Saturday, December 25, 2010

Is Islam really the most violent religion? BJP(?) says no.

When insanity rules over sanity people can not even distinguish between stories and open commands to murder and genocide. In the age of post modernist world, objective thinking is discouraged and demonized. Reason is completely abandoned. As if this is not sufficient, we have political correctness creeping in to journalism and politics; both the professions are tainted by allures of power and money. So rationalism gives the way to irrationalism and we have a word like Islamophobia.

'BJP' in title of this post does not refer to Indian political party, Bharatiya Janata Party referred to as 'Hindu right wing party' often equated with 'hate Islam'. It refers to initials of name of a blogger.

The title of this post is also not my picking; this was the title of an article that appeared in the website of 'BJP'( in September). Yesterday I was sent this URL in an e-mail from a friend who asked me to reply in comments section. I recognized the name of that website and I knew very well that that gentleman, owner of the website, is going to moderate comments, so it was not worth.

After reading that post, my reflexive thought was to answer by putting up comparative analysis done by a website, incidentally this blog was my opening to Koran and Islam, regarding violence and cruelty present in Bible and Koran using statistical analysis and I thought this also saves my time. Realizing that I have not written anything significant in the past 15 days, most of it is pasting and adding comments, in my blog and also that answering to this post throws light on certain aspects of Islam thus, I am writing this post.

But why did I mention Bible? It was not me but the author of the original post. He chooses a very innovative method to analyze the question, by the way question itself is very erroneous and misleading, he put himself.

He starts with his claim that Islamaphobes like me say that Islam is the most violent religion because there are violent verses in Koran. Here he is trying to project his ignorance of Islam and Koran on to others. Sure, many critics present violent verses present in Koran to ridicule Islam, which Islam deserves; but they also write lot more than mere pasting of verses from Koran which is immaterial to this gentleman.

He agrees Koran has certain violent verses, and so Bible also has them. Then the obvious conclusion from him is that it is few Muslim individuals who are violent and misinterpret verses and overall message of Koran and it has really nothing to do with Koran or religion in general; as he writes:
Given all this, it’s hypocritical to say that Islam is the most violent religion. The problem is not Islam per se since Islam relies solely on the quran which is as good/bad as the bible. So we must then also call christianity the most violent religion!...It’s high time people realized that the reason for violence is the people who choose to become violent.You can’t absolve them of responsibility saying that they were driven to violence because of an ideology. Cause there are enough peaceful passages even in the quran for them to pick up on if they want.
So, Osama Bin Laden comes across verses 9:5 and 9:29 and sends planes in to WTC. It is that simple, right? His view of Koran containing peaceful verses (if any) and violent verses and it is a matter of choice for Muslims to go with either of these can only invite laughter and contempt from even Muslims.

Similarly, his one to one identification between book and faith is hilarious and puerile. He claims he is a Christian by birth and an atheist now, so we can assume that he read Bible or part of it; he quotes some verses from Bible and writes on his acquaintance with Bible:
So I have a pretty good understanding of what’s written in the bible and I can tell you, it ain’t pretty. The bible is easily one of the most violent religious books in existence. Blow for blow it outshines even Islam in sheer brutality and in the advocation of race based mass genocide.
But he has not read Koran; he says this in one of the comments in the same post:
Well, let me think. I'm actually very handicapped since I haven't read enough of the quran to make a judgement. (in comment section: Sep. 21st, 2010. Time 4:31am) (That man is capable of deleting this comment too if felt embarrassed; that is why I am mentioning even this.)
Most important thing is he has no knowledge of Islam at all because Islam is not ‘Koran only’ affair, read the first quote I put up; Muslims following traditions of Prophet is another aspect to Islam. So just going by Koran to reach conclusion on Islam is not proper and erroneous, and that too when he has not even read Koran, and then trying to do so (analyze) is not reasonable by any measure and doesn't merit any respect. It is much worse than asking a man about inflation rate who does not know any thing about economics. The 'erudite'  gentleman drives his ignorance, foolishness combined with arrogance further:
....Cause there are enough peaceful passages even in the quran for them to pick up on if they want. Just like there’s no shortage of violence in the bible. Ultimately, one who wants to find an excuse to fight and is receptive to being brainwashed can find ample justification to do so no matter what their religion is.
This should tell about his ignorance of message of Koran. Well, lets not go on to discuss whether there are peaceful passages in Koran or not, but Koran drives a major theme by removing all contradictions in Koran by rule of abrogation. If there are any peaceful passages in Koran, they are abrogated by later violent passages; but he will never understand or try to because to make a judgment on something you do not know about itself points to his arrogant conviction in his superior beliefs and morality.

But the most important thing is that he never answers the question if there are violent verses in Bible why we do not see many incidents of violence and terrorist attacks by Christians even when they are persecuted horribly in Egypt and in all Muslim majority nations. Why only Muslims are perpetuating violence on others and also on their own people?  Usage of absence of violence from Christians and non labeling of Christianity as violent to show that Koran is not responsible for violence by Muslims is testimony to shortage of his capacity to comprehend any thing in reasonable and logical manner.

Sure there is violence in Bible and more importantly Koran equally upholds Bible as sacred revelation of Allah himself. It is also true that God in Bible is psychopathic as he kills people for small reason, good reason, bad reason or no reason at all. It is equally true that Old Testament is abhorrent. Though it is irrelevant here, Islam contrary to claims of Muslims is not an Abrahamic religion at all. Most important difference between Bible and Koran is authorship and span of period of writing. Bible has about 40 different authors and is written over a span of more than 700 years. But Koran has one author, Mohammad, and is written over span of 23 years. The author quotes:
The bible is easily one of the most violent religious books in existence. Blow for blow it outshines even Islam in sheer brutality and in the advocation of race based mass genocide.
He is overlooking many things out of his ignorance, but he can not accept it even if we point out the difference between advocation and narration of stories.

First, for comparing Islam with Christianity by comparing Koran and Bible is very erroneous; it is because, as I said Islam is also about following Mohammad. But still lets do compare violence in Koran and Bible quantitatively and qualitatively.

First I will present the quantitative results from that website (you can find here) on number of violent verses present in Bible and Koran. See the below charts:

Number of Cruel or Violent Passages
But Bible has more verses and much larger in volume so, look at this next table:

Violence and Cruelty
Total verses
Lets come to qualitative aspect. When we talk about violence, we need to be clear about aspects of its definition. First, lets ask ourselves, why should we discuss and worry about Koran or Bible and violence in them? Because to see if violence is being directed at others esp. outsiders by these two books i.e. Bible teaching and directing violence at Non Christians and Koran at Non Muslims. This can be called political violence. By our accepted modern logic and reason, we deplore any book that exhorts its followers to political violence unfairly. Once we understand this def., it becomes easy to understand the rest.

Much of the violence in Bible are tales or stories about God himself doing the dirty work like sending plague, opening up earth or sending rain of fire stones. These violent stories are also repeated in Koran also. When I wrote a post on violence in Koran and presented violent verses in it, I did not mention these verses because they are of no consequence.

But there is also political violence in Bible. This violence of Bible was for that particular historical time, place and people. I will give an example.

Many Muslim apologists, in initial days when faced with criticism of Koran, also mentioned about presence of violence in Bible to deflect criticism at Islam and even quoted verses from Bible, like the one below by a Muslim website:
“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you. Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:10-17)
Compare this with a Koranic verse:
And when We would destroy a township We send commandment to its folk who live at ease, and afterward they commit abomination therein, and so the Word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation. (Pickthall 17:16)
One can see the similarity between Koran and Bible, but in Koran, this is of no consequence as Allah was telling about what he did in past. So in Bible too. It is difficult to see because of passage from Bible quoted by that Muslim person is incomplete. Any Christian who read Bible knows that passage is incomplete because that Muslim person deliberately omitted verse 17 and yet included it in reference. When we include the  verse 17:
“Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you”
Now it becomes clear that it was a specific command given at a specific time at specific place for people of Israel targeted at specific people. This passage is not an open (general) command, like that Muslim person presented or BJP perception of Biblical violence, but a story from history bounded with in Biblical text. No Christian or Jew treat these verses as commands to be followed in present day world.

Last of such tale in Bible appears in Book of Joshua that is 40 years after Moses according to Biblical timeline. All these (entire violence) are confined to state of Israel, not outside. One will not find any open commands for Bible believers to go on fighting until the world becomes Christian in either much maligned old testament (indeed it is abhorrent) or in new testament. No where in the Bible you come across verses exhorting Christians to fight until all others in the entire world are subjugated or convert to Islam.

But in Koran, we come across verses which are valid for all times and all places and all other people (as enemies). Koran itself says that it is valid for all times and no one can remove anything from Koran or add anything to Koran. Look at some verses from Koran:
And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allâh) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allâh Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allâh), then certainly, Allâh is All-Seer of what they do. (Hilali, 8:39)
It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islâm), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh) hate (it). (Hilali, 9:033)
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Yusuf Ali, 9:029)
And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.(Hilali, 2:191)
To understand the reason for presence of these verses in Koran and comment on these verses, you need to know about Koran and life of Mohammad but not what is in Bible. Shouldn't it occur to us that the presence of such open commands, violent verses, for violence against Non Muslims itself requires perusal of Islamic doctrines?

The most important thing is lives of Mohamamd and Jesus. Mohammad is central to Islam and Koran commands Muslims in 91 verses to follow him as an example and obey his command. Similarly Jesus is central to Christianity. Most telling difference is Jesus never took a sword and even stopped his followers from raising sword. In contrast to this, Mohammad leads or sends 84 military expeditions in 9 years; one military expedition for every 5 and 1/2 weeks. He personally oversees beheading of 900 Jewish men. One can read on differences between Jesus and Mohammad from here.

Finally, whom should the readers believe? A man who has not read Koran and does not even know abcd of Islam and his ridiculous reasoning or what Islamic scholars are saying on their religion. If some thought that I am asking readers to believe me, they must have been disappointed. Best way to inquire is to read from authentic Islamic sources Koran, Hadith and Biographies of Mohammad or some reputed tafsirs. When you do this you no longer need an Islamic scholar as you become one, Bill warner says.

Note: One can also read the following articles:
The Political Violence of the Bible and the Koran.
Flying Hijacked Planes in to Glass Houses. (Koran-Bible violence). [This is very good.]


Anonymous said...

Hello srinu,

i put up this url in his blog. for now it appears that he does not moderate comments. i just want to inform you on this.

Anonymous said...

the people of our nation never understood islam properly..thats the reason that why we have nations within nation like pakistan,bangladesh..lost indoenesia, malaysia etc..and still the slogan hindu-muslims bhai bhai is shouted..muslim rule is considered as an indigenous rule yet british rule is a foreign rule..