The most difficult thing to understand about Islam is discerning the mixed message we keep hearing. The government, media and professors talk about a wonderful Islam that is a blessing to humanity and America, in particular. This Islam is so wonderful that anyone who resists it is a bigot, a hater, an Islamophobe. But there is another Islam that lurks in the background—violence, rape, lies, deception, and ever increasing Muslim immigration.
So which is it? Is Islam a blessing or a curse? More importantly, what is the basis for making such a decision? There is one and only one basis for making any judgment about Islam—its doctrine. That basis is not the opinions of TV commentators, the newspaper, the professor, or even the Islamic scholar or imam. The only basis for any factual statement about Islam comes from the Koran and the Sunna, the perfect model of Mohammed’s actions and words. The Sunna is found in the Hadith, the traditions of Mohammed, and the Sira, his biography.
What does Islamic doctrine tell us about wonderful and warlike? Oddly enough, it tells that both are true.
The first place to look for violence is to see what Islamic doctrine says about jihad.
In Mecca, the texts have nothing to say about jihad. So in Mecca we have a peaceful Islam, but in Medina we have violence. Both the Sira and Hadith confirm the peaceful nature of Islam in Mecca and its unlimited violence in Medina.
We read a lot about Islamic Jew-hatred, but the rabbis love to go and “dialogue” with Muslim leaders. At these dialogues, the Jews are told how they are “brothers” to the Muslims. But, later we hear the war cry:
Khaybar, Khaybar, oh you Jews! The army of Mohammed is here for you!
Which is it? Is Islam a Jew lover or a Jew hater? Look at the data:
With the Jews, we see the same dualistic picture. In Mecca, most of the Koran is positive about them; Mohammed is presented as the final prophet of the Jews. In Medina, he annihilated every single Jew in Medina.
When Mohammed was in Mecca, he preached the religion of Islam and converted 150 Arabs to Islam. When he went to Medina he became a politician and warrior and converted an average of 10,000 per year to Islam. See the graph below. Which is the real Mohammed? Is he a peaceful preacher or a violent warrior?
Look at the Koran. In Mecca the Koran is about religion and hymns to god. In Medina the Koran becomes a vision statement of universal, eternal jihad. The Koran gives a rule, called abrogation, to resolve the problem. The later verse is stronger or better than the earlier verse. But, notice that the earlier verse is still true, because it came from the perfect Allah. Allah cannot ever be wrong.
The Polarities of Islam
Which is the true nature of Islam? Mecca and Medina contradict each other. One solution to this problem is to see Islam as a process and the Meccan phase is simply the first stage of development. This is true, but it does not explain how Meccan Islam does not go away, but co-exists with Medinan Islam.
The complete answer is that Koran is perfect in every way. So the peace of Mecca is just as true as the violence of Medina. In Western logic, if two things contradict each other, then at least one of them is false. But in Islam, both sides of the c0ntradiction are true at the same time. Hence, Islam is dualistic.
Is Islam peaceful? Yes.
Is Islam violent? Yes.
What is the true nature of Islam? It is peaceful and it is violent. It is peaceful when it needs to be and violent when it that is the best option.
Dualism is Islam’s greatest strength. It gives every apologist a reason to believe in peaceful Islam and every jihadist a basis to murder Kafirs (non-Muslims).
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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