Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Perhaps the biggest ploy used by those who wish to depict Islam as a religion of peace is to quote Kuran 2:256, which says:
"Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clear from error"
Yet, the history of Islam seems to completely ignore this apparent "free choice" in matters of religion. If the Kuran does indeed preach free choice of religion, why do we have literally hundreds of chronicles by muslim invaders gloating over how many hindus they slaughtered, and thereby claiming that they are Ghazis (Islamic holy warriors)? Why? Were they all ignorant about the "peaceful nature" of Islam? Also note that in many of these Islamic chronicles, the ruler says "I consulted so-and-so cleric, and he told me to kill these Hindu idolators." So has everybody missed this verse in the Kuran, or is there something further going on?
Here is the fine print which no apologist wants us to read: Verse 2:256 is no longer valid! Indeed, it has not been valid since the year 622AD, when Muhammed immigrated from his hometown of Mecca to start the Islamic state in Medina. In particular, verse 2:256 has been "abrogated" and "replaced" by a later verse, which in this case is verse 9:5.
To understand this, one must keep in mind that the Kuran was revealed to Muhammed over a period of 23 years. When at first Muhammed started preaching to the Meccans, he was not a powerful person in any position of authority to impose his will. His only claim to position in society was that his wife was a fairly wealthy Meccan businesswoman of a prominent tribe. Accordinly, the verses he said Allah had revealed to him during his Meccan period are fairly tolerant, such as Kuran 2:256. At this time, he was trying to win over Meccans through non-violent preaching. He could not resort to violence, simply because he had no power!
However, after several years in Mecca, Muhammad had very few followers. Islamic sources say that he had around 100 followers after about 10 years of preaching in Mecca. So Muhammad decided to move to Medina, and start his small "Islamic state" there. In Medina, he would no longer be at the mercy of the haugthy Meccans who had given him no respect.
That is the beginning of the shift in Islamic teaching, and the start of the first Islamic state, where Islam was not just a religion, but also a political entity. In Medina, Muhammad's verses grew increasinly intolerant and violent. To explain this inconsistency, Muhammad put forth the doctrine of abrogation, whereby Allah has provided "better verses to replace earlier verses." Thus verse 2:256 is replaced with verse 9:5, which says
"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush"
In short, verse 2:256 is no longer part of Islam. It remains in the Kuran, but is no longer applicable. Its validity has expired, and no muslim will act in accordance to it. That is why you never hear this verse being quoted by mullahs when muslims are in a majority. Its only purpose seems to be to deceive ignorant non-muslims when muslims are in a minority. Given that the doctrine of abrogation is very central to Islam, I feel fairly certain that all the scholars of Islam who quote this verse know fully well that it is no longer valid, and has been replaced by the extremely intolerant and violent verse 9:5.
For Hindus, this is a particularly serious matter. This is because the newer verse 9:5 says "slay all the idolators..." Hindus do summon the divine by means of idols, and hinduism does not disallow idols as a symbol of the divine. Owing to this, every school of Islamic jurisprudence takes verse 9:5 to apply to hindus. This is why 3 of the 4 schools of sunni Islam - Shafi, Hanbali, and Maliki - say that hindus must be killed if they don't convert to Islam.
In effect, Kuran 9:5 was a death sentence upon Hindus. In accordance with this death sentence, literally tens of millions of Hindus have been murdered over the centuries. Kuran 9:5 must surely rank as the single sentence that has led to more murder than any other in the history of mankind (I can think of no other single sentence that has led to so much murder).