The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American combat assault teams resulted in a burst of media discussion and pontification on the nature of terrorism and Islam. While being rid of al-Qaeda's mastermind of terror and mass murder was welcome news, the media discussion revealed how successful the strange alliance of Muslim propaganda and unwary liberal ideology has been in misleading Americans on the true nature of Islam and its threat to Western civilization. Even a conservative Fox News Channel pundit repeated a common myth over and over again, demonstrating either an unfortunately shallow knowledge of Islam or a lack of political courage. Here is my list of ten widely believed myths about Islam.
- Osama bin Laden hijacked the peaceful religion of Islam and distorted its teachings to suit al-Qaeda's purposes. No! No! No! Terrorism and violence against all who oppose Islam is deeply imbedded in the Koran and teachings of Muhammad. In justifying his terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden quoted the Koran accurately, and his interpretation was consistent with the vast majority of Muslim clerics and scholars today and for the last fourteen hundred years. Bin Laden was driven by a purist vision of Islam based on the Koran and teachings of Muhammad. That fundamentalist vision is still the mainstream of Muslim faith and life. The Koran (8: 12) instructs Muslims to “instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers” and in 8: 39 instructs Muslims to fight unbelievers until “there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere.” The injunction to spread and enforce Islam by the sword is everywhere in the Koran and the deeds of Muhammad. At least 109 verses call for violent Jihad (holy war) against all unbelievers. Muslims who reject these teachings risk severe penalties under Sharia Law. According to the most reliable Muslim scholarship, in 627 Muhammad's forces attacked the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah, the last Jewish tribe in the Medina area, and defeated them. The Prophet offered the men of Banu Qurayzah the choice of conversion to Islam or death. Nearly all chose death. The Prophet had between 600 and 900 decapitated in a ditch. The women, who were forced to watch the decapitations, were raped and taken as concubines. The children were divided as slaves.
- Islam is a religion of peace. The discussion on myth 1 should be enough to refute this often-repeated misrepresentation. The peace of Islam comes only when all are united in submission to Islam.
- Terrorism does not come from Islam. Again, the discussion of myth 1 ought to be sufficient to refute this often-repeated whitewashing of Islam. Islam is not the only source of terrorism. Terrorism comes from the darkness of sinful human hearts in rebellion against the God of Judeo-Christian scriptures, but terrorism against all who oppose Islam is an essential teaching of the Koran and Muhammad.
- Allah and the God of the Bible are the same god. This is a common but enormously destructive American and European heresy cultivated by many years of interfaith propaganda. It might be called a chief tenet of modern liberalism and multiculturalism, but it is antithetical to any orthodox form of Judaism or Biblical Christianity. The Koran contains many inaccurate and distorted borrowings from Jewish and Christian scriptures, but Allah and the Lord God of Judeo-Christian scriptures are remarkably different personalities. These differences are frequently reflected in moral outlook and teachings. The Universalist heresy that there are many roads to heaven is now prevalent in the West, but Christians should be aware that it is strongly rebuked by Christ himself, most prominently in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There are many other supporting verses. “Allah” may be the Arabic word for god, but the Allah of the Koran is either a false god or a highly distorted and spiritually destructive imitation of the God of the Bible. The Triune God of Christian theology is condemned by the Koran, Muhammad and modern Islam.
- The Koran teaches tolerance for other religions. Apologists for Islam usually quote Koran 2: 256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” to back this claim. However, under the Muslim Rule of Abrogation, this verse is abrogated by later verses, especially 4: 89, instructing Muslims to “seize and slay wherever ye find” infidels or Muslims who reject the faith. Islam's record is one of intolerance for and violence against unbelievers and dissenters unparalleled in human history.
- Jihad means inner spiritual struggle. There is little mention or emphasis of this in the Koran. Muhammad advocated action by the sword on numerous occasions. Koran 4:95 actually states that Jihad by fighting is the most honorable form of Jihad. “Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).”
- Islam is compatible with Western-style democracy. On the contrary, Shariah Law
is the supreme guide of Islam. Democracy is the rule of men, while Sharia is the rule of Allah.
- Poverty and ignorance are the origin of terrorism. Most Muslim terrorists have been relatively well-educated, middle class, students of Islam.
- The Koran does not encourage suicidal terrorist attacks. The Koran condemns
suicide resulting from human weakness. It praises and assures special glory in paradise for self-sacrifice made for the advance of Islam.
- Muslim scholars and clerics are a reliable source of knowledge on Islam. The Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya allows Muslims to lie and deceive non-Muslims to advance Islam. In fact, many Koranic verses calling for fairness, benevolence, charity, and mercy for Muslims, specifically or by implication exclude non-Muslims.