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Monday, 12 March 2018

How is Christianity different from Islam? | Genocide in the Bible series (Part 10)

Now how does all this relate to Islamic jihad?  Islam sees violence as a means of propagating the Muslim faith.  Islam divides the world into two camps:  the 'Dar al-Islam' (House of Submission) and the 'Dar al-harb' (House of War).  The former are those lands which have been brought into submission to Islam; the latter are those nations which have not yet been brought into submission.  This is how Islam actually views the world!

By contrast, the conquest of Canaan represented God’s just judgment upon those peoples.  The purpose was not at all to get them to convert to Judaism!  War was not being used as an instrument of propagating the Jewish faith.  Moreover, the slaughter of the Canaanites represented an unusual historical circumstance, not a regular means of behavior.

One of the greatest difference is in the way they treated female captives. We read in Deut 21:10-14
“When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Compare this with the verses from the Quran and the Sahih Hadiths, Muhammad actually encouraged the rape of others captured in battle. This hadith provides the context for the Quranic verse (4:24)
“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: (Sura 4:24) "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess." (Abu Dawud 2150, also Sahih Muslim 3433)
Actually, as the hadith indicates, it wasn't Muhammad, but "Allah the Exalted" who told the men to rape the women in front of their husbands - which is all the more reason to think of Islam differently from other religions. Note that the followers of Muhammad were more sensitive and were hesitating to rape the women in front of their husbands… until given the “halaal” sign by Muhammad. Some apologist in the vain attempt to defend the indefensible stand of Islam, say that the Arabic version of the Sahih Muslim do not contain the words “in presence of”… so, as per Islam, rape of women captives immediately after capturing them makes it fine as long as the husbands were not around to watch the act?

Note also that the husbands of these unfortunate victims were obviously alive after battle.  This is important because it flatly contradicts those apologists who like to argue that the women Muhammad enslaved were widowed and thus unable to fend for themselves.  (Even if the apologists were right, what sort of a moral code is it that forces a widow to choose between being raped and starving?)

There are several other episodes in which Muhammad is offered the clear opportunity to disavow raping women - yet he instead offers “halaal advice” on how to proceed.  In one case, his men were reluctant to devalue their new slaves for later resale by getting them pregnant.  Muhammad was asked about coitus interruptus in particular:

"O Allah's Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?"  The Prophet said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432)

As indicated, the prophet of Islam did not mind his men raping the women, provided they ejaculated within the bodies of their victims. Note, these verses clearly show the code of war as followed by the Israelites which mandated that the Israelites marry the women, give them time of one month to grieve separation from their families and finally, they cannot be sold and if the Israelite doesn’t want the woman anymore, then he has to let her go free. Compare this to Islam’s code of war “capture women, rape them in front of their husbands, then retain them as sex slaves and then sell them off as sex slaves”.

The problem with Islam, then, is not that it has got the wrong moral theory; it’s that it has got the wrong God.  If the Muslim thinks that our moral duties are constituted by God’s commands, then I agree with him.  But Muslims and Christians differ radically over God’s nature.  Christians believe that God is all-loving, while Muslims believe that God loves only Muslims.  Allah has no love for unbelievers and sinners.  Therefore, they can be killed indiscriminately.  Moreover, in Islam God’s omnipotence trumps everything, even His own nature.  He is therefore utterly arbitrary in His dealing with mankind.  By contrast Christians hold that God’s holy and loving nature determines what He commands.

The question, then, is not whose moral theory is correct, but which is the true God?

(End of Series).