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Murdering innocent people in the name of religion is unacceptable

Reader comment on item: Muslim Acts of Beheading in the West

Submitted by Ceylan Ozbudak (Turkey), May 26, 2013 at 22:28

According to the Qur'an, war represents an "unwanted obligation" which has to be absolutely carried out with strict observance of particular humane and moral values and resorted only when it is inevitable. There is only defense war in the Qur'an, when you, your possessions, security and honor is under attack. That is to say, someone has entered one's house, there is a raid with weapons, rifles. They had knocked the glasses-frames down and fired bullets. What can a man do in such case? Shall he bring them into court? What should he do? If he attempted to escape, he would fail. Right? What should be the action? To save one's life, defending one's self.

There are things to do while defending one's self; for instance, people first open fire to the air, they threaten, open fire to the air, if these measures prove to be ineffective, they try to stop the perpetrator by injuring him but in a way not to cause suffering or killing him. This is self-defense. Is there any other way of doing it? Is there any other way in the case of a sudden attack? Since he can not escape. So what is to blame or to see as a fault here? A closer examination of Prophet Muhammad's life reveals that war is a method resorted for defensive purposes only in unavoidable situations.

The revelation of the Koran to Prophet Muhammad lasted for 23 years. During the first 13 years of this period, Muslims lived as a minority under a pagan rule in Mecca and faced much oppression. Many Muslims were harassed, abused, tortured, and even murdered, their houses and possessions were plundered. Despite this however, Muslims led their lives without resorting to any violence and always called pagans to peace.

When the oppression of pagans escalated unbearably, Muslims emigrated to the town of Yathrib, which was later to be renamed Medina, where they could establish their own order in a more friendly and free environment. Even establishing their own political system did not prompt them to take up weapons against aggressive pagans of Mecca. Only after the following revelation, the Prophet commanded his people to get prepared for war:

Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged - truly God has the power to come to their support - those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, 'Our Lord is God'… (Surat al-Hajj: 39-40)

In brief, Muslims were allowed to wage war only because they were oppressed and subjected to violence. To put it in another way, God granted permission for war only for defensive purposes. In other verses, Muslims are warned against use of unnecessary provocation or unnecessary violence:

Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits. (Surat al-Baqara: 190)

After the revelations of these verses, wars occurred between Muslims and pagan Arabs. In none of these wars, however, were the Muslims the inciting party. Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad established a secure and peaceful social environment for Muslims and pagans alike by signing a peace agreement (Hudaybiya) which conceded to the pagans most of their requests. The party who violated the terms of the agreement and started a new war was again the pagans. However, with rapid conversions into Islam, the Islamic armies attained great power against the pagan Arabs and Prophet Muhammad conquered Mecca without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance. If he willed, he could have taken revenge on pagan leaders in the city. Yet, he did not do harm to any one of them, forgave them and treated them with the utmost tolerance. Pagans, who would later convert to Islam by their own will, could not help admiring such noble character of the Prophet.

The Islamic principles God proclaims in the Koran account for this peaceful and temperate policy of Prophet Muhammad. In the Koran, God commands believers to treat even the non-Muslims kindly and justly:

...God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you over religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. God loves those who are just. God merely forbids you from taking as friends those who have fought you over religion and driven you from your homes and who supported your expulsion... (Surat al-Mumtahana: 8-9)

The verses above specify the outlook of a Muslim on non-Muslims: A Muslim should treat all non-Muslims kindly and avoid making friends only with those who show enmity to Islam. In case this enmity causes violent attacks against the existence of Muslims, that is, in case they wage a war against them, then Muslims should respond them justly by considering the humane dimensions of the situation. All forms of barbarism, unnecessary acts of violence and unjust aggression are forbidden by Islam. In another verse, God warns Muslims against this and explains that rage felt for enemies should not cause them to drift them into injustice:

You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of God, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to heedfulness. Heed God (alone). God is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Ma'ida: [8)]

The Meaning of the Concept of "Jihad"

Another concept that deserves clarification due to the content of this article is the concept of "jihad".

The exact meaning of "Jihad" is "effort". That is, in Islam, "to carry out jihad" is "to show efforts, to struggle". Prophet Muhammad explained that "the greatest jihad is the one a person carries out against his lower soul". What is meant by "lower soul" here is the selfish desires and ambitions. A struggle given on intellectual grounds against anti-religious, atheist views is also a form of jihad in its complete sense.

Apart from these ideological and spiritual meanings, struggle in the physical sense is also considered as "jihad". However, as explained above, this has to be a struggle carried out solely for defensive purposes. The use of the concept of "jihad" for acts of aggression against innocent people, that is for terror, would be unjust and a great distortion.

The Islamic political doctrine is extremely peaceful and moderate. This fact is also confirmed by many non-Muslim historians and theologians. One of these is the British historian, Karen Armstrong, a former nun and a renowned expert on Middle East history. In her book, Holy War, in which she examines the history of the three great divine religions, she comments:

... The word Islam comes from the same Arabic root as the word peace and the Koran condemns war as an abnormal state of affairs opposed to God's will: "When the enemies of the Muslims kindle a fire for war, Allah extinguishes it. They strive to create disorder in earth, and Allah loves not those who create disorder." (Koran 28:78). Islam does not justify a total aggressive war or extermination, as the Torah does in the first five books of the Bible. A more realistic religion than Christianity, Islam recognizes that war is inevitable and sometimes a positive duty in order to and oppressions and suffering. The Koran teaches that war must be limited and be conducted in as humane a way of possible. Mohammed had to fight not only the Meccans but also the Jewish tribes in the area and Christian tribes in Syria who planned on offensive against him in alliance with the Jews. Yet this did not make Mohammed denounce the People of the Book. His Muslims were forced to defend themselves but they were not fighting a holy war against the religion of their enemies. When Mohammed sent his freedman Zaid against the Christians at the head of a Muslim army, he told them to fight in the cause of God bravely but humanely. They must not molest priests, monks and nuns nor the weak and helpless people who were unable to fight. There must be no massacre of civilians nor should they cut down a single tree nor pull down any building. This was very different from the wars of Joshua. (Karen Armstrong, Holy War, MacMillian London Limited, 1988, p. 25)

Following the death of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims continued to treat the members of other religions with tolerance and respect. Islamic states became the secure and free home of both Jews and Christians. After the conquest of Jerusalem, Caliph Omar calmed the Christians who were in fear of a massacre and explained to them that they were secure. Furthermore, he visited their churches and declared that they could continue to practise their worship freely.

In 1099, 4 centuries after the conquest of Jerusalem by Muslims, Crusaders invaded Jerusalem and put all Muslims inhabitants to the sword. Again, contrary to the fears of Christians, Saladin, the Muslim general who captured Jerusalem and saved the city from invasion in 1187, did not touch even a single civilian and did not allow a single soldier to plunder. Moreover, he allowed the invading Christians to take all their possessions and leave the city in security.

The periods of Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman Empire were also marked by the tolerance and justice of Islam. As is known, Jews who were expelled from Catholic Spain found the peace they sought on the lands of Ottoman Empire, where they took refuge in 1492. Sultan Mehmed, the conqueror of Istanbul, also allowed Jews and Christians religious freedom. Regarding the tolerant and just practises of Muslims, historian A. Miquel states the following:

"The Christians were ruled by a very well administered state which was something that did not exist in the Byzantium or Latin sovereignty. They were never subjected to a systematized oppression. On the contrary, the Empire, and foremost Istanbul, became a refuge for the much tortured Spanish Jews. They were never forced to accept Islam." (Feridun Emecen, Kemal Beydilli, Mehmet Ýpþirli, Mehmet Akif Aydýn, Ýlber Ortaylý, Abdülkadir Özcan, Bahaeddin Yediyýldýz, Mübahat Kütükoðlu, Osmanlý Devleti Medeniyeti Tarihi, (The History of the Ottoman State), Istanbul: 1994, Ýslam Tarih, Sanat ve Kültür Araþtýrma Merkezi, p. 467)

John L. Esposito, a professor of Religion and International Politics at the Georgetown University, makes a similar comment:

"For many non-Muslim populations in Byzantine and Persian territories already subjugated to foreign rulers, Islamic rule meant an exchange of rulers, the new ones often more flexible and tolerant, rather than a loss of independence. Many of these populations now enjoyed greater local autonomy and often paid lower taxes... Religiously, Islam proved a more tolerant religion, providing greater religious freedom for Jews and indigenous Christians." (John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992, p. 39)

In brief, compassion, peace and tolerance constitute the very basis of the values of the Koran and Islam aims to wipe mischief out of the earth.

The commands of the Koran and the ways Muslims practised them throughout history are so clear as to leave no room for dispute.

Murdering innocent people in the name of religion is unacceptable. And everything is aimed at forgiving. For instance All-Mighty Allah says, "but do not go beyond the limits", "if they stop, you also stop", "release the captives, behave well to the captives." What a perfect explanation. What a humanistic interpretation. In case of a murder, for instance, notice that this is a murder, Allah says that there is the right for retaliation. Normally the penalty for murder is execution. However Allah says, "It is more auspicious for you if you forgive". Since a Muslim would always choose to forgive, which is more auspicious, so what? Don't we see here the highest form of compassion, love and mercy? What is the meaning of forgiving an enormous cruelty such as murder? Allah relates, "It is more auspicious for you if you forgive." Consequently Islam is a religion of love, mercy and compassion. But this also holds true for Gospel and Torah. Even in its distorted form, it has preserved these beautiful features.

The terrorist leaders in question are actually people raised to be "spoiled and faddish" in a manner far removed from Islamic moral values in America and various European countries, who are always in the night clubs, have an atheist mindset and have embraced the negative and degenerate aspects of Western culture. It needs to be stated here that one may have led all kinds of different lifestyles before beginning to live by the moral values of the religion, and that is not something to be criticized. One may hope for Allah's forgiveness for these errors if one genuinely repents and turns to belief in Him. But it is different with the people in question. When the time comes for these people to go to work, they grow beards and start work looking like Ahl al-Sunnah (those Muslims who believe and live according to the Qur'an). They receive their orders from the aforesaid intelligence agencies under atheist masonic control and unhesitatingly carry out the requisite actions. They have nothing to do with Islam. Their religion is not Islam, but Darwinism, materialism.

It is impossible for sincere Ahl al-Sunnah (Muslims who fully abide by the Qur'an) to support and be a part of such a repressive system that exists in opposition to the Qur'an. The people who carry out this oppression in the world are the followers of Ibni Miskeveyh, the Darwinists, materialists, socialist sympathizers and admirers of Stalin, Che, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao of this world. They are people who foolishly attempt to apply the aberrant ideas of bloody materialists, communists and fascists in the name of Islam, and who think in a way diametrically opposed to the moral values of the religion.

That is how this tyrannic system that certain circles unjustly try to impute to Islam works. Some Muslims may claim that this tyrannic system carried out in the name of Islam was never actually a reality and seek to deny it completely. But the correct thing is not to deny these actions, but rather for them to be described as the actions of mason-supported atheist intelligence agents in order, in their own eyes, to neutralize Islam across the world (surely Islam is beyond that), and to make it clear that such actions are very definitely forbidden in Islam.

In making these allegations against Muslims, the Christians in question ignore one very important point. As is known in history the USA caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were also Muslims, Christians and Jews among those people. And children, and old people, and innocent men and women. But the Islamic world never sought to lay the blame for this action perpetrated by the U.S. government on Christianity. In the same way, thousands of Muslims were barbarically slaughtered during the attacks which were openly called the Crusades, and even Christians belonging to other sects were tortured to death. And mosques were pillaged as well as the churches. The blood that has recently been shed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries was Muslim blood. But Muslims have never used this as grounds for saying that people who live by the Gospel are killers. Any sane person can see that irreligion always reigns anywhere in which oppression is taking place. Indeed, rational Muslims who abide by the Qur'an and believe in Allah never hold Christians responsible for the massacres in question. That is not something that anyone who genuinely believes in Allah could do.

You say your life was threatened by Muslims for exposing information. First of all, if someone threatens you, he is not practicing the rules of Islam. It doesn't matter if he introduces himself as a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Christian. Plus, the information you were given is not true and open to false interpretation. You can use the information I provide you here since this is perfectly true.

If you look at Leviticus in the old testament, you see:

20:10

and the man that committeth adultry with another mans wife, even he that committeth adultry his neighbors wife, the adulterer and the adulturess shall surely be put to death.

20:11

and the man that lieth with his fathers wife hath uncovered his fathers nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death:their blood shall be upon them.

20:12

and if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have wrought confusion: their blood shall be upon them

20:13

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall be out to death; their blood be upon them

20:14

and if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness, the shall be burnt with fire, both he and they, that there be no wickedness among you.

Deuteronomy 22:22, 22:23-24

22:22

if a man be found lying with a woman married to another husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so shalt thou put away evil from Israel

22:23-24

23 if a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie her;

24 then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel; because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbors wife; so thou shalt put away evil from among you

And JUST LIKE THESE ARE REFERENCES FROM THE PAST FOR CHRISTIANS, atmosphere of self defense is also a a historic reference for Muslims. They refer to the era I explained above. An era of constant oppression towards Muslims. They are open to wrong interpretation.

"You have quoted the old testament of the Bible.. Anyone with ANY KNOWLEDGE of the Bible and Christianity knows that the old testament is the historical context of the Bible. Everything changed after the emergence of Christ. Christians use the old testament for historical perspective. They follow the new testament." ( qoute by Jan Morgan, 2012 )

This is still...in the Christian bible, does this mean that ALL Christians should use this historic text as reference or Shall they rip it out, and start over as well?

Anyone can claim to be Muslim, just as anyone can claim to be Christian or Jewish. The people who perpetuate this violence, in the name of Islam are bigots. A majority of people in the Middle East are conservatives. But there are two types of conservatism. Religious conservatism and traditional or ideological conservatism. One of these will eventually lead to bigotry.

A religious conservative, a Muslim, only seeks peace and brotherhood between nations, cares for art, science, beauty, purity and everything positive. But a traditional conservative only preserves his ideological and traditional values and acts accordingly. He can insult women under the name of Islam even though in real Islam women are protected in every step of life, he never accepts other nations as brothers and sisters, he is filthy, has a bogus mind, doesn't accept science, doesn't allow art to grow and he can do everything unclean, illogical and tells illogical stories.

These people are a vast majority in the world of Islam so usually non-Muslims consider these people as real Muslims, They are not. These are only bigots.

In order to change this, We cannot as a society as a whole, ignore or simply propagate hate or violence in return. We must strive to change this. Merely focusing on the problem without a valid logical solution will not make it go away. We need to try and educate them away from these horrible acts, and these evil traditions to bring those that are practicing bigotry back to views that do not insight this kind of mentality, hate and terrorism, whether they be considered to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or any other faith that practices bigotry. These actions are found within all faiths.

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