This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed my favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.Â Qur’an, 5:3
Dr Denis MacEoin is a former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He, too, calls for a reform of Islam, although I am increasingly pessimistic about that being even possible:
The problem is simpler than any politician or moderate Muslim or Christian outreach foundation journalist has ever been willing to admit: Many Muslims who want to turn young believers away from jihad or hatred of Christians, Jews and other non-believers are trapped.Â They are trapped because the Qur’anâ€”the six compilations of sacred traditions (the ahadith), which make up holy writ, as well as the biography of Muhammad (the sira)â€”all condone or command jihad and hatred for non-believers, and they do so abundantly.
Muhammad led his followers into some 27 battles and his successors conquered half the known world. Muhammad himself ordered or supported assassinations of individuals or groups. OneÂ well-documented listÂ shows 43 occasions on which such killings took place, usually because someone had insulted the prophet.Â A modern Muslim websiteÂ carries a translationÂ by the American convert Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley of part of a work by the 12th-century jurisprudent Ibn Iyad, entitled, “The proof of the necessity of killing anyone who curses the Prophet or finds fault with him.”
It is hard for a young man, who wants to emulate the only “true role model,” to ignore Muhammad’s regular use of jihad; and even harder to be seen to contradict verses from what he and his community consider to be God’s word, the last divine revelation to mankind.
Here is just one well-known Qur’anic passage (2: 190-191): “Fight in the way of God with those who fight with you… And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter; do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.”
Yet for some reason, commentators and politicians still wonder where the fighters of the Islamic State or the would-be assassins of Salman Rushdie or the killer of Theo van Gogh get their inspiration