This is Part 2. Read the Moderate Muslim Response to ISIS, Radical Islam PART 1 & Intro here first.
The continued purpose of this series is to look at the actual text that a religion holds to be holy, authoritative and true as way of determining the truth about that religion, rather than looking at the opinions or behaviors of those who follow that religion.
- Top of Page 4, in Point #2: “But it is not possible to invoke a specific verse from the Qur’an as applying to an event that has occurred 1400 years after the verse was revealed.” Why not? You do this with the rest of the Qur’an don’t you? Applying it to your life, which is an event 1400 years later. And again, show me in the Qur’an where it says that this is not permissible.
- The Qur’an never says that this is or isn’t the time for jihad (the killing of non-Muslims) or that it is or isn’t the time for one of the many brutal laws in the Qur’an such as chopping off someone’s arms as a punishment for stealing, yet one of the primary arguments of the Open Letter is that that time has passed and it’s no longer the time for that.
- Middle of Page 5, in Point #4: “most of the people who became Muslims throughout history, did so through gentle invitation.” Which really smells of revisionist history as is, but the paragraph then goes on to say, “And while Islam spread politically from Central Asia (Khurasan) to North Africa due to Islamic conquests…” as if these Islamic conquests somehow don’t count! Admitting that these conquests happened cancels out the entire point the article is trying to make. The paragraph goes on to say that countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, West and East Africa, and others became Muslim without conquest but through invitation. Invitation? If you mean you threatened to kill them if they didn’t convert, they decided to convert instead of dying, thus no killing happened–this is not converting via invitation! The paragraph ends with, “severity is neither a measure of piety nor a choice for the spread of Islam.” And again, it certainly was a choice for Muhammad. This is major revisionist history and again a rejection of Muhammad’s example.
- Page 5, Point #5: Around 500 years after Muhammad, a Muslim theologian named Al-Ghazali wrote:
“Independent reasoning may lead to them [practicalities], even if there is no specific origin for them.” This quote completely blows my mind.
The term “practicalities” is referring to the way the Qur’anic law is applied. So in other words: “My own reasoning tells me what parts of the Qur’an to use and what parts not to use, regardless of anything the Qur’an actually says.”
This quote holds the strongest proof in the entire article that moderate Muslims reject the Qur’an and do not follow it.
It literally holds no authority for them, except the parts they like, yet they continue to talk about it like it’s God’s authoritative holy word.
- Bottom Page 5, Point #6: The Qur’an verses they use to say God did not command killing of innocents both say “except with due cause” and the other gives 3 provisions for doing so. When the best verse you can come up with for saying the Qur’an doesn’t command killing also contains three provisions for killing, this is a problem. Another passage is used (Al-Ma’idah, 5:32) says souls can only be killed if they killed someone or if they caused corruption or mischief in the land (great reasons to kill, right?). And then in the VERY NEXT verse, verses not included in the Open Letter, Al-Ma’idah 5:33-34 says, “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment… –so waging war against Allah, or causing corruption (other translations: “mischief”) will get your limbs cut off and get you crucified. And they are trying to argue (in point #1) not to take things out of context. Yet this is as out of context as you can get. Only four verses after that in Al-Ma’idah 5:38, “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” How can they possibly use Al-Ma’idah, 5:32 to argue that the Qur’an says not to kill when these verses fall immediately after it? And these are the best verses you can find to say the Qur’an doesn’t say to kill?
In conclusion to Part 2, it cannot be overstated the significant of when a theologian 500 years after Muhammad says, “Independent reasoning may lead to them [practicalities], even if there is no specific origin for them.” No matter if there is an origin in the Qur’an or not, independent reasoning is all that is needed to dictate Muslim theology and practice. If I’m missing something, please let me know, honestly, but this seems to make it so apparent that the Qur’an is not actually an authority for moderate Muslims. So again, if this is the case, how can you call yourself “Muslims” as it seems holding to the Qur’an as your authority is paramount to that.
I will close again by saying I agree with the moderate Muslims’ argument against ISIS and it shows that they have great character, great morals and are great people. But it again shows that they have way more in common with Jesus than with Muhammad and it’s very confusing to me how such intelligent people can say on one hand that the Qur’an is sacred and holy and true and on the other hand blatantly say that it isn’t. I don’t understand why a person wouldn’t just follow Jesus who is in line with their views of love, peace and mercy and comes with a holy book, the Bible, where you don’t have to make things up with “independent reasoning” in order to get it to say this, but it comes this way on its own.