“…the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it…”
Â (* from his embarrassing and very revealing Cairo speech. Under the Obamster, the U.S. government supports oppression and misogyny. Â The U.S. gubmint has failed to punish those who terrorize, indoctrinate and whack the crap out of Â Muslim women. Muslim tyrants who force the hijab on Â women who prefer to be …. Americans rather than Muslims are free to terrorize their families and communities….)
Useful idiots spring into action:
Albuquerque Hotel Refused Muslim Woman’s Request to Wear Head Scarf, Federal Agency Charges
“We will vigorously prosecute cases of religious discrimination throughout our district, including claims that involve the employer’s refusal to provide reasonable accommodation for an individual’s religious beliefs,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. “We are particularly concerned when the accommodation requested is easy to provide and the employer appears to have reacted to myths or stereotypes about a religion.” (EEOC press release, 22 September 2011)
Â “My name is Ahlima and I live in Saudi Arabia. … Perhaps two differences Westerners would notice are that women here do not drive cars and they wear abuyah. An abuyah is a loose-fitting black cloth that covers a woman from head to toe. I like wearing the abuyah since it is very comfortable, and I am protected from blowing sand. … I have seen pictures of women in the West and find their dress to be horribly immodest. … Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for. … I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia.”
Context Makes the Quran Even More Violent (Islam Watch)
A closer look at the verse most quoted by Islam’s advocates shows it be something entirely different than advertised. (Full post below the fold)
Muslims generally accuse critics of deliberately quoting verses of the Quran “out of context” so as to distort the Quran’s message. This accusation is overwhelmingly false. Instead, Muslims themselves have an overwhelming monopoly in quoting verses of the Quran in deceptive manners so as to make its bad messages look better. And, when contexts of the Quranic verses are taken into consideration, its message turns out to be much more vile, barbaric…
Recently, I was having a conversation on Islam with an old friend â€“ a top student from the most prestigious Engineering school in Bangladesh â€“ who also holds two postgraduate degrees from two reputed oversees Universities. He is also the most liberal, tolerant and broadminded, yet pious, Muslim friend I have ever known. According to his claim, he has read the Quran carefully, and probably multiple times, in languages he understands.
Our discussion eventually turned to quoting the verses of the holy Quran “out of context” by critics in order to distort its otherwise beautiful message. The sequence of events in the discussion that followed are as below:
“Quran emphasize us not to die without believing. To me this means our life is like an exam, where we can perform only within the time period. Once exam time is over, even we realize our mistake we wouldn’t be able to get the credit. Though I don’t believe in typical thought that only Muslim would go to Paradise, there is reason to be worried for a good friend like you. I believe everyone would be fairly judged with respect to their condition and work and will get consequence of their acts. Now with what you are spreading, you should think twice about your understanding. From my position I can clearly see your problems. But I don’t want to start arguing with you as that will not help you. You can help your self with an intension of searching for the truth, by taking a neutral position by reading quality materials that are not written with aggressive and prejudge approach.”
You said: “Quran emphasize us not to die without believing.” — This is not true, which you clearly know, if you have read the Quran in Bangla or English — languages you understand. Those, who do not accept Muhammad and Allah:
1. The Quran has threatened them with grievous punishments (in numerous places);
2. It has called for their ethnic cleansing (59:3-4: “And had it not been that Allah had decreed “banishment” for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world: And in the Hereafter they shall (certainly) have the Punishment of the Fire. That is because they “resisted Allah and His Messenger”: and if any one resists Allah, verily Allah is severe in Punishment.“), and;
3. The Quran has called for their summary execution, if the rejecters in question are polytheists (Q 9:4-5: “Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty). So when the sacred months have passed away, then “slay” the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.), and much more.
This is but a small sample of the Quran’s troublesome aspect, which any sane reader can grasp, even if read with least attention.
From here, the discussion turned to “quoting verses out of context” by critics of the Quran.
My friend wrote:
“In general, most of misconceptions about Quran are quoted out of context. For example when you were quoting from Chapter 9 verse 4-5, you are ignoring just next verse â€“ 6, which not only asking to grant asylum for Pagan but also to escort to secure place (9:6 “If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure.”)
Your complaint is may be true! But let us discuss that.
I was actually planning to write an article on accusations by Muslims that critics and ex-Muslims (out of their hatred for Muslims) deliberately distort the message of the holy Quran by quoting its verses in out of context. I have myself received and seen the complaint on numerous occasions and places. Last week, I published an essay in somewhereinblog.com, and one reader reacted to my reference to atrocities commanded in verses 9:4-5 in the exactly the same words you have written: “you are ignoring just next verse â€“ 6, which not only asking to grant asylum for Pagan but also to escort to secure place…” It seems like the same person made both comments, or it was copy-pasted from the same source. Anyway, your complaint of me engaging in deliberate distortion of the meaning of verses 9:4-5 prompted me to complete the article on the “context issue” with your comments included. I will start with it first. But let me warn you that some of the conclusions about the Quran I have drawn below may sound harsh, but I hope, you will agree that they are logical and justified.
I myself used to engage in this “context” game-playing when I was debating with critics of the Quran some 9-10 years ago by copy-pasting comments from pro-Islamic sources. Then, I didn’t yet have a good reading of the Quran. But when I started studying the context of those troublesome verses deeply, their meanings turned out even more horrible than what they apparently meant when context is not taken into consideration.
Now, you talked about context of verses 9:4-5, but you yourself didn’t give its context. Instead, you cited another verse, the next verse. How can one verse of the Quran be the context of another? What will be the context of verse 9:6? Verse 9:7?
Context is the circumstance or background under which a statement is made or an action undertaken. According to Quran 85:21 & 15:9, verses of the Quran were written by Allah (probably before the creation of the Universe), and a copy of the Quran has been preserved in heaven since and for eternity. And they are supposed to be the guide to life. If Quranic verses are just the contexts of each other, where do we find the guide to our life in the Quran?
Ideally, the Quranic verses cannot have any context whatsoever, because Allah didn’t write them on the backdrop of particular circumstance, experience or background. However, each verse of the Quran has indeed its context, because, as I had said in one of my early messages to you, that they were simply devised by Muhammad in the context of situations, aspirations and desires of Muhammad’s life. And you can get much of the known contexts of Quranic verses in the Tafsirs, hadiths and Muhammad’s Sira. And when you read those contexts, the meaning of most verses appears even worse, which you will realize from this discussion itself.
Now let us, discuss verse 9:4-5, along with your context verse 9:6. Verse 9:6 is not at all the context of verses 9:4-5, but further eventuality of the actions commanded in 9:4-5: “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them…” Verses 9:4-5 command Muslims to attack the idolaters (Mushriqoons) after the sacred month (Ramadan) and slaughter them. And your context verse 9:6 says, as they are being slaughtered, if they seek forgiveness, expressing willingness, or hint of, embracing Islam â€“ then grant asylum and send them to a secure place (lest other Muslims would chance upon on the way and kill them).
Let me also emphasize that actually verse 9:5 is the context of verse 9:6, because on the backdrop of what happens as a result of actions commanded in 9:5, the verse 9:6 actions are warranted or are to be followed. So, verse 9:6 is truly the context of verse 9:5, the exact opposite of what you claim.
Now, does taking consideration of verse 9:6 improve the meaning of verses 9:4-5? Verse 9:6 is only reconfirming the fact that, just because the idolaters won’t embrace Islam, they must be attacked and killed. And in the face of death, if they seek forgiveness showing willingness to embrace Islam, then let them go. In fact, verse 9:6 is basically a repetition of the last part of verse 9:5 in different wording: “then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them”.
You add verse 9:6 or not, meaning of verses 9:4-5 â€“ as I had suggested in my previous message â€“ does not change any bit. Instead, these whole set of verses (9:4-6) invoke “barbarism” of the worst kind; nothing less.
My friend said:
“If you want to attack Quran you can pick up lots of verses out of context. But if you have an intention to understand the fact with patience, knowing the background and putting all relevant verses to the context I believe you will find the truth.”
I think I have done more solid research on this (the context issue) than most Muslims. I am confident that you certainly failed to change my indicated meaning of verses 9:4-5 even after adding your context verse (9:6). And I emphasize again: when context is brought into consideration, the meaning gets even worse in most instances (continue reading below).
My friend said:
Besides this I also believe that it is important to understand overall perception of Quran before making such aggressive comment. For example when you are making such negative conclusion with relation to 9:4-5 verses, did you try to think about this verse: 5:32 “…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…”
It is strange logic on the part of brilliant person like you to define the overall “perception” of the Quran based only one verse (5:32), which is not even meant to apply to Muslims (see below), when dozens of other verses command Muslims to commit unremitting persecution, terror, cruelties and even barbarism upon innocent non-Muslims. If you have read the Quran carefully, you should also know the verses ofAbrogationÂ (2:106, 16:101), which say: if two verses address similar issues, the later-revealed verse cancels the earlier-revealed one. That means verse 5:32 revealed in the year 628 or 629 is cancelled by verses 9:1-6 revealed after Muhammad returned from the Jihad expedition to Tabuk and prior to the hajj pilgrimage in 631.
You also seem to take me as ignorant (of verse 5:32), as well as deliberately engaging in deception to create a bad image of Islam. But I’m very much aware of this verse, and if you read the context, it’s not so great a verse as it appears on the surface. Indeed, this verse is not even Allah’s words, not even Muhammad’s, but was an ethical guideline devised by Jewish sages, and Muhammad stole it from Jewish teachings. Furthermore, there are two other nice-sounding verses, namely 2:256 (“Let there be no compulsion in religion…”) and 109:6 (“Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.”). But if we take the contexts of these verses into account, their real meaning turns out to be worse, indeed, opposite of what they appear on the surface.
Here I will address your cited verse 5:32 only, which Muslims use as their best trump-card in trying to depict “Islam as the beacon of peace”. You accused me of deliberately keeping out verse 9:6 so as to distort the meaning of verses 9:4-5. But I’m sure you will now agree that I didn’t engage in any kind of deception. Verse 9:6 does change the meaning of 9:4-5 at all. But it is you, who can be rightfully accused of engaging in the same deception in your citation of verse 5:32, probably not deliberately (I guess it’s a problem of copy-pasting of other Muslims’ viewpoints/arguments)Â — firstly by leaving out the first few words of the verse, secondly by leaving out the context verses (5:27-31), and thirdly omitting the next verse 5:33, which will change its meaning drastically. I will discuss all these three issues below:
1) Your partial quoting to distort meaning of the verse
Let me quote the complete verse (5:32):
On that account: We ordained for the Children of IsraelÂ that if any one slew a person — unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land — it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.”
See in your quotation of the verse, the bold part was deliberately removed, which says that the ethical value contained in this verse was ordained upon the Children of Israel (i.e. Jews), not upon Muslims. The ethical guide of the next verse, verse 5:33, actually applies to Muslims (read below).
2) Your leaving the context verses (5:27-31) to distort the meaning of 5:32
Let us take a look at these verses:
“And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. If you should raise your hand against me to kill me – I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds. Indeed I want you to obtain [thereby] my sin and your sin so you will be among the companions of the Fire. And that is the recompense of wrongdoers.” And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers….”
These verses are talking about a dispute between Adam’s two sons; and as a result, one brother killed the others. It’s about conflict between, and the resulting murder of, close-blood relatives. So, verse 5:32 refers to such murder, murdering your brother, close relative or one of your own community. So, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir of this verseÂ wrote:
Sa’id bin Jubayr said, “He who allows himself to shed theÂ blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.” In addition, Ibn Jurayj said that Al-A’raj said that Mujahid commented on the Ayah, (it would be as if he killed all mankind,) “He whoÂ kills aÂ believing soulÂ intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode, He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people, his punishment will still be the same.”
So, clearly this verse, if at all is meant to apply to Muslims, the killing referred in it applies to killing “a Muslim” only â€“ not a disbeliever. And that’s only logical, because Allah devotes large part of the Quran, hundreds of verses, to admonish, threaten, slay and exile the disbelievers, just for rejecting Islam. Allah will punish the disbelievers with “unimaginably barbaric” punishment in the afterlife, i.e. will burn them while keeping alive for eternity. If the same Allah says killing one kafir is equal to killing all of humanity â€“ it will be utterly idiotic of Him.
3) Your hiding verse 5:33 to distort the meaning of verse 5:32
While quoting verse 9:4-5, I didn’t quote the next verse 9:6, but it certainly did not change the meaning of my quoted verse. Similarly, while quoting verse 5:32, you didn’t quote the next verse, 5:33, which will drastically change your intended meaning of verse 5:32. Let us see what verse 5:33 says:
“The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and mainÂ for mischief through the landÂ is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.”
As mentioned above, verse 5:32 and its teaching applies to the Jews, not Muslims. The teaching of verse 5:33, which you kept out, applies to Muslims. And in verse 5:33, Allah commanded Muslims to engage in “execution, crucifixion, the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exiling from the land” for the crime of causingÂ mischief through the land. And what “mischief in the land” stands for in Allah’s judgement. Verse 7:103 can help:
Then after them We sent Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they wrongfully rejected them: So see what was the end of those who madeÂ mischiefÂ (Mufisdoon).
So, this verse clearly says that simply the rejection of Allah’s signs by Pharaoh and his chiefs amounted to “mischief”. So, in Islamic context, whoever rejects Allah’s signs, namely the Quran or Islam, they commit “mischief in the land”, and they must beÂ executed, crucified, their hands and feet cut off from opposite sides, or exiled from their abode. You will agree that civilized societies rightly consider crucifixion, cutting off hands and feet from opposite sides or exiling communities etc. as “barbarism”, not civilized forms of punishments whatever be the crime (In fact, liberal democratic countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. have even abolished death penalty). And Muslims are commanded to engage in such “barbarism” against people for simply not accepting Allah’s signs or embracing Islam â€“ which is a fundamental human right of an individual under the UN Charter. Doesn’t this make the Quran and Islam for that matter a source of “barbarism” of the worst kind?
Again on the context issue, commonsense will say that verse 5:33 and 7:103 may actually provide the context, namely the reason, for the actions demanded in verses 9:4-6. Because the idolaters reject Allah’s Quran, and thereby causes “mischief in the land” â€“ Muslims must attack and slaughter them, sparing those who embrace Islam in the face of death. That’s exactly Muhammad used to do. He attacked the community of Banu Quraiza, Khayber, and Banu Mustaliq, and slaughtered their adult men, and enslaved their women and children, who, thus, became Muslim. In the case of Banu Quraiza, 4-5 adult men out of 600-900 embraced Islam, and they were spared; the rest were beheaded (read Muhammad’s Sira to find out; the Quran also refers to Muhammad’s slaughtering of the Banu Quraiza men and enslaving of their women and children in verse 33:26: “some you slew, and some ye made captives”.). This action of Muhammad is only the execution of what is commanded in verses 9:4-6.
Why verse 5:32 is not Allah’s word?
Let me clarify now why I said above that verse 5:32 is not Allah’s word. The Quran is not the origin of the message of verse 5:32, not even the Jewish Torah (Old Testament) or the Christian Bible (New Testament). Its origin is the Jewish Talmud, which Jewish sages had developed over centuries as their guide to ethical and social conduct. Message of verse 5:32 is found in the Talmud,Â Mishnah Sanhedrin(see the bolded section), which says:
You may also be aware of the fact that there is no similarity between civil and criminal cases. In civil cases one may repay the money damage and he is atoned; but in criminal cases the blood of the person executed, and of his descendants to the end of all generations, clings to the originator of his execution. So do we find in the case of Cain, who slew his brother. It reads [Gen. iv. 10]: “The voice of the ‘bloods’ of thy brother are crying unto me from the ground.” It does not read “blood,” but “bloods,” which means his blood and the blood of his descendants. [According to others it reads “bloods” in the plural, because his blood was scattered all over the trees and stones.] Therefore the man was created singly to teach thatÂ he who destroys one soul of a human being, the Scripture considers him as if he should destroy a whole world, and him who saves one soul of Israel, the Scripture considers him as if he should save a whole world.
Pay attention to this bold part, which makes it clear that verse 5:32 is not the word of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim God(s), but an interpretation of an Old Testament passage by Jewish sages. Muhammad obviously stole this ethical guide of the Jewish sages, and put it on the tongue of Allah to make it a divine verse of the Quran.
In conclusion, I am confident that Muslims’ rather generalized accusation that critics and ex-Muslims (out of their hatred of Muslims/Islam) distort the meaning of the Quran by quoting its verses “out of context” is patently false. That doesn’t mean that there are no such vile critics of the Quran. There possibly are, but in my observation, such critics have to be rare; I’m yet come across one. When it comes to “quoting out of context” or “deceptive quoting” of verses of the Quran to distort its meaning, it is Muslims, who have overwhelming monopoly. This discussion between my friend and me prove this fact. Deceptive Islamic experts, from whom common Muslims like my friend copy such arguments, naively believe that they can silence the critics and ex-Muslims by hurling a few accusations, but little do they know that the understanding of the Quran and Islam of critics and ex-Muslims is based on solidly honest in-depth study and critical reasoning, which can’t be dismantled easily by apologists, whose understanding of the Quran is based on blind faith.
And the most important point about this “out of context” quoting outcry of Muslims is that when context is taken into consideration, the overall message of the Quran becomes much more vile than what it appears when context is left out of consideration. This discussion itself proves that: consider the meaning of verse 5:32 â€“ how its meaning changed drastically, indeed horribly, when its whole context was taken into consideration.