Religious Violence: Comparative Texts

Koran violence
Figure 1.--How it is possible that anyone with a soul could target little girls like 8-year old Lily Harrison with death and dismemberment?. Lily unlike others survived and hugs her precious teddy when singer Ariana Grande visited the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. Chilren injured in the Manchester bombing are being treated here. Happily Lily attended Sunday’s benefit concert. She convinced doctors to let her out of the hospital just for the Grande's benefit concert. Little Lily suffered a shrapnel wound and a bruised lung as a result of the Islamic terror attack at Grande's original concert.

For years Islamic voices have proclaimed that Islam is a religion of peace. And those who haved noted a conction betweem Islam and both violence and terror. They have been shouted down as Islanaphobes. Oreident Obama even refused to use the term 'radical Islamic terror' for fear of offending moderate Muslims. The number of terrible attacks by Islanicists make in increasingly difficult to avoi seeming connection between Islam and terror. Just why why do so many Muslins commit so many violent acts -- terrorism designed to kill in as large a number as possible. One factor leads directly to the Koran and extremely violent verses. An Italian HBC reader has helped us with this assssment of Islam and violence along with comparisons with Judaism and Christianity. The question we have is just how much innocent blood has to be spilled before the West resoons with force. Or is the West prepared to accept these attacks as aormal aspect of modern life.

Koranic Confusion

It seems to me that de Koran is quite confused about the violence against idolaters and people of the Book: according the Koran there are some differences between polytheists and monotheists (Jews and Christians). Probably Mohamed changed his view through the time. Of course a Muslim never could accept that the Prophet changed view [as he is believed to be God's messenger and not the actual author], but the texts are very confused, as you can see.

Verse 2:190-193

"And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors."

Verse 9:5-14

"So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And if one of the idolaters seek protection from you, grant him protection till he hears the word of Allah, then make him attain his place of safety; this is because they are a people who do not know. How can there be an agreement for the idolaters with Allah and with His Apostle; except those with whom you made an agreement at the Sacred Mosque? So as long as they are true to you, be true to them; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty). How (can it be)! while if they prevail against you, they would not pay regard in your case to ties of relationship, nor those of covenant; they please you with their mouths while their hearts do not consent; and most of them are transgressors. They have taken a small price for the communications of Allah, so they turn away from His way; surely evil is it that they do. They do not pay regard to ties of relationship nor those of covenant in the case of a believer; and these are they who go beyond the limits. But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, they are your brethren in faith; and We make the communications clear for a people who know. And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief-- surely their oaths are nothing-- so that they may desist. What! will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Apostle, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers. Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people."

Verse 47:4

"So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates."

Changing Islamic Scholasrship

Moreover, the scholars sometimes changed the interpretation. That is evident about the adultery. The Koran said: [24:2] "(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement"; but also: [4:15] "And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them. And as for the two who are guilty of indecency from among you, give them both a punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them; surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful". Many Islamic scjolsrs, however, insist that adultery is punished by stoning, without any reference in the Koran.

Old Testament Holy War

There are a teaching about holy war also in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 20:10-18

"When you march up to attack a city, first offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor. But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you battle, lay siege to it, and when the Lord, your God, delivers it into your hand, put every male in it to the sword; but the women and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth plundering you may take as your booty, and you may use this plunder of your enemies which the Lord, your God, has given you. That is how you shall deal with any city at a considerable distance from you, which does not belong to the peoples of this land. But in the cities of those nations which the Lord, your God, is giving you as your heritage, you shall not leave a single soul alive. You must doom them all - the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites - as the Lord, your God, has commanded you, lest they teach you to make any such abominable offerings as they make to their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord, your God.

Psalm 137:7-9

Very hard is this Psalm,"Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!” Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

New Testament

Very different is the New Testament. Luke 6:26-38: "But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful. "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."


About Muslims another problem is that they still are living in a sort of middle age. Most of them cannot distinguish between politics and religion. That can have tragic consequences. If a Muslim leaves Islam he is no more worthy of life, and the Koran instructs that he must be killed. In our middle age the Christians thought that a Christian that left the faith had to be killed and the State had to execute him. But, since 16th century, we Europeans changed our view, we met the modernity. You Americans are born in this new view. On the contrary, most Muslims, especially Arab Muslims, are still living in the middle age, but with the [imported Western] technology of 21st century. [HBC has added the imported text, because along with the medieval moral outlook our reader mentions, Muslims have lagged behind the West in all aspects of technology and other field of learning. They use technology developed in the West, but are not proven capable of adding meaningfully to the body of scienctific knowledged developed in the West.]

How Much Innocent Blood Will the West Tolerate?

President Obama believed that the problems in the Middle East if not caused by America, at least severely exacerbated by America. This is explains his appolgy tours, release of terrorists from Guantanamo, and his efforts to withdraw from the region. This same narative has been pursued by European polician. British Labour Leader for example thinks tht Britain itself is responsible for the Islamic terrorism in Britain. Other European politicians are less concerned about resonsibilty and seek to promte the idea that terror is something that has to be lived with and that not forceful response is either wanted or needed. British Labour Leader, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, believes that London is a safe city and that terror attacks are simply what people in large cities like London have to live with. Following the attack at Manchester Arena (May 2017). The former Labour MP and new mayor of the city said after the second London Bridge attack (June 2017), 'best response' to the attack, which has so far claimed the lives of 22 people, is to work together and support each other and carry on with day to day life. Surprisingly we see harsher words against being used to criticize President Trump than to excoriate the perpetrtors of these minfdless artocities. They follow horrendous attacks in Berlin (December 2016 -- the Berlin Christmas market truck attacks), Nice (Juky 2016 -- Bastille Day truck attack), and Paris (several attacks) In America we have Boston (May 2013), Orlando (June 2016), and San Beradino (December 2015). Basically the response to all of this by President Obama and European leaders has been to treat these attacks as a police matter abd to espond with laying flowers, lighting candels, and singing kumbaya. There has been a refusal to treat these attacks as a war emergency and to respond with force.


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Created: 7:07 PM 8/23/2011
Last updated: 4:18 PM 6/6/2017