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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 06:37 PM
Original message
Snopes does not answer this
Can one debunk that "spreading Islam with a sword" meme that the right wingers keep claiming (and the Pope included in his statements).

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IA_Seth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-09-07 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'll try...
I am not a Muslim, but it is my understanding that there is a reference in the Qur'an that states that faith should not be forced by compulsion, which would mean that violence used to spread the faith would be going against the very precepts they are attempting to spread.

Now historically of course there was Jihad against infidels, which to me walks a fairly fine line between compulsion of faith and the tenant of Jihad, but that is neither here nor there...there are plenty of examples of Christians not following every bit of dogma in existence.

So my answer is no, to my knowledge there is nothing to the right-wing smear of "spreading Islam with a sword", and if anything there is actually evidence to the contrary.

Hope that helped.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. How about this?
The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an -Abdullah Yusuf Ali-

Surah 10: Yunus verse 99
If it had been the Lord's Will,
They would all have believed--
All who are on earth!
Wilt thou then compel mankind,
Against their will, to believe?

The notes on this verse say in part:
...In the actual world as it is, man has been endowed with various faculties and capacites, so that he should stive and explore, and bring himself into harmony with Allah's Will. Hence Faith becomes a moral achievement, and to resist Faith becomes a sin. As a complementary proposition, men of Faith must not be impatient or angry if they have to contend against Unfaith, and most important of all, they must guard against the temptation of of forcing Faith, ie, imposting it on others by physical compulsion, or any other forms of compulsion such as social pressure, or inducements held out by wealth or potiions, or other adventitious advantages. Forced faith is no faith. They should strive spiritually and let Allah's Plan work as He wills.

In my Sufi Order, we are forbidden to prosyletize. So much for "spreading Islam with a sword".

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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. The Crusades were very sword
laden and I don't think they were spreading Islam.

Just sayin'
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 05:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. The Crusaders used swords against the swords wielded by Muslims.

There were two major reasons for the Crusades. One was that Muslims had captured almost the entire Byzantine Empire:

Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine 630 AD
Egypt 650 AD
North Africa, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco 700 AD
Spain 780 AD
Southern France 790 AD
Sicily 850 AD
Southern Italy 860 AD
Turkish borders 900 AD
Armenia and Georgia 1050 AD
Central Turkey 1070 AD
Greece 1300 AD
Bulgaria, Serbia and the Balkans 1400 AD
Constantinople 1450 AD

This was a great threat to the Eastern Rite Catholic churches. Their religious freedom was being taken away. The Western or Roman Rite Catholic Church called for its members to help their fellow Catholics.

The second major reason was that the Muslims captured Jerusalem, killed many Christians, destroyed Christian shrines, etc. The real tipping point was when the Turk, Hakim, stopped allowing Christian pilgrims to visit Jerusalem.

Suppose the U.S. had captured all the countries listed above, plus Saudi Arabia, and then cut off Muslim pilgrims' access to Mecca and Medina. I think there would be a Muslim crusade against us!

In a way, there is a Muslim crusade against us and one of Osama bin Laden's main complaints was that American troops were in the same land as the two holy cities. As a Saudi, he knows perfectly well that the Saudi rulers allowed, if not invited, American troops to their country but he turns his anger against us because we're "infidels."

We all need to pray for peace and live in peace with one another, even if our religions are different.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-23-07 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Please cite your sources for your information
I had heard that the reason for the Crusades wasn't a loss of religious freedom but rather a loss of territory, some prohibition of pilgrims to Jerusalem, and the desire of the warrior class in Europe to have someone to fight. But I didn't have any sources for my interpretation, so I decided to go to wikipedia (not the greatest source, but a start) to see what reasons were given for the start of the Crusades. This is what I found.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade

The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of liberating the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslims and freeing the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule....In 1074, Pope Gregory VII called for the milites Christi ("soldiers of Christ") to go to the aid of the Byzantine Empire in the east. The Byzantines had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert three years previously. This call, while largely ignored and even opposed, combined with the large numbers of pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 11th century, focused a great deal of attention on the east. Exhortations by monks such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, which spread reports of Muslims abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern holy sites, further stoked the crusading zeal. It was Pope Urban II who first disseminated to the general public the idea of a Crusade to capture the Holy Land with the famous words, Deus vult! ("God wills it!")

snip

When Palestine was under Persian and early Islamic rule, Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land were generally treated well. The early Islamic ruler, Caliph Omar, allowed Christians to perform all of their rites minus any overt pomp. Yet beginning in the early eleventh century (1010 AD) Sultan Hakim of Egypt began to persecute the Christians of Palestine and burnt many Christian buildings. He eventually relented and instead of burning and killing, he implemented a toll tax for Christian pilgrims entering Jerusalem. The worst was yet to come. A group of Turkish Muslims, the Seljuks, very powerful, very aggressive and very stringent followers of Islam, began their rise to power. The Seljuks viewed Christian pilgrims negatively as pollutants and cracked down on Christians in Palestine. Barbaric stories of persecution began to filter back to Latin Christendom; rather then having the effect of discouraging pilgrims, this made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land even that much more holy. Not even the changing of the pilgrimage stories of wondrous amazement to barbaric persecutions deterred Christians.

I can see after reading this article that my interpretation was not complete and in a way simplistic. However, from a full reading of the article, it appears that religion was used, as usual, as an excuse for claiming territory and power--when the soldiers were in the mood for fighting and looting, it didn't appear to make much difference what the faith of the people were--

The march through Asia was unpleasant. It was the middle of summer and the crusaders had very little food and water; many men died, as did many horses. Christians, in Asia as in Europe, sometimes gave them gifts of food and money, but more often the crusaders looted and pillaged whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Really, to say that one side were the "good guys" and the other side the "bad guys" is not true to history-there were good and bad people on both sides. After the first Siege of Jerusalem, the Crusaders murdered almost every inhabitant of the city, including not only Muslims, but Jews and Christians as well. This could be said to be "payback" for what the Turks did earlier, but was either action justified by their faith? No, it wasn't.


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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-05-07 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. When the muslims captured jerusalem
no christians were hurt infact they were left alone. The inhabitants of jerusalem who were not byzantines were hated by their greek overlords and lived under pressure. Most of these christians took the side of the muslims against the byzantines. It was during caliph Omar that jerusalem was conquered, the byzantine emperor chose the side of the enemy of the muslims thereby declaring war against the muslim arabs. A war they lost and with it the entire middle east.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. Here are some verses from the searchable Koran online:

<8.12> When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

<8.38> Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past shall be forgiven to them; and if they return, then what happened to the ancients has already passed.
<8.39> And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.

(This says fight them until they convert, suggests Allah will smite with them if they don't convert. Other verses specifically say Allah will smite those whom you smite.)


<8.65> O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.

9.5] So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives 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; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

(The latter part of this is obviously referring to forced conversion. If captives "repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate," i.e., become Muslims, "leave their way free to them.")

<9.14> Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.

9.29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
<9.30> And the Jews say: Uzair 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!

(This specifically calls upon Allah to destroy Jews and Christians.)

<9.52> Say: Do you await for us but one of two most excellent things? And we await for you that Allah will afflict you with punishment from Himself or by our hands. So wait; we too will wait with you.

<9.84> And never offer prayer for any one of them who dies and do not stand by his grave; surely they disbelieve in Allah and His Apostle and they shall die in transgression.

<9.123> O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/browse.html


Given those verses, I think that it is, sadly, accurate to talk about "spreading Islam with a sword."

I also read that Muslims see the world as divided into two parts: Dar Al-Salaam (House of Peace) and Dar
Al-Harb (House of War.) They consider Muslim lands to belong to the House of Peace and all other lands to belong to the House of War, until they are completely subdued by Muslims.

I am not saying all Muslims today believe in killing "infidels" but it seems obvious from events in recent years that many do and it's difficult for us to know how widespread the belief is.

I wish there were no religious extremists or ideological extremists bent on destroying others. It's fine to want to share your beliefs with others but not to force them on anyone, certainly not to kill others for not believing as you do. We can't afford such intolerance in today's world as it could all too easily destroy the planet. I hope for peace. I hope all people will realize we must have peace.
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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-05-07 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Why do you pick and choose the verses you dont understand
Most of those verses apply to the period during when prophet Mohamemd lived in mecca, a period when being a muslim was very dangerous with constant wars against their relatives the mecca pagans. Who were obsessed with killing muslims and the muslims fought back.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thank you Orrin_73!
It helps to remember that the Koran was written at certain time in history, just like the Bible.

There are also passages in the Hebrew Bible that one could quote about killing non-believers, but they were written when the Israelites were fleeing from Egypt and going in a foreign, hostile land. I don't think people should use such verses against Jews NOWADAYS, either!
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-19-07 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
10. Snopes?
Are they even credible?

The 'Holy Bible' has a lot of smiting and whatnot in it, too.

I don't think any one religious text has a monopoly on what to do about 'infidels'.
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