A controversy in Florida illuminates the question that must not be asked.
On September 11, 2013, a public information officer for Palm Beach County, Florida named John Jamason posted a message on his personal Facebook page: “Never forget. There is no such thing as radical Islam. All Islam is radical. There may be Muslims who don’t practice their religion, much like others. The Quran is a book that preaches hate.”
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) immediately complained, and demanded that the county turn over to them everything that Jamason had written from a county computer over the previous month. County Administrator Bob Weisman assured CAIR that Jamason had not written the offending Facebook message from a county computer, and stated that county officials were determining whether or not to discipline him.
Left unexamined in the controversy was whether or not what Jamason said was true. In light of the Qur’an’s teachings about jihad and the subjugation of non-Muslims, he certainly had a case that “there is no such thing as radical Islam” and “all Islam is radical,” for there is no mainstream sect of Islam or school of Islamic jurisprudence that does not teach that the Muslim community must wage war against unbelievers and subjugate them under its rule.
Jamason was also correct that “there may be Muslims who don’t practice their religion, much like others.” Indeed, there are many people who identify themselves as Muslims who have no interest in waging jihad against unbelievers, but would prefer to hold down their jobs and take care of their families in peace in the same way as there are millions of people who identify themselves as believers in other religions who are not particularly concerned with living out every teaching of the religion with which they identify.
But what CAIR was most outraged about was not that, of course, but Jamason’s contention that the Qur’an teaches hate. They did not, however, provide any evidence showing that it doesn’t.
So does it?
The Qur’an teaches that Muslims must fight and kill unbelievers “wherever you overtake them” until “religion is Allah’s,” i.e. Islamic law rules all societies (2:190-193). They must fight unbelievers “until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (8:39). Muslims are to fight unbelievers and “prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows” (8:60).
Allah tells Muhammad to “fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination” (9:73). The followers of Muhammad should imitate him in this: “O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness” (9:123). For “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves” (48:29).
Muslims should not befriend non-Muslims, unless, as we have seen, it is to deceive them to save oneself from danger: “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence” (3:28).
Allah says he will “cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve” (3:151). He tells his prophet: “[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.”
Among “those who have disbelieved” are the Christians, who have made themselves into disbelievers by worshipping Christ as God: “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary’” (5:17; 5:72). In worshipping Christ, they have associated a partner with Allah, thereby becoming polytheists, and “the polytheists are unclean” (9:28). Both Jews and Christians have ascribed a son to Allah, for which Allah should destroy them: “The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah’; and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.’ That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?” (9:30).
Chief among those are the Jews. The Muslim holy book also contends that Allah transformed disobedient Jews into “apes, despised” (2:65; 7:166), and “apes and pigs” (5:60). It says that they’re accursed for rejecting the Qur’an, which they should have recognized as confirming their own Scriptures: “And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming that which was with them - although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved - but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allah will be upon the disbelievers” (2:89).
The Qur’an says that while Muslims are “the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind,” the People of the Book (primarily Jews and Christians) are mostly “defiantly disobedient” (3:110). The Jews “have been put under humiliation [by Allah] wherever they are overtaken, except for a covenant from Allah and a rope from the Muslims” – that is, except those who have accepted Islam or submitted to Muslim rule. “And they have drawn upon themselves anger from Allah and have been put under destitution. That is because they disbelieved in the verses of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That is because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed” (3:112). They killed the prophets because they disliked their messages: “Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, a party [of messengers] they denied, and another party they killed” (5:70).
Not only have they disbelieved in revelations from Allah and killed the prophets, but they even dare to mock Allah himself: “And the Jews say, ‘The hand of Allah is chained.’ Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say.” They “strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters" (5:64).
Allah gave food laws to the Jews because of their “wrongdoing,” and “for their averting from the way of Allah many [people]” (4:160), and by doing so, “repaid them for their injustice” (6:146). Some Jews are “avid listeners to falsehood” who “distort words beyond their [proper] usages.” These are “the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts,” and they will be punished not just in hellfire but in this life as well: “For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment” (5:41).
Jews dare to deny divine revelation, claiming that “Allah did not reveal to a human being anything,” to which Muhammad is told to respond, “Who revealed the Scripture that Moses brought as light and guidance to the people? You [Jews] make it into pages, disclosing [some of] it and concealing much” (6:91).
In light of all this, it is understandable that Muslims should not get close to such people: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people” (5:51). What’s more, the Jews are “the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers” (5:82).
While Muslims are the “best of people” (3:110), “they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures” (98:6). They are “like livestock” (7:179). “Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not [ever] believe” (8:55).
But when John Jamason called the Qur’an “a book that preaches hate,” in the eyes of CAIR it was he who was the one who was preaching hate, not the holy book of Islam. The hypocrisy of their harassment of Jamason was self-evident, but only to those familiar enough with the Qur’an and honest enough to acknowledge the nature of all too much of its contents. That was a small group that did not include officials of Palm Beach County, who were – like so many other officials of all kinds in the United States and elsewhere in the staggering but still marginally free world – all too ready to entertain the complaints about Muslim pressure groups despite being woefully ill-equipped to evaluate those complaints properly. They knew, like Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Nidal Hasan’s superiors, that what was important above all was to avoid being labeled “bigoted” and “Islamophobic.”
How grand that they had their priorities straight. All it cost was thirteen dead and thirty wounded.
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