This morning President Obama gave an speech at Cairo University in which he proposed “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Along the way, he gave out some real eyebrow raisers:
In speaking about the history of Islam, Obama said: “And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” say whaaaaa?? What history is he speaking about? We would be interested in hearing precisely how Islam has ever “demonstrated through words and deeds the possibility of religious tolerance”? And, would you mind telling us once more, the name of that planet you’ve been living on, Mr. President?
He says a number of other things that give reason to gasp, but I want to focus upon the common myth that has been shoved down everybody’s throat since 9/11: the myth that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and it is only a small minority of extremists who view violence as acceptable.
The President repeated it again today. In referring to Islamic “extremists” he says: “They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths but, more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Quran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as it if has killed all mankind. And the Holy Quran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”
“Well now,” says the average American, “the Qu’ran says that? That sounds pretty good!” Yep. This sounds very noble — and the Qu’ran does in fact say this. It is a quote from Surah 5.32 and is talking about how God forbade the murder of the innocent, in response to Cain’s murder of Abel (Cain killed the innocent one and it was an effort to murder mankind). Unfortunately, this statement in no way affirms what Obama implies in his speech (i.e. respect for the “rights of human beings” or the right of “religious freedom” or tolerance).
Islam is devoted to extermination of the “unbeliever” (i.e. the non-Muslim). The very next verse (Surah 5:33) says, “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion. Or the cutting off the 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.” Waging war against Allah is equivalent to refusing to believe in and submit to Allah. Any who oppose the will of Allah are subject to being killed by believing Muslims wherever and whenever they may be found (as the Qu’ran says over and over).
This is not just the view of Muslim extremists, it is the view of every Muslim who believes the Qu’ran. It turns out that our President knows the Qu’ran about as well as he knows the Bible.
Now, of course, there are liberal, neo-orthodox Muslims who re-interpret the Qu’ran to support non-violence; and there are those who ignore these sorts of statements that are found nearly on every page of the Qu’ran; there are probably many who are largely ignorant of what the Qu’ran teaches; and without doubt, only a minority actually take part in violent attacks on innocent civilians and have devoted themselves to the violent extermination of Christians and Jews. But that doesn’t change the fact that these things are taught in the Qu’ran.
Islam, as set forth in the Qu’ran, is a religion of violence and intolerance. It always has been and, in the minds of the faithful, it still is.