The Koran and Violence

Koran violence
Figure 1.--Muslims constantly claim that there religion is a religion of peace. They often simply ignore the violence committed by Muslims and the call for war. Part of the explanation for the violence is the many Koranic verses justifying or promoting war and violence. And this is taught to children. Here is a good example. I think that this is an image from Hezbollah . Hopefully readers will translate the headband for us. It may be a phrase from the Koran. Readers assessing this image should consider that this image was not made by Americans and Idrealis attempting to descredit Islam, but by Islamicists anxious to demonstrate their devotion to Islam.

Islam is often desribed as a religion of peace. And there are references toward peace in the Koran. but there are also many references to war and violence. The number of such references is disturbing. Even more disturbing are references to violence as a positive good and references justifying violence against unbelivers. We notice the repeated usage of passages like "kill/slay them wherever you find them". (Some scholars suggest "fight" is a better translation.) However the passages is translated, the justificatioin for violence against those of other faiths and hypocrites who abandon Islam is clearly enshired uin the Koran. These passages are unlike any in the religious books of the worlds other great religions. Several of these passages would seem to give a Muslim justification for suiside bombers targetting Jews, Christians, and even Muslims of differing views. The Koran also authorizes violence against women. In reading these passages it should be remembered that Islamic scholars teach that the Koran is the literal, perfect word of God and can not be questined. We have quoted the various pertinent passages from the Koran and attempted to assess their meaning. Some are elusive. Others seem rather straight forward. We do not pretend to be Islamic scholars and welcome any insights that readers might have.

Surah 2 (The Cow)

Verse 2.190

"Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors."

The Koran does not tell us what limits not to exceed. The Koran does not make it clear who the transgressors are. Modern Islamicists include not only Jews and Christins, but various minority groups like the Yzaidis in Iraq. And many also include fellow Muslims with whom they differ.

Verse 2.191

The phrase "And you shall kill them wherever you find them" appears in several Koranic verses and thus is included in many popular collections of "Muslim quotes". It is commonly used by 1) scholars attempting to prove the violent nature of Islam and 2) Muslim fanatics attempting to justify their violence. Ironically what these disperate groups who agree on little else, do agree that these passages appear several times in the Koran. Thus it is important to use the entire text of the verse as well as adjoing verses. One translation is "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 unbeliever." One authority suggests that this is a better translation, "Kill them wherever they confront you in combat and drive them out of the places from which they have driven you. Though killing is bad, creating mischief is worse than killing. Do not fight them within the precincts of the Sacred Mosque unless they attack you there; but if they attack you, put them to the sword; that is the punishment for such unbelievers."

Here the Koran is not specufic as to what sort of mischief is being done. Most scholars believe that Koran is referring to "fitna" (civil war among Muslims). Note the difference in the translstions. A reputable scholar says "Kill them wherever they confront you in combat" rather than "Kill them where you find them." Neither passage obviously is pacifistic, but the second is less aggressive than the first. Note the fighting in Mosques is prohbited, a Koranic injuction Islamic fanatics bombing or otherwise attacking mosques of other sects choose to ignore. And note that there is not injuction against violence in synagigues, churvches, or other holy places.

Verse 2.192

"If they cease hostility, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

Verse 2.193

"Fight against them until there is no more disorder and Allahís supremacy is established. If they desist, let there be no hostility except against the oppressors."

We note constant references by Muslim writers that the West, including Christians and Jews, are trying to conquer the Muslim world. And Muslim writers in Pakistan add India to the list of aggressors. Their point is that aggression and domination of other countries is evil. This basis principle is enshrined in the United Nations charter. The idea of Jews ever conquering the Muslim world is absurd. And the West in gerneral would like to completely withdraw from the Muslim world (as the Isrealus did in Gaza), but are actually drawn back by terrorist and planning. Even more interesting is that the Koran does not really teach an end to aggression or the right of people to freely choose their religion. Muslims are not allowed, for example to convert. The Koran teaches that the goal is to establish "Allah's supremecy". This is one of many passages that are in violation of the U.N. charter. Under Allah's authority there is a degree of toleratiin of the People of the Book, but non-believers or adherents of other religion suffer extreme desrimination.

Verse 2.216

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you ..." Another translations reads, "Fighting may be imposed on you, even though you dislike it. But you may dislike something which is good for you, and you may like something which is bad for you. GOD knows while you do not know."

The Koran here appears to tell Muslims that fighting and thus violence are a positive good, essentially character building. This is unlike the teachings of the other great religions. This is a very disturbing passage. Note it is doest not say that fighting is a necessary evil, but that fighting is an absolute good. Moderate Muslims say that here the Koran is referring to personal struggle against evil. We would be interested in any insights as to how the Arabic term was used in the 7th century AD when the Koran was written. We believe that moderate Muslims may interpret the passage in this way. The problem is that large numbers of Muslims interpret it as actual violence and combat. We are unsure just how many Muslims adhere to either interpretation.

Surah 3 (The Imrans)

Verses 3.140-142

"If you have suffered defeat, so did the enemy. We [god] alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that Allah may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you ...that He may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels. Did you suppose that you would enter Paradise before Allah has proved the men who fought for him...?" Another translation reads, "140: If you suffer hardship, the enemy also suffers the same hardship. We alternate the days of victory and defeat among the people. GOD thus distinguishes the true believers, and blesses some of you with martyrdom. GOD dislikes injustice. 141: GOD thus toughens those who believe and humiliates the disbelievers. 3:142: Do you expect to enter Paradise without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing those who are steadfast?

This it seems to us is another very disturbing passage in the Koran. It seem to say that Allah created war to test the faithful. He will sometimes allow the unbelievers to win so that Muslims can be throughly tested and Martyrs allowed to demonstrate their allegiance to Allah. Allah seems to be saying that war and viloence is a necesity. Again this is a concept that is not found in other major faiths. Notice the term "ememy". This means non-Muslims. Again nne of the other great religions refer to those of other faiths as "the ememy".

Verse 3.149

Here we note differences in various translations, but there is virtual uninamity that the Koran justifies the useof terrot. Here are some of the translatins. 1) "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers." 2) "We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no warrant hath been revealed. Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers. 3) "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!"."

This passage is chilling as we observe the resort of Islamist to terror to further their objectives. This passage claerly justifes andgives relgion sanction to the use of terror on both non-Muslims and other Muslims that do not share the terroist's views. In many verses the Koran justifies violence in self defense, but here there is no resort to self defense. Terrorism is sanctioned simply for a person's beliefs. If the individual does not share the correct (being your) belied, than you are free to use terror to punish him. we know nothing remptely like this in the Christian Bible. Readers constantly tell us that both the Koran and Christin Bible have horific pasages. We know nothing even remotly similar to this Koranic verse in the New Testament. And unlike 3.140-142 which suggests that Allah will punish, the us of 'we' suggests that it is the individual Mulim that has the authority to punish.

Surah 4 (Women)

Verse 4:34

"Men have authority over women because Allah has made one superior to the other...Good women are obedient...As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Allah is high, supreme." Another translatin reads, "The men are made responsible for the women, and GOD has endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners. The righteous women will cheerfully accept this arrangement, since it is GOD's commandment, and honor their husbands during their absence. If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then (you may use negative incentives like) deserting them in bed, then you may (as a last alternative) beat them. If they obey you, you are not permitted to transgress against them. GOD is Most High, Supreme."

The Koran is quite clear as to the position of women. Here it clear states that men are superior to women who are inferior. And men are cauthorized to use violence against women, specifically to beat them until they learn to obey. The Koran indicates that beating women is the last alternative, but it is an alternsative sanctified by God. Some passages of the Koran are somewhat vague. This one seems crystal clear.

Verse 4.74

"Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of Allah; whether they die or conquer, We shall richly reward them." Another translation reads, "Those who readily fight in the cause of GOD are those who forsake this world in favor of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of GOD, then gets killed, or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense."

The Koran here tells Muslims that those engaging in war and violence will be rewarded and emphasizes that they will be richy or greatly rewarded.

Verse 4:88

"What is the matter with you, why are you divided into two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has cast them off on account of their misdeeds? Do you wish to guide those whom Allah has confounded? Whomever Allah has confounded you cannot find a way for them to be guided."

Verse 4:89

"Their real wish is to see that you become a disbeliever, as they themselves have disbelieved, so that you may become exactly like them. So you should not take friends from their ranks unless they immigrate in the way of Allah; and if they do not, seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take any of them as protectors or helpers."

This is another verse containuing the passage "kill/slay them wherever you finf them". Again this often repeated refrain is in sharp contrast to the common Muslim insistance that Islam is a religion of peace. This should, however, be seen in the context of the vollowing verses (4:90-91) which seems to suggret that meaning of verses 4:88-91 is that those who want to live in peace should be left allowed to do so, as long as they recognize the dominance of Islam and pay thec appropriate taxes. It should not be thought, however, that Muslims always practiced the Koranic injunctions here. Although there were long periods of peace and tolerance there were also times in which Muslims persued "Jihad" in the most vilolent and blooy way imaginable. And not always did Muslim warriors restrict themselves to any rules of fairness. There are many historical examples: atacking the Khaybar while Muhammad was still alive, the Ottoman conquest of Anatolia, and the Ottoman conwquest og the Balkans. Those criticizing Islam misuse these verses, but so do Muslims over time which have advocated violence and carnage. Led by the Grand Mufti, worshipers in the mosques of Jerusaklem and eklsewhere in Palestine chanted ""Kill them wherever you find them" when rioters attempted to kill Jews (1929 and 1936). The same is true of the mosques in Gaza during the Second Intifada. They are commonly used by othder Muslim terroirists. Here assessing the ethical character of Islam based on these passages is comple undertaking. Opinions differ on translations Clearly only a small minority of Muslims act out the most extreme interopretations of the Koranic injunctions. Perhaps more troubling is the very large number of Muslims who symphatize in various degrees with the terrorists. Another concern is the willingness of young Muslims to kill and mame in the modern world. There are historic examples of Christians and even Jews committing terrible acts of violence and finding justification in religious texts. But in the 21st centurty terroitists while not always Muslims are very commonly Muslims inspired by the Koran, a fact the Muslim world generally refused to address.

Verse 4:90

"The exception to this is for those who take refuge with your allies or come over to you because their hearts restrain them both from fighting against you and from fighting against their own people. If Allah had wanted, He would have given them power over you and they might easily have fought against you; therefore, if they withdraw from you and cease their hostility and offer you peace, in that case Allah has not granted you permission to fight against them."

Verse 4:91

"You will find other hypocrites who wish to be safe from you as well as from their own people; but who would plunge into mischief whenever they get an opportunity. Therefore if they do not keep distance from you and neither offer you peace, nor cease their hostilities against you, you may seize them and kill them wherever you find them, against such people We give you absolute authority."

Verse 4.95

"The believers who stay at home ... are not equal to those who fight for the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home. He has promised all a good reward; but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him." Another translation reads, "Not equal are the sedentary among the believers who are not handicapped, and those who strive in the cause of GOD with their money and their lives. GOD exalts the strivers with their money and their lives above the sedentary. For both, GOD promises salvation, but GOD exalts the strivers over the sedentary with a great recompense."

The Koran here states that those who fight for Allah rank the highest in Islam.

Surah 9 (Repentance)

Verse 9:3

"This is a public proclamation from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Great Hajj (Pilgrimage) that Allah and His Messenger do hereby dissolve treaty obligations with the pagans. Therefore, if you repent, it will be better for you but if you turn away, then you should know that you cannot frustrate the Will of Allah. O Prophet, proclaim a painful punishment to those who are unbelievers."

Verses 9: 4

One translation reads, "Except (this proclamation does not apply to) those pagans who honored their treaties with you in every detail and aided none against you. So fulfill your treaties with them to the end of their term; for Allah loves the righteous." Another translation reads, "9:4: If the idol worshipers sign a peace treaty with you, and do not violate it, nor band together with others against you, you shall fulfill your treaty with them until the expiration date. GOD loves the righteous.

Verse 9:5

One translation reads, "When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and pay the alms-tax, let them go their way. Allah is forgiving and merciful." Another translation reads, "Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful."

Verse 9: 6

One translation reads, ""If anyone from the pagans ask you for asylum, grant it to him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and then escort him to his place of safety: this should be done because these people do not know the truth." Anotherc translation reads, "If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of GOD, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know."

Here the Koran seems to give the Muslims the right to kill and otherwise punish pagans (but not Christasnd Jews), although they should wait until after the sacred months. I'm not sure what is meant by repenting and taking to prayer. It does not seem to be conversion. But Muslims also seem to be instructed to avoud violence if non-Muslims pay an alms tax. Spokesmen for Islam on televsion constantly insistthat Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately as we see here there are many passages devoted to war and violence. Sometimes Muslims try to explain them away or deny they exist, but as we see here they do exist. While most Muslims ignore them, not all do. One of the Bali bombers, the bombers claimed at his defense that he was simply following the directives of the Koran which permitted him to kill non-believers where-ever he found them. The Indonesian court found him guilty by denying that the Koran had a passage legitimise such killing, but as you can see here, there is such a passage, And while most Muslims ignore these and similar passages, note that often Muslims who express abhorence at these attacks will sometimes add comments suggesting an understanding or sympathy with the trrorists. Other Muslims will often deny they occurred or blame them on the Jews.

Verse 9.38

"Believers, why is it that when it is said to you: 'March in the cause of Allah,' you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with this life in preference to the life to come? Few indeed are the blessings of this life compared to those of the life to come. If you do not fight He will punish you sternly and replace you by other men. Allah has power over all things." Another translation reads, "O you who believe, when you are told, "Mobilize in the cause of GOD," why do you become heavily attached to the ground? Have you chosen this worldly life in place of the Hereafter? The materials of this world, compared to the Hereafter, are nil."

What does "March in the cause of Islam" mean? The subsequent reference to "fight" certainly suggests wageing war. The Koran here seems to be saying that tjose who do not wage war for Islam are lesser Muslims.

Verse 9.41

"Whether unarmed or well equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons." Another translation reads, "You shall readily mobilize, light or heavy, and strive with your money and your lives in the cause of GOD. This is better for you, if you only knew."

The Koran here tells Muslims to fight whrther or not they are well armed. Note the the references to arms and equipment, suggesting that the reference is to war and violence.

Verse 9.44

"Those that believe in Allah & the Last Day will not beg you to exempt them from fighting with their wealth and their persons. Allah knows best the righteous. Only those seek exemption who disbelieve in Allah." Amnother translatin reads, "Those who truly believe in GOD and the Last Day do not ask your permission to evade the opportunity to strive with their money and their lives. GOD is fully aware of the righteous."

The Koran here appears to be telling Muslims that true believers will fight or support fighters. Those that refuse to fight and use violence are not true Muslims. This is also very disturbing. It seems to be saying that fighting and the use of viloence are at the hear of Islam.

Verse 9.51

"Are you waiting for anything to befall us except victory or martyrdom?" Another translation reads, "Say, "Nothing happens to us, except what GOD has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In GOD the believers shall trust."

The modern world after the two great World Wars has come to see war as the greatest evil. The Koran seems to be telling Muslims that war is a win-win situation. They will either emerge victorious or become marytrs and thus enter paradise.

Surah 29 (The Spider)

Verse 29.7

"He that fights for Allah's cause fights for himself. Allah does not need His creatures' help." Another translation reads, "Those who believe and lead a righteous life, we will certainly remit their sins, and will certainly reward them generously for their righteous works." This is another passage in which the two translations are substantially different.

The first translation seems rather confused. It seems to say that Allah can take care of himself and that Muslims do not need to defend Allah. Rather it is the Muslim himself who benefits from fighting. The passage does not explain just what the benefit is. The second translation is more understandable.

Surah 47 (Mohammed)

Verses 47.4-6

"As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish ... He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them." Another translation reads, "47:4: If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste. 47:5: He will guide them, and bless them with contentment. 47:6: He will admit them into Paradise, that He described to them." This is another passage in which the two translations are substantially different.

Here the Koran tells Muslims that those die in Allah's service will be admitted to Paradise. It does not specify as to just what "in Allah's service" means, but because death is mentioned, we suspect this means those involved in war and violence.

Surah 67 (Sovereignty)

Verse 67.2

"He created life and death that He might put you to the proof and find out which of you acquitted himself best." Another translation reads, "The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better. He is the Almighty, the Forgiving."

Here the Koran tells Muslims that the purpose of life is a kind of test. There are various ways that a person can acquit himself. Charity is important in Islam, but so is fighing as we see in verse 2.216.


A Muslim reader tells us, "There is only one Quran, divinely preserved, and available for all man-kind to read." [BK} Unfortunately, it is not that simple. The Koran was written in Arabic during the 7th century. Language, however, changes. Arabic has not changed as much as Western languages. Americans and English people can not read Old English texts and the same is true of Europeans. The Arabic spoken in the 7th century, however, is different than 21st century Arabic. And the Arabic spoken in different Arab countries varies. Thus some scholarship is involved in getting at the true meaning. Translations into English and other languages pose addituinal problems. Just has Bible versions differ. Various translations vary. A Muslim reader objected to the translations we posted here sggesting that they were eronious and misleading, [BK] She suggested using "An Authorized English Version" translated from the original by Dr. Rashad Khalifa, Ph.D. Now we do not endorse any particular translation, but we are happy to include the translation suggestion to provide readers a range of translations. In reviewing Dr. Khalifa's ranslation, they were essentially the same to the translation we had, with the exception of two verses.

Negative Remarks and Inhuman Values

A Muslim reader objects to this page. She writes, "This Quran doesn't have any of the negative remarks and inhumane values you are stating. I'm able to tell that you are reading dishonest translations of the Quran, quoting words and verses out of context without examining the entire context of the Quran regarding specific issues, and relying on what have been circulating in the media about the Quran without verification. The three options are illegitimate and definitely lead to wrong assumptions and conclusions.. Not only that, you are promoting and spreading this wrong information to the public, which is misleading and offensive. I urge you to investigate the Quran, and use a decent translation of it such as the one used on our site. It is the most accurate, most honest, most guided, and the closest to the original Arabic text. You can read it on line or download it for free." The fact is that all the passages on the page here are in the Koran. And the translation she suggested with very few exceptions are essetially the same as the translation we had originally. She charges that we have taken them out of context. (How many politicans have you heard trying to explain things they have said by claiming they were quoted out of cointext?) At any rate readers are encouraged to read the entire surahs (chzptrs) surrounding the verses here to see if hey were taken out of context.

Struggle and War


A Muslim readers takes issue with this page, charging that we have taken the passages out of context. Her major complaint as I understand it is that the passages we quote do no show the Islamic injunction that war or actions against infidels should only be waged in self defense. She writes, "The injustice you have committed on your web page lies on the fact that these verses are singled out without what comes before and after and without reading all the other related verse in order to understa that they are applicable in very specific situations of self defense. We cannot just pick and choose certain verses about fighting back in self defense and use them to justify that Quran promotes killing when, to the contrary, Quran condemns killing in the strongest language. Please read the verses I have attached. I have provided you with a link that gives an honest and correct perspective of Jihad and Wars in the light of Quran. Please read the articles, just for the sake of the truth." This self- defense argument is often presented by Muslim scgolsars. And it is true that many Koranic passages do include a provision for self defense. No all, but a number do. The problem with this asertion is, however, that while it is in the Koran, it is an injuction commonly disregarded by Muslim leaders, including the Prophet himself. Muslims leaders from the very beginning of Islam have not followed that injunctuon. And that the Caliphate was established as a result of a series of aggressive wars.

Peace and Human Dignity

A Muslim reader complains that we have selected out verses from the Koran that portray war and violence for this page. That is of course precusely what we have done because we are trying to understand why so many Muslims are carrying out terrible acts of violence. We are not saying that most Muslims are doing this, but substantial numbers are involved in the violence. And many more seem willing to accept violence as long as the perpetrators express Islamic motivations. It us fair to say, however, that there are many more passages in the Koran that deal with peace and human values. Quite frankly this would impress us if Muslim leades and Islamic scholars were at the forefront of actually making peace. There certainly are prgressive voices in Islsam. A reader writes, "The time has come that we should take action and try our best to prevent terrorism in the world. We hope to bring love, peace and tolerance into this world based on respect, compassion, and a solid foundation of knowledge." Just howc much influence such voices have, seem limited. Somehow it seems satisfactory to many Muslims to simply reiterate the claim that Islam is a religion of peace and list the Koranic references to peace. Passages about peace ad human dignity certainly exists. And many Muslims believe passionately in them. We are more than happy to list some of them.

Debate in America

President Obama at the memorial service for the victims of majaor Hasan at Fort Hood did not mention Islam (November 10, 2009). He described the shootings as a terrible crime, but avoided any connection with Islam. Major Hassan is just one example. And if he was the only example of Islamic induced violence, than we would not raise the issue of Islam. Examoles of Islamic terriris are enormous. And no other religion can be attached to such violence. The main stream media in America immediately went in to overdrive suggesting every possible cause of Major Hasan's actions--everything except Islam. Alan Chombs on Fox insisted that this was the action of one deranged individual and had nothing to do with Islam or terrorism. The suggestions include post-tramautic stress (Hasan had never been posted to a war zone), Army hazing (Hazan complained but he seems to have went out of his way to express his views), concern over fellow Muslims being killed (he seems unconcerned anout undividuals killed by fellow Muslims), insanity, ect. Chris Mathews on NBC went so far as to suggest that there was nothing wrong with Major Hasan contacting Al Quida. Relevations about Manjor Hasan contacting Al Quida came from the British press, not the American press bent on down playing the possible role of Islam. America has a long history of freedom of religion with various instances of religious intolerance. The long term trajectory was toward religious freedom. And this many Americans are reluctant to criticise any religion. This brings us to the question as to where to draw the line. Is what Islan has to say about violence acceptable in a free society.

Power of Allah

The concept of God or Allah in the Koran is an all, all-poweful, all-knowing, onipetent god. An interesting thing about the Holy Koran is how Allah seems to require the intervention of man, a flawed, weak individual to defend him. Islamic scholars have never quite explined why Allah, if he is indeed so powerful, require men to use violence to defend him. Muslims influenced by Koranic teachings to defend Allah by such horrendous actions as throwing acid in the faces of little girls who want to attend school. Is Allah so weak andcpowerless that he is threatened by little schoolgirls? Other Muslims want to kill authors or now even cartoonists. A Russian reader writes, "As for cartoons about Mohammed and all that scandals and demonstrations - it sounds ridiculous to me. If one silly cartoon is considered as a threat to Islam by Muslims - then Islam must be really weak :) But if Islam isn't weak - then why some Muslims think that one silly cartoon can be a threat? For example I know that in most US movies Russians are always depictured as huge, dismal, rude and dangerous. I find it odd, strange, queer, funny - but that's all :) Should I declare a war or maybe go to the demonstration with slogans alike "America doesn't respect us!!!!" or maybe do some even more frightening things - not to watch "Tom and Jerry" or not to eat hamburgers?"


Understanding Muslims is a difficult undertaking. The Boston Marathon bombers' mon is a case in point. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva is a case in point. We do not know much about her true feelings bfore she came to America. The family fled Chechnya was given political asylum even know of no evidence they were threatened. We are not sure why asylum was granted. Thy flew back to Russia suggestung that they did not feel thmselves to be in danger. She apparently at first embraced the American dream (2002). She atteded the Catherine Hinds Institute of Aesthetics. and got a job at te Essencia Spa and Salon in Blmont Masschusetts. Then she became radicalized. We are not sure why. Some blame a mysterious Eastern European Muslim. Her lack of success in Amrica may also be a factor. She bgan wearing a headscarf. Her boss at the Spa said she went crazy religious, bringing in a prayer rug and praying five times a day at the Spa. She refused to do business with mal clints or do waxing. Clients said she told them that the 9-11 attack was a plot to make Americans hate Muslims and began preaching from the Koran. She was finally fired. Her husband was also exasperated with her. They split (2011). Having trouble making nds meet, sh was overheard swearing. "I hate America. They are all infidels here!" Then sh was caught shoplifting $1,600 in designer clothes from Lord in Taylor. To escape prosecution she flew back to Russia (Dagestan). She is now living in Canada. We ar not sure why, pobably beause she is well versed in manipulating Western welfare systems. Whay I do not unserstand is how she on on hand can claim that 9-11 was a plot by non Muslims to defam Islam an Muslims and then encourage her sons to commit terror acts. And now insists her sons were framed.

Muslim Assessment

We note that after one of these horific terror actions that the Muslim community is very consistent about how they react. There seem to be basic statements that very commonly come from Muslim leaders or spokesmen. First, we are told that Islam is a religion of peace and that the word 'peace' appears countless times in the Koran. Never mentioned are the 'sword verses' or exortations to violence in the Korn that are detailed above. Second, we are told that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, hard-working citizens. This is certainly true. But again unsaid is the percentge of Muslims endorsing or willing to tolerate violence done in the name of Islam. The porportion here is very high in many countries. Third, we are told that these these are isolated incidents and that Islam and Muslims are not prone to violence. No matter the number of incidents which occur, Muslims insists that they are isolated occuances. Four, terrorists commiting heious actions are described as subsribing to perverted views of Islam that misconstue a peace-loving religion. Muslims absolutely refuse to accept that there is a problem. No matter the viciousness of the attacks or the number of the attcks. Most Muslim refuse to admit that there is a problem inherent with Islam and use a combination of these four statements to explain away attack after attack. Very rarely is their any recognition or at least willingness to admit that a problem exists with Islam. And this includes within countries like Iraq and Pakistans where large number of Muslims of one sect are busy killing fellow Muslims with which they disagree--amazingly about the 7th century uccessor to Mohammed.

Reader Comments

We encourage HBC readers to send along their taken on these issues. This can include short comments on specific matters or essays if the reader wants to make a major statement. An Italian reader has sent along his thoughtful assessment of Islam and Violence. HBC emphasizes that while we have our opinions on such matters. We welcome reader comments with other opinions, including those of Muslim readers.


BK. eMail message, December 3, 2007.


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Created: 10:21 AM 2/17/2007
Last updated: 2:56 AM 1/21/2015