I am dedicating this lengthy post to my friend Selby Stewart. I have genuinely, and as unbiasedly as I possibly can, compiled the most coherent argument against Islam as an ideological framework worth euphemising.
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident”. – Arthur Schopenhauer
For some years after graduating, I worked part-time at my old high school as a Basketball coach. I would often converse with some of my previous teachers. “What are you studying?” one asked. “Arts”, I replied. “Gee! Back in my day they were giving those degrees out like pamphlets!”
After my first year of pamphlet-pursuing, I transferred into Arts/Law. Arts keeps me sane, Law keeps me pragmatic. In Arts, I’m majoring in Human Rights and minoring in Philosophy. Yesterday I concluded my last tutorial for my favourite subject this semester: Democratic Theory. I have developed a particular affinity for this subject and have probably done so due to the tutor I was assigned. I am definitely a big believer in a teacher/lecturer/tutor making or breaking a subject, but I guess there’s less of an inclination to favour this view and more of an onus on learners to ‘stick it out’ as they age. Irrespective of the resilience we may be expected to adopt, a good tutor makes all the difference.
In our last tutorial, the weekly content was set aside for the most part and a class discussion ensued.
- “Are Democracy and human rights dependent upon one another?”
- “Is there a non-democratic society that respects human rights?”
- “Is the Rawlsian idea of a decent non-liberal peoples conceivable?”
Although I’m paraphrasing, the bulk of the discussion centred around questions like these. Similar to most circumstances, and no different from this expression of opinion here, I couldn’t keep to myself. I felt a particular need to utilise the example of Saudi Arabia, and more generally, the problematic nature of anti-democratic nations that employ Islam’s law or any extent of its ethical precepts. My primary goal was to showcase the correlation between democratic nations and the probability of human rights being upheld, yet what ensued was the cliché debate between “extremist interpretation” and “correct, moderate interpretation” of Islam. This common divide is somewhat problematic, as it has a tendency to undermine the substantive basis for Islam’s problematic nature, whilst also simultaneously painting those who oppose it as inherently bigoted. I seek to rectify this.
Disclaimer: I want to clarify in the most explicit sense that the critique below is purely an ideological critique. It cannot be conveniently categorised as the musings of a racist, xenophobe, bigot or any other negative label hurled toward those who disagree with the fundamental tenants of Islam. This is not a race issue, it is not an immigration issue and is not politically motivated. We can, and should, criticise ideologies irrespective of their subjective sacredness for the sake of intellectual integrity and the emancipation of peoples that are marginalised by dogmatic implementation of any worldview, whether it is euphemised as moderate or extreme. For the record, I love people and it is this precise love of people and a belief that they have inalienable rights that evokes this conviction in me. It requires me to bring to the forefront that which I believe to be plainly obvious, as evidenced by empirical evidence. Before jumping to heinous conclusions, take the time to read what has been posited and critique this argument on its merits in the same way we should critique ideologies. After all, Islam is an ideology and a Muslim is an individual who subscribes to it. We as people existed before its rise, and we will continue to exist in its demise or absence. To fully appreciate the argument, it is encouraged that you observe the entirety of the passages and the videos.
This critique is divided into five tiers, namely:
- Character Assessment of Muhammed – Quasi-Virtue-Ethics Approach to Islam
- Textual Basis for Unsavoury Moderatism and Extremism Devoid of Secular, Liberal and Democratic Values
- Human Rights Abuses and their Correlation to Islamic Ideals
- Exegesis as Excuse
- Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater / Fruit Analogy
1) The Character Assessment of Islam’s Prophet
A lot of the backlash I received during my last Democratic Theory tutorial was largely anticipated, with comparisons being made between the world’s major religions and Islam. Whilst this is a categorical error, it does provide an ample opportunity to respond by employing a quasi-virtue-ethics approach to assessing religions. Virtue Ethics emphasises an individual’s character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves. It is a particularly useful ethical framework when it comes to religions given the correlation between adherence and emulation of the religion’s primary teacher(s). In Christianity, adherents seek to emulate Jesus Christ. In Buddhism, it is Buddha. In Islam’s case, it is the Prophet Muhammed. The notion is self-evident. An in-depth approach can be taken toward denoting the fundamental differences between each religion and their primary teacher(s), but, a simplistic conveyance of the message is that only one of these major religions has a militant, arguably pedophilic , figure at the centre of emulation who has explicitly commanded the rise and spread of his ideology via violence and coercion.
So who is Muhammed? What does the Quran and Hadith say about him in regards to his personal ethics? Age, name, and place of birth is irrelevant. What we should be concerned about is what the Quran and other scriptures detail about his views and behaviours. The Quran (68:4) tells us that Muhammed is of “exalted standard of character”. Below is a non-exhaustive list of otherwise “Islamaphobic” claims evidenced by Islam’s scripture that aims to portray the contrary. Please take the time to read it in its entirety, and further research each passage if you feel the need to clarify the context, or legitimise any of that which is posited.
Claim: Muhammed endorses sex with a 9 year old.
Passage(s): Book 008, Number 3309
‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine. She further said: We went to Medina and I had an attack of fever for a month, and my hair had come down to the earlobes. Umm Ruman (my mother) came to me and I was at that time on a swing along with my playmates. She called me loudly and I went to her and I did not know what she had wanted of me. She took hold of my hand and took me to the door, and I was saying: Ha, ha (as if I was gasping), until the agitation of my heart was over. She took me to a house, where had gathered the women of the Ansar. They all blessed me and wished me good luck and said: May you have share in good. She (my mother) entrusted me to them. They washed my head and embellished me and nothing frightened me. Allah’s Messenger (, May peace be upon him) came there in the morning, and I was entrusted to him.
Claim: Muhammed endorses the covering of women
Passage(s): 33:59; 24:31; 33:55
Quran (33:59) – “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…”
Quran (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.”The woman is not only supposed to cover herself, except with relatives, but to look down, so as to avoid making eye-contact with men.
Quran (33:55) – “It shall be no crime in them as to their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their woman, or the slaves which their right hands possess, if they speak to them unveiled” A woman may present herself without a veil only to family and slaves.
Claim: Muhammed prohibits friendship between Muslims and Christians & Jews
Passage(s): 5:51; 5:80; 3:28; 3:118; 9:23; 53:29; 3:85; 3:10; 7:44; 1:5-7
Quran (5:51) – “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
Quran (5:80) – “You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.” Those Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.
Quran (3:28) – “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them…”
Quran (3:118) – “O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people, they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand.”
Quran (9:23) – “O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers”
Quran (53:29) – “Therefore shun those who turn away from Our Message and desire nothing but the life of this world.”
Quran (3:85) – “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.”
Quran (3:10) – “(As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire.”
Quran (7:44) – “The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire: “We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: Have you also found Your Lord’s promises true?” They shall say, “Yes”; but a crier shall proclaim between them: “The curse of Allah is on the wrong-doers” Muslims in heaven will amuse themselves by looking down on non-Muslims in Hell and mocking them while they are being tortured (see 22:19-22).
Quran (1:5-7) – “Show us the straight path, The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray” This is a prayer that Muslims are to repeat each day. “Those who earn Thine anger” refers to Jews; “those who go astray” refers to Christians (see Sahih Bukhari (12:749) and Sahih Muslim 34:6448)).
Claim: Muhammed endorses slavery
Source: Quran & Hadith
Quran (33:50) – “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee”
Quran (23:5-6) – “..who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess…”
Quran (4:24) – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.”
Quran (8:69) – “But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good” A reference to war booty, of which slaves were a part.
Quran (24:32) – “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves…”
Quran (2:178) – “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.” The message of this verse, which prescribes the rules of retaliation for murder, is that all humans are not created equal. The human value of a slave is less than that of a free person (and a woman’s worth is also distinguished from that of a man).
Quran (16:75) – “Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah.’
Sahih Bukhari (80:753) – “The Prophet said, ‘The freed slave belongs to the people who have freed him.'”
Sahih Bukhari (52:255) – The slave who accepts Islam and continues serving his Muslim master will receive a double reward in heaven.
Sahih Bukhari (41.598) – Slaves are property. They cannot be freed if an owner has outstanding debt, but they can be used to pay off the debt.
Sahih Bukhari (62:137) – An account of women taken as slaves in battle by Muhammed’s men after their husbands and fathers were killed. The woman were raped with Muhammed’s approval.
Sahih Bukhari (34:432) – Another account of females taken captive and raped with Muhammed’s approval. In this case it is evident that the Muslims intend on selling the women after raping them because they are concerned about devaluing their price by impregnating them. Muhammad is asked about coitus interruptus.
Sahih Bukhari (47.765) – A woman is rebuked by Muhammad for freeing a slave girl. The prophet tells her that she would have gotten a greater heavenly reward by giving her to a relative (as a slave).
Sahih Bukhari (34:351) – Muhammad sells a slave for money. He was thus a slave trader.
Sahih Bukhari (72:734) – Some contemporary Muslims in the West (where slavery is believed to be a horrible crime) are reluctant to believe that Muhammad owned slaves. This is just one of many places in the Hadith where a reference is made to a human being owned by Muhammad. In this case, the slave is of African descent.
Sahih Muslim 3901 – Muhammad trades away two black slaves for one Muslim slave.
Sahih Muslim 4345 – Narration of a military raid against a hapless tribe trying to reach their water hole. During the slaughter, the women and children attempt to flee, but are cut off and captured by the Muslims. This story refutes any misconception that Muhammad’s sex slaves were taken by their own volition.
Sahih Muslim 4112 – A man freed six slaves on the event of his death, but Muhammad reversed the emancipation and kept four in slavery to himself. He cast lots to determine which two to free.
Sahih Bukhari (47:743) – Muhammad’s own pulpit – from which he preached Islam – was built with slave labor on his command.
Sahih Bukhari (59:637) – “The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, ‘Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?’ When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, ‘O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumlus.'” Muhammad approved of his men having sex with slaves, as this episode involving his son-in-law, Ali, clearly proves. This hadith refutes the modern apologists who pretend that slaves were really “wives.” This is because Muhammad had forbidden Ali from marrying another woman as long as Fatima (his favorite daughter) was living.
Abu Dawud (2150) – “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Quran 4:24) ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.'” This is the background for verse 4:24 of the Quran. Not only does Allah give permission for women to be captured and raped, but allows it to even be done in front of their husbands. (See also Muslim 3432 & Ibn Kathir/Abdul Rahman Part 5 Page 14)
Abu Dawud (1814) – “…[Abu Bakr] He then began to beat [his slave] him while the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) was smiling and saying: Look at this man who is in the sacred state (putting on ihram), what is he doing?” The future first caliph of Islam is beating his slave for losing a camel while Muhammad looks on in apparent amusement.
Ibn Ishaq (734) – A slave girl is given a “violent beating” by Ali in the presence of Muhammad, who does nothing about it.
Abu Dawud 38:4458 – Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: “A slave-girl belonging to the house of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) committed fornication. He (the Prophet) said: Rush up, Ali, and inflict the prescribed punishment on her. I then hurried up, and saw that blood was flowing from her, and did not stop. So I came to him and he said: Have you finished inflicting (punishment on her)? I said: I went to her while her blood was flowing. He said: Leave her alone till her bleeding stops; then inflict the prescribed punishment on her. And inflict the prescribed punishment on those whom your right hands possess (i.e. slaves)”. A slave girl is ordered by Muhammad to be beaten until she bleeds, and then beaten again after the bleeding stops. He indicates that this is prescribed treatment for slaves (“those whom your right hand possesses”).
Abu Dawud 1:142 – “Do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl“
Ibn Ishaq (693) – “Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu’l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.” Muhammad trades away women captured from the Banu Qurayza tribe to non-Muslim slave traders for property. (Their men had been executed after surrendering peacefully without a fight).
Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) (o9.13) – According to Sharia, when a child or woman is taken captive by Muslims, they become slaves by the mere fact of their capture. A captured woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled. This would not be necessary if she were widowed by battle, which is an imaginary stipulation that modern apologists sometimes pose.
Claim: Muhammed Endorses Wife-Beating
Sources: Quran & Hadith
Quran (4:34) – “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” Contemporary translations sometimes water down the word ‘beat’, but it is the same one used in verse 8:12 and clearly means ‘to strike’.
Quran (38:44) – “And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath…” Allah telling Job to beat his wife (Tafsir).
Sahih Bukhari (72:715) – A woman came to Muhammad and begged her to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that it is described as being “greener” than the green veil she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires.
Sahih Bukhari (72:715) – “Aisha said, ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women‘” Muhammad’s own wife complained of the abuse that the women of her religion suffered relative to other women.
Sahih Muslim (4:2127) – Muhammad struck his favorite wife, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.”
Sahih Muslim (9:3506) – Muhammad’s fathers-in-law (Abu Bakr and Umar) amused him by slapping his wives (Aisha and Hafsa) for annoying him. According to the Hadith, the prophet of Islam laughed upon hearing this.
Abu Dawud (2141) – “Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them.“ At first, Muhammad forbade men from beating their wives, but he rescinded this once it was reported that women were becoming emboldened toward their husbands. Beatings in a Muslim marriage are sometimes necessary to keep women in their place.
Abu Dawud (2142) – “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.” The authenticity of this verse is characterized as daif (weak), however, a similar verse from Sunan Ibn Majah 3:9:1986 is said to be hasan (sufficient).
Abu Dawud (2126) – “A man from the Ansar called Basrah said: ‘I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet).’ The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: ‘She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her'” A Muslim thinks he is getting a virgin, then finds out that she is pregnant. Muhammad tells him to treat the woman as a sex slave and then flog her after she delivers the child.
Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 969 – Requires that a married woman be “put in a separate room and beaten lightly” if she “act in a sexual manner toward others.” According to the Hadith, this can be for an offense as petty as merely being alone with a man to whom she is not related.
Kash-shaf (the revealer) of al-Zamkhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525) – [Muhammad said] “Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it”
Claim: Muhammed kills prisoners of war
Book 38, Number 4390
Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.
Claim: Muhammed endorses suicide bombings
Sources: Quran & Hadith
Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
Quran (9:111) – “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”
Quran (2:207) – “And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah…” This would not be in the Quran if it were not permissible.
Quran (61:10-12) “O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty? That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement.” This verse was given at the battle of Uhud and uses the Arabic word, Jihad.
The dark-eyed virgins are mentioned in several places as well, including verses 44:54 and 52:20. For those who swing the other way, there are “perpetual youth” verse 6:17, otherwise known as “boys” in verses 52:24 and 76:19.
Quran (17:33) “And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause.” An important verse that is used by martyrdom bombers to not only justify their own deaths, but that of other bystanders who might be believers as well. The end justifies the means, with the goal being the defeat of the kafir and the establishment of Islamic rule.
Sahih Bukhari (52:54) – The words of Muhammad: “I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.” This is why modern-day Jihadists often say that they love death.
Sahih Bukhari (52:46) – “Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”
Sahih Muslim (20:4678) – During the battle of Uhud, Muhammad was desperate to push men into battle. He promised paradise for those who would martyr themselves, prompting a young man who was eating dates to throw them away and rush to his death.
Sahih Muslim (20:4655) – A man asks Muhammad “which of men is the best?” Muhammad replies that it is the man who is always ready for battle and flies into it “seeking death at places where it can be expected.” (The next most saintly man in Islam is the hermit who lives in isolation “sparing men from his mischief.”)
Sahih Muslim (20:4681) – “Surely, the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords.” After hearing Muhammad say that martyrdom leads to paradise, a young man pulls his sword and breaks the sheath (indicating that he has no intention of returning) then flings himself into battle until he is killed.
Sahih Muslim (20.4635) – Muhammad: “Nobody who enters Paradise will (ever like to) return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth (as an inducement) except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honor that has been bestowed upon him.” (also Bukhari 52:53)
Sahih Muslim (55:93) – A lengthy parable told by Muhammad, in which a boy chooses to die in order to spread religion, thus legitimizing the practice.
Sahih Bukhari (64:211) – I said to Salama bin Al-Akwa`, “For what did you give the Pledge of allegiance to Allah’s Messenger on the day of Al-Hudaibiya?” He replied, “For death (in the Cause of Islam.)
Sahih Muslim (19:4450) – In the process of trying to kill a man who is protecting his community, a Muslim loses his own life due to a tactical error. “So I came to the Prophet weeping and I said: Messenger of Allah. Amir’s deed has been wasted. The Messenger said: Who passed this remark? I said: Some of your Companions. He said: He who has passed that remark has told a lie, for ‘Amir there is a double reward.“
Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 3, No. 1663, p. 410 – Al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr… he is married to seventy-two wives among Al-Huril-‘Ayn [virgins] of Paradise…” This hadith verse attributes the origination of the ’72 virgins’ teaching to Muhammad himself.
Sunan Ibn Majah – The Messenger of Allah said, “There is no one whom Allah will admit to Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two from houris and seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e., soft and limp).
This here serves as tier 1 of the overall argument, namely the Character Assessment of Muhammed. It is only one of the facets posited here that constitutes an opposition to Islam as an ideology, if that in and of itself isn’t enough to convince you that following the teachings of a character-flawed militant with misogynistic, homophobic, pedophilic tendencies may be problematic.The rhetoric here reformulated is: who are we modelling ourselves on? And which, if any, religious figures embody the values and ethos we, as a secular society grant to be ethical? Because whilst intellectual interpretation is ideal, and systematic filtering where we disregard values that do not harmoniously coexist with secular society is a nice thought, it is clearly not always the case.
“It is more correct to say that all religions are, at best, superficially similar but fundamentally different.” – Ravi Zacharias
2) Textual Basis for Unsavoury Moderatism and Extremism Devoid of Secular, Liberal and Democratic Values
The more interesting point to make, however, is that most individuals who rush to defend Islam have not even read any of its texts or remain largely in ignorance of the ongoing degradation of liberal values they seemingly purport to endorse. This is the case for a lot of self-proclaimed religious adherents, only exacerbating the notion of child-rearing as opposed to individual autonomy, freedom of choice and interrogative decision making. This was in part, why this post was constructed as a debate ensued on a post of mine regarding a video that surfaced on my Facebook timeline. The video shows an Australian Imam, who some have subsequently denounced as an authoritative source, clarifying the Islamic textual basis for otherwise unsavoury acts.
When I responded to the criticism citing more than 10 Quran verses that could be used to justify, and in turn, support the argument captured in the video, I was inboxed and asked to remove my comments. I was accused of not understanding the Quran by someone who, through admission of their own, has not sought to read the Quran and/or cannot conceive how anybody could logically come to see it a justificatory tool for violence, war, coercion and the like. The main issue seems to be that we defend what we don’t understand. We listen but we do not investigate. We do not think for ourselves. Child-rearing is alive and well, and this is reiterated by individuals who are privy to resources and the education to sufficiently explore the texts that bound their faith. This largely centres around the problematic nature of blind-faith, a concept which is well-explored by Mathematician and Christian apologist John Lennox in his book “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?”. A good read might I add. Of course, one instance can be seen as an unjust attempt to paint many with the one brush. Conversely, I would argue that this is an issue that pervades more than just Islamic adherents and my inclusion of this is merely to epitomise child-rearing and the notion of blind-faith verses substantiated faith. Whether most religious people know what they endorse is unlikely, but is only made more problematic if the religious advocation is for unjust ethical precepts.
Below is non-exhasutive list of Quran verses that, irrespective of weaselling interpretation, can be said to justify and incite unfavourable moderatism and extremism. An explanation as to why interpretation and exegesis, in the most general sense, has limited excusability is discussed later in Tier 4 of the Argument.
I have adapted the following list of verses from an external source, yet these passages can be verified and cross-referenced by simply researching each verse online or in-text with your own copy of the Quran.
Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”
Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”
Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”
Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”
Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”
Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”
Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward ”
Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”
Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger 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 on opposite sides 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”
Quran (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”
Quran (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”
Quran (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion is all for Allah”
Quran (8:57) – “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”
Quran (8:67) – “It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…“
Quran (8:59-60) – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”
Quran (8:65) – “O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”
Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”
Quran (9:14) – “Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.”Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even “healing” the hearts of Muslims.
Quran (9:20) – “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.” The Arabic word interpreted as “striving” in this verse is the same root as “Jihad”. The context is obviously holy war.
Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. Verse 9:33 tells Muslims that Allah has charted them to make Islam “superior over all religions.” This chapter was one of the final “revelations” from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad’s companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years.
Quran (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”
Quran (9:38-39) – “O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.” This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.
Quran (9:41) – “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.” See also the verse that follows (9:42) – “If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them” This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).
Quran (9:73) – “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”
Quran (9:88) – “But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.”
Quran (9:111) – “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”
Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”
Quran (17:16) – “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.”
Quran (18:65-81) – This parable lays the theological groundwork for honour killings.
Quran (21:44) – “We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?”
Quran (25:52) – “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness with it.”
Quran (33:60-62) – “If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”
Quran (47:3-4) – “Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord… So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)… If it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.”
Quran (47:35) – “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: “have the upper hand”) for Allah is with you,”
Quran (48:17) – “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.”
Quran (48:29) – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves” .
Quran (61:10-12) – “O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of’Adn- Eternity [‘Adn(Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success.”
Quran (66:9) – “O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.”
Legitimate Imam or not, I think he’s got a point…
3) Human Rights Abuses and their Correlation to Islamic Ideals
“The debate over compatibility of Islam and human rights has raged among theologians, scholars, intellectuals, and the public at large for generations in the Muslim World as well as in the West. This discourse, however, has become more intense since the proclamation of 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). That declaration pronounced that all human beings are born free and are equal in dignity and rights. Article 2 of the UDHR stipulates: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The rights entailed in the UDHR are indivisible and inalienable and include wide-ranging civil-political, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights. These universal rights include such rights as to life, liberty, and security of person; freedom from slavery and servitude; freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile; freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; right to education; right to work; right to a nationality; and right to own property. According to the UDHR, all people are entitled to these rights by virtue of their humanity.” – Manochehr Dorraj
In returning back to the basis of the tutorial argument, Islam and human rights is largely oxymoronic. The table below denotes The International Human Rights Rank Indicator (IHHRI) for Islamic countries. Overall, it is an aggregative depiction that compiles information from the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) and The Pew Research Center Report to showcase the rate at which Islamic countries uphold human rights. Note, only countries that have over 50% of their population comprised by Islamic adherents are considered. You will also notice one particular outlier (United Arab Emirates). The index has been criticised, mainly due to its favouritism toward the United Arab Emirates, but is only utilised here to lead into the commonalities between the worst offenders of human rights.
You can read more about the IHHRI here:
For convenience purposes, here is a legend.
Countries in red get a rating between 0-30%.
Countries in blue get a rating between 30-40%.
Countries in orange get a rating between 40-50%.
Countries in green get a rating between 50-60%.
|Country||Muslim % of
|International Human Rights
Rank Indicator rating
|United Arab Emirates||76||61.49%|
Whilst this aggregative model has been criticised, its utilised here purely to draw your attention to the countries worthy of discussion which, consequently, will be discussed via further empirical sources.
So what do the countries highlighted in red have in common? A link to each of the country’s Human Rights Watch reports has been provided where applicable.
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Western Sahara
Adding further insult to injury is the opinion polling surrounding “moderate” viewpoints. A non-exhaustive list of resources has been provided at the end of this post.
4) Exegesis as Excuse
I think there is a profound analogy that can be employed here to determine what extent Islamic scripture should be held accountable for its expression in both a moderate and extremist manner.
There is an age-old excuse that interpretation, or more specifically, exegesis is the limiting factor in determining whether a religious ideology is good/bad or in this specific case, worthy of inciting behaviours that conflict with our liberal ideals. For argument’s sake, exegesis is merely the “critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture.” The question is therefore, what critical explanation or interpretation of Islam’s scriptures excuses it from the self-evident endorsement of heinous behaviour/non-liberal ideals?
Interpretation is most often a sophisticated euphemism for picking and choosing. Consequently, which, if any, religious adherents read the entirety of their holy text, study it and seek to understand the historical, geographical and exegetical considerations necessary to make proper sense of it? Few, if any.
Take, for example, a legalistic paradigm. The extent to which legislation is interpreted can either be broad or narrow, and there is often dissent of opinion. In evidence that may incriminate an individual, there is also the extent to which the words someone conveys can be held against them as either literal or metaphorical. In criminal cases, the notions of mens rea and actus rea inevitably play a part. One’s intention, remains a crucial part in determining the extent to which they are objectively accountable. Keep this in mind.
If we were to examine the legal precedent for stalking or harassment, especially in this day and age of technological advancement, there is quite a low threshold to consider someone accountable (at least in the Victorian jurisdiction). One cannot text an individual with the words “I am going to kill you” and then resort to anger and frustration if their victim hasn’t perceived or interpreted what has been said through a euphemised, liberalistic, airy-fairy notion. Nor would they be entitled to call them a bigot or an individual devoid of reason. The onus is therefore, not on the individual, but on the formulator of the words. Similarly, it would be silly of the formulator of the words to expect that the courts would completely disregard the ordinary meaning of the statement irrespective of whether they took a broad, narrow or even metaphorical reading of their desire to kill someone. Of course, any confidential information regarding the accused as well as his or her mental health, life experiences and chances would be taken into consideration and provided by the defense as mitigating factors. But would they diminish all accountability? No. The legal system would be made redundant if the ordinary use of words were completely disregarded and dependent upon the subjective, intellectual, euphemised reasoning of individuals who have theorised mechanisms to sugar-coat what they are presented with.
“It is a very useful rule in the construction of a statute to adhere to the ordinary meaning of the words used, and to the grammatical construction, unless that is at variance with the intention of the legislature to be collected from the statute itself, or leads to any manifest absurdity or repugnance, in which case the language may be varied or modified so as to avoid such inconvenience but no further.” – Justice Parker on the ‘Golden Rule’ in Becke v Smith (1836) 2 M&W 195
Whether we apply the same sort of reasoning to works of literature, or “sacred” texts such as the Quran and Hadith is open to debate. Yet, to render these scriptures completely devoid of incitement seems like a stretch too far. To be frank, to utter as most euphemisers do that there is nothing within Islam that is problematic, is a blight on one’s own intelligence. It is a perversion of the truth. It is a degradation of intellectual integrity and it is not based in fact, reason or logic and cannot be excused by individual interpretation or the circumventing the ordinary usages of words. In continuing with the aformentioned notion of the ‘Golden Rule’, the repetition and motif of incitement toward coercion, violence and ideals far from liberal can be said to convey a clear intent, which when holistically viewed cannot be excused due to repugnance or absurdity. They fit coherently within the autobiographical account of Muhammed and, continually cross-reference one another. This is not on par with the illogical drivel of: “Leviticus condemns Homosexuality therefore in every Gospel Jesus says “God hates Fags”.
5) A Bruised Fruit
My favourite teacher in high school would always tell me “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater Luke!”. What she meant was, don’t throw the good away with the bad. I’ve held onto this, but it remains limited in its applicability. In some ways it is an advocation for picking and choosing, which I subsequently understand to be an inevitable part of determining our values and our daily judgements. I am not perfect and as most religions coincidentally reiterate, no human is. The nuance here is what we believe we should overlook verses what we believe we shouldn’t. We accept people that we don’t deem as role models or devoid of flaws, and this isn’t problematic. We are capable of looking beyond the limitations of one’s character, of course, to a certain degree. But what if we have to overlook so much in order to consider something or someone consistent with our present-day ideals? Would it not be logical to argue that most, if not all of the ideological underpinnings have largely been negated and that “scrapping” or “starting over” might be less problematic?
What we consequent is two separate outcomes. Either an adoption and emulation of such character, in which we consequent individuals that secular, liberal society despises or a complete disregard and “picking and choosing” where a majority of the ideological fruit is deemed bruised and unworthy of consideration. If more than 50% of the “fruit” is bruised, why do we pick the fruit in the first place? I can hear someone whispering miseducation, child-rearing and coercion. At least that is what I think has been implied herein.
Further Reading & Resources
The resources below offer an insight into the solidification of the argument posited herein. Obviously, there are varying levels of standards employed in the acquisition of the information, and, some of which may remain open to journalistic bias. You are free to decide which, if any, of these resources are credible in supporting this argument.
CM Poll: 20% of British Muslims sympathize with 7/7 bombers
NOP Research: 1 in 4 British Muslims say 7/7 bombings were justified
Channel Four (2006): 31% of younger British Muslims say 7/7 bombings were justified compared to 14% of those over 45.
People-Press: 31% of Turks support suicide attacks against Westerners in Iraq.
YNet: One third of Palestinians (32%) supported the slaughter of a Jewish family, including the children:
World Public Opinion: 83% of Egyptians approve of attacks on American troops.
26% of Indonesians approve of attacks on American troops.
26% of Pakistanis approve of attacks on American troops.
68% of Moroccans approve of attacks on American troops.
90% of Palestinians approve of attacks on American troops.
72% of Jordanians approve of attacks on American troops.
52% of Turks approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (39% oppose)
A minority of Muslims disagreed entirely with terror attacks on American troops.
About half of those opposed to attacking Americans were sympathetic with al-Qaeda’s attitude toward the U.S.
World Public Opinion (2009): 30% of Palestinians support attacks on American civilians working in Muslim countries. 24% support the murder of Americans on U.S. soil.
Only 74% of Turks and 55% of Pakistanis disapprove of terror attacks against civilians on U.S. soil.
Pew Research (2010): 55% of Jordanians have a positive view of Hezbollah
30% of Egyptians have a positive view of Hezbollah
45% of Nigerian Muslims have a positive view of Hezbollah (26% negative)
43% of Indonesians have a positive view of Hezbollah (30% negative)
Pew Research (2010): 60% of Jordanians have a positive view of Hamas (34% negative).
49% of Egyptians have a positive view of Hamas (48% negative)
49% of Nigerian Muslims have a positive view of Hamas (25% negative)
39% of Indonesians have a positive view of Hamas (33% negative)
Pew Research (2010): 15% of Indonesians believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified.
34% of Nigerian Muslims believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified.
16% of young Muslims in Belgium state terrorism is “acceptable”.
Populus Poll (2006): 12% of young Muslims in Britain (and 12% overall) believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified. 1 in 4 support suicide attacks against British troops.
Pew Research (2007): 26% of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified.
35% of young Muslims in Britain believe suicide bombings are justified (24% overall).
42% of young Muslims in France believe suicide bombings are justified (35% overall).
22% of young Muslims in Germany believe suicide bombings are justified.(13% overall).
29% of young Muslims in Spain believe suicide bombings are justified.(25% overall).
Pew Research (2011): 8% of Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified (81% never).
28% of Egyptian Muslims believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified (38% never).
Pew Research (2007): Muslim-Americans who identify more strongly with their religion are three times more likely to feel that suicide bombings are justified
27% of British Muslims do not support the deportation of Islamic extremists preaching violence and hate.
Federation of Student Islamic Societies: About 1 in 5 Muslim students in Britain (18%) would not report a fellow Muslim planning a terror attack.
ICM Poll: 25% of British Muslims disagree that a Muslim has an obligation to report terrorists to police.
Populus Poll (2006): 16% of British Muslims believe suicide attacks against Israelis are justified.
37% believe Jews in Britain are a “legitimate target”.
World Public Opinion: Majorities in Egypt (63%) and Libya (61%) supported the 9/11/2012 attacks against American embassies, including Benghazi.
Original Link: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brunitedstatescanadara/727.php?nid=&id=&pnt=727 (Removed) (Reference in this link)
Pew Research (2013): At least 1 in 4 Muslims do not reject violence against civilians (study did not distinguish between those who believe it is partially justified and never justified).
Pew Research (2013): 15% of Muslims in Turkey support suicide bombings (also 11% in Kosovo, 26% in Malaysia and 26% in Bangladesh).
PCPO (2014): 89% of Palestinians support Hamas and other terrorists firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
Pew Research (2013): Only 57% of Muslims worldwide disapprove of al-Qaeda. Only 51% disapprove of the Taliban. 13% support both groups and 1 in 4 refuse to say.
BBC Radio (2015): 45% of British Muslims agree that clerics preaching violence against the West represent “mainstream Islam”.
Palestinian Center for Political Research (2015): 74% of Palestinians support Hamas terror attacks.
Pew Research (2014): 47% of Bangladeshi Muslims says suicide bombings and violence are justified to “defend Islam”. 1 in 4 believed the same in Tanzania and Egypt. 1 in 5 Muslims in the ‘moderate’ countries of Turkey and Malaysia.
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 19% of Muslim-Americans say that violence is justified in order to make Sharia the law in the United States (66% disagree).
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 25% of Muslim-Americans say that violence against Americans in the United States is justified as part of the “global Jihad (64% disagree).
The Sun (2015: Following Nov. 2015 attacks in Paris, 1 in 4 young Muslims in Britain (and 1 in 5 overall) said they sympathize with those who fight for ISIS.
ICM (2016): 2 in 3 Muslims in Britain would not report terror plot to police.
East West University (Bangladesh) (2016): 1 in 10 Bangladeshi university students support terrorism. Of these, more than half (52%) are from well-off families.
Policy Exchange (2016): 48% if British Muslims would not report a person “linked to terror.”
See also: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_(Terrorism) for further statistics on Islamic terror.
Pew Research (2007): 5% of American Muslims have a favorable view of al-Qaeda (27% can’t make up their minds). Only 58% reject al-Qaeda outright.
Pew Research (2011): 5% of American Muslims have a favorable view of al-Qaeda (14% can’t make up their minds).
Pew Research (2011): 1 in 10 native-born Muslim-Americans have a favorable view of al-Qaeda.
al-Jazeera (2006): 49.9% of Muslims polled support Osama bin Laden
Pew Research: 59% of Indonesians support Osama bin Laden in 2003
41% of Indonesians support Osama bin Laden in 2007
56% of Jordanians support Osama bin Laden in 2003
Pew Global: 51% of Palestinians support Osama bin Laden
54% of Muslim Nigerians Support Osama bin Laden
MacDonald Laurier Institute: 35% of Canadian Muslims would not repudiate al-Qaeda
World Public Opinion: Muslim majorities agree with the al-Qaeda goal of Islamic law.
Muslim majorities agree with al-Qaeda goal of keeping Western values out of Islamic countries;
(Egypt: 88%; Indonesia 76%; Pakistan 60%; Morocco 64%)
ICM Poll: 13% of Muslim in Britain support al-Qaeda attacks on America.
World Public Opinion: Attitude toward Osama bin Laden:
Egypt: 44% positive, 17% negative, and 25% mixed feelings
Indonesia: 14% positive, 26% negative, 21% mixed feelings (39% did not answer)
Pakistan: 25% positive, 15% negative, 26% mixed feelings (34% did not answer)
Morocco: 27% positive, 21% negative, 26% mixed feelings
Jordanians, Palestinians, Turks and Azerbaijanis. Jordanians combined for: 27% positive, 20 percent negative, and 27 percent mixed feelings. (Palestinians 56% positive, 20% negative, 22 percent mixed feelings).
Pew Research (2010): 49% of Nigerian Muslims have favorable view of al-Qaeda (34% unfavorable)
23% of Indonesians have favorable view of al-Qaeda (56% unfavorable)
34% of Jordanians have favorable view of al-Qaeda
25% of Indonesians have “confidence” in Osama bin Laden (59% had confidence in 2003)
1 in 5 Egyptians have “confidence” in Osama bin Laden
Pew Research (2011): 22% of Indonesians have a favorable view of al-Qaeda (21% unfavorable)
Gallup: 51% of Pakistanis grieve Osama bin Laden (only 11% happy over death)
44% of Pakistanis viewed Osama bin Laden as a martyr (only 28% as an oulaw)
Zogby International 2011: “Majorities in all six countries said they viewed the United States less favorably following the killing of the Al-Qaeda head [Osama bin Laden] in Pakistan”
Populus Survey: 18% of British Muslims would be proud or indifferent if a family member joined al-Qaeda.
Policy Exchange (2006): 7% Muslims in Britain admire al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
Informal poll of Saudis in August 2014 shows 92% agree that Islamic State (ISIS) “conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.”
Hurriyet Daily News / Metropoll (2015): 20% of Turks support the slaughter of Charlie Hebdo staffers and cartoonists.
al-Jazeera Poll (2015): 81% of respondents support the Islamic State (ISIS).
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 33% of Muslim-Americans say al-Qaeda beliefs are Islamic or correct. (49% disagree),
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 38% of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. (43% disagree),
ICM (Mirror) Poll 2015: 1.5 Million British Muslims support the Islamic State, about half the total population.
Clarion Project Study (2015): 11.5% of Arabs support ISIS, or about 42 million.
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (2015): Two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing of Israeli civilians.
Social Trends Survey (2016): 21% of Turks says ISIS ‘represents Islam”; 10% would not categorize it as a terrorist organization.
ICM (2014): 16% of all French Muslims support ISIS, including 27% of those aged 18-24.
al-Jazeera Website Survey (2015): 81% of respondents approve of “regional conquests: by ISIS.
Doha Institute (ACRPS) 2014: 10% of Egyptians have a positive (or somewhat positive) view of ISIS as do 10% of Saudis, 13% of Tunisians and 13% of Syrian refugees. On average, 72% of the Arab world has a negative view of ISIS.
al-Arabiya: 36% of Arabs polled said the 9/11 attacks were morally justified; 38% disagreed; 26% Unsure
Gallup: 38.6% of Muslims believe 9/11 attacks were justified (7% “fully”, 6.5% “mostly”, 23.1% “partially”)
Pew Research (2011): Large majorities of Muslims believe in 9/11 conspiracy
Policy Exchange (2016): Only 4% of Muslims in Britain believe al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 (31% believe it was the United States government).
Jakarta Post (2006): 40% of Indonesians approve of violence in defense of Islam.
Pew Global: 68% of Palestinian Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
43% of Nigerian Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
38% of Lebanese Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
15% of Egyptian Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
13% of Indonesian Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
12% of Jordanian Muslims say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
7% of Muslim Israelis say suicide attacks against civilians in defense of Islam are justified.
http://cnsnews.com/node/53865 (Pew Global Attitudes Project September, 2009)
Center for Social Cohesion: One Third of British Muslim students support killing for Islam (Wikileaks cable)
Policy Exchange: One third of British Muslims believe anyone who leaves Islam should be killed
NOP Research: 78% of British Muslims support punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons;
NOP Research: Hardcore Islamists comprise 9% of Britain’s Muslim population;
Another 29% would “aggressively defend” Islam;
Pew Research (2010): 84% of Egyptian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
86% of Jordanian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
30% of Indonesian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
76% of Pakistanis support death the penalty for leaving Islam
51% of Nigerian Muslims support the death penalty for leaving Islam
ICM Poll: 11% of British Muslims find violence for religious or political ends acceptable.
BBC (2007): 36% of younger Muslims in the UK believe a Muslim should be killed for converting to another religion (19% of those over 55 agree).
Terrorism Research Institute Study: 51% of mosques in the U.S. have texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% have texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% have no violent texts at all.
Pew Research (2013): 76% of South Asian Muslims and 56% of Egyptians advocate killing anyone who leaves the Islamic religion.
Pew Research (2013): 19% of Muslim Americans believe suicide bombings in defense of Islam are at least partially justified (global average is 28% in countries surveyed).
Pew Research (2013): 39% of Muslims in Malaysia say suicide bombings “justified” in defense of Islam (only 58% say ‘never’).
Die Presse (2013): 1 in 5 Muslims in Austria believe that anyone wanting to leave Islam should be killed.
Motivaction Survey (2014): 80% of young Dutch Muslims see nothing wrong with Holy War against non-believers. Most verbalized support for pro-Islamic State fighters.
BBC (2015): Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, 27% of British Muslims openly support violence against cartoonists. Another 8% would not say, meaning that only 2 of 3 surveyed would say that the killings were not justified.
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 24% of Muslim-Americans say that violence is justified against those who “offend Islam” (60% disagree).
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 29% of Muslim-Americans agree that violence against those who insult Muhammad or the Quran is acceptable (61% disagree).
Pew Research (2015): 40% of Palestinians, 39% in Afghanistan, 29% in Egypt and 26% of Muslims in Bangladesh agree that violence against civilians in defense of Islam is sometimes justified.
Pew Research (2011): 8% of Muslims in America says suicide bombings and other violence against civilians in defense of Islam is sometimes or often justified. 81% say it is never justified.
Arab Observatory of Religions and Freedom (2016) Only 39% in Egypt condemn religious extremism.
University of Munster Study (2016): 20% of Turks living in Germany say that “the threat which the West poses to Islam justifies violence.
University of Munster Study (2016): 7% of Turks living in Germany agree that “violence is justified” to spread Islam.
83% of Pakistanis support stoning adulterers
78% of Pakistanis support killing apostates
Center for Social Cohesion: 40% of British Muslim students want Sharia
ICM Poll: 40% of British Muslims want Sharia in the UK
GfK NOP: 28% of British Muslims want Britain to be an Islamic state
NOP Research: 68% of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam;
MacDonald Laurier Institute: 62% of Muslims want Sharia in Canada (15% say make it mandatory)
Islam, Human Rights and Public Opinion (Durie refers to 2006 poll): 58% of Indonesians believe adulterers should be stoned to death.
BBC (2007): 28% of Muslims in the UK prefer Sharia (37% for those younger).
World Public Opinion: 81% of Egyptians want strict Sharia imposed in every Islamic country
76% of Pakistanis want strict Sharia imposed in every Islamic country
49% (plurality) of Indonesians want strict Sharia imposed in every Islamic country
76% of Moroccans want strict Sharia imposed in every Islamic country
World Public Opinion: 64% of Egyptians said it was “very important for the government” to “apply traditional punishments for crimes such as stoning adulterers.”
Pew Research (2010): 77% of Egyptian Muslims favor floggings and amputation
58% of Jordanian Muslims favor floggings and amputation
36% of Indonesian Muslims favor floggings and amputation
82% of Pakistanis favor floggings and amputation
65% of Nigerian Muslims favor floggings and amputation
Pew Research (2010): 82% of Egyptian Muslims favor stoning adulterers
70% of Jordanian Muslims favor stoning adulterers
42% of Indonesian Muslims favor stoning adulterers
82% of Pakistanis favor stoning adulterers
56% of Nigerian Muslims favor stoning adulterers
Pew Research (2013): 72% of Indonesians want Sharia to be law of the land
Pew Research (2013): 81% of South Asian Muslims and 57% of Egyptians suport amputating limbs for theft.
Pew Research (2013): According to an interpretation of this study, approximately 45% of Sharia supporters surveyed disagreed with the idea that Islamic law should apply only to Muslims.
Economist (Pew 2013): 74% who favor Islamic law in Egypt say it should apply to non-Muslims as well.
WZB Berlin Social Science Center: 65% of Muslims in Europe say Sharia is more important than the law of the country they live in.
FPO (2014): 43% of Islamic teachers in Austria openly advocate Sharia law over democracy.
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 33% of Muslim-Americans say that Sharia should be supreme to the US Constitution (43% disagree).
The Polling Company CSP Poll (2015): 51% of Muslim-Americans say that Muslims should have the choice of being judged by Sharia courts rather than courts of the United States (39% disagree).
2015 (Jyllands Posten): 77% of Muslims in Denmark believe the Quran’s instructions should be ‘fully appied’.
2015 (Jyllands Postn): Only 53% of Danish Muslims believe Danish law should be based on the consitution and not the Quran.
ICM Poll (2016): 23% of British Muslim support the introduction of Sharia in the UK “instead of British Law”
ICM Poll (2016): 21% of British Muslims decline to condemn stoning adulterers (5% openly support them).
Pew Research (2016): A majority of Muslims in 10 countries favor basing laws on the Quran (inc. Pakistan, Pal. Auth, Malaysia, Jordan, Senegal, Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon and Turkey). Educated Muslims also favored Sharia, including 55% in ‘secular Turkey’.
Arab Observatory of Religions and Freedom (2016): 79% of Libyans believe Sharia should be the sole source of legislation, as do 63% in Algeria and 60% in Morocco.
University of Munster Study (2016): 23% of Turks living in Germany say that a Muslim should not shake the hand of the opposite sex. 33% say that a woman should wear the veil. 73% say that books and movies which offend religion should be banned.
Institut Montaigne (2016): 29% of French Muslims believe Sharia is “more important than the laws of France.”
Policy Exchange (2016): 40% of British Muslims want Sharia
Syarif Hidayatullah State University Study (2017): 80% of Islamic education teachers favor enforcement of Sharia (in Indonesia); 89% say non-Sunni religious minorities “should not be accomodated” in Indonesia.
Turkish Ministry of Education: 1 in 4 Turks Support Honor Killings
Civitas: 1 in 3 Muslims in the UK strongly agree that a wife should be forced to obey her husband’s bidding
BBC Poll: 1 in 10 British Muslims support killing a family member over “dishonor”.
Middle East Quarterly: 91 percent of honor killings are committed by Muslims worldwide.
95% of honor killings in the West are perpetrated by Muslim fathers and brothers or their proxies.
A survey of Muslim women in Paris suburbs found that three-quarters of them wear their masks out of fear – including fear of violence.
1 in 5 young British Muslims agree that ‘honor’ violence is acceptable.
Pew Research (2013): Large majorities of Muslims favor Sharia. Among those who do, stoning women for adultery is favored by 89% in Pakistanis, 85% in Afghanistan, 81% in Egypt, 67% in Jordan, ~50% in ‘moderate’ Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, 58% in Iraq, 44% in Tunisia, 29% in Turkey, and 26% in Russia.
Pew Research (2013): Honor killing the woman for sex outside of marriage is favored over honor killing the man in almost every Islamic country. Over half of Muslims surveyed believed that honor killings over sex were at least partially justified.
(2013) Jordanian teens support honor killing.
Pew Research (2011): 40% of Pakistanis says that killing a woman for family honor is often or sometimes justified.
UN Women “Understanding Masculinities” (2017): Nearly 60% of men in Egypt agree with honor killing. 31% of men and 33% of women believe honor killers should not be punished. 34% of men in Morocco agree with honor killing.
Muslims have highest claimed disability rates in the UK (24% of men, 21% of women)
Pakistani Muslims in the UK are four times more likely to be unemployed than Hindus. Indian Muslims are twice as likely to be unemployed as Indian Hindus.
Policy Exchange: 1 in 4 Muslims in the UK have never heard of the Holocaust;
Only 34% of British Muslims believe the Holocaust ever happened.
Policy Exchange: 51% of British Muslims believe a woman cannot marry a non-Muslim
Only 51% believe a Muslim woman may marry without a guardian’s consent
Policy Exchange: Up to 52% of British Muslims believe a Muslim man is entitled to up to four wives
Policy Exchange: 61% of British Muslims want homosexuality punished
NOP Research: 62% of British Muslims do not believe in the protection of free speech;
Only 3% adopt a “consistently pro-freedom of speech line”
ICM Poll: 58% of British Muslims believe insulting Islam should result in criminal prosecution
Pew Global (2006): Only 7% of British Muslims think of themselves as British first (81% say ‘Muslim’ rather than ‘Briton’)
Policy Exchange (2006): 31% Muslims in Britain identify more with Muslims in other countries than with non-Muslim Brits.
BBC (2007) 74% of young Muslims prefer women wear the veil (compared to 28% of those over 55).
Die Welt (2012): 46% of Muslims in Germany hope there will eventually be more Muslims than Christians in Germany.
Ipsos MORI: Muslims are 3 times as likely as Christians to believe that their religion is the only way.
Pew Research (2011): Muslim-Americans four times more likely to say that women should not work outside the home.
Pew Research (2007): 26% of Muslim-Americans want to be distinct (43% support assimilation)
Pew Research (2011): 20% of Muslim-Americans want to be distinct (56% support assimilation)
Pew Research (2011): 49% of Muslim-Americans say they are “Muslim first” (26% American first)
Pew Research (2011): 21% of Muslim-Americans say there is a fair to great amount of support for Islamic extremism in their community.
ICM Poll: 11% of British Muslims find violence for political ends acceptable
Wenzel Strategies (2012): 58% of Muslim-Americans believe criticism of Islam or Muhammad is not protected free speech under the First Amendment.
45% believe mockers of Islam should face criminal charges (38% said they should not).
12% of Muslim-Americans believe blaspheming Islam should be punishable by death.
43% of Muslim-Americans believe people of other faiths have no right to evangelize Muslims.
32% of Muslims in America believe that Sharia should be the supreme law of the land.
Pew Research (2013): “At least half’ of Muslims surveyed believed polygamy is morally acceptable.
“Muslims in most countries surveyed say that a wife should always obey her husband.” (including 93% in Indonesia and 65% in Turkey).
Only 32% of Muslims in Indonesia say a woman should have the right to divorce her husband (22% in Egypt, 26% in Pakistan and 60% in Russia).
Die Presse (2013): 1 in 3 Muslims in Austria say it is not possible to be a European and a Muslim. 22% oppose democracy
WZB Berlin Social Science Center: 45% of Muslims in Europe say Jews cannot be trusted.
Vancouver Sun (2015): 42% of Canadian Muslims agree that Islam is “irreconcilable” with the West.
Anti-Defamation League (2015): 55% of Muslims in Europe are anti-Semitic – approximately three times higher than Europeans in general.
Middle East Forum (2015): Muslims comprise less than 1% of the population in the United States but 9% of prison inmates.
Middle East Forum (2015): Muslims in France comprise 12% of the population, but 70% of prisoners.
(Other reports range from 40-60%: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21707230-should-jails-segregate-jihadists-caged-fervour)
Middle East Forum (2015): Muslims in the Netherlands comprise 4% of the population but 20% of prisoners. Muslims in France comprise 10% of the population, but 70% of prisoners.
2016 (Sun News): Muslims comprise 5% of population in Britain but 20% of High Security inmates
2016 (The Economist): Muslims comprise 5% of population in Britain but 15% of general prison inmates
ICM Poll (2016): 31% of British Muslims believe polygamy is acceptable. 18% believe homosexuality should remain legal.
35% of prisoners in Belgium are Muslim, compared with 6% of the general population.
University of Munster Study (2016): 32% of Turks living in Germany say that “Muslims should strive to a societal order like than in the time of Muhammad.”
Institut Montaigue (2016): 1 in 4 French Muslims support wearing the full burka. 80% support halal options in public schools.
EEOC (2015): Muslims in the United States make up 1% of the population but 40% of workplace discrimination complaints.
National Centre for Scientific Research (2017): 32% of young Muslims in France adhere to ‘fundamentalist views.’ 33% believe violence for ‘ideological’ goals is acceptable. 24% of young Muslims do not condemn the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and 21% do not condemn the Bataclan massacre.
UN-Women “Understanding Masculinities” Study (2017): 70% of Egyptian men and 56% of Egyptian women say that continued practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is important.
UN Women “Understanding Masculinities” (2017): Only 45% of Egyptian men and 70% of women believe there should be laws criminalizing domestic violence. 62% of men in Morocco say that a wife should tolerate violence to keep the family together. 38% of men and 20% of Moroccan women say that there are times when a wife should be beaten.
UN Women “Understanding Masculinities” (2017): Only 6% of Muslim men and 2% of Muslim women would “have no problem” marrying someone from a different religion.
UN Women “Understanding Masculinities” (2017): 60% of men in Morocco say that if a woman is raped, she should marry her rapist.