Part 2 of a series
Most Americans love their country. But that should not blind us to the moral and social chaos that is exploding all around us. Those who truly love their country do not welcome false teachings. False teachings inevitably have destructive consequences. Responsible leadership demands leaders who lead their people toward truth and away from error. Yet many prominent American political leaders of both parties are failing us in that regard. In recent decades, one of the most common misguided presumptions embraced by American political leaders in Washington—including our last three presidents—is that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. This counterfactual characterization of Islam is in blatant contradiction to the Koran, the teachings of Muhammad, and history. The West has a curious amnesia about Islam’s record of violent Jihad (holy war), coercion, and religious suppression. Muslim armies have twice come close to conquering much of Europe and making it Muslim, so we had best remove our rose-tinted glasses and take a hard look at both the ideology and the historical record of Islam’s aggressive expansion.
The historical record of Islamic expansion has clearly been both violent and coercive. In Medina, Muhammad had twenty-six named individuals murdered because of their “treachery” and resistance to the new faith. In 627 AD, he had from 600 to 900 men of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe slaughtered for treachery and refusal to submit to Islam. He first offered them the opportunity to convert to Islam, and when they refused, the slaughter ensued by the still favored Muslim method of severing their heads. Their wives and children were divided among the Muslims as slaves.
There is a long list of Muslim slaughters of unbelievers, especially Christians in the Near East and the Balkans and Hindus in India. These slaughters, however, have been conveniently swept under the rug to make way for an airbrushed, modern propaganda version of Islam. The reasons for this amnesia of the nature of Islam and Jihad are many, but heading the list is the huge economic importance of oil. Moreover, most Western nations have felt a need to balance Arab power against the competing power of the Soviet Union during the Cold war and the Russian Federation since then. In addition, there is the curious hatred of Western culture and all things Christian by modern liberal scholars in the West.
One of the most notorious campaigns of persecution and slaughter in the 20th Century took place in Turkish ruled Armenia beginning in 1894 and culminated in the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenian Christians during two well documented waves of genocidal terror in 1915-16 and 1922-24. Significantly, the Koran and teachings of Muhammad were used to justify this genocide. They had resisted Sharia Law by “treacherously” complaining of their subjugated status to foreigners. Yet except for the descendents of Armenian refugees in the West and a few Christian scholars, that genocide is seldom publicly remembered.
The same persecution and slaughter of Christians by Muslims is taking place in Sudan in the 21st century. Over two million Christians have been killed and over five million displaced from their homes. Thousands of Christians in Nigeria and Indonesia have also died for their faith—victims of the Jihad for Islamic dominance. Both the historical and modern lists of atrocities are too long to present here. Because of our dependence on Arab oil, international politics, and the curious alliance of modern liberalism with Islam, these ongoing atrocities do not get much press coverage. In most of American media and academia political correctitude trumps the truth. More often than not, the advocates of multiculturalism and political correctness strain every nerve to shout down the truth.
To help understand the nature of Islam, contrast the Golden Rule of the Bible, Mathew 7:12, with the Koran, Sura 2:190:
The Bible: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
The Koran: “The sacred month and the precincts are under the safeguard of reprisals; whoever offers violence to you, offer ye the like violence to him, and fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those that fear Him.”
There is a strong contrast in this verse of the Koran with the Golden Rule of the Bible and the teaching of Jesus to have love and patience even for your enemies. Seeing such a contrast, it is little wonder then that in predominantly Muslim countries we often find a culture of revenge. The events of September 11, 2001, were savage manifestations of this burning spirit of revenge and reprisal.
There is not now a Caliph in Islam. There is no one living who speaks with divine authority. There is no Pope or annual general assembly of elders or bishops to decide doctrinal issues. The Koran and the Sunna are definitive for the Moslem world. But we should not look at just a few verses of the Koran to make a judgment. Many verses of the Koran and even more so the teachings and example of Muhammad in the Sunna exalt the killing or humiliating subjugation of those who refuse to convert to Islam. Many “peace and tolerance” verses of Muhammad’s early ministry in Mecca have been abrogated by later Medina verses and thus have little weight in Islamic doctrine. The concept of Jihad as violent war against unbelievers is firmly entrenched in both the Koran and the Sunna. As Richard Weaver pointed out, “Ideas have consequences.” What you really believe predicts how you will act.
Many Western apologists for Islam argue about the meaning of Jihad or quote a single statement by Muhammad of questionable authenticity that spiritual struggle is more important than military struggle, but this does not alter the fact that military Jihad is frequently praised and exalted in the Koran, the sayings of Muhammad, current mainstream of Islamic theology, and popular Muslim opinion. There are various forms of Jihad including spiritual Jihad, but they are all related to the ultimate objective of universal Muslim religious and political dominance. Regardless, it would seem that military Jihad de facto trumps spiritual Jihad in the attention and honor given to it in both mainstream clerical and popular public opinion among Muslims. Islam is not just a religion. It is a totalitarian, revolutionary, and expansionist ideology.