15 November 2015

Islam Prohibits Killing an Innocent Person? Not so Fast.

There have been several posts appearing on my Facebook timeline of a quote taken from the Quran purporting to show that Islam is a religion of peace. The quote is from 5:32 and is, "Whoever kills an innocent person it is as if he has killed all of humanity." Just as Christians can cherry pick quotes from the Bible, such as the one commonly used to accuse people of being judgmental, "neither do I condemn you," they generally exclude the "go and sin no more" part of the passage, then the same can happen when people take partial quotes from the Quran. 

As an example, those who have used the quote in the various memes on killing an innocent person, have also omitted the full passage which states, "For this reason, We made it a law for the children of Israel that the killing of a person for reasons other than legal retaliation or for stopping corruption in the land is as great a sin as murdering all of mankind. However, to save a life would be as great a virtue as to save all of mankind. Our Messengers had come to them with clear authoritative evidence but many of them (Israelites) thereafter started doing wrong in the land." (This is one of several translations of the verse varying slightly but the underlying meaning is the same.)

Now I'm certainly no Islamic scholar and I can't claim to explain what the meaning of that passage is but I'm relatively certain it's more complex than Muslims don't believe in killing innocent people as the partially quoted meme would imply. In fact it would seem that it is intended specifically for the "children of Israel." 

Here are some other quotes that could be used suggest the opposite, that Islam promotes violence. I'm not suggesting that it does, or doesn't, merely that cherry picking a quote won't give us the necessary clarity to having an honest discussion or understanding of the problem.

"Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
“Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Koran 9:123
“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5
“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85
“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”... Koran 9:30
“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33
“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19
“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65
“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28
“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12
“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

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