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TROP is a non-political, fact-based site which examines the ideological threat that Islam poses to human dignity and freedom

Jihad Report
Sep 16, 2023 -
Sep 22, 2023

Attacks 23
Killed 76
Injured 54
Suicide Blasts 0
Countries 11

The Religion of Peace

Jihad Report
August, 2023

Attacks 148
Killed 683
Injured 485
Suicide Blasts 5
Countries 21
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?

Myths of Islam

 Islam is Completely
 Incompatible with Terror

The Myth:

It is against Islam to kill innocent people.  Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism.

The Truth:

Islam does prohibit killing innocent people.  Unfortunately, you don't qualify.

The full truth about Islam, terror and "innocence" is more complicated than apologists like to admit.  It's why Muslims on both sides of the terror divide accuse the other of hijacking Islam.  It is also why organizations that commit horrible atrocities in the name of Allah, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, receive a significant amount of moral and financial support from the mainstream.

In fact, the definition of "terrorism" in Islam is ambiguous at best. And the definition of an “innocent person” in Islam isn't something that Muslim apologists advertise when they say that such persons aren't to be harmed.  This is because anyone who rejects Islam by refusing to convert is not considered to be innocent according to Islamic teaching. 

Consider that a great deal of the Quran is devoted to describing the horrible punishment that awaits those who refuse to believe Muhammad.  How then can Muslims say that the subjects of divine wrath are innocent people?

The most protected and respected of all non-Muslims are the dhimma, the “people of the book.”  Specifically , these would be Jews and Christians who agree to Islamic rule and pay the jizya (tribute to Muslims).  Yet, the word “dhimmi” is derived from an Arabic root that means “guilt” or "blame."  ["...the dhimmi parent and sister words mean both 'to blame' as well as safeguards that can be extended to protect the blameworthy" Amitav Ghosh, "In an Antique Land"].

So, if even the dhimma have a measure of guilt attached to their status (by virtue of having rejected Allah’s full truth), how can non-Muslims who oppose Islamic rule, or refuse to pay the jizya, be considered “innocent?”

Even within the Islamic community there is a category of Muslims who are also said to bear guilt – greater, even, than the average non-believer.  These are the hypocrites, or “Munafiqin,” whom Muhammad referred to in the most derogatory terms.  A hypocrite is considered to be a Muslim in name only.  They are distinguished from true Muslims, according to the 9th Sura, by an unwillingness to wage (v.9:81 , 9:86) or fund (v.9:121) holy war.  The Quran says that true believers fight and are harsh to unbelievers (v.9:123).

The Muslim terrorists who frequently kill "other Muslims" in the name of Allah do so believing that their victims are Munafiqin or kafir (unbelievers).  This is a part of Sharia known as takfir, in which a Muslim can be declared an apostate and then executed for their role in hindering the expansion of Islamic authority.  (A true Muslim would go to paradise anyway, in which case he or she could hardly be expected to nurse a grudge amidst the orgy of sex and wine).

In addition to the murky definition of innocence, there is also the problem of distinguishing terrorism from holy war.  Islamic terrorists rarely refer to themselves as terrorists but usually say that they are holy warriors (Mujahideen, Shahid, or Fedayeen).  They consider their actions to be a form of Jihad.

Holy war is commanded in the Quran and Hadith.  In verse 9:29, Muhammad establishes the principle that unbelievers should be fought until they either convert to Islam or accept a state of humiliation under Islamic subjugation.  This is confirmed in the Hadith by both Sahih Muslim and Bukhari

In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal path for a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.”  There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Quran that exhort killing and fighting – far more than there are of peace and tolerance.  It is somewhat naïve to think that their inclusion in this "eternal discourse between God and Man" was of historical value only and not intended to be relevant to present-day believers, particularly when there is little to nothing within the text to circumscribe the context.

The Quran's exhortation (and Muhammad's example) of establishing Islamic rule by force, along with the ambiguity of innocence, form a monumental problem that isn't patched over by mere semantics.  Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam but also a sharp disagreement and lack of clarity over the conditions that justify this violence - and whom the targets may be (verse 9:36 says that disbelievers should be fought "collectively") .

Rhetoric about Western forces "bombing and killing" civilian populations in Islamic countries isn't just a bogus quest for moral equivalence.  Muhammad said that "whoever prepares a fighter" is just as responsible, which makes any taxpaying citizen a valid target.

Many Muslims who claim to be against terrorism otherwise justify certain “insurgencies” and "resistance" movements that have deliberately targeted civilians.  A great many entertain the allegation that there is a broader "war against Islam," yet, few Muslims put much effort into publicly disputing it.  What better rationale do terrorists need for Holy War than to be told that unbelievers are already waging it?

And what of the true innocents who suffer from the bombings and shootings?  Even in Muhammad’s time they were unavoidable.  The much-touted hadith in which Muhammad forbade the killing of women, for example, also indicates that there were such casualties in his attacks on other tribes.

If there is any doubt that Muhammad believed that "the forbidden is sometimes necessary", it should be put to rest by an incident in which his soldiers warned him that a planned night raid against an enemy camp would mean that women and children would be killed.  He merely replied “they are of them,” meaning their lives were expendible because of their men (Sahih Muslim 4322, see also Bukhari 52:256).

Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions.  It is to be the dominant religion, with Sharia as the supreme law.  Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary. 

Apologists in the West often shrug off the Quran's many verses of violence by saying that they are relevant only in a “time of war.”

To this, Islamic terrorists would agree.  They are at war.

Additional Note:

Muslim Apologist: "Where does the Quran say to kill innocent people?"
Non-Muslim: "Where does the Quran say that people who reject Allah's Law are innocent?"

Further Reading

A Muslim Cleric Explains Islam's Definition of an "Innocent" Person
The Religious Sources of Islamic Terrorism (Hoover Institution)

Myths of Islam Index

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