July 5, 2016 – by Robert Spencer

Here is yet another mainstream media “ISIS is not Islamic” story; this one has more substance than most, and is frankly deceptive, as well as unintentionally illuminating even as it does its best to conceal Islam’s violent doctrines. Note, first off, that the Muslims are shocked by the attack in Baghdad, and Tarek asks, “How can these people kill Muslims during Ramadan?”

Nothing about the killings of non-Muslims in Orlando, Tel Aviv, Bangladesh (where those who could recite the Qur’an were not killed), and elsewhere.

This is because the Qur’an forbids a Muslim to kill a fellow Muslim (4:92) but exhorts Muslims to kill non-Muslims (2:191, 4:89, 9:5, 47:4).

So this entire expression of shock and grief over Baghdad, and Baghdad alone, is actually a manifestation of Islamic supremacism, not compassion as it is understood by non-Muslims.

Tarek’s brow wrinkled, his eyes sorrowful, mouth twisted, as he asked, “How can these people kill Muslims during Ramadan? Ramadan is supposed to be peaceful.”

Tarek, an Egyptian builder and handyman long resident in Cyprus, simply could not comprehend why people claiming to be Muslims could explode bombs in the centre of Baghdad, killing and wounding scores of innocent people….

Tarek argued Ramadan is not only a time for Muslims to fast during the day but is also a period of truce and settling of differences. The Ramadan fast, one of the five pillars of Islam, is particularly holy for Muslims because it commemorates the initial revelations of the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are expected to engage in spiritual reflection and to study the teachings of Islam.

According to the Koran, “Fighting in [Ramadan] is a grave sin” (Chapter II, verse 217). Consequently, mounting prohibited attacks that kill the elderly, women and children, who are meant to be protected, is considered especially odious during Ramadan.

2:217 actually says: “They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, ‘Fighting therein is great sin, but averting people from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater evil in the sight of Allah. And fitnah is greater than killing.”

Muhammad’s first biographer, an eighth-century Muslim named Ibn Ishaq, gives the background of this verse. After the Hijrah, Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina, the Muslims began raiding caravans of the pagan Quryash — Muhammad’s own tribe, which had rejected him. Muhammad himself led many of these raids.

These raids served a key economic purpose: keeping the Muslim movement solvent. At one point Muhammad sent one of his most trusted lieutenants, Abdullah bin Jahsh, along with eight other Muslims out with orders to watch for a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Mecca, and to “find out what they are doing.”

Abdullah and his band took this as an order to raid the Quraysh caravan, which soon came along, carrying leather and raisins. But it was the last day of the sacred month of Rajab, during which — by longstanding Arab custom — fighting was forbidden. This presented them with a dilemma: if they waited until the sacred month was over, the caravan would get away, but if they attacked, they would sin by killing people during the sacred month.

They finally decided, according to Ibn Ishaq, to “kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.”

On the way home to Medina, Abdullah set aside a fifth of the booty for Muhammad (as per Qur’an 8:41). But when they returned to the Muslim camp, Muhammad refused to share in the loot or to have anything to do with them, saying only: “I did not order you to fight in the sacred month.”

But then Allah revealed v. 217, explaining that the Quraysh’s opposition to Muhammad and supposed persecution of the Muslims was more offensive in his eyes than the Muslims’ violation of the sacred month. The raid was therefore justified: “for persecution is worse than slaughter.”

Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed in violating the sacred month was nothing compared to the Quraysh’s sins. Ibn Ishaq explained this verse: “They have kept you back from the way of God with their unbelief in Him, and from the sacred mosque, and have driven you from it when you were with its people. This is a more serious matter with God than the killing of those whom you have slain.”

Once he received this revelation, Muhammad took Abdullah’s booty and prisoners. And the principle was established: any moral stipulation can be set aside for the good of Islam and the Muslims. So it’s plain journalistic malpractice for the Irish Times to quote just part of this verse without explaining how “fitna is worse than killing” gives carte blanche for the murder of Infidels who are deemed to be persecuting the Muslims.

Arab rulers have for centuries fought wars during Ramadan, claiming self-defence, but Islamic State, which says it represents “true” Islam, cannot put forward this argument because Shia, Sunni and Christian civilians killed in Baghdad, Istanbul and Dhaka in recent days are recognised as believers by Islam. Islamic State, primed by Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi puritan, fiercely anti-Shia ideology, threatens, wounds and kills them.

That is flatly false. The Qur’an says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers: “They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary.” (5:17, cf. 5:72)

In addition to committing violence against vulnerable civilians during Ramadan, Islamic State has conducted an offensive campaign in flagrant violation of the Koranic injunction, “Fight in the cause of God, but do not commit aggression: God loves not the aggressors” (Chapter II, verse 190).

The idea that the Qur’an teaches only defensive warfare is also false. Ibn Ishaq explained the progression of Qur’anic revelation about warfare. First, he explains, Allah allowed Muslims to wage defensive warfare. But that was not Allah’s last word on the circumstances in which Muslims should fight. Ibn Ishaq explains offensive jihad by invoking a Qur’anic verse: “Then God sent down to him: ‘Fight them so that there be no more seduction,’ i.e. until no believer is seduced from his religion. ‘And the religion is God’s’, i.e. Until God alone is worshipped.”

The Qur’an verse Ibn Ishaq quotes here (2:193) commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until “the religion is God’s” — that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Ibn Ishaq gives no hint that that command died with the seventh century.

The great medieval scholar Ibn Qayyim (1292-1350) also outlines the stages of the Muhammad’s prophetic career: “For thirteen years after the beginning of his Messengership, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jizyah, and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him. Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established.”

In other words, he initially could fight only defensively — only “those who fought him” — but later he could fight the polytheists until Islam was “fully established.” He could fight them even if they didn’t fight him first, and solely because they were not Muslim.

Like opportunists in other faiths, Islamic State ideologues, leaders and military commanders interpret the Muslim holy book as they see fit and pick and chose Koranic verses they want to uphold. The most inconvenient verse for them is, “There is no compulsion in religion,” (Chapter II, verse 256)….

The opportunists who are picking and choosing from the Qur’an are those talking to Michael Jansen. Muslim spokesmen in the West frequently quote Qur’an 2:256 to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. However, according to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against and subjugate the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that the “no compulsion” verse was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29). No compulsion indeed.


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