Islam vs Judaism and Christianity
After getting into a debate about the violent history of Christians and Muslims, I discovered this great article explaining the difference between each religions history and what each believes. Which is the more violent religion? Is it the religion that preaches/teaches violence? Here are highlights from the article, by Raymond Ibrahim, but the entire article is worth reading for it's historical content and references.Unquoted text is mine, and quoted text is from the article.
There is nowhere in the Bible where God or Christ teaches to kill non-believers ..." such observations confuse history and theology by conflating the temporal actions of men with what are understood to be the immutable words of God. The fundamental error is that Judeo-Christian history—which is violent—is being conflated with Islamic theology—which commands violence. "
There's a big difference between what God taught and commanded in The Bible and what Islamists believe in the Quran and do today. History proves Islamists are not acting in the name of God, nor under his commandments.
...."In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive."
"This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament—commanded by God and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence and intolerance have become standardized in Islamic law and apply at all times. Thus, while the violence found in the Qur'an has a historical context, its ultimate significance is theological. Consider the following Qur'anic verses, better known as the "sword-verses":"
"Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way."
"Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day, and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden – such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled."
"Famous Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) admired in the West for his "progressive" insights, also puts to rest the notion that jihad is defensive warfare:"
"In the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force ... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense ... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. That is why the Israelites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority [e.g., a caliphate]. Their only concern was to establish their religion [not spread it to the nations] … But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations."
"Qur'an 9:5, for instance, Islamic law mandates that idolaters and polytheists must either convert to Islam or be killed; simultaneously, Qur'an 9:29 is the primary source of Islam's well-known discriminatory practices against conquered Christians and Jews living under Islamic suzerainty."
"God commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did God give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their Jewish descendants, to fight and kill gentiles."
LBN:If one interprets the Bible of the Old Testament as present day teachings of Christ they are ignoring the New Testament and the beliefs of most practicing Christians. Therefore, they are NOT practicing Christians, but heretics.
The Old Testament is based on a history of events, in which God punished sinners& idolaters. However, God still expects Christians to follow the 10 commandments. Through Christ's death and sacrificing His only son, our sins are forgiven if we accept God&Christ as the only true God and repent our sins. Through The New Testament we are renewed to a life of love for our enemies and expected to live by the 10 commandments. "The New Testament does not command Christians to treat Jews as "children of the Devil," based on the Qur'an, primarily 9:29, Islamic law obligates Muslims to subjugate Jews, indeed, all non-Muslims."
Nowhere in the Bible, does the New Testament, teach Christians to kill any non-believers.
"Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation. But unlike the jihad, it was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. It was, with few exceptions, limited to the successful wars for the recovery of southwest Europe, and the unsuccessful wars to recover the Holy Land and to halt the Ottoman advance in the Balkans. The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law."
"Moreover, Muslim invasions and atrocities against Christians were on the rise in the decades before the launch of the Crusades in 1096. The Fatimid caliph Abu 'Ali Mansur Tariqu'l-Hakim (r. 996-1021) desecrated and destroyed a number of important churches—such as the Church of St. Mark in Egypt and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem..."
LBN:While Christians believe in just wars, we do not believe in waging jihad/holy wars or killing others because we seek a caliphate, world dominant religion. We are called to witness and help lead people to Christ but we are not expected to nor commanded to kill anyone who doesn't convert or accept Christianity as their faith.
As Raymond Ibrahim concludes:
In the hadith collections, Muhammad proclaims:
"I have been commanded to wage war against mankind until they testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and that they establish prostration prayer, and pay the alms-tax [i.e., convert to Islam]. If they do so, their blood and property are protected. [Emphasis added.]"
"This linguistic aspect is crucial to understanding scriptural exegeses regarding violence. Again, it bears repeating that neither Jewish nor Christian scriptures—the Old and New Testaments, respectively—employ such perpetual, open-ended commandments."