A Despicable Logic For An Unholy War


In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

I have just completed a five part series of posts about how Islam does not sanction the murder of “infidels”; that the verses in the Qur’an which tell the believers to “fight the infidels” are speaking of those who were directly attacking the Muslims at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There is nothing, nothing, nothing in Islam that says “all infidels must be killed.” Nothing. Yes, individual Muslims may say so, but they twist their sacred sources to find justification. They do not simply twist the sources, they completely get their sources wrong. I can’t help but wonder if they are reading the same book as I am.

As I mentioned in my posts, fighting in Islam is permitted only in self-defense. Unfortunately, the definition of “self-defense” has been grossly distorted to justify inhuman acts of terror and violence. Here is a case in point: According to a Reuters news report, four militants in Jordan were charged with planning to attack Western tourists. A security officer in Jordan told Reuters, “They planned to shoot and kill many Western tourists using AK-47 assault rifles and sow a campaign of terror.”

What was their alleged motive? Why did they allegedly want to “shoot and kill many Western tourists”? According to the news report, they wanted to protest the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. What do Western tourists in Jordan have to do with the U.S. occupation of Iraq? What was their crime? They are Westerners? How – in God’s Most Holy Name – could killing an innocent Westerner be “self-defense”? The Westerners are guests in Jordan, and rather than killing them, Islam commands every Jordanian to treat them with honor, dignity, and respect. Killing innocent Western tourists in Jordan – or in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, or wherever – is not “self-defense”; it is cold-blooded murder.

It is despicable logic for an unholy war. This logic goes something like this: since every citizen of a Western power – such as America – supports their government by paying taxes, or working for the government, or even making the leather for the boots of the soldiers, they are as guilty as the soldier killing the innocent Muslim in Iraq. Thus, they are legitimate targets. This is absolutely wrong, and I reject this logic unequivocally. This logic is the same as that of an American soldier who kills an innocent Iraqi baker because “the baker makes the food that feeds the terrorists attacking U.S. soldiers.” Just as it is wrong for American soldiers to kill innocent Iraqis, it is wrong for a Muslim to kill an American tourist in Cairo. Just as it is wrong for an American soldier to abuse an Iraqi detainee, it is also wrong for a Muslim to kill an innocent American (or British, or Polish, or Italian) businessman in Amman because America invaded Iraq. If it’s wrong, its wrong. Period.

This sort of logic was used to justify the wanton bombing of civilian targets in World War II. This sort of logic was used to justify the attacks of September 11. Now, this sort of logic is being used to justify murdering Westerners in Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It is evil; it is diabolical; it is twisted; it is inhuman; it is morally reprehensible. Call it what you wish, but one thing you can’t call it is Islamic. Islam does not sanction or condone the murder of any innocent human being, be he or she Muslim or non-Muslim. And it does not matter how many Muslim writers, thinkers, polemicists, or scholars say to the contrary. Islam teaches that it is wrong, and if it’s wrong, it’s wrong.

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