Sunday, September 28, 2008

Proof that "Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism"?

Here, once again, is an example of the flaws of Islamic apologetics, and why it's so easy to dismantle them: "What Does Islam Say about Terrorism," from Pakistan Daily, September 26:

A look at the various principles of Islam which show that Islam is truly a mercy to the world, and the indiscriminate violence and terrorism is not condoned by the religion. Let's see if the following proofs support this rather categorical statement.

Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism. In the Quran, God has said:

“God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers.” (Quran 60:8)

Now, let's invert 60:8 to 8:60 and see what the Quran says there:"Muster against them what fighting men and steeds of war you can, in order to strike terror in the enemy of Allah and your enemy." So, making the argument from the Quran is obviously out.

The Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, used to prohibit soldiers from killing women and children...

As for all that, when asked if it was permissible to indiscriminately attack infidel strongholds in the cover of night, including setting fire to their fortifications and using catapults against them, even if women and children were sheltered there, Muhammad is said to have responded, "They [women and children] are from among them [infidels, i.e., the enemy]" and thus allowed the attacks, where women and children were killed; from the canonical hadiths of Sahih ("authenticated") Muslim B19N4321.

In light of these and other Islamic texts, the act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims.

As we've seen, they are not; for every point this article raises and tries justifying from the sources, there are any number of counterpoints also from the same sources. Indeed, al-Qaeda justifies much of its actions -- terrorism, the killing of women and children when they are in the way -- straight from those counterpoints provided above. At any rate, the dividing line isn't what any one Quranic verse says, but rather how it has been articulated by the ulema and codified into sharia. And to discover this, the doctrine of abrogation is pivotal. While such one-dimensional works of apologetics such as this may suffice for the casual reader, those more acquainted with the religion -- Muslims and non-Muslims alike -- will always see right through them.

No comments: