Does Islam Promote Violence?


The evangelist Franklin Graham and the conservative Christian commentator, Pat Robertson's assertion that Islam exhorts its followers to be violent against non-Muslims, are only two of the most prominent voices that are part of a rising cacophony of vicious criticism of the Qur'an. One can read and hear a whole range of negative opinions about this issue in the media. Few have taken an in depth look at the issue. What does the Qur'an actually say about violence against non-Muslims? Does it say what Robertson and Graham claim it does? Does it say that it is the religious duty of Muslims to kill infidels? But first some basic principles about reading and understanding the Qur'an. After all, studying the Qur'an is not exactly like reading Harry Potter. Like any other scripture there are rules that may be followed for a proper understanding of the text.

Muslim scholars suggest that those who read the Qur'an should keep at a minimum the following principles in mind. First, the reader should have an awareness of the inner coherence in the Qur'an. As the verses are connected to each other, the reader should study at the least, the preceding and following verses for a sense of the immediate context. Also the reader should look at all of the verses that deal with the same subject in the book. These are frequently scattered all over the scripture. The indices provided in many of the exegeses of the Qur'an as well as the books of concordance allow the reader to get this information relatively easily. Often there is information available about the occasion of revelation, the historical context, of a particular verse. This requires at least a cursory knowledge of prophet Muhammad's life. As Professor Fazlur Rahman of the University of Chicago would frequently point out, the Qur'an, in part at least, may be looked upon as a running commentary on the mission of Prophet Muhammad. Finally Qur'anic scholars advise us to analyze the way Prophet implemented a particular directive in a verse of the Qur'an in his own life and ministry. For all Muslims Prophet Muhammad was the ultimate exemplar of the Qur'an and its living embodiment.

Let us examine the verses in question with these exegetical principles in mind. One of the verses says "put down the polytheists wherever you find them, and capture them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them at every ambush" (Koran 9:5). The immediate context, as Muhammad Asad (The Message Of The Qur'an) points out, is that of a "war in progress" and not a general directive. It was an attempt to motivate Muslims in self-defense.

Muslims were given permission to defend themselves around the time of Prophet Muhammad's migration from Makkah, where he grew up, to the city of Madinah where he spent the rest of his life. This occurred in the 13th year of his 23-year mission. The danger to Muslims in Makkah at this time was extreme and there was a real possibility of their total eradication. They were permitted to fight back in self-defense against those who violently oppressed them. "Permission is given (to fight) those who have taken up arms against you wrongfully. And verily God (Allah) is well able to give you succor. To those who have been driven forth from their homes for no reason than this that say 'Our Lord is God." Qur'an goes on to add, "Hath not God repelled some men by others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is ever mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down." (Qur'an 22: 39-42)

On another occasion Qur'an says, "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but don't transgress limits; for God loves not the transgressor." The verse goes on to say "And fight them on until there is no more oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression."(Qur'an 2: 190-193)

Muslim scholars are of the opinion that war is permitted in self defense, when other nations have attacked an Islamic state, or if another state is oppressing a section of its own people. When Muslims were to fight a war they had to maintain great discipline, avoiding injury to the innocent and use only the minimum force needed. Striking a blow in anger, even in battle, was prohibited. The prisoners of war were to be treated in a humane fashion. However, this is only a part of Jihad that Muslims are allowed to practice. A greater Jihad is struggle against one's own inner self.

The word Jihad comes from the root Arabic word "Jahd," which means to struggle or to strive. It is understood by piety minded Muslims as a positive, noble and laudatory term. That is how most apply it in their personal, social, political and military lives. The history of the Muslim rulers, on the other hand, gives us examples of those who attempted to sanctify their wars of personal aggrandizement as wars for a noble cause by applying the label Jihad to them. A few even named their war departments as the departments of Jihad. This kind of behavior may be likened to a politician's attempt to wrap him in the flag. Such exploitation of the term should not be allowed to corrupt the original or the commonly understood meaning of the word, which is to strive for the highest possible goals, struggle against injustice and practice self denial and self control to achieve the moral purity to which all piety minded people aspire.

The "holy war" concept, for which many non-Muslims use the word Jihad, is foreign to Islam. Rather, it comes from a concept first used to justify the Crusades by the Christian Church during the middle Ages. The concept of "holy war" may even go back to the time when the emperor Constantine the Great allegedly saw a vision in the sky with the inscription on the cross, "in hoc signo vinces" (in this sign you will be the victor). The Arabic term, as has been pointed out by scholars, for "the holy war" would be al-harab al-muqaddas, which neither appears in the Qur'an or the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Hadith). Prophet Muhammad's wars were defensive wars against groups who sought to eradicate Islam and the Muslims.

It is interesting and useful for social scientists or philologists to study how the meaning and usage of words differ in different communities. Ironically the word "crusade," because of its association with the crusades in the middle ages, should have had a pejorative sense to it and yet the word has acquired an ennobled meaning in the West. This in spite of the fact that the Church itself, along with most historians, acknowledge the injustice of the Crusades and the atrocities done in the name of faith. On the other hand, the word "Jihad" which means for Muslims, striving for the highest possible goal, has acquired the negative connotation of the holy war.

It is clear from even a cursory study of the Qur'an that Islam does not permit, condone or promote violence. Just the opposite, it abhors violence and allows it only in self-defense. A claim to the contrary is no more than bad fiction.

The critics of the Qur'an should remember that if the Bible were similarly quoted out of context, it would appear to be an extra ordinarily violent scripture. I will leave Graham and Robertson to defend the violence in the Bible and the history of Christianity.

Javeed Akhter is the Executive Director of The International Strategy and Policy Institute www.ISPI-USA.org  His latest book is titled "The Seven Phases Of Prophet Muhammad's Life."


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  43 Comments   Comment

  1. zuma from singapore

    Quran never teaches muslims to create violence, havoc, jihad and etc. in the society. Muslim extremists have mis-interpreted the word, fight, in Quran so as to suit their taste to create havoc in the society.

    An-Nisa, Chapter #4, verse #90 in Mohsin Khan translation, "...So if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah has opened no way for you against them." This verse has guided the fact that muslims should be in the defensive role in fighting. Or in other words, if the opponents cease in fighting with muslims, they should not retaliate.

    Even though the word, fight, is mentioned in the Quran and An-Nisa, Chapter #4, verse 90 has restricted fighting to be in defensive role, Allah only granted his permission to fight to apostles instead of to muslims people nowadays. Other than his apostles, he demands them not to shed blood or even cutting down trees as mentioned in Sahih Bukhari,(Book #3, Hadith #104), ""(that)...SO ANYBODY WHO HAS BELIEF IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY (i.e. a muslim) SHOULD NEITHER SHED BLOOD IN IT NOR CUT DOWN TREES...ALLAH GAVE PERMISSION TO HIS APOSTLE, BUT HE DID NOT GIVE IT TO YOU...."

    Let's conclude the right teaching of Quran. No doubts the Quran mentions the word, fight, numerously, it has no value nowadays since the word, fight, could only be applicable to his apostles instead of to muslim people nowadays. Not only that, the word, fight, for the apostles in the past was only meant for defensive role.

  2. zuma from singapore

    Sahih Bukhari, Book #52, Hadith #287, "Narrated 'Amr bin Maimun: Umar (after he was stabbed), instructed (his would-be-successor) saying, "I urge him (i.e. the new Caliph) TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE NON-MUSLIMS WHO ARE UNDER THE PROTECTION OF ALLAH and His Apostle in that he should observe the convention agreed upon with them, and fight on their behalf (to secure their safety) and he should not over-tax them beyond their capability." The extracted phrase, to take care of those non-muslims who are under the protection of Allah, implies that there are non-muslims that are under the protection of Allah. As there are non-muslims that are under the protection of Allah, how could the word, fight, in Quran to be interpreted as fighting against non-muslims or else all non-muslims would be under the attack of Allah instead of protecting them.

  3. zuma from singapore

    Ad-Dukhan, Chapter #44, Verse #30, "And indeed We saved the Children of israel from the humiliating torment:"

    If all the word, fight, in the Holy Quran is meant to demand muslims to slaughter non-muslims, there should not be any reason for muslims to rescue the children of Israel as mentioned above?

    From the above, it gives the ironical proof that the interpretation from muslim terrorists to treat the word, fight, as fighting against non-muslims is erroneous or else Allah would call his apostles to fight against the children of Israel instead of saving them.

  4. zuma from singapore

    Sahih Bukhari, Book #31, Hadith #222 " Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked them about that. They replied,"This is a good day, the day on which ALLAH RESCUED BANI ISRAEL from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day." The Prophet said,"We have more claim over Moses than you." So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day). The phrase, Allah rescued Bani Israel, as mentioned above implies that Allah even cared about Israel. Muslim terrorists have acted adversely to have hatred against Israel in this modern days. Would the interpretation of the word, fight, be found in everywhere in the book of Quran to be interpreted as to fight against non-muslims? Or else, Allah would not have rescued Israel instead Allah would have slaughtered them.

  5. zuma from singapore

    Israel has been found favoured by Allah and yet muslims have fought against them in the past:

    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #40, "O Children of ISRAEL! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you..."

    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #47, "O Children of ISRAEL!..."

    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #122, "O Children of ISRAEL! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the 'Alamin [mankind and jinn (of your time-period, in the past)]."

    The paragraph below even conveys the message that Allah even ordained children of Israel not to do this or that:

    Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #32, "Because of that We ordained for the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind..."

    The above verses show that Allah was not against Israel. A question has to be raised: Should muslims be against non-muslim people?

  6. suku from india

    hope this article is read by all the muslim freedom fighters to understand the diffrence between terrorism and self assertion

  7. David Holman from US

    I think recent media discussions about Islam are wrong to say that Islam is inherently violent. The Koran is difficult to read, and it is not obvious what it means. As a result, Islam is what Muslims believe and say that it is. On the one hand, this allows the Koran to be abused by "scholars" who say that God hates whoever they hate. On the other hand, Islam is at its best when it is wrongly criticized. People who defend it under these circumstances are bringing out the best of Islam. Interestingly, those who use the Koran as a servant of their hatred are always opposed to free speech. I think it is no coincidence that Jihad means struggle but it does not mean vengence and hatred.

  8. Rukayat from Nigeria

    Salam Alaikum,

    Your article was very educative. I wish the fanatics in the ummah would also read it and know that the jihad they claim to be fighting is not islamic.

    Jazakahla Khairan

  9. Amina

    This article makes valid points, but I HOPE it is directed at Muslims more than non-Muslims. Regardless of the true principles of Islam, there are Muslims (and although a minority, still substantial in quantity) misusing the Quran. We appear to be unwilling to accept this. These people must be stopped ... by Muslims. WE are the ones that need a better understanding of our text.

  10. S L Mustapha from Australia

    Greetings! This is an article which speaks truth. Undoubtedly it is not greeted with enthusiasm by those who perpetuate the claims of violence being rooted in Islamic teaching. I suspect that many of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) are unaware that there are those (Humanists - they call themselves) who are perhaps even more vocal regarding Islam and Muslims; and were they to attain their ends (that of utter destruction of the Qur'an and Islam), then their focus would shift to the enshrined scriptures which they themselves hold dear. Incidentally, if one would like to see real violence and wholesale ethnic cleansing then perhaps one could turn to the Old Testament - it is amazing that the Franklin Grahams and Pat Robertsons of this world have been blind to the violence in their own scriptures while voicing opinions against ours.

  11. Ardent Detractor from USA

    Usually, I am not this bitter. I was a big fan of Islam and the Arab world. I always chose the islamic meal on flights, but am afraid to now. I still cook mezza and love lamb. But, I am very resentful of the stance that the majority of the arab and Islamic world has taken regarding the 9/11 attacks. I personally saw the 2nd Tower fall from a distance. We live in some fear of tomorrow and are taking precautions (full gas tanks/food storage,etc). I think that anybody who would take someone's life (even their own) or support that act is .. in the head, no matter what the cause. Yes, the U.S. exerts its influence on culture and politics where and when it should not. It is apt to corrupt all the world's societies with its media and products and military, if only to support its greed for possessions and superiority. But, the U.S. is composed of many peoples of many different countries of origin. They deserve a safe destination. We deserve a safe home. All people have the right to freedom from fear and hate and violence. Islam denies people in their respective countries that right. It oppresses the most defenseless (stones/rapes women by law). Shame on you for promoting hate and a corrupt version of God's word. Allah is not what you think him to be, but only what you have promoted to make yourselves feel more powerful. Poo on you.

  12. Ahmad from U.S.

    Mr. Weiskop,

    You are trying to conclude that the foundation of the Muslims rests upon injustice. You are totally wrong. The foundation of Muslims rests upon the quran and the teachings of the prophet. In those you will not find any injustice. It does not rest upon the actions of a few wrongdoers. It is true that many rulers who were Muslim committed acts which were not Islamic. Their actions have nothing to do with Islam. Do not view Islam and Muslims through the actions of a few. If you do this, then it can be turned around upon you. I could say that the Jewish world rests upon a foundation of injustice because of Ariel Sharon's actions.

  13. K.Livingston from USA

    As a Christian who was raised by a Syrian step-father, I appreciated your article greatly. The bottom line is that if the bible were taken out of context of intent and cultural meaning many Christians, especially Mr. Graham and Mr. Robertson would be in uproar. So, too, you have very well explained that not only has media totally misinterpreted many meanings, but also some people of Islam (just like many people of Christianity) are using the religion erroneously for their own intentions.

    Understanding the history of Palestine, it is understandable that many extremists would arise to the cause. I feel for them, and pray for them daily. They are misguided and desperate and we have many people just like that in this country as well.

  14. Solomon Weiskop from usa

    If, according to the Koran, only wars of self-defense are justified then presumably all the wars of conquest and expansion waged by Moslems in the century after the death of Mohammed were unjust. These wars had the effect of spreading Islam throughout the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere. This effect would then also be unjust, according to the Koran. The Moslem world as it exists today would be thus resting on a foundation of injustice.

  15. Dr. Naiyer Habib from Canada

    Thanks to Mr. Manjit Singh for our

    correspondence. Last word are that the

    Understanding Muslims will have to be more

    vocal and active in playing their role about

    Islam and not be bystander. Other people

    should also be mor e understanding.

  16. Manjit Singh from India

    Dear Dr Habib,

    Many thanks for your reply. First at the outset please accept my apologies that my writing conveyed that Islam promotes violence.

    I am however glad that you mention the central problem facing Islam - The hijacking of Islam by radical elements. All the killings undertaken by Islamic militants around the world from Indonesia to Africa have been justified by leading clerics of Islam by specifically qouting the Holy Koran and the Sunnah.

    This use of Islamic teachings or as per your reply mis use of Islamic teaching is the handiwork of Islamic scholars and Imams thus it needs to be fought by key Islamic leaders and Imams, outsiders like me cannot do anything.

    Key Imams in the Gulf states need to prove to the muslim ummah by weight of theology that Usama, Mullah Omar and other like them are wrong in interpreting Islam and its teaching.

    Dear Sir, I would be glad to read and pass it on to all of my non muslim friends (we all can read arabic script) a discourse by the Imam of Mecca and Medina that would without doubt prove that killing by islamic militants of women and children cannot be justified.

    Sir it has to be somebody of the stature of the above Imams I mention who can dispel the notion that links Islam and violence. It needs to be in arabic and meant not for non muslims but for the muslim ummah.

    thanks once more for pointing out the other web site I have visited it and find it quite useful.

    May God Bless you and help continue the wonderful work of this great meeting place of Islam - that is this web site.

  17. Dr. Naiyer Habib from Canada

    Mr. Manjit Singh's comment on Habib's:

    I do not disagree a bit regarding muslims

    killing muslims and others but in the name of

    Islam as propagated by the fanatic frustrated

    muslim cleric's teaching. This does not mean

    that it is Islam that teaches these killings. Mr.

    Manjit singh may kindly read " Challenging

    ignorance on islam in http://www.arab news.com by

    searching the article and the article now

    running in Islamicity '"Does Islam promote

    violence" both written by non muslims. Hindus

    killing Muslims in India is not the teaching of

    hinduism either. There fore let us not judge

    the religion by the acts of followers but judge

    the followers according to the teaching of the

    religion.

  18. RP from US

    No Sir. People promote violence, when it suits them. Nations use violence as a tool of policy. The idea that Muslims have an exclusive corner on promoting violence is silly. Having said that, we should deal with violence by muslims like we deal with it for everyone else. This would address people like Quadaffi, Saddam, etc., in the same, evenhanded method. How's that for equality?

    RP

  19. Manjit Singh from India

    Dr Habib's Comment:

    I agree with Dr Habib as the communal element. However the statistics as published by the UN highlight that more Indian muslims (Muhajirs according to pakistan) have been killed in Pakistan than in India.

    Also it needs to be kept in mind that the militants in Jammu and kashmir routinely kill women and children in fact 70% of all people killed in militant attacks have been women and children and they are all kashmiri's. In the end it is kashmiri's killing fellow kashmiri's.

    I can point to the similar senseless killing of civilians by islamic militants around the world eg Indonesia (Aceh), Phillipines (Jolo), Jinyang (China), Kasmir (India), Afghanistan (under Taliban), Chechnya (Russia), Alabania, Suicide bombers in Israel. Dr Habib what you find here is that Islamic militants are in conflict with tribals, Christians, communists, hindus & Buddhists, orthodox, Catholics, Jews. How come the only common thread is Islamic militancy?

    You would have seen Basia's comments? I can vouch that they are 100% valid and the silence of Islamic scholars and justification of the deeds by some is breathtaking in its arrogance and naivety and as per this article against the Holy Koran.

    I however must congartulate the developers of this wonderful site that allows us to debate in the true spirit of Islam. many congratulations!

  20. Naiyer Habib from Canada

    Manjit Singh's commentery:

    It is not Islam that forced individual to butchery

    but the communal hatered in India

    that exists specially fueled by the existing

    government - an ever un ending saga of

    India's division. It has now engulfed the

    Christian minority.

  21. Basia from Australia

    Your comments on violence are interesting in the light of what happened in Sydney, Australia, 2 years ago. A gang of vicious rapists deliberately targeted non-Muslim girls to be tortured, gang-raped,(orally, anally and vaginally) subjected to threats of death and other barbarous deeds. Each victim was specifically told that she was being raped BECAUSE she was non-Arabic and non-Muslim. Each victim was raped by 15 of these thugs.The details of their ordeals were so horrific that the papers were not permitted to publish them. So far, the Islamic community of this country has not spoken a word of condemnation for these wicked deeds. Why would this be? Is this treatment of infidel women permitted by the Koran?

  22. Danish Ahmed from India

    No, Islam doesn't Promote Violence, Islam is a very pieceful Religion..............................i fully Agree with it.................

  23. Dr.Naiyer Habib from Canada

    Graham and Robertson achieving such high

    status in their field are examples of those who

    does not have the vision to look at a matter

    with open mind. It is wisdom to examie facts

    as they appear and before a final opinion is

    made one should sit down and discuss the

    matter of other faith, which they hate so much,

    with scholar of other faith. Such remarks may

    be quoted from bible out of context to form

    similar opinion, Thanks to many christians

    whose work defends Islam, Send this

    message to them.

  24. Assim shwarma from canada

    ISLAM DOES NOT CAUSE VIOLENCE.IT IS THE WAY ISLAM IS BEING THRUST THROUGH OUT THE MUSLIM WORLD BY IT'S"LEADERS"WHO ARE NO BETTER THAN COMMON CRIMINALS.ISRAEL IS NOT AT FAULT.THE BRUTALITY THAT MUSLIMS SHED ON THEIR OWN PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE FREEDOMS THAT COULD BE HAD IN ISRAEL BY ALL FAITHS,INCLUDING MUSLIMS,IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE DESPICABLE ACTIONS OF HAMAS,SAUDI ARABIA,THE TALEBAN,IRAQ,ETC,,,,,GO AFTER THE REAL CAUSE OF MUSLIMS PROBLEMS

  25. hyat from canada

    I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulder when I read an article like this. It is really sicken that so many modern and intelligent people could read the Qur'an and have such interpretations of it. I believe that Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson are just afraid of the number of people converting to Islam. But, Inshaa Allah, articles such as this one and the Carolina Reading Program will make people see the truth. Allah's will, Islam and Muslims will prevail. It angers me so much that Islam is been slandered so much more now since September 11. I remember Bush saying in his public address that this war is not against Islam and Muslims. Precisely this was his objective to show people Americans and abroad that Muslims and their book promote killings and violence. He too is afraid that too many Americans are converting to Islam. I am sure after his announcement of war on terrorism and assured the public that "This is not against Islam or Muslims" behind closed doors he was saying wipe out those barbaric, vicious animals. ...

  26. RALP COTTON from USA

    Up front of this response, the Koran is not the issue. I do not stand in judgement of the Koran as I have never read the Koran. As a Christian I have no need. Taking into consideration that all you say of the Koran is true; September 11, 2201 and all other Islamic terrorist around the world is what the American people understand that fuels the harrowing behavior of Islam. Do Muslims vision the Holy Bible and Christianity as a vehicle for American Diplomacy around the world. I assure you and ALL Muslims that Christianity is not American Diplomacy. And American Diplomacy is not a picture of Christianity. American does not have the power to stop Islamic terrorist behavior but I know somoeone who can. And that someone is you and All other Muslims to become active in teaching your children what you say the Koran teaches concerning behavior. Your religion decries the fox getting the hens, but your religion does little to secure the gate to the hen house. I'm a Christian and I have never entertained the thought to kill someone because I don't agree with their religion. I'm a happy Christian and satisfied with my Savior and the Christian scriptures the Holy Bible. It seems to me that the Muslim extremists could satisfied in the same way with with their Koran and way of life; and they can be if Muslim leaders would take the leadership initiative to reveal the message of peace you say Koran provides to these people. Christianity and the church is the plan of God; terrorist can't stop it, Islam can't kill it, U.S. Congress and Senate can't vote it out for christianity is not a democracy it is the plan of God through Christ Jesus His only begotten son. The will of God is "Who so ever will may come." Infidels and Muslims, Americans, Jews - Whosoever will.

  27. Samiha from United Arab Emirates

    I dont think any religion should be blamed for violence. Its not religion and hence its not Islam that promotes violence. Its the hatred and ignorance of all us that gets us to war. Its amazing, its not like the whole world is illetrate but we are sure acting like we are. I think we all believe that mankind are more civilized than animals, but i guess thats not really the case. I really hate when i hear people saying Islam is promoting violence. The word Islam itself means Peace. Like any other issue misunderstood Islam was too. Havent' we heard of young kids having done criminal offences because of what they watched on T.V. Are we blaming that on Islam too. I mean please its so obvious who ever is spreading such information is afraid cause they know that Islam is the only true religion and its going to conquer the world not by war but by peace.

  28. Dr. Naiyer Habib from Canada

    Mr. Franklin Graham achieving one of the highest poition as evngelist and Mr. Pat Robertson , Christian commentator ought to have the wisdom of intellectuals to examine facts or follies,themselves and get the story of other side to come to conclusion. I n this situation the commentory by Javeed Akhter is remarkable . Did they receive its copy . They should.

  29. Haji Mohd Haneef from Malaysia

    Allah s.w.t at his sole discretion have given us the kalimah laila hailallah that made us the best of His insan. Allah s.w.t have left the rest lost in the dark, praying to their own "God" and living like animals. We must not at all defend the religion because the hate against Islam was evident since the beginning of mankind. What Muslims need to do is be convinced of Allah s.w.t and His ultimate powers, not mere believeing.

  30. Momodou L Jallow from Sweden

    It has been most refreshing and gratifying to read your article on Islam and voilence.If the christian extremists and their hatred promoting and war mongering trumpeters believe they can win a religious war against Islam ,They have yet to learn the fate of all those who tried it before.

  31. Ron Starbuck from USA

    Question Please? Why don't Muslim Cleric's speak out against the violence and misuse of Jihad, or are they and we aren't hearing that message in the media. Also, I've created some links and a statement found at this web site URL. I would appreciate any insights someone might wish to offer.

    http://www.ghg.net/rps1996/

    Thanks,

    Ron Starbuck

  32. Tamadhur from USA

    Many thanks to the author of this article. I wish I could read pieces like this in the New York Times or the Washington Post!

  33. Any from USA

    Very good article. I think that as muslims, we must have the information that's necessary to defend our religion, and this article gives clear arguments to explain how to respond to this type of questions, when they are asked to us muslims.

  34. Ibadullah Khan from U.A.E

    Kindly don't even slightly suggest (infact true muslims must feel ashamed to suggest) that the mujahideens martyred or fighting in the cause of Allah(SWT) are performing a lesser jihad and muslims sitting in the comfort of their homes/offices/universities/institutes are performing a greater jihad. This is just NOT TRUE.

  35. Dr. Asad U Khan from Canada

    I am glad to read your learned article about the concept of Jehad.But we Muslims also have share some blame in smearing the good name of Islam and distorting the concept of Jehad, it is not unusual to hear from the pulpit the firey speaches exhorting for their pet causes and liberally quoting Quran to add weight to their argument. Dr Asad U Khan, Chair Islamic Education Foundation of Manitoba Inc. Canada

  36. Manjit Singh from India

    Good Article. There are many loyal and faithful Muslims (about 90%)in India. However I fail to understand the killing of civilians in Jammu (at a wedding 23 women and children) and coutless other instances where in the name of ISLAM muslims have buthchered innocents women and children. Why no muslims cleric ever comes out against it? Why this deafening silence by Islamic scholars and Imams?

  37. jamal from usa

    Salaam,

    Good article. Now, pull your head out of the sand, swallow your Islamic PRIDE and take a good long look at reality.

    We all know that Islam does NOT promote violence...but it is something that IS promoted by Imam's and is VERY popular language between Muslims everywhere...especially Pakistanies and Arabs.

    Pat Robinson and Frank Graham are not exactly wrong are they???

    Yes, I know I am a muslim and we are NOT supposed to cover the truth and LIE.

    So...please STOP.

  38. Hashim Alhussaini from U.S.A.

    To Dino Demars:

    there are passages in the bible that, taken out of context, give the impression that such acts are permissible. Read if you will:

    Numbers 31:

    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Josh. 11

    14 The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed. (If it was good for the Israelites wouldn't it be good for us?)

    1 Sam 15

    . 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [1] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' " (Guess who's saying this: Samuel the Prophet to Saul, God's anointed. Should we follow this example?)

    Deuteronomy 20:10-17

    Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes

    Want to try the New Testament?

    "I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence. (Luke 19:26-27)

    "Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (Matthew 10:34-35)

    This should be enough I think. Yes my friend, even the Bile can be quoted out of context.

  39. Dino Demars from North Korea

    Ehab Hasan:

    "Passages in the Bible tell the faithful to slaughter unbelievers until there are no more, to kill their livestock, women and to even tear unborn babies from the wombs of their mothers."

    Where does it say that? It says in Hosea 13:16 that "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.". This is a prophecy, not a command, though.

    Is something similar mentioned elsewhere in the bible, or are you hypocritically taking part in what you are accusing christians of, namely, trying to interpret someone else's religion?

  40. Hashim Alhussaini from U.S.A.

    May Allah bless your efforts and help you guide those who actually are seeking the truth, and stump, shame, and defeat those who took up arms, unjustly and ignorantly, against Muslims and Islam. Do you honestly think Graham and Robertson don't know the whole truth about Islam? Of course they do. But they are jealous, envious, and are fuming with anger at Islam's spread in recent months in spite of the negative propaganda, and the notorious attacks. Even an ignoramus like Pres. Bush got it right when he said that Islam was highjacked. But the truth will never run out of enemies. Christians should cleave to what Jesus (PBUH) said about throwing stones at other's houses while one's own is made of glass. The history of the Church is so violent the Church itself shies away from it. One only needs to read a history book about the Crusades, the Witch Hunt, science in the medieval eyes of the church, the Spanish Inquisition, the Church's silent stance during the holocaust, the plundering and shameless exploitation of south America and the dehumanization of the natives therein, and on and on, to gain a shocking look into how it operated. Does this mean that Christianity is bad? Far from it. It means that zealous, well-meaning -or downright evil- leaders took the church down these dark hallways.

  41. Ali from Canada

    How long do Muslims have to be in the defensive mode. There are lots of issues that are more important to Muslims than responding to this nonesense of whether Islam promotes violence or not. Besides, who is going to listen what say? Those who propogate this nonesense do not even care; they have their own agenda in all that they do.

    Please address issues like Plastine, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Also why not address that American policies and actions are real causes of all the turmoils around the globe. The impirial ampitions of America, its unconditional support of Zionist state, and its propping up every single dictator that serves American interests are the real causes of all the violence in the Muslim World; and those issues are ones that need to be addressed, not nonsense propogated by the American Christian right.

  42. Ehab Hasan from USA

    Two points, which I would like to add;

    First, I take insult not only when Christians attempt to define Jihad for me but when they compare verses on war in the Quran to verses on war in the Bible. I have not read the Torah so I cannot, in good faith, comment on that scripture. As for the Bible, however, there are numerous passages entailing stories of gore and slaughter. Passages in the Bible tell the faithful to slaughter unbelievers until there are no more, to kill their livestock, women and to even tear unborn babies from the wombs of their mothers. NOWHERE BUT NOWHERE in the Quran is this kind of incitement to violence found. I apologize if I have offended anyone but open the King James Version of the bible and read for yourselves. Please, do not compare the Quran, in its' reference to war, to the bible.

    My second point is that I take insult when non-Muslims attempt to explain an Islamic concept to me. No thank you. I know what Jihad means, I grew up in the noble cause and perform it everyday in my life. So I don't need the likes of Pat Robertson or George Bush to tell me what Jihad is. I don't tell you which concepts in your religion are correct or incorrect, so please don't attempt to explain MY RELIGION TO ME! Yes, I am angry. Angry at the patronization Muslims are being forced to listen to in the name of political correctness. It is just another attempt by secularists to whitewash issues and side step the real reasons behind the difficult state of the world today.

  43. Muhammed from UK

    The problem is that it is not only Christians who quote Qur'an out of context. Some Muslims do the same thing in oder to satisfy their own violent desires. They have come to believe that Jihad means "holy war" and that other interpretations of the word are false.