Monday, September 18, 2006

Violence - A Serious Doctrinal Issue

Nowadays Islam is the only major religion in which violence is a serious doctrinal issue.

That line is from this op-ed in the London Times and here is some more:

The question is not whether the quotation from the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus is offensive: it is.

The question is whether the emperor is justified in what he said. His main thrust was at least partly justified. There is a real problem about the teaching of the Koran on violence against the infidel. That existed in the 14th century, and was demonstrated on 9/11, 2001. There is every reason to discuss it. I am more afraid of silence than offence.

The Pope’s actual quotation is not just a medieval point of view. It is a common modern view; even if it seldom reaches print; it can certainly be found on the internet. “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and then you shall find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Is it true that the Koran contains such a command, and has it influenced modern terrorists? The answers, unfortunately, are “yes” and “yes”.

The so-called Sword Verse from Chapter 9 must have been in the emperor’s mind: “So when the sacred months have passed away, Then slay the idolaters wherever you find them.

“And take them captive and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush.”

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