If Terrorism Isn’t About Islam, What’s It About?

In his address to the Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, President Trump said the fight against terrorism “is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it”.

Trump continued that, “terrorists don’t worship God. They worship death”. Sadly, not all Muslims agree with that. That’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. Radical Islamic terrorists are often called extremists. But “extremists” are nothing more than those who consistently follow a belief to its only possible conclusion. With extremists as bad as these, the only honest thing to do is take a look at Islam.

The Quran (Islam’s bible) contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called “hypocrites” and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, most verses of violence in the Quran are open-ended, meaning that they are not necessarily restrained by historical context contained in the surrounding text (although many Muslims choose to think of them that way). They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant – and subject to interpretation – as anything else in the Quran.

Unfortunately, there are very few verses advocating tolerance and peace to balance those that command that nonbelievers be fought and subdued until they accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad’s own warlike legacy, along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran, have left a trail of blood and tears across world history.

Example: Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Another example: Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.”

While it’s true that not all Muslims are violent, all Muslims do read and believe in the Quran. And the Quran advocates “hate crimes” like few other books ever published.

President Trump does not want us to be at war with a religion, and that may be understandable. But the most consistent and active proponents of Islam are at war with us, like it or not. Many of us who voted for President Trump did so in the hopes that he understood this better than his predecessors – the most recent of whom appeared to actually align himself with them.  Somebody has got to understand this; otherwise we’re going to lose.

“God” is a faith-based concept. This places it in the realm of the subjective. One man’s loving and peaceful God is another’s brutal avenger who calls upon believers to murder in his name. From the perspective of consistent and therefore “extremist” Muslims, this earthly world does not really matter. Only the afterlife does. If your faith-based, subjectively based Allah tells you that murdering infidels will score you points for all eternity, how is that supposed to compare to 50 or 80 years living peacefully on earth with non-believers?

You cannot defeat an enemy you do not understand. To understand why radical Islamic terrorists wish to annihilate all of civilization, you have to know something about Islam. And you have to understand why those who take Islam seriously are the ones who will not stop until the vast majority of us who don’t wish to live under that barbaric ideology are dead or at least enslaved.

The only thing more insane than Islam? A refusal to pay attention to what its most consistent proponents and its own holy texts advocate. When someone wishes to annihilate you, you strike back with 100 times the force. Never blink, and never apologize. The advocates of Islam get this. When will we?

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