13 March 2011

On almost every page . . .

In Friday's "Real Time" interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress), Bill Maher quoted from Sam Harris' book, The End of Faith, saying

On almost every page, the Quran instructs observant Muslims to despise nonbelievers.
To which Rep. Ellison replied
That's absurd, ridiculous, and untrue.

But is it? Let's open a Quran and see.

The Quran isn't a very big book. Its 114 chapters (or surahs) take up only 400 or so pages. And yet there are 534 intolerant passages, including over 200 verses that include these words (or a variant thereof): "And for the disbelievers, Allah has prepared a painful doom."

Here's what Allah says about disbelievers in the Quran.

Allah loveth not the disbelievers. Quran 3:32
Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. Quran 2:98
Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Quran 4:56
But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads, Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning. Quran 22:19-22

So clearly, Allah despises disbelievers.

But what about Muslims? How does the Quran instruct Muslims to view disbelievers?

As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. Quran 2:6-7
Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined. Quran 2:161
Slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. Quran 2:191
Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Quran 3:28
Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Quran 4:76
They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them. Quran 4:89
In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. Quran 4:101
O ye who believe! Choose not disbelievers for (your) friends in place of believers. Would ye give Allah a clear warrant against you? Quran 4:144
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. Quran 5:33
O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Quran 5:51
O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers. Quran 9:23
Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. Quran 9:73
O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). Quran 9:123
Never be a helper to the disbelievers. Quran 28:86
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Quran 48:29
Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren Quran 58:22
O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy for allies. Do ye give them friendship when they disbelieve. Quran 60:1
O ye who believe! Be not friendly with a folk with whom Allah is wroth, (a folk) who have despaired of the Hereafter as the disbelievers despair of those who are in the graves.Quran 60:13
Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end. Quran 66:9

So Sam Harris had it about right. On almost every page, the Quran instructs observant Muslims to despise nonbelievers. It's not absurd, ridiculous, or untrue. (Open a Quran and see for yourself.)

Here's the Real Time interview.


Belle said...

Maher was quite reasonable, IMO.

The only defence I would make for 'God' (and the vast majority of Muslims - that support this idea of the Qur'an) is that "He" was referring to some very specific disbelievers rather than all of us. It's not a great defence really but there it is.

We all can afford to focus on a feature of Islam that has come to be (arguably?) its real focus, though, and that is its concern with remedying injustices (rather that returning hate for hate - no, I'm not a Christian but there is something to be said for (arguably?) the main focus of THAT religion (being the return of love for hate, if you see what I mean)).

RaptorJesus said...

Well I've been to Iraq, I got to meet alot of muslims and learned the basics of their beleifs, I know both side of the BS stories.

Personally I think adults with imaginary friends are just plain creepy and dangerous.

People would rather die than think, christians and muslims are prime examples of this.

polardan said...

RaptorJesus could you elaborate on your experiences in Iraq and both sides of the BS story? I would like to know if muslims in general have it out for the west or just the radicals?
I have a thought that I'll have to check out. "The longer a religion is around the more laid back it becomes." Christianity has 600 years on Islam so if you were to go back 600 years Christianity might look a lot like Islam today. Judaism has 3 thousand years on Christianity and they barely resisted when Hitler sent them to the gas chambers. I'm not sure the earth can handle 600 years of BS. from these guys. We like our independence to much.

twillight said...


The problem is, almost noone understands the concept of "love" in the Bible.

"Love" in the Bible means "blind obedience to Jealous (the god of the Bible)".

So when it says something like 'return love for hate', it actually says "kill them for god says so".

Christianity is a poison with terminology from one-two thousand years ago.

Markus Arelius said...

Dude, just watch The Tudors series. Then you'll have a good idea about what Christianity was like just 400 years ago, albeit from a higher society perspective. I don't even want to think about the lower society aspect, since it's probably 1,000 times worse.

People really went to town with the notion of heresy though, calling everyone and anyone a heretic. Nobody was safe. Not even the clergy. On the one hand this was a socially and politically expedient way to rub out one's enemies. But clearly the belief that one was doing the right thing by God was what informed reprehensible actions (and methods) such as the The Rack, the breaking wheel, burning at the stake, and being hung, drawn and quartered.

These actions are not performed in the middle east by muslim societies, per se. They do have similar menus for heretics and other "criminals" such as amputations, decapitations and death by stoning. There's a difference perhaps between 17th century England and 21st century Saudi Arabia, but it's not gaping.

Man, if we only had crime statistics during the era of Henry the VIII and his successor "Bloody" Mary.

Anonymous said...

People are intolerant of people who don't believe the same as them. It may not be right, but it's human nature, not exclusive to Muslims.