Death Knell for Apostates

You may well have heard of Patrick Sookhdeo, the director of Barnabas Fund and the Institute of the Study of Islam and Christianity (ISIC). Sookhdeo’s organisation Barnabas Fund supports persecuted Christians in various parts of the world, be they living under economic hardship, warfare, civil war, or totalitarian regimes. As such, Sookhdeo speaks out for the rights of Christians in North Korea, Iraq, Gaza and Nigeria, among other places. Sookhdeo is also vocal in his call for the apostasy law to be abolished throughout the Islamic world. Whatever one’s religious persuasion, this is clearly a positive step for supporters of human rights.

With regards to Muslims and Christians, Sookhdeo’s ISIC aims to provide an “objective, robust and rigorous understanding of the relevant issues and their implications for Islamic and western societies” and “is committed to human rights, religious freedom, equality and respect for all and stands against all forms of discrimination and incitement to hatred.” Sookhdeo has also lectured British and NATO military officers on the very real threat posed by radical Islam.

Yet recently, Sookhdeo has been facing much opposition from within the Christian world as much as outside of it. Last week, many were shocked to learn that Ben White, a notorious anti-Zionist supporter of terrorism who claims to understand antisemitism, had his review of Sookhdeo’s Global Jihad published on the Anglican website Fulcrum. (You can read Barnabus Fund’s response to White here).

I have previously noted that Ben White clearly sympathises with radical Islamism, defending both Hamas and Hizbollah. As such, Christians should not be taking White seriously. Yet some do.

Curiously, a post was been put up on the Distinctly Welcoming blog in praise of Ben White’s article. Distinctly Welcoming is run by Richard Sudworth, a blogger on the planning team of the Christian interfaith movement Faith to Faith with Bryan Knell.

According to the Barnabas Fund, however, Knell is leading a wider Christian movement seeking to target and defame Sookhdeo. Sookhdeo’s concerns about the spread of political Islam, the implications of a sharia law system being introduced in Britain, and the implications of adopting literal interpretations of certain verses of the Quran deserve to be heard, even if one doesn’t agree with all of his conclusions.

Bryan Knell, the man who called the CRIB meeting, is interested in finding a “new approach” to Islam from a Christian perspective. Yet Knell’s approach appears to be principally concerned with the demands of radical Islamism rather than Islam itself. If we are in any doubt of this, consider Knell’s Muslim World Forum, which claimed to deal with issues relevant to Muslims. The only paper discussed at the MWF was Stephen Sizer’s polemic against Christian Zionism. Knell himself has exclusively blamed Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East.

In choosing to oppose Sookhdeo in such a seemingly underhanded way, Knell undermines the struggle against militant Islam and the brave attempts by Sookhdeo to bring an end to the apostasy law. As Knell himself works for a missionary organisation, it seems paradoxical that he should use his political clout in a way that could adversely affect converts to Christianity.

Knell’s choice to invite Colin Chapman to his secret CRIB meeting is very revealing. Chapman is the anti-Zionist author chiefly responsible for re-introducing Jewish power theories to Christianity in the context of Christian anti-Zionism. Chapman wrote the book “Whose Promised Land?” in 1983, which spawned the Christian anti-Zionism movement in the UK.

Knell’s connections with known antisemitic sources such as Sizer, Chapman and White are indicative of an intolerant and distorted perspective on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish people. However it is interesting to note that many Christian anti-Zionists are now turning against Christians in the West who support persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. Such a phenomenon is eerily reminiscent of the decision of much of the British Left to abandon its comrades in Iraq and Iran in favour of anti-imperialist ideology.

The worldview of Bryan Knell is ultimately as anti-Christian as it is anti-Jewish, abandoning both groups to the horrors of radical Islam. Whatever our worldview or religious persuasion, we would all be wise to sign the Barnabas Fund petition for the abolition of the Islamic apostasy law.

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11 responses to “Death Knell for Apostates

  1. Akhter

    In the name of God, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. Ruler, Cherisher, Sustainer of the Universe.

    Apostasy and Islam: A commentary by a “former” apostate

    1

    The following was sent to us by a “revert” to Islam. It offers a logical insight to dealing with apostasy in light of the Holy Quran. Please note we are fully aware of the rulings of various states regarding apostasy and are also aware that treason which is a form of apostasy is punishable by death in the states of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, and Louisiana. We also know this law existed in England only up until 1999.

    Independent: Bush wants death for ‘spy who offered secrets to Iraq’

    A couple of weeks ago during question-answer session in our center, a member inquired about the punishment for apostasy in Islam. It is the prevalent belief among some Muslims (especially the isolated ones) that according to Shari’a, the apostate must be put to death.

    I was once an apostate and openly declared I did not believe in Islam and rejected even the existence of God. Thank God! I was then living in a country where people did not execute apostates. I thank God for giving me a chance to repent and return to the fold of Islam. I, being an apostate once, became free from the cultural and ethnic Islam to study true Islam with an open mind. “Islamic scholars” and Imams do not anymore control my mind and beliefs unless their decrees (fatwas) are (1) in conformity with the Quran, (2) the hadith that they quote do not contradict the Quran.

    I believe that many Muslims are reluctant to speak up because many “Islamic” cultures today encourage docility and teach to unquestioningly accept the decisions of “qualified” scholars. This is a new phenomenon; in the time of Muhammad (pbuh), ideas were only supported after they had been proven to be in harmony with the Quran. Scholars could not just pull rank, as they were expected to be able to argue their cases. In fact, in a famous incident of Islamic history, a humble woman of Medina publicly corrected the Caliph. One day, Hazrat Umar was announcing a change in the rule mahr, when the woman in the crowd suddenly stopped him in his track by loudly quoting a verse of the Quran which contradicted his proposal. He had to relent, saying, “The women of Medina know the Quran better than Umar.” So, it is time for Muslims to question the imams and scholars if they deviate from the Quran and hadith that do not contradict the Quran. We must not only be satisfied by the answer of the scholars, but we must verify the source of their references. Remember, if Hazrath Umar can make a mistake, ordinary scholars and ordinary people like us also can make greater mistakes.

    The Quran and the sayings of the Prophet require Muslims to think critically. Pagans are repeatedly berated for not questioning, for not using reason, even being compared to dumb animals on several occasions!

    “When it is said unto them: ‘Follow that which Allah has revealed:’ they say: ‘Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers.’ What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?….Deaf, dumb, blind, therefore they have no sense.” (2:170-171)

    “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book…..” (3:7)

    “Will they not then ponder on the Quran? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found herein much incongruity.” (4:83)

    So, the principle established here is that (1) Muslims are required to think critically and not blindly accept the authority of their scholars, and (2) that the clear message of the Quran is to be preferred to any isolated law interpretation which contradicts the Quran’s clear spirit.

    The Quran teaches that human beings are individually responsible. So, I believe that Allah would not forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment even if my sins were the result of following the advice of a certain Imam. I would not be able to hide behind any Imam or behind his fatwa even if coming from the most respected and revered Imam of any time. Therefore, views expressed here are my opinions based on the references given. I do not claim to be a scholar, but there are sometimes cases where the violation of the Quran is so self-evident that all Muslims can see them.

    I believe that inhuman law of apostasy has nothing to do with Islam of the Prophet (s) and it is an interpolation into Islam by fanatics among us and the selfish rulers. There are many reasons for me to believe that execution for apostasy is a manufactured law rather than divine law.

    The Prophet spent his entire life fighting in defence of fundamental human rights that everybody should be free to choose his religion; no one must be physically forced to change religion. The Prophet struggled with the Meccan establishment to have the freedom to invite non-believers to Islam. This was consistent with the practices of all other Prophets.

    The Quran states:

    “…There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is here forth distinct from error…” (2:256)

    In the light of the above verse, a person has to be insane to belief that Islam prescribes execution for apostasy.

    The Quran further states:

    “Say (Muhammad it is) truth from Lord of all. Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, Let him disbelieve.” (18:29)

    In no uncertain terms, Allah commands Prophet to allow people to believe and disbelieve. If the Shari’a recommends to kill an apostate, this law cannot be Islamic because it contradicts the above two verses.

    The Quran further states:

    “And so, O Prophet, exhort them, thy task is ONLY to exhort; thou canst NOT compel them to believe.” (88:21-22)

    “Thy duty is to make the message reach them; it is OUR PART to call them to account.” (13:40)

    “Call thou (all mankind) unto thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in MOST KINDLY MANNER…” (16:125)

    While the Quran commands the Prophet not to compel people to believe in Islam and invite people with the most kind manner and words, fanatics among us threaten people with death mercilessly to keep them in the Muslim Ummah as hypocrites as if the dishonest hypocrites are better than honest apostates. It is a most heinous crime against Islam and the Prophet (s) to manufacture an inhuman law of execution of apostate. If the Quranic verses tell the Prophet not to compel people to believe in Islam (88:22) and the responsibility to call disbelievers to account rests with God only (1:40), the law of execution of apostates is of human origin.

    Initial reluctance of the people of Arabia to accept Islam disturbed Prophet. Then the following verse was revealed:

    “And had your Lord willed, whoever in the earth would have believed all together, will you then coerce people to become believers? (10:99)

    According to the above verse, even God will not coerce people to become Muslims or remain as Muslim once a person accepts Islam. So, Muslims must condemn the law of apostasy and save innocent Muslims becoming intolerant and violent by the heinous indoctrination by fanatics among us because Allah says:

    “Who can be more wicked than the one who invent a lie against God,…” (6:93)

    So, religious belief is a personal matter. It is God alone –not the state or religious authorities–who know what is in the heart of the people. If the highest human authority, Prophet (s), cannot call anyone to account for belief or disbelief, no sane person can believe that religious scholars and the state have the authority to execute people for their personal belief.

    The Quran states:

    “A section of the People of the Book say: ‘Believe in the morning what is revealed to the believers, Bur reject it at the end of the day; perchance they may (themselves) turn back.” (3:72)

    The People of the Book mentioned in the verse are Jews of the Medina. These Jews used a tactic to create doubt among the Muslims in the hope that some of them might thereby be beguiled into repudiating Islam. How could it be possible for Jews to have enacted this plan to entice Muslims to believe one day and reject next, if death was the penalty for apostasy? The tactic of the People of the Book mentioned in this verse also exposes the un-Islamic apostasy law of the fanatics among us.

    Abdullah b.Ubayy b.Salul was the leader of the munafiqun (hypocrites). But The Prophet took no action against him. Prophet prayed for him and stayed at the grave until he was buried. Those fanatics among us must explain the reason for Prophet not executing the known hypocrites like Abdullah b.Ubayy. Ubbay lived until death plotting to destroy Islam and Prophet knew it. He was not executed for apostasy. This suggests that apostasy law is not a divine law but interpolation by fanatics among us.

    Another verse states:

    “Those who believe, then reject Faith, then believe (again) and again reject Faith, go on increasing in Unbelief–God will not forgive them nor guide them on the Way.” (4:137)

    An apostate cannot enjoy the repeated luxury of believing and disbelieving if punishment is death. A dead man has no further chance of again believing and disbelieving. Furthermore, if taken at face value, this verse indicates that God will only withdraw His guidance after repeated rejections. It does not tell The Prophet to kill these apostate. So, what right do these religious authorities and Imams have to deprive a person of access to that divine guidance after the first?

    The Quran states:

    “How shall God guide those who reject faith after they accepted it and bore witness that the apostle was true and that clear signs had come unto them? But God guides not a people unjust. Of such the reward is that on them (rests) the curse of the God, of His Angels, and of all mankind;–In that will they dwell; nor will their penalty be lightened, nor respite be their lot;–except for those that repent (even) after that, make amends; For verily God is oft-forgiving, most merciful.” (3:86-89)

    It is obvious from the these verses that no punishment is to be inflicted by one man or another for apostasy. By no stretch of the imagination can the phrase, “curse of Allah,” be interpreted to be a license to murder anyone who he considers to be an apostate. If any such commandment was prescribed it would have been clearly defined as all other punishments are in the Holy Quran.

    The fact is that the Quran even mentions that apostates can be forgiven if they amend and repent. How could they repent if apostates are killed? By forced repentance? Then, does not Quran state that there is no compulsion in religion? The one verse that states that there is no compulsion in religion should be enough for a fair minded person to realize that Islam does not teach death to apostates.

    Finally, can any one hadith suggesting to kill the apostate invalidate all the Qur’anic verses quoted earlier? We, Muslims, blame the West for anti-Muslim reporting. What do you expect from the West if we provide the sticks to beat us up? So, Muslim brothers and sisters, stand up for justice and against injustice. Will you object the persecution of the new Muslim convert for his apostasy by his erstwhile co-religionists? If we believe that it is injustice to kill a new Muslim by non-Muslims for his apostasy from his former faith, you must give the same just treatment to Muslims who become Christians, Jews and Atheists. Let Allah call to account those people who left Islam.

    I, like many Muslims, am still bitter over smear jobs done on my religion by Western media over the Gulf war, and the Rushdie affair. So, the last thing that I want is to see Islam slandered all over again because of the barbaric and un-Islamic apostasy law. Ask yourselves: what kind of religion kills people for simple choice of faith, a change of heart? Not a religion of love and peace, not a religion worthy of respect! Perpetuation of the law to kill apostates can only increase or create doubts in the heart of the Muslims and potential Muslims, as people everywhere are already bombarded by negative images of Islam.

    My message to those Muslims who, like me, yearn to see Islam grow in the West: Dawa will never be successful in the West as long as crazy nonsense of law of apostasy is unchallenged by Muslims. If Muhammed Ali, Cat Stevens, and Murad Hoffman were harassed by a reactionary Christian group, the Muslims will be up in arms! We must be consistent.

    In closing, Islam is only vulnerable when Muslims abandon its clear teaching of reason, tolerance, and peace.

  2. Akhter

    Militant who????

    VICTIMS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

    “WONDERFUL EVENTS THAT TESTIFY TO GOD’S DIVINE GLORY”

    Listed are only events that solely occurred on command or participation of church authorities or were committed in the name of Christianity. (List incomplete)

    Ancient Pagans

    * As soon as Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire by imperial edict (315), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.
    * Between 315 and 6th century thousands of pagan believers were slain.
    * Examples of destroyed Temples: the Sanctuary of Aesculap in Aegaea, the Temple of Aphrodite in Golgatha, Aphaka in Lebanon, the Heliopolis.
    * Christian priests such as Mark of Arethusa or Cyrill of Heliopolis were famous as “temple destroyer.” [DA468]
    * Pagan services became punishable by death in 356. [DA468]
    * Christian Emperor Theodosius (408-450) even had children executed, because they had been playing with remains of pagan statues. [DA469]
    According to Christian chroniclers he “followed meticulously all Christian teachings…”
    * In 6th century pagans were declared void of all rights.
    * In the early fourth century the philosopher Sopatros was executed on demand of Christian authorities. [DA466]
    * The world famous female philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was torn to pieces with glass fragments by a hysterical Christian mob led by a Christian minister named Peter, in a church, in 415.
    [DO19-25]

    Mission

    * Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. [DO30]
    * Peasants of Steding (Germany) unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes: between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children slain 5/27/1234 near Altenesch/Germany. [WW223]
    * 15th century Poland: 1019 churches and 17987 villages plundered by Knights of the Order. Number of victims unknown. [DO30]
    * 16th and 17th century Ireland. English troops “pacified and civilized” Ireland, where only Gaelic “wild Irish”, “unreasonable beasts lived without any knowledge of God or good manners, in common of their goods, cattle, women, children and every other thing.” One of the more successful soldiers, a certain Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, ordered that “the heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies… and should bee laied on the ground by eche side of the waie”, which effort to civilize the Irish indeed caused “greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kinsfolke, and freinds on the grounde”.
    Tens of thousands of Gaelic Irish fell victim to the carnage. [SH99, 225]

    Crusades (1095-1291)

    * First Crusade: 1095 on command of pope Urban II. [WW11-41]
    * Semlin/Hungary 6/24/96 thousands slain. Wieselburg/Hungary 6/12/96 thousands. [WW23]
    * 9/9/96-9/26/96 Nikaia, Xerigordon (then Turkish), thousands respectively. [WW25-27]
    * Until January 1098 a total of 40 capital cities and 200 castles conquered (number of slain unknown) [WW30]
    * After 6/3/98 Antiochia (then Turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. 6/28/98 100,000 Turks (incl. women and children) killed.
    [WW32-35]
    Here the Christians “did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy’s] tents – save that they ran their lances through their bellies,” according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. [EC60]
    * Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine “the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians” said chronicler Albert Aquensis. [WW36]
    * Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (Jewish, Muslim, men, women, children). [WW37-40]
    In the words of one witness: “there [in front of Solomon’s temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes”, and after that “happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour’s tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of gratitude.”
    * The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote: “It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished.” [TG79]
    * Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that “even the following summer in all of Palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition”. [WW41]
    * Battle of Askalon, 8/12/1099. Thousands of heathens slaughtered “in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. [WW45]
    * Fourth crusade: 4/12/1204 Constantinople sacked, number of victims unknown, numerous thousands, many of them Christian. [WW141-148]
    * Crusades (1095-1291)

    o Estimated totals:

    + Wertham: 1,000,000

    + Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the
    Madness of Crowds (1841): 2,000,000 Europeans killed. [http://www.bootlegbooks.com/NonFiction/Mackay/PopDelusions/chap09.html]

    + Aletheia, The Rationalist’s Manual: 5,000,000

    o Individual Events:

    + Davies: Crusaders killed up to 8,000 Jews in Rhineland

    + Paul Johnson A History of the Jews (1987): 1,000 Jewish women in
    Rhineland comm. suicide to avoid the mob, 1096.

    + Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, v.5, 6

    # 1st Crusade: 300,000 Eur. k at Battle of Nice [Nicea].

    # Crusaders vs. Solimon of Roum: 4,000 Christians, 3,000 Moslems

    # 1098, Fall of Antioch: 100,000 Moslems massacred.

    # 50,000 Pilgrims died of disease.

    # 1099, Fall of Jerusalem: 70,000 Moslems massacred.

    # Siege of Tiberias: 30,000 Christians k.

    # Siege of Tyre: 1,000 Turks

    # Richard the Lionhearted executes 3,000 Moslem POWs.

    # 1291: 100,000 Christians k after fall of Acre.

    # Fall of Christian Antioch: 17,000 massacred.

    # [TOTAL: 677,000 listed in these episodes here.]

    + Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/]

    # Jaffa: 20,000 Christians massacred, 1197

    + Sorokin estimates that French, English & Imperial German Crusaders lost
    a total of 3,600 in battle.

    # 1st C (1096-99): 400

    # 2nd C (1147-49): 750

    # 3rd C (1189-91): 930

    # 4th C (1202-04): 120

    # 5th C (1228-29): 600

    # 7th C (1248-54): 700

    + James Trager, The People’s Chronology (1992)

    # 1099: Crusaders slaughter 40,000 inhabs of Jerusalem. Dis/starv reduced
    Crusaders from 300,000 to 60,000.

    # 1147: 2nd Crusades begins with 500,000. “Most” lost to
    starv./disease/battle.

    # 1190: 500 Jews massacred in York.

    # 1192: 3rd Crusade reduced from 100,000 to 5,000 through famine, plagues and
    desertions in campaign vs Antioch.

    # 1212: Children’s Crusade loses some 50,000.

    # [TOTAL: Just in these incidents, it appears the Europeans lost around
    650,000.]

    o TOTAL: When I take all the individual death tolls listed here, weed out
    the duplicates, fill in the blanks, apply Occam (“Pluralitas non est
    ponenda sine necessitate”), etc. I get a very rough total of 1½ M
    deaths in the Crusades.

    Heretics and Atheists

    * Already in 385 C.E. the first Christians, the Spanish Priscillianus and six followers, were beheaded for heresy in Trier/Germany [DO26]
    * Manichaean heresy: a crypto-Christian sect decent enough to practice birth control (and thus not as irresponsible as faithful Catholics) was exterminated in huge campaigns all over the Roman empire between 372 C.E. and 444 C.E. Numerous thousands of victims. [NC]
    * Albigensians: the first Crusade intended to slay other Christians. [DO29]
    The Albigensians (Cathars) viewed themselves as good Christians, but would not accept Roman Catholic rule, and taxes, and prohibition of birth control. [NC]
    Begin of violence: on command of pope Innocent III (the greatest single mass murderer prior to the Nazi era) in 1209. Beziérs (today France) 7/22/1209 destroyed, all the inhabitants were slaughtered. Number of victims (including Catholics refusing to turn over their heretic
    neighbors and friends) estimated between 20,000-70,000. [WW179-181]
    * Carcassonne 8/15/1209, thousands slain. Other cities followed. [WW181]
    * Subsequent 20 years of war until nearly all Cathars (probably half the population of the Languedoc, today southern France) were exterminated. [WW183]

    * After the war ended (1229) the Inquisition was founded 1232 to search and destroy surviving/hiding heretics. Last Cathars burned at the stake 1324.
    [WW183]
    * Estimated one million victims (Cathar heresy alone), [WW183]
    * Other heresies: Waldensians, Paulikians, Runcarians, Josephites, and many others. Most of these sects exterminated, (I believe some Waldensians live today, yet they had to endure 600 years of persecution) I estimate at least hundred thousand victims (including the Spanish inquisition but excluding victims in the New World).
    * Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada, a former Dominican friar, allegedly was responsible for 10,220 burnings. [DO28]
    * John Huss, a critic of papal infallibility and indulgences, was burned at the stake in 1415. [LI475-522]
    * Michael Sattler, leader of a baptist community, was burned at the stake in Rottenburg, Germany, May 20, 1527. Several days later his wife and other follwers were also executed. [KM]
    * University professor B.Hubmaier burned at the stake 1538 in Vienna. [DO59]

    * Giordano Bruno, Dominican monk, after having been incarcerated for seven years, was burned at the stake for heresy on the Campo dei Fiori (Rome) on 2/17/1600.
    * Thomas Aikenhead, a twenty-year-old scottish student of Edinburgh University, was hanged for atheism and blasphemy.

    Witches

    * From the beginning of Christianity to 1484 probably more than several thousand.
    * In the era of witch hunting (1484-1750) according to modern scholars several hundred thousand (about 80% female) burned at the stake or hanged.
    [WV]
    * Incomplete list of documented cases:
    The Burning of Witches – A Chronicle of the Burning Times

    Religious Wars

    * 15th century: Crusades against Hussites, thousands slain. [DO30]
    * 1538 pope Paul III declared Crusade against apostate England and all English as slaves of Church (fortunately had not power to go into action). [DO31]
    * 1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels in (then Spanish) Netherlands. [DO31]
    Between 5000 and 6000 Protestants were drowned by Spanish Catholic Troops, “a disaster the burghers of Emden first realized when several thousand broad-brimmed Dutch hats floated by.” [SH216]
    * 1572 In France about 20,000 Huguenots were killed on command of pope Pius V. Until 17th century 200,000 flee. [DO31]
    * 17th century: Catholics slay Gaspard de Coligny, a Protestant leader. After murdering him, the Catholic mob mutilated his body, “cutting off his head, his hands, and his genitals… and then dumped him into the river […but] then, deciding that it was not worthy of being food for the fish, they hauled it out again [… and] dragged what was left … to the gallows of Montfaulcon, ‘to be meat and carrion for maggots and crows’.” [SH191]
    * 17th century: Catholics sack the city of Magdeburg/Germany: roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain. “In a single church fifty women were found beheaded,” reported poet Friedrich Schiller, “and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers.” [SH191]
    * 17th century 30 years’ war (Catholic vs. Protestant): at least 40% of population decimated, mostly in Germany. [DO31-32]

    Jews

    * Already in the 4th and 5th centuries synagogues were burned by Christians.Number of Jews slain unknown.
    * In the middle of the fourth century the first synagogue was destroyed on command of bishop Innocentius of Dertona in Northern Italy. The first synagogue known to have been burned down was near the river Euphrat, on command of the bishop of Kallinikon in the year 388. [DA450]
    * 694 17. Council of Toledo: Jews were enslaved, their property confiscated, and their children forcibly baptized. [DA454]
    * 1010 The Bishop of Limoges (France) had the cities’ Jews, who would not convert to Christianity, expelled or killed. [DA453]
    * 1096 First Crusade: Thousands of Jews slaughtered, maybe 12.000 total. Places: Worms 5/18/1096, Mainz 5/27/1096 (1100 persons), Cologne, Neuss, Altenahr, Wevelinghoven, Xanten, Moers, Dortmund, Kerpen, Trier, Metz, Regensburg, Prag and others (All locations Germany except Metz/France, Prag/Czech) [EJ]
    * 1147 Second Crusade: Several hundred Jews were slain in Ham, Sully, Carentan, and Rameru (all locations in France). [WW57]
    * 1189/90 Third Crusade: English Jewish communities sacked. [DO40]
    * 1235, Fulda/Germany: 34 Jewish men and women slain. [DO41]
    * 1257, 1267: Jewish communities of London, Canterbury, Northampton, Lincoln, Cambridge, and others exterminated. [DO41]
    * 1290 Bohemia (Poland) allegedly 10,000 Jews killed. [DO41]
    * 1337 Starting in Deggendorf/Germany a Jew-killing craze reaches 51 towns in Bavaria, Austria, Poland. [DO41]
    * 1348 All Jews of Basel/Switzerland and Strasbourg/France (two thousand) burned. [DO41]
    * 1349 In more than 350 towns in Germany all Jews murdered, mostly burned alive (in this one year more Jews were killed than Christians in 200 years of ancient Roman persecution of Christians). [DO42]
    * 1389 In Prag 3,000 Jews were slaughtered. [DO42]
    * 1391 Seville’s Jews killed (Archbishop Martinez leading). 4,000 were slain, 25,000 sold as slaves. [DA454] Their identification was made easy by the brightly colored “badges of shame” that all Jews above the age of ten had been forced to wear.
    * 1492 In the year Columbus set sail to conquer a New World, more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain, many died on their way: 6/30/1492.
    [MM470-476]
    * 1648 Chmielnitzki massacres: In Poland about 200,000 Jews were slain.
    [DO43]

    (I feel sick …) this goes on and on, century after century, right into the kilns of Auschwitz.

    Native Peoples

    * Beginning with Columbus (a former slave trader and would-be Holy Crusader) the conquest of the New World began, as usual understood as a means to propagate Christianity.
    * Within hours of landfall on the first inhabited island he encountered in the Caribbean, Columbus seized and carried off six native people who, he said, “ought to be good servants … [and] would easily be made Christians, because it seemed to me that they belonged to no religion.” [SH200]
    While Columbus described the Indians as “idolators” and “slaves, as many as [the Crown] shall order,” his pal Michele de Cuneo, Italian nobleman, referred to the natives as “beasts” because “they eat when they are hungry,” and made love “openly whenever they feel like it.” [SH204-205]
    * On every island he set foot on, Columbus planted a cross, “making the declarations that are required” – the requerimiento – to claim the ownership for his Catholic patrons in Spain. And “nobody objected.” If the Indians refused or delayed their acceptance (or understanding), the requerimiento continued:

    “I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter in your country and shall make war against you … and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church … and shall do you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord and resist and contradict him.” [SH66]

    * Likewise in the words of John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony: “justifieinge the undertakeres of the intended Plantation in New England … to carry the Gospell into those parts of the world, … and to raise a Bulworke against the kingdome of the Ante-Christ.” [SH235]
    * In average two thirds of the native population were killed by colonist-imported smallpox before violence began. This was a great sign of “the marvelous goodness and providence of God” to the Christians of course, e.g. the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony wrote in 1634, as “for the natives, they are near all dead of the smallpox, so as the Lord hath cleared our title to what we possess.” [SH109,238]
    * On Hispaniola alone, on Columbus visits, the native population (Arawak), a rather harmless and happy people living on an island of abundant natural resources, a literal paradise, soon mourned 50,000 dead. [SH204]
    * The surviving Indians fell victim to rape, murder, enslavement and Spanish raids.
    * As one of the culprits wrote: “So many Indians died that they could not be counted, all through the land the Indians lay dead everywhere. The stench was very great and pestiferous.” [SH69]
    * The Indian chief Hatuey fled with his people but was captured and burned alive. As “they were tying him to the stake a Franciscan friar urged him to take Jesus to his heart so that his soul might go to heaven, rather than descend into hell. Hatuey replied that if heaven was where the Christians went, he would rather go to hell.” [SH70]
    * What happened to his people was described by an eyewitness:
    “The Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties … They built a long gibbet, long enough for the toes to touch the ground to prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen [natives] at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles… then, straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive.” [SH72]
    Or, on another occasion:
    “The Spaniards cut off the arm of one, the leg or hip of another, and from some their heads at one stroke, like butchers cutting up beef and mutton for market. Six hundred, including the cacique, were thus slain like brute beasts…Vasco [de Balboa] ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs.” [SH83]
    * The “island’s population of about eight million people at the time of Columbus’s arrival in 1492 already had declined by a third to a half before the year 1496 was out.” Eventually all the island’s natives were exterminated, so the Spaniards were “forced” to import slaves from other caribbean islands, who soon suffered the same fate. Thus “the Caribbean’s millions of native people [were] thereby effectively liquidated in barely a quarter of a century”. [SH72-73] “In less than the normal lifetime of a single human being, an entire culture of millions of people, thousands of years resident in their homeland, had been exterminated.” [SH75]
    * “And then the Spanish turned their attention to the mainland of Mexico and Central America. The slaughter had barely begun. The exquisite city of Tenochtitlán [Mexico city] was next.” [SH75]
    * Cortez, Pizarro, De Soto and hundreds of other Spanish conquistadors likewise sacked southern and mesoamerican civilizations in the name of Christ (De Soto also sacked Florida).
    * “When the 16th century ended, some 200,000 Spaniards had moved to the Americas. By that time probably more than 60,000,000 natives were dead.”
    [SH95]

    Of course no different were the founders of what today is the US of America.

    * Although none of the settlers would have survived winter without native help, they soon set out to expel and exterminate the Indians. Warfare among (north American) Indians was rather harmless, in comparison to European standards, and was meant to avenge insults rather than conquer land. In the words of some of the pilgrim fathers: “Their Warres are farre less bloudy…”, so that there usually was “no great slawter of nether side”. Indeed, “they might fight seven yeares and not kill seven men.” What is more, the Indians usually spared women and children. [SH111]
    * In the spring of 1612 some English colonists found life among the (generally friendly and generous) natives attractive enough to leave Jamestown – “being idell … did runne away unto the Indyans,” – to live among them (that probably solved a sex problem).
    “Governor Thomas Dale had them hunted down and executed: ‘Some he apointed (sic) to be hanged Some burned Some to be broken upon wheles, others to be staked and some shott to deathe’.” [SH105] Of course these elegant measures were restricted for fellow Englishmen: “This was the treatment for those who wished to act like Indians. For those who had no
    choice in the matter, because they were the native people of Virginia” methods were different: “when an Indian was accused by an Englishman of stealing a cup and failing to return it, the English response was to attack the natives in force, burning the entire community” down. [SH105]
    * On the territory that is now Massachusetts the founding fathers of the colonies were committing genocide, in what has become known as the “Peqout War.” The killers were New England Puritan Christians, refugees from persecution in their own home country England.
    * When however, a dead colonist was found, apparently killed by Narragansett Indians, the Puritan colonists wanted revenge. Despite the Indian chief’s pledge they attacked.
    Somehow they seem to have lost the idea of what they were after, because when they were greeted by Pequot Indians (long-time foes of the Narragansetts) the troops nevertheless made war on the Pequots and burned their villages.
    The puritan commander-in-charge John Mason after one massacre wrote: “And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits, that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where many of them perished … God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies”: men, women, children. [SH113-114]
    * So “the Lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their land for an inheritance”. [SH111].
    * Because of his readers’ assumed knowledge of Deuteronomy, there was no need for Mason to quote the words that immediately follow:
    “Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them…” (Deut 20)
    * Mason’s comrade Underhill recalled how “great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of the young soldiers” yet reassured his readers that “sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents”. [SH114]
    * Other Indians were killed in successful plots of poisoning. The colonists even had dogs especially trained to kill Indians and to devour children from their mothers breasts, in the colonists’ own words: “blood Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seaze them.” (This was inspired by Spanish methods of the time)
    In this way they continued until the extermination of the Pequots was near. [SH107-119]
    * The surviving handful of Indians “were parceled out to live in servitude. John Endicott and his pastor wrote to the governor asking for ‘a share’ of the captives, specifically ‘a young woman or girle and a boy if you thinke good’.” [SH115]
    * Other tribes were to follow the same path.
    * Comment the Christian exterminators: “God’s Will, which will at last give us cause to say: How Great is His Goodness! and How Great is his Beauty!”
    “Thus doth the Lord Jesus make them to bow before him, and to lick the Dust!” [TA]
    * Like today, lying was morally acceptable to Christians then. “Peace treaties were signed with every intention to violate them: when the Indians ‘grow secure uppon (sic) the treatie’, advised the Council of State in Virginia, ‘we shall have the better Advantage both to surprise them, & cutt downe theire Corne’.” [SH106]
    * In 1624 sixty heavily armed Englishmen cut down 800 defenseless Indian men, women and children. [SH107]
    * In a single massacre in “King Philip’s War” of 1675 and 1676 some “600 Indians were destroyed. A delighted Cotton Mather, revered pastor of the Second Church in Boston, later referred to the slaughter as a ‘barbeque’.” [SH115]
    * To summarize: Before the arrival of the English, the western Abenaki people in New Hampshire and Vermont had numbered 12,000. Less than half a century later about 250 remained alive – a destruction rate of 98%. The Pocumtuck people had numbered more than 18,000, fifty years later they were down to 920 – 95% destroyed. The Quiripi-Unquachog people had numbered about
    30,000, fifty years later they were down to 1500 – 95% destroyed. The Massachusetts people had numbered at least 44,000, fifty years later barely 6000 were alive – 81% destroyed. [SH118] These are only a few examples of the multitude of tribes living before Christian colonists set their foot on the New World. All this was before the smallpox epidemics of 1677 and 1678 had occurred. And the carnage was not over then.
    * All the above was only the beginning of the European colonization, it was before the frontier age actually had begun.
    * A total of maybe more than 150 million Indians (of both Americas) were destroyed in the period of 1500 to 1900, as an average two thirds by smallpox and other epidemics, that leaves some 50 million killed directly by violence, bad treatment and slavery.
    * In many countries, such as Brazil, and Guatemala, this continues even today.

    More Glorious Events in U.S. History

    * Reverend Solomon Stoddard, one of New England’s most esteemed religious leaders, in “1703 formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large packs of dogs ‘to hunt Indians as they do bears’.” [SH241]

    * Massacre of Sand Creek, Colorado 11/29/1864. Colonel John Chivington, a former Methodist minister and still elder in the church (“I long to be wading in gore”) had a Cheyenne village of about 600, mostly women and children, gunned down despite the chiefs’ waving with a white flag: 400-500 killed.
    From an eye-witness account: “There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were afterwards killed …” [SH131]

    * By the 1860s, “in Hawai’i the Reverend Rufus Anderson surveyed the carnage that by then had reduced those islands’ native population by 90 percent or more, and he declined to see it as tragedy; the expected total die-off of the Hawaiian population was only natural, this missionary said, somewhat equivalent to ‘the amputation of diseased members of the body’.”
    [SH244]

    20th Century Church Atrocities

    * Catholic extermination camps
    Surprisingly few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Paveliç, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!
    In these camps – the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar –
    orthodox-Christian Serbians (and a substantial number of Jews) were murdered. Like the Nazis the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims in kilns, alive (the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first). But most of the victims were simply stabbed, slain or shot to death, the number of them being estimated between 300,000 and 600,000, in a rather tiny country. Many of the killers were Franciscan friars. The atrocities were appalling enough to induce bystanders of the Nazi “Sicherheitsdienst der SS”, watching, to complain about them to Hitler (who did not listen). The pope knew about these events and did
    nothing to prevent them. [MV]

    * Catholic terror in Vietnam
    In 1954 Vietnamese freedom fighters; the Viet Minh; – had finally defeated the French colonial government in North Vietnam, which by then had been supported by U.S. funds amounting to more than $2 billion. Although the victorious assured religious freedom to all (most non-Buddhist Vietnamese were Catholics), due to huge anticommunist propaganda campaigns many Catholics fled to the South. With the help of Catholic lobbies in Washington and Cardinal Spellman, the Vatican’s spokesman in U.S. politics, who later on would call the U.S. forces in Vietnam “Soldiers of Christ”, a scheme was concocted to prevent democratic elections which could have brought the communist Viet Minh to power in the South as well, and the fanatic Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem was made president of South Vietnam. [MW16ff]
    Diem saw to it that U.S. aid, food, technical and general assistance was given to Catholics alone, Buddhist individuals and villages were ignored or had to pay for the food aids which were given to Catholics for free. The only religious denomination to be supported was Roman Catholicism.
    The Vietnamese McCarthyism turned even more vicious than its American counterpart. By 1956 Diem promulgated a presidential order which read:

    “Individuals considered dangerous to the national defense and common security may be confined by executive order, to a concentration camp.”

    Supposedly to fight communism, thousands of Buddhist protesters and monks were imprisoned in “detention camps.” Out of protest dozens of Buddhist teachers – male and female – and monks poured gasoline over themselves and burned themselves. (Note that Buddhists burned themselves: in comparison Christians tend to burn others). Meanwhile some of the prison camps, which in the meantime were filled with Protestant and even Catholic protesters as well, had turned into no-nonsense death camps. It is estimated that during this period of terror (1955-1960) at least 24,000 were wounded – ; mostly in street riots ; – 80,000 people were executed, 275,000 had been detained or tortured, and about 500,000 were sent to concentration or detention camps. [MW76-89].
    To support this kind of government in the next decade thousands of American GI’s lost their life.

    * Christianity kills the cat
    On July 1, 1976, Anneliese Michel, a 23-year-old student of a teachers college in Germany, died: she starved herself to death. For months she had been haunted by demonic visions and apparitions, and for months two Catholic priests – with explicit approval of the Catholic bishop of Würzburg – additionally pestered and tormented the wretched girl with their exorcist rituals. After her death in Klingenberg hospital – her body was littered with wounds – her parents, both of them
    fanatical Catholics, were sentenced to six months for not having called for medical help. None of the priests was punished: on the contrary, Miss Michel’s grave today is a place of pilgrimage and worship for a number of similarly faithful Catholics (in the seventeenth century Würzburg was notorious for it’s extensive witch burnings).
    This case is only the tip of an iceberg of such evil superstition and has become known only because of its lethal outcome. [SP80]

    * Rwanda Massacres
    In 1994 in the small African country of Rwanda in just a few months several hundred thousand civilians were butchered, apparently a conflict of the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups.
    For quite some time I heard only rumors about Catholic clergy actively involved in the 1994 Rwanda massacres. Odd denials of involvement were printed in Catholic church journals, before even anybody had openly accused members of the church.
    Then, 10/10/96, in the newscast of S2 Aktuell, Germany – a station not at all critical to Christianity – the following was stated:

    “Anglican as well as Catholic priests and nuns are suspect of having actively participated in murders. Especially the conduct of a certain Catholic priest has been occupying the public mind in Rwanda’s capital Kigali for months. He was minister of the church of the Holy Family and allegedly murdered Tutsis in the most brutal manner. He is reported to have accompanied marauding Hutu militia with a gun in his cowl. In fact there has been a bloody slaughter of Tutsis seeking shelter in his parish. Even two years after the massacres many Catholics refuse to set foot on the threshold of their church, because to them the participation of a certain part of the clergy in the slaughter is well established. There is almost no church in Rwanda that has not seen refugees – women, children, old – being brutally butchered facing the crucifix.
    According to eyewitnesses clergymen gave away hiding Tutsis and turned them over to the machetes of the Hutu militia.
    In connection with these events again and again two Benedictine nuns are mentioned, both of whom have fled into a Belgian monastery in the meantime to avoid prosecution. According to survivors one of them called the
    Hutu killers and led them to several thousand people who had sought shelter in her monastery. By force the doomed were driven out of the churchyard and were murdered in the presence of the nun right in front of the gate. The other one is also reported to have directly cooperated with the murderers of the Hutu militia. In her case again witnesses report that she watched the slaughtering of people in cold blood and without showing response. She is even accused of having procured some petrol used by the killers to set on
    fire and burn their victims alive…” [S2]

    More recently the BBC aired:

    Priests get death sentence for Rwandan genocide
    BBC NEWS April 19, 1998

    A court in Rwanda has sentenced two Roman Catholic priests to death for their role in the genocide of 1994, in which up to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Pope John Paul said the priests must be made to account for their actions. Different sections of the Rwandan church have been widely accused of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994…

    * As can be seen from these events, to Christianity the Dark Ages never come to an end.

    If today Christians talk to me about morality, this is why they make me sick.

    • Akhter,

      Have you forgotten the simple fact that there is no law for apostasy in non-muslim countries but that there is one in most muslim countries? Have you failed to realize that history is a forward moving process in which countries are becoming more humane and that Christianity was part of the fabric of western civilization, that same civilization that eventually developed secular law and developed separation of church and state? Have you failed to notice that this sepratation was not developed in Muslim countries, and is still not developed as long as we have these god-forsake apostasy laws? Have you failed to realize that the notion that all people, not just aristocrats, was how Christianity toppled the Roman imperial ideology and world view and replaced it? Have you failed to notice that the early modern period in Europe, one in which religious freedom was at its center, was one based in Christianity and which led to the French and American and evetualy English separation of church and state and the cessation of killings of people based on religion? The answer that you have completely ignored all of this and made your crude generalizations is obvious.

  3. seismicshock

    Akhter – you’re right – Christians have been responsible for many awful crimes. This blog is pro-human rights for all peoples irrespective of their nationality or beliefs.

  4. Ibn Abbaas

    A Muslim has also recently published a book review from a religious and theological perspective. It makes for an interesting read:

    http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf_page.php?pdf=119

  5. old Labour

    Abbas – thank you for the link. This Islamic review confirms many fears, suggesting as it does the incompatibility of orthodox Islam and Western liberal democracy. In many respects it reinforces part of Sookhedo’s thesis.

    ‘Sookhedo’s reformational call is, simply put, beyond the realms of possibility’.

    ‘Since Islam provides an all-encompassing ethos for Muslims, its theology on empire building is overt and indubitable’.

    It is refreshing to see Islam confirmed as an unreformable supremacist ideology with desire for world domination.

    In failing to deal with the unquestionably troubling aspects of the Quran and Hadith in respect of non-Muslims, and the fact that totalitarian forms of Islam continue to flourish, the review demonstrates that it is extremely unlikely that any solution to this problem will come from within.

  6. Jonathan

    I would like to note that I read the post by Ben White, and I do not see any error in what he said in debuting your work. The majority of current terrorism is pushed by a political concept. Yes, a twisted form of Islam is used to recruit many youth. Never the less, these organizations are pushed more by political forces than religious. I would agree that if the only form of Islam that existed was a form of Wahhabi then it would be possible for a continual renewal of terrorist organizations, but that is not the reality. There are many open minded Muslims in the world. I am Muslim and can see nothing supported by the Qur’an that would allow suicide bombing, much lest terrorism. Suicide is a grave sin, and harming innocents is also. And before you say that all unbelievers are not innocent, that is just flat wrong. I am glad that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not alive today to see the current state of Islam. I believe he would cry at most everything mentioned in connection with Islam. I pray that my children are raised strong and with great humanity. If anyone of them every was turned by one of these evil men to do these horrible things, I would die crying in shame for failing them so.

    Also to “old Labour”: I live in the USA and believe in Democracy. I do wish sometimes there was some kind of ethics branch that worked as a watchdog to prevent payouts and deal making between politicians that help make the congressmen and representatives obey each other, companies, and Lobbyist, instead of upholding the wishes of their constituents. I also agree with my father-in-law when it comes to term limits. Increase a term so that a politician can do good, but allow only one term consecutively. Also make complaining as done today illegal. Each person gets to write up a resume so to speak and post it or print it, thats it. We get to decide for what the individual decides to write. Not for a party line, not for millions of TV adds.

    Okay, sorry for the politics, I can’t help myself. I do wish that if every their is a new Caliphate that it has some democratic elements. I do not disagree completely with the concept behind the Iranian Government, just the implementation thereof. Just like Communism and the reality of every government who tried to implement it (and failed by my opinion).

  7. seismicshock

    Dear Jonathan – thanks for your message and considered response, and please feel welcome commenting. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Quilliam Foundation here in the UK but they do a great job in countering extremism and promoting reform within the Islamic communities in Britain.

  8. The massage of Islam to those who cause terror is crystal clear!

    Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism. In the Quran, God has said:

    God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers. (Quran, 60:8)

    The Prophet Muhammad used to prohibit soldiers from killing women and children,1 and he would advise them: {…Do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a newborn child.}2 And he also said: {Whoever has killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance is found for a span of forty years.}3

    Also, the Prophet Muhammad has forbidden punishment with fire.4

    He once listed murder as the second of the major sins,5 and he even warned that on the Day of Judgment, {The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed.6}7

    Muslims are even encouraged to be kind to animals and are forbidden to hurt them. Once the Prophet Muhammad said: {A woman was punished because she imprisoned a cat until it died. On account of this, she was doomed to Hell. While she imprisoned it, she did not give the cat food or drink, nor did she free it to eat the insects of the earth.}8

    He also said that a man gave a very thirsty dog a drink, so God forgave his sins for this action. The Prophet was asked, “Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?” He said: {There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.}9

    Additionally, while taking the life of an animal for food, Muslims are commanded to do so in a manner that causes the least amount of fright and suffering possible. The Prophet Muhammad said: {When you slaughter an animal, do so in the best way. One should sharpen his knife to reduce the suffering of the animal.}10

    In light of these and other Islamic texts, the act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the vast majority have nothing to do with the violent events some have associated with Muslims. If an individual Muslim were to commit an act of terrorism, this person would be guilty of violating the laws of Islam.

  9. Malcolm XYZ

    I read Arabic, and will be glad to start getting into the Arabic behind these translations if you guys would like to. I am sure it would be interesting.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/012-apostasy.htm

  10. Malcolm XYZ

    you’ve got read that link above that I just posted and respond to it first of course.

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