophet never fought people before he called them to embrace Islam first. He used to command his generals to do so also."20

To the extent that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were wrong in their attacks on 9-11 and in other terrorist attacks before then, in the view of radical fundamentalist Muslims, it was in that they had not first issued the standard call for the enemy to embrace Islam first, before the foe was fought.

Qutb, in a chapter entitled "Jihaad in the Cause of God", says this about those who believe that jihad is to be a defensive war only,

"They are ignorant of the nature of Islam and of its function, and that it has a right to take the initiative for human freedom....Thus wherever an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the Divinely-ordained system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and take control of the political authority so that it may establish the Divine system on earth, while it leaves the matter of belief to individual conscience."21

Thus, while touting "freedom of individual conscience", Qutb seems to be espousing the right of the "Islamic community" to take control of political authority, presumably even if that authority is the government of a foreign country in which Muslims reside, which would hearken back to what was seen earlier with Surah 8:72-73. Qutb's whole chapter consists of his arguments that Islam has a "right" to wage jihad to overthrow social and political systems which are not in accord with Islamic law, so that people are then "free to serve God", meaning that there will be no competitors to Islam, and hence people will choose Islam. Naturally, people who are already Muslims but who live in foreign countries where Islam is not the law of the land are considered doubly in need of "liberation" by having the non-Muslims systems under which they live overthrown and replaced by Islam. Hence, he perversely attributes the term "freedom" to a state of affairs where conquered peoples are given the choice of either converting to Islam, living as second-class citizens, or dying. Qutb, it should be noted, was executed by Egypt's Nasser government for attempting to overthrow the secular regime.

That Muslims, some "weak" and living in foreign lands and others "strong" and living in Dar es-Salaam, should help each other to overthrow these foreign systems which "oppress" Muslims is seen in Usmani's comment on 8:73,

"Between a Kafir and a Muslim neither there is real comradeship nor they can inherit each other. Of course, the Kafir is the comrade and heir of a Kafir (Unbeliever). In fact, all the Unbelievers in enmity against you are one. Wherever they will find the Muslims weak, they will tease and persecute them. So if the Muslims will not support and help each other, or the weak Muslims will not try to bring themselves under the support and protection of the free Muslims, a great Fitna and corruption will spread, i.e. the weak Muslims shall not be secure and their Eman will be in danger too."22

Fattah adds,

"Islam has approved war so that the Word of God becomes supreme. This is war for the cause of God (Holy War). Muhammad, therefore, sent his ambassadors to eight kings and princes in the neighborhood of the Arab Peninsula to call them to embrace islam. They rejected his call. Thus, it became incumbent on the Muslims to fight them." 23

In fact, if unbelievers resist the "call to Islam", then they themselves are responsible for the wars which Islam is then required to fight against them, at least in the eyes of Islamic fundamentalism. Tibi, himself a voice against Islamism and for reformation within Islam, describes the traditional understanding of warfare and authority in Islam,

"At its core, Islam is a religious mission to all humanity. Muslims are religiously obliged to disseminate the Islamic faith throughout the world. “We have sent you forth to all mankind” (Q. 34:28). If non-Muslims submit to conversion or subjugation, this call (da’wa) can be pursued peacefully. If they do not, Muslims are obliged to wage war against them. In Islam, peace requires that non-Muslims submit to the call of Islam, either by converting or by accepting the status of a religious minority (dhimmi) and paying the imposed poll tax, jizya. World peace, the final stage of the da’wa, is reached only with the conversion or submission of all mankind to Islam....Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a fulfillment of the Qur’anic command to spread Islam as a way to peace. The resort to force to disseminate Islam is not war (harb), a word that is used only to describe the use of force by non-Muslims. Islamic wars are not hurub (the plural of harb) but rather futuhat, acts of “opening” the world to Islam and expressing Islamic jihad. Relations between dar al-Islam, the home of peace, and dar al-harb, the world of unbelievers, nevertheless take place in a state of war, according to the Qur’an and to the authoritative commentaries of Islamic jurists. Unbelievers who stand in the way, creating obstacles for the da’wa, are blamed for this state of war, for the da’wa can be pursued peacefully if others submit to it. In other words, those who resist Islam cause wars and are responsible for them. Only when Muslim power is weak is “temporary truce” (hudna) allowed (Islamic jurists differ on the definition of “temporary”)."24

Modern Islamic authorities from the Indian subcontinent stand with their brethren on this issue. Fazlur Rahman notes the abundant discussion of jihad in the Qur'an, and rejects the modern interpretation of jihad as defensive war only25. Pirzada likewise states about the nature of Islamic jihad,

"The reasons stated in the verse for waging a war against the people of the Book clearly show that it is not for a defensive war, the command for a defensive war was given much earlier....The fact is that it is not correct to limit jihad within the circle of defensive war, nor is it correct to term it, what is today called, 'an aggressive war', because jihad is not a war that is fought for conquering land, national prejudices, material gains, and false ideologies, it is fought for the noble purpose of freeing the slaves of God from the lordship of the false gods, to end aggression and tyranny and to give them a pure and virtuous atmosphere. This war is synonymous with the act of surgery of the rotten part of the body to provide healthy life to humanity."26

Maududi as well rejects attempts to make a distinction between offensive and defensive jihad and views jihad as the means by which to overthrown all non-Islamic systems and replace them with submission to Allah. Speaking of Islam as a "revolutionary force", he says,

"The division of Islamic Jihad into "offensive" and "defensive" is not permissible. Islamic Jihad is both offensive and defensive at one and the same time. It is offensive because the Muslim party attacks the rule of an opposing ideology, and it is defensive because the Muslim Party is constrained to capture state power in order to protect the principles of Islam in space-time forces."27

Hence, "defense" is defined as destroying any system not in agreement with Islam. Under this ideology, "defense" then becomes not just an option, but an act of piety. Nu'mani demonstrates this redefinition in his justification of jihad as a noble and spotless act,

"Fighting, apparently a cruel act, was shorn of all sordid motives and raised to such level of sanctity and saintliness that this manifestation of the devil in man was sublimed into a pious act of highest godliness. It was now to aim at protecting the weak and oppressed against the highhandedness of the strong and cruel."28

Nu'mani then cites a number of quranic verses such as Suwar 5:39, 6:39, and 9:29 in support of his statement. "Protecting the weak and oppressed" means freeing them from the control of non-Islamic political and philosophical systems - without bothering to find out if they desire to be "freed", of course. He further exalts the "sanctity" of holy war,

"Jihad or the holy war was exalted into an act of piety not only in respect of its ultimate aim, but also in its external aspect....In short, was that once reflected the atrocious and barbaric side of human nature was now turned, through the teachings of Islam, into an institution for the glorification of Allah, establishment of peace, suppression of turbulence, and protection of the oppresses. What was more it was conducted as a service at a mosque or church with praises of Allah on the lips of the devotees."29

Because it is the duty of good Muslims to "liberate" the rest of the world from the tyranny and oppression of their native, non-Islamic political, religious, and philosophical systems, much is said by the commentators to this end. Daryabadi, commenting on Surah 9:123, says this about fighting infidels who are nearby,

"i.e. the neighbouring pagan states, for they claim your care in the first place, and their reclamation ought to be endeavoured first."30

Similarly, Zaheer cites the medieval commentator Ibn Kathir to explain that Surah 9:123 commands Muslims to keep fighting whoever next borders previously conquered territories, and notes that Ibn Kathir gave this as the explanation for why the Islamic faith spread to such an extent as it did31.

Violence is also the prescribed suggestion for dealing with "hypocrites" - those members of the Islamic community who are insufficiently Islamic in their approach to the religion. Surah 9:73, seen above, is sometimes interpreted by commentators as saying that the striving against hypocrites is to be done through words and arguments (though the striving against unbelievers still requires the sword). Daryabadi, for instance, presents this interpretation of 9:7332. This interpretation, however, is by no means universal. Zaheer notes that while some ancient commentators, such as Ibn Kathir, interpreted 9:73 more peacefully, others did not. He cites not only Ibn 'Abbas as saying that this verse requires fighting with the sword against unbelievers, but also 'Ali as saying that this verse calls for the use of the sword against hypocrites33. Usmani says that the sword may be used against hypocrites if their hypocrisy becomes "public clearly"34. Pirzada says about 9:73,

"That is; Now no quarters should be shown to the hypocrites, but they should be dealt with strictly and firmly, and if necessary force should be used against them to the extent that may be required."35

Essentially, whatever force is deemed necessary to induce Muslims who are insufficiently pious to get with the program may be used to coerce them into religious piety and at least outward conformity with the strictures of the shari'a law.

In relation to what was seen above about the imperative to spread holy war so as to "liberate" non-Muslim lands from their non-Muslim cultures and political systems, for those "People of the Book" who refuse to come around once they are conquered, Islam stipulates a set of coercive measures designed to induce conquered non-Muslims (called dhimmiyyun, or dhimmis) to convert to Islam. More will be said in the next chapter about the institution of dhimmitude itself, but we should note at this point the commandment of Surah 9:29 to fight non-Muslims until they "pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." The jizyah is a poll tax (often coupled with a land tax called the kharaj) levied on all able-bodied non-Muslim males in lands conquered by Islam. The purpose of this tax, aside from generating revenue for the Islamic state, is to emphasize to dhimmis their second-class status and subjugation to the Islamic religio-political system. Paying the jizyah is not optional - refusing to do so would result in death or expulsion from their own land. Usmani notes this in his commentary on 9:29,

"The Polytheists and Idolators were primarily aimed to be totally exterminated from the soil of Arabia, but so far as the Jews and Christians were concerned the main policy in the beginning was to shatter their power against Islam and its expansion. So permission was granted that if they accepted obedience and paid Jizyah they could live in the Islamic state and their life and property shall be safe. If they did not accept obedience they would be dealt with like the Polytheists, i.e. they would also be exiled or slain, because they do not also believe in God and the Messenger as must."36

As we will see in the following chapter, acceptance of the terms of dhimma, which include the submission and payment of the jizyah, did not in practice always guarantee the safety of life or property which Usmani suggests it did. Shafi likewise notes that the jizyah is essentially a payment of protection, a sort of medieval Mafioso-style extortion,

"Literally, jizyah means return or recompense. In the terminology of the Shari'ah, it refers to the amount of money taken from disbelievers in lieu of killing." 37

The jizyah is meant to show the dhimmis that they are inferior, that their stubborn insistence on retaining their old ways places them in a position of submission and slavery to the Islamic system. Anwer Ali explains this to us in his comments on 9:29,

"The Jizyah is compensation for protection and security of the non-believers of the Islamic State. It is a symbol for subordination to the Islamic State. The word Ann Yadin, i.e. pay by their hands [translated as "with willing submission" in Yusuf Ali's translation above], means that they should pay it of their own as a subordinate and the words Wahum Sagheroon mean that they should not have superiority over the land; the superiority should be for believers who are vice-regents of Allah on earth.

"Further, the idea underlying Jizyah is that each year they must think that to pay for remaining on the wrong, instead of getting on the Straight Path and paying the poor rate, is actually a most unfortunate complex in which they are involved."38

Hence, jizyah "proves" to the infidel the inferiority of his own belief system, and at the same time "encourages" him to convert to Islam. Maududi reiterates this in his comment on this ayah when he notes that the jizyah serves to remind Jews and Christians of their submission and the "price of following the ways of error."39

The examples given above are only a very small sampling of what could be said with regard to both the historical and modern orthodox Muslim positions on holy war and the forceful subjugation of non-Muslims. As we can see, the justification is often drawn directly from those verses that were quoted above, and that are said to be "defensive only" or "taken out of context" by Muslim apologists. Jeffrey observed,

"It is of course, easy to raise the objection that a Jihad in the old sense is impossible of realization in the modern world, for Islam is far too badly divided for anything like a general Jihad to be contemplated and far too weak in technical equipment for a Jihad to be successful even if started. This does not dispose of the fact, however, that the earlier conception of Jihad has left a deposit in Muslim thinking that is still to be reckoned with in the political relations of the Western world with Islam."40

Thus, it should certainly be seen that offensive war for the specific purpose of spreading the Islamic religion is very much a quranic practice. While the apologists tell us that jihad is "defensive", their own scholars past and present refute this lie.

Violence From the Ahadith

The Qur'an is not the only source for this jihad doctrine, however. The ahadith also say much about waging offensive war against the infidel. Jihad is touted as the second best deed which could be performed in Islam, next only to believing in Allah and his prophet Mohammed, and better even than performing the hajj41. To those who participate in jihad comes either the spoils of war if he lives or paradise if he is killed.

"The Prophet said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr)." 42

Other portions of the ahadith also confirm the rights of jihadis to the spoils of those they kill in holy war 43 and their automatic entry into paradise if they die as martyrs in the cause of Allah 44. Participation in holy war earns Muslims many benefits and blessings from Allah, or so the writings teach. For instance, Mohammed is reported to have said,

"He who keeps a horse posted on the enemies' frontier in Allah's path, then manages himself (to feed it) with its fodder with his own hand, will earn a virtue for every grain (he feeds it)." 45

Right after this passage, it is then taught that a man who participates in jihad only for so long as the time spent between two milkings of a she-camel (I don't know much about camels, but the traditions suggest that this is only a single day's worth of daylight46) still is entitled to paradise because of the blessedness of his endeavor 47. The tradition also teaches that a man who dies in holy war has the right to intercede before Allah in paradise for the entry of seventy other persons from among his friends and family, which Allah then is required to allow into paradise 48. It pays to have friends, apparently!

The importance of holy war in Islamic teaching takes precedence over other religious activities, as well. Mohammed taught that acting as a soldier of Allah is as good as if one perpetually "observes fasts" and "stands in devotion" every night49. While Islamic teachers in the West will play up the Muslim duty of zakat, the giving of alms to the poor, the ahadith teach that giving of your wealth to support jihad earns you even greater rewards. The tradition states based upon an interpretation of Surah 2:261,

"He who supplies provisions (to mujahids) in Allah's path and stays at home is entitled to seven hundred dirhams for each dirham (spent in Allah's cause) and he who himself fights in Allah's path and spends (money) for the same cause, is entitled to get for every dirham (the reward of) seventy thousand dinars." 50

Perhaps one of the most decisive statements in all the ahadith which shows the driving force behind the expansion of Islam to be greed, and not any sort of "service" to a deity is this,

"'Ubada b. Samit (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that in the beginning, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would promise to gift one-fourth of spoils (to Mujahids) and one-third of booty on repatriation.(note: "This involves the idea of holding a portion of the booty until the entire campaign is concluded, so as to encourage the mujahedeen to continue fighting to the end, this is what repatriation means") 51

Even more blunt is the tradition that says,

"He who kills (a person in jihad) is entitled to his belongings."52

Want something that a non-believer has? Just get out your sword (or AK-47), wage jihad, and take it! Nevermind those laws of God like, "..thou shalt not kill....thou shalt no steal....thou shalt not covet..." (Exodus 20:13,15,17)

Hence, it should be seen and understood that the inclination of the teachings from the Muslim religious texts is toward violence and the propagation of the Islamic religion by war and the enticement of booty and eternal, carnal paradise. Let us now examine Islam's practice of violence, both historically and in a contemporary setting.

Historical Muslim Violence Toward Unbelievers

The toll in human life which Islam has wrought throughout history has been very great. According to the traditional historical accounts, the previously mentioned Caliph Umar I attained to the leadership of the Islamic Caliphate in 634 AD, two years after the death of Mohammed. In his short time as Caliph, so the traditional history says, he sent out Islamic armies for the conquest of Syria (636 AD), Iraq (637 AD), Palestine and the Transjordan (638 AD), Egypt (642 AD), and Persia (642 AD). Umar was so brutal and despotic in his retaliation against the Persians (modern day Iranians) for opposing Islam's spread, that to this day Iran's Shi'ites will celebrate the anniversary of his death with great festivities. After Umar, Muslim armies continued the wars of conquest and conversion westward across North Africa where they destroyed Byzantine power before proceeding into Spain and defeating the Visigothic kingdoms. Muslim expansion into Europe was only finally halted by Charles Martel and his Franks at the Battle of Poitiers in 732 AD, but it was to be centuries before the non-Muslim peoples of the Iberian peninsula were completely liberated from the yoke of Islamic bondage.

In the east, Muslim expansion continued into Central Asia and India. The Muslim conquest of India was similarly brutal to those conquests in the West, in its destruction of the indigenous civilization and subjugation of the native Indians.

"From the time Muslims started arriving, around 712 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of 'a holy war' of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilizations, wiped out entire races.....Mahmoud Ghazni was an early example of Muslim ruthlessness, burning in 1018 the temples of Mathura, razing Kanauj to the ground and destroying the famous temple of Somnath, sacred to all Hindus. His successors were as ruthless as Ghazni: 103 temples in the holy city of Benaras were razed to the ground, its marvelous temples destroyed, its magnificent palaces wrecked." 53

India was repeatedly subjected to wave after wave after wave of Muslim invaders who would make a practice of killing or raping anyone in sight, and burning down anything they could not make off with in their packs. The Muslims of India and Pakistan (which is traditionally an Indian cultural area) are descendants of those Indians who converted to avoid the massacres and the religion tax imposed by their Muslim overlords.

Deserving of special mention is one sect of Islam whose legacy lives on today, in name if not in fact, which has given to the English language its word for callous, amoral murderers: The Assassins. The Assassins were a faction derived from to the Ismailite sect of Islam. Founded in 1090, this group kept much of the Middle East in fear with their daring, cold-blooded assassinations of all kinds of personages, even up to the caliphs themselves. This group believed that killing was a religious duty, and would often assassinate leaders they felt to be too weak or too compromising to continue the spread of Islam. Much of their effort was also directed against Frankish and Byzantine Christians in the Middle East. The name for this group derives from hashish, which they would often smoke so as to induce ecstatic states in preparation for their killings. This group was ultimately destroyed by the Mongol invader Hulagu Khan who razed their mountaintop fortress of Alamut in 125654.

In the later middle ages, the expansion of Islam by jihad was carried forward by the Ottoman Turkish empire. The Turks, over the course of three centuries, pushed their way out of Asia Minor and into the Balkans, encircling and finally conquering Constantinople in 1453. Their conquest of Constantinople, the lone remaining bastion which had withstood their assaults in the Balkans, was one of the utmost brutality and viciousness. When the walls of the city were finally breached by Turkish cannon, the few defenders were overwhelmed as the Sultan's troops poured into the city. For three days, the troops were given free reign to murder, rape, and pillage, which they did with gusto. Men, women, children - young and old alike - who gathered in churches in that dark hour to pray for deliverance were mercilessly cut down by the Muslim invaders where they knelt. The Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, the greatest work of religious architecture in Western Christendom, was defiled and converted to a mosque. An entire race of people, an entire civilization, were savaged, and the remnants brought into a slavery that was to last for centuries. Runciman records the death-knell of the Eastern Empire as such,

"On May the twenty-ninth, 1453, a civilization was wiped out irrevocably. It had left a glorious legacy in learning and in art; it had raised whole countries from barbarism and had given refinement to others; its strength and its intelligence for centuries had been the protection of Christendom. For eleven centuries, Constantinople had been the centre of the world of light. The quick brilliance, the interest and the aestheticism of the Greek, the proud stability and the administrative competence of the Roman, the transcendental intensity of the Christian from the East, welded together into a fluid, sensitive mass, were now put to sleep. Constantinople was become the seat of brutal force, of ignorance, of magnificent tastelessness."55

After this, the Turks moved further up into the Balkans and Central Europe until finally being turned back at the gates of Vienna in 1683. During their time of domination over the Balkan peoples, the Turks laid many heavy oppressions upon these conquered peoples. One particularly despicable practice, known as devsirme, was that of taking "infidel" children from their parents as slaves. Once every five years, the Turks would take every Orthodox and Catholic child they could get their hands on from among the unconverted Balkan peoples, and bring them as slaves to the Sultan. The girls usually were destined to serve as concubines in the harems of Turkish leaders. The boys were forcibly converted to Islam, and then thoroughly indoctrinated in Muslim fanaticism and Turkish nationalism. After their "education" was finished, these were then highly trained in the arts of war and made into warrior-slaves, known as janissaries. The Janissaries served as the Sultan's police force and military elite throughout the Ottoman Empire, many of them enforcing his decrees back in the very homelands from which they had been stolen 56.

Muslim nastiness towards the conquered peoples of the Balkans still plays a role in the politics of that region today. The Albanians and Bosnians are both Muslim groups whose ancestors originally converted to avoid the child-conscription and religion tax. The Serbs and Croats hate the Bosnians and Albanians with a passion because of the historical legacy of the atrocities that the Turkish overlords perpetrated against their Slavic underlings. The enmity today between the Greeks and Turks derives from the brutality of Muslim rule in Greece, and the barbarity of the Turkish attempts to put down the Greek war for independence (1821-1827).

The Violence of Islam in the Modern Era

Muslim atrocities against non-Muslim conquered populations have continued into the modern era. In 1894, Sultan Abdul Hamid II instituted a pogrom against Orthodox Armenians who refused to abide by a massive increase in taxes that the Turkish government levied upon them. Between 1894-1896, between 100-150,000 Armenians were killed by either the sword or starvation in a general massacre ordered by the Sultan in what is known as the Sassoun Massacre, and many more were driven into exile, or escaped only by converting to Islam 57. An attack upon the Ottoman Bank by Armenian resistors to the Sultan's genocidal attacks (an attack which was designed to bring Western attention to the Armenians' plight) was defused, and this was used as an excuse to murder another 8,000 Armenians in Istanbul in a general slaughter. Yet again, between 1915-1918, the Turks carried out genocide against the Armenians. Families were torn apart, the men being taken out and shot, and the women and children forced to march until they died of exhaustion or starvation 58. In this time, a quarter of a million Armenians were able to escape to Russia, while another 200,000 saved themselves by converting to Islam. However, the best estimates say that more than one and a half million Armenians were killed by this Muslim atrocity. Turkish Armenia ceased to exist.

The Greeks have also suffered holocaust at the hands of Muslims. In an effort to complete the Islamization of Turkish dominions, efforts to destroy or drive out the mostly Orthodox Greek populations were begun in 1913. That year, 16,000 Greeks were murdered in Eastern Thrace (on the European side of the Dardanelles). In 1914, Greeks were ordered to vacate the city of Pergamum, and were massacred in Erythrea and Phocaia. That same year, 400,000 Greeks died from malnourishment and mistreatment in forced-labor battalions, and 120,000 Greeks were driven from their homes in Eastern Thrace, fleeing as refugees to the Kingdom of Greece. In 1917, 23,000 Greeks were deported from Cydoniae, and in 1918, another 8,000 Greek families were expelled from southwestern Asia Minor. In 1922, 300,000 more Greeks were forced out of Eastern Thrace, and at Smyrna, 150,000 Greeks and Armenians were massacred by Turkish forces 59. It is important to keep in mind that all of these areas mentioned: Eastern Thrace, the Ionian isles, and southwestern Asia Minor, were all traditionally Greek cultural areas, dating back to the Mycenaean period over 1000 years before Christ. The Islamization of these areas by the removal of the Greeks can be clearly seen as an act of jihad, the conquest of territory for Islam. This policy of genocide continued all the way up to the fall of the Ottoman Turkish sultanate (which, during the War, issued an active call for jihad against the Allies) at the end of 1922. Further, even the secular Young Turk regime which replaced the Sultanate eventually succumbed to pressures to reinstitute the Islamic religion at an official level in Turkey. After World War II, the secular regime "resumed the teaching of Islamic religion in the public schools, opened state schools for the training of religious functionaries and taken such measures for the promotion of religion as putting religious programs on the state radio" 60. Turkish aggression against the Greeks was displayed once again in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus and waged war on the Greeks, who were ostensibly Turkey's NATO ally.

Jihad is still alive and well today, and is not just the province of a few militant radicals. The forcible advancement of Islam, coupled with a contrived hatred for the Western world, appeals to the hearts and minds of millions of disaffected Muslims worldwide, many of them young and eager to give their lives in the cause of Allah. Many well-educated Muslims, in the Middle East and in the West, have taken hold of the intellectual cause of Islamism and support this jihad wholeheartedly. Witness the exultation of Muslims worldwide at the destruction of the World Trade Center towers...not only in Palestinian, Pakistani, and Egyptian villages and slums, but also in more well-to-do North African neighborhoods in France and on many college campuses in North America.

The fields of battle where radical Islam is instigating trouble range all across the globe. In Mindanao, the large southern island of the Philippine chain, Muslims are murdering Roman Catholics and Christians in an effort to establish an Islamic state on the island. Spearheaded by the terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf, Filipino Muslims have waged a terrorist war of shootings and bombings against both civilian and military targets. For example, one such attack was made against a shopping mall in Manila on 9 October, 2007 in which eight people were killed. Abu Sayyaf has also engaged in assassinations against Filipino leaders who oppose their movement. On 13 November, 2007, a bomb killed Wahab Akbar, a member of the Filipino Congress and former Muslim radical who turned from violence and began to lead the charge against Abu Sayyaf's violence. In all, over 400 civilians have been killed by Muslim terrorist violence in the Philippines since 2000 61.

Another place where Muslim terrorists have been using violence to kill infidels and establish a separatist state is in Thailand. Since the beginning of the concerted effort by Muslims in the southern provinces to break away, thousands have been killed in the violence. The violence, however, is disturbing because it does not just consist of attacks on the Thai military, or even simple indiscriminate bombings (though those happen as well62). In Thailand, Muslim terrorists have made a point of kidnapping and murdering civilians who are of the wrong religion - primarily Buddhists. For instance, on 24 July, 2007, two elderly Thais riding on a motorcycle were stopped by armed gunmen, doused with benzene, and lit on fire63. The murder of civilians by Muslim "separatists" in Thailand is commonplace, and the previous example is only one of hundreds that could be given. Many Muslims who work with or for the Thai government suffer as well, including one Muslim man who was crucified by the terrorists, while his two Buddhist companions were "merely" beheaded.

Indonesia, long viewed as a "moderate" and "tolerant" Muslim country, has seen Islamic extremist become more prevalent as well. Indonesia was the country where the infamous Bali bombings occurred, an attack directed against the country's premier tourist center on 12 October, 2002. In the attack, 202 people were killed, including 164 Australian and other foreign vacationers. Bali was also the site of a second, less deadly attack on 12 October, 2005. The attacks were part of an ongoing campaign of violence by Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic terror group in Indonesia. In addition to these high profile bombings, Indonesia has also seen a string of violent attacks against the Christian minority in the country - attacks that have included the rape, murder, and beheadings of Christian schoolgirls. In East Timor, a country which obtained its independence from Portugal in 1975 only to be invaded and occupied by Muslim Indonesia later that same year, Muslim militias murdered and displaced hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics before the UN intervened with Australian troops.

Pakistani mujahedeen and terror bombers seek to force the Indians out of Kashmir and unite that province with Pakistan, and have killed tens of thousands in a campaign of violence that has lasted for decades. Violence by Muslims is also endemic within India proper64, and many Indians have been killed by bombings. In 1947, after the splitting of the Indian subcontinent between Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India, Muslims instituted a reign of terror against Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist minorities in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). People were killed, property was confiscated, refugees left penniless, and Hindu women were taken and given to Muslim men for the purposes of polygamy. The wickedness of the Muslim actions led one Indian observer, S.K. Bhattacharyya, to invent an acronym for Islam - "Intolerance, Slaughter, Loot, Arson and Molestation". In 1950, half a million more Hindus were butchered, and in 1971, during Bangladesh's war for independence from Pakistan, Pakistani soldiers murdered between 1.25 and 3 million Hindus and other religious minorities65.

Throughout the Middle East, Christians and others of all kinds of religions are persecuted and killed. In 1981, Muslim fanatics rioted in Cairo against the Coptic Christian population, murdering over 100 people. Copts in Egypt suffer from a continual campaign of systematic discrimination, oppression, and violence by the Muslim majority. The Assyrian Christian population in Iraq endures daily violence and persecution from Islamic extremists. In areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic terrorist organizations such as Fatah and Islamic Jihad continue to perpetrate a systematic campaign of oppression and murder against the dwindling Christian population of Bethlehem and other towns scattered across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. After gaining complete control of Iran, the Islamist revolutionaries under the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1981 began the systematic oppression of Iran's Ba'hai minority, murdering them and taking their property.

Presently, Sudanese Muslims are waging a war of jihad against Christians and animists in the southern part of that country, killing thousands, and taking thousands as slaves, who are then sold to the Arab Muslims of the north. Sudan was also the location of the recent "Teddy Bear Jihad", in which thousands of Sudanese Muslims rioted and called for the execution of a British teacher in Sudan - all for the crime of allowing some little children to name a teddy bear after Mohammed66. In Mauritania, over 70,000 "Afro-Mauritanians" have been murdered or expelled by Islamist radicals who have instituted shari'a law in that nation67, and Mauritania has the highest percentage of its population living in slavery of any nation on earth (close to 30%)68. Indeed, according to one source with whom Bales spoke, Mauritania is described as an "austere, almost medieval nation, powered by Islam, riven by racial hatred, and flayed by drought"69. Elsewhere in Africa, Muslims in northern Nigeria continue their effort to establish shari'a Islamic law over non-Muslims. In Algeria, thousands have died in an on-going insurgency by Muslim fundamentalists against the secular government.

Of course, there is also the continual intifada which the Palestinians continue to carry out. Thousands of Israelis have been killed or maimed through cowardly Palestinian terror bombings. Many of these bombs have been specifically targeted at children, as have rifle and mortar attacks on schools and homes in Israel. Perhaps the most notorious Arab crime against Israel was the murder of eleven Israeli athletes taken hostage by Fatah terrorists (Yassir Arafat's terror organization) at the 1972 Olympics in Münich, Germany. Muslim jihad has also launched five wars against Israel, that have all failed to drive the Jews from the Holy Land.

These examples of Islamic behavior towards "infidels", even to this day, only constitutes a small percentage of what could be said about Islamic violence against non-Muslims. It seems evident that every place in which Muslims make up a significant portion of the population, efforts are made to subjugate or drive out non-Muslims. The conclusion pretty much has to be made that Islam is most certainly NOT the peaceful, tolerant, loving religion which its apologists claimed it is. More on the "tolerance" of Islam will be seen in the next chapter.

Please note what is written above should not be construed to say that every Muslim is a violent individual. Many Muslims are indeed peaceful people who get along well in non-Muslim societies. I have known several Muslims with whom I have worked (but who perhaps did not take the Islamic faith very seriously) and who were decent, kind individuals. Still, the record of Islam itself, as a religio-political system, on violence and forcible conversion is practically unrivaled in sheer magnitude, even by European medieval state-religionism with all of its inquisitions, conquistadors, and counter-reformations. The problem is not presented by individual Muslims themselves, but by the Islamic system, and especially its power to brainwash impressionable people into a structure which, when applied literally, encourages them into violence and hatred. Those Muslims who take their religious at its most literal have demonstrated time and again that they do not seek peaceful coexistence, but instead to put the quranic injunctions to violence and subjugation into practice. This shows us that the problem is with Islam itself, as a system of thought and action. Even when violence is not a practical option, orthodox Muslims still seek the subjugation of opposing belief systems. As a former Muslim tells us,

"Not every Muslim would agree that jihad requires spilling the blood of infidels, but the struggle for the victory of Islam is a factor in the life of every faithful Muslim."70

One is forced to wonder when Muslims will begin to put into practice that verse in the Qur'an which their apologists love to quote, "Let there be no compulsion in religion..." (Surah 2:256)

The Contrast of Bible Christianity

Often, foes of Bible Christianity and apologists for Islam will attempt to rebut criticism of Islam's violent nature by trying to turn the "violence argument" back onto Christianity. They will point to various passages in the Old Testament which advocate violence, particularly those involved with the establishment of Israel in the land of Canaan. What these people do not understand is that these particular passages, while instructive in a figurative sense to today's Christians in the desire of God for His children to keep themselves holy and free from wrong influences, are not directly applicable to Christians today as we do not live in the same dispensation as that of ancient Israel. A dispensation is simply a particular time frame in which God deals with man in a particular way. In the Old Testament, several dispensations are seen, as God progressively reveals Himself to man. Eventually, God begins to deal with man through the nation of Israel, whom He called out from among all nations. It was to Israel that the violent passages in the Old Testament were directed, because Israel was to be a theocratic nation which also had to deal with the practical realities of often-hostile neighboring states in the dangerous world of the ancient Near East, with all this would naturally imply71. God dealt with man differently in the New Testament. Instead of just dealing with Israel as a nation, God deals with people from all nations, and is calling His churches out from among every nation on earth.

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us..." (Ephesians 2:11-14)

My purpose for this brief lesson in doctrine is to demonstrate that a right understanding of the Bible will include the understanding that many passages in the Old Testament dealing with the ceremonial laws, priestly rites, and political judgments in ancient Israel are instructive for teaching general principles of holiness to Christians today, but are not meant to be applied directly or literally in the lives of Christians - specifically because Christians in this dispensation are not Israel. In fact, many of the "ceremonial" laws given to Israel were didactic in nature. They were meant to teach and prepare Israel to receive her Messiah, and they found their fulfillment in Christ when He came to earth. With this fulfillment, these laws no longer are binding on believers, and trying to hold onto them would actually constitute a rejection of the sacrifice made by Christ. This is the generally understood position of what are termed "conservative", "evangelical", or "fundamentalist" Christians - those who take the Bible literally and attempt to live by it. While the Old Testament may contain a number of passages depicting violence and calling for the destruction of the Canaanites or Amalekites, these are not and have not been considered normative for Christian believers to follow.

Seeing that Christians today are not called by the Bible to drive out the unbelievers and put them to the sword, what then is the attitude which Christians ought to take?

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.)" (II Corinthians 10:3-4)

These passages both illustrate that a Christian's struggle is with the spiritual forces of evil. Our warfare is fought on the spiritual plane, against the machinations of Satan and his demons. It is fought with prayer and supplication. It is fought by witnessing and preaching the truth to lost sinners in this dying world. It is fought by living rightly and presenting a pure testimony of graceful, God-honoring living to the world at large, serving as a reproof to those who live in sin. A Bible Christian may be involved in politics, may have to fight in a war if called upon by his nation, may have to even serve on a jury and choose to recommend the death penalty for a vicious criminal who has broken a law worthy of death. But, the Bible Christian will not use force or coercion to spread the Gospel and win souls.

What is the behavior then of a Bible Christian living by the Bible? They will witness. They may hand out tracts. They may even make a lost person feel uncomfortable by talking about God or standing up and doing right or refusing to do wrong. They may vote against a candidate who supports abortion, and campaign for that person's opponent. But they will not use force to spread the Gospel. History bears this out as truth.

"Ah," the scoffer might say, "What about the crusades, or the inquisitions, or the conquistadors and the subjugations of natives all over the world, or even what about the abortion clinic violence?!" The simple answer is that not a single one of these has the least bit to do with Bible-believing Christianity. Above, it was shown that Islam is a violent religion because of the teachings of the Qur'an and the ahadith. The Muslims who perpetrate the acts of violence and terrorism which I have pointed out are those who take these texts the most literally, who try the most scrupulously to live by them. If we wish to examine whether Christians who take this same general approach to the Bible are guilty of the crimes attributed to "Christianity", then it is necessary to look at their behavior as they live their lives. Do fundamentalist or evangelical Christians commit terrorist bombings? No. Do they shoot infidels and wage holy war? No. Do they seek to oppress non-Christians and subjugate them? No. A Christian being true to the teachings and testimony of Jesus Christ simply does not do these sorts of things. As I said at the beginning of this chapter, you have to look at what the holy books of a religion actually say, and see how the "true believers" apply them, to best understand the character of a religion. Am I engaging in special pleading, in inventing self-serving definitions to get my own side off the hook? No, I am merely applying the same standard to those professing to be Christians as I did to Muslims - what does the holy book say, and what do its most literal adherents do with it?

So what of the many atrocities committed in the name of "Christianity"? Simply put, those who perpetrated them were not Christians. Not only in action, but also in theology, the religious groups that were responsible for the Crusades, the inquisitions, the witch-burnings, the persecutions of "heretics", were not Christian - regardless of the fact that they claimed the name. Any religious group which denies that salvation comes by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and which believes in the efficacy of the mass or of confession to grant merit to the soul, and which seek to replace the local assembly of believers with a geographical hierarchy of bishops, archbishops, cardinals, metropolitans, and popes, is theologically opposed to the Bible, and is therefore not Biblical Christianity. Far from honoring and living by the Bible, the leaders of these religious organizations actually sought to keep the Bible from the common people. The fact that they spread their faiths by fire and sword, Crusade and inquisition, only serves to show that the fruit they bore was not that which Jesus desired for Christians to bring forth. These groups may have committed violence, especially during the Middle Ages, but this violence does not pertain to Bible Christianity and cannot honestly be laid at the feet of Bible-believing fundamental or evangelical Christians.

Some Words About the Crusades

Nevertheless, at this point we need to discuss the Crusades in some detail, for though they were not truly a Christian affair, they are an important series event, a knowledge of which is necessary for understanding the history of interaction between Islam and "Christendom". The Crusades were a series of military expeditions by medieval Europeans into the Middle East, and have become an object of fixation in the mind of Islam. They are the lens through which Muslims have come to view practically all of their dealings with the West. The Crusades, unfortunately, have also become somewhat mythologized by Muslims, who reinvent history to fit their own propagandistic purposes. Muslims will try to point to the Crusades as an example of "Christian" evil, and as a justification for their own jihad, but as we have seen above, there was nothing scriptural about the Crusades - they did not occur because of devotion to biblical religion.

Now let us deal with the serious deficiencies in the Muslim understanding of the Crusades. Though it is now in vogue among Muslims to portray the Crusades as savage offensives against peace-loving Muslim people in the Middle East, this view is historically inaccurate. Indeed, until around the middle of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire's official position, taught to all Ottoman students in the schools, was that the Crusades were a great victory and triumph for Islam, which had defeated and expelled minor barbarian incursions from the west. The Muslims of the Middle East were hardly "peace-loving". Indeed, lest we forget, the very reason why the Middle East was in the hands of the Muslims in the first place was because of a series of offensive religious wars waged by Muslims against the various Christian peoples of Asia Minor, Palestine, and North Africa.

It is necessary to understand that fact if we are to understand why the Crusades occurred in the first place. The Crusades, first and foremost, were defensive wars. They were not fought by an expansionistic, imperialistic Christendom, but rather by a Christendom that was at that time shrinking, being slowly but surely overwhelmed by the advancing Islamic empires. As Thomas Madden has written,

"Now put this down in your notebook, because it will be on the test: The crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were the West's belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world. While the Arabs were busy in the seventh through the tenth centuries winning an opulent and sophisticated empire, Europe was defending itself against outside invaders and then digging out from the mess they left behind. Only in the eleventh century were Europeans able to take much notice of the East. The event that led to the crusades was the Turkish conquest of most of Christian Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Christian emperor in Constantinople, faced with the loss of half of his empire, appealed for help to the rude but energetic Europeans. He got it. More than he wanted, in fact.

Pope Urban II called the First Crusade in 1095. Despite modern laments about medieval colonialism, the crusade's real purpose was to turn back Muslim conquests and restore formerly Christian lands to Christian control. The entire history of the crusades is one of Western reaction to Muslim advances. The crusades were no more offensive than was the American invasion of Normandy. As it happened, the First Crusade was amazingly, almost miraculously, successful. The crusaders marched hundreds of miles deep into enemy territory and recaptured not only the lost cities of Nicaea and Antioch, but in 1099 Jerusalem itself."72

The Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression. If the Muslims had not waged offensive war and continued in their plans to conquer the known world, the Crusades would never have happened. In a sense, blame for the Crusades lies at the feet of the Muslims themselves. It is doubtful, lacking the impetus provided by Emperor Alexius' appeal and Pope Urban's oration, that it would ever have occurred to the petty feudal nobles of Western Europe to even go adventuring thousands of miles away from home in the first place. And what of the Muslim contention that the Bible was somehow an impetus for the Crusaders to go pillaging across the Levant? Well, there is no real evidence that the Crusaders or those calling for crusade relied on the Bible as justification. For example, when we look at the actual text73 of Pope Urban II's call for crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095, we see exactly three references to passages from the Bible: two of them from the Gospel of Matthew, one of them from the Gospel of Luke, and none of them in any way used in the actual call to crusade - all are used to reprove the "Christians" for being blind and careless. There is nothing which in any way suggests that Urban pointed to the Bible to justify or encourage the crusading. Instead, he lays out the political situation as it existed at that time, and warns that unless the Muslim aggression is stopped, more "Christians" will be conquered and enslaved.

Muslim apologists will point to the barbaric behavior of the Crusaders when they took Jerusalem in 1099. And well they ought, for these European warlords were most definitely barbaric. But, so were the Muslims. It is common for Muslims to assert that when the Muslim army reconquered the cities which the Crusaders had taken, that they did not harm the civilian population. This claim is most certainly not true. The Muslims were just as savage and brutal in the fighting during the Crusades as were the Crusaders. For instance, when the Muslims retook Antioch, they slaughtered 16,000 people in the streets and sold another 100,000 into slavery. Likewise, when the Crusader garrison at Caesaria, 2000 men, surrendered to the Muslims on the sworn promise that they would be spared, the Muslims broke their promise and instead executed them all. Indeed, one of the series of events that lead to the Crusades and likely made the westerners amenable to aiding Byzantium in the first place was the maltreatment and murder of European pilgrims to sites in the Holy Land in the 1070s. For these apologists to claim that the Muslims retook territory without harming anyone, and their apparent attempts to portray Islam as a spotless and pure victim in the tawdry affair of the Crusades, is astounding in its mendacity. Islam bears as much complicity in the violence of the Crusades as the Europeans do, both in terms of methodology and in root cause. Indeed, Islam's march across the Middle East and North Africa in the centuries preceding the Crusades was drenched in the blood of thousands, possibly millions, of native peoples who were slaughtered and pillaged as the Arabs made their way from Egypt to Spain in the 8th century. Just as the Crusaders bear great reproach and responsibility for their conduct, so do the Muslims.

This point about the historic Muslim brutality and violence as they expanded out from the Levant in the 8th century and onward is important to remember. There is a good and strong argument to be made that the example of Islam's behavior in war and expansion was what taught the medieval Europeans about holy war. In other words, Islam was the schoolmaster in religiously motivated violence, and the Europeans the pupils absorbing the lesson from the masters. Jacques Ellul, a scholar who has studied the theologies of both Christianity and Islam, has noted the impetus which Islamic "holy war" gave to the rise of this concept in medieval Europe. As part of a more general argument concerning the influence which Muslim theology and philosophy had on the Western statecraft and religion in the early medieval period, Ellul notes the following about the rise of the "holy war" concept in Christendom,

"In tandem with this great importance of the political power there is, of course, the importance and glorification of war as a means of spreading the faith. Such war is a duty for all Muslims. Islam has to become universal. The true faith, not the power, has to be taken to every people by every means, including by military force. This makes the political power important, for it is warlike by nature. The two things are closely related. The political head wages war on behalf of the faith. He is thus the religious head, and as the sole representative of God he must fight to extend Islam. This enormous importance of war has been totally obliterated today in intellectual circles that admire Islam and want to take it afresh as a model. War is inherent in Islam. It is inscribed in its teaching. It is a fact of its civilization and also a religious fact; the two cannot be separated. It is coherent with its conception of the Dhar al ahrb, that the whole world is destined to become Muslim by Arab conquests. The proof of all this is not just theological; it is historical: hardly has the Islamic faith been preached when an immediate military conquest begins. From 632 to 651, in the twenty years after the death of the prophet, we have a lightning war of conquest with the invasion of Egypt and Cyrenaica to the west, Arabia in the center, Armenia, Syria, and Persia to the east. In the following century all North Africa and Spain are taken over, along with India and Turkey to the east. The conquests are not achieved by sanctity, but by war.

For three centuries Christianity spread by preaching, kindliness, example, morality, and encouragement of the poor. When the empire became Christian, war was hardly tolerated by the Christians. Even when waged by a Christian emperor it was a dubious business and was assessed unfavorably. It was often condemned. Christians were accused of undermining the political force and military might of the empire from within. In practice Christians would remain critical of war until the flamboyant image of the holy war came on the scene. In other words, no matter what atrocities have been committed in wars waged by so-called Christian nations, war has always been in essential contradiction to the gospel. Christians have always been more or less aware of this. They have judged war and questioned it.

In Islam, on the contrary, war was always just and constituted a sacred duty. The war that was meant to convert infidels was just and legitimate, for, as Muslim thinking repeats, Islam is the only religion that conforms perfectly to nature. In a natural state we would all be Muslims. If we are not, it is because we have been led astray and diverted from the true faith. In making war to force people to become Muslims the faithful are bringing them back to their true nature. Q.E.D. Furthermore, a war of this kind is a jihad, a holy war. Let us make no mistake, the word jihad has two complementary senses. It may denote a spiritual war that is moral and inward. Muslims have to wage this war within themselves in the fight against demons and evil forces, in the effort to achieve better obedience to God's will, in the struggle for perfect submission. But at the same time and in a wholly consistent way the jihad is also the war against external demons. To spread the faith, it is necessary to destroy false religions. This war, then, is always a religious war, a holy war."74

Hence, he recognizes that the Gospel of Christ and war are not complementary, and Ellul rightly notes that true Christians have always been at least skeptical about war, even while recognizing that a legitimate need on the part of the state may exist for armed conflict. Conversely, he also observes that the teachings of Islam are wholly consistent with a perpetual war state. The concept of "holy war" in medieval Europe rose as a result of the influence of Islamic philosophical and theological ideas, and from the direct example of the Muslims themselves, whose dealings in North Africa and Spain were readily observable to the Christendom of the day.

None of this should be interpreted as seeking to justify the Crusaders in their warfare or their atrocities - indeed, the Crusaders indulged in many great evils when they conducted their wars in the Levant. The point still needs to be understood, however, that without the input of Muslim aggression, Muslim atrocities, and Muslim theological/philosophical ideas, the Crusades would not likely have occurred.

Another error in thinking which non-Christians often make and which needs to be addressed is this: There is not, nor has there ever been, such a thing as a "Christian nation". No nation has ever been governed solely (or even principally) by the dictates of the Bible, nor has any nation ever been made up solely or even with a large majority of truly Bible-believing born-again Christians. Given the implications of what the Bible has to say as far as commanding Christians to be submissive to the laws of their respective earthly nations insomuch as they can do so without violating Scripture and conscience (see Romans 13:1-7, I Peter 2:11-17), and that Christians are to be "in the world, but not of the world" (see John 17:15-16), it must be understood that Christians cannot partake of forcing their authority, either political or religious, upon the unbelieving world beyond those realms (such as voting, in democratic nations) in which they are lawfully allowed a voice along with everyone else.

As such, since there is no such thing as a "Christian nation", it is not a valid argument to try to blame Christianity for the behavior of Western nations such as the United States, Great Britain or other countries that many in the Third World usually refer to as "Christian". Even a cursory glance at the laws and practices of Western nations, past and present, shows that these were not "Christian" in the sense of abiding by the strict dictates of the Bible, even if these nations did have large or influential Christian elements in their societies. Muslims err greatly in trying to apply their understanding of the ummah to the Western situation. In Muslim lands, Islam is supposed to form the complete sum total of all the community and society. Everything is to revolve around Islam, and Islam is to establish the sole deen, the way of living, in a nation ruled by the religion of Mohammed. Muslims apply this to the West, and therefore come to the erroneous conclusion that because the United States extirpated and quarantined the Native Americans, or because Britain sold smallpox-laden blankets to the Mohawks, or because the Dutch treated the natives in their Asian holding cruelly, that all of these crimes can be laid at the feet of Christianity, rather than just individual nations or people. This is an invalid argument because Christianity, as taught in the Bible, is a private and personal relationship between man and his Maker. There is no - can be no - Christian ummah to which a nation's actions can be attributed. While that concept may be attributable even to apostate state religionism (which teaches its own version of ummah through its belief that all people in a region are submitted to the hierarchical religious authorities and belong to the "state church"), it cannot be attributed to people who are being faithful to the Bible, which is the very definition of a "Bible-believing Christian".

In closing, when we contrast Islam and Christianity, we see that the former belief system promotes violence, while the latter does not. The difference lies in the holy books and other religious texts used by the two systems. The Qur'an and the ahadith provide ample and straightforward justification for violence against unbelievers. In contrast to this, the Bible brings a message of peace. Only those who try to take the Biblical message out of context and twist the scriptures will see in it a "justification" for violence against non-believers.

End Notes

(1) - Al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan 'an ta'wil ay al-Qur'an, commenting on 9:5
(2) - Al-Mahalli, Tafsir al-Jalalayn , commenting on 9:5
(3) - Al-Baidawi, Asrar ut-tanzil wa Asrar ut-ta'wil, commenting on 9:29
(4) - Ibn Khaldun, Al-Muqaddimah, trans. F. Rosenthal, abrg. and ed. N.J. Dawood, Bk. 1, Ch. 3.31, p. 183
(5) - Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Azim, commenting on 9:5
(6) - Ibn Hazm, Al-Fisal fi al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Vol. 8, commenting on 2:256
(7) - Muwatta of Malik, Bk. 45, Sect.5, No. 18, where Mohammed is reported to have said this, and then turned out the Jews of Khaybar and forced them to emigrate, see also Sahih Muslim, Bk. 19, No. 4366
(8) - Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, La Risala: Epitre sur les elements du dogme et de la loi d'Islam selon le rite malikite, Trans. Ed. L. Bercher, p. 165
(9) - Al-Mawardi, Al-ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, p.60
(10) - Al-Hidayah, Vol. 2, p. 140
(11) - R. Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, p. 49
(12) - Al-Ghazzali, Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi'i, pp. 186, 190-191
(13) - M.S.R. Al-Buti, The Jurisprudence of the Biography, pp. 323-324
(14) - Ibid., pp. 266-267
(15) - Ibid., pp. 266
(16) - Sahih Bukhari, trans. M.M. Khan, Vol. 1, p. xxvi
(17) - S. as-Saleh, Mabaheth Fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an, p. 269, citing As-Suyuti's Itqan fi-ulum al-qur'an
(18) - Ibid., note on p. 270
(19) - M. al-Amin, The Methodology of Islamic Law, p. 17
(20) - A. Abdul-Fattah, The Spirit of the Islamic Religion, p. 384
(21) - S. Qutb, Milestones, p. 76
(22) - A.S.A. Usmani, Tafseer e-Usmani: The Noble Qur'an, Vol. 1, p. 811
(23) - Abdul-Fattah, op. cit., p. 382
(24) - B. Tibi, "War and Peace in Islam", The Ethics of War and Peace: Religious and Secular Perspectives, ed. T. Nardin, pp. 129-131
(25) - F. Rahman, Islam, p. 37
(26) - S. Pirzada, Dawatul Qur'an, trans. A.K. Shaikh, Vol. 1, pp. 614-615, commenting on 9:29
(27) - See S.A.A. Maududi, Jihad in Islam, p. 13
(28) - A.S. Nu'mani, Sirat-un-Nabi, trans. M.T.B. Budayani, Vol. 2, p. 280
(29) - Ibid., pp. 281-282
(30) - M.A.M. Daryabadi, Tafsir-ul-Qu'ran, Vol. 2, p. 272
(31) - S.I. Zaheer, Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani: Being a Quintessence of Qur'anic Commentaries, Vol. 5, p. 147
(32) - Daryabadi, op. cit., pp. 248-249
(33) - Zaheer, op. cit., pp. 90-91
(34) - Usmani, op. cit., p. 867
(35) - Pirzada, op. cit., p. 645
(36) - Usmani, op. cit., p. 837
(37) - M.M.M. Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Vol. 4, p. 363, commenting on 9:29
(38) - S.A. Ali, Qur'an: The Fundamental Law of Human Life, Vol. 6, p. 539
(39) - S.A.A. Maududi, Meaning of the Qur'an, Vol. 4, p. 186
(40) - A. Jeffrey, "The Political Importance of Islam", Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 1 (1942), p. 388
(41) - Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Bk. 2, No. 25
(42) - Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Bk. 2, No. 35
(43) - Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 4, Bk. 53, Nos. 369-370
(44) - Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 4, Bk. 53, No. 386; Vol. 9, Bk. 93, No. 555
(45) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2791
(46) - Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Bk. 69, No. 513
(47) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2792
(48) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2799
(49) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2754
(50) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2761; see also Sahih Muslim, Bk. 20, Nos. 4639 and 4614; Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Bk. 53, No. 352 and Vol. 4, Bk. 56, No. 839
(51) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2852
(52) - Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, Vol. 4, Bk. 24, No. 2838
(53) - A. Danielou, Histoire de l'Inde, p. 222
(54) - S.N. Fisher, The Middle East, A History, p. 108
(55) - S. Runciman, Byzantine Civilization, p. 240
(56) - See G. Goodwin, The Janissaries, pp. 32-53 for an in-depth look at the practice of devsirme by the Ottomans.
(57) - M.D. Bedrossyan, The First Genocide of the 20th Century, p. 38; see pp. 38-54 for documentary evidences of the persecution as found in primary sources from the time
(58) - C.J. Walker, Armenia: Survival of a Nation, pp. 202-203
(59) - R.E. Burns, Wrath of Allah, Chap. 4, throughout
(60) - P.N. Siegel, The Meek and the Militant, p. 242
(61) - C.H. Conde, "400 killed by terrorism in Philippines since 2000, report says", International Herald Tribune, 30 July 2007
(62) - See N. Wong-Anan, "Bomb kills 6, wounds 25 in Thai Muslim south", Reuters News Service, 4 December 2007; also "Bomb blasts in Thailand's restive south kills 1, wounds 12", The Star Online (Malaysia), 1 October 2007
(63) - "Thai Muslim rebels kill 4 in road ambushes", Reuters News Service, 24 June 2007
(64) - See e.g. "At least 10 lawyers dead as blasts shake Indian courthouses", Jerusalem Post, 23 November 2007; and "Army deployed after Calcutta riot", BBC News Online, 21 November 2007
(65) - See K. Chaudhuri, Genocide in Bangladesh. Chaudhuri reports one estimate of three million people killed and two hundred thousand women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the 1971 war (p. 163), and gives a detailed, though incomplete, listing of deaths in Bangladesh totaling to a little over 1.25 million (pp. 199-202)
(66) - "Thousands in Sudan Call for British Teddy Bear Teacher's Execution", Fox News, 30 November 2007
(67) - K. Bales, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, pp. 89-90
(68) - Ibid., pp. 80-81; Bales, Ch. 3, pp. 80-120 details the fact of Mauritanian slavery, which is all the while "officially" denied by the Arab-Moorish government and ruling class. Perversely, the slaves in Mauritania are often referred to as "Bilals", after the black African slave (Bilal) that Mohammed freed and who became the first muezzin in the early Muslim community, according to the traditions.
(69) - Ibid., pp. 90-91
(70) - M. Youssef, America, Oil, and the Islamic Mind, p. 64
(71) - Indeed, as Miller points out, the common view that God's commandment to Israel concerning the Canaaniites was to "kill them all and let God sort them out" is not actually accurate. Though a few verses appear harsh in their phraseology, the actual conduct of the command, when viewed systematically from Scripture and in historical context, was much more lenient than would have been observed from most other ancient Near Eastern peoples. See He summarizes by saying, "Far from being the 'genocide of an innocent people for land-hungry Israelites', it was instead the 'firm, yet just--and even a little merciful to the masses--removal of a people from a tract of land, mostly through migration.'
(72) - T.F. Madden, "Crusade Propaganda", National Review Online, 2 November 2001
(73) - See
(74) - J. Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, pp. 100-101

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