What Does Koran
©2003 Paul J. Tetreault Jr., Esq.
Note: this is part two of a four part briefing that presents major themes in the Koran as expressed in several parallel translations of that book.
I'm glad the last message was helpful. I have many more "fighting verses" for you. I also want to start giving you some verses that show why Islam is a religion of "peace" for Muslims only, and that, even in its peaceful form, Islam poses grave danger to non-Muslims and is fatal to the freedoms we enjoy in the West.
As you know, we define "freedom" in terms of rights - conduct the law will protect in our interactions with others or in actions that relate mainly to ourselves, like suicide or smoking in your own house. Rights come from the prohibitions of moral rules. You don't get a right to life without a moral rule that says don't kill innocent people, or a right to property without a moral rule that says don't steal. (I'm keeping it simple - you understand the complexities).
To have what we in the West consider freedom, you really only need the last five rules of the 10 Commandments - don't kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, or covet. Islam has these rules, but they apply to Muslims only. There is no concept of "equal protection under the law" because non-Muslims do not stand equal to Muslims in the eyes of Allah.
Where the Bible says "love your neighbor as yourself," "God is no respecter of persons," and "God is not willing that any should perish," the Koran is clear that Allah hates non-Muslims:
"Say: 'Obey God and the Apostle.' If they pay no heed, then, surely, God does not love the unbelievers." (Dawood)
"Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in His guidance)." (Pickthall)
"Say: 'Shall I tell you who will receive a worse reward from God? Those whom God has cursed and with whom He has been angry, transforming them into apes and swine, and those who serve the devil. Worse is the plight of these, and they have strayed far from the right path.'" (Dawood)
"Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah ? (Worse is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen and of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road." (Pickthall)
There is actually some Imam in Michigan apologizing furiously now for calling Jews apes and swine in a speech some years back.
By contrast, the Bible says that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life," (John 3:16) and that "when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Rom. 5:10). God "loves the sinner but hates the sin." (See Prov. 8:13).
I know this is a subtle point and, since it is religious, it is hard to treat in a column or on the radio, but understanding this difference is key to understanding why Islam is so dangerous. Jews and Christians take it for granted that man is sinful. Christians in particular understand that they are to tell the truth about Jesus in boldness and love but that God has given man free will to choose whether to believe. Since God doesn't send down lightning bolts to force people to believe, man's government cannot compel individuals to believe, either. Government can, however, deter evil by punishing those who kill, steal, etc.
But under Islam, rejecting Mohammed and Allah is itself a sin that Islamic government is told to punish:
"Say: 'If you love God, follow me (Mohammed). God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is forgiving and merciful.'" (Dawood)
"Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (Pickthall)
"Pronounce judgment among them according to God's revelations (Koran) and do not be led by their desires. Take heed lest they turn you away from a part of that which God has revealed to you. If they reject your judgment, know that it is God's wish to scourge them for their sins. A great many of mankind are evil-doers." (Dawood).
"So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce thee from some part of that which Allah hath revealed unto thee. And if they turn away, then know that Allah's Will is to smite them for some sin of theirs. Lo! many of mankind are evil-livers." (Pickthall).
Thus, the Koran puts mankind back in the situation where Bloody Mary was burning Protestants at the stake. We in the U.S. led the West in resolving that problem by realizing that freedom, prosperity, happiness, and peace depended on observing the last 5 of the 10 Commandments, and it didn't matter whether you went to Catholic Mass, a Protestant worship service or stayed home on Sunday, as long as you didn't break those rules.
In Islam, the rules only apply to, and can only be applied by, Muslims, particularly Muslim men, and are sometimes not absolute. For example, under Islam the only unpardonable sin appears to be killing a Muslim:
"He that kills a believer by design shall burn in Hell for ever. He shall incur the wrath of God, who will lay His curse on him and prepare for him a mighty scourge." (Dawood).
"Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom." (Pickthall).
No wonder we can't get a single Muslim country to join us militarily! Some on TV have quoted the following Sura to claim that Islam does not condone killing:
"That was why We (Allah) laid it down for the Israelites that whoever killed a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as having saved all mankind. Our apostles brought them veritable proofs; Yet many among them, even after that, did prodigious evil in the land." (Dawood)
"For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth." (Pickthall)
There are many reasons why the claim Islam does not condone killing is pure BS, but the best proof are the three very next suras:
"Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those who repent before you reduce them. For you must know that God is forgiving and merciful. Believers, have fear of God and seek the right path to Him. Fight valiantly for His cause, so that you may triumph." (Dawood).
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; 005.034 Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. 005.035 O ye who believe! Be mindful of your duty to Allah, and seek the way of approach unto Him, and strive in His way in order that ye may succeed." (Pickthall)
A more scholarly rebuttal is that God never gave this rule to the Jews - it does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It appears in the Talmud, which is a multi-volume rabbinical commentary on the Old Testament scripture that was started around 550 BC while the Jews were in Babylon and continued to be added to through the Middle Ages.
Secondly, Koran explicitly says this rule applied only to the Jews. The reference appears at the end of a recounting of Cain killing Able that does not agree with the Biblical account and Koran never says it applies to Muslims. Finally, the Koran explicitly countermands commands given to the Jews elsewhere, e.g. Sura 5:45, that countermands the "eye for eye, tooth for a tooth" rule for Jewish (and Christian) government.
As we have seen, rejecting Islam is itself a sin that can earn you death. This is confirmed by the following sura that shows that one sign you have repented from your unbelief is that you submit to Islamic law - i.e., the rule can only be applied by Muslims:
"But they will not - I swear by your Lord - they will not be true believers until they seek your arbitration in their disputes. Then they will not doubt the justice of your verdicts and will submit to you entirely." (Dawood).
"But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission." (Pickthall).
Applying Koranic law can be problematic, though, because the Koran is full of contradictions - the rules are loose enough that extracting a clear moral code is almost impossible. For example, the Koran tells Muslims not to lie or defraud, but you can get out of breaking an oath just by fasting:
"God will not punish you for that which is inadvertent in your oaths. But He will take you to task over the oaths which you solemnly swear. The penalty for a broken oath is the feeding of ten needy men with such food as you normally offer to your own people; or the clothing of ten needy men; or the freeing of a slave. He that cannot afford any of these must fast three days. In this way you shall expiate your broken oaths. Therefore be true to that which you have sworn. Thus god makes plain to you His revelations, so that you may give thanks." (Dawood).
"Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which ye swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk, or the clothing of them, or the liberation of a slave, and for him who findeth not (the wherewithal to do so) then a three days' fast. This is the expiation of your oaths when ye have sworn; and keep your oaths. Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations in order that ye may give thanks." (Pickthall)
I would like to cite for you now the sura that says that non-Muslims can be enslaved or their property confiscated, or they can be made to pay Jizya. I have read it before but I don't have it flagged to quote to you at the moment. There are also verses dealing with the inferiority of women that I'm sure Mrs. Williams would take issue with.
The bottom line is that because Koran commands the killing of those who reject Islam, it only produces peace in a society where all non-Muslims have been killed! This makes Islam a form of social Russian roulette. Even if Islamic militants are not flying airplanes into office buildings, a democratic nation with a significant Muslim population can find that its laws are hijacked if the Muslims become politically active.
I'm sure you'll recognize the similarity to the old example Libertarians like to use. Three bandits can ride into town and hold you up and you know you're the victim of violence and evil. But if the same three bandits ride into town and get elected to the city council, they can pass a law that forces you to give them your wallet and you reach the same result, although the process was "peaceful."
If you listened to the Mikhail interview you know that there are three types of Muslims - secular Muslims who don't read Koran, moderate Muslims who try to reconcile Koran with Western values, and the fundamentalists who read Koran literally. The problem is, as Mikhail points out, you cannot reconcile Koran with Western values and preserve intellectual honesty. Thus, the path is always open to the extremist point of view.
Tony Blankley at the Washington Times did a column last week where he noted that the trend since the 50s in Islamic scholarship has been increasingly toward the fundamentalist view. Tomorrow I want to show you why Koran itself pushes Muslims in this direction - many verses tell Muslims that Jewish and Christian society will depart from the scriptural ideas that are common between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and as our moral decay has accelerated, that is increasingly what Muslims see.
Finally, here are some more fighting verses for you:
LONGING FOR DEATH - good Muslims long for death, and take the Western aversion to death as a sign that we know we are sinners:
"Say: 'If God's Abode of the Hereafter is for yourselves alone, to the exclusion of all others, then wish for death if your claim be true!' But they will never wish for death, because of what they did; for God knows the evil-doers." (Dawood)
"Say (unto them): If the abode of the Hereafter in the providence of Allah is indeed for you alone and not for others of mankind (as ye pretend), then long for death (for ye must long for death) if ye are truthful. 002.095 But they will never long for it, because of that which their own hands have sent before them. Allah is aware of evil-doers." (Pickthall)
This is why Osama says he longs for martyrdom.
A SMALL BAND CAN BEAT A BIG ARMY OF UNBELIEVERS - Allah puts out their fires of war.
Sura 2:249 (excerpt)
"God replied: 'Many a small band has, by God's grace, vanquished a mighty army. God is with those who endure with fortitude.'" (Dawood)
"But those who knew that they would meet Allah exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah's leave! Allah is with the steadfast." (Pickthall)
"The Jews say: 'God's hand is chained.' May their own hands be chained! May they be cursed for what they say! By no means. His hands are both outstretched: He bestows as He will. That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many of them. We have stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will endure till the Day of Resurrection. Whenever they kindle the fire of war, God puts it out. They spread evil in the land, but God does not love the evil-doers." (Dawood)
"The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will. That which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them, and We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguisheth it. Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corrupters." (Pickthall)
"You (Muslims) are the noblest community ever raised up for mankind. You enjoin justice and forbid evil. You believe in God. Had the People of the Book accepted the Faith, it would surely have been better for them. Some are true believers, but most of them are evil-doers. If they harm you, they can cause you but a slight hurt; and if they fight against you they will turn their backs and run away. Then there shall be none to help them. Ignominy shall attend them wherever they are found, unless they make a covenant with God or with man. They have incurred the wrath of god and have been utterly humbled: because they disbelieved God's revelations and slew the prophets unjustly; and because they were rebels and transgressors." (Dawood)
"Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers. 003.111 They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped. 003.112 Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save (where they grasp) a rope from Allah and a rope from men. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slew the prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebellious and used to transgress." (Pickthall)
CHRISTIANS ARE UNBELIEVERS
"Unbelievers are those who say: 'God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.'" (Dawood excerpt)
"They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers." (Pickthall)
MUSLIMS CANNOT EVEN TAKE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS AS FRIENDS
"Let not believers make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful - he that does this has nothing to hope for from God - except in self-defense. God admonishes you to fear Him: for to God shall all return." (Dawood)
" Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying." (Pickthall)
"Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breasts conceal. We have made plain to you Our revelations. Strive to understand them." (Dawood).
"O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand." (Pickthall)
"Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers." (Dawood)
" O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk." (Pickthall)
UNBELIEVERS WANT TO HURT MUSLIMS
"When you are blessed with good fortune they (unbelievers) grieve: but when evil befalls you they rejoice. If you persevere and guard yourselves against evil, their machinations will never harm you. God has knowledge of all their actions." (Dawood)
"If a lucky chance befall you, it is evil unto them, and if disaster strike you they rejoice thereat. But if ye persevere and keep from evil their guile will never harm you. Lo! Allah is Surrounding what they do." (Pickthall)
THOSE WHO DON'T FIGHT FOR ALLAH ARE NEARER UNBELIEF
"When they were told: 'Come, fight for the cause of God and defend yourselves,' they replied: 'If only we could fight, we would surely come with you.' On that day they were nearer unbelief than faith. Their words belied their intentions: but God knew their secret thoughts. (Dawood)
"And that He might know the hypocrites, unto whom it was said: Come, fight in the way of Allah, or defend yourselves. They answered: If we knew aught of fighting we would follow you. On that day they were nearer disbelief than faith. They utter with their mouths a thing which is not in their hearts. Allah is Best Aware of what they hide. "(Pickthall)
THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR ALLAH DON'T DIE
"Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with His gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, have nothing to fear or regret; rejoicing in God's grace and bounty. God will not deny the faithful their reward." (Dawood).
"Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision. 003.170 Jubilant (are they) because of that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not joined them but are left behind: That there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. 003.171 They rejoice because of favour from Allah and kindness, and that Allah wasteth not the wage of the believers." (Pickthall).
I hope this is still helpful. Another day or two ought to get you pretty completely familiar with Koran, if you haven't already had a belly full!
Two common sense points to remember:
1) If Koran did not support Osama bin Laden's claim that Muslims must kill non-Muslims, would tens of millions of Muslims be supporting him?
2) In 632 when Mohammed died, only Arabia was Muslim. If Islam is a religion of peace, how did it spread from Spain to Persia in the next 100 years?
Click here for Briefing Part 1, Part 3 & Part 4
Paul J. Tetreault, Jr., Esq. is a U.S. Naval Academy grad and a 25 year Navy veteran who has served as a law clerk to judges on the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. He holds a Finance MBA and J.D. and is currently an Economics Ph.D. student. he is also the International Director of Citizen Soldier.