Islam is not the religion of peace. The following sixteen reasons, all sourced from the original sacred documents (the Quran and Traditions), classical law, and history, tell us why.
Each item in the list has one or more back-up articles. Readers should click on them to find out that the points come right out of original Islam and are not invented out of thin air.
Nearly all of the back-up articles also have a section on modern Islam, mentioning Muslims — too few — who advocate reform.
And if readers would like to see various translations of the Quran, they may go to the website quranbrowser.com and type in the references. If readers are in doubt about the meaning of a verse, they may go to the tafsir (commentary) written by Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), one of the most authoritative and highly regarded classical commentators in the Sunni world, at qtafsir.com. Or the readers may search through the modern commentary by Sunni Indo-Pakistani religious scholar and politician Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi (d. 1979) at englishtafsir.com.
The first reason is the foundation of all the others.
1. The mosque and state are not separate.
To this day, Islamic nations that are deeply rooted in sharia, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, do not adequately separate the two realms, giving a lot of power to courts and councils to ensure that legislation does not contradict the Quran (never mind whose interpretation).
Back-up: Mosque and State
2. Jihad may be waged against injustice or an unjust nation, as Islam defines the terms.
Classical texts say Islam is justice, and no Islam is injustice. Therefore, a “just war” can be waged against a nation or people who does not submit to Islam.
Yet we are told in the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which is based on sharia, that humane rules must be followed (Article Three). Does that article offer hope that modern Islam can move past old Islam? Maybe.
However, the Quran, sacred traditions, classical law, and historical Islam contradict or balance out some elements in Article Three. Would there be a conflict between the old Islam and modern Islam if war broke out? Many Islamic clerics issue fatwas (religious rulings) to wage jihad.
3. Jihad may be waged to spread Islam and force conversions — a holy war.
Yet we have been told for many years now that holy wars and forced conversions were never done in Islam. That’s a myth imagined by Westerners.
4. Muhammad nicknames his weapons.
Tabari (AD 839-923) is an early Muslim historian who is considered largely reliable by scholars today. In fact, the State University of New York Press selected his history to be translated into 38 volumes. (We use The Last Years of the Prophet, trans. Ismail K. Poonawala, vol. 9, 153-55.)
In the context of the list of Muhammad’s assets at the end of his life (horses, camels, milch sheep, and so on), Tabari records the nicknames of Muhammad’s weapons.
Muhammad nicknames three swords that he took from the Jewish tribe Qaynuqa after he banished them from Medina in April 624: “Pluck Out,” “Very Sharp,” and “Death.” Two other swords from elsewhere are named: “Sharp” and “That is wont to sink” (presumably into human flesh). Finally, there is “Having the vertebrae of the back.” This last sword Muhammad collected as booty after his victory at the Battle of Badr in March 624.
Next, Muhammad took three bows from the Jewish Qaynuqa tribe and named them as follows: “Most conducive to ease, or wide,” “white,” and “of nab wood” (species of tree from which bows are made).
Muhammad’s name for a certain coat of mail implies “ampleness” or “redundant portions,” probably because Muhammad was portly (cf. Ibn Ishaq, Life of Muhammad, trans. Guillaume, p. 383).
Finally, even Muhammad himself has a nickname. After Tabari lists the positive ones, he matter-of-factly provides one that is not so positive: “The obliterator.”
5. A captive in jihad may be executed, enslaved, ransomed for money, exchanged for other prisoners, or released freely.
Quran 47:4, 33:25-27, and 4:24 say these things (and the last option — free release — is positive). Yet we are told that in a jihad today, everything must be done humanely and justly.
However, as stated before, the back-up article, this fourth item, and the next four items in this list balance out that claim. One must ask whether there be a conflict between old Islam and modern Islam in the event of a war.
6. A woman captive of jihad may be forced to have to sex with her captors (now owners).
Quran 4:24 and especially the sacred traditions and classical law allow this. The sacred traditions say that while out on military campaigns under Muhammad’s leadership, jihadists used to practice coitus interruptus with their female captives.
7. Property can be destroyed or confiscated during jihad.
Quran 59:2 and 59:5 discuss those rules. Sacred traditions and classical law expand on the Quranic verses. Modern Islamic law officially improves on the Quran: see Article Three of the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which is nonetheless based on sharia but outlaws wanton destruction of property. Once again, would there be any conflict between old Islam and modern Islam in a war today?
8. Jihad may be waged to collect spoils.
Quran 8:1, 8:7, 8:41, and 48:20 show this clearly. Early Islam followed the old Arab custom of raiding caravans, but as its military grew, the raids were elevated to jihad. The spoils of war were coveted. Which Islam would prevail in a war today — the old one or the modern one?
Read the other eight at American Thinker