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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"First Comes Saturday, Then Comes Sunday"

Is Islam friendly to Christianity as some would have us believe? There is a saying in the Islamic World: "First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday." To interpret: Annihilate the Jews then annihilate the Christians. Islam's goal is to conquer the world through violent overthrow. Learn from history and do not be deceived by the recent academic voices in Orthodoxy and elsewhere, advocating the tragically erroneous view that Islam is peaceful and Christianity fairs well under their domination. I pose two questions:

1. What country, region or land in history has Islam conquered through peaceful means?
2. If Islamic leaders today are saying they will "conquer", "annihilate", and "kill every last one" of the Christians and Jews and take over their lands, do they mean what they say?

First, they take Rome, then spread throughout all of Europe, then conquer the "two Americas". Still want to believe Islam is a peaceful religion? Hear their own words:

THE LAWS OF ISLAM:

Mainstream Sharia books define Jihad as:
"to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion." (Shafi’i Sharia o9.0). Jihad is not just the duty of the individual Muslim, but it is also the main duty of the Muslim head of State (the Calipha):
"A Muslim calipha is entrusted to take his people into war and command offensive and aggressive Jihad. He must organize Jihad against any non-Muslim government, which prevents Muslim da’wah (meaning preaching and spreading Islam) from entering its land." (Shafii Law o25.0 to o25.9).

"(When the caliph appoints a ruler on a region, his duty includes) if the area has a border adjacent to enemy lands, (he will) undertake Jihad against enemies, dividing the spoils of battle among combatants and setting aside a fifth for deserving recipients." (
Sharia law# o25.9)

"The Caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax provided he has first invited them to enter Islam or pay Jizya, the non-Muslim poll tax, (in accordance with the word of Allah Most High Chapter 9 verse 29)."

"Jihad in terms of warfare is a collective responsibility of the Muslim Ummah." (Zia-Ul-Haq, former President of Pakistan)

"Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program … the objective of Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish instead an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single state or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution." (Sheikh Maolana Maududi 20th Century Islamic Scholar)

45 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this!




    JNORM888

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  2. Jnorm888, Your thanks is appreciated amidst the many accusations I endure for pointing such things out. This week I was called "Heretic", "Cain", "Self-professed Christian", "hater". Shame on me for thinking that God just may love the Jews as much as the Arab Muslims and that both are culpable for their actions. I went to your good blog. I commend you for speaking to cutting edge issues as well....heretic.... :)

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  3. I find this ironic, in that I recall a quote from Mohammad going, "Allah gave Saturday to the Jews, Sunday to the Christians, and Friday to the Muslims", referring obviously to the sacred days of the week. This quote regarding the extermination of the other Abrahamic faiths puts that quote in a whole new light.

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  4. Debbie Espen1:02 AM

    In defense of Muslims I know and have known, what and who you have quoted is/are the fundamentalist and extremist, not mainstream moderate Muslims, who are the majority. It is like quoting extremist fundamentalist Christians and saying that is representative of the religion as a whole. Please everyone, know that though those extremists are, indeed, a threat, most Muslims do not agree with them!

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  5. Have you ever read the hadiths? Mohammad, in reference to the Jews and Christians and after he had taken power in Mecca and was conquering the neighboring countryside, openly stated that there would be only one deen (religion) in Arabia. His successors, which he told the Muslims to follow and imitate, persecuted the non-Muslims in the area. There are even hadiths, after the post-Muslim era, in which Mohammad said it was fine to push Jews and Christians aside while you were walking down the street.

    I have no doubt there are good Muslims out there, but the fact is these arguments are coming from their prophet (who was a false prophet in the first place) and his companions.

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  6. Debbie, please forgive the challenge, but you use the phrase "MOST Muslims do not agree with them." From where does this statistic come, the few friends you have known If all follow the Qur'an which includes tenants of violent overthrow of non-Muslims, and the political leaders set the course for obedience and action, then those "nice" Muslims have little or no voice. The peaceful Muslims have been as persecuted by their own as non-muslims. Anwar Sadat and others are dead today because they proposed peace. Gunned down by their own who held a different view of their faith. It is a "get with the plan or die" kind of deal. They pay the price for their non-militant stance.

    Fundamentalist Christians do not, as as rule, annihilate their detractors. Your comparison is weak. This is a life and death conquering of the world governments, peoples and lands by a religion. This is forced servitude to Allah, who is not the same God as Christianity as you previously proposed. History is the proof, not opinions such as ours. In any case, the "Palestinian" militant Muslims do not fall into that category of peaceful. SO, where are the condemnations from the Orthodox Church or from those "peacful" Muslims? I am afraid their silence leaves all suspect.

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  7. Having the bad manners to point out the obvious, refusing to be a dhimmi and calling a spade a spade is not heresy; being a dhimmi with Stockholm syndrome is! I'm with you 1000%.

    Debbie, with all due respect you seriously need to wake up! In Islam it's not just Mohammed's opinion, IT'S THE LAW! Muslims have NO concept of turning the other cheek. Kareem Abdul Jabar, Alexander Siddig and Layla Ali are considered bad muslims because they don't believe in killing infidels. Until you can refute every word of "The Sword of the Prophet" or "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades" don't tell us that PC bull about Islamic tolerance!

    And yes I already know about Zionism but I don't see Israeli soldiers using people as human shields or trying to conquer the world or killing women for getting raped.

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  8. Anonymous10:20 AM

    "The peaceful Muslims have been as persecuted by their own as non-muslims."

    Why do you believe that the violent Muslims are the true followers of Islam? And if you do not, then how can you say that the true follows of Islam wish to overthrow the world violently?


    But I guess it doesn't really matter for any defense from a Muslim is almost automatically regarded as false and then they are accused of not knowing their own religion.

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  9. Anon,
    Do "true" Muslims believe the Qur'an and the words of Mohammad? If so, is it not intellectually dishonest to attempt to divorce yourself from the violent tenants of Islam? Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means. That you personally do not advocate the violent overthrow of the world is a good thing. If you can adequately define what a "peaceful Muslim" is and how they are a driving force in Islam, I will consider posting your argument as an article. I value this discourse. I would value it more if your were not Anonymous.

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  10. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Muslims believe, or are supposed to believe, that God revealed himself to the prophets of the Jews and Christians and therefore accept the teachings of both the Jews and Christians. It is true that Muslims believe that Jews and Christians have strayed from God’s true faith but hold them with higher respect than an “unbeliever” and call them the “People of the Book“. They accept the belief of the Jews and Christians and do not try to interfere with their teachings. However, with the corruption of man, the interpretations of each holy book has been skewed which is the cause of the amazing animosity on each side. There are Muslims all over the world who NO ONE talks about. The extremists of Islam make up a very small minority of the faith as a whole. But unfortunately, the media has made is seem as though these extremists as the “driving force” of Islam.

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  11. Nadine7:05 PM

    Perhaps while sharing these ahadiths (plural of hadith) you should mention the strength of the isnad (chain) along with the historical context - the same applies to passages from the Qur'an. Certain quotes when taken out of context from the New Testament (and Old Testament) sound violent as well.

    With ahadith it is tricky. Not all are accepted as authentic so in order to make your argument you should at least share your source. Also, keep in mind that the accepted ahadith differ for Sunni Muslims and Shi'ite Muslims. So be careful before making any generalization.

    Is it not interesting that you focus so much on the passages on violence and completely ignore the ones that are positive and urge Muslims to be better human beings?

    Is it that you don't believe in "peaceful Muslims" or are you just biased against Islam and Muslims because of some personal reason?

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  12. Anonymous8:16 PM

    To Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae:

    What causes such animosity towards Muslims when such a small percent of them are the extremists you describe? And also, can you not give a chance to someone who willing and able to prove you wrong? Your post is extremely arrogant, especially when you cannot spell the Islamic prophet’s name correctly. And to be honest, it is quite childish to speak in such a manner without sources provided by a true Muslim, rather than an extremist.

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  13. They accept the belief of the Jews and Christians and do not try to interfere with their teachings.

    I'm afraid that's not entirely true. If this were true, they wouldn't be Muslim. They deny the divinity of Christ, they deny the real implications of the Incarnation, along with other important tenants of the Christian faith. Furthermore, they accept the words in the Bible only so long as it agrees with the Koran - hence Muslim theology is a system of circular logic of exegesis and esegesis.

    Mohammad was very peaceful from the outset of his ministry - precisely because he was surrounded by pagans and didn't have the strength. Passages in the Koran that were revealed near the end of his life (such as Surat 9) became much more warlike and hostile - precisely because he had the strength to do so.

    Furthermore, if they didn't try to interfere, why was this passage revealed in the Koran?

    O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. [Surat 5:51; Yusuf Ali translation]

    Furthermore, what of this passage from the previously mentioned Surat 9?

    Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. [Surat 9:29; YAT]

    Umar bin Al-Khattab later gave several demands to Christians and Jews, including banning of the erection of monasteries, churches, the restoration of churches, and publicized religious practices. This is far from not interfering with religious practices.

    With ahadith it is tricky. Not all are accepted as authentic so in order to make your argument you should at least share your source.

    I agree. However, all passages need to be treated this way. I have seen people say this for the questionable passages, but all the positive passages are quickly accepted. Yet even in Al-Bukhari's, which is considered one of the most accurate collections (sahih), we still find questionable decrees and statements from Mohammad and the first few Muslims. For example, in one Al-Bukhari hadith narrated by Ibn 'Umar, we have a recording of Umar bin Al-Khattab expelling Jews and Christians from Muslim lands and Mohammad on the verge of doing so.

    Is it not interesting that you focus so much on the passages on violence and completely ignore the ones that are positive and urge Muslims to be better human beings?

    If a sacred text has both, could we not argue a contradiction within the religion? Or if a leader orders horrible things one moment and peaceful things another, is there not a contradiction in his teachings? How can we ignore negative messages because someone said something nice?

    Yes, Mohammad did say some very nice things. However, can we rightfully ignore the teaching, "Oppress the unbelievers, even the people of the book," because out of the same mouth someone said, "Feed the poor"? With all due respect, that's a borderline non sequitor logical fallacy.

    Is it that you don't believe in "peaceful Muslims" or are you just biased against Islam and Muslims because of some personal reason?

    I'm sorry, but this is bear baiting, and doesn't add anything to the discussion.

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  14. Anonymous8:58 PM

    “From where does this statistic come, the few friends you have known If all follow the Qur'an which includes tenants of violent overthrow of non-Muslims, and the political leaders set the course for obedience and action, then those "nice" Muslims have little or no voice.”

    Of course they have no voice, the extremists are in power. Could you please quote the Quran in where it directs Muslims to violently overthrow the non-Muslims?

    “Gunned down by their own who held a different view of their faith.”

    Much like the wars between the Christians back in the time of the Catholic rule.

    Fact is, every religion has killed in the name of God or whoever it worships. Over time, each religion has progressed a certain amount reducing the numbers of those killed in God’s name. It’s just that the middle east is progressing so much more slowly than the rest of the world. Muslims are not the only people that have had the “get with it or die” attitude towards itself and it is disrespectful and manipulative to forget the past of every religion while taking one’s into account.

    “This is forced servitude to Allah, who is not the same God as Christianity as you previously proposed.”

    To a Muslim, Christians and Muslims worship the same God; however, Muslims do not believe in the trinity. The creator of man, all living things, and this world is the same, but in the eye’s of a Muslim, Jesus was not God nor is there a holy spirit for Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross. It is believed that Jesus was lifted up while being crucified in an attempt to make it seem his death came about but he will return for judgment day, not as a resurrection, but as a reoccurrence. For you to say they are not the same God is fine because it is your belief; however, the true Muslims believe so and wish to find a harmony between the two religions as fellow people of the book.

    Please do not be so judgmental and general when it comes to a religion. Does Christianity not have it’s many denominations who have their own belief? Islam is the same way. And to use the belief of one extremist group and label the rest of the Muslims, especially those that want peace, as war-makers is what causes these problems in the first place. This world will not know peace until religions can coexist without such hatred of one another. Yes there are extremists, but they are just the few anarchists of this world.

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  15. Anon and Others,
    Thanks for your contributions. It would behoove all of us to stick to topics and to refrain from issuing personal indictments such as "childish". For instance: I have found Vir to be well learned and well reasoned in his contributions on JTO. It is fair to assert that his IDEAS may be childish, etc. but personal indictments lack merit and diminish the argument. His use of "PC bull" is strong but it is commentary of a set of ideas. I would also hate to think that my own misspelling of a word/name would disqualify my entire intellect and right to input. The flurry of BLOG discourse allows for all of us to misspell upon occasion. One can argue that at least Vir posts his BLOG identity to what he writes rather than remaining "Anonymous".

    ANON,
    I value your opinion and am still awaiting a response to my questions after your first post. This is a golden opportunity to correct our reasoning and understanding of Islam. Here are the questions again:

    1. Do "true" Muslims believe the Qur'an and the words of Mohammad?

    2.Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means.

    3. If you can adequately define what a "peaceful Muslim" is and how they are a driving force in Islam, I will consider posting your argument as an article.

    4. Bonus Question: Follow-UP to question 1.
    How do Peaceful Muslims practically apply the words of Mohammad and the words of the Qur'an differently than Violent Muslims? (This seems to be the core of your argument that one group is true and the other is not. Your perspective on this would be very beneficial.)

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  16. The problem Orthodox Christians have with the "Peaceful Muslim" argument.

    "You are offered a gift of a beautiful white dove in a gilded cage. In the same cage, however, is a venomous snake. How does one receive such a gift?"

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  17. Anonymous4:55 PM

    "You are offered a gift of a beautiful white dove in a gilded cage. In the same cage, however, is a venomous snake. How does one receive such a gift?"

    Does the snake represent everything in the cage? No. With this analogy, I presume that the venomous snake represents the violent Muslims, the white dove represents the peaceful ones, and the cage itself is the religion as a whole. I appreciate the opportunity to help change your views because nothing is worse than one who does not know fully and will not allow any new information in. But the only problem with this analogy is that it basically says: Since the people of this religion are not all pure, how can we accept it at all? And, it says that the venomous snake is a part of the religion, where as it is not. The venomous snake was put into the cage which completely destroys the gift itself. Would God not protect you if you were to reach out in the name of peace? And if you do not reach out for the bird, are you consciously going to let the snake consume the bird while deeming it just as one of them? In essence what I’m saying is, if you have the chance for something as pure as the dove, but are too afraid to reach out for it, how is the dove at fault when the snake was put into the cage? Don’t punish the dove.

    “His use of "PC bull" is strong but it is commentary of a set of ideas.”

    The word “childish” is commentary of a set of ideas and actions also. For if one is to call a defense “bull” without proper evidence or even a chance for the other side to prove themselves, it is merely an attempt to intimidate and is unnecessary.

    “The flurry of BLOG discourse allows for all of us to misspell upon occasion.”

    Upon occasion? I have yet to see it spelled right, but for future reference. Muhammad.

    Would you rather me make up a fake name than be anonymous? For I do not see why my identity, as one that does not have a blog, would give any sort of merit to my view of the discourse, nor do I need to give any merit when the merit itself will be found in the religion’s true teachings. But before I get into your questions, one might ask me “How do you know this is the true teaching?”. Well, to anyone with this question, how do you know Orthodoxy is the true teaching of Christianity? No one does, but it is the belief of the majority which is the discourse I am trying to prove.

    1. Do "true" Muslims believe the Qur'an and the words of Muhammad?

    True Muslims believe the Quran and the words of God sent through Muhammad. One could argue then that every word that came out of Muhammad’s mouth was a word of God. It is not. The Quran is followed completely but Muslims believe that Muhammad was just a regular man who was made a prophet as a messenger from God.

    2.Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means.

    I need you to rephrase this question. Does this mean “In which country are peaceful Muslims dominant in political power?” or “In which country are the peaceful Muslims dominant by percent of Muslims in the area?” because there is a huge difference. I must repost again so I can build up a list for the regions but for starters Indonesia became a primarily Muslim nation through conversion much like as a Christian missionary will go to other lands to convert people, not through war.

    3. If you can adequately define what a "peaceful Muslim" is and how they are a driving force in Islam, I will consider posting your argument as an article.

    A peaceful Muslim? Is there a true difference between a peaceful Muslim and a peaceful person? A true peaceful Muslim accepts Christians and Jews for their faith because they are “People of the book” and are follows of God also. All monotheistic religions look down upon religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism so I have no need to defend them although many Muslims, Christians, and Jews accept them for who they are and believe they will be judged accordingly, is this the peace you speak of? Or is the definition of peace you ask for one more directed at a Muslim that doesn’t make war. If so, then that’s the answer. One that does not use force to influence religion. Feel free to restate a question in this regard for I do not feel that I have answered it properly for the wording is somewhat vague. I also need a definition of driving force. For if you mean a leader, then the only peaceful leaders are the Imams in the thousands of Mosques on the planet. These “Muslim leaders” you speak of do not exist. Only the owners of political power in Muslim nations exist, and they are the Muslim equivalent to the Pope or any other religion’s leader. Muslim do not have a leader, although at once one was wanted. The reason they do not is what caused the separation of the Sunni and Shi’ite.

    4. How do Peaceful Muslims practically apply the words of Muhammad and the words of the Qur'an differently than Violent Muslims? (This seems to be the core of your argument that one group is true and the other is not. Your perspective on this would be very beneficial.)

    A peaceful Muslim is just that. One is peaceful while showing their religion to other people but not forcing it or “jamming it down there throat” like many people on both sides of the discourse do. He is supposed to accept those that worship God, especially Christians, for the Quran speaks of the Biblical stories of the bible but do not go into detail, so a Muslim must go to the bible to learn more. A peaceful Muslim does what he can to bring peace through acceptance and spreading his word peacefully, without violence, much like Satyagraha taught by Ghandi. A violent Muslim has the attitude of “You’re with us or against us” just as many Christians do, in which I’ll merit the Christian side for no longer becoming violent. I myself am a Muslim but feel the want to look down upon the violent extremists for they are the media’s attention and bring terrible connotations to the word “Muslim”. Yes Muslims have been violent in the past, but what religion hasn’t? A peaceful Muslim is no different than a peaceful Christian. One that is accepting of other religions, even though they might not follow it. A person that does not try to force their faith upon anyone, but acknowledges them of the truth. Feel free to ask more in detail.

    “The problem Orthodox Christians have with the "Peaceful Muslim" argument.”

    Does you speak for all Orthodox Christians? I do believe you also said “Learn from history and do not be deceived by the recent academic voices in Orthodoxy and elsewhere, advocating the tragically erroneous view that Islam is peaceful…”. I do not know who said that since I do not follow up on Orthodox leaders, but in an article not long after I read “We have been betrayed as Orthodox Christians by our own leaders not to mention others, whom we have trusted for the well-being of our souls.” So your leaders, Orthodox Christians who have worked hard to attain their status, have deemed Muslim as peaceful, yet here you generalize all Orthodox Christians to have problems with the “Peaceful Muslim” argument. I have trouble understanding why you see your leaders as deceitful.

    P.S. Antagonizing words will antagonize. Don’t expect them to not.

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  18. You are possibly one of the most closed-minded people I have ever come across in my life. Do you think you are really any better than muslims? Do you really think that every muslim is a horrible person because of the actions of a few? Your attitude proves that you are hypocritical and not following the love and compassion described in your religion.

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  19. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Apologies

    "Only the owners of political power in Muslim nations exist, and they are the Muslim equivalent to the Pope or any other religion’s leader."

    I misread my type. It should say:

    Only the owners of political power in Muslim nations exist, and they are not the Muslim equivalent to the Pope or any other religion's leader.

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  20. Brooke,
    I notice you are in Communications/Media and are an Editor. We are in the same field. Surely you agree that to have an opinion is not "close minded". The absence of invitation to dialogue is being "close minded". The very nature of this current open discourse displays a willingness to understand views. (Please Read The CyVan Syndrome post for my commentary on those who see with only one eye or listen with only one ear.)

    Please allow me to answer the presumptive questions you presented:

    "Do you think you are really any better than muslims?"
    Answer: No. I am a sinner and sign all my posts as such.

    "Do you really think that every muslim is a horrible person because of the actions of a few?"
    Answer: No I don't and have not stated such.

    Here is what you, as a former Christian, may have missed along the way. Jesus said, "I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life and no man comes to the Father except he comes through me." He didn't say "A Way..." He did not hold to the modern Politically Correct view that all religions are acceptable and all will get to God in their own way. Was this unloving and "close minded" of Him or was he intending to save the souls of lost humanity. Was Jesus unloving and close minded when he took a whip to the money changers in the temple and overturned their tables? There is only one way to God and it is through Jesus Christ. Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus and says there is another way to God. It is a spiritually barren path that leads to destruction. Islam of course says they are the true religion. The topic of this discussion is whether or not Islam converts through peaceful means. I have an opinion. Obviously you do as well. I hope you will participate further. Please forgive me a sinner.

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  21. Sher Khan11:23 AM

    1. Do "true" Muslims believe the Qur'an and the words of Muhammad?
    In Islam there are 2 main sects (there are various more but I don’t plan on discussing them all as I don’t have knowledge of them) Sunni and Shi’a. I would like to discuss Sunnis as I am one of them. Sunnis have 4 schools of thought, Hanafi, Malaki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali. Hanafi emphasizes Sunnath and the Qur’an through a logical standpoint. Malaki trust more in the Hadiths, Shafi’I form analogies between the Qur’an the Hadiths and other situations. Hanbali follows a stricter interpretation of the Qur’an and the Hadiths.

    Whichever of these the person can relate to, is what they normally choose to follow. Truth is subjective. Everyone thinks they are the truth and others false. In my opinion, the true Muslim follows logic and the Qur’an. If a man attacks you, do you turn the other cheek? In theory, perhaps this sounds good. In reality, heck no. In reality if a man attacks you, you defend yourself by whatever means necessary. That is what the Qur’an preaches: Do no harm to the innocents, but when you are faced with your own destruction or the destruction of your religion, bring war upon them. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth”

    2.Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means.
    The Philippines. But you speak of Islam as if it is a country. Just a little fun fact for you; the Middle East didn’t become predominantly Muslim until after the Crusades in which people saw the violence of the Pope and his followers.
    The rest of your questions are answered above and below, just have sift through the words for the pearls.
    You say look towards history, so I will. Let’s take a look at the Ottoman Empire. Just to refresh your memory, in Eastern Europe we had the Catholic Church, after Italy, we had the Byzantines and then we had the Ottomans. After the Great Schism, the Orthodoxy set up shop in Anatolia/ Constantinople under the Byzantines. The Orthodoxy asked for aid from the East against the invading Muslims, and what did they get? In the fourth crusade the crusaders sacked Constantinople and killed many inside its walls. When the Ottomans had spread into Anatolia, what did they do to the Orthodox Christians? I’ll tell you what, allowed them to live in their lands peacefully. The Ottomans gave these Christians opportunities to advance through the empire as janissaries. In the 15th century, when Mehmet II took Constantinople, did he do as the crusaders did and slay many of the inhabitants? On the contrary, Mehmet II allowed them to once again live peacefully in their own town, and to help him govern it. Mehmet raised Scholarius as the patriarch. Instead of forcing Muslim laws onto these Christians, he inducted the Millet system and allowed them to govern themselves. (Millets are organizations religious and geographically based that were allowed to constitute their own laws while living inside the Ottoman Empire) These Ottomans were far more tolerant than the Christians were of them. Foreigners were given immunity while living in the Ottoman Empire.

    You tell me who’s more peaceful: the Crusaders who murder their own fellow Christians for having differing views or the Muslim invaders who allowed the Christians to follow their own views and keep their own established religions.

    As far as Jihad goes, you simply don’t understand what Jihad is and refuse to try to. Fanatics can give meaning to whatever words they please, but that does not make them the norm. Jihad has 2 sides: lesser and greater. Lesser Jihad is the one you speak of when you mention war. Lesser Jihad is to be used as a defense. These fanatics and extremists take cultural imperialism and think of it as an attack on their religion.

    Greater Jihad is the attempt to purify one’s soul. When scholars speak of the importance of Jihad, this is the Jihad they are speaking about.

    As far as Islamic leaders go, who are these leaders? How do they come to power? Before you speak of their views and quote what they say, find that out. Self proclaimed leaders of Islam are no more leaders of Islam than I am of Christianity.

    “The true servants of Allah are those who behave gently and with humility, and whenever the foolish quarrel with them, they reply with [words of] peace.” “Respond to an evil deed with something good and see how someone who is separated from you because of enmity becomes a dear friend.”

    ..right…no concept of turning the other cheek.

    “My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people” (from a Christian leader)
    1. What religion was Jesus?
    A man becomes a leader by how many people believe in him, this does not mean he is a true leader. It just means the people who believe him, believe he is their leader.

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  22. I have been inundated with lengthy comments from Muslims and non-religious as well. Give me a little time to respond. FYI: I do not post comments that contain personally derogatory or uncivil remarks. These responses lend nothing to the discussion.

    Please remember also that JTO is an independent blog which focuses on issues concerning a person's Journey To Orthodoxy. Thus, it is a given that JTO will present the truth from that perspective. To suggest erroneously that JTO is "close minded" is to ignore the fact that JTO engages opposing views and welcomes guest from all religions and no religions. It also ignores the fact that JTO critiques its own Orthodox faith and practices as it applies to the world in which we live.

    To continue the discussion I have posted below this very well reasoned and thorough response from Sher Khan. I find it a good basis for dialogue and understanding of the Muslim perspective. Thanks to Sher Khan for answering with respect the questions I posed.

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  23. Anonymous10:13 AM

    If you are going to refuse the posting of a comment, could you please post a comment saying why it was refused. A few offensive remarks should not be enough to reject and entire argument. For when put into a Muslim's perspective, this argument was incited by calling Islam violent, which is a terrible insult to a peaceful person.

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  24. In my opinion, the true Muslim follows logic and the Qur’an. If a man attacks you, do you turn the other cheek? In theory, perhaps this sounds good. In reality, heck no. In reality if a man attacks you, you defend yourself by whatever means necessary. That is what the Qur’an preaches: Do no harm to the innocents, but when you are faced with your own destruction or the destruction of your religion, bring war upon them. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth”

    I agree that the holy text of a religion as well as what their original followers believed is what is important (Mohammad, after all, said to follow the example of the first generation of Muslims). Despite that, one can still find the Koran in hot water.

    You state that it is impossible for a person to turn the other cheek. Well, then we must admit that Christ was foolish for suggesting that. Yet is it impossible? Most of the saints managed to do so. I remember one story of a monk whose house was broken into by burglars: he immediately grabbed an axe to attack them, but, remembering the words of our Lord, held his hand. The burglars immediately attacked him, beating him up. They were caught and he was brought in as a witness - he dropped all charges. The robbers were so taken by this that they themselves became Christians. Likewise, a famous story involves a monk whose home was raided by robbers who forgot to take his walking cane: he rode after them and gave it to them, and the robbers were so taken by his selflessness and humility that they too became Christian. Humility is a hard road, but this is why Christ instructed us to enter through the narrow door. As Fr. Seraphim Rose said, "Suffering is an indication of another Kingdom which we look to. If being Christian meant being 'happy' in this life, we wouldn’t need the Kingdom of Heaven."

    But returning to the Koran, it is interesting to note how passages revealed during Mohammad's time in Mecca taught this kind of Christ-like endurance of suffering, yet when he moved to Medina and had a sizable force to back himself up he revealed passages regarding self-defense. Many of these passages are mistaken for holy war when they are indeed about self-defense - I agree with you on that. However, the one passage you quoted (which I believe is Surat 9:29, which I quoted earlier) seems to me an example of holy war. If it is 9:29 (and if it isn't my apologies) you left out a part at the end.

    "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [Surat 9:29; YAT]

    You are not fighting those who have pushed you out, or those who are making war against you - on the contrary, you're fighting them because they don't follow Mohammad (even if they are Jews or Christians). And you don't stop fighting until they stop fighting you, but instead when they agree to taxation and humiliation (again, even if they are Jews or Christians). This seems counter to the claim that war in the Koran is entirely self-defense. As I stated earlier, Surat 9 was one of the last pieces of scripture revealed by Mohammad, and it was revealed when he had taken Mecca and was at the height of his power.

    Just a little fun fact for you; the Middle East didn’t become predominantly Muslim until after the Crusades in which people saw the violence of the Pope and his followers.

    I don't understand how that could be true, given that by the 10th century AD (the fourth Islamic century), well under 100 years before the first crusade was launched, Muslims owned all the lands from Spain through Northern Africa, most of what is today the Middle East (with the exception of most of Turkey) and even into Iran and Afghanistan. Three of the holy sees in Christendom (Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria) all fell in the 7th century, while Constantinople itself was besieged by Muslims in the late 7th and early 8th centuries (both times failures, of course).

    You say look towards history, so I will. Let’s take a look at the Ottoman Empire. Just to refresh your memory, in Eastern Europe we had the Catholic Church, after Italy, we had the Byzantines and then we had the Ottomans. After the Great Schism...

    Before the schism we had one Church - the holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Even in Orthodox liturgies today we call ourselves "catholic." Catholic simply means unified.

    There was a conflict of interest between Rome and Constantinople in the Balkans (one of the reasons for the Great Schism), but the Roman Church as a whole did not have a grip on this part of eastern Europe until later.

    After the Great Schism, the Orthodoxy set up shop in Anatolia/ Constantinople under the Byzantines.

    This couldn't have happened "after the Great Schism," because the Orthodox were already there. Constantinople was built by Constantine in 330 AD and was deemed by the Second Ecumenical council in 381 AD to be the second highest holy see in Christendom. The Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD. The Christians in Constantinople before and after the Schism were the same Christians, but had lost their communion with Rome. That was all.

    The Orthodoxy asked for aid from the East against the invading Muslims, and what did they get? In the fourth crusade the crusaders sacked Constantinople and killed many inside its walls.

    I assume you mean the west. The east was inhabited by pagans, who had been at war with the Byzantine Empire for years (and hence why Islam spread so rapidly).

    The Ottomans gave these Christians opportunities to advance through the empire as janissaries.

    They didn't give them "opportunities"...the Janissaries were forced into service and forced to confess Islam as their faith.

    On the contrary, Mehmet II allowed them to once again live peacefully in their own town, and to help him govern it.

    Mehmet II converted the Hagia Sophia, one of the most important churches in Christianity, into a mosque. Everything inside - the bells, the icons, etc - were removed or even whited out. Imagine if Crusaders had taken Mecca and converted the Kaaba into a church, taking out any sign Islam had been there. Imagine if Saudi Arabia was today a Christian country and, at best, the Kaaba was just a museum for tourists to gawk at. Then imagine how it would feel if Christians said the crusaders who took Mecca had been religiously tolerant. Understandably, you would feel frustrated.

    These Ottomans were far more tolerant than the Christians were of them. Foreigners were given immunity while living in the Ottoman Empire.

    Under certain sultans, yes. However, the Ottomans were not free of intolerance. Between 1453 (the fall of Constantinople) and 1828 (the end of the Greek war for independence) over 11 ecumenical patriarchs, 100 bishops, and several thousand priests, deacons and monks were martyred. Massive amounts of forced conversions were recorded under the reigns of Selim I, Selim II and Murat III, just to name a few.

    In the 17th century many churches in lands acquired by the Ottomans were converted to mosques, and in some places Christians had to worship in secret as they did under the pagan Roman Empire. By the 19th century it was well known that Christians couldn't even have bells or songs played. This doesn't cover the fact that, according to Muslim law even found within the Koran, Christians and Jews were paying much higher taxes than their Muslim counterparts (remember Surat 9:29).

    Self proclaimed leaders of Islam are no more leaders of Islam than I am of Christianity.

    I agree with that too. However, what should be discussed is where they are getting their source material. What does the source really say. What did Mohammad and the first generation of Muslims teach?

    “The true servants of Allah are those who behave gently and with humility, and whenever the foolish quarrel with them, they reply with [words of] peace.” “Respond to an evil deed with something good and see how someone who is separated from you because of enmity becomes a dear friend.”

    ..right...no concept of turning the other cheek.


    Earlier you had stated that the concept of turning the other cheek was unrealistic, and that the Koran taught self-defense. Are these Islamic leaders then unrealistic? Do they preach something contrary to the Koran? I only ask this so we can remain consistent.

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  25. Anon,
    Your posts were not the motivation for my encouragement toward civility. (Although using the word "arrogant" and sarcastically rebuking someone's spelling is not the most civil.) I have posted all but one of your comments. I don't usually post comments until I have time to respond and yours are not brief. I have made an exception here and posted your arguments so that others may respond. However, the meritorious and thorough response of Tony-Allen has beaten me to the punch in many points.

    More to come...

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  26. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I'll apologize for the sarcasm spelling because it's a common error and I am not here to display anger or angst.

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  27. Anon,
    A gracious comment and well received. Thank you.

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  28. Anonymous4:50 PM

    Before I go into anything else, in a response to Tony-Allen, just as the Quran may have some violent passages, please explain this:

    “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. “
    Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-5

    Keep in mind that I am under the impression those opposing my argument of peace believe we do not worship the same God. I have also been told this by Orthodox Christians. I do not post this to prove Christianity is a violent religion, I just wish to prove that religions evolve over time and learn to interpret their faith differently, not to be politically correct, but to bring peace to the world. Unless of course this passage is perfect and you would indeed stone me to death?

    I am not very knowledgeable about the history of both religions but I do know that each has shown it’s share of violence. One should not disregard that fact. If need be, I will research to further help Sher Khan’s side of the argument.

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  29. Anon and others,
    Get a Google account and at least you can sign in with an identifiable blog name and have a profile which you can give as little or as much information about yourself as you wish. No one is requesting to know your real name, it is just that many people sign in as anonomous and it would be good to know if it is you or not. Your call.

    "Indonesia" as an answer to my question:

    "Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means."

    While it may be true that Muslims in Indonesia became enough of a majority to be the dominant force, it is not true that it has been peaceful. Violent persecution of Christians is common. One of our own local American priests was recently held hostage along with the Indonesian priest and parishioners as their temple was surrounded by armed Muslim militants. We held a prayer vigil and prayed that they all would not become one of the mounting statistics of Christians massacred and churches burned by this "peaceful religion."

    Indonesia: (AP) Agence France Presse reported last month on an attack by the Islamic Anti-Apostate Movement, who stormed a church service in a Protestant church in the West Java town of Soreang. The AFP report notes that more than 30 churches have been forced to close in West Java and dozens more throughout the country in recent years due to Muslim violence, churches which were among the few spared during the outbreak of hostilities during 1997-1998, where hundreds of Christian churches were burned to the ground and never rebuilt.

    I assume you would say these were the "untrue" Muslims and you are the "true." Yet you move together, you take over nations together, but you want to be considered totally separate from them. Some say the Moderate Muslims, who seem to be those who don't advocate violence, are the majority in Indonesia, yet, how effective is it to be the majority if you are driven by what you have referenced as the "violent minority". (You took issue with my dove and snake illustration. You miss the point when you say "don't punish the dove". The dove has a venomous snake for a cage mate and expects everyone to ignore the snake and see the good in the dove?) The word "minority" loses its meaning in the face of 500,000 gathered in one place chanting "Allah Akbar," or "God is Great," "Jihad!", "Death to all Christians," "Burn the churches!", "Death to the Crusaders" and carrying a banner which reads: "Tolerance is nonsense. Slaughter the Christians". These aren't just chants. They are doing it. We are seeing our Orthodox brothers slaughtered by the thousands all over the world. (Snake)

    As a rebuttal to my bringing attention to this violence and stating the Islam is not a friend to Christianity, you have given the worn out example of Catholics and the Crusades. So when were the Crusades again? 933 years ago?

    Is this not likened to the "childish" retort, "He hit me too"? (Thank you for the liberty to use that word. Since you have deemed it civil and appropriate I trust you will not be offended by my suing it.) I understand your point that Islam has sects that aren't the "true". Orthodox are often lumped in with Catholicism though we have had separate histories and theology for over a thousand years.

    In any case, it's hard to find a significant number in any Christian sect throughout 2000 years of history who have so perverted the Bible and the words of Christ to justify the mass murder of millions of infidels because they are non-Christian.

    Jesus changed "eye for an eye" to "love your enemy". "If someone slaps you on your right cheek, offer him your left one..." His kingdom was the Kingdom of Heaven not kingdoms of this world. Islam on the other hand...

    From:
    www.americanthinker.com

    Iraq: In the current issue of the American Spectator, Doug Bandow observes that centuries of dhimmitude have left Christians in the war-torn country without any means of self-defense. Washington policymakers have refused to lend assistance for fear of showing partiality, despite the murder of hundreds of Iraqi Christians, the kidnapping and torture of Christian clerics, the repeated bombings of Christian churches, the torching of Christian businesses, and the flight of close to half of the entire Iraqi Christian population since April 2003. Those who remain have been subject to the imposition of shari'a by the Shi'ite Mahdi Army and Sunni militias (al-Qaeda doesn't bother with such niceties, preferring to murder them immediately instead), including the recent published threat in Mosul of killing one member of every Christian family in that city for Christian women not wearing the hijab and continuing to attend school. (Be sure to remember that the next time an Islamist apologist claims that the hijab is a symbol of women's liberation.)

    Egypt: Journalist Magdi Khalil chronicles in a new report ("Another Black Friday for the Coptic Christians of Egypt") the campaign of violence directed against Christian Copts almost weekly immediately following Friday afternoon Muslim prayers. Inspired by Islamist imams preaching religious hatred in mosques all over the country and protected by government officials willing to look the other way, rampaging mobs of Muslims set upon Christians churches, businesses and individuals, from Alexandria to cities all the way up the Nile. Coptic holy days are also favorite times for Muslim violence, which the Egyptian media likes to describe as "sectarian strife" - as if it were actually a two-sided affair.

    Gaza: Ethel Fenig recently noted here at American Thinker ("More Gaza Multiculturalism") the systematic destruction of churches and desecration of Christian religious objects by Jihadia Salafiya following the HAMAS takeover of the Gaza Strip from their Fatah rivals and the imposition of Islamic rule. The head of Jihadia Salafiya told reporter Aaron Klein that any suspected Christian missionary activity in the area will be "dealt with harshly". (Ynet News)

    Saudi Arabia: According to the Arab News, a Sri Lankan Christian man barely escaped with his life in late May when he was found working in the city of Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which is officially barred to non-Muslims. In December, an Indian man had been sentenced to death for accidentally entering the city, but was spared after the Indian embassy made an urgent appeal to the Saudi Supreme Court.

    Pakistan: In Islamabad, Younis Masih was sentenced last month to death under the country's frequently invoked blasphemy laws, which were also used against six Christian women suspended from a nursing school after they were accused of desecrating a Quran. And as protests against Salman Rushdie's knighthood raged, a Muslim mob armed with guns, axes and sticks attacked Christians worshipping in a Salvation Army church in Bismillahlpur Kanthan. (Associated Press; United Press International; Mission News Network)

    Bangladesh: Almost a dozen Christian converts in the Nilphamari district were beaten last week by Muslim villagers wielding bricks and clubs, and threatened with death if they did not leave town immediately. Local hospitals subsequently refused them treatment. Christians in the area have also been prevented from using the only potable water well in the area after a pronouncement by religious authorities at the mosque in Durbachari. This came after 42 former Muslims were baptized as Christians in the local river on June 12. (Compass News Direct)

    Malaysia: Government authorities demolished a church building on June 4th in Orang Asli settlement in Gua Musang in Ulu Kelantan, despite prior government approval of the project. The church was built on donated property after the entire village had converted to Christianity just a few months ago. Also in late May, the Malaysian high court ruled that Muslims who convert to Christianity must appeal to the religious shari'a courts to officially be deregistered as Muslims and reregistered as a Christians. (Journal Chretien; Associated Press)

    Indonesia: Agence France Presse reported last month on an attack by the Islamic Anti-Apostate Movement, who stormed a church service in a Protestant church in the West Java town of Soreang. The AFP report notes that more than 30 churches have been forced to close in West Java and dozens more throughout the country in recent years due to Muslim violence, churches which were among the few spared during the outbreak of hostilities during 1997-1998, where hundreds of Christian churches were burned to the ground and never rebuilt.

    Turkey: The Christian community is still reeling from the torture and ritual slaughter of three Protestants at a Christian publishing house in Malatya in April by an armed Islamist gang, which was preceded by the murder last year of Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in Trabzon and the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul in January. An additional six men allegedly associated with the same Muslim gang were arrested on May 30th for plotting an attack on a Christian pastor in Diyarbakir. (Lebanon Daily Star; ADKNI)

    Cyprus: The Cyprus Mail reports that during a meeting last month in Rome the Archbishop of the Cypriot Greek Orthodox Church pleaded with the Vatican Secretary of State for the Pope's assistance to pressure Turkish authorities in restoring and repairing Christian sites and churches in areas occupied since the invasion of the island nation by Turkey in July 1974 and the ethnic cleansing of 160,000 Greek Christian Cypriots.

    Lebanon: More than 60,000 Christians have left the country since last summer's war between Hezbollah and Israel, fearing the rise of both Sunni and Shi'ite extremism and terrorist activity. The Sunday Telegraph recently revealed the results of a poll finding that at least half of Lebanon's Maronite community were considering leaving the country. More than 100,000 have already submitted visa applications at foreign embassies.

    Algeria: In what is considered one of the more "moderate" Muslim regimes, Al-Quds Al-Arabi announced that the Algerian government has just issued regulations requiring advance permission for non-Muslim public events, following a 2006 law aimed at limiting Christian evangelism in the Kabylia region and the Sahara. (MEMRI )

    Morocco: In the country that The Economist magazine in 2005 anointed "the best Arab democracy", all Moroccans are considered Muslims at birth and face three years in prison if they attempt to convert. They are also prohibited from entering any of the few churches permitted to operate for the foreign inhabitants of the country. Moroccan Christians must operate covertly for fear of imprisonment by the government and attacks by Islamists. They cannot bury their dead in Christian cemeteries, and they must be married by Islamic authorities or face charges of adultery. Late last year, a 64 year-old German tourist, Sadek Noshi Yassa, was sentenced to six months in jail and fined for missionary activity. (Journal Chretien)

    Nigeria: Police in Gombe arrested sixteen suspects after a Muslim mob stoned, stripped, beat, and finally stabbed to death a Christian teacher, Christiana Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin, after she caught a student cheating on an exam in March. Her body was then burned beyond recognition by the mob who falsely accused her of desecrating a Quran. The suspects were released last month without any charges being filed, prompting Christian leaders to accuse government authorities of a cover-up and raising concerns about additional attacks. (Christian Today)

    Eritrea: Just a few weeks ago, the Islamic government installed a new Orthodox Patriarch after they removed the previous Patriarch and placed him under house arrest for no stated reason. Compass News Direct reported in February the death of Magos Solomon Semere, a Christian who had been imprisoned in a military jail for four and a half years for illegal Christian worship, the third Christian to die in government custody since October. Authorities have also cracked down on unapproved churches, jailing at least two thousand Protestants and members of the Medhane Alem Orthodox renewal movement since the beginning of the year and publicly burning confiscated Bibles. (Christian Post; Compass News Direct ; Journal Chretien)

    But, all this is done by the false Muslims not the true ones? I get the argument, although the argument is not convincing. I am grateful, however, for all of the Peaceful Muslims across the world who "allow" Christians to live...unless they offend Islam...

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  30. In response to Anon:

    Before I go into anything else, in a response to Tony-Allen, just as the Quran may have some violent passages, please explain this: [quote from Deuteronomy]

    Well first I have to say you are presenting a straw-man. The discussion here is Islam, and therefore the Koran and life of Mohammad. This similar type of argument was used by Muslim debater Nadir Ahmed against Christian debater Sam Shamoun in the debate "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" Sam Shamoun defeated this line of thinking by pointing out two things:

    1) This was not the topic of the debate - Christianity could be a horrible religion (and I realize you say you are not trying to prove that, but I speak for the sake of discussion), however this does not OK Islam being a horrible religion as well. It's what Chris Rock made fun of in his famous "n-word" stand-up, where he said, "Some people say, 'Oh they're messed up, we can be messed up too!' That's ignorant!" It's known as a non-sequitor logical fallacy, and it doesn't prove a person's point, it just seeks to place the focus on something else.
    2) When the Jews in Medina submitted to Jewish law and were killed off, Mohammad confirmed to the person who made the decision that his decision was by the law of God. In other words, Muslims who quickly quote Deuteronomy to say Christianity or Judaism is more violent than Islam are in fact contradicted by their own prophet, who said that he was OK with those passages.

    While I recognize Nadir Ahmed is hated by his own Muslim brothers and sisters (and rightfully so!) I mention him only because this type of debate tactic has come up before. In response to the passage, however, the goal was to create a holy people for the Lord - but the Jews had forgotten what the SPIRIT of the Law was, and so they were stoning people who really didn't deserve this. The famous story of the woman caught in adultery is a fine example of this: if a woman was caught in adultery, both her and the man had to be stoned, yet the people were targeting only the woman. They had forgotten who the real Judge of a man's heart was, and had themselves become judges. This is why Christ gives His famous line, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    I just wish to prove that religions evolve over time and learn to interpret their faith differently, not to be politically correct, but to bring peace to the world.

    If it is true that religions "evolve over time," does that mean the Muslims today know more than the Muslims in the 600's? That they know more than the first generation of Muslims who were companions of Mohammad? Does that mean they know more than Mohammad himself?

    I have done nothing but quote the Koran and reliable hadiths regarding the actions and teachings of Mohammad and his prophets. I haven't quoted Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, or other extremist groups - I went to the source of the matter.

    I am not very knowledgeable about the history of both religions but I do know that each has shown it’s share of violence.

    Again, this straw-man of "Christians have done violent things too!" doesn't work, and sounds as if the person is saying, "Well Christians were violent, so Muslims can be violent too!" Although I am not suggesting that is what you are arguing, I am stating that what the founders of the faith and what their immediate followers do is what is important. The fact is that you find Christ forgiving those who killed him and submitting to His Father's will - likewise, you see the apostles (ALL of them) forgiving those who persecute them and submitting to the will of their Lord and God. Paul and Peter both wrote that slaves should submit even to abusive masters, and that if you lived in a country that persecuted you or was corrupt that you should pray for your leaders. That is what true Christianity is. Therefore when we read in the Koran that even People of the Book will be fought against and subjected to Islamic rule, and we find Mohammad and his followers forcing Christians and Jews into submission through war and taxation, how are we supposed to take it?

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  31. Anon, I spent nine months of last year in an audio studio producing an entire version of the Bible on to audio CD. The narrator read the scripture word for word as I focused to make sure every single word was recorded accurately. I was struck by how often God Himself, required that entire peoples be slaughtered. The stated reason for such was the Creator's desire to protect the Hebrew people from being destroyed by the same pagans and worshipers of other Gods. The Old Testament is a testament to the workings of Yahweh in the lives of the Hebrew people throughout history. They lived by a very strict code of law from conduct and codes to dietary and marriage.

    Jesus, God in the flesh, came not to abolish the law but to "fulfill" it. It was a new time and a new way to live without the death penalty that accompanied disobeying the law. The way of Christ is a way of peace and forgiveness not only to be obtained but for Christians to extend to others. Christians do not follow the way of violence or forced conversion. It is a matter of the heart that all men must receive Jesus as God willingly. In this it is faith.

    To quote from the Old Testament in relation to Christianity today, one must understand what the New Testament is. There is an Old Testament and there is a New Testament. They both have a purpose and message for their time in the relations of humanity.

    Have you read the New Testament? It is the book by which Christians apply their lives today. I am reading the Islamic texts including the words of the Prophet and will continue to.

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  32. I have made a blog name so we can move on from that subject in regard to me.

    “The dove has a venomous snake for a cage mate and expects everyone to ignore the snake and see the good in the dove?”

    So the dove is to blame for the venomous snake? Maybe I mistook your analogy. Perhaps the dove signifies the good parts of a religion, not the people, and the snake represents the bad parts. If this is the case then I ask you: Why should anyone accept Christianity for only it’s good sides? Christianity is perfect and has no faults I presume?

    “how effective is it to be the majority if you are driven by what you have referenced as the "violent minority".”

    Why do you keep saying that the peaceful Muslims are driven by the extremists? The only way to deal with an extremist is through violence, as deemed by the United States of America with the war in Iraq, and what would that do? HEADLINE: MUSLIMS CONTINUE TO KILL EACH OTHER! Peaceful Muslims cannot fight back with violence and do not have the political power to fight back through reason. Effective? Effective towards what? Expunging the extremists from the future? Effective at changing the worlds mindset towards Islam? How can we change the worlds view if when the only time we do speak up, we are regarded (not only by the extremists) as poor Muslims that do not know their faith.

    “I get the argument, although the argument is not convincing. I am grateful, however, for all of the Peaceful Muslims across the world who "allow" Christians to live...unless they offend Islam…”

    The article that has started this conversation has offended me, a follower of Islam, yet you do not see me threatening your life in anyway. Am I, or any other Muslim that has posted on this, not physical proof that this is false? We do not hold your life in our hands as you make it sound. Once again, there are the extremists that do so, but that does not regard the teachings of Islam. A violent passage from the Quran does not mean the Muslims are taught so just as the passage from Deuteronomy I presented does not represent the violence of a Christian or Jew.


    Indonesia: Taken from http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/indonesia/pro-history.htm

    “Moslem merchants from Gujarat and Persia began visiting Indonesia in the 13th Century and established trade links between this country and India and Persia. Along with trade, they propagated Islam among the Indonesian people, particularly along the coastal areas of Java, like Demak. At a later stage they even influenced and converted Hindu kings to Islam, the first being the Sultan of Demak. This Moslem Sultan later spread Islam westwards to Cirebon and Banten, and eastward along the northern coast of Java to the kingdom of Gresik. In the end, he brought the downfall of the powerful kingdom of Majapahit (1293-1520).
    After the fall of Majapahit, Islam spread further east to where the sultanates of Bone and Goa in Sulawesi were established. Also under the influence of Islam, were the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in Maluku.”


    “I assume you would say these were the "untrue" Muslims and you are the "true." Yet you move together, you take over nations together, but you want to be considered totally separate from them.”

    I’m not going to deny that there are still incidents of prejudice on either side of the spectrum, and I also won’t deny that Muslims are on the more violent side, but you just called me out as being a part of the violent side of Islam. Do you reject the fact that there are peaceful Muslims then? What country have I taken over? What act of violence have I done? Granted you don’t know who I am or know my past, but I can assure you I have not shown any sort of animosity towards any other faith. I know what you mean, you mean to say that we, as Muslims, will go into a country at the same time while the peaceful Muslims just watch as the violent Muslims destroy the country in order to gain power. Yes? So you mean to say that the peaceful Muslims are siding with the violent ones so that they can gain land to live on. Please provide proof of this with resources. Peaceful Muslims and violent Muslims do not move together and do not associate themselves with each other.

    “The word "minority" loses its meaning in the face of 500,000 gathered in one place chanting "Allah Akbar," or "God is Great," "Jihad!", "Death to all Christians," "Burn the churches!", "Death to the Crusaders" and carrying a banner which reads: "Tolerance is nonsense. Slaughter the Christians".”

    According to http://www.harpers.org/archive/2006/07/sb-al-qaeda-new-members-badly-needed-1151963690

    “Documents discovered by the joint task force, Cloonan said, showed that Al Qaeda had 72 members when it was founded in 1989. Twelve years later, the task force got its hands on an updated membership list after a CIA Predator destroyed a building near Kabul during the American invasion of Afghanistan. The membership list was discovered in the rubble, along with dozens of casualties, including Mohammed Atef, one of bin Laden's closest aides. It showed that bin Laden had a grand total of precisely 198 sworn loyalists. (Hirsh's Newsweek article said that the intelligence community “generally agrees that the number of true A-list Al Qaeda operatives” at the time of 9/11 probably between 500 and 1,000, most of them in and around Afghanistan.)”

    How about I multiply this number by ten for good measure of the past 8 years?

    ( 10,000 members of Al Qaeda ) / (1,200,000,000 total Muslims ) x 100 = .000833% of the entire Muslim population

    500,000 gathered in one place? Ok. Basically the entire population of Luxembourg in terms of Muslim extremists gathered in one place. There are roughly 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Even with your outrageous exaggeration, we come up with these numbers:

    ( 500,000 extremist Muslims ) / ( 1,200,000,000 total Muslims) x 100= .0417% of the entire Muslim population. Majority? I think not. The word “minority” only loses its meaning when you have people that can’t take an entire religion into perspective and wish to deem them all violent to promote their own.

    “As a rebuttal to my bringing attention to this violence and stating the Islam is not a friend to Christianity, you have given the worn out example of Catholics and the Crusades. So when were the Crusades again? 933 years ago?”

    Oh no! We brought up the crusades. Need I not remind you that a counter argument brought upon us prior to this was the wartimes of Muhammad. When did he live? 570 -632 A.D. A span of 1439-1377 years ago. I’m sorry but saying that our argument is worn out because of it’s age is not acceptable when your side has also used rebuttals of such, and older, age. But you would rather have recent events right? Alright:

    War between Catholic and Protestant Christians in Northern Ireland:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/northern_ireland/10657.stm

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/314292_nireland04.html

    “UVF members killed more than 400 Catholic civilians from 1966 to 1994, when the group called an open-ended truce. It exploded four car bombs in the neighboring Republic of Ireland that killed 33 people May 17, 1974 -- the deadliest terror strike in four decades of sectarian strife over Northern Ireland.”


    Genocide in Bosnia of Muslims by Orthodox Christians: 1992-1995:

    http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/Genocide/bosnia_genocide.htm

    “Bosnian Muslims were hopelessly outgunned. As the Serbs gained ground, they began to systematically roundup local Muslims in scenes eerily similar to those that had occurred under the Nazis during World War II, including mass shootings, forced repopulation of entire towns, and confinement in make-shift concentration camps for men and boys. The Serbs also terrorized Muslim families into fleeing their villages by using rape as a weapon against women and girls.
    The actions of the Serbs were labeled as 'ethnic cleansing,' a name which quickly took hold among the international media.”

    I assume you wish to mention that this is no where near the amount of deaths caused by Muslims. Fair enough, but is it the number of people killed or the motive behind it? 6,000,000 Jews died in the concentration camps of the Nazis by a leader saying he is doing God’s wish. Big enough for you?

    Your list of recent events, even if it is longer, does not add to the question "Please tell me in which country the "peaceful Muslims" are dominant and which regions, in history, the Muslims have conquered by "peaceful" means” anymore than what my list adds to the statement “Christians are violent”. The events do not give any sort of information of how they became primarily Muslim nations in the first place. Yes, acts of violence are spurred, but nonetheless, you have not proven anything regarding either the faith of Islam or the initial conversion of these countries, only the acts of violence by extremists during Islam’s state of majority.

    “In any case, it's hard to find a significant number in any Christian sect throughout 2000 years of history who have so perverted the Bible and the words of Christ to justify the mass murder of millions of infidels because they are non-Christian.”

    You have included the crusades, the Spanish inquisition, and the prosecution by the Church of England in your “2000 years of history”. But throughout history, with out regarding motive, have Christian nations not killed a significant number of innocents in order to conquer countries? The actions were the same, even if the motives were different. What causes Islam to be so different? A motive is suddenly the reason it‘s wrong? Islam is not a country nor is Christianity. I am not treating them as such and it would be appreciated if you did not either. A Muslim in America is not accountable for the actions of Muslim on the other side of the world.

    “Jesus changed "eye for an eye" to "love your enemy". "If someone slaps you on your right cheek, offer him your left one..." His kingdom was the Kingdom of Heaven not kingdoms of this world.”

    Where did he change this? In the minds of the people, in the religion itself, or in the world? As a primarily Christian nation, has it responded to 9/11 by turning the other cheek? Why is it that if I bring up the crusades or any of the events I listed not long ago, they are suddenly deemed as not good enough proof because they are over used? The crusades are a big deal in this argument, for they represent the violence of both sides. But if you don’t believe me, lets take your reasoning: “History is the proof, not opinions such as ours.”

    “I am afraid their silence leaves all suspect.” - I’m glad that our “silence” has been removed even though the silence itself was not the true cause of the suspicion was it?


    Your response with the attacks in countries did not prove anything aside from the fact that there are Muslim extremists in this world and they kill.


    “I was struck by how often God Himself, required that entire peoples be slaughtered.”

    Ok…so what started this whole argument? God saying to kill people in the Quran. But it’s only ok when Christians do it right? For you have yet to deem the past Christians as violent and misguided.

    “There is an Old Testament and there is a New Testament. They both have a purpose and message for their time in the relations of humanity.

    Have you read the New Testament? It is the book by which Christians apply their lives today. I am reading the Islamic texts including the words of the Prophet and will continue to.”

    Hebrews still stay dedicated to the Old testament do they not? Why haven’t you deemed them one’s that cannot be compromised with? Our passages have similarities. It’s because Muslims have done the actions recently that you condemn them to the connotations society has created. So is this argument supposed to prove that Muslims are violent because of their belief or a grudge they withhold? I see that latter.

    "Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  (Matthew 5:17-18)"

    Until the day of judgment, nothing will disappear from the Law. Which law? For the Law reference in the beginning of the passage is the Old testament. Does it somehow change to the New testament at the end of the passage. Let me see if my understanding of the New testament is correct.: The New testament was made to correct the violence of Christianity and fulfill the belief to make it perfect. Parts of it were changed while others were not. But when it comes to Islam, just as the Christians found their belief to become more peaceful, why is it impossible for a Muslim to change his belief (what creates the content of his soul in which he is judged upon) in order to find peace also? Does it require a prophet to bring the word of God down to them? I understand that the New testament replaced a few laws in from the old should not say anything along the lines of “My religion evolved, yours hasn’t”. Islam has evolved, much like other religions. It doesn’t require a piece of paper to decree the faith of a Muslim different than those of the past.


    To Tony Allen:

    “You state that it is impossible for a person to turn the other cheek.”

    He never said it is impossible, just unrealistic; furthermore, it is not unrealistic because of a difference in religion, but because we live in a world where turning the other cheek lets your enemy kill you. You can call this being a martyr, but one could argue, why would you let the world fall to ruin just to save your own soul? You don’t have to be violent to not turn the other cheek. And, could you please provide resources to the historical information, quotes, and events you relay. I ask the same of everyone in this discussion also.


    “Learn from history and do not be deceived by the recent academic voices in Orthodoxy”

    The Questions I pose:

    1. Please provide the history of how those countries you listed converted, with resources to merit, to a majority of Islam just as your question had asked of us. For you have provided a list of countries in such a manner to imply that they were taken by force with the motive to expand Islam itself rather than political power.

    “Should we stand by and say nothing to the millions of Protestants who have no idea that the origin of their faith and their separation from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church comes from this man's loins? What you see as an attack on the non-Orthodox I see as a battle for their very souls!”

    http://journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2008/09/dismembering-body.html

    2. Why don’t you take this approach to Muslims rather than give them the choice of being one of two things: Violent, or improper?

    You cannot judge someone’s belief by a title; furthermore, you cannot simply say their belief is wrong because they aren’t violent. Peaceful Muslims don’t need a piece of paper to be different. What do they need to prove to you? Their judgment lies with God.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

    Or does someone have to be Christian before peace can be made?

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  33. To Tony - Allen:

    Have you ever heard of the term “lost in translation”?

    Here’s an English example. The word beat, after translated to another language, can have a few meanings.

    1. Win against
    2. Strike
    or
    3. Exhausted

    The passage in Surat 9:29 “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book…” to you may be taken as a commanding of violence, but the peaceful Muslims do not see it is as so and believe that it should not be. Keep in mind the Quran is to be recited and followed in Arabic, not English. The meanings of these words must be taken from the context of the sentence but what happens when more than one meaning can be put into place? We indeed will “fight”, just as Ghandi fought against the British, in a peaceful manner such as how I am arguing with you about what we see as the truth. One could easily say that this is a futile argument in an attempt to appease the masses and ‘hide the true teachings of Islam’. If you believe this, then let me ask you something:

    You are arguing with a Muslim who has been taught to interpret the Quran in a peaceful manner, are you at liberty to say he is following his religion incorrectly because he interprets it differently than the society, who does not follow the religion, that has used the English versions of the text in order to make the peaceful Muslims an enemy?

    No religion can claim themselves as “absolute truth” since it can be interpreted so many ways, hence the denominations of every religion.

    On a side note, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Umar were the only “leaders” of Islam. After the fourth self elected Caliph, the decision of who should be the next Caliph could not be decided which tore the two primary denominations apart. Everyone else is just a leader of a group of people, not Islam. In Christianity, this would relate to Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain but you do not see the argument that Christianity itself is a violent religion because of this. This will lead you to say that it is the teachings that you are attacking, not the history. Well, both have been attacked and I have explained the misinterpretation, in the peaceful Muslim’s eyes, of the Quran.

    It would be appreciated if our posts are put up before a response is made for it leaves me, and most likely others, to believe that our responses will not be put up if a response cannot be made.

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  34. Sher Khan7:30 PM

    I agree that the holy text of a religion as well as what their original followers believed is what is important (Mohammad, after all, said to follow the example of the first generation of Muslims). Despite that, one can still find the Koran in hot water.

    The Prophet stated to follow in their example, but not idolize them. As I stated before, the Qur’an and logic should prevail in my opinion. Follow the Prophet’s ways and use logic to adapt it to what is happening currently. Free will and all that good stuff.

    “You state that it is impossible for a person to turn the other cheek.”

    I never said it was impossible, just unrealistic. There are cases in many religions that show validity in turning the other cheek, what I said was in my opinion turning the other cheek is unpractical.

    “You are not fighting those who have pushed you out, or those who are making war against you - on the contrary, you're fighting them because they don't follow Mohammad (even if they are Jews or Christians).”

    I am fighting? I don’t believe I have raised a hand against any man, Christian or Muslim. But if you are implying you in the relative form as all Muslims, then you are still mistaken.

    This couldn't have happened "after the Great Schism," because the Orthodox were already there. Constantinople was built by Constantine in 330 AD and was deemed by the Second Ecumenical council in 381 AD to be the second highest holy see in Christendom. The Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD. The Christians in Constantinople before and after the Schism were the same Christians, but had lost their communion with Rome. That was all.

    What I meant was the head of the Orthodoxy. After the split of the Churches, the Christians in Constantinople became the main body of Orthodox Christians.

    “They didn't give them "opportunities"...the Janissaries were forced into service and forced to confess Islam as their faith.”

    They were trained in war as Jannissaries and then given the opportunity and choice of whether to continue as soldiers or forge a political career. They were also given the choice of returning to a “normal” farmer’s life.

    Mehmet II converted the Hagia Sophia, one of the most important churches in Christianity, into a mosque. Everything inside - the bells, the icons, etc - were removed or even whited out. Imagine if Crusaders had taken Mecca and converted the Kaaba into a church, taking out any sign Islam had been there. Imagine if Saudi Arabia was today a Christian country and, at best, the Kaaba was just a museum for tourists to gawk at. Then imagine how it would feel if Christians said the crusaders who took Mecca had been religiously tolerant. Understandably, you would feel frustrated.

    Everything inside was removed because it was seen as idolatry. The Crusaders never did take Mecca, and whether they could have or not can not be determined by either of us. But how can you say for sure they wouldn’t have transformed it into a church had they gotten the chance? They problem with these hypothetical situations is that no one can be certain. Mehmet converted the Hagia Sophia, true. It became an important Mosque for the denizens of the Ottoman Empire. Things change.

    Mehmet II also took Gennadius Scholarius and elevated him into a higher position than he had before. Mehmet use to go to Scholarius to seek information and advice on how to rule this part of his empire.

    Under certain sultans, yes. However, the Ottomans were not free of intolerance.

    No place is free of intolerance. What I said was these Ottomans were more tolerant than their Christian counterparts who reigned down abuse and slaughtered the Muslims that lived there.

    This doesn't cover the fact that, according to Muslim law even found within the Koran, Christians and Jews were paying much higher taxes than their Muslim counterparts (remember Surat 9:29).

    Business and religion are two separate entities. Corrupt collectors charged what they wanted, this doesn’t mean the law stated they should do as such.

    I agree with that too. However, what should be discussed is where they are getting their source material. What does the source really say. What did Mohammad and the first generation of Muslims teach?

    Let’s ask them where they are getting their material. Like I said, different schools of thought yield different sources for different people.

    Earlier you had stated that the concept of turning the other cheek was unrealistic, and that the Koran taught self-defense. Are these Islamic leaders then unrealistic? Do they preach something contrary to the Koran? I only ask this so we can remain consistent.

    What Islamic leaders are you talking about here? The passage I quoted is from the Qur’an. You turn the other cheek when you can. If a man attacks you once, turn the other cheek. If the same man attacks you multiple times, stop him.

    I assume you would say these were the "untrue" Muslims and you are the "true." Yet you move together, you take over nations together, but you want to be considered totally separate from them.

    Who is untrue and who is true will be decided in the afterlife by Allah, not man. You speak against the Orthodox leaders and say that they are too lenient or forgetful. Does this not seem like yourself?

    I don’t wish to be separate from the Ulama. What is published more? News of a gathering of 500,000 Muslims rioting or news about Muslims go threw their everyday life doing what they are suppose to? The majority of Muslims go through their day to day lives acting in whatever way they see fit. The examples you post are in no way the majority of Muslims, simply the majority of what you see on the news. Open your eyes and realize what is broadcasted is simply what will be more entertaining not what is the truth.

    As a rebuttal to my bringing attention to this violence and stating the Islam is not a friend to Christianity, you have given the worn out example of Catholics and the Crusades. So when were the Crusades again? 933 years ago?

    You say to look towards history and then when I do you tell me to not bring up worn out examples? It seems you have lost an eye and an ear.

    In any case, it's hard to find a significant number in any Christian sect throughout 2000 years of history who have so perverted the Bible and the words of Christ to justify the mass murder of millions of infidels because they are non-Christian.

    I would bring up examples, but I am afraid you would consider them worn out. But I find it interesting that you agree people pervert religious texts to justify their actions.

    Jesus changed "eye for an eye" to "love your enemy". "If someone slaps you on your right cheek, offer him your left one..." His kingdom was the Kingdom of Heaven not kingdoms of this world. Islam on the other hand...

    “The true servants of Allah are those who behave gently and with humility, and whenever the foolish quarrel with them, they reply with [words of] peace.” “Respond to an evil deed with something good and see how someone who is separated from you because of enmity becomes a dear friend.” (Passage from the Qur’an)

    You can sensor what you see fit because this is your blog. Your insinuations are more offensive to me than someone calling me childish.

    But, all this is done by the false Muslims not the true ones? I get the argument, although the argument is not convincing. I am grateful, however, for all of the Peaceful Muslims across the world who "allow" Christians to live...unless they offend Islam...

    True or untrue, these are the minority. Offending and attacking are two different things.
    I answered your questions, I would appreciate if you would answer mine. And as far as your list of examples goes, I listed the Phillipines as the answer, I’d like a exerpt on that please.

    I don’t think you “get” the argument, because if you did, we would not be here arguing still.

    You still deem the spread of Islam as a country overtaking others. Would you care to show me any country that has successfully overtaken another without violence? (There has only been one bloodless revolution, and that was a revolution not a “conquer”)

    The stated reason for such was the Creator's desire to protect the Hebrew people from being destroyed by the same pagans and worshipers of other Gods.

    Would Mr. Allen care to explain whether this was released at the Hebrews height of power or not?

    I have done nothing but quote the Koran and reliable hadiths regarding the actions and teachings of Mohammad and his prophets.

    What makes a hadith reliable in your opinion?

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  35. To Anonymous:

    The passage in Surat 9:29 “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book…” to you may be taken as a commanding of violence, but the peaceful Muslims do not see it is as so and believe that it should not be. Keep in mind the Quran is to be recited and followed in Arabic, not English. The meanings of these words must be taken from the context of the sentence but what happens when more than one meaning can be put into place? We indeed will “fight”, just as Ghandi fought against the British, in a peaceful manner such as how I am arguing with you about what we see as the truth. One could easily say that this is a futile argument in an attempt to appease the masses and ‘hide the true teachings of Islam’.

    I must point out that, as Sher Khan did before, you did not quote Surat 9:29 in the full context. I'll put the part you left out in bold:

    "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [Surat 9:29; YAT]

    It seems you used the Shakir translation, so I will use the full version of that, again putting in bold the part you left out:

    "Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."

    The context of "fight" here cannot possibly mean "a peaceful manner" when it involves forcing the other side to subjection and forcing non-Muslims to pay a tax. When Ghandi "fought" the British in India, he did not force the British Isles into subjugation to Indian rule and make them pay him regular taxes. When Martin Luther King, Jr "fought" against racism he did not force white Americans into subjection to his rule and regularly pay him taxes (his speeches on racial equality made that clear).

    Furthermore, passages before (such as Surat 9:25) show these passages are military in nature. Even the very first few passages of Surat 9 speak about going throughout the land and fighting the unbelievers. You therefore cannot say Surat 9:29 means a metaphorical kind of fighting unless you blatantly ignore the fullness of the passage and its context.

    You are arguing with a Muslim who has been taught to interpret the Quran in a peaceful manner, are you at liberty to say he is following his religion incorrectly because he interprets it differently than the society, who does not follow the religion, that has used the English versions of the text in order to make the peaceful Muslims an enemy?

    I am not saying peaceful Muslims are "an enemy." That is an assumption.

    However, I do believe that if you are forced to ignore the embarrassing hadiths (no matter how qualified they are or how accepted they were by Muslims in the past) and you are forced to leave out sections of Koranic passages and ignore their context (which you've done, either intentionally or unintentionally, with Surat 9:29) then you are being forced to lie for your religion.

    If a peaceful Muslim has to do this, then they must confess that they willingly acknowledge the errors in Islam.

    No religion can claim themselves as “absolute truth” since it can be interpreted so many ways, hence the denominations of every religion.

    If you are a Muslim and believe this, do you then submit to a kind of universalism? Did not Mohammad call the Koran the word of truth, and Allah's way true? Why did Allah have to send down the Koran and create Islam if no religion is an absolute truth any way? Why are we in discussion here? Why then can we not simply shrug off the "peaceful" exegesis as just another interpretation of Islam? Why can't we accept the "violent" exegesis as just another interpretation of many?

    I would argue, as I did before, that we can discover the "truth" in a religion by going back to its scripture, studying the formation of that scripture, and studying what the first generation of followers believed and did. Orthodox Christians (and any heterodox who can get past the trap of "solo" scriptura) have the Apostolic Fathers and the early generation of Church Fathers to follow. Muslims have the stories of Mohammad, his companions, and the first generation of Muslims.

    But to say, "Well no one knows the truth any way" is a straw-man that almost comes across as, "Well no one is right, so no one wins!" Again, if this is true, then why are we having this discussion?

    On a side note, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Umar were the only “leaders” of Islam. After the fourth self elected Caliph, the decision of who should be the next Caliph could not be decided which tore the two primary denominations apart. Everyone else is just a leader of a group of people, not Islam.

    I agree, but once again I must point out I have done nothing but quote what Mohammad and those first few leaders of Islam did (in an earlier quote I even linked to such a hadith speaking about Umar bin Al-Khattab and Mohammad). To continually argue that only the first generation of Muslims matter while ignoring the examples presented by the other side reviewing the first generation of Muslims is to disrespectfully ignore the other side's point, and cannot bring about a fruitful discussion.

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  36. To Tony - Allen

    “The discussion here is Islam, and therefore the Koran and life of Mohammad.”

    Yes, I have strayed from the country question, but I find this a more important point to prove as it deals with core of the argument since Muslims have been deemed only violent or improper, but do keep reminding me to answer your questions if I pass them.

    My initial post to this article:

    “"The peaceful Muslims have been as persecuted by their own as non-muslims."

    Why do you believe that the violent Muslims are the true followers of Islam? And if you do not, then how can you say that the true follows of Islam wish to overthrow the world violently?”

    A Sinner has asked me to define what a “peaceful Muslim” is, and it seems like the only way I can get through to the opposing side is to make my argument of what a “peaceful Muslim” is relate to the difference between a violent and peaceful Christian. I do not mean to say that “We are both horrible, why are we being picked on”. I bring up these passages because I’m trying to show that the religions evolve over time which brings me to my next point:

    “If it is true that religions "evolve over time," does that mean the Muslims today know more than the Muslims in the 600's? That they know more than the first generation of Muslims who were companions of Mohammad? Does that mean they know more than Mohammad himself?”

    Evolution does not mean gaining more knowledge. Evolution is change over time. I don’t really care if you wish to say that it’s wrong that a religion has changed to become “politically correct” over time because the fact is, most people on both sides of the religion spectrum want peace and therefore interpret their scripture differently over time.

    “In other words, Muslims who quickly quote Deuteronomy to say Christianity or Judaism is more violent than Islam are in fact contradicted by their own prophet”

    If I’ve given the impression that I think Christianity or Judaism is more violent than Islam then I’m sorry. My pointing out of the scripture was not intended to bring any attention to the historical violence of Christianity but as a point to prove that, once again, religions evolve over time.

    “Therefore when we read in the Koran that even People of the Book will be fought against and subjected to Islamic rule, and we find Mohammad and his followers forcing Christians and Jews into submission through war and taxation, how are we supposed to take it?”

    See my last post regarding “lost in translation”.

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  37. Sher Khan11:07 AM

    The context of "fight" here cannot possibly mean "a peaceful manner" when it involves forcing the other side to subjection and forcing non-Muslims to pay a tax.

    What is Jizya?

    Jizya was a tax put on non Muslims to prove their “submission” or acceptance of the new regime. The payment of this “tax” (different translators have attributed it with different meanings: tax, tribute, compensation, substitution etc) provided the non Muslims with a lot of benefits. While the Ulama, or Muslim body of these empires or regimes (depending on the time period being discussed) were required to serve in the military. By paying the Jizya, non Muslims did not have to serve in the military; they were exempted from the normal taxes required of Muslims. The non Muslims that paid the jizya also received complete protection from the authority against outside aggressors. The jizya was also a way of allowing these non Muslims to practice their faith freely. Yusuf Ali said that it was a poll tax for “those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam, and were thus tacitly willing to submit to the laws enforced by the Muslim State.”

    However, I do believe that if you are forced to ignore the embarrassing hadiths (no matter how qualified they are or how accepted they were by Muslims in the past) and you are forced to leave out sections of Koranic passages and ignore their context (which you've done, either intentionally or unintentionally, with Surat 9:29) then you are being forced to lie for your religion.

    If a peaceful Muslim has to do this, then they must confess that they willingly acknowledge the errors in Islam.

    In regards to the bolded section, so if someone creates a Hadith, but it is completely false, a Muslim must accept it? Determining the quality of something is incredibly important and if a Hadith is of questionable credibility, it should not be followed in my opinion.

    Submitted 11:09 2/23

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  38. To Anonymous:

    Evolution does not mean gaining more knowledge. Evolution is change over time. I don’t really care if you wish to say that it’s wrong that a religion has changed to become “politically correct” over time because the fact is, most people on both sides of the religion spectrum want peace and therefore interpret their scripture differently over time.

    If this is true, then doesn't this admit that Mohammad and the early Muslims were violent or gave violent or warlike teachings? Doesn't this admit that modern Muslims have to soften the message?

    As I said, if a peaceful Muslim has to lie about what his prophet or what the early Muslim followers taught, then he is being forced to lie for his religion. Likewise, if you have to soften the message given by a prophet from God, then that indirectly shows that you are embarrassed by the very message God gave to your faith. Christ warned against His followers doing this, saying, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory" (Luke 9:26).

    If I’ve given the impression that I think Christianity or Judaism is more violent than Islam then I’m sorry. My pointing out of the scripture was not intended to bring any attention to the historical violence of Christianity but as a point to prove that, once again, religions evolve over time.

    I understand, however, what we have here is 1) two different definitions of "evolution," and 2) still a misunderstanding regarding the real implications of quoting Deuteronomy to say Judaism or Christianity is violent or at least has some violent passages.

    1) The "evolution" you speak of is the act of peaceful Muslims in our modern times reinterpreting what Mohammad and the early generation of Muslims taught in the 600's AD, making the message politically correct. "Evolution" to a Christian (although I would not call it evolution but steady revelation) regards the message of God up to the point of Christ. If you went to Abraham and asked him what the 9th commandment was, he probably wouldn't know, as that wasn't revealed until the time of Moses. All revelation, however, ends with Christ. Even up to our Lord, God's message remained consistent. Christians (Orthodox Christians at least) see the Old Testament as the gradual revelation towards Christ and His Church. We do not change what Jesus said or what the apostles taught simply because people in the 21st century don't like it.
    2) As I said, even if a Muslim wants to point to this passage and say, "Hey, look, Jews and Christians are commanded to be violent too!" this still gets turned right back around at them, because even Mohammad said that the commands used from the Old Testament to condemn the Jews of Medina was the word of God.

    He never said it is impossible, just unrealistic; furthermore, it is not unrealistic because of a difference in religion, but because we live in a world where turning the other cheek lets your enemy kill you. You can call this being a martyr, but one could argue, why would you let the world fall to ruin just to save your own soul?

    Why would I let the world fall into ruin? Well, perhaps because I don't believe God would let the world fall into such a state of ruin that His own creation would be wiped out. We put our trust in God, and believe that everything is in His hands. The Church historian Eusebius accredited the temporary and later complete end of Christian persecution by the Roman Empire to the providence of God. The Christians endured terrible persecution that only grew worse, and never once did they, as a whole or even in small groups, begin to fight back or lead large armed rebellions as the Jews did in the late first to middle second century.

    But you ask a rather peculiar question: "Why would you let the world fall to ruin just to save your own soul?" Why? Because my soul is the most important part of my being. Because Christ warned, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt 10:28). I sincerely hope your question is just a case of mistaken words and not an example that a Muslim is willing to lose his soul!

    The Questions I pose...

    The part you were quoting was something I didn't write. I assume you were referring that to someone else.

    To Sher Khan:

    The Prophet stated to follow in their example, but not idolize them. As I stated before, the Qur’an and logic should prevail in my opinion. Follow the Prophet’s ways and use logic to adapt it to what is happening currently. Free will and all that good stuff.

    Mohammad was asked who the best people were, and he said, "The best of my followers are those living in my generation and then those who will follow the latter" [al-Bukhari Vol 5, Book 57, Vol 2], adding, "There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy" [ibid]. Mohammad therefore said to pay close attention to what he, his companions, and what the next generation of Muslims do, for they would be the most pure. These people are quoted in hadith sources in how they led the early Muslims.

    To say we should use only "the Koran and logic" and that we need to "adapt" the message of Mohammad (which, remember, is believed by Muslims to be the message of God Himself) for today sounds a bit like Protestants and their use of sola scriptura. I don't know if you are one of those Koran-only Muslims, but I don't know you enough to make any such accusation so I won't.

    The fact is you can't simply read the Koran without at least having some knowledge of the hadith sources or Muslim history. For example, read Surat 111 and then - without ANY reference to the hadith sources, and forgetting ANYTHING you may know about Muslim history or what the hadith sources say - tell me who Abu Lahab and his wife are and what they did that was so bad.

    I have to confess that at times I notice some circular reasoning when it comes to defending the Koran and hadith sources, particularly in this discussion. When a Koranic passage speaking about violence is criticized, a Muslim says, "Forget that, look to this hadith for historical context!" When a hadith is examined that reveals the Koranic passage may indeed be violent, the Muslims says, "OK, forget what the companions of the prophet and even Mohammad (the last and greatest messenger of God) said, just listen to what we say!"

    Hence when you say "adapt it to what is happening currently," I can only take that as a kind of modernization of Islam, or making it politically correct. It is very important to know what the original message was, and what the person meant by it. For example, Calvinists often take John 6 and use it to justify their Doctrines of Grace - however, a Jew living in 1st century Palestine would never even have a clue what predestination was, nor would Christ have expected them to. If the word of God is only good for Arabia in the 600's AD and you need to update it for the 21st century, then is God really eternal?

    You don't need to idolize the early Muslims (I never said you did), but does it not make sense to study what the companions of Mohammad - who ate, lived and spoke with him on a regular basis - believed and how they interpreted the messages he gave? When Mohammad says they are the best generation, does it not make sense to strive to live like them?

    I am fighting? I don’t believe I have raised a hand against any man, Christian or Muslim. But if you are implying you in the relative form as all Muslims, then you are still mistaken.

    Thank you for validating that the metaphorical interpretation of "fighting" in Surat 9:29 is false.

    When I say "you," I refer to the actions of the person in the passage. As I showed in my previous post, there is no way you can say this is a metaphorical fighting. Yes, you can try to apply it that way to your daily life, but you can't try to apply that to the original context of the passage. Surat 9 up to that point is military in nature, and 9:29 itself is clearly speaking from a military perspective. You can only do this by ignoring the context or quoting only a part of it, the latter of which has been done twice now.

    They were trained in war as Jannissaries and then given the opportunity and choice of whether to continue as soldiers or forge a political career. They were also given the choice of returning to a “normal” farmer’s life.

    Again, they were forced to do so. Glorified servitude is still servitude. Those who refused to give up their sons were killed. Taking someone from their parents forcefully and forcing them to convert to another religion cannot be glorified without doing a great injustice.

    Everything inside was removed because it was seen as idolatry. The Crusaders never did take Mecca, and whether they could have or not can not be determined by either of us. But how can you say for sure they wouldn’t have transformed it into a church had they gotten the chance? They problem with these hypothetical situations is that no one can be certain. Mehmet converted the Hagia Sophia, true. It became an important Mosque for the denizens of the Ottoman Empire. Things change. [emphasis mine]

    First, I thank you for confirming that Mehmet II violated a Christian place of worship. Not just a random chapel in the countryside, mind you, but the greatest church in eastern Christianity. A tolerant leader would not do that. It doesn't matter if you consider it idolatry - tolerance involves putting up with things you simply do not like. To shrug it off with "things change" shows a lack of sincerity in understanding how an opposing religion feels, and, to be frank, it shows a lack of seriousness for the subject matter.

    Second, the hypothetical situation was done to illustrate why Christians would see the desecration of the Hagia Sophia as a terrible thing. I was trying to convey how the other side feels. Unfortunately, it seems you have avoided the point by doing the straw-man of feigning ignorance: you simply say, "Well that's a hypothetical situation, so who knows?" and move on.

    The fact is that if Christian crusaders had taken Mecca and violated the Kaaba, taking out any signs Mohammad or Muslims had ever been there, then turned it into a Christian place of worship (perhaps even making it an alter with statues and crosses), then you saw someone online say that the leader who did this allowed Muslims to worship freely...you would be arguing exactly what I'm arguing right now.

    No place is free of intolerance. What I said was these Ottomans were more tolerant than their Christian counterparts who reigned down abuse and slaughtered the Muslims that lived there.

    Again, the argument of "Christians are violent, so we can be violent too" doesn't work. Justifying an evil because it is "less" evil than another is simply justifying evil. Some of the things I've described (which you did not respond to, but merely shrugged off with "Ottomans were more tolerant") sound just as bad as what the Crusaders imposed on some Muslim populations.

    If you ask any Orthodox Christian (especially Greek Orthodox) today about whether or not they hold harder feelings towards Roman Catholics or Islam, most will probably point to Islam, and will justify it with the Ottoman invasion of Constantinople, the invasion of Greece and the Balkans, and all that happened under Muslim rule. You can even go back deeper to the rise of Islam in the 700's, where Greek cultures throughout the Mediterranean were forced to submit to Islamic rule, sometimes (as under the rule of Caliph Al-Mahdhi) being forced to convert.

    While I do not believe we should hold grudges (Christ taught us to forgive seventy times seven times), I think it is important to review history and not glorify one evil over another. Likewise, you cannot ignore evil because of a handful of good people - I could likewise cite contemporary Muslim historians (such as Usama ibn Munqidh) who were defended by Christian soldiers against other Christians, or knew gentle Christian people, or spoke of Muslims working together with Christians during the crusades. This would not excuse or soften any atrocities committed, nor prove Christianity was at the core of its teachings good or bad. Again, it's a straw-man.

    In fact, in quoting "good" Muslim rulers that lived long after Mohammad and the first generation of Muslims, it contradicts the very argument that we should only follow what the first generation of Muslims teach and ignore everyone afterward.

    Business and religion are two separate entities. Corrupt collectors charged what they wanted, this doesn’t mean the law stated they should do as such.

    The tax inflicted upon non-Muslims is instituted in the Koran itself (again, refer to Surat 9:29).

    What Islamic leaders are you talking about here? The passage I quoted is from the Qur’an. You turn the other cheek when you can. If a man attacks you once, turn the other cheek. If the same man attacks you multiple times, stop him.

    That's not turning the other cheek, that's losing your temper. Christ never taught that, and even the works of the early Church Fathers never went that far. When Christ was beaten and crucified He accepted all beatings - in fact, He forgave those who did it.

    Even if you say it is not impossible but impractical, you are still admitting that Jesus, who is considered a prophet in Islam, taught an impractical teaching.

    Would Mr. Allen care to explain whether this was released at the Hebrews height of power or not?

    No, because I didn't write that. Check who the post was done by and refer it to them. Also, Allen is not my last name. :)

    What makes a hadith reliable in your opinion?

    If it is accepted by Muslim scholars during the time after Mohammad and before our modern times, and if it is from one of the authentic hadith sources: al-Bukhari, Muslim, etc. Some Muslim scholars even claim that al-Bukhari's collection is the most authentic book after the Koran. Al-Bukhari himself went through 300,000 possible hadith sources, narrowing it down to (without repetition) 2,602 sources which he considered accurate.

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  39. In addition to Anonymous:

    “Therefore when we read in the Koran that even People of the Book will be fought against and subjected to Islamic rule, and we find Mohammad and his followers forcing Christians and Jews into submission through war and taxation, how are we supposed to take it?”

    See my last post regarding “lost in translation”.


    I responded to that. Repeating an argument without addressing the counterargument is not a real argument.

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  40. “If this is true, then doesn't this admit that Mohammad and the early Muslims were violent or gave violent or warlike teachings? Doesn't this admit that modern Muslims have to soften the message?

    As I said, if a peaceful Muslim has to lie about what his prophet or what the early Muslim followers taught, then he is being forced to lie for his religion. Likewise, if you have to soften the message given by a prophet from God, then that indirectly shows that you are embarrassed by the very message God gave to your faith. Christ warned against His followers doing this, saying, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory" (Luke 9:26).”

    Interpreting scripture differently doesn’t mean changing it. Are you saying its wrong to use another meaning of the words in order to bring peace? You assume that God has told us to kill and refuse to accept it when we say we find different meanings in the words. What is so hard to accept about that? We aren’t embarrassed. Peaceful Muslims are proud of who they are, especially when they don’t go around damning everyone else to hell because their belief is different.

    “I sincerely hope your question is just a case of mistaken words and not an example that a Muslim is willing to lose his soul!”

    Would this be an evil or righteous act, sacrificing one’s self for the good of the rest of the world.

    “You state that it is impossible for a person to turn the other cheek. Well, then we must admit that Christ was foolish for suggesting that. Yet is it impossible? Most of the saints managed to do so. I remember one story of a monk whose house was broken into by burglars: he immediately grabbed an axe to attack them, but, remembering the words of our Lord, held his hand.”

    Is this the quote you’re talking about that you didn’t say?

    “I responded to that. Repeating an argument without addressing the counterargument is not a real argument.”

    These were not accepted as you posted them, I could not see your response.

    “I am fighting? I don’t believe I have raised a hand against any man, Christian or Muslim. But if you are implying you in the relative form as all Muslims, then you are still mistaken.

    Thank you for validating that the metaphorical interpretation of "fighting" in Surat 9:29 is false.”

    Do you not realize you are speaking to a Muslim who has not raised a hand against anyone? He is a follow of Islam, so what does this mean? He does not believe that the word “fighting” means to be violent against. This means he has interpreted it differently as I have said. Thank you for judging so quickly.

    “because even Mohammad said that the commands used from the Old Testament to condemn the Jews of Medina was the word of God.”

    This does not negate the fact that such a passage exists.

    Let me see if I can define these two definitions of evolution:

    1. (The one I use) Change over time which does not end
    2. (Yours) The changing up until the point of Christ.

    You’re right, Christianity hasn’t evolved. It had a dragged out mutation.

    My main question is, why is a creation of peace only possible when the motive is to be politically correct rather than for the sake of bringing peace? No words are being changed, just interpreted differently.

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  41. To Sher Khan:

    Jizya was a tax put on non Muslims to prove their “submission” or acceptance of the new regime. The payment of this “tax” (different translators have attributed it with different meanings: tax, tribute, compensation, substitution etc) provided the non Muslims with a lot of benefits. While the Ulama, or Muslim body of these empires or regimes (depending on the time period being discussed) were required to serve in the military. By paying the Jizya, non Muslims did not have to serve in the military; they were exempted from the normal taxes required of Muslims.

    Why would they be required to serve in the military in the first place? Furthermore, why would such a tax only be imposed specifically upon non-Muslims? The fact is that jizya was part of a state of submission to the Muslims (again, refer to Surat 9:29). This was part of Muslim conquest.

    To quote a hadith source, which takes place during Umar bin Al-Khattab's war against pagans and comes from negotiations between Muslims and non-Muslims at war:

    "Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute)." [al-Bukhari, Vol 4 Book 53 No 386]

    To quote Mohammad from another sahih hadith, where he is addressing his military commanders:

    "Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah...If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them." [Muslim, Book 19 No 4294]

    Note first that jizya is imposed - unless you become Muslim, you have to pay it. Also note that this or forced conversion is the only option for non-Muslims at war with Muslims. The Muslims are not telling them, "Oh just stop fighting us and we'll leave you alone." On the contrary, they're telling them, "Either accept Islam or pay us the jizya, otherwise this war will continue."

    The non Muslims that paid the jizya also received complete protection from the authority against outside aggressors.

    Organized crime had this as well for American shop owners in the 1920's and 30's - it was commonly called by the law as "extortion."

    If the Jews and Christians are considered equal with the Muslims, they should not have to pay a special tax for protection. This is discrimination, clear and simple. If a special tax was placed on Hispanic Americans for "protection" or benefits like not being forced to serve in the military, I'm sure few Hispanics would consider that a good thing. Or, to put it in perspective, if Muslims in America were forced to pay a tax in order to stay Muslim (no matter how many "benefits" were offered), I'm willing to bet there would be protests across the Middle East in response.

    Again, this goes against the earlier argument that Christians and Jews were allowed to worship freely. Paying tax to keep your faith isn't worshipping freely.

    In regards to the bolded section, so if someone creates a Hadith, but it is completely false, a Muslim must accept it? Determining the quality of something is incredibly important and if a Hadith is of questionable credibility, it should not be followed in my opinion.

    You misunderstood my point. The hadith sources in question (the ones in the part you bolded) are valid and considered to be sahih, therefore Muslims should accept them, whether they are positive or not. You cannot ignore a valid hadith source simply because you don't like it - that is quoting selectively. The hadiths quoted are not magically made up on the spur of the moment - these come from sources collected by Muslim scholars and verified (as well as quoted) by Muslim scholars down through history.

    However, hadith sources and Koranic passages seem to be ignored by those opposing Nathan in this debate in favor of "Well I think this passage means..." or "Well here's how Muslims nowadays view it" without verification from how the original Muslims taught or executed those passages. If "bad" Muslims are wrong, and "good" Muslims are right, but each accuses the other of being wrong, then how do we know for sure? As I've stated before, you go to Mohammad, the Koran, and the first generation of Muslims to see how those passages and teachings were interpreted. What then do those sources say?

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  42. "If "bad" Muslims are wrong, and "good" Muslims are right, but each accuses the other of being wrong, then how do we know for sure?"

    With this question, how can someone post such an article(A Sinner) and expect to prove anything? Therefore, how can this argument lead to anything since each side has it's own truth?

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  43. "I sincerely hope your question is just a case of mistaken words and not an example that a Muslim is willing to lose his soul!"

    Also, please say this about every Christian soldier that has killed a person trying to make this world a better place.

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  44. Debbie Espen11:20 PM

    It has been awhile since I have looked at this part of JTO, so I had a lot of reading to do to catch up with this thread.
    There seems to be at least two main questions here, whether historically conversion has been voluntary or by the sword and if there was religious freedom under the religion once established, and whether today the religion is peaceful and religiously tolerant or not.
    Historically Christianity was spread by both non-violent and violent means. Once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, discrimination, then outright persecution and murder of pagans and others began. Christian monks violently murdered the pagan woman scholar Hypasia. Pagan temples were toppled or taken over. Non-Christians lost civil rights, and later, their lives. As Christianity spread north it was primarily by the sword. Whole villages were slaughtered. There were martyrs for the native paganism of the northern European peoples. People fled Scandinavia once Christians came into power. The Christian king of Norway held relatives of Icelanders captive, under threat of death, unless Iceland converted. This is just the tip of the iceberg in Europe.
    In America, there was discrimination, and persecution in the colonies of not only non-Christians, but also of those of other denominations. One of my own ancestors, Anne Hutchinson, was imprisoned and then outlawed by her fellow Christians.
    But JTO is about Christian Orthodoxy. Did the Orthodox participate in such behaviour? Unfortunately, yes. Some examples include: In Russia there were pogroms against the Jews. In Romania and Hungary the Catholics and Orthodox fought one another. In Lebanon, not too long ago, Orthodox (Maronite) Christians were involved in murdering Muslims and vice versa.
    In Palestine/Israel Jews and Muslims have murdered one another.
    So the big three religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, have ALL behaved badly.
    What about today? The Israeli-Palestinian mutual murder continues (though I would argue that, by far, the Israelis are involved in overkill of Palestinian Muslims and Christians.)
    Unfortunately, when one religion, even if its tenets are about peace, when it has political power over others, the very nature of humans tends toward the abuse of such power. This is why our forefathers chose to have separation of church and state.
    Quoting various scriptures of any religion to prove peaceful or militant intents does not prove anything. What counts is what the actual adherents feel about their religion: do they want peace? This is the proper question to ask. I will leave it for the adherents of each religion to speak to this question.

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  45. Anonymous7:23 PM

    where are the peaceful or moderate muslims? why are they not protesting in the streets here in the United States of America? i can understand why they would be afraid in a muslim country, but here in the United States of America which has millions of muslims as "citizens" we have had no such protests. NO condemnation of the "radicals" who have hijacked their religion. where is the evidence of moderate muslims? show me physical proof!

    i'm anonymous because i don't want to eventually get retribution for calling it like it is.

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