>From: Greg Burch <email@example.com>
>Zero, I think there is a basic concept at the heart of Islam that you
>seeing clearly, and one that a historical exegesis of the text of the Q'ran
>and the substance of the Sunnah makes quite clear: The call to fight for
>"freedom" of Islam is grounded in the explicit goal of making Islam a state
>religion. ALL of the contextualization to which you refer (especially
>surrahs 2:191-193) only makes sense if one sees the admonition to "fight
>until Islam is a state religion." The actual historical context of how
>Mohammed's pronouncements on jihad developed make this quite clear:
>spoke these words to motivate his followers to fight relentlessly until
>Islam was established as the official religion governing the law of the
>land, and only then to lay down their arms.
This is the crux of the matter. In my (admittedly superficial) study of
Islam of late I was specifically looking for evidence that Muhammad exhorted
Muslims to spread their faith militarily. I could find none. If you could
refer me to what you have read which leads you to believe that Muhammad
advocated military conversion of non-believers, I would greatly appreciate
My reading leads me to believe that the Qur-an and Sunnah advocate force
only to overcome religious persecution of Muslims. This seems to be
bolstered by the fact that during Muhammad's life he didn't persecute or
initiate any wars against non-believers, unless and until they were
He and his followers supposedly underwent a great deal of persecution at the
hands of the leaders of Mecca, which is why they fled to Medina. It is true
that shortly after his arrival in Medina an Islamic government was
established, with Muhammad as its leader. But this, apparently, was not
effected by military conquest. From what I have read the will of the people
in Medina was that Islam should become their faith and Muhammad should
become their leader. I suppose you could call his triumphant return to
Medina a conquest, but by all accounts it was a bloodless coup. And even
then, the lives of those who previously persecuted Muhammad and his
followers were spared.
This, to me, seems to contradict the conclusions you have reached concerning
Islam. Granted, we are in agreement that there is a certain extremist
faction in Islam today that advocates violent retribution to the "infidel."
But, as you have suggested, a religion (or any meme-set for that matter)
should not be judged on the basis of its most extreme adherents. If that
were the case, our views of Christianity should be informed by the teachings
and actions of such groups as, say, the Aryan Nations.
Lastly, I hope you don't view this exchange as a "debate." I honestly don't
know which of us is more right. I came to this question believing as you
apparently do, and searching for evidence that I was right. I just haven't
found it. I sincerely want to read what you have read which leads you to
your conclusions. If you are interested, I'll gladly refer you to what I
have read which has led me to mine. Thanks for the input.
"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking
that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man.
Has to be." -- George Taylor _Planet of the Apes_ (1968)
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:15 MDT