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Are Judism and Christianity as Violent as Islam


Hashim1968
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Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?

"There is far more violence in the Bible than in the Qur'an; the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."[2] So announces former nun and self-professed "freelance monotheist," Karen Armstrong. This quote sums up the single most influential argument currently serving to deflect the accusation that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant: All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories. Thus, whenever Islam's sacred scriptures—the Qur'an first, followed by the reports on the words and deeds of Muhammad (the Hadith)—are highlighted as demonstrative of the religion's innate bellicosity, the immediate rejoinder is that other scriptures, specifically those of Judeo-Christianity, are as riddled with violent passages.

More often than not, this argument puts an end to any discussion regarding whether violence and intolerance are unique to Islam. Instead, the default answer becomes that it is not Islam per se but rather Muslim grievance and frustration—ever exacerbated by economic, political, and social factors—that lead to violence. That this view comports perfectly with the secular West's "materialistic" epistemology makes it all the more unquestioned.

Therefore, before condemning the Qur'an and the historical words and deeds of Islam's prophet Muhammad for inciting violence and intolerance, Jews are counselled to consider the historical atrocities committed by their Hebrew forefathers as recorded in their own scriptures; Christians are advised to consider the brutal cycle of violence their forbears have committed in the name of their faith against both non-Christians and fellow Christians. In other words, Jews and Christians are reminded that those who live in glass houses should not be hurling stones.

But is that really the case? Is the analogy with other scriptures legitimate? Does Hebrew violence in the ancient era, and Christian violence in the medieval era, compare to or explain away the tenacity of Muslim violence in the modern era?

[edit] Violence in Jewish and Christian History

Along with Armstrong, any number of prominent writers, historians, and theologians have championed this "relativist" view. For instance, John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, wonders,

How come we keep on asking the same question, [about violence in Islam,] and don't ask the same question about Christianity and Judaism? Jews and Christians have engaged in acts of violence. All of us have the transcendent and the dark side. … We have our own theology of hate. In mainstream Christianity and Judaism, we tend to be intolerant; we adhere to an exclusivist theology, of us versus them.[3] An article by Pennsylvania State University humanities professor Philip Jenkins, "Dark Passages," delineates this position most fully. It aspires to show that the Bible is more violent than the Qur'an:

n terms of ordering violence and bloodshed, any simplistic claim about the superiority of the Bible to the Koran would be wildly wrong. In fact, the Bible overflows with "texts of terror," to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. … If the founding text shapes the whole religion, then Judaism and Christianity deserve the utmost condemnation as religions of savagery.[4]

Several anecdotes from the Bible as well as from Judeo-Christian history illustrate Jenkins' point, but two in particular—one supposedly representative of Judaism, the other of Christianity—are regularly mentioned and therefore deserve closer examination.

The military conquest of the land of Canaan by the Hebrews in about 1200 B.C.E. is often characterized as "genocide" and has all but become emblematic of biblical violence and intolerance. God told Moses:

But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them—the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite—just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.[5]

So Joshua [Moses' successor] conquered all the land: the mountain country and the South and the lowland and the wilderness slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord, God of Israel had commanded.[6]

As for Christianity, since it is impossible to find New Testament verses inciting violence, those who espouse the view that Christianity is as violent as Islam rely on historical events such as the Crusader wars waged by European Christians between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The Crusades were in fact violent and led to atrocities by the modern world's standards under the banner of the cross and in the name of Christianity. After breaching the walls of Jerusalem in 1099, for example, the Crusaders reportedly slaughtered almost every inhabitant of the Holy City. According to the medieval chronicle, the Gesta Danorum, "the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles."[7]

In light of the above, as Armstrong, Esposito, Jenkins, and others argue, why should Jews and Christians point to the Qur'an as evidence of Islam's violence while ignoring their own scriptures and history?

[edit] Bible versus Qur'an

The answer lies in the fact that such observations confuse history and theology by conflating the temporal actions of men with what are understood to be the immutable words of God. The fundamental error is that Judeo-Christian history—which is violent—is being conflated with Islamic theology—which commands violence. Of course, the three major monotheistic religions have all had their share of violence and intolerance towards the "other." Whether this violence is ordained by God or whether warlike men merely wished it thus is the key question.

Old Testament violence is an interesting case in point. God clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of God's will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Old Testament is just that—history. It happened; God commanded it. But it revolved around a specific time and place and was directed against a specific people. At no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law. In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive.

This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament—commanded by God and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence and intolerance have become standardized in Islamic law and apply at all times. Thus, while the violence found in the Qur'an has a historical context, its ultimate significance is theological. Consider the following Qur'anic verses, better known as the "sword-verses":

Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way.[8]

Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day, and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden – such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.[9]

As with Old Testament verses where God commanded the Hebrews to attack and slay their neighbors, the sword-verses also have a historical context. God first issued these commandments after the Muslims under Muhammad's leadership had grown sufficiently strong to invade their Christian and pagan neighbors. But unlike the bellicose verses and anecdotes of the Old Testament, the sword-verses became fundamental to Islam's subsequent relationship to both the "people of the book" (i.e., Jews and Christians) and the "idolators" (i.e., Hindus, Buddhists, animists, etc.) and, in fact, set off the Islamic conquests, which changed the face of the world forever. Based on Qur'an 9:5, for instance, Islamic law mandates that idolators and polytheists must either convert to Islam or be killed; simultaneously, Qur'an 9:29 is the primary source of Islam's well-known discriminatory practices against conquered Christians and Jews living under Islamic suzerainty.

In fact, based on the sword-verses as well as countless other Qur'anic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad, Islam's learned officials, sheikhs, muftis, and imams throughout the ages have all reached consensus—binding on the entire Muslim community—that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world until the former subsumes the latter. Indeed, it is widely held by Muslim scholars that since the sword-verses are among the final revelations on the topic of Islam's relationship to non-Muslims, that they alone have abrogated some 200 of the Qur'an's earlier and more tolerant verses, such as "no compulsion is there in religion."[10] Famous Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) admired in the West for his "progressive" insights, also puts to rest the notion that jihad is defensive warfare: In the Muslim community, the holy war Jihad is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force ... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense ... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. That is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority [e.g., a caliphate]. Their only concern was to establish their religion [not spread it to the nations] … But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.[11]

Modern authorities agree. The Encyclopaedia of Islam's entry for "jihad" by Emile Tyan states that the "spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated." Iraqi jurist Majid Khaduri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that "jihad … is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community."[12]And, of course, Muslim legal manuals written in Arabic are even more explicit.[13]

[edit] Qur'anic Language

When the Qur'an's violent verses are juxtaposed with their Old Testament counterparts, they are especially distinct for using language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to attack and slay nonbelievers today no less than yesterday. God commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did God give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their Jewish descendants, to fight and kill gentiles. On the other hand, though Islam's original enemies were, like Judaism's, historical (e.g., Christian Byzantines and Zoroastrian Persians), the Qur'an rarely singles them out by their proper names. Instead, Muslims were (and are) commanded to fight the people of the book—"until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled"[14] and to "slay the idolaters wherever you find them."[15]

The two Arabic conjunctions "until" (hata) and "wherever" (haythu) demonstrate the perpetual and ubiquitous nature of these commandments: There are still "people of the book" who have yet to be "utterly humbled" (especially in the Americas, Europe, and Israel) and "idolators" to be slain "wherever" one looks (especially Asia and sub-Saharan Africa). In fact, the salient feature of almost all of the violent commandments in Islamic scriptures is their open-ended and generic nature: "Fight them [non-Muslims] until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. [Emphasis added.]"[16] Also, in a well-attested tradition that appears in the hadith collections, Muhammad proclaims:

I have been commanded to wage war against mankind until they testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and that they establish prostration prayer, and pay the alms-tax [i.e., convert to Islam]. If they do so, their blood and property are protected. [Emphasis added.][17]

This linguistic aspect is crucial to understanding scriptural exegeses regarding violence. Again, it bears repeating that neither Jewish nor Christian scriptures—the Old and New Testaments, respectively—employ such perpetual, open-ended commandments. Despite all this, Jenkins laments that

Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religions … all are in the Bible, and occur with a far greater frequency than in the Qur'an. At every stage, we can argue what the passages in question mean, and certainly whether they should have any relevance for later ages. But the fact remains that the words are there, and their inclusion in the scripture means that they are, literally, canonized, no less than in the Muslim scripture.[18] One wonders what Jenkins has in mind by the word "canonized." If by canonized he means that such verses are considered part of the canon of Judeo-Christian scripture, he is absolutely correct; conversely, if by canonized he means or is trying to connote that these verses have been implemented in the Judeo-Christian Weltanschauung, he is absolutely wrong. Yet one need not rely on purely exegetical and philological arguments; both history and current events give the lie to Jenkins's relativism. Whereas first-century Christianity spread via the blood of martyrs, first-century Islam spread through violent conquest and bloodshed. Indeed, from day one to the present—whenever it could—Islam spread through conquest, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of what is now known as the Islamic world, or dar al-Islam, was conquered by the sword of Islam. This is a historic fact, attested to by the most authoritative Islamic historians. Even the Arabian peninsula, the "home" of Islam, was subdued by great force and bloodshed, as evidenced by the Ridda wars following Muhammad's death when tens of thousands of Arabs were put to the sword by the first caliph Abu Bakr for abandoning Islam.

[edit] Muhammad's Role

Moreover, concerning the current default position which purports to explain away Islamic violence—that the latter is a product of Muslim frustration vis-à-vis political or economic oppression—one must ask: What about all the oppressed Christians and Jews, not to mention Hindus and Buddhists, of the world today? Where is their religiously-garbed violence? The fact remains: Even though the Islamic world has the lion's share of dramatic headlines—of violence, terrorism, suicide-attacks, decapitations—it is certainly not the only region in the world suffering under both internal and external pressures.

For instance, even though practically all of sub-Saharan Africa is currently riddled with political corruption, oppression and poverty, when it comes to violence, terrorism, and sheer chaos, Somalia—which also happens to be the only sub-Saharan country that is entirely Muslim—leads the pack. Moreover, those most responsible for Somali violence and the enforcement of intolerant, draconian, legal measures—the members of the jihadi group Al-Shabab (the youth)—articulate and justify all their actions through an Islamist paradigm.

In Sudan, too, a jihadi-genocide against the Christian and polytheistic peoples is currently being waged by Khartoum's Islamist government and has left nearly a million "infidels" and "apostates" dead. That the Organization of Islamic Conference has come to the defense of Sudanese president Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, is further telling of the Islamic body's approval of violence toward both non-Muslims and those deemed not Muslim enough. Latin American and non-Muslim Asian countries also have their fair share of oppressive, authoritarian regimes, poverty, and all the rest that the Muslim world suffers. Yet, unlike the near daily headlines emanating from the Islamic world, there are no records of practicing Christians, Buddhists, or Hindus crashing explosives-laden vehicles into the buildings of oppressive (e.g., Cuban or Chinese communist) regimes, all the while waving their scriptures in hand and screaming, "Jesus [or Buddha or Vishnu] is great!" Why?

There is one final aspect that is often overlooked—either from ignorance or disingenuousness—by those who insist that violence and intolerance is equivalent across the board for all religions. Aside from the divine words of the Qur'an, Muhammad's pattern of behavior—his sunna or "example"—is an extremely important source of legislation in Islam. Muslims are exhorted to emulate Muhammad in all walks of life: "You have had a good example in God's Messenger."[19]And Muhammad's pattern of conduct toward non-Muslims is quite explicit.

Sarcastically arguing against the concept of moderate Islam, for example, terrorist Osama bin Laden, who enjoys half the Arab-Islamic world's support per an Al-Jazeera poll,[20] portrays the Prophet's sunna thusly:

"Moderation" is demonstrated by our prophet who did not remain more than three months in Medina without raiding or sending a raiding party into the lands of the infidels to beat down their strongholds and seize their possessions, their lives, and their women.[21]

In fact, based on both the Qur'an and Muhammad's sunna, pillaging and plundering infidels, enslaving their children, and placing their women in concubinage is well founded.[22] And the concept of sunna—which is what 90 percent of the billion-plus Muslims, the Sunnis, are named after—essentially asserts that anything performed or approved by Muhammad, humanity's most perfect example, is applicable for Muslims today no less than yesterday. This, of course, does not mean that Muslims in mass live only to plunder and rape.

But it does mean that persons naturally inclined to such activities, and who also happen to be Muslim, can—and do—quite easily justify their actions by referring to the "Sunna of the Prophet"—the way Al-Qaeda, for example, justified its attacks on 9/11 where innocents including women and children were killed: Muhammad authorized his followers to use catapults during their siege of the town of Ta'if in 630 C.E.—townspeople had refused to submit—though he was aware that women and children were sheltered there. Also, when asked if it was permissible to launch night raids or set fire to the fortifications of the infidels if women and children were among them, the Prophet is said to have responded, "They [women and children] are from among them [infidels]."[23]

[edit] Jewish and Christian Ways

Though law-centric and possibly legalistic, Judaism has no such equivalent to the Sunna; the words and deeds of the patriarchs, though described in the Old Testament, never went on to prescribe Jewish law. Neither Abraham's "white-lies," nor Jacob's perfidy, nor Moses' short-fuse, nor David's adultery, nor Solomon's philandering ever went on to instruct Jews or Christians. They were understood as historical acts perpetrated by fallible men who were more often than not punished by God for their less than ideal behaviour.

As for Christianity, much of the Old Testament law was abrogated or fulfilled—depending on one's perspective—by Jesus. "Eye for an eye" gave way to "turn the other cheek." Totally loving God and one's neighbor became supreme law.[24] Furthermore, Jesus' sunna—as in "What would Jesus do?"—is characterized by passivity and altruism. The New Testament contains absolutely no exhortations to violence.

Still, there are those who attempt to portray Jesus as having a similarly militant ethos as Muhammad by quoting the verse where the former—who "spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not"[25]—said, "I come not to bring peace but a sword."[26] But based on the context of this statement, it is clear that Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that strife will exist between Christians and their environment—a prediction that was only too true as early Christians, far from taking up the sword, passively perished by the sword in martyrdom as too often they still do in the Muslim world. [27]

Others point to the violence predicted in the Book of Revelation while, again, failing to discern that the entire account is descriptive—not to mention clearly symbolic—and thus hardly prescriptive for Christians. At any rate, how can one conscionably compare this handful of New Testament verses that metaphorically mention the word "sword" to the literally hundreds of Qur'anic injunctions and statements by Muhammad that clearly command Muslims to take up a very real sword against non-Muslims?

Undeterred, Jenkins bemoans the fact that, in the New Testament, Jews "plan to stone Jesus, they plot to kill him; in turn, Jesus calls them liars, children of the Devil."[28] It still remains to be seen if being called "children of the Devil" is more offensive than being referred to as the descendants of apes and pigs—the Qur'an's appellation for Jews.[29] Name calling aside, however, what matters here is that, whereas the New Testament does not command Christians to treat Jews as "children of the Devil," based on the Qur'an, primarily 9:29, Islamic law obligates Muslims to subjugate Jews, indeed, all non-Muslims.

Does this mean that no self-professed Christian can be anti-Semitic? Of course not. But it does mean that Christian anti-Semites are living oxymoron's—for the simple reason that textually and theologically, Christianity, far from teaching hatred or animosity, unambiguously stresses love and forgiveness. Whether or not all Christians follow such mandates is hardly the point; just as whether or not all Muslims uphold the obligation of jihad is hardly the point. The only question is, what do the religions command?

John Esposito is therefore right to assert that "Jews and Christians have engaged in acts of violence." He is wrong, however, to add, "We [Christians] have our own theology of hate." Nothing in the New Testament teaches hate—certainly nothing to compare with Qur'anic injunctions such as: "We [Muslims] disbelieve in you [non-Muslims], and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred for ever until you believe in God alone."[30]

[edit] Reassessing the Crusades

And it is from here that one can best appreciate the historic Crusades—events that have been thoroughly distorted by Islam's many influential apologists. Karen Armstrong, for instance, has practically made a career for herself by misrepresenting the Crusades, writing, for example, that "the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."[31] That a former nun rabidly condemns the Crusades vis-à-vis anything Islam has done makes her critique all the more marketable. Statements such as this of course ignore the fact that from the beginnings of Islam, more than 400 years before the Crusades, Christians have noted that Islam was spread by the sword.[32] Indeed, authoritative Muslim historians writing centuries before the Crusades, such as Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri (d. 892) and Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (838-923), make it clear that Islam was spread by the sword.

The fact remains: The Crusades were a counter-attack on Islam—not an unprovoked assault as Armstrong and other revisionist historians portray. Eminent historian Bernard Lewis puts it well,

Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation. But unlike the jihad, it was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. It was, with few exceptions, limited to the successful wars for the recovery of south-west Europe, and the unsuccessful wars to recover the Holy Land and to halt the Ottoman advance in the Balkans. The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.[33]

Moreover, Muslim invasions and atrocities against Christians were on the rise in the decades before the launch of the Crusades in 1096. The Fatimid caliph Abu 'Ali Mansur Tariqu'l-Hakim (r. 996-1021) desecrated and destroyed a number of important churches—such as the Church of St. Mark in Egypt and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem—and decreed even more oppressive than usual decrees against Christians and Jews. Then, in 1071, the Seljuk Turks crushed the Byzantines in the pivotal battle of Manzikert and, in effect, conquered a major chunk of Byzantine Anatolia presaging the way for the eventual capture of Constantinople centuries later.

It was against this backdrop that Pope Urban II (r. 1088-1099) called for the Crusades:

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians [i.e., Muslim Turks] … has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country, and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion.[34]

Even though Urban II's description is historically accurate, the fact remains: However one interprets these wars—as offensive or defensive, just or unjust—it is evident that they were not based on the example of Jesus, who exhorted his followers to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."[35] Indeed, it took centuries of theological debate, from Augustine to Aquinas, to rationalize defensive war—articulated as "just war." Thus, it would seem that if anyone, it is the Crusaders—not the jihadists—who have been less than faithful to their scriptures (from a literal standpoint); or put conversely, it is the jihadists—not the Crusaders—who have faithfully fulfilled their scriptures (also from a literal stand point). Moreover, like the violent accounts of the Old Testament, the Crusades are historic in nature and not manifestations of any deeper scriptural truths.

In fact, far from suggesting anything intrinsic to Christianity, the Crusades ironically better help explain Islam. For what the Crusades demonstrated once and for all is that irrespective of religious teachings—indeed, in the case of these so-called Christian Crusades, despite them—man is often predisposed to violence. But this begs the question: If this is how Christians behaved—who are commanded to love, bless, and do good to their enemies who hate, curse, and persecute them—how much more can be expected of Muslims who, while sharing the same violent tendencies, are further commanded by the Deity to attack, kill, and plunder nonbeliever

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NONE, if the religions violent, AT ALL. its the people that go nuts and take the context of them and think "GOD" or whom ever their higher power is, tell them to hurt others. IMO they are qwacks.

I agree 110% I wish we could apply effort more into trying to figure out when the hell the Government Of Iraq will raise the value of the Dinar. Instead of bashing each others religions. Because one thing is for sure

we all need a come up.

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Hmmm.........................the first thing that comes to mind.................HONOR KILLING .............do christians do it?...........NO.........Why because........Thou shalt not kill.........Do Jewish do it ..........NO.............Is a mans Honor worth more than his childs life?.......................you tell mehuh.gif

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More blood has been shed in the name of god than for any other reason . The thing you need to look at is what is the goal of said religon , christians ; peace, good will to your fellow man etc. islam preaches sharia law as its goal, an imposed form of opresive laws and goverment that sound more like a theocracy than a religon. Don t get me wrong christians are not inocent and have had thier dark times, youi sight the crusades that was almost 800 years ago, the past what have they done in the name of christanity lately. Islam on the other hand is not so clean either in thier past (The sacking of Constanipole 1450 3 days of rape and pillage by muslims or lately the killing of christians in Iraq and Egypt ) Religon can be carried to far, but it s up to us to look at it as a guide line to live by and not take it so liiteral.

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Heres one question i have to any one who wages war in the name of God in any religion.[ i say this as a christian } How weak is a God that calls himself Almighty, that he needs his own creation to defend his charachter and laws by trying to destroy the others he created? Is he not more powerful than even the strongest of us? Does God need men to acomplish his Will ? Or Is he truly soveriegn ?

My God is capable of destroying us all in but a thought .He dosent need me to do to try and prove how great he is. He's my defender ! He protect's my charachter! Not the other way around. So if killing other human beings lines up with your theology on how to better commune with God ; well i say your just using God as an excuse to acomplish your own agenda.

God has his own agenda PEACE

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It is obvious you write on something you know little of. You say a lot of nothing, and is very obvious you have never read the Koran or the Bible in and depth/have any knowledge of. You must be a Muslim from what you write and say or a sympathiser of Muslims. You must not look at what is going on around you. Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Africa, America troubles have all stemmed from Islamic Muslims not the other way around. You should go to your Bible and find out how Islam was established. Let me try and give a brief run down on Islam with data to back up what I say. I will do my best here to try and share a little knowledge and hope my memory can recall what needs to be stated here.

THE RELIGION OF ISLAM

I think I can say without fear of contradiction, that the most destructive religion that’s ever been birthed in the heart of evil man, is the religion of Islam. In one overwhelming sense of the word, it is very much akin to the religion of Baal worship in Old Testament times. This form of worship majored in human sacrifice, and I think it is overly obvious that the religion of Islam follows suit.

This religion made its debut in A.D. 622. It began with Muhammad of the tribe of Quraysh in Mecca. He claimed to have received a revelation that God (Allah) was “one” and that he (Muhammad) was to be Allah’s messenger of that truth.

He began this religion by making converts of some of his family members and close friends. Due to opposition, he left Mecca and went to the town of Medina, both in present day Saudi Arabia. This particular episode, his flight from Mecca to Medina, is now viewed as year “one” in the Islamic calendar. But actually it was the year 622 A.D.

THE JEWS

In Medina, Muhammad came into contact with a large Jewish community. Evidently his dealings with them resulted in him being influenced in that he adopted some of the Jewish practices. For example, at least at this particular time, he taught that faithful Muslims should pray facing Jerusalem. The Jews did the same thing and, in fact, had been doing the same thing for some 1,500 years. When the Jews rejected the message of Islam, which they did unequivocally, only then did he change his method of praying, by directing prayers toward Mecca.

He also taught his followers to fast on the tenth day of Tishri, the same day as the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur. This was later expanded to include the entire month of Ramadan.

In his so-called revelation, he also demanded that his followers abstain from pork and, as well, that all little Muslim boys be circumcised, which as most know, are standard Jewish practices.

He also claimed to accept the Jewish Prophets of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. He also included Adam in this list, as well as the “Prophet Jesus.” And yet, he strongly rejected the idea of the Deity of Christ. So, it’s difficult to understand how that he could claim that Jesus was a great Prophet, while at the same time being a liar, considering how much our Lord affirmed His Personal Deity.

MUHAMMAD

Muhammad claimed that he was personally “the seal of Prophecy,” meaning that he was God’s final messenger. While he accepted some of the Scriptures of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, still, he always perverted the Text. At any rate, his “revelations,” embodied in the Koran, became the authoritative “scriptures” for his faithful followers. These followers were called and are called “Muslims,” from the Arabic word “Islam,” meaning “submission” to the one God.

Due to his acceptance of some of the Jewish practices, he felt surely that the Jews would accept his message of “one God.” He found to his dismay, that the Jewish Rabbis gave him no credence whatsoever, ridiculing his illiteracy, and especially his confusion of Biblical traditions. But above all, the Jewish people could not even remotely accept a non-Israelite as God’s “seal of Prophecy.”

In a rage because of the rejection of the Jews, he initiated a policy of extermination that resulted in thousands of Jews being massacred, with thousands of others being evicted from their homes and, in fact, from Northern Arabia.

THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

To understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, we must try to understand the attitude of Islam toward the Jewish people.

The land that we presently refer to as “Israel,” or “Palestine,” was conquered and ruled by the Muslims from the Seventh Century to the Twentieth Century.

There was one interruption during this period of time, and that was when the “Christian” crusaders ruled the land for less than 100 years. Islam presently finds it unacceptable that this land, originally conquered for Allah by his followers, to now be ruled by the Jews, a people who they considered to be inferior and subservient. At least that is the way it is pictured in the Koran.

The Muslims find it impossible to acknowledge the historic reality that the land of Israel, according to the Bible, which they do not consider to be the Word of God, but rather the Koran, belongs to the Jews. This is the real key to understanding the impasse that exists in Israel presently. The Arab countries, predominantly Muslim, refuse to accept a foreign, Jewish presence in a land that is supposed to be, according to them, a part of the “world of Islam.”

THE MODERN CONTENTION

Regrettably, most people in the world presently, and we speak of those who are not Muslim or Jewish, think that the problem in Israel, as it regards the Palestinians, is that Israel will not allow the Palestinians to have a separate State. And if the evil Jews, or so the world thinks, would only allow these poor Palestinians to have their own land, all the problems would then be solved. Let’s look at that a little closer.

THE TRUTH

That which the world erroneously thinks, has absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand in Israel as it regards the Palestinians. In fact, Israel has tried again and again, to give the Palestinians particular areas they could call their own, the Gaza Strip being an example. In fact, not so long before Yasser Arafat died, Israel agreed to all his demands regarding a separate State with the exception of one. They would not give up Jerusalem, which he demanded as the capital of the new country of Palestine. So, the talks fell apart.

The truth is, the Muslims demand two things. They are:

1. Every Jew in Israel dead; and,

2. The entire land of Israel thereby being Muslim.

They have initiated several wars from the time of the inception of Israel as a State in 1948, with this view in mind. They have lost each one of those wars. And the Reader should keep the following in mind:

ISRAELI COMPASSION

Even though the Muslims initiated each one of these wars against Israel, with Israel coming out victor in each one, still, the Israeli’s allowed the Muslims to remain in the land. Had the scene been reversed, and the Muslims having won any one of these conflicts, as stated, every Jew would have been massacred.

PALESTINIANS?

Actually, there is no such thing as a nationality of people, or even a segment of people that can honestly be referred to as “Palestinians.” The truth is, all of the so-called Palestinians in Israel presently, are actually Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, etc.

The word or name “Palestinian,” actually has its roots in the name “Philistines,” who inhabited the area presently called Gaza in Old Testament times. To be sure, the modern Palestinians are not descendants of the ancient Philistines.

If it is to be noticed, not a single one of the Arab States in the Middle East will allow any of the Palestinians into their country. In other words, they can not immigrate, forcing them to remain where they are in Israel, as a thorn in Israel’s side and, as well, providing occasion for the world to blame Israel, when in reality, the fault is not that of Israel at all.

America has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza strip, and to the Palestinians in general, over the last several years, all to no avail. In other words, the money seldom gets to the people, but is stolen by the Muslim leaders.

As well, immediately after 9/11 (September 11, 2001), the Palestinians were in the streets rejoicing over our terrible loss, and despite the hundreds and millions squandered on this lost effort. They were quickly told by the Palestinian authorities, whomever that may have been, to stop their rejoicing, because that may cause America to cut off the money flow. Once again, it’s not Uncle Sam, but rather Uncle Sap!

JEHOVAH OR ALLAH?

Respecting what has been said, the impetus behind the Muslim determination to destroy Israel cannot be narrowly defined as a family affair, even though both entities are direct descendants of Abraham, or so it is believed by some (Isaac and Ishmael).

The conflict is much deeper than that, in fact, even beyond the comprehension and understanding of the Muslims themselves.

Yes, there is the matter of engendered jealousy over Ishmael being passed over as the recipient of the Abrahamic Covenant, given to the Patriarch by the Lord. That Blessing and the Promise of perpetual ownership of the Land of Israel fell to Isaac and his heirs, which are the Jews.

“And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish My Covenant with him for an Everlasting Covenant, and with his seed after him” (Gen. 17:19).

But as well, Ishmael was also given the promise of becoming “a great nation” (Gen. 21:18)—a nation so great “that it shall not be numbered for multitude” (Gen. 16:10). That Promise has been faithfully fulfilled by God. Tiny Israel floats in the middle of a sea of Arab nations scattered across a large portion of the globe, but with the greatest concentration in the Middle East.

THE LAND OF ISRAEL

The land area of the State of Israel presently occupied by the Israelis, is only about one tenth of one percent of the entire landmass occupied by the Muslims in the Middle East. Now think about what I’ve just said.

That means that the Muslims in the Middle East have approximately 1,000 times more land area than the Israelis, and yet, they are demanding this little bit as well!

It all boils down to the Muslims refusing to accept the Bible; therefore, they reject that which was stipulated by the Lord, and concerning this very thing, so long, long ago.

There are basically two differences between God’s Covenant with the Jews and His Covenant with the Ishmaelites. Israel was specifically given the land called Palestine or Israel (Gen. 13:14–17; 17:6–8, 19–21; 28:3–4). The paramount difference, however, is discovered in these words, as stated:

“And I will bless them who bless you, and curse him who curses you: and in you shall all families of the Earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

The Promise is further defined in Genesis 22:18: “And in your seed shall all the nations of the Earth be blessed.” That “Seed” of blessing delivered to the Gentile nations through the Jewish people—including Arabs—was and is “The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ,” which the world of Islam will not recognize.

Paul said: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the Promises made. He said not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of One, and to your Seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

HOLY WAR?

Holy?

• The Koran states that all Muslims must fight until there is no worship but that of Allah (Koran 2:193; 8:39).

• Christians and Jews must be exterminated (Koran 2:193; 9:5, 29–30).

• Those who convert to Christianity or leave the Islamic religion for any reason, must be killed (Koran 4:91).

Muhammad said, “Whosoever changes his religion, kill him” (Al-Bukhari 9:57).

• Those who criticize Islam must be killed (Koran 9:12; 45:9).

• Those who cut off the heads of infidels are guaranteed of paradise (Koran 47:4–6).

• By killing, one is following the example of Muhammad who killed as well (Koran 33:21).

• The prophets of Islam are to promote terrorism (Koran 17:59).

• As it regards all of this, symbolically, the modern State of Israel stands as a constant reminder to rabid fundamentalist Muslims of their humiliation before infidels—a condition that can only be remedied through conquest.

To all my good JEWISH AND AFRICANS FREINDS

The Koran states that Allah will not allow Africans into Heaven (Koran 3:106).

As well, the Koran also states that all Jews are cursed by Allah (Koran 4:46). In fact, Jews are looked at by Muslims as “subhuman apes” (Koran 2:65).

Again addressing blacks, Muhammad called blacks “raisin heads” (Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, No. 662 and Vol. 9, No. 256).

Our African American friends should take note of this when they claim that Islam is the black man’s religion, while Christianity is the white man’s religion!

To the contrary, Biblical Christianity looks at the whole human race, irrespective of the nationality, as one.

there is so much more to all this but my fingers are tired and it has been a long time since I had to use my memory banks on this subject. Hope you got something out of this.

You all have a good day.

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Hmm where should we start???

First Christians do not live by the the Old Testament. We live by the New Testament. We study the Old Testament for the knowledge and History contained therein. We learn about how Nations developed, how God dealt with disobedience, Gods Patience. His Love. We learn from the examples: for example Tribes of Judah and Israel, King David, Job... As Christians we realize that we are no longer bound to this Law. We live by the Doctrine set forth in the New Testament. If you read the Quran you will notice that it has much of the same reading as the Old Testament except for minor details and name changes. You will also notice were there is no tolerance for unbelievers and believers that have changed their belief. New Testament Christianity does not authorize the mistreatment of others for God's benefit. We are to be meek and humble. In Christianity we do not have Jihad. We have missionaries, we do not force people to submit to God with bombs, we have the Gospel. There are some religous finatics that claim to do evil for "the glory of God" however, upon closer examination you will find something wrong with that. One evil does not Glorify God. Second nowhere in the New Testament are we told to beat someone into submission of the Gospel. We are to teach them the truth, show them the Light, let them see the Peace that comes with being a Christian.

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Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?

"There is far more violence in the Bible than in the Qur'an; the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."[2] So announces former nun and self-professed "freelance monotheist," Karen Armstrong. This quote sums up the single most influential argument currently serving to deflect the accusation that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant: All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories. Thus, whenever Islam's sacred scriptures—the Qur'an first, followed by the reports on the words and deeds of Muhammad (the Hadith)—are highlighted as demonstrative of the religion's innate bellicosity, the immediate rejoinder is that other scriptures, specifically those of Judeo-Christianity, are as riddled with violent passages.

More often than not, this argument puts an end to any discussion regarding whether violence and intolerance are unique to Islam. Instead, the default answer becomes that it is not Islam per se but rather Muslim grievance and frustration—ever exacerbated by economic, political, and social factors—that lead to violence. That this view comports perfectly with the secular West's "materialistic" epistemology makes it all the more unquestioned.

Therefore, before condemning the Qur'an and the historical words and deeds of Islam's prophet Muhammad for inciting violence and intolerance, Jews are counselled to consider the historical atrocities committed by their Hebrew forefathers as recorded in their own scriptures; Christians are advised to consider the brutal cycle of violence their forbears have committed in the name of their faith against both non-Christians and fellow Christians. In other words, Jews and Christians are reminded that those who live in glass houses should not be hurling stones.

But is that really the case? Is the analogy with other scriptures legitimate? Does Hebrew violence in the ancient era, and Christian violence in the medieval era, compare to or explain away the tenacity of Muslim violence in the modern era?

[edit] Violence in Jewish and Christian History

Along with Armstrong, any number of prominent writers, historians, and theologians have championed this "relativist" view. For instance, John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, wonders,

How come we keep on asking the same question, [about violence in Islam,] and don't ask the same question about Christianity and Judaism? Jews and Christians have engaged in acts of violence. All of us have the transcendent and the dark side. … We have our own theology of hate. In mainstream Christianity and Judaism, we tend to be intolerant; we adhere to an exclusivist theology, of us versus them.[3] An article by Pennsylvania State University humanities professor Philip Jenkins, "Dark Passages," delineates this position most fully. It aspires to show that the Bible is more violent than the Qur'an:

n terms of ordering violence and bloodshed, any simplistic claim about the superiority of the Bible to the Koran would be wildly wrong. In fact, the Bible overflows with "texts of terror," to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. … If the founding text shapes the whole religion, then Judaism and Christianity deserve the utmost condemnation as religions of savagery.[4]

Several anecdotes from the Bible as well as from Judeo-Christian history illustrate Jenkins' point, but two in particular—one supposedly representative of Judaism, the other of Christianity—are regularly mentioned and therefore deserve closer examination.

The military conquest of the land of Canaan by the Hebrews in about 1200 B.C.E. is often characterized as "genocide" and has all but become emblematic of biblical violence and intolerance. God told Moses:

But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them—the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite—just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.[5]

So Joshua [Moses' successor] conquered all the land: the mountain country and the South and the lowland and the wilderness slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord, God of Israel had commanded.[6]

As for Christianity, since it is impossible to find New Testament verses inciting violence, those who espouse the view that Christianity is as violent as Islam rely on historical events such as the Crusader wars waged by European Christians between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The Crusades were in fact violent and led to atrocities by the modern world's standards under the banner of the cross and in the name of Christianity. After breaching the walls of Jerusalem in 1099, for example, the Crusaders reportedly slaughtered almost every inhabitant of the Holy City. According to the medieval chronicle, the Gesta Danorum, "the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles."[7]

In light of the above, as Armstrong, Esposito, Jenkins, and others argue, why should Jews and Christians point to the Qur'an as evidence of Islam's violence while ignoring their own scriptures and history?

[edit] Bible versus Qur'an

The answer lies in the fact that such observations confuse history and theology by conflating the temporal actions of men with what are understood to be the immutable words of God. The fundamental error is that Judeo-Christian history—which is violent—is being conflated with Islamic theology—which commands violence. Of course, the three major monotheistic religions have all had their share of violence and intolerance towards the "other." Whether this violence is ordained by God or whether warlike men merely wished it thus is the key question.

Old Testament violence is an interesting case in point. God clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of God's will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Old Testament is just that—history. It happened; God commanded it. But it revolved around a specific time and place and was directed against a specific people. At no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law. In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive.

This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament—commanded by God and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence and intolerance have become standardized in Islamic law and apply at all times. Thus, while the violence found in the Qur'an has a historical context, its ultimate significance is theological. Consider the following Qur'anic verses, better known as the "sword-verses":

Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way.[8]

Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day, and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden – such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.[9]

As with Old Testament verses where God commanded the Hebrews to attack and slay their neighbors, the sword-verses also have a historical context. God first issued these commandments after the Muslims under Muhammad's leadership had grown sufficiently strong to invade their Christian and pagan neighbors. But unlike the bellicose verses and anecdotes of the Old Testament, the sword-verses became fundamental to Islam's subsequent relationship to both the "people of the book" (i.e., Jews and Christians) and the "idolators" (i.e., Hindus, Buddhists, animists, etc.) and, in fact, set off the Islamic conquests, which changed the face of the world forever. Based on Qur'an 9:5, for instance, Islamic law mandates that idolators and polytheists must either convert to Islam or be killed; simultaneously, Qur'an 9:29 is the primary source of Islam's well-known discriminatory practices against conquered Christians and Jews living under Islamic suzerainty.

In fact, based on the sword-verses as well as countless other Qur'anic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad, Islam's learned officials, sheikhs, muftis, and imams throughout the ages have all reached consensus—binding on the entire Muslim community—that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world until the former subsumes the latter. Indeed, it is widely held by Muslim scholars that since the sword-verses are among the final revelations on the topic of Islam's relationship to non-Muslims, that they alone have abrogated some 200 of the Qur'an's earlier and more tolerant verses, such as "no compulsion is there in religion."[10] Famous Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) admired in the West for his "progressive" insights, also puts to rest the notion that jihad is defensive warfare: In the Muslim community, the holy war Jihad is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force ... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense ... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. That is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority [e.g., a caliphate]. Their only concern was to establish their religion [not spread it to the nations] … But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.[11]

Modern authorities agree. The Encyclopaedia of Islam's entry for "jihad" by Emile Tyan states that the "spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated." Iraqi jurist Majid Khaduri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that "jihad … is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community."[12]And, of course, Muslim legal manuals written in Arabic are even more explicit.[13]

[edit] Qur'anic Language

When the Qur'an's violent verses are juxtaposed with their Old Testament counterparts, they are especially distinct for using language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to attack and slay nonbelievers today no less than yesterday. God commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did God give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their Jewish descendants, to fight and kill gentiles. On the other hand, though Islam's original enemies were, like Judaism's, historical (e.g., Christian Byzantines and Zoroastrian Persians), the Qur'an rarely singles them out by their proper names. Instead, Muslims were (and are) commanded to fight the people of the book—"until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled"[14] and to "slay the idolaters wherever you find them."[15]

The two Arabic conjunctions "until" (hata) and "wherever" (haythu) demonstrate the perpetual and ubiquitous nature of these commandments: There are still "people of the book" who have yet to be "utterly humbled" (especially in the Americas, Europe, and Israel) and "idolators" to be slain "wherever" one looks (especially Asia and sub-Saharan Africa). In fact, the salient feature of almost all of the violent commandments in Islamic scriptures is their open-ended and generic nature: "Fight them [non-Muslims] until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. [Emphasis added.]"[16] Also, in a well-attested tradition that appears in the hadith collections, Muhammad proclaims:

I have been commanded to wage war against mankind until they testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and that they establish prostration prayer, and pay the alms-tax [i.e., convert to Islam]. If they do so, their blood and property are protected. [Emphasis added.][17]

This linguistic aspect is crucial to understanding scriptural exegeses regarding violence. Again, it bears repeating that neither Jewish nor Christian scriptures—the Old and New Testaments, respectively—employ such perpetual, open-ended commandments. Despite all this, Jenkins laments that

Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religions … all are in the Bible, and occur with a far greater frequency than in the Qur'an. At every stage, we can argue what the passages in question mean, and certainly whether they should have any relevance for later ages. But the fact remains that the words are there, and their inclusion in the scripture means that they are, literally, canonized, no less than in the Muslim scripture.[18] One wonders what Jenkins has in mind by the word "canonized." If by canonized he means that such verses are considered part of the canon of Judeo-Christian scripture, he is absolutely correct; conversely, if by canonized he means or is trying to connote that these verses have been implemented in the Judeo-Christian Weltanschauung, he is absolutely wrong. Yet one need not rely on purely exegetical and philological arguments; both history and current events give the lie to Jenkins's relativism. Whereas first-century Christianity spread via the blood of martyrs, first-century Islam spread through violent conquest and bloodshed. Indeed, from day one to the present—whenever it could—Islam spread through conquest, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of what is now known as the Islamic world, or dar al-Islam, was conquered by the sword of Islam. This is a historic fact, attested to by the most authoritative Islamic historians. Even the Arabian peninsula, the "home" of Islam, was subdued by great force and bloodshed, as evidenced by the Ridda wars following Muhammad's death when tens of thousands of Arabs were put to the sword by the first caliph Abu Bakr for abandoning Islam.

[edit] Muhammad's Role

Moreover, concerning the current default position which purports to explain away Islamic violence—that the latter is a product of Muslim frustration vis-à-vis political or economic oppression—one must ask: What about all the oppressed Christians and Jews, not to mention Hindus and Buddhists, of the world today? Where is their religiously-garbed violence? The fact remains: Even though the Islamic world has the lion's share of dramatic headlines—of violence, terrorism, suicide-attacks, decapitations—it is certainly not the only region in the world suffering under both internal and external pressures.

For instance, even though practically all of sub-Saharan Africa is currently riddled with political corruption, oppression and poverty, when it comes to violence, terrorism, and sheer chaos, Somalia—which also happens to be the only sub-Saharan country that is entirely Muslim—leads the pack. Moreover, those most responsible for Somali violence and the enforcement of intolerant, draconian, legal measures—the members of the jihadi group Al-Shabab (the youth)—articulate and justify all their actions through an Islamist paradigm.

In Sudan, too, a jihadi-genocide against the Christian and polytheistic peoples is currently being waged by Khartoum's Islamist government and has left nearly a million "infidels" and "apostates" dead. That the Organization of Islamic Conference has come to the defense of Sudanese president Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, is further telling of the Islamic body's approval of violence toward both non-Muslims and those deemed not Muslim enough. Latin American and non-Muslim Asian countries also have their fair share of oppressive, authoritarian regimes, poverty, and all the rest that the Muslim world suffers. Yet, unlike the near daily headlines emanating from the Islamic world, there are no records of practicing Christians, Buddhists, or Hindus crashing explosives-laden vehicles into the buildings of oppressive (e.g., Cuban or Chinese communist) regimes, all the while waving their scriptures in hand and screaming, "Jesus [or Buddha or Vishnu] is great!" Why?

There is one final aspect that is often overlooked—either from ignorance or disingenuousness—by those who insist that violence and intolerance is equivalent across the board for all religions. Aside from the divine words of the Qur'an, Muhammad's pattern of behavior—his sunna or "example"—is an extremely important source of legislation in Islam. Muslims are exhorted to emulate Muhammad in all walks of life: "You have had a good example in God's Messenger."[19]And Muhammad's pattern of conduct toward non-Muslims is quite explicit.

Sarcastically arguing against the concept of moderate Islam, for example, terrorist Osama bin Laden, who enjoys half the Arab-Islamic world's support per an Al-Jazeera poll,[20] portrays the Prophet's sunna thusly:

"Moderation" is demonstrated by our prophet who did not remain more than three months in Medina without raiding or sending a raiding party into the lands of the infidels to beat down their strongholds and seize their possessions, their lives, and their women.[21]

In fact, based on both the Qur'an and Muhammad's sunna, pillaging and plundering infidels, enslaving their children, and placing their women in concubinage is well founded.[22] And the concept of sunna—which is what 90 percent of the billion-plus Muslims, the Sunnis, are named after—essentially asserts that anything performed or approved by Muhammad, humanity's most perfect example, is applicable for Muslims today no less than yesterday. This, of course, does not mean that Muslims in mass live only to plunder and rape.

But it does mean that persons naturally inclined to such activities, and who also happen to be Muslim, can—and do—quite easily justify their actions by referring to the "Sunna of the Prophet"—the way Al-Qaeda, for example, justified its attacks on 9/11 where innocents including women and children were killed: Muhammad authorized his followers to use catapults during their siege of the town of Ta'if in 630 C.E.—townspeople had refused to submit—though he was aware that women and children were sheltered there. Also, when asked if it was permissible to launch night raids or set fire to the fortifications of the infidels if women and children were among them, the Prophet is said to have responded, "They [women and children] are from among them [infidels]."[23]

[edit] Jewish and Christian Ways

Though law-centric and possibly legalistic, Judaism has no such equivalent to the Sunna; the words and deeds of the patriarchs, though described in the Old Testament, never went on to prescribe Jewish law. Neither Abraham's "white-lies," nor Jacob's perfidy, nor Moses' short-fuse, nor David's adultery, nor Solomon's philandering ever went on to instruct Jews or Christians. They were understood as historical acts perpetrated by fallible men who were more often than not punished by God for their less than ideal behaviour.

As for Christianity, much of the Old Testament law was abrogated or fulfilled—depending on one's perspective—by Jesus. "Eye for an eye" gave way to "turn the other cheek." Totally loving God and one's neighbor became supreme law.[24] Furthermore, Jesus' sunna—as in "What would Jesus do?"—is characterized by passivity and altruism. The New Testament contains absolutely no exhortations to violence.

Still, there are those who attempt to portray Jesus as having a similarly militant ethos as Muhammad by quoting the verse where the former—who "spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not"[25]—said, "I come not to bring peace but a sword."[26] But based on the context of this statement, it is clear that Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that strife will exist between Christians and their environment—a prediction that was only too true as early Christians, far from taking up the sword, passively perished by the sword in martyrdom as too often they still do in the Muslim world. [27]

Others point to the violence predicted in the Book of Revelation while, again, failing to discern that the entire account is descriptive—not to mention clearly symbolic—and thus hardly prescriptive for Christians. At any rate, how can one conscionably compare this handful of New Testament verses that metaphorically mention the word "sword" to the literally hundreds of Qur'anic injunctions and statements by Muhammad that clearly command Muslims to take up a very real sword against non-Muslims?

Undeterred, Jenkins bemoans the fact that, in the New Testament, Jews "plan to stone Jesus, they plot to kill him; in turn, Jesus calls them liars, children of the Devil."[28] It still remains to be seen if being called "children of the Devil" is more offensive than being referred to as the descendants of apes and pigs—the Qur'an's appellation for Jews.[29] Name calling aside, however, what matters here is that, whereas the New Testament does not command Christians to treat Jews as "children of the Devil," based on the Qur'an, primarily 9:29, Islamic law obligates Muslims to subjugate Jews, indeed, all non-Muslims.

Does this mean that no self-professed Christian can be anti-Semitic? Of course not. But it does mean that Christian anti-Semites are living oxymoron's—for the simple reason that textually and theologically, Christianity, far from teaching hatred or animosity, unambiguously stresses love and forgiveness. Whether or not all Christians follow such mandates is hardly the point; just as whether or not all Muslims uphold the obligation of jihad is hardly the point. The only question is, what do the religions command?

John Esposito is therefore right to assert that "Jews and Christians have engaged in acts of violence." He is wrong, however, to add, "We [Christians] have our own theology of hate." Nothing in the New Testament teaches hate—certainly nothing to compare with Qur'anic injunctions such as: "We [Muslims] disbelieve in you [non-Muslims], and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred for ever until you believe in God alone."[30]

[edit] Reassessing the Crusades

And it is from here that one can best appreciate the historic Crusades—events that have been thoroughly distorted by Islam's many influential apologists. Karen Armstrong, for instance, has practically made a career for herself by misrepresenting the Crusades, writing, for example, that "the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam."[31] That a former nun rabidly condemns the Crusades vis-à-vis anything Islam has done makes her critique all the more marketable. Statements such as this of course ignore the fact that from the beginnings of Islam, more than 400 years before the Crusades, Christians have noted that Islam was spread by the sword.[32] Indeed, authoritative Muslim historians writing centuries before the Crusades, such as Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri (d. 892) and Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (838-923), make it clear that Islam was spread by the sword.

The fact remains: The Crusades were a counter-attack on Islam—not an unprovoked assault as Armstrong and other revisionist historians portray. Eminent historian Bernard Lewis puts it well,

Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation. But unlike the jihad, it was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. It was, with few exceptions, limited to the successful wars for the recovery of south-west Europe, and the unsuccessful wars to recover the Holy Land and to halt the Ottoman advance in the Balkans. The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.[33]

Moreover, Muslim invasions and atrocities against Christians were on the rise in the decades before the launch of the Crusades in 1096. The Fatimid caliph Abu 'Ali Mansur Tariqu'l-Hakim (r. 996-1021) desecrated and destroyed a number of important churches—such as the Church of St. Mark in Egypt and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem—and decreed even more oppressive than usual decrees against Christians and Jews. Then, in 1071, the Seljuk Turks crushed the Byzantines in the pivotal battle of Manzikert and, in effect, conquered a major chunk of Byzantine Anatolia presaging the way for the eventual capture of Constantinople centuries later.

It was against this backdrop that Pope Urban II (r. 1088-1099) called for the Crusades:

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians [i.e., Muslim Turks] … has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country, and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion.[34]

Even though Urban II's description is historically accurate, the fact remains: However one interprets these wars—as offensive or defensive, just or unjust—it is evident that they were not based on the example of Jesus, who exhorted his followers to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."[35] Indeed, it took centuries of theological debate, from Augustine to Aquinas, to rationalize defensive war—articulated as "just war." Thus, it would seem that if anyone, it is the Crusaders—not the jihadists—who have been less than faithful to their scriptures (from a literal standpoint); or put conversely, it is the jihadists—not the Crusaders—who have faithfully fulfilled their scriptures (also from a literal stand point). Moreover, like the violent accounts of the Old Testament, the Crusades are historic in nature and not manifestations of any deeper scriptural truths.

In fact, far from suggesting anything intrinsic to Christianity, the Crusades ironically better help explain Islam. For what the Crusades demonstrated once and for all is that irrespective of religious teachings—indeed, in the case of these so-called Christian Crusades, despite them—man is often predisposed to violence. But this begs the question: If this is how Christians behaved—who are commanded to love, bless, and do good to their enemies who hate, curse, and persecute them—how much more can be expected of Muslims who, while sharing the same violent tendencies, are further commanded by the Deity to attack, kill, and plunder nonbeliever

Sorry musbot! You are wrong. Bringing up things that happened centuries ago does not excuse muslim terrorism today. Islam of the past is not the islam of today. Today's islam(notice no capital i) is a perversion of islam's past. Please explain why the entire world is engulfed in islamic terrorism. When a building is bombed, when children are killed, when muslims stand in line and then die from a muslim suicide bomber? Your poor excuse is that Israel and the United States brought this upon themselves. You should be ashamed but you can't because you are a muslim terrorist enabler.

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Sorry musbot! You are wrong. Bringing up things that happened centuries ago does not excuse muslim terrorism today. Islam of the past is not the islam of today. Today's islam(notice no capital i) is a perversion of islam's past. Please explain why the entire world is engulfed in islamic terrorism. When a building is bombed, when children are killed, when muslims stand in line and then die from a muslim suicide bomber? Your poor excuse is that Israel and the United States brought this upon themselves. You should be ashamed but you can't because you are a muslim terrorist enabler.

Without going into any detail regarding the type of work that I am involved in.

I am of the opinion that I have contributed more than you can begin to imagine within your feeble mind, to deter terrorist.

But I think your question would be better directed to the Central Intelligence Agency,

They are responsible for training and supplying Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.

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I don't think it's right to label a group whether is be Muslim or Christians violence because of the actions of radicals.

I do believe that the Muslims of today are not as peaceful as those of the past but then all of our cultures are changing or evolving, however you want to look at it.

IMO Saddam Hussein was created and not centuries ago either. Saddam seems to have been the catalyst to bring terrorism and Muslim extremest to the forefront.

I admit I am NOT a history buff but I do enjoy reading and learning. I found this article http://www.alternet.org/world/46093/ and thought to be pretty accurate and inline with what I had believed to be true.

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Without going into any detail regarding the type of work that I am involved in.

I am of the opinion that I have contributed more than you can begin to imagine within your feeble mind, to deter terrorist.

But I think your question would be better directed to the Central Intelligence Agency,

They are responsible for training and supplying Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.

I know all about the CIA/Al Qaeda connection, and yes; bad things did happen in the name of Christianity, and it wasn't all good, simple as that. You are very inaccurate with all of your points though (not that they are even yours), I can't say anything for what is written past the first paragraph, because I'm not going to bother reading that much on internet forum. All I am responding to is the so called killing of people in Canaan.

Study Genesis 6, and understand those giant entities called Nephilim, were Satans attempt to have the prophesied Messiah kept from being born by corrupting the blood line. That is why in Genesis 6:9, it indicates Noah was "Perfect in his generation", meaning he had no tainted bloodlines that led back to the Fallen Angel/Human hybrid in Genesis 6. The angels who committed this act were the same angels mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4-7 (and 1 Peter 3:19) and Jude 1:6, this offspring had one goal, and that was to keep the Messiah from being born. That is why the land of Canaan was infested, and the surrounding cities, to keep the progenitors of Jesus's lineage from taking this Promised Land, keeping the Tribe of Judah from continuing, and Jesus was the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah". In Numbers 13:33 the Israelites described themselves as being "grasshoppers in their sight" to these giants.

Throughout Deuteronomy you find the Anakim and dozens of other groups of these things, and by definition the titles mean "fearful/giants", Deuteronomy is a much more important book than it seems to lead on to understand much of the death in the bible. Goliath was one of these entities, Og the King of Bashan was as well in Deuteronomy 3:11 tells you he was a giant, and his bed was basically 13 feet long, (In which the crucifixion is being described in first person in Psalm 22:12, and the Bulls of Bashan are relevant), they are also known to have 24 digits as the Giant of Gath in 2 Samuel 21:20 as having six digits on each hand and foot.

This may come off as sounding strange to you, but there is much historic evidence to it, involving the Celtic giants warring against the Romans, Josephus records much of this type of activity.

Also don't pull Matthew 22:30 on me, because those are the angels who stayed in heaven, not the angels who stepped down with the one we call Lucifer.

Point being, the killing of "people" in Canaan and such, were not regular people that you have everyday contact with. They were an abomination to say the least, they were the reason Sodom/Gomorrah/Admah/Zeboim and theoretically Zoar were all destroyed, due to the "lust after strange flesh". That is why when the angels came to Lot, the men of the city lusted after them and rejected Lots daughters, they didn't want ordinary sex. Not because the cities were necessarily infested with Nephilim, but they were doing the same things that took place during Noah's time to bring them about, and this is also why the Flood and Sodom/Gomorrah are mentioned on par with each other when talked about elsewhere in the Bible.

I suggest you do a little more research on the world you live in before talking about things as if you are an expert. Until you have studied the bible itself, and instead of googling things, or using wiki'ing (which you so obviously did), or some kind of pamphlets to teach you things religious things, or whatever you may do, because obviously you are doing it wrong, then you need to not make such bold claims.

I especially like the "feeble mind" comment, as if you are by definition a Genius, which also takes its root to the term Jinnee/Geni or as we would say Genie, which takes its roots to the definition of Daemon/Demon, and not the lame definition of "a disembodied spirit", because that isn't an accurate definition that everybody gives. A Genius, by it's original definition is essential one who is under demonization (not possession), getting knowledge from a spirit, yet we throw that word around today like it's something normal, but it all ties itself back to this same incident of the Flood. Don't tell me it isn't either, until you understand the Greek definition that is shared for Genius and Daemon. Perhaps you will copy and paste another 15 page wiki page about something? I won't read any responses if I can help it, I don't spend much time on internet forums, and if you are as big of a deal as you make it seem to be, then you wouldn't either.

Edited by TaintedMeat08
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Without going into any detail regarding the type of work that I am involved in.

I am of the opinion that I have contributed more than you can begin to imagine within your feeble mind, to deter terrorist.

But I think your question would be better directed to the Central Intelligence Agency,

They are responsible for training and supplying Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.

i am Agree with you :)

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