Why the Islamic Violence? Why the Indifference?

When Islamic terrorists massacred 186 children and 148 other non-Muslims on the morning of September 3rd, 2004 at a schoolhouse in Beslan, Russia, very few Muslims celebrated the high-profile event and some even took the time to denounce it. But, in a community renowned for its peevishness, there was very little passion over the routine slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam.

While rumors of a Qur’an desecration or a Muhammad cartoon bring out deadly protests, riots, arson and effigy-burnings, the mass murder of non-Muslims generally evokes yawns. In the six years following 9/11 more than 10,000 acts of deadly Islamic terrorism were perpetrated, yet all of them together fail to provoke the sort of outrage on the part of most Muslims that the mere mention of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo inspires.

This critical absence of moral perspective puzzles many Westerners, particularly those trying to reconcile this reality with the politically-correct assumption that Islam is like other religion. The Judeo-Christian tradition preaches universal love and unselfishness, so it is expected that the more devout Muslims would be the most peaceful and least dangerous... provided that Islam is based on the same principles.

But beneath the rosy assurances from Muslim apologists that Islam is about peace and tolerance lies a much darker reality that better explains the violence and deeply-rooted indifference. Quite simply, the Qur'an teaches hate.

Consider the elements that define hate speech:

* Drawing a distinction between one’s own identity group and those outside it

* Moral comparison based on this distinction

* Devaluation or dehumanization of other groups and the insistence of personal superiority

* The advocating of different standards of treatment based on identity group membership

* A call to violence against members of other groups

Sadly, the Qur’an qualifies as hate speech on each count (despite the best intentions of many Muslims).

The holiest book of Islam (61% of which is about non-Muslims) draws the sharpest of distinctions between Muslims and non-believers, lavishing praise on the former while condemning the latter. Far from teaching universal love, the Qur'an incessantly preaches the inferiority of non-Muslims, even comparing them to vile animals and gloating over Allah's hatred of them and his dark plans for their eternal torture. Naturally, the harsh treatment of non-believers by Muslims is encouraged as well.

So, what does the Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the literal and eternal word of Allah, really say about non-Muslims?

The Qur’an Distinguishes Muslims from Non-Muslims and Establishes a Hierarchy of Relative Worth

The Qur’an makes it clear that Islam is not about universal brotherhood, but about the brotherhood of believers:

The Believers are but a single Brotherhood (49:10)

Not all men are equal under Islam. Slaves and the handicapped are not equal to healthy free men, for example (16:75-76). The Qur’an introduces the “Law of Equality,” which establishes different levels of human value when considering certain matters, such as restitution for murder (2:178).

With regard to Islam, the Qur’an tells Muslims that they are a favored race, while those of other religions are “perverted transgressors”:

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. (3:110)

As we shall see later, Allah condemns non-Muslims to Hell based merely on their unbelief, while believers are rewarded with the finest earthly comforts in the hereafter, including never-ending food, wine and sex (56:12-40). In fact, much of the Qur’an is devoted to distinguishing Muslims from non-Muslims and impugning the latter.

The first sura of the Qur'an is an example of this. It is a short prayer that is repeated by devout Muslims each day and ends with these words:

Keep us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray. (1:6-7)

Muhammad was once asked if these words pertained to Jews and Christians. His response was, "Whom else?" (Bukhari 56:662).

Since Allah makes such a strong distinction between Muslims and those outside the faith, it is only natural that Muslims should incorporate disparate standards of treatment into their daily lives. The Qur’an tells Muslims to be compassionate with one another but ruthless to the infidel:

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves… (48:29)

Allah intends for Muslims to triumph over believers:

And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way to triumph over believers [Pickthall – “any way of success”] (4:141)

The only acceptable position of non-Muslims to Muslims is subjugation under Islamic rule:

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. (9:29 Jizya is the money that non-Muslims must pay to their Muslim overlords in a pure Islamic state.)

A common criticism of many Muslims is that they often behave arrogantly toward others. Now you know why.

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1 comment:

joe six-pack said...

Muhammad could barely read and/or write. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Koran was just a group of phrases that Muhammad had spoken during his lifetime and has since been organized in order from the shortest phrases to the longest.

The illiterate are vulnerable to the ideology of hate. Not that the literate don't fall for this human weakness. It is that the literate just have more training in looking at things in other ways.