by Tahir Mustafa (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 47, No. 4, Ramadan, 1439)
There are three constants in the West’s campaign against Islam and the Muslims. First, every Muslim is a terrorist or a potential terrorist. Second, Islamophobes in the West frequently attack the honor of the noble Messenger (pbuh) because they know that Muslims have deep love and attachment to him. And finally, they target the Qur’an alleging that it incites its followers to commit acts of violence against the “disbelievers” or the even more ludicrous expression, “infidels.”
For the record, there are no such words as disbelievers or infidels in the Qur’an, notwithstanding some sloppy translations. The Qur’an mentions such terms as mu’mins (committed Muslims), muslims (those who acquiesce to Allah), kafirs (deniers of Allah’s power presence) and mushriks (those who conform to an authority other than Allah).
Having distorted the message of the Bible and the Torah with their man-made accretions, some Christians and Jews now want to do the same with the Qur’an. They take cover behind their allegation that the Qur’an advocates violence against and extermination of non-Muslims. The latest manifestation of this phenomenon was witnessed in France in April when a group of some 300 “leading” French figures demanded that Muslim leaders “reject parts of the Qur’an.”
Published as a letter in the French daily Le Parisien on April 22, under the title “Manifesto against the new anti-Semitism” these people allege that verses of the Qur’an call for “the murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and non-believers.” And what is the source of their collective wisdom?
These so-called leading figures use ayat from the Qur’an in a selective manner ignoring the context in which they were revealed. Let us take the two oft-quoted ayat from the noble Qur’an. “And fight in Allah’s cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression — for, verily, Allah does not love aggressors…” (2:190). The other ayah from Surah al-Anfal has a similar message, “And fight against them [the Makkah mushriks] until there is no more oppression and all social convention is devoted to Allah alone. And if they desist — behold, Allah sees all that they do” (8:39).
The first ayah from Surah al-Baqarah was revealed granting the oppressed Muslims permission to fight against their oppressors — the Makkan mushriks. For 13 years, Muslims had suffered horrible persecution at their hands. Even so, Allah (swt) forbids Muslims from committing aggression for “verily, Allah does not love aggressors…”
The second ayah from Surah al-Anfal was revealed in the context of the Battle of Badr in the second year of the Muslims’ migration from Makkah to Madinah. Again, the aspect of eliminating oppression is clear. “And fight against them until there is no more oppression and all aspects of conformity [to authority] are devoted to Allah alone. And if they desist — behold, Allah sees all that they do.”
The ayah also says that if the oppressors desist then fighting must cease. In other words, the purpose of fighting is to end oppression, not indulge in wanton killings.
It is clear that those in France calling for repudiating certain verses of the Qur’an because of its alleged call for the murder of “Christians, Jews, and unbelievers” have never read the Qur’an. And if they have, they are deliberately distorting its message. That is even worse than their ignorance.
The other allegation that the noble Qur’an spreads “anti-Semitism” is equally spurious and utterly false. Anti-Semitism is not a Muslim but a peculiarly Christian phenomenon. At the root lies the Christians’ allegation that the Jews crucified ‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary – a). The Qur’an rejects the crucifixion allegation, “You did not kill him [Jesus], nor crucified him but it appeared to you like that” (4:157).
Who are these French Islamophobes that want the Muslims to reject some ayat of the Qur’an (nastaghfir-allah)? They include the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, a notorious Islamophobe, three former premiers and several MPs. Unfortunately, France has a long history of Islamophobia. It was the first European country to ban Muslim girls — all French citizens — from wearing the hijab in government schools in 2004. In recent years, some French municipalities have launched a crusade against the burkini (women’s swimwear that covers most of the body). What is it with some French men who insist on women going naked but will not accept women covering themselves?
As for the allegation that the Qur’an advocates the “murder of Christians, Jews, and unbelievers,” how do these “leading French figures” explain the existence of Christian, Jewish, and other faith communities in Muslim-majority countries? On rare occasions when attacks have occurred against these communities, the so-called Muslim perpetrators are the ones who also distort the message of the Qur’an. In this, they share a common characteristic with the French Islamophobes.
It is interesting to note that the anti-Qur’an “manifesto” was published exactly a week after the French had participated, together with the United States and Britain, in an illegal missile strike on Syria (April 13). At the same time, the Zionists have been busy shooting and murdering unarmed Palestinians who were doing nothing more than participating in marches demanding the right of return to their ancestral homes. The Zionists are the reincarnation of the Nazis of the 1940s and will likely face a similar fate.
These are not the only crimes the Western regimes have perpetrated against Muslims. Since 9/11, an estimated four million Muslims have been murdered worldwide in illegal wars. A number of Muslim-majority countries have been destroyed: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The French are not alone in perpetrating crimes against humanity but they have never hesitated in initiating hostilities.
Take the case of Libya that has been turned into a failed state. France led the Western crusaders in attacking Libya. Sarkozy, the son of Hungarian immigrants was the president of France. The Western attack led to the lynching of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in October 2011.
Why was Sarkozy (together with such US officials as Hillary Clinton) so keen on eliminating Qaddafi? The former French president is facing corruption charges over allegations that he received 50 million euros from the late Libyan leader. The putative former French ruler thought by killing Qaddafi, he would bury the evidence of his own corruption.
This has not happened. Instead, the corruption charges have resurfaced. By signing the anti-Qur’an “manifesto,” Sarkozy has once again revealed his deep anti-Islam animus. This may result in the intensification of hatred against Muslims in France and may even lead to more attacks on them, ultimately all this will prove counterproductive to the perpetrators of wanton violence against innocent people.