When Muhammad invented his new religion he had to contend with a lot of different religions — like Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and even many people with no religion at all. So what do we do with all of these people who refuse to follow Muhammad? The Quran is not the best place to find the answer.
In Surat Al-Kahf 18:29 Allah says to be patient with them. Leave them alone. The expanded verse in the link tells us why: Allah has prepared a pit of fire for them. In other words, it is for Allah alone to punish the non-believers. Humans are merely told to ignore them.
But then in Surat An-Nisā’ 4:89 Allah says kill non-believers. What is striking about this verse is Allah wants non-believers attacked from behind. Sucker punch. And when you’re done killing that guy, kill every non-believer you find!
Many would argue — and have, ad nauseum — that this only applies to atheists (well, that’s a relief). But no. It actually applies to all non-Muslims. Christians and Jews are constantly lumped together with atheists in the Quran. I’ve written about this before (literally, about 60% of the Quran is nothing but threats against non-Muslims).
To be fair, I’ve never, ever met a Muslim who condoned violence against atheists or other non-Muslims. I’ve even discussed my atheism over tea with a young member of Hezbollah, and I received nothing but kind words and warm wishes. That’s just the point though. The vast majority of Muslims already eschew the many verses calling for death to non-Muslims. It might be about time that they threw the rest of the Quran into the garbage as well.
I want to make the point that although there are far greater numbers of Muslims who do not commit acts of violence and terrorism out there than there are who do – They all have the Qur’an in common and it has the effect of inspiring some to commit the worst crimes against humanity and our fellow creatures that we could imagine, and there are others who simply ignore those passages and allow their sense of humanity and solidarity to outshine the teachings of death to the unbeliever. I think it’s clear that the Qur’an plays a dangerously large role in the flagrant violations of human rights and empowerment of women around the world – not to mention the delusions that it causes its followers to harbour.
Despite competing passages calling for different treatment to the unbeliever, I think the Qur’an needs to be reformed and updated immediately in an effort to help combat this extremism. Surely the peace loving muslims would want the Qur’an to be amended in a way that fell within their idea of solidarity, progress and human rights and values.
I enjoyed your thoughts as usual.
Absolutely! I think I’ve written about that before, but I can’t recall. Maybe it’s just a conversation I’ve had a few times. It’s also my opinion that the Quran is precisely to blame for the spread of Islamic terror.
It’s so frustrating when I listen to BBC radio 4 or other politics discussion shows which are all engaged in the systematic denial that there’s nothing to worry about with Islam. I don’t know how many people need to be killed in the name of Allah before we make the connection. I’m glad that I live in a country that we can discuss this openly though…
Yeah it’s always frustrating. I’m pretty liberal about almost everything, but in social settings I often feel I’m on the outside because I agree with the conservatives on the issue of Islam. Don’t get me wrong; discrimination against Muslims is wrong and intolerable, but to constantly run to the aid of Islam, calling it a peaceful religion, when it clearly leads to murder (see Israel vs. Palestine kidnappings and revenge killings), that is just as intolerable.
Yea I always struggle to convey my support Muslims on the grounds of their humanity as most people think I am discriminating my observing Islam in its entirety. I hate the idea of lumping them together but I do think that, being able to see directly through internet and media the effects Islam is having on human rights when it is the law of the land and also the actual teachings and wordings of the Qur’an and the Hadith – there is an element of concern when we know someone is living their life according to the very same holy book. I have no doubt that each Muslim I encounter doesn’t follow the book as extremists do but there are instances where we assume wrong. As soon as the Qur’an is revised to remove any insight to hate and murder, then surely Islam will fall in line with the peaceful majority and no longer be considered a violent and oppressive religion
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Your first quoted verse is right , but the second verse is about ” Munafiqeen” who said to Muslims that we are Muslims but in reality they were just deceiving Muslims , they were disbelievers. In first verse Allah is saying that he has sent down this Quran and whosoever wants to believe in truth
then believe and whosoever wants to be ignorant so be . But in your second quoted verse , Allah says that Munafiqeen also want Muslims to become kafir (disbelievers) . Allah says that don’t trust them untill they are not willing to quit everything and migrate with you and if Munafiqeen revolt then kill them where you find them , we can see that by Munafiqeen pretendence of being Muslims , they were spreading misunderstandings among Muslim, as a answer for their deception , Allah orders to do war with them . But don’t you see in the next verse Allah says that don’t do wars with tribes with whom you have signed treaty ?
And respected Mr rationalhumanist86, Allah or Prophet never ordered Muslims to kill , when Muslims killed it was either for defence or for ending mischievousness in Muslim land . ISIS don’t represent Islam just as Bush doesn’t represent Christianity for if he does then Christianity orders to kill innocent humans and Bush attacked Japan even Japanese were innocent .
This one is NOT a contradiction. You have quoted:
“They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.”
This is verse 4:89 but it is out of context. The next verse 4:90 says:
“EXCEPT for those who take refuge with a people between yourselves AND whom is a treaty OR those who come to you, their hearts strained at [the prospect of] fighting you or fighting their own people. And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.”
Whether or not Muslims kill Unbelievers just for being unbelievers is a different matter though. If they do, they are not following this second verse.