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In Islam, the love of and pursuit of peace coexist with laws requiring the eradication of evil using violent means. This article documents the historical relationship between Islam and violence, including how violence has been justified from Islamic sources. Islam has been associated with violence in a variety of contexts, including Jihads (holy wars), violent acts by Muslims against perceived enemies of Islam, violence against women ostensibly supported by Islam's tenets, references to violence in the Qur'an, and acts of terrorism motivated and/or justified by Islam. Muslims, including clerics and leaders have used Islamic ideas, concepts, texts, and themes to justify violence, especially against non-Muslims.

Islam as a violent religion

Charles Selengut characterizes the phrase "religion and violence" as "jarring", asserting that "religion is thought to be opposed to violence and a force for peace and reconciliation. He acknowledges, however, that "the history and scriptures of the world's religions tell stories of violence and war as they speak of peace and love."[1]

Some critics of religion (in general) such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins go farther and argue that religions do tremendous harm to society in three ways:[2][page needed][3][page needed]

  • Religions sometimes use war, violence, and terrorism to promote their religious goals
  • Religious leaders contribute to secular wars and terrorism by endorsing or supporting the violence
  • Religious fervor is exploited by secular leaders to support war and terrorism

Maurice Bloch also argues that religions are by their very nature violent; moreover, he argues that religion and politics are two sides of the same coin—power.[4] Similarly, Hector Avalos argues that, because religions claim divine favor for themselves, over and against other groups, this sense of righteousness leads to violence because conflicting claims to superiority, based on unverifiable appeals to God, cannot be adjudicated objectively.[5]

Regina Schwartz argues that all monotheistic religions are inherently violent because of an exclusivism that inevitably fosters violence against those that are considered outsiders.[6]

Western stereotypes

Sutton and Vertigans describe Western views of Islam as based on a stereotype of it as an inherently violent religion, characterizing it as a 'religion of the sword'. They characterize the image of Islam in the Western world as "dominated by conflict, aggression, 'fundamentalism', and global-scale violent terrorism."[7]

Juan Eduardo Campo writes that, "Europeans (have) viewed Islam in various ways: sometimes as a backward, violent religion; sometimes as an Arabian Nights fantasy; and sometimes as a complex and changing product of history and social life."[8] Robert Gleave writes that, "at the centre of popular conceptions of Islam as a violent religion are the punishments carried out by regimes hoping to bolster both their domestic and international Islamic credentials.[9]

Jawaid Quddus asserts that "Quotations from the Quran, cited out of historical context, are being used to prove the contention that Islam is by nature and design a violent religion."

The 9/11 attack on the US and other recent attacks by people who supposedly follow the Islamic faith, have led many non-Muslims to indict Islam as a violent religion.[10] According to Corrigan and Hudson, "some conservative Christian leaders (have) complained that Islam (is) incompatible with what they believed to be a Christian America."[11] Examples of Christian leaders who have expressed such sentiments include Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson.[12] According to a survey conducted by a research group affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, two out of three Protestant pastors believe Islam is a "dangerous" religion.[13]

Islamic views on violence

In response to these charges, Muslim apologists such as Ram Puniyani assert that, "Islam does not condone violence but like other religions does believe in self-defence."[14]

Mark Juergensmeyer describes the teachings of Islam as ambiguous about violence. He asserts that, like all religions, Islam occasionally allows for force while stressing that the main spiritual goal is one of nonviolence and peace.[15] Hood, Hill and Spika write that "(a)lthough it would be a mistake to think that Islam is inherently a violent religion, it would be equally inappropriate to fail to understand the conditions under which believers might feel justified in acting violently against those whom their tradition feels should be opposed."[16]

Similarly, Chandra Muzaffar asserts that, "(t)he Quranic exposition on resisting aggression, oppression and injustice lays down the parameters within which fighting or the use of violence is legitimate. What this means is that one can use the Quran as the criterion for when violence is legitimate and when it is not."[17]

Teachings of the Qur'an

The Qur’an's teachings on matters of war and peace have become topics of heated discussion in recent years. On the one hand, some critics claim that certain verses of the Qur’an sanction military action against unbelievers as a whole both during the lifetime of Muhammad and after. The Qur'an says "Fight in the name of your religion with those who fight against you."[18] On the other hand, other scholars argue that such verses of the Qur’an are interpreted out of context,[19][20] and argue that when the verses are read in context it clearly appears that the Qur’an prohibits aggression,[21][22][23] and allows fighting only in self defense.[24][25]

According to Dipak Gupta, "(m)uch of the religious justification of violence against nonbelievers (Dar ul Kufr) by the promoters of jihad is based on the Quranic “sword verses.” [26] The Qur'an, and the Hadith (biographies of Muhammad) contain passages that glorify or endorse violence.[citation needed]

Arvind Kumar writes:

The Quran sanctions violence to counter violence. If one studies history of Arab tribes before Islam and fierce fighting they indulged in one would be convinced that the philosophy of passive resistance would not have worked in that environment.[27]

One example is:

"And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

Some claim that the textual context of this particular passage is defensive war, even if the historical context was not, but either way there are two worrisome aspects to this verse. The first is that the killing of others is authorized in the event of "persecution", a qualification that is ambiguous at best. The second is that fighting may persist until "religion is for Allah". Thus the example set by Muhammad is not reassuring for haters of violence. Qur'an (2:191-193) [28]

According to Fawzy Abdelmalek, "many Muslim scholars speak of Islam as a religion of peace and not of violence. They say that the non-Muslims misunderstand the Quran verses about Jihad and the conduct of war in Islam,[29]

Nissim Rejwan asserts that, "violence and cruelty are not in the spirit of the Quran, nor are they found in the life of the Prophet, nor in the lives of saintly Muslims."[30]

According to Feisal Abdul Rauf, "the Quran expressly and unambiguously prohibits the use of coercion in faith because coercion would violate a fundamentl human right—the right to a free conscience. A different belief system is not deemed a legitimate cause for violence or war under Islamic law. The Quran is categorical on this: "There shall be no compulsion in religion" (2:256); "Say to the disbelievers [that is, atheists, or polytheists, namely those who reject God] "To you, your beliefs, to me, mine" (109:1-6)"[31]

War and peace

Muslims have fought wars of conquest, citing religious justification, since Islam's genesis. Peoples who fell under Islamic rule after Islamic military conquest soon after Muhammad's death included provinces of the Byzantine empire- first the fringe including Egypt, Assyria, and Palestine by the Arabs- and eventually the Byzantine capital itself by the Ottoman Turks; the Persian empire; the Roman empire in Sicily and Spain; independent kingdoms of North Africa; and the Buddhist and Hindu civilisations east of Persia.

Muslim societies have also been prone to fighting wars amongst themselves starting with the first generation of Muslims, including civil war between followers of a faction who included Muhammad's wife Aisha bint Abu Bakr, and followers of an opposing faction led by Muhammad's cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, known as the battle of Bassorah. Differences between Muslims also resulted in the murder of three of the first four Caliphs at the hands of other Muslims. Scholars disagree on whether such events and actions serve as affirmation or an aberration of Islam's teachings.

The Qur’an's teachings on matters of war and peace have become topics of heated discussion in recent years. On the one hand, some critics interpret that certain verses of the Qur’an sanction military action against unbelievers as a whole both during the lifetime of Muhammad and after. The Qur'an said "fight in the name of your religion with those who fight against you."[18] On the other hand, other scholars argue that such verses of the Qur’an are interpreted out of context,[19][20] and argue that when the verses are read in context it clearly appears that the Qur’an prohibits aggression,[21][22][32] and allows fighting only in self defense.[24][25]

Micheline R. Ishay has argued that "the Qur’an justifies wars for self-defense to protect Islamic communities against internal or external aggression by non-Islamic populations, and wars waged against those who 'violate their oaths' by breaking a treaty" (9:12-15,42:39).[33] Mufti M. Mukarram Ahmed has also argued that the Qur’an encourages people to fight in self defence (9:38-41,9:36-37,4:74). He has also argued that the Qur’an has been used to direct Muslims to make all possible preparations to defend themselves against enemies (8:60).[34]

Chiba and Schoenbaum argue that Islam "does not allow Muslims to fight against those who disagree with them regardless of belief system", but instead "urges it's followers to treat such people kindly" (4:90,8:61,60:8).[35] Yohanan Friedmann has argued that the Qur’an does not promote fighting for the purposes of religious coercion, although the war as described is "religious" in the sense that the enemies of the Muslims are described as "enemies of God" (8:57-62).[36]

A critic has argued that in "duty to halt aggression or to strive for the preservation of Islamic principles", fighting may be involved, where the Qur’an encourages them to "fight courageously and steadfastly against recalcitrant states, be they Muslim or non-Muslim."[37][38] He also argues that the "Qur’anic statement is clear" on the issue of fighting in defence of Islam as "a duty that is to be carried out at all costs", where "God grants security to those Muslims who fight in order to halt or repel aggression" (22:39-42).[39]

Intolerance

Despite claims that Islam is a "Religion of Peace", Muslims have often exhibited intolerance and violence towards non-Muslims, especially those who are seen by them as insulting Islam and its Prophet Muhammad, including by means of drawings of him.[40]

Attitudes towards non-Muslims

Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, states that

"If we look at the considerable literature available about the position of Jews in the Islamic world, we find two well-established myths. One is the story of a golden age of equality, of mutual respect and cooperation, especially but not exclusively in Moorish Spain; the other is of “dhimmi”-tude, of subservience and persecution and ill treatment. Both are myths. Like many myths, both contain significant elements of truth, and the historic truth is in its usual place, somewhere in the middle between the extremes."[41]

Robert Spencer author of The Myth of Islamic Tolerance defines dhimmitude as:

Dhimmitude is the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians. Dhimmis, “protected” or “guilty” people, are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, are part of the legal superstructure that global jihadists are laboring through violence to restore everywhere in the Islamic world, and wish ultimately to impose on the entire human race.

[42]

The Dhimitude inferior status of non-Muslims in Muslim lands is rooted in the Quran.[43] (which engulfs the "Jizya" -a tax stipulated in the Koran to be paid by Dhimmis or unbelievers,[44][45] accompanied with great humiliation and recognition of the inferior status of the "dhimma."[46][47]) often this subjucation justified violence.[43]

Sperry asserts that, " the Quran clearly advocates violence against Christians and Jews." [48]

Rodrigue Tremblay has argued that the Qur’an commands that non-Muslims under a Muslim regime, should "feel themselves subdued" in "a political state of subservience" (4:89). He also argues that the Qur’an may assert freedom within religion (2:256).[49] Nisrine Abiad has argued that the Qur’an incorporates the offence (and due punishment) of "rebellion" into the offence of "highway or armed robbery" (5:33).[50]

Violence against Muslims

Violence by Muslims is not limited to non-Muslims. According to Islamic scholar Khaleel Mohammed, throughout the world, Muslim intellectuals are punished for criticizing various aspects of traditional and contemporary Islam, citing the case of Muhammad Said al-Ashmawy, who is being held in Egypt under house arrest for his own protection; Abdel Karim Soroush who was beaten in Iran for raising the voice of inquiry, and Mahmoud Tahawho was killed in Sudan. Rifat Hassan, Fatima Mernissi, Abdallah an-Na'im, Mohammed Arkoun, and Amina Wadud were all vilified by the imams for asking Muslims to use their intellect.[51]

Other Examples:

  • Hashem Aghajari, an Iranian university professor, was initially sentenced to death because of a speech that criticized some of the present Islamic practices in Iran being in contradiction with the original practices and ideology of Islam, and particularly for stating that Muslims were not "monkeys" and "should not blindly follow" the clerics. The sentence was later commuted to three years in jail, and he was released in 2004 after serving two years of that sentence.[52][53][54]
  • Ibn Warraq has collected and published stories of mistreatment of Muslim apostates at the hands of Islamic authorities.[55]
  • Christoph Luxenberg feels compelled to work under a pseudonym to protect himself because of fears that a new book on the origins of the Qur'an,[56][57] may make him a target for violence.

[58] [59] he goes/went by this assumed name in order to protect himself.[60]

  • In recent times fatwas calling for execution have been issued against novelist Salman Rushdie and activist Taslima Nasreen for pejorative comments on Islam.[61]
  • On 2 November 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated by Dutch-born Mohammed Bouyeri for producing the 10-minute film Submission critical of the abusive treatment of women by Muslims. A letter threatening the author of the screenplay, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was pinned to his body by a knife. Hirsi Ali entered into hiding immediately following the assassination, and now is protected by bodyguards.[62]
  • On 30 September 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published editorial cartoons, many of which caricatured the Islamic prophet Mohammed. The publication was intended to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship;[63] objectives which manifested themselves in the public outcry from Muslim communities within Denmark and the subsequent apology by the paper. However, the controversy deepened when further examples of the cartoons were reprinted in newspapers in more than fifty other countries. This led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence, including setting fire to the Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Syria, and the storming of European buildings and desecration of the Danish and German flags in Gaza City.[64] Globally, at least 139 people were killed and 823 injured.[65]
  • On 19 September 2006 French writer and philosophy teacher Robert Redeker wrote an editorial for Le Figaro, a French conservative newspaper, in which he attacked Islam and Muhammad, writing: "Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of Jews and polygamous, this is how Mohammed is revealed by the Qur'an." He received death threats and went into hiding.[66] The teacher was forced into hiding after describing the Qu'ran as a "book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as "a religion which ... exalts violence and hate."[67]
  • On 4 August 2007, Ehsan Jami was attacked in his hometown of Voorburg in The Netherlands by three men. The attack is widely believed to be linked to his activities for the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims. The national anti-terrorism coordinator's office, the public prosecution department and the police decided during a meeting on 6 August that "additional measures" were necessary for the protection of Jami, who subsequently received extra security.[68]

"Hatred towards people who follow other religions such as Jews and Christians, as well as Hindus and other polytheists, are a part of the teachings of the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an."[69]

Attitudes towards Jews

Despite some tolerance in the early days, Jews (for example) were not supposed to enjoy public office,[70] power, every so often when theMuslim population felt that the Jews are too comfortable and have some power, a massacre has been unleashed. Many times, under Muslim rule, they were not even allowed a life of inferior status.[71]

Author relates the anti-Jewish violence - including in: The Fez massacre of 1033, The Fez 1146 massacre reaching 100,000 and inMarrakesch120,000, the 1576 and 1577 deportations of Safed Jews to Cyprus, the 1660 massacre of those Jews still settled in Safed - to what he describes "at times the Jew has been considered tainted spiritually and capable spiritually of contaminating by his shadow falling across a Muslim. let alone by actual contact." Adding that although "Christians suffered similarly but at least they had the opportunity of finding help in Christian lands."[72] Some of the known forced conversions of Jews to Islam were in Fez Morocco: in 1165, 1275, 1465, and 1790-92[43]

Khaybar

Ever since the (Jihadi[73]) Khaybar Massacre 628, inSaudi Arabia of the QurayzaJews, the term, the idea of 'Khaybar' has been used by Muslims when calling to kill, to annihilateJews(genocide).[74][75][76]

Islamic calls include: "Rise up and kill the Jews; they are indeed The bitterest enemies who reject Muhammad. Rise up and kill the Jews, as they were killed at Khaybar beneath the sword of Muhammad. Rise up and kill the Jews and all of those Who fight for them."[77][78] Egyptian cleric: "The Jews "are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing."

The Jews are infidels - not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, but because Allah said: 'The Jews say that Uzair is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that Christ is the son of Allah. ) If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are infidels – not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, ... Qur'an... This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.[79]

Qatari Cleric:

We do not treat the Jews as our enemies just because they occupied Palestine... even if they return Palestine to us, because they are infidels.[79]

Saudi cleric, Mohammed Salah el-Munjeed, stated: "How can Moslems not be joyful when in the killing of Jews and infidels? Allah will surely gladden the hearts of his followers as they kill and destroy all of them (the Jews)."[80] The Khaybar battle is used in driving anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.[81]

The war cry of the Apostle's companions at the battle of Khaybar was "O you who have been given victory, kill! kill!"[82] Example of calls include: "Rise up and kill the Jews; they are indeed the bitterest enemies who reject Muhammad. Rise up and kill the Jews, as they were killed at Khaybar beneath the sword of Muhammad. Rise up and kill the Jews and all of those who fight for them."[77]

According to Sufi jurist Sirhindi (1621): "Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam."[83][84][85]

Amin al-Husseini

Haj Amin al-Husseini the Islamic supreme leader of Palestine since the 1920s have used his Islamic power and Koranic themes[86] to incite for violence. He's regarded as being the most influential -early on- in the Middle East conflict.[87]

The Mufti aimed "for a holy War of Islam in alliance with Germany against world Jewry" says historian Bernard Lewis.[88]

His speeches were anti-Jewish with a radical Islamic theme, like: "Kill the Jews wherever you find them—this pleases Allah."[89][89]

From a chapter called "Fatwas and Holy War: Al-Husseini's Legacy as a Pioneer of Modern Jihad":

During the 1920 and 1930s. Haj Amin al-Husseini was one of the first radical Islamic leaders to issue fatwas, or religious rulings, calling for jihad, or holy war, against Great Britain, the United States, the Jews, and the West. Since Workd War I, during which al-Husseini served as an officer in the Ottoman Turkish army, the fatwa was served as a major instrument by which Islamic religious leaders have impelled their followers to engage in acts of jihad, which invariably involved acts of violence and terrorism.[89]

"Throughout his public career, the Mufti relied upon traditional Koranic anti-Jewish motifs to arouse the Arab street."[90][91]

As the pro-Nazi Rashid Ali's close ally, the Mufti proclaimed Iraq's declaration of war in May 1941 a jihad.[92]

The Mufti's Jihad commanders and supporters refused to cooperate with moderates among the Arabs in Palestine.[93] The grand Mufti declared particular areas to be "freed" from the British and from the Jews, and to be under the authority of Shari'a - the Islamic religious law - instead. Women, were forced to veil themselves, be they're Christians or Muslims.[94]

In Jihad and international security the authors suggest that "Perhaps the longest-running jihad in today's world is the struggle to reclaim Israel for the Muslims." kicked off by the "highest ranking Islamic cleric of Jerusalem" the grand Mufti.[95]

Against Israel

Today, too, violent anti Israel, campaigns by Muslims (including Hamas, Hezbollah and even on the Flotilla ship by Islamists fromTurkey in 2010) are marked by cries of "Allah Akbar!" [96][97][98][99][100][100][100] As well as Palestinian Muslims in their anti-Christian Pogrom in the West bank, [101] and against Christian MaronitesinLebanon.[102][103]

Jihad against Israel was waged on several occasions,[104] either individually or collectively, have Arab leaders proclaimed a jihad against Israel, Bat Ye'or concludes that it confirms "their attachment to a theocratic system embracing the whole of humanity." [105] In one example, even before its establishment as a state: In 1947, after the UN Resolution for the partition of Palestine, the Muslim spiritual leader of al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a fatwa (religious ruling) that called for a "Jihad to save Palestine and to defend the al-Aqsa mosque." [104] Dan Kurtzman wrote that the Arabs launched their first big operation against the Jews on January 14 [1948], when thousands of Arab villagers shoutingJihad! Jihad! ("Holy War! Holy War!") stormed the Etzion Bloc of settlements perched atop the rolling Hebron hills."[106] In August 1980 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahd called "on all Arab countries to unite in a jihad (holy war) to liberate Israeli-occupied Arab territory and establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital." [107] Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat routinely lambasted for provocative citations from the Quran, especially for his liberal use of the word jihad.[108] When Arafat called for a "jihad for Jerusalem," he "intended his Muslim audience to hear a call to arms." [109] He named the second wave of violence in 2000 as "al Aqsa intifada," after the Mosque on top of the temple mount.[110]

Jihad

In Arabic, the word jihād translates into English as struggle. Jihad appears in the Qur'an and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of Allah(al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".[111][112] A person engaged in jihad is called amujahid; the plural is mujahideen. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status.[113] In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion. A.H. Qasmi writes that "Both the Quran and the hadith have attached great importance to jihad. ... Jihad means struggle. It must be appreciated from the outset that this word is used for non-violent struggle as opposed to violent struggle."[114]

Halim Rane asserts that the concept of jihad has evolved. According to Rane, the Islamic scholar Sarakhsi defines jihad as a "progression towards increasingly aggressive use of force."[115]

Jihads that were obvious attempts at eradication of Christians, Hindus, and Jews have been recorded since the early days of Islam.[116] "The Qur'an calls repeatedly for jihad, or holy war, against unbelievers, calling Jews and Christians apes and pigs."[117]

Today Jihad is widening its range[118] or holy war, against impure Muslims, against infidels, or non-Muslim / unbelievers.[119] Calls for violence against non-Muslims has accompanied sharia implementation.[120]

L. Ali Khan writes, "not every act of violence committed in the name of Islam is jihad. Over the centuries, Islam has restrained its followers from unleashing unlawfulviolence for which there is no clear basis in the teachings of the Quran."[121]

Violence against women

Verse Template:Cite quran of the Qur'an as translated by Mohammed Habib Shakir reads:

Men are the maintainers of women because God has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as God has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely God is High, Great.

The 2004 film Submission, which rose to fame after the murder of its director Theo van Gogh critiqued this and similar verses of the Qur'an by displaying them painted on the bodies of abused Muslim women.[122] Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the film's writer, said "It is written in the Koran a woman may be slapped if she is disobedient. This is one of the evils I wish to point out in the film."[123]

Scholars and other defenders of Islam have a variety of responses to these criticisms. (See An-Nisa, 34 for a fuller exegesis on the meaning of the text.) Although the Qur'an does allow a husband to punish his wife for transgressing the bounds given to her by God, it prescribes that the man is only allowed to hit the woman so lightly that it would not leave as much as a faint mark upon her, otherwise the man has himself transgressed divine bounds. Some Muslims argue that beating is only appropriate if a woman has done "an unrighteous, wicked and rebellious act" beyond mere disobedience.[124] In many modern interpretations of the Qur'an, the actions prescribed in 4:34 are to be taken in sequence, and beating is only to be used as a last resort.[125][126][127]

Some Islamic scholars and commentators have emphasized that beatings, where permitted, are not to be harsh[128][129][130] or even that they should be "more or less symbolic."[131] According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Ibn Kathir, the consensus of Islamic scholars is that the above verse describes a light beating.[132][133] Some jurists argue that even when beating is acceptable under the Qur'an, it is still discountenanced.[134][135][136]

Shabbir Akhtar has argued that the Qur'an introduced prohibitions against "the pre-Islamic practice of female infanticide" (16:58, 17:31, 81:8).[137]

Current holy wars

Tunisian human rights activist describes Islamists' ideology and goal: "Fighting infidels until they either convert to Islam or submit to Muslims as 'Dhimmis'... is still considered by Islamists to be a religious duty."[138]

Contemporary Islamist ideology—explains a researcher—authorizes genocidal murder via the notion by contemporary Islamism's view that

Islam is now under attack, and therefore Jihad is now a war of defense, and as such has become not only a collective duty but an individual duty without restrictions or limitations. That is, to the Islamists, Jihad is a total, all-encompassing duty to be carried out by all Muslims � men and women, young and old. All infidels, without exception, are to be fought and annihilated, and no weapons or types of warfare are barred. Furthermore, according to them, current Muslim rulers allied with the West are considered apostates and infidels.

One major ideological influence in Islamist thought is Muslim Brotherhood movement's leader Sayyid Qutb's thoughts.[139]

Ayatollah

"Perhaps the most resoundent call to jihad in modern times occurred on January 21, 1979," suggest authors, as the Ayatollah Khomeini announced a Jihad against the U.S. "The people have absolute confidemce in their victory in this holy war (jihad-e moqaddas)," said the Islamic icon.[140]

Ayatollah Khomeini's "Radical Islamic Revolution executed and killed hundreds of thousands of people in the name of Radical Islam."[141]

'Holy war' categorized by Iran in its 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war under Ayatollah Khomeini.[142] "Khomeini's call to jihad incited thousands of Iranian teenagers to volunteer for martyrdom missions."[140] The Basiji movement 'created' child and adult sacrifice as "holy soldiers,"[143] Blessed by Iranian mullahs' regime.[144]

The Basiji ideology enjoys a revival under Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[143] who's a member,[145] and the movement with a nominal strength of 12.6 million, has been present in schools since it was first created in 1979 by the Ayatollah.[146] Basijis were used in crackdowns in 1999, in 2003[147] and in the brutality of 2009 on protesters in Iran.[148]

The group demands in training intense Quran studies, it calls for “Basij Ethics and Etiquette” and “Major Islamic Commandments.” The Basijis have been known to act in defending a strict Islamic conduct."[149] and enforcing Sharia law.[150] often "merging" with Ansar-e Hezbollah men in enforcing Sharia law.[147] In one example, Human rights activists charged that Basiji Islamic militiamen have raped and murderd 26 years old Elnaz Babazadeh for wearing an improper dress.[151]

On August 19, 1979 the Ayatollah declared a jihad against the Kurds in Iran. "Once jihad is declared, all males over 15 must join the fight, the enemy's property is open to confiscation."[152]

"Ayatollah Khomeini played on the messianic overtones of this belief during the Iranian revolution." The ideology of "Twelver" in Shiite Islam (return of the 12th Imam - belief) was invoked by many who believed that the Ayatollah will "return" as their Mahdi (Islamic Messiah). Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refocuses this belief of the Mahdi's return by public statements and various symbolic actions, Iraq's Shiite al-Sadr's army is called the Mahdi army.[153]

Mujahedin

In 1979 Afghanistan, local Muslim rebels began fighting the Soviets army, calling themselves mujahideen (holy warriors), they used guerrilla war.[154]

Author of the book Holy war Wilhelm Dietl accounted how one Mujahed fighter told him en route to an armed attack in Herat: "We love to kill Russians and to be killed."[155]

Taliban

Some of the Taliban - Afghanistan's "holy warriors," have fought against the Soviets in the 1980s. They battle to conquer the country.[156] Many Madrassas (Islamic schools) endorse Jihad in Pakistan and in Afghanistan.[157]

In the 1980s, the Afghan jihad has been financed by the Saudis.[158]

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein warned of a jihad, holy war against the United States in 1991.[159] In 2003, after the March 20 US, British led invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein called for a holy war against "an aggression on the land of Islam." (invoking the Quranic theme: "Fight them everywhere...")[160] The statement accused the coalition forces of waging a war against Islam. His information Minister conlcuding: "Therefore, jihad is a duty in confronting them... Those who are martyred will be rewarded in heaven. Seize the opportunity, my brothers."[161]

Laskar Jihad

The paramilitary organisation Laskar Jihad called "to wage a jihad or holy war" into Indonesia's Moluccan islands, and carried out anti-Christian attacks in Sulawesi,[162] the same group was involved in the 1999 violence against Christians and Chinese[163] in East Timor.[164] It has been categorized as "Indonesia's Dirty Little Holy War Holy Terror.[162]

Hezbollah

Hezbollah's spiritual guidance, Sheik Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah, who witnessing journalist says was behind the hostage crisis in Lebanon in the 1980s,[165] said: "We see ourselves as mujihadeen who fight a Holy War." Justifying bombings, kidnapping, murder.[166]

Omar al-Bashir

"In the present conflict in Darfur, jihad is usually interpreted as holy war by the government in Khartoum."[167] The Sudanese National Islamic Front declared in 1992 a jihad, or holy war, against all in the Nuba Mountains who supported the SPLA."[168] [169]

Sudan's leader Omar Al-Bashir, in 1997 "declared a jihad (holy war) against" Ethiopia.[170] Accused of genocide he threatened in 2007 "to mount a jihad against United Nations peacekeepers." [171]

Wahabbists

The Whabbists have a long history of fundamentalism and jihad, declaring holy wars on others, to force them into accepting their purified version of Islam[172]

In 2010, a 'Glut of fatwas spurred Saudi king to impose curbs,' Saudi political analyst explaining: "If you endorse jihad, it means you are searching for a war with the rest of the world."[173]

Some militant Islamic movements cite Saudi Wahhabi clerics to justify violence. [174]

Terrorism

Islamic terrorism is terrorism[175] committed by Muslims, and aimed at achieving varying political ends[176] and the advancement of Islamist goals; for example, Osama bin Laden's stated goal of ending American military presence in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula,[177][177] overthrowing Arab regimes he considers corrupt and insufficiently religious,[177] and stopping American support for Israel.[178] Bombing in London 7/7 are said to be in retaliation for UK's support in the war in Iraq that began in 2003, though it can't be linked as a motive for Islamic terror plots on London, December, 2001.[179][180] The Islamic terrorism attack in Madrid were "explained" as "inspired by al-Qaeda's call to punish Spain's government for supporting the Iraq war," another motive was given that Spain holds a strong appeal to Islamic militants because the southern region of Andalucia was under Muslim control for almost 800 years, and "Al-Qaeda has called on jihadists to reconquer Spain as part of a broader Muslim caliphate, or kingdom under Islamic rule."[181][182]

At the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Islamic terrorists were told by their handlers in Pakistan "that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews."[78]

The Qur'an: (8:12): "...cast terror in their hearts and strike upon their necks."[183] The commanded to terrorize the disbelievers have been cited in motivation of Jihadi terror.[184][185][186][187]

A Jihadi cleric:

"Another aim and objective of jihad is to drive terror in the hearts of the [infidels]. To terrorize them. Did you know that we were commanded in the Qur'an with terrorism? ...Allah said, and prepare for them to the best of your ability with power, and with horses of war. To drive terror in the hearts of my enemies, Allah's enemies, and your enemies. And other enemies which you don't know, only Allah knows them... So we were commanded to drive terror into the hearts of the [infidels], to prepare for them with the best of our abilities with power. Then the Prophet said, nay, the power is your ability to shoot. The power which you are commanded with here, is your ability to shoot. Another aim and objective of jihad is to kill the [infidels], to lessen the population of the [infidels]... it is not right for a Prophet to have captives until he makes the Earth warm with blood... so, you should always seek to lessen the population of the [infidels]."[188]

Observers have also argued that the attacks are aimed at propagating Islamic culture, society and values in opposition to perceived political, imperialistic, and/or cultural influences of non-Muslims, and the Western world in particular.[189][190]

There are also historical dimensions to the phenomenon, and the history of Western influence and control after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, is a common stated reason used within some terrorist groups to justify and explain its use of violence as resistive and retributive against western influences.

World domination

The strive to an 'Islamic Caliphate.' Caliph is translated from the Arabic Khalifa (خليفة Template:Unicode) meaning "successor", "substitute", or "lieutenant". It is used in the Qur'an to establish Adam's role as representative of Allah on earth. Kalifa is also used to describe the belief that man's role, in his real nature, is as khalifa or viceroy to Allah.[191] The word is also most commonly used for the Islamic leader of the Ummah; starting with Muhammad and his line of successors.

ndeed domination's Jihadists' ultimate goal.[87][192] Al-Qaeda revealed its grand plan towards an Islamic caliphate,[193] - global domination.[194] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has released a statement in which it explains the reasons for its terror campaign:

"We are not fighting to chase out the occupier or to save national unity and keep the borders outlined by the infidels intact," [...] "We are fighting because it is a religious duty to do it, just as it is a duty to take the Sharia [Islamic law] to the government and create an Islamic state."[195]

"Al-Qaeda has called on jihadists to reconquer Spain as part of a broader Muslim caliphate, or kingdom under Islamic rule."[181] Explaining why even Hamas has an eye on Spain.[182] In the early 1990s, the GIA Algerian Armed Islamist Group, which is "well known for its radical positions and the barbaric violence of its operations, announced the restoration of the caliphate and the appointment of a caliph."[196] With Palestinian Islamic party Hamas victory in the 2007 election, a mass gathering followed with Hamas' spokesman calling for a Caliphate.[197] The official said Hamas seeks to create an "Islamic caliphate" in the land.[198][199] Barack Obama said about radical Islamists terrorists:

The terrorists are at war with us... They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.[200]

Methods of violence

Beheading and mutilation are commanded in the Qu'ran: "Kill their opponents by cutting off their hands and feet."[201]

Beheadings

Beheading in the name of Islam is a wide past and present phenomenon.[201][202][203] Some have called it: "sacred Muslim practice of beheading."[204] The Qur'an: (8:12): "...and strike upon their necks."[183] Andrew McCarthy elaborated on "Islam and Beheadings."[205] From the Oxford dictionary of Islam:

Hadith reports introduce the teaching that renunciation of Islam is punishable by beheading, burning, crucifixion, or banishment.[206]

Muhammad reported that the angel Gabriel told him that beheading was one of Allah's punishments for those who reject him.[207]

Among the atrocities of the Islamic terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines are multiple beheadings.[208][209][210][211][212][213][214][215]

Glorification of these crimes manifested itself in examples of: Beheaded Christian girls were Ramadan 'trophies'[216] and beheading Video was up for sale in Baghdad.[217]

Islamists in Iraq sent (in 2006) the following message: "Leave, Crusaders, or have your heads cut off."[218]

From Islamic terrorists' admission:

We found a Swedish infidel. Brother Nimr cut off his head, and put it at the gate so that it would be seen by all those entering and exiting. We continued in the search for the infidels, and we slit the throats of those we found among them. . . . We found Filipino Christians. We cut their throats and dedicated them to our brothers the Mujahideen in the Philippines. [Likewise], we found Hindu engineers and we cut their throats too, Allah be praised. That same day, we purged Muhammad's land of many Christians and polytheists.[219]

Other Beheadings: See: Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg.

Dismemberment

Dismemberment is commanded in the Quran,[220] including cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides.[221] It is denounced together with stoning of women.[222] Jihadists cut off nose, ears, tongue of civilians in Afghanistan.[223]

See also

  • Islamic Jihad
  • Islamic terrorism
  • Honor killing

References

Notes

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  2. Hitchens, Christopher (2007). God is not Great. Twelve.
  3. Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Bantam Books.
  4. Bloch, Maurice (1992). Prey into Hunter. The Politics of Religious Experience.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Avalos, Hector (2005). Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books.
  6. The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism By Regina M. Schwartz. University of Chicago Press. 1998.
  7. Sutton, Philip W.; Vertigans, Stephen (2005). Resurgent Islam: a sociological approach. Polity. p. 7. http://books.google.com/books?id=Jhx1XlbhFhgC&pg=PA7&dq=Islam+%22violent+religion%22&hl=en&ei=QN4FTaL-Jo7msQOepuWODQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=Islam%20%22violent%20religion%22&f=false. "Stereotypical views which portray Islam as an inherently violent religion, a 'religion of the sword' and an increasing global threat have thus been reinforced and even extended over recent years."
  8. Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009). [Infobase Publishing, 2009 Encyclopedia of Islam]. Infobase Publishing. p. 374. Infobase Publishing, 2009.
  9. Hinnells, John R.; King, Richard (2007). Religion and violence in South Asia: theory and practice. Taylor & Francis. p. 79. http://books.google.com/books?id=wb1OBi3zvdkC&pg=PA79&dq=Islam+%22violent+religion%22&hl=en&ei=ZbcFTb21G4uosAOp3ZiKDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Islam%20%22violent%20religion%22&f=false.
  10. Puniyani, Ram (2005). Religion, power & violence: expression of politics in contemporary times. SAGE. pp. 97–98. http://books.google.com/books?id=Fd5Fm79VMk8C&pg=PA98&dq=Islam+%22violent+religion%22&hl=en&ei=X30ETYusGcq-nAfihpnmDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Islam%20%22violent%20religion%22&f=false.
  11. Corrigan, John; Hudson (2004). Religion in America: an historical account of the development of American religious life. Pearson/Prentice Hall. p. 444. http://books.google.com/books?id=OVTuAAAAMAAJ&q=Pat+Robertson+Islam+%22violent+religion%22&dq=Pat+Robertson+Islam+%22violent+religion%22&hl=en&ei=TdQFTa6ZAY72tgPb9aDHDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAg.
  12. "A NATION CHALLENGED: THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT; Islam Is Violent in Nature, Pat Robertson Says". New York Times. February 23, 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/23/us/nation-challenged-religious-right-islam-violent-nature-pat-robertson-says.html. "The religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has described Islam as a"violent religion that wants to 'dominate and then, if need be, destroy'.""
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  14. Puniyani, Ram (2005). Religion, power & violence: expression of politics in contemporary times. SAGE. p. 98. http://books.google.com/books?id=Fd5Fm79VMk8C&pg=PA98&dq=Quran+violence&hl=en&ei=794GTZn5O9nRnAf49-24CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=Quran%20violence&f=false.
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  125. Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his Quranic commentary states that: "In case of family jars four steps are mentioned, to be taken in that order. (1) Perhaps verbal advice or admonition may be sufficient; (2) if not, sex relations may be suspended; (3) if this is not sufficient, some slight physical correction may be administered; but Imam Shafi'i considers this inadvisable, though permissible, and all authorities are unanimous in deprecating any sort of cruelty, even of the nagging kind, as mentioned in the next clause; (4) if all this fails, a family council is recommended in 4:35 below." Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary (commentary on 4:34), Amana Corporation, Brentwood, MD, 1989. ISBN 0-915957-03-5.
  126. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, says that "If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife, he should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words, gentle persuasion, and reasoning with her. If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her, trying to awaken her agreeable feminine nature so that serenity may be restored, and she may respond to him in a harmonious fashion. If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts.[16][dead link].[17]
  127. Ibn Kathir writes that in case of rebellious behavior, the husband is asked to urge his wife to mend her ways, then to refuse to share their beds, and as the last resort, husbands are allowed to admonish their wives by beating. Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir”, Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 2000, 50-53
  128. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, says that "It is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts. In no case should he resort to using a stick or any other instrument that might cause pain and injury."[18][dead link][19][dead link]
  129. Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqee records in his Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim that "Ibn `Abbas and several others said that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe."
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  131. One such authority is the earliest hafiz, Ibn Abbas.[20]
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  134. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi comments that "Whenever the Prophet (peace be on him) permitted a man to administer corporal punishment to his wife, he did so with reluctance, and continued to express his distaste for it. And even in cases where it is necessary, the Prophet (peace be on him) directed men not to hit across the face, nor to beat severely nor to use anything that might leave marks on the body." "Towards Understanding the Qur'an" Translation by Zafar I. Ansari from "Tafheem Al-Qur'an" (specifically, commentary on 4:34) by Syed Abul-A'ala Mawdudi, Islamic Foundation, Leicester, England.
  135. The medieval jurist ash-Shafi'i, founder of one of the main schools of fiqh, commented on this verse that "hitting is permitted, but not hitting is preferable."
  136. "[S]ome of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g., Ash-Shafi'i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet's personal feelings with regard to this problem." Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'an (his translation of the Qur'an).
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