Does the right of freedom of religion confer the right to kill? Why among the major religions is Islam so prone to violence?
WASHINGTON, January 22, 2014 — After the latest killing spree in France, many politicians have argued that “terrorism” is to blame, not Islam. They have said the same about attacks by Islamic fundamentalists that have killed thousands of people in this century — in the 9/11 attacks, embassy bombings, car bombings, civil wars and the latest ISIS atrocities.
This may be a comforting belief, but it is unfortunately not true.
Despite the insistence that most “moderate” Muslims don’t support terrorism, many do. Witness the widespread celebrations over the Charlie Hebdo murders in Palestine, Iraq, Yemen and other Islamic states.
- Many Muslims see a struggle between those who want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists. Only in Jordan and Egypt do majorities say there is no such struggle in their countries (72 and 61 percent, respectively).
- At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion. Majorities of Muslims in Jordan and Nigeria also favor these harsh punishments.
- Eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan say suicide bombing and other acts of violence against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies are never justified; majorities in Turkey (77 percent), Indonesia (69 percent) and Jordan (54 percent) share this view. Support for suicide bombing has declined considerably over the years. For example, while 74 percent of Muslims in Lebanon said these violent acts were at least sometimes justified in 2002, just 39 percent say that is the case now; double-digit declines have also occurred in Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia.
According to a headline in the Washignton Free Beacon, “Poll: 89 Percent of Palestinians Support Terror Attacks on Israel.”
Islamic fundamentalists in Europe are supported by hundreds of millions of “moderate” Muslims and by most Muslim newspapers, radio, television and internet media worldwide. And they are funded by Qatari and Saudi oil sheiks who also finance Palestinian, ISIS and other Islamic groups.
According to the Koran, to be Muslim requires absolute submission — on pain of death — to the Koran, including its numerous exhortations to kill non-Muslims.
“And they who believe not in Islam shall have garments of fire fitted unto them: boiling water shall be poured on their heads; they shall be beaten with maces of iron.” (Surah 22). Whereas “whosoever fighteth for Islam, we will surely give him a great reward.” (Surah 4). This message is repeated daily by mullahs around the world.
For women, Islam is often enslavement. The “Islamic Prison” that jails Muslim women, that genitally mutilates, forcibly marries, and restricts women to their homes, in burkhas and hijabs, forbids their education and allows them to be raped as children is supported by alarmingly large numbers Muslim men.
According to World Public Opinion.org (2009):
In Egypt, moralistic and punitive aspects of Shari’a were rated a bit above the social aspect by Shari’a supporters. Sixty-eight percent (of the full sample) said “policing moral behavior” was “very important for the government to do”; 64 percent said this about “applying traditional punishments for crimes, such as stoning adulterers”; 62 percent said this about “policing women’s dress”; while 59 percent said it about “providing welfare to the poor.”
Politicians say Islam must be tolerated because we believe in freedom of religion. But freedom of religion does not include the right to kill people who don’t believe what you do. And no modern religion except Islam consistently slaughters people in God’s name.
From ISIS in Iraq and Syria to al Qaeda, al Shebaab and Boko Haram in Africa, from Hezbollah to the Palestinians, from the latest Muslim atrocities in Australia, Canada, London, Israel, Madrid, and across the Middle East, Islam is drenched in blood. And over 95 percent of the major wars ongoing in the world today are Muslim vs Muslim or Muslim vs the West.
Journalists like those at Charlie Hebdo and those beheaded by Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hezbollah are always the first targets of fascism. Once a society loses its open media, its ability to speak the truth, it cannot defend itself.
The French Muslim killers were not isolated loners. They had been given all the benefits of French democracy: free education and health care, a beneficent welfare system, many job offers.
Their religion taught them to kill.
Thousands of Muslims from Europe and the U.S. have joined ISIS and will return to spread violence at home, just as these French Muslims did. Our freedom to hear and speak the truth, to choose our religion or non-religion, our science and education, our private lives and how we live together — our entire civilization is at risk.
The “soft conquest” of Europe by Islam is expanding rapidly. In Brussels, Europe’s capital, Muslims will be a majority by 2030. “Sharia will dominate,” says Belgian imam Fouad Belkacem. “Sharia will be implemented worldwide. Democracy is the opposite of Sharia and Islam. Allah makes the laws. He decides what is allowed and what is forbidden.”
As several leading French journalists say, it is time to accept that we are at war and start fighting back. This war must include surveillance or imprisonment of Islamic fundamentalists, the shutdown of radical Muslim media worldwide, a lockdown on the financial operations of the Middle Eastern oil sheiks who fund radical Islam, and increased security at borders, airports and elsewhere.
Most importantly, we must abandon the pretense that this worldwide brutality is not Muslim. Islam is all that it has in common.
French novelist Michel Houellebecq recently stated, “The Koran is disgusting … Islam is a dangerous, warlike, intolerant religion that makes people unhappy.” From a psychological viewpoint, Islamic fundamentalism is not a religion; it is a homicidal obsession, and we must stop pretending it doesn’t threaten the civilized world.
“Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith,” Winston Churchill wrote, “… raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science … the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
We are in the midst of a new world war. It will be a very different and perhaps more difficult one. It’s going to get worse quickly. And the outcome is not guaranteed.
Former Paris correspondent for the Financial Times publications, Mike Bond is a war and human rights journalist and best-selling novelist. His most recent book, Holy War, is an account of his experiences in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East.
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