When news broke that two young brothers had detonated deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon, bringing the world’s news networks to a standstill and terrorising the largest city of Massachusetts, we all wondered the same thing: Why? What would have possessed 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a ‘naturalised’ US citizen of Chechneyan descent to embark on a rampage of violence with his brother, slain boxer, Tamerlan?
What is the motive for terror?
The reason for the boys’ motive to terrorise America is intricately complex, however one common thread underpins many of the 21 000 incidents of terror since 9/11. Radical Islam.
The words we all hesitate to utter for fear of retribution and recrimination. Sadly, the jihadist ideology of Islam influences most of the terrorist attacks committed against the US, other Western nations, Northern Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, etc and cannot be ignored as the direct catalyst for acts of terror. Again, we ask: why?
A fundamental principle of belief
It is true that there are some positive principles of good espoused by Islam (such as to take care of the poor) and that there are many lovely, sincere Muslim people who desire to live at peace with their neighbours and those of other religions. However, a fundamental practice of the religion is that of jihad (a noun meaning “struggle”).
There are two commonly accepted meanings of jihad: an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle. The “greater jihad” is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfil his religious duties.
The “lesser jihad” is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam. This physical struggle can take a violent form or a non-violent form. (Which explains why some Muslims say it is a peaceful religion and others clearly exhibit why it is a violent one).
The proponents of the violent form translate jihad as “holy war”. This form of jihad takes the form of wars (or attacks) against unbelievers, apostates, and dissenters renouncing the authority of Islam - and we see this daily in parts of North Africa, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Middle East.
A misunderstanding of the Qu’ran
So why would the West (which is for the most part non-Muslim) be a specific target for acts of terror and Jihad then? And why too, given this ideological practice of Jihad, would prominent political and religious leaders (such as Barack Obama) continue to espouse that the teachings of Muhammad and Islam had no bearings on the actions of these terrorists?
Conspiracy theories and political agendas aside, a key reason would be a misunderstanding of what the Qur’an actually says.
Quoting verses out of context
According to Christian Apologist and Islam analyst, David Wood, this is a common occurrence. Wood posted a video online that offered an analysis of the motives for the bombings - which was removed from YouTube by officials days later. Here follows a brief synopsis of what he explained:
“Following the Boston bombings, both Obama and an Imam at an interfaith prayer meeting recounted the following: “The Qur’an teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all of mankind”. The verse they refer to (out of context) is Surah 5:32.
The punishment of “evil-doers”
Here is what it actually says: “For this reason did we prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men and whoever keeps it alive, is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land”.
Now read the next verse (prescribed to the Muslims): “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad) and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world; and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.”
A plausible reason for the attacks
What is considered ‘mischief’ then? Namely apostasy, preaching a religion other than Islam, adultery, becoming “too Westernised” and violating Sharia.
The most extreme form of ‘mischief’ is bringing a non-Muslim military into a Muslim country to interfere in the affairs of state - an act definitely deserving of death. Perhaps this could have been the reason why United States Army Medical Corps officer Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed many of his fellow American soldiers heading to Afghanistan in 2009?
They were going to Afghanistan to make ‘mischief’ in a Muslim land. (Interestingly, the US government labelled it as workplace violence, aggravated by Hasan’s mental state).”
For Wood, “[Hasan’s actions, and those of other terrorists like the Boston bombers], is perfectly obvious from the text whereby Surah 5:33 advocates terrorism and killing civilians.
In Islam the people who go out to fight in battle are not the only people responsible for the battle. According to Muhammad, those who fund the military (those who pay the bills) are equally responsible for the fighting that takes place.
There is an American military presence in various Muslim countries - what’s the penalty? Death. But who pays for the American Military to be in those countries? That would be the American tax payer. Thus the average US civilian citizen is just as responsible for causing problems in the Muslim countries as the US soldiers fighting in those nations. So, what is their penalty? Death. Do you see now why such terrorists will not hesitate to kill American civilians?”
Why the West will remain a target
Wood further states that: “According to Barack Obama “the partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is and not what it is not”. The media believes that Islam condemns the killing of innocents. But who here is innocent according to the Qur’an?
Some uninformed think that Islam forbids the terrorist attacks of those in 9/11, as even Muslims were killed in the attacks! But what kind of Muslims? They were Muslims who worked with infidels and paid taxes to a government that’s at war in Muslim lands, the kind of Muslim that the Qur’an repeatedly refers to as “hypocrites”.
Notably, not wanting to pay taxes to support Western Government is part of the reason why Jihadists in the UK would rather go on state support (the Dole) than work and have to pay taxes.” One wonders why analysts do not explore these facts further...
Political correctness misleads us
Wood concludes that: “Our leaders and our media, after years of terrorist attacks, continue to completely ignore the bloody implications of Surah 5:33 (which was ordained for Muslims) and to instead reference to the verse before it, (which was ordained for Jews).
They have ripped Surah 5:32 out of its Jewish context and they quote part of what remains in an effort to convince us that Islam condemns the sort of violence that the very next verse commands Muslims to commit.“
What is truly being said
Again one asks why would they do that? In our politically correct world, members of the media and commentators often seek to distance Islam from so many acts of horrific violence, using terms of distinction such as “radical Islam” or “moderate Islam” and so on. But let us reflect on the words of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the close friend of Iran’s terroristic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In reply to the term “moderate Islam,” which was apparently quoted to him by a Western journalist, Erdoğan said: “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”
Surah 8:12: “...I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
Surah 8:60: “Infidels [disbelievers or non-Muslims] should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorise them.”
NOTE FROM JOY! MAGAZINE
We remind all Christians to love their neighbour and to reach out in love to fellow Muslims. Strive to live at peace with others (Heb 12:14) and to preach the Truth in love.