Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Donald Trump’s infamous assertion “Islam hates us,” which he made over three years ago while campaigning for president, continues to appear in the news. Most recently, Democrat presidential hopefuls Julián Castro and Bernie Sanders cited it in their efforts to court Muslim votes in Houston.
Soon after being introduced by his Muslim campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, Sanders said, “We must speak out when we have a president and an administration who believe — and I quote — that ‘Islam hates us.’”
Here is what Trump said in March 2016: “I think Islam hates us. There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
That seems to be the difference between Trump and the Democrats: the latter, in typical head-in-sand fashion—or just to garner votes—reject the “Islamophobic” claim on principle, whereas the president at least acknowledges that there’s a problem, one that “we have to get to the bottom of.”
So let’s do just that—get to the bottom of this “tremendous hate.” For starters, the source of this hate is not in those factors liberals/leftists always cite whenever Muslims lash out (and their actions actually get reported); it’s not a byproduct of “grievances,” foreign or domestic US policies, Israel, or “blasphemous” cartoons.
The hate, rather, is a direct byproduct of mainstream Islamic teaching—and has been for nearly fourteen centuries. According to the ancient Islamic doctrine of al-wal’a wa al-bara’, or “loyalty and enmity”—which is well grounded in Islamic scriptures, well sponsored by Islamic authorities, and well manifested all throughout Islamic history and contemporary affairs—Muslims must hate and oppose everyone who is not Muslim, including family members. (The importance of this doctrine is such that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote a 60 page treatise on al-wal’a wa al-bara’ in The Al Qaeda Reader, pp. 63-115.)
Koran 60:4 is the cornerstone verse of this doctrine and speaks for itself: “You [Muslims] have a good example in Abraham and those who followed him, for they said to their people, ‘We disown you and the idols which you worship besides Allah. We renounce you: enmity and hate shall reign between us until you believe in Allah alone’” (Koran 60:4, emphasis added).
Koran 58:22 praises Muslims who fight and kill their own non-Muslim family members: “You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger—even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred.”
According to standard Islamic exegesis, this verse refers to a number of Muslims who slaughtered their own non-Muslim kin (one slew his non-Muslim father, another his non-Muslim brother, a third—Abu Bakr, the first revered caliph of Islamic history—tried to slay his non-Muslim son, and Omar, the second righteous caliph, slaughtered his relatives). Popular commentator Ibn Kathir wrote that Allah was immensely pleased by their unwavering zeal for his cause and rewarded them with paradise.
In fact, verses that support the divisive doctrine of “loyalty and enmity” permeate the Koran (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 60:1). There is one caveat, captured by Koran 3:28: when Muslims are in a position of weakness, they may pretend to befriend non-Muslims, as long as the hate carries on in their hearts. (Read here for several recent examples of Muslims living for years at peace and in friendship with non-Muslims, but then violently turning on them once they became stronger.)
Because enmity for non-Muslims is so ironclad in the Koran, mainstream Islamic teaching holds that Muslim men must even hate—and show that they hate—their non-Muslim wives, for no other reason than that they are “infidels.”
If Muslims must hate those closest to them—including fathers, sons, brothers, and wives—simply because they are non-Muslims, is there any surprise that Muslims may hate foreign “infidels” who live oceans away—such as Americans, who are further portrayed throughout the Islamic world as trying to undermine Islam?
Indeed, in order to settle the debate once and for all, a few months after Trump said “Islam hates us,” the Islamic State published an article aptly titled “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You”:
We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Christ], you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’” (Al-Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Koran 60:4]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option [“People of the Book”] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims [per Koran 9:29].
Even America’s supposed best Arab friends and allies—such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar—are on record calling on all Muslims to hate. According to a Saudi governmental run website, Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.”
In short, the claim that “Islam hates us” is demonstrable by the plain words and teachings of the Koran, by the plain words and teachings of past and present Islamic clerics, and by the past and present actions of Muslims around the world.
Not that this matters much to the likes of Sanders, Castro, et al.