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The Qur'an Does Form the Basis for the Jihadist's Bigoted Mission

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by Michael (United States), Jan 25, 2004 at 16:01

Your article, "Study the Koran?" demands two clarifications. First, you are correct that the Qur'an has many contradictory passages -- many pertaining to Jews and Christians and Jihad. However, you should have been more precise. One must understand which passages represent more tolerant abrogated early revelations (when Muhammad expected all Jews and Christians to embrace him as the final Prophet). These tolerant passages were later abrogated by vicious hateful revelations (when Muhammad became a religious and political leader rejected by the vast majority of Jews and Christians). Simply reading the Qur'an can be misleading, unless one understands which passages are operative and how those operative passages are interpreted by the vast majority of Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims.

Second, you are not entirely correct when you assert: "If the Koran causes terrorism, then how does one explain the 1960s, when militant Islamic violence barely existed? The Koran was the same text then as now. More broadly, over a period of 14 centuries, Muslims have been inspired by the Koran to act in ways aggressive and passive, pious and not, tolerant and not. Logic demands that one look elsewhere than an immutable text to account for such shifts."

What this comment ignores is that in the 1960s, and in most decades before and after, there has been terrorism perpetrated by Muslims -- some state sponsored, some by non-governmental terrorist organizations, some by revolutionary movements, and some spontaneous. There are two reasons why the threat appears so much greater today: First, because of the horror of 9/11 (which was a very successful "low tech" attack on our country -- whereas prior successful attacks were overseas). Second, and really more significant from a risk assessment standpoint, is that the risks of massive damage are much greater today because of advances in the technology of weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike the 1960s, today terrorist groups can (in theory) obtain portable weapons of mass destruction to do damage that was unimaginable decades ago. This theoretical ability to match the destructive capabilities of a superpower emboldens the Islamic terrorists today, and draws others to their fold. There is ample Qur'anic support for what the Islamists are doing -- and today (as opposed to decades ago) they really have the theoretical ability to accomplish what they seek. Simply look at the activities of Pakistan and Iran, for recent examples.

I urge you and all your readers to look at very good book by Robert Spencer: "Onward Muslim Soldiers - How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West" (2003). This well-researched book addresses Islamic bigotry, jihad and the severity of the current threat. You should also regularly look at Spencer's website, www.jihadwatch.org. It is one of the best sources available providing daily updates on global jihad and the mistreatment of Jews, Christians and others by Muslims. The message in all we see is clear. The radicals do not represent some aberrational fringe movement. We must not shy away from the truth. Too much is at stake.
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