I have an ex-Muslim friend who must remain anonymous because of death threats he has received (he lives in my hometown of Lansing). My friend was born in Iran and was a Muslim for 23 years. He left Islam and became a follower of Jesus after seeing two things: 1. The Qur’an is full of commands to kill non-Muslims (and Muhammad did these things), 2. The Muslims who are in the news for killing non-Muslims are the ones following these commands in the Qur’an. The ones who say Islam is a religion of peace (“moderate Muslims”) do not actually believe the Qur’an, even though they say they do. Since he did not believe in the Qur’an or in Muhammad’s example anymore, he decided to leave Islam. What baffles him is that so many “moderate Muslims” do not believe in the Qur’an or in Muhammad’s example either, but still call themselves Muslim.
You can read the interview I did with my friend here.
Before you as a reader can refute his claims, how much do you know about the Qur’an in comparison to my friend who grew up with it for 23 years and lost everything when he left it? And if you don’t know anything about the Qur’an, if you’ve never actually read it, but have only heard people say “Islam is a religion of peace,” can you really make any judgments about it at all?
What matters more: what the Qur’an says, or what people say about the Qur’an?
I recently did a 4 part blog series responding to the top moderate Muslim scholars in the world’s effort to show ISIS that what ISIS is doing is against the Qur’an. Summarized below are the themes from this effort.
I’ll start by saying I think moderate Muslims are great people.
All of them I have met are great people and the open letter (which I’m responding to) written by these top Muslim scholars only further confirms that I think these are great people with great hearts and great morality. They are truly good people, but they are not “true Islam”…if “true Islam” derives from Muhammad and the Qur’an. In fact, the greatest irony of the moderate Muslims’ argument is that they have so much in common with Jesus and the Bible and so little in common with Muhammad and his commands in the Qur’an. But rather than acknowledge this and follow Jesus (my hope and prayer), they just explain why they disagree with Muhammad and the Qur’an, but try to rationalize why they can still say they believe in Muhammad and the Qur’an and thus hold the appearance of being Muslim.
I’m only going to put my main points here. All of this is backed up in detail in the 4-Part analysis I did on the “Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi”:
Moderate Muslims say that Muhammad’s actions and commands to kill were conditional to the time and place he said them or that they are to be taken allegorically today–even though the Qur’an never says this or hints at this. In fact, the Qur’an specifically says Muhammad’s commands are to remain, including judicial commands to crucify and dismember, as well as death by sword, flogging and stoning.
The word of scholars and theologians who lived hundreds of years after Muhammad is seen as more authoritative than Muhammad and/or the Qur’an. These scholars arbitrarily say what parts of the Qur’an apply and don’t apply anymore, with no regard for what the Qur’an actually says about itself. These scholars even admit that their deductions are based on their “independent reasoning” not on what’s in the Qur’an itself.
Moderate Muslims are then followers of these “qualified people,” not of Muhammad or the Qur’an, despite what they claim verbally
Revisionist history is given (500 years after the fact) that the innocents Muhammad killed were by accident in an effort to polish Muhammad’s image
Moderate Muslims teach that the Qur’an says not to kill. When in reality the Qur’an says not to kill Muslims but that it’s okay to kill, behead, dismember, etc. non-Muslims.
Moderate Muslims claim that the Qur’an says it’s only okay to kill non-Muslims if they have attacked you first. Ironic that Muhammad himself didn’t follow this when he went out to violently conquer the nearby world. Efforts to show this argument in the Qur’an by moderate Muslims only show their propensity to redefine a plucked-out phrase while disregarding the immediate surrounding context.
Moderate Muslims deny that Islam spread by force, even though they admit that Muhammad spread Islam by force.
The “peace” the Qur’an speaks of is referring to the time when everyone has been forcefully converted to Islam, thus creating “peace.”
1. My hope is that moderate Muslims align with what they know to be true, the things they already espouse to morally, things I believe God has revealed to them. And in this alignment, leave the Qur’an and Muhammad (thus leaving Islam) as neither of these align with what moderate Muslims hold to be true. My hope is that these moderate Muslims discover that Jesus aligns perfectly with the morality they already believe and that Jesus loves them, has innocently died to pay the penalty for their sins so he can offer them free unmerited forgiveness that makes us righteous & just before a Holy God, has resurrected from the dead to conquer sin and death, is God, and desires to have a relationship of love with them.
Why hold on to a holy book and a religious founder that you don’t agree with?
2. Please don’t respond to this by saying, “Yeah well, the Bible does the same thing.” It doesn’t. Which I show here. Or to say, “Well Christians do the same thing with the Bible.” (I’m not justifying this but) Even if some non-Bible-believing Christians pick-and-choose from the Bible, rejecting all or part of the Old Testament as from God, this is still very different than what moderate Muslims are doing with Muhammad and the Qur’an. Muhammad is the most recent prophet and the most in authoritative figure in all of Qur’an. He is the one moderate Muslims are disagreeing with. In the Bible, no one in the Old Testament is the most recent or the most authoritative prophet in the Bible. Jesus is the most recent “prophet” and most authoritative figure in the Bible. If these pick-and-choose Christians were rejecting Jesus’ example and commands, that would be equivalent to what moderate Muslims are doing with Muhammad. But they aren’t. So please don’t make that comparison because it’s apples and oranges.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -Jesus, John 8:32
Here is some good news: Jesus loves you! Don’t let anyone add or take away from that, as Muhammad has done.