Islamic Jihad 101- A Patriot’s Introduction Pt. 2
[This is the 2nd of 7 Jihad articles; start with the1st one here]
Muslim theology holds that the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel as directed by Allah. Moreover, the Koran has remained unchanged through the centuries. However, Mohammed was illiterate and did not physically record (write down) the “revelations”. While some of the Koran may have been written down before Mohammed’s death in 632, the bulk of the Koran, according to Islamic theology, were preserved in the memories of Mohammed’s closest allies. The task of collecting Mohammeds unwritten revelations began only after Mohammed and other early Muslims started dying off. The earlier verses (or chapters) of the Koran were revealed to Mohammed early in his life when the Muslims were a small group lacking military power. The later verses revealed to Mohammed came as Muslims were becoming a formidable military adversary.
Islam contends it is the oldest religion, predating Judaism and Christianity. Islamic teachings hold that the Koran was revealed to Jews and Christians but that they perverted or twisted Allah’s Koran. This might explain why the Koran includes many biblical stories familiar to Jews and Christians. On the other hand, is it not possible that the Koran “borrowed” heavily from pre-existing Judeo-Christian theology? For instance, the Koran includes a variation of the story of Adam and Eve. Which came first, the Biblical Chicken or the Koranic Egg?
Religion of Peace?
So, does Islam sanction violence perpetrated in its name? Currently, politicians, the media and Muslim “activists” refer to Muslim terrorists as fanatics, a fringe of the Muslim faith. An examination of Islam, its precepts and its historical foundation can easily lead one to conclude that the supposed fringe in fact represents true orthodox Islam following a literal interpretation of the Koran.
Islam traces its founding back to the violence of the 7th century, a time when Arabs began to expand their empire through violent conquest. Seen in this historical context, Islam condones and indeed requires violence against non-Muslims. Thus, purported peaceful/moderate Muslims must reject the literal Koran and therefore Jihadists (“warriors of Allah”) say that these “Muslims” are actually outside the “true” Islamic belief system.
To be sure, there are Koranic verses which speak of peace and tolerance. However those “peaceful” verses date back to the earliest days of Islam when Muhammad had few followers and therefore little power. Speaking of peace when one has little power can be seen as pragmatic. Koran verses are not organized chronologically but by their length, longest to shortest. Where conflict arises between verses, those that physically appear later in the Koran render the earlier verses null and void. Therefore the violence inherent in later verses cancel out any purported peaceful notions in the earlier verses written when Islam had less military power.
[Tommorrow- Pt. 3 Islam as a Cultural Paradigm ]