Monday, July 11, 2005

Koranic Violence

After the London terror attacks, much has been said about Islamic militants hijacking a peaceful religion for their own ends. Tony Blair basically made this point when he said:
In addition, I welcome the statement put out by the Muslim Council who know that those people acted in the name of Islam but who also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do.
Agreed, but I don't think, and the Koran itself supports my argument, that the "overwhelming majority of Muslims" are aghast at the London atrocities because of their religious devotion but due to their communion with their humanity. We shouldn't lose sight of this.

Islam is a particularly violent religion that has made violent defense of the faith one of its central tenets.
Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate. (Koran 9:73)
Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous. (9:123)
[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them to the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate. (2:126)
Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage...[I]f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evildoers. (2:190-93)
Believers, if you yield to the infidels they will drag you back to unbelief and you will return headlong to perdition...We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers...The Fire shall be their home. (3:149-51)
Seriously, how can you explain away these Koranic passages? (And these are just a selection, pick up the book for yourself.) Those Muslims that believe that "jihad" isn't a duty, aren't truly Muslims in the textual sense -- they have come to the conclusion that peaceful co-existence is better than the fires of "the struggle." And that's an unqualified good. Reasoned debate and economic development will see to it that this process gains speed in the future.