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Being non-violent is not enough. The bar is much-much higher

Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: dhimmi no more will not believe Muslim scholars when they say the Quran is perfect...

Submitted by Prashant, Mar 3, 2018 at 00:42

Dear Dr Pipes, In 2015 a reader of yours Adil demanded a proof that Islam was a violent religion (his exact question: Where is your proof that Islam is a violent religion). After asking this question Adil used the oft-repeated argument that violent verses of Quran are actually non-violent because in the proper context they recommend that only "treacherous" kuffurs be killed. This is a frivolous defense for at least the following reasons:

1) A doctrine as context dependent as Quran can easily be misused by a rogue killer. A command from God must not be good in just under the best possible interpretation. It must be good in ALL possible interpretations. Consider, for example, the Christian command "love thy neighbor" or the Hindu dictum "sarv dharma samabhava" (all religions converge). You do not need convoluted interpretations to make these principles non-violent! They are tautologically and universally good.

2) Let us assume that it so happens that we encounter a treacherous kuffar who wants to capture our land, rob our caravans, say bad words to our God etc etc. Should he be necessarily killed in the fashion described in the Quran? Do we have to hide and wait and destroy him as soon as we find him? What about some love, some forgiveness, and some give-and-take? And these three things must happen when the Kuffar is still treacherous. If you sign a treaty with him after he seeks forgiveness and accepts submission, what is the big deal?

But, then, dear readers, whether Quran is peaceful and non-violent or not is a moot point. It indeed is moot. In the 1400 years since Quran was written the bar has been raised by at least 1400 feet. Now it is just not enough that Quran be non-violent. Now Quran (and every other religious doctrine) has to be respectful of both genders, respectful to foreigners, and respectful to other religions. It has to welcome freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. It has to be tolerant. And, it has to be democratic. You see, dear Muslim readers, in 2018, Quran has to be democratic. Because all people love democracy now. We now want to visit Mecca whenever we want and possibly take a Bible with us there with us. And we want to flaunt our Bible when we are there.

Therefore, when it comes to Islam, a lot needs to be done. Indeed.


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