American Family Association President Tim Wildmon is out there again, flogging the notion that Islam is an inherently violent religion. And to do so, he selectively quotes from the Quran:
President Obama this week once again called Islam “a great religion” which has been “distorted” by a small number of “extremists” to justify committing acts of violence against the West.
But the Qur’an (or Koran) itself, the holy book of Islam, contains over 100 verses calling for violence against Christians and Jews. To give just one example, Sura 9:5 says, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.”
But, as with just about every claim that comes from Tim Wildmon and the AFA, the quote of Surah 9:5 isn’t exactly accurate. Surah 9:5 actually reads as follows:
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Still violent, but not quite the same, is it? And Tim Wildmon doesn’t tell you that other verses in the Quran directly contradict that one. Take Sura 6:
66. Say: “Not mine is the responsibility for arranging your affairs;
67. For every message is a limit of time, and soon shall ye know it.”
68. When thou seest men engaged in vain discourse about Our signs, turn away from them unless they turn to a different theme. If Satan ever makes thee forget, then after recollection, sit not thou in the company of those who do wrong.
69. On their account no responsibility falls on the righteous, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may (learn to) fear Allah.
70. Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world.
And finally, Tim Wildmon fails to quote the violent portions of the Christian Bible, such as when God tells his loyal followers to kill everyone who engages in idolatry (Exodus 32), or when God has his toadies kill off entire peoples, right down to the littlest babies (start with Joshua 6, and move on to just about every other book of the Old Testament).
The truth is that if you selectively quote any ancient document of an Abrahamic religion, be it Jewish or Islamic or Christian, you’ll find that the major deity of the book telling his chosen people to go massacre other people, even the innocent ones, in horrific fashion. If that aspect of some parts of the Quran (but not others) makes Islam a terrorist religion, then that aspect of some parts of the Bible (but not others) makes Christianity a terrorist religion.
Tim Wildmon doesn’t mention these matters because they would cool the fires of your rage, a rage he finds highly useful. When you’re angry, you’re more likely to believe the other irrational things Wildmon has to say. Also, you’ll be more likely to reach for your wallet and make a donation to Wildmon’s Holy War.
Modern-day crusaders, bearing false witness: how exasperating.