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Reply to Manmdouh M

Reader comment on item: My Gloom: Back to September 10
in response to reader comment: The Ideology of hate and murder is the basis of terrorism

Submitted by Peter Hanbury (Australia), Jan 6, 2006 at 02:23

Dear Manmdouh M,

I respect your sincerity and appreciate your familiarity with the Quran. However, to my mind, the significant words in 005.033, which you quote, are

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger." It appears not unreasonable to me that someone should fight back against those who attack them. Christians certainly do it often, in spite of Jesus' admonition to do otherwise.

I cannot speak arabic, so I must rely on translations. Among the translations that have impressed me are the following:

"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors."
(Qur'an:Translation of the meaning, 2:190)

"If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things."
(Qur'an: Translation of the meaning, 8:61)

"God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just."
(Qur'an: Translation of the meaning,60:8)

Let there be no compulsion in religion.
(Qur'an 2:256)

O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God (Allah), as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety : and fear God (Allah). For God (Allah) is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
(Qur'an 5:8)

This of course suggests that there are contradictions in the Quran, just as there are contradictions in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

I would also suggest to you that Muslims, just like people of other religions, are not all alike, and that not every Muslim acts on the more extremist exhortations. After all, there are many Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus, but arguably even more who do not. The illegal invasion of Iraq is an obvious example. I don't believe that Jesus would ever have accepted the killing of thousands of people as "collateral damage", as the avowedly Christian George Bush terms it.

Likewise, I don't believe that every Muslim is a potential terrorist. But killing innocent Muslims seems to be a very effective way to turn otherwise peace-loving Muslims into terrorists. One could hardly expect them to say "Thank you for bombing us."

Best wishes, and peace be with you.

Peter
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