Sunday, December 20, 2009

Killing a Non-...Muslim

Remember the brouhaha over the book that supposedly permitted the killing of a non-Jew?

Well, let's look around.

Oh, here's a post (Kippah tip: AtlasShrugs) by Andrew Bostom on Muslims killing non-Muslims:

Let’s take a look at the opening statement of verse 2:177: “It is not righteousness That ye turn your faces Towards East or West; But it is righteousness — To believe in Allah.” Great classical commentators of the Koran — including Qurtubi (d. 1273), Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), and Suyuti (d. 1505) — concur that this passage addresses, and refutes, the Jews and Christians, while affirming the exclusive “righteousness” and supremacy of Islam. Qurtubi notes, “The Jews faced west towards Jerusalem and the Christians east toward where the sun rose. . . . They were told that was not where true goodness lay.” Ibn Kathir repeats this observation, adding, “[T]hose who acquire the qualities mentioned in the Ayah [verse] will indeed have embraced all aspects of Islam, and implemented all types of righteousness — believing in Allah, that He is the only God worthy of worship, and believing in the angels, the emissaries between Allah and His Messengers.” Suyuti confirms these exegeses, stating plainly, “Goodness does not lie in turning your faces in [the] prayer to the East or to the West. This was revealed to refute the Jews and Christians in their claim.” He adds, “Rather those with true goodness are those who believe in Allah . . . and fighting in the way of Allah [i.e., jihad] in particular.”

Contemporary exegeses reiterate these interpretations of Koran 2:177. For example, the best known Koranic commentary in Urdu is Ma’ariful Qur’an, written by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (1898–1976)...Mufti Shafi’s gloss on 2:177 from Ma’ariful Qur’an notes that when “the House of Allah at Makkah [Mecca] was made the Qiblah [object/direction of worship] of the Muslims . . . the Jews and Christians . . . who were much too eager to find fault with Islam and Muslims, were stirred and they started coming up with all sorts of objections against Islam and the Holy Prophet [Muhammad].” He concludes that 2:177 addresses “Jews, Christians, and Muslims at the same time, the sense being that real righteousness and merit lies in obedience to Allah Almighty” — a modern affirmation of Islamic supremacism consistent with the classical exegesis on this verse.

More ominous are the classical exegeses on Koran 2:178, which meld the Islamic supremacist conception of 2:177 to the discriminatory punishment of non-Muslims (relative to Muslims) for the crime of murder. Qurtubi’s gloss maintains that “a Muslim is not killed in retaliation for an unbeliever since the Prophet said, ‘A Muslim is not killed in retaliation for an unbeliever.’” (This hadith, or saying of the Prophet, is found in the al-Bukhari collection [Volume 9, Book 83, Number 50], which is one of the two most important canonical hadith collections.) Ibn Kathir reiterates this notion in his commentary, citing the same hadith and adding, “No opinion that opposes this ruling could stand correct, nor is there an authentic Hadith to contradict it.”

These consensus principles, as elucidated by renowned mainstream Koranic exegetes, have also been codified into the Sharia. They thus resonate, alarmingly, in our era. Under the Sharia, the amount of compensation varies depending on the identity of the victim. For example, the Sharia manual “Reliance of the Traveler” (“Umdat al-Salik”) states that the payment for killing a woman is half that for killing a man, and the payment for killing a Jew or Christian is one-third that for killing a male Muslim (o4.9). The “Reliance of the Traveler” manual is currently certified by Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University (the fount of Sunni Islam since 793) as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community.”

The modern Shiite perspective is concordant. Sultanhussein Tabandeh, the Iranian Shiite leader of a prominent Sufi Order, wrote an “Islamic perspective” on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In essence, he simply reaffirms the sacralized inequality of non-Muslims relative to Muslims under the Sharia, stating (for example),

Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim . . . then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain. . . . Again, the penalties of a non-Muslim guilty of fornication with a Muslim woman are augmented because, in addition to the crime against morality, social duty and religion, he has committed sacrilege, in that he has disgraced a Muslim and thereby cast scorn upon the Muslims in general, and so must be executed.

Islam and its peoples must be above the infidels, and never permit non-Muslims to acquire lordship over them. Since the marriage of a Muslim woman to an infidel husband (in accordance with the verse quoted: ‘Men are guardians form women’) means her subordination to an infidel, that fact makes the marriage void.

It is critical to understand that Tabandeh’s key views on non-Muslims, were implemented “almost verbatim in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” according to Professor Eliz Sanasarian’s important study of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic. As she observes, Tabandeh’s tract became “the core ideological work upon which the Iranian government . . . based its non-Muslim policy.”...

You just never can know - unless you wish to be informed.

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