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A Tale Of Two Halves: Meccan Islam vs.Medinan Islam

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: ISLAM,A MERCY TO MANKIND.

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Oct 10, 2006 at 13:21

Since 911 Westerners have been hearing two different messages about Islam. One that "Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace, and mercy." The other that "Islam is a religion of jihad, killings, and the persecution of non-Muslims."

. Which are we to believe Hafiz? Which is the real Islam? Because there are actually two Islams aren't there? There is the Islam of Mecca, and there is, the Islam of Medina. Meccan Islam is characterized by peace and the absence of violence, which is when Muhammad was weak and persecuted by the leadership of the Quraish tribe. But when he migrated to Medina, he became militarily strong, and eventually organized an Islamic state. It was during this period (622-632 AD,) that he received surahs calling for Jihad against the unbelievers in Mecca, as well as the Jews and Christians in Arabia. Therefore, those who like you, claim that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, are referring to Meccan Islam, and those who say that Islam is a religion of jihad are referring to the Islam of Medina. I assume from your name, that you have memorized the Qur'an, a prodigious feat of memory no doubt, but you surely don't understand what you have memorized, otherwise you wouldn't be saying "Islam is a mercy to mankind." You and I are reading different Qur'ans, or you have memorized it in Arabic, which you don't understand.

The Qur'an is quite literally a tale of two-halves, with plenty of nice-sounding verses "The Meccan Surah's" which Muslims like to quote, from Muhammad's militarily powerless period, and nasty-sounding ones "The Medinan Surah's" from Muhammad's militarily powerful period, usually quoted by shahids ("martyrs") who think they're on their way to al-janna ("paradise") for killing kafirun ("infidels")

Or are you being deliberately duplicitous and mendacious, as I believe you are in your partial quotation of Surah 5:32 from the second-half of Islam, the Medinan period, in saying "If you kill a single life, it is as if you killed all the people in the world."

But the full and unexpurgated version (Abdullah Yusuf Ali) of Surah 5:32&33 states:-

"On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;"

Aya 33 lists a selection of savage punishments for those who fight the Muslims and create "mischief" (or in some translations "corruption") in the land, punishments which include execution, crucifixion and amputation. What kind of "mischief in the land" could merit such a reaction? Could that be interpreted as secularism, democracy and other non-Islamic values in a land? Could the "murder" be the killing of Muslim fighters by US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan?

In quoting the expurgated or sanitised form of this verse Hafiz, you must have realised what a deception you were employing, on those who are ignorant of the Islam of Muhammad, and the distinction between Meccan Islam and Medinan Islam, but Praise God, truly, "The pen is mightier than the sword." Words written for the first time in 1839, by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton 1803-1873

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