Do Islamic Texts Encourage Violence?

Does the Koran command its believers to make war on unbelievers? I wanted to check this out for myself because I'm skeptical that all this vilifying of Islam could be Christian or Jewish or Hindu propaganda. So I found web sites with English translations of the Koran. This is one. And here's another.

This is a chapter. I chose it randomly. Now keep in mind this is an Islamic-promotion web site rather than an anti-Islamic web site. Here are some of the passages from that chapter:

57. So if you gain the mastery over them in war, punish them severely in order to disperse those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson.

59. And let not those who disbelieve think that they can escape from the punishment. Verily, they will never be able to save themselves from Allâh's Punishment.

60. And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allâh and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allâh does know.

65. O Prophet (Muhammad)! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.

67. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter among his enemies in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allâh desires for you the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

On the other side, I did see a hopeful passage in that chapter:

61. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and put your trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

But the downside is that this quote is within the context of having defeated non-Muslims in battle. And the peace has lots of stipulations, including a choice of conversion to Islam or death, or for Christians and Jews, a heavy tax and fewer rights.

None of this is very encouraging. But it is better to deal with reality than make decisions based on false assumptions. I think the best thing any of us can do before we learn anything else about Islam is to read the Koran ourselves.

I have found a very readable version of the Koran. Read a review of it here: A Simple Koran. It is made to be easily understood by the English-speaking reader.

The chapter chosen above is not the worst by far. The worst is probably Sura 9 (Chapter 9). Read more about that chapter here: The Quran's Last Word on Non-Muslims.


  1. I very much enjoy the style of this website -- the calm, pragmatic, unfanatical, impersonal style.

    I think if you just persist, you will start getting more and more comments.

    I wonder if you should integrate into what you are doing here daily news stories that you quote from, link to, and comment on -- sort of the mode of jihad watch, or little green footballs, except that you would bring to the news a different tone and style than either of those sites. The daily news angle brings in a narrative element and suspense about how the latest story will turn out...

  2. Thanks, Traeh. I haven't finished this site yet, but I'm making this for people who know nothing about Islam. I'm building a resource to be used by those of us who have learned about Islam and want to share what we learn with others.

    I was thinking though, that maybe you have a good idea. Maybe I'll put a JihadWatch feed in the sidebar, just to show some examples of current events being impacted by Islam. Thank you.

    1. And,, for that matter, which has been tracking Islamic deadly attacks since 9/11/2001. It's got most of them, now over 27,000, but many are missing. Millions have been murdered & injured since 9/11/01 by people who are clearly doing it because of Islam itself. They consider themselves, hundreds of millions, to be Orthodox practicing very serious Muslims. A recent PEW study surveyed many Muslim populations worldwide. The vast majority of Muslims have at least some beliefs as Muslims based on Islam that are considered barbarism according to civilization.
      I'd like to see your Inquiry articles about violence in Islam include one particular Islamic doctrine, Abrogation. The Koran states that when there are contradictory things, the ones stated later, closer to Mohammed's death, are improvements and to be followed. Chapter 9, The Verses of the Sword, is the 2nd to last chronological chapter, which means, according to the overwhelming predominance of Islamic jurisprudence, that it supersedes all earlier temperate verses. It's the basis for so far an almost 1,400 year deadly, injurious Jihad that is to lead to The Prime Directive you've alluded to in a few articles, making the world one Islamic nation.

  3. Yes, please put a JihadWatch counter in the sidebar. Then people will know immediately just how credible you truly are.

    Abrogation only applies in the case of legal rulings derived from verses. It does NOT mean that the all of Meccan revelation is abrogated by Medinian. The verses that you have quoted above regarding war have a specific application only, and that was at the time of the Prophet when he was at war with the Quraish. They no longer apply.
    Our effort against the jihadi's is to educate them in this regard. You are not helping by trying to misinterpret the true teachings of Islam and turning the rest of the world against the religion.

    Are you man enough to accept the truth and accept that you are wrong about Islam and the teachings of the Qur'an?

  4. On page 222 (326 in the Arabic) of the earliest Muslim biography of Muhammad, he affirms that those who do not follow him will be slaughtered:

    Abu jahl said to them: "Muhammad alleges that if you follow him you will be kings of the Arabs and the Persians. Then after death you will be raised to gardens like those of the Jordan. But if you do not follow him you will be slaughtered, and when you are raised from the dead you will be burned in the fire of hell." The apostle [Muhammad] came out to them with a handful of dust saying: "I do say that."

  5. I appreciate your courage to step forward and try to enlighten the world about what Islam is all about so people won't be misled and act in ignorance when the subject comes up especially at a time when there is so much controversy surrounding Islam worldwide.

    Now let me be truthful to you. I'm an African and a Christian. And I can say to you right now that Islam from a 'Black' African point of view is relative in the sense that in our African countries (which have a high number of both Christians and Muslims), we always witness violent attacks on people especially during a church service or Christian gathering and all committed in the name of Islam with Islamic groups even taking responsibility for such evil acts saying that 'Allah' instructed them to do so. So they take up arms and say they are fighting for 'Allah' (therefore implying to us that 'Allah' cannot further his own cause peacefully and that he must use mere mortals who are but just flesh and blood to further his evil cause)

    I do know that not all Muslims are bad people as the world now perceives them because some of my very good friends happen to be muslims and they've never given me a slight reason to hold them in contempt in my heart. But why we (in our own part of the world) see Islam as a fanatic terrorist religion isn't far from the fact that when all these evil deeds by the Muslims are being committed, the honest and upright ones among them keep silent. They don't even condemn these acts publicly so we just conclude that they are all the same and support what is happening.

    I know you may tend to disagree with me on a few things I've said but I'm telling you what I see everyday and read in the news and watch on my telly with visual facts and not rumors. That's why whenever I see an American, Australian, Frenchman or an Englishman who is a convert of Islam talking about Islam and how peaceful and "submissive" the religion is, I just sigh because he/she doesn't know what someone somewhere else in the world is going through because of Islam. Being bombed and shot at in church every Sunday morning or even worse, being slaughtered like a ram just because you are a christian. And all this while, we Christians have kept quiet and have not retaliated because it's not what our religion teaches (except for a few weeks ago where some Christians retaliated after being bombed and shot at during a church service).

    In light of all I've said, I honestly feel Islam is relative. The Islam being practiced or followed in my country and other African countries is highly different with how it's being practiced in the west and also different with how it's being practiced in the middle east.

    It's just my opinion from what I see happening around me everyday that I state here. And I'd also advise you and your wife whom you've dedicated time, resources and energy to know the truth about Islam, to take time to travel (if you can) to countries where the religion is being practiced and know how muslims in those countries feel about unbelievers as well as the other minority religions and then go to countries where Christianity or any other religion is being practiced as the dominant religion and find out what people there think. You can also go to countries who claim to be constantly harassed and persecuted by Islamist's to find out what is really going on their and since you say you're neither Christian nor Muslim, you're in a very good position to share your findings in an unbiased manner. Your findings will be highly transparent and respected as you're not holding brief for anyone (unless you are).

    Thank you

    1. There is only one Islam. The reason it seems different in various countries is because the progress towards total Sharia law (which Islam follows) is at various stages. It's when the division of the total population is around 50% that Islam will raise its violent attacks and demand higher status (special protection).

      You hit the nail on the head when you said your Muslim "friends" do not speak out against violence practiced by other Muslims but you should not use the words "honest and upright ones" in describing your Muslim friends for the very reason you stated yourself. These people are bound by fear and cannot be honest or upright. They don't even recognize it. I think you do.

      I will just end with a reminder to you to never think Islam is different anywhere else. The same prophet, the same unholy book, the same prayers . . . don't be fooled.

  6. The quotes above a certainly more violent tn anything found in the new testament. But in terms of behavior Muslims of today aren't doing anything that christians weren't doing 300 years ago. I mean: witch burnings; holy wars (against other xtians); crusaids; persecutions of people like galeleo. etc.

    the countries of the middle east haven't had the reformation or the enligtenment yet. Christians would be doing the same thing if secular forces hadn't stopped them. But I think most young people don't want to be part of these old ideologies.

    They just want to enjoy life as the young do in the west.I''m optimistic for the future!

    1. Your comment really put things in perspective. Really effective parallel that you made, I never thought about it that way. Thanks for the new outlook on this topic.

  7. Robandrews33304, I think it's important to put the numbers into perspective. More people are killed by Islamists each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined. The Inquisition, by the way, took place after 800 years of ISLAMIC occupation of that country. Could they have been influenced by Islamic ways of doing things? Possibly.

    Another thing: The Reformation was a back-to-the-text movement. In other words, Catholicism had introduced many things to Christian practice that had no basis in the Bible. The Protestant Reformation rebelled against it and said they would follow the actual written teachings from now on, and nothing more.

    Luckily the teachings in the New Testament are not harmful to non-Christians.

    Islam has already had its Reformation. It is called Wahhabism. It was a back-to-the-core-texts movement. Unfortunately the teachings in Islamic doctrine ARE harmful to non-Muslims.

    I recommend that you not take my word for it, but read the texts yourself. Here is a good place to start:

    The Wahhabi movement has been massively funded by oil money pouring into the home of the Wahhabis: Saudi Arabia. They've used that money for decades to build madrassas all over the world, madrassas that teach fundamentalist Islam (that is, strictly Islamic doctrine). They've also funded the construction of mosques all over the world, and made sure those mosques teach orthodox Islam. This is all very bad news for the non-Muslims of the world.

    Also, the following study found that when a moderate Muslim immigrates to Britain, their offspring are MORE "radical" (fundamentalist) than their parents:

    If non-Muslims persist in spending their time wishing away this problem, I'm not optimistic for the future.

    1. Yes..You are more informed on the subject than me.

      Could you fix the hypertext links above. They don't allow for clicking to the link provided. Or maybe it's bexause of my old Windows XP. I don't know too much about computers.


  8. I just tested the links. They seem to work fine. Maybe try using a different browser?

  9. I love this website. It helps me in my endeavor to teach people that Islam is not a "religion of peace". Islam is what Islam is.

  10. Darg20:

    Begin here:

  11. Just two links of interest: