July 7th: Jihad in the Qur’an

A year ago today, some loonies blew themselves up on the tube and murdered 52 people. Tony Blair has recently called for moderate muslims to confront “Islamic” extremists (who actually bear as much resemblance to Islam as the IRA do to my daughter’s Catholic schoolteachers).

Dr Louay Fatoohi is an old friend of mine. He is an Iraqi Islamic scholar and published a book called Jihad in the Qur’an: The Truth from the Source after the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks to show that in the Qur’an there is no justification for such suicide bombings. He specifically notes that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about Islam amongst ill-educated muslims, and it’s therefore unsurprising that non-muslims harbour such suspicion:

Contrary to what many believe, misunderstanding and misrepresenting Islam are not associated with non-Muslims only. People who are Muslims in name yet almost totally ignorant of their religion have been major contributors to the painting of the widespread distorted image of Islam. Under the name of Islam, some individuals and groups have adopted ideas and taken actions that have nothing to do with Islam. These non-Islamic concepts and actions then get unfairly associated with Islam. Misunderstanding of Islam and phobic reactions to this religion, thus, become an inevitable outcome…

It is no surprise, therefore, to find an Islamic concept such as “jihad” the subject of such phenomenal misunderstanding and misrepresentation…

The reality about Islam is that it is the religion for spiritual development. Islam teaches obeying and satisfying Allah, and living in peace with people, Muslim or not. It is about attaining peace in this world and in the hereafter. Nothing is further from Islam than violence and aggression. Islam is a threat only to evil as it aims to eradicate it and save humanity. We all, Muslims and non-Muslims, harbor inside us some evil which spills over and contaminates the world. Islam is the peaceful war against that evil. Islam is about every action that we take to replace the evil inside us with good and become better servants of Allah and, consequently, better human individuals and members of a human society.

About half the book is available online. It’s short, rigorously annotated but simple to read. Although the book is primarily for other muslims to read, I highly recommend it to all, particularly on this day.

11 Responses to “ July 7th: Jihad in the Qur’an ”

Comment by awerouhoj

your full of lies, islam,all of islam is evil.

You just keep telling the same lies over and over, outlaw islam before it is too late.

Comment by Jack

It’s really sad to see how Americans are uneducated. These comments are probably left by people who are ignorant and are brainwashed by the media and probably have no education more than high school. I am a Christian and I can tell you one thing that Islam is an amazing religion. The way Muslims pray and worship fascinates me. If you guys just open your eyes and read a book you would know that the Koran mentions nothing about terrorism. In fact, it says if one kills a person without any justification “it is like he has killed all of mankind and surely God doesn’t like the disobedient ones.”

Comment by Bruce

Jack, I agree that awerouhoj’s comment has all the intellectual rigour of a snotty tissue – but nothing there indicates that he’s an American.

Comment by Barbara

As a Christian I just want to say that I am saddened by those who have mis-conceptions about Islam! As an American I have done some homework over the years to better understand the world faiths! As a Christian I have used the free will that my creator bestowed on me to learn all I can to better understand people of other faiths! Islam like any other religion has the good and the bad! What I mean is that there are Christians who do not follow the teachings of the Christ and they are either ignorant or just hard headed. Call it what you will! Some people, no matter their spiritual leaning, will use and abuse the word of God to achieve their personal agendas! This is a sad side of life! Those who wish to serve the lord, believers, must find a way through their anger, or whatever has weakened them, to do what the lord would have them do! This is true of all faiths. But especially true of we who are bound together by Abraham. Jews and Muslims by the same earthly father Abraham, Christians, through the blood of the Christ, the son of God!

This administration has done a great disservice to the community of Islam! As an Christian American, I’m ashamed! I pray that Muslims who wish to serve Allah, will consider the source!

Comment by Jud

Louay Fatoohi is out there making erroneous claims about Islam, Judaism and Christianity. I am sorry, I cannot put any faith in what he says or what he writes. I am sorry for him and for our communities which he misrepresents.

Comment by ISLAM IS EVIL IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE NON MUSLIM BUT IT IS NOT EVIL TO 1.4 BILLION MUSLIMS WORLD WIDE

MUSLIMS AND ISLAM ARE HATED BY HATERS ONLY HATERS HATE AND HATE IS EVIL SO PEOPLE WHO SAY ISLAM IS EVIL NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THEM SELFS AND THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO HATE ISLAM ALSO SO HATE HUMANBEINGS WHO DONT HAVE THE SAME SKIN COLUR OR DONT WALK TALK ACT SMELL SPEAK THINK LIKE THEY DO HATE IS A WAY OF LIFE FOR THEM WHICH THEY CALL FREEDOM THE TRUTH IS PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE ISLAM LOOK EVIL TO WIPE AWAY AND COVER UP THERE EVIL AND THERE POLITICAL AGENDAS AS WE KNOW JESUS P.U.H AND MOSES.P.U.H NEVER TALKET ABOUT HATEING ANY ONE WHAT GIVES THE SO CALLED CHRISTIANS AND JEWS THE RIGHT TO HATE ISLAM IN THE NAME OF JESUS AND MOSES P.U.D. THE TRUTH IS WHEN MUSLIMS STAND UP FOR THEM SELFS THEY ARE ALWAYS CALLED EVIL BY THE OTHER SIDE WHO WANT COVER UP THERE EVILS

Comment by JackP

“MUSLIMS AND ISLAM ARE HATED BY HATERS” ? Well, yeah.
If you hate something, by definition that surely makes you a hater.

I don’t see why people can’t just be nice to each other; everyone live their lives the way they feel is right; (dis)believe in the deity of their choice, and generally get on with life without hurting other people. But maybe I’m just mindlessly optimistic…

Mind you, I don’t see why people who have some good points – like equating religious hatred with racism – feel the need to type everything in capitals.

Comment by JoeSchmoe

Christians go in to ecstatic seizures at church and flop around on the floor and speak in tongues while passing around poisonous snakes and kissing them.

I know this to be true…

I saw it on a TV news show.

When Christians blow up abortion clinics they believe that what they are doing is right.

They believe that they are saving the world from baby murderers.

There are Islamic individuals who interpret their religious teachings as a call to Jihad.

They believe that what they are doing is right.

Jihadi believe that they are saving the world from Satan.

I spent a year fighting with these ignorant cretins.

It pisses me off to come back here and see so many equally ignorant cretins on this side of the fight.

C’est la vie