The Religion of Peace


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Jihad Report
Nov 19, 2022 -
Nov 25, 2022

Attacks 30
Killed 163
Injured 126
Suicide Blasts 0
Countries 16

The Religion of Peace

Jihad Report
October, 2022

Attacks 154
Killed 728
Injured 890
Suicide Blasts 5
Countries 23
List of Attacks

It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


The Quran


List of Attacks

Last 30 Days
2001 (Post 9/11)

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What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

Games Muslims Play

 Verse of Violence are
Taken Out of Context

The Game:

All verses of violence were issued during times of war.  Critics engage in “cherry-picking” (pulling verses out of context to support a position, and ignoring others) to discredit Islam.

This leaves the impression that the Quran is full of verses of peace, tolerance and universal brotherhood, with only a small handful that say otherwise.  The "exceptions" are embedded in context with obvious constraints that bind them to a particular place and time (as is usually the case with violent passages from the Old Testament).

The Truth:

It isn't the verses of violence that are rare; it's the ones of peace and tolerance.  The latter were also narrated at an earlier time in Muhammad's life and superseded by what came later.  Neither is the "historical context" of these verses of violence all that obvious from the surrounding text in many cases. 

The last chapters of the Quran to be narrated by Muhammad are the more violent.  Also, the historical context is that Muslims had total power at the time and were not being persecuted or attacked.  In fact, these verses order believers to "be harsh" to the unbelievers and Muslims who are peaceful or non-practicing (verse 9:73), and even to fight Christians and Jews into a state of submission (verse 9:29).  Nothing in the text to indicates that this is based on anything other than their status as non-Muslim.

These are not the teachings of a religion of peace.  Thus, the apologists are forced to play games, such as "inventing" historical context, pulling "textual context" from an entirely different part of the Quran, or pretending that the true meaning can't be translated to non-Arabic speakers (or to non-Muslims, when native Arabic speakers agree with the translation, as they usually do).

A perfect book from a perfect god should be easy to understand.  In the Quran, constructs and topics are jumbled into a random mess, with little consistency or coherent stream of thought.  This is underscored by the fact that Qurans are almost always printed with extensive commentary, which often exceeds the size of the original "revelation."  In other words, it takes more space to explain what Allah is really trying to say.

Although Muslim apologists often mitigate verses of violence with non-intuitive references to passages in other parts of the Quran, not all believers are as determined to force the word of Allah into a separate moral framework.  It is unclear why a perfect book from a perfect god would so often leave sensitive topics like killing and child rape open to interpretation.

Back to historical context.  It's true that references to the external Hadith and early biographies of Muhammad’s life determine when a Quranic verse was narrated and what it may have meant to Muslims at the time.  This lets apologists opportunistically dismiss passages they don't like by insisting that they are really just a part of history and not intended to be present-day imperatives.

But “historical context” cuts both ways.  If any verse is a product of history, then they all are.  Indeed, there is not a verse in the Quran which was not given at a particular time to address a particular situation in Muhammad’s life, whether he wanted to conquer the tribe next door and needed a “revelation” from Allah spurring his people to war, or if he needed the same type of “revelation” to satisfy a lust for more women (free of complaint from his existing stable of wives).

Here is the irony of the “cherry-picking” argument: Those who use “historical context” against their detractors nearly always engage in cherry-picking of their own by choosing which verses they apply “historical context” to and which they prefer to hold above such tactics of mitigation.

'Context' may be the most popular and disingenuous game that Muslims like to play.  Simply put, the apologists appeal to context only when they want it to be there.  They ignore context when it proves inconvenient.  An example of the latter would be the many times in which verse 2:256 is isolated and offered as proof of religious tolerance (in contradiction to Muhammad's later imposition of jizya and the sword).

Islamic purists do not engage in such games.  Not only do they know that verses of Jihad are more numerous and authoritative (abrogating earlier verses), they hold the entire Quran to be the eternal and literal word of Allah... and this is what often makes them so dangerous.

Further Reading

Games Muslims Play Index

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