Islam: Religion of Peace

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From 9/11, to the train attacks in Spain to the London bombings, it is staggering that Muslims still make the claim that Islam is a "religion of peace" and it still garners sympathizers in the media (I'm looking at you CNN, BBC, etc.). Now, with the news of Muslims violently protesting the recent Danish Mohammed cartoons. Let's get this straight: Muslims are "enraged" that the media has published cartoons that depict Mohammed as violent, and they demonstrate their disagreement by violently protesting worldwide. How does this make sense?

CNN published an article today covering the protests. The article details a number of protests which just scream "peace" and "love":

Mihtarlam, Afghanistan: a man fired shots and others threw stones and knives.

Somalia: Stone-throwers stampede, killing a teenager.

Tehran: Demonstrators protested outside the Danish Consulate and the Austrian Embassy. Reuters reported that about 200 people threw fire bombs and rocks.

Paris, France: Soir -- a newspaper that published the cartoons of Mohammed -- was evacuated for nearly three hours Monday after receiving a bomb threat.

Lebanon: The building housing the Danish Consulate was torched. The protest was planned in advance and well publicized, but Lebanese security still took hours to bring it under control.

Kashmir: Demonstrators set flags on fire and threw rocks at passing cars.

Other protests Monday took place in Amman, Tel Aviv, Gaza, and Kut, a city in southern Iraq where about 5,000 people congregated, burned flags and burned an effigy of the Danish prime minister.

Now, clearly the cartoonists (and most level-headed human beings) understood what they were talking about: Islam is a religion which uses violence to spread its message. After outlining these demonstrations of savage behavior, CNN says:

[We have] chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam. Respect? What respect has this religion earned in its 1300 years of violent existence? Not only that, but what similar respect does the liberal media offer to Christianity, a truly peaceful religion?

If you are a Muslim and claim that Islam is a religion of peace, one of two things is true: 1) You are familiar with the Koran, with the history of Islam and the theological/political views of Mohammed and you are lying. or 2) you are ignorant of the Koran and history and wish that Islam was peaceful so that you can be a member of a tolerated world religion. Unfortunately, both of these cases are based on ignorance or deceit. History is clear. Mohammed was a proponent of violence and the Koran clearly teaches that infidels, as well as any person (or state) that does not adhere to Islamic scripture are to be destroyed. That is simply the truth.

Should Islam be "tolerated"? We must ask this question honestly. Should terrorism be tolerated? Take a look at these verses from the Koran and then decide (Sura references included so you can check the context):
"Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whether he dies or triumphs, We shall richly reward him. ... The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan ..." (4:74,76)

"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. ... lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way ..." (9:5)

"Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those that repent before you reduce them ..." (5:34,35)

"Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme" (8:39)

"Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given ... and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (9:29)

"And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter." (2:191)

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not." (2:216)

"Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah, - whether he is slain or gets victory – soon shall We give him a reward of great value." (4:74)

Concerning "unbelievers": "Seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks." (4:89)

Who are the unbelievers? "From those too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the Message that was sent to them: so We estranged them, with enmity and hatred between one and the other, to the Day of Judgment. And soon will Allah show them what they have done." (5:14)

"In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary." (5:17)

"O you 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 among you that turns to them for friendship is of them." (5:51)

Concerning the Jews:"When in their insolence they transgressed all prohibitions, We said to them: "Be you apes, despised and rejected." (7:166)

"Remember your Lord inspired the angels with the message: 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: you smite them above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.'" (8:12)

"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah. Whatever you spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid to you and you shall not be treated unjustly." (8:60)

"…Then fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war…" (9:5)

"Allah will send His punishment from Himself or by our hands." (9:52)

I'll stop now for the sake of space, but hopefully you get the idea. These are not quotes from "radical Islam", these are references from the Koran, Islam's fundamental document. The world must examine the facts and take a stand against this violent belief system. Despite the world's CNNs and BBCs, tolerance cannot be extended to terrorism.

UPDATE: There is an interesting article in the WSJ about this whole issue. Here's the money quote:
There is no Quranic injunction against images, whether of Muhammad or anyone else.

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