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Response to Edward and John (Islam is a Religion of Peace)

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by The Scholar (United States), Nov 12, 2005 at 01:20

Your comments bring to mind what Gibbon (the great historian) said about the claim that Islam spread with the sword. He said that these accusations are based on "ignorance and bigotry". He then added that this is refuted by "Quran, by history of Musalman conquerors and by their public and legal toleration of Christian worship." He then continues to say that "the great success of Mohammad's life had been effected by sheer moral force, without a stroke of sword". Thomas Carlyle also wrote in "Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History" in 1840: "The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only." And then he adds that "A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world's Maker had ordered so." James Michener in ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,' (Reader's Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70) wrote: "No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword, but no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur'an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience."

Let me also remind you of what Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854, said about Prophet Mohamed (PBUH): "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?".

What you are currently trying to do is portray Islam as the evil and you as the innocent who have never erred. As a matter of fact, history clearly says otherwise. Giving us examples of problems in Thailand, Beslan, Indonesia, etc does not seem to make more sense than me giving you examples of Zimbabwee, Army of the Lord (Uganda), Republic of Congo which has 70% Christian population (and 3.8 Million victims so far), the crime problem in Colombia, South Africa, Mexico and Jamaica, etc. I also wonder what would you have said if the Moslems of Bosnia, and Kosovo were not the ones killed but instead were the aggressors!! In short, please be careful if you try to judge Islam by the action of few of his followers. I guess this is a very common problem in the way the west thinks when it comes to Islam.

But you have to ask yourself what makes Islam so attractive to its followers and to those who convert to it! What makes it the fastest growing religion in the US and in other places of the world? And what had made it historically spread so fast? why there is no racial discrimination in Islam? Why did not we annihilate whole populations like Christians did in North America, South America, etc? And why did Jews and Moslems live in harmony in Spain during the Islamic rule there while they were massacred and expelled after the fall of Spain in 1492? I think you need to learn more about Islam and about its teachings and then feel free to say what you think as long as you are providing us with valid examples!

I guess when you could not say anything about Gandhi, you concluded that he is a politician and accordingly only said positive things in order to appease Muslims who wanted independence (although the Muslim league started asking for independence between 1942 and 1945, and the quote was from 1924). You could not find anything to say though about Sir George Bernard Shaw except that he and Gandhi never converted! Well, I am providing you with documented evidence and you are giving me silly arguments! I guess you should really think about the logic you are using and start to question what these characters can see in Islam that you can not see.

It seems fashionable to ignore very general verses in the Quran like:

[2:190-192] "And fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the reward of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors."

And instead those who attack Islam use verses that were meant for specific situations and meant as guidance for the prophet to deal with specific people who were then fighting Islam and were not meant to be used in all situation. You can always refer to the Islamic history to know in which situation did each verse descend from god. These situations are very well documented and without them your understanding of the Quran can not be complete.

If you want to use examples from the Quran or from the Sunna, then please give us a whole example and not just one or two sentences that would leave us confused and bewildered (unless of course this is your objective). For the gentleman who claims that Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) became blood thirsty after he moved from Mecca to Medina, there is no better example than what he did when he entered victoriously in Mecca after years in Exile. This is taken from "Islam and Modern age" by Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao:
"At the conquest of Mecca, he stood at the zenith of his power. The city which had refused to listen to his mission, which had tortured him and his followers, which had driven him and his people into exile and which had unrelentingly persecuted and boycotted him even when he had taken refuge in a place more than 200 miles away, that city now lay at his feet. By the laws of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and his people. But what treatment did he accord to them? Mohammad's heart flowed with affection and he declared, "This day, there is no REPROOF against you and you are all free." "This day" he proclaimed, "I trample under my feet all distinctions between man and man, all hatred between man and man." "This was one of the chief objects why he permitted war in self defense, that is to unite human beings. And when once this object was achieved, even his worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who killed his beloved uncle, Hamazah, mangled his body, ripped it open, even chewed a piece of his liver."

Let's review for example the teachings of Islam on the killing of women and Children, vandalism, and mutilation. Quoting from Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao's says "Islam and Modern age: "In an age of barbarism, the Battlefield itself was humanized and strict instructions were issued not to cheat, not to break trust, not to mutilate, not to kill a child or woman or an old man, not to hew down date palm nor burn it, not to cut a fruit tree, not to molest any person engaged in worship." And then talking about Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) he says: "His own treatment with his bitterest enemies is the noblest example for his followers." Compare this to the following verses in the holly bible:

Exodus 15:3 (King James Version)
3The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Numbers 25:3-4 (King James Version)
4And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
Hebrews 12:29 (King James Version)
29For our God is a consuming fire.
Numbers 31:17-18 (King James Version)
17Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
18But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Deuteronomy 7:2 (King James Version)
2And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Joshua 6:21-27 (King James Version)
21And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
24And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
27So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.
Joshua 7:19-26 (King James Version)
24And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.
25And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
Joshua 8:22-25 (King James Version)
25And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.
Joshua 10:20 (King James Version)
20And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities.
Joshua 10:40 (King James Version)
40So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
Exodus 17:13 (King James Version)
13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Exodus 32:27 (King James Version)
27And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
Deuteronomy 2:33-34 (King James Version)
33And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. 34And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
Deuteronomy 7:2 (King James Version)
2And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Deuteronomy 20:16 (King James Version)
16But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

And then look at what Jesus says about himself:

Matthew 10:35-37 (King James Version)
35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

I wonder what you all would have said if such verses were in the Quran and not in the bible!!

In Islam, God is a god of Mercy and compassion and not a god of war nor is he a consuming fire. And I think this is a suitable answer for the person who accused God of not being compassionate and merciful. I can give you many examples of this if you like!

At the end, if you would need me to provide you with some references that can help you understand Islam, I would be happy to do so!

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