With thanks to LFG:
Western apologists for Islam invariably resort to ad hominem attacks and obscure deceptions when they attempt to confront a knowledgeable critic like Robert Spencer; at Jihad Watch Spencer replies to a review by Karen Armstrong of his biography of Mohammed: Karen Armstrong reviews Spencer’s The Truth About Muhammad.
The conclusion of Spencer’s rebuttal contains a perfect example of the deception mentioned above. In her review, Armstrong says the Koran condemns “all warfare as an awesome evil.”
In the comments field below, Jihad Watch reader “Great Comet of 1577” has found the Qur’an verse to which Armstrong was referring. It’s Qur’an 2:217:
“They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression) [or an ”awesome evil“], but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.”
Thus, contrary to Armstrong’s statement that this verse refers to “all warfare” as “an ‘awesome evil,’ in fact the verse refers only to warfare during the sacred month as evil at all, and then goes on to say that ”persecution is worse than killing.“
In context, this verse was revealed to justify a Muslim raid on a Quraysh caravan: the raid took place during a sacred month, during which war was forbidden. But the Quraysh were allegedly persecuting the Muslims, so this verse absolves the Muslims of guilt for the raid â€” since ”persecution is worse than killing.“
So in fact, the verse that Armstrong is using to argue that the Qur’an teaches that war is an ”awesome evil” actually teaches that moral precepts, such as the prohibition on fighting during the sacred month, may be set aside to benefit the Muslims.
I wonder how much the Saudi’s are paying her. (it is a fact that Armstrong has received ‘grants’ from our ‘friends’- the Sowdi’s…)
BTW: Here is a rather different conclusion:
A Danish language researcher has spent over three years analyzing the original texts of ten different religions, and concludes that the Islamic texts stand out by encouraging terror and violence to a larger degree than other religions do. Four years after the terror attacks at the World Trade Center, Danish linguist Tina Magaard presents an analysis that questions Islam’s relationship with terror, violence and Holy War.
Islamic texts encourage terror and fighting to a far larger degree than the original texts of other religions, concludes Tina Magaard. She has a PhD in Textual Analysis and Intercultural Communication from the Sorbonne in Paris, and has spent three years on a research project comparing the original texts of ten religions. “The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with,” says Tina Magaard.
Moreover, there are hundreds of calls in the Koran for fighting against people of other faiths. “If it is correct that many Muslims view the Koran as the literal words of God, which cannot be interpreted or rephrased, then we have a problem. It is indisputable that the texts encourage terror and violence. Consequently, it must be reasonable to ask Muslims themselves how they relate to the text, if they read it as it is,” says Tina Magaard.