The good news is that not every Muslim rejoices in the use of violence, bloodshed, murder, the mistreatment of women, and so on. But sadly many do. And even more sadly, they do so with full warrant from their own sacred religious texts and sources.
The issue then is not whether there are moderate, peace-loving Muslims around. Of course there are – many of them. But the real question to be asked is whether Islam itself is moderate and peace-loving. The answer to that is a clear, unequivocal no.
The use of violence to spread the faith, stop the infidels, and extend Islamic hegemony are all fully enjoined in the key Islamic sources of authority, such as the Koran, the hadith, and the sira. They all give full support to bloody jihad, attacks on religious freedom, the abuse of women, and contempt of non-Muslims.
If a Muslim dies killing for the faith, he is not only assured of a one-way ticket to paradise (the only thing which is assured for the Muslim), but he can find complete support for his actions in the life, example and teachings of Muhammad, and in his sacred texts. But I discuss this more fully elsewhere:
And if a Muslim treats his wife or other women as second-class citizens, as mere property, and as objects of disrespect and insult, then he too can find full justification for this in the life of Muhammad and his teachings as recorded in the Koran, hadith, and elsewhere. But I document this elsewhere:
Just consider the issue of Islamic-based terrorist attacks. Everyone knows of the horrific attack of 9/11 eleven years ago in which over 3,000 innocent men, women and children lost their loves. However, most people would not know that since that time, there have been over 20,000 other Islamic terrorist attacks.
To be precise, there have been 20,043 such attacks since 9/11. But that figure is already out of date, with even more attacks having taken place since when I first wrote this piece. Indeed, one figure of the death toll of Islam in the past 14 centuries is simply staggering: 270 million killed in the name of Islam. 270 million.
Simply consider last month. Here are the stats for November 2012: there were 215 jihad attacks carried out in 22 countries affecting 5 different religions. These attacks resulted in 893 deaths and 1848 injuries. And that is just for one month! The simple and inescapable truth is this: Islam is not a religion of peace.
Tragically we have horror stories every day coming out of Muslim-majority nations – and even in the West where Muslim populations dwell. Consider just a few of these recent stories. One of them comes from Saudi Arabia:
“A Saudi court sentenced a local mother of four to five days in jail and ordered her lashed 10 times for marrying a Syrian man without getting official approval in violation of Saudi laws governing mixed-marriages, press reports said on Thursday. Muna Mohammed Ladan said she married that man in 2005 and had two children from him before she filed for a divorce for mistreatment.
“In 2008, she remarried him after he assured her that he had changed and that he would not abuse her again. They had two other children but she filed for a divorce again last week on the grounds he started to be abusive. ‘I have appealed the sentence and I hope the court will abolish that sentence for the sake of my children,’ Ladan said.”
Or take this story of a raped woman put on trial for “indecency” in Tunesia: “The interior ministry said the woman and her boyfriend were apprehended by three policemen on September 3. Two policemen then raped her, while the third held the handcuffed fiance. Khaled Tarrouche, the spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior, stated during a press conference on Tuesday that the three police officers ‘caught [the woman] in an immoral act’ with a male companion before reportedly being raped.
“Hamida’s client, who was allegedly raped on September 3, is accused along with her fiance of ‘indecency’ by the policemen, the couple having been taken by surprise in an ‘immoral position,’ according to the ministry. If found guilty of indecency, the couple could be jailed for six months. ‘I never believed that I would be summoned to court accused of wrongdoing. I thought I was the victim, not the accused,’ she told the paper. ‘I will not renounce (my accusation) after being humiliated in this way,’ she said, while denying that she had been in a compromising position with her boy friend in the car when the police arrived. ‘It is not true. When they came, I was dressed,’ she insisted.”
One more recent example: “A student and polio volunteer has been shot dead by armed men in a rural Afghan village. The brutal killing has raised questions about women’s safety in the region, with reports suggesting that females are too scared to attend school or work following the murder.
“The girl, known only as Anisa, was shot outside her home in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, having survived an attack only a day before. After the gunmen opened fire, Anisa was carried to hospital by her brother but she later died with six bullets found in her stomach.”
Her story is of course similar to that of the Pakistani 15-year-old student Malala Yousufzai who was shot by the Taliban as she sat on a school bus for speaking out against militants in the region and advocating education for girls. She at least survived after having a bullet removed from her spine at a hospital in Britain.
There are plenty more such stories that could be mentioned here. There is something fundamentally barbaric and demonic about a religion – really a political ideology – which regularly allows these sorts of things to happen. Indeed, they are all fully justified by the example of its leader, and given the green light in his teachings.
Not all religions are equal. Some justify the most horrific acts, while others repudiate them. We can support and applaud those Muslims who also are disgusted by all this. But then they should really stop calling themselves Muslims, since the ones doing all this evil are in fact the ones who can rightly claim to be true Muslims, and who are truly following in the footsteps of their prophet.