Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Inherent Intolerance

A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking about how many Americans seem to believe that Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant religion. And it is. However, those same people usually resist comparisons to Christian violence and intolerance. But is Islam any worse than Christianity? To find out, I went digging for some quotes from their holy books. The answer might surprise you.

Below are seven quotes, four from the KJV Bible, and three from the Koran. Try to guess which are which.

1. “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.”

2. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

3. “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”

4. “Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them.”

5. “O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand.”

6. “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

7. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The answer are below the fold. No peaking!

1. Koran 2:191

2. 2 Corinthians 6:14

3. Acts 3:23

4. Koran 2:99

5. Koran 3:118

6. Luke 19:27

7. John 3:36

This is just a small sample from each religion, and they took me a few minutes to collect. A comprehensive list would be pages long. And it exists, at the Skeptics Annotated Bible, the links above.

It should be clear from these that both of them are inherently violent and intolerant, at least based on their books. They both have a history of violence, and both are currently violent. Perhaps Islam is more vocal about it, or maybe we just hear about radical Islam more often (remember, there’s still sectarian violence in Ireland). Either way there are still plenty of fanatic Christians who use their faith to legitimize their hatred, and that fact is undeniable. Just ask Matthew Shepard. So next time someone criticizes Islam in general, or says that the moderates should reject the radicals, remind them that Christianity, and every other religion, should do the same.

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  • Judge the religion by its followers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:41 PM, September 07, 2006  

  • You quote the Quranic verse 2:191 "slay them wherever ye find them..." but tactfully skip the verses that come before and after it. To read the verse in its proper context i.e. a specific conflict at that particular time in history, see below:

    002.190 - Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
    002.191 - And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
    002.192 - But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
    002.193 - And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:11 AM, September 08, 2006  

  • Second Anonymous, yes, that is slightly different than the single verse alone, but those verses essentially give carte blanche to anyone to kill unbelievers in Allah's name, you only have to justify it somehow, which is ridiculously easy.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 4:08 PM, September 08, 2006  

  • Errr... not sure that you example (7) is entirely correct... or rather... it's meaning is distorted by quoting out of context. Surely Jesus was describing the actions and speech of an evil King as part of an illustrative parable, NOT condoning the actions himself ?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 AM, May 09, 2007  

  • I partly agree with the first anonymous response. However, religious leaders are the ones revered as the most faithful actors of religions. Sadly, most people don't realize that followers don't mean anything to the church on the individual level; all they really care for is money in the collection plate and conformity in thought. Same goes for charitable acts in the name of religion; they are done for approval, not for any altruistic intentions. Collectively, followers may create change (e.g., crying for attention by protesting against homosexual marriage), but individually, they are brainwashed sheep. That's why the leaders ultimately have the power.

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